"The Night Watch" (detail) by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642
Over the centuries, there are major themes in the history of art that continue to appear and reappear. The nude, history painting, and animals—images from our earliest ancestors—are a few notable examples artists have interpreted in styles ranging from naturalistic to surreal.
In this course, art historian Joseph Cassar examines important masterworks within selected genres and offers a new way to understand and appreciate the similarities among—and the uniqueness of—the artists and the cultural norms that influenced their choices.
March 9 History Painting
This genre provides a visual narrative of a special moment in history. The artists discussed include Titian, Rembrandt, Jacques-Louis David, Benjamin West, and Delacroix.
March 16 Animal Painting
Wildlife has been a popular subject since early humans drew on cave walls. Artists discussed include Durer, Stubbs, Marc, and Picasso.
March 23 Fantasy
Fascination with creating imagery based in magical, irrational, and supernatural ideas was an early harbinger of what became surrealism. Artists discussed include Bosch, Arcimboldo, Magritte, Ernst, and Dali.
March 30 The Nude
Painting the nude figure was predominant in ancient Babylon and Greece. It was later embraced by such artists as Michelangelo, Titian, Botticelli, Giorgione, Rubens, Goya, Manet, and Modigliani.
World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.