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Wednesdays, March 8 – March 29, 3 – 5pm


Vincent van Gogh. The Factory (detail), 1887. BF303. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

Impasto, or the use of material relief in painting, has long been considered integral to the rise of modern art. We often think that if we can see a brushstroke in an impressionist canvas, it must be because it protrudes from the surface more than others. However, this is not always the case. Through close scrutiny of individual paintings using deep-zoom technology, this course will question the assumption that gesture and texture are synonymous and analyze the different ways in which the use of thickly handled paint influenced modern painting from impressionism to cubism.

The class is online-only. More about online classes.

This course will:

  • Increase your understanding of art-related concepts.
  • Increase the ways you think critically about art.
  • Improve your ability to communicate about art.
  • Deepen your appreciation for cultures and histories outside your own.


Paul Galvez

Galvez is research associate at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas. A scholar of modern art from the 19th century to the present, Galvez is author of Courbet’s Landscapes: The Origins of Modern Painting. He was guest curator of Object Lessons: Jay DeFeo Works on Paper from the 1970s (Galerie Frank Elbaz, Dallas in 2018) and has recently written on Cézanne and James Ensor for Artforum.

Art in Context

Art in Context courses connect works of art to history: What was happening politically, socially, and culturally at the time a piece was made? How did these circumstances shape the artist’s formal choices?

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“[The] professor was highly engaging, facilitated excellent discussions, and [was] very knowledgeable. I learned a lot about teaching art history from watching her.” Course: Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“Every single second of the course was a productive, valuable, and interesting use of my time. The instructor's enthusiasm and reference to outside resources sparked a greater interest in me as a learner and resulted in me exploring even more on my own. I couldn't have enjoyed the experience more.” Course: Salvador Dalí: Surrealism and Beyond with Jonathan Wallis

“I am not an artist and prior to this course I had not thought about what an artist might be 'thinking,' as opposed to 'feeling.' I loved this course and plan to immerse myself in color theory.” Course: Visualizing Memory with Lucas Kelly

“This course is equal to or exceeds art history courses I have taken at several major universities in terms of syllabus and quality of instruction.” Course: The School of Paris with Joseph Tokumasu Field