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Matisse and Picasso

Online / Art in Context / On-Site

Wednesdays, December 1 – 22, 2 – 4pm

#SeeingtheBarnes

Left: Henri Matisse. Seated Riffian (detail), 1912. BF264. © 2021 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Right: Pablo Picasso. Composition: The Peasants (detail), 1906. BF140. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

$220; members $198
(4 classes; on-site or online)
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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?

About the Class

This course explores one of the most important relationships in the history of art: the friendly rivalry between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. Both painters are credited with shaping the future of modern art in the early 20th century—Matisse with his jarring arrangements of color, and Picasso with his devastating fracturing of the visual field. But neither artist developed his ideas in a vacuum. Rather, each was keenly aware of what the other was doing—absorbing, bristling, and reacting on canvas in a kind of game that Matisse once described as a “boxing match.” Focusing on 8 major paintings in the Barnes collection that represent key moments in the artists’ early careers, we will explore this seminal dialogue that changed the very idea of what painting should be.

This course takes place on-site, in the Barnes collection, and also allows online enrollment. All students may participate in class discussions.

On-site capacity: 12

Henri Matisse. Seated Riffian, 1912. BF264. © 2021 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Right: Pablo Picasso. Composition: The Peasants, 1906. BF140. © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Instructor

Martha Lucy

Lucy is the deputy director for research, interpretation and education at the Barnes. As an art historian, she specializes in modern European art and visual culture. She is the coauthor of Renoir in the Barnes Foundation and has published articles and essays on topics ranging from the early charcoals of Odilon Redon to contemporary installation art.