Skip to content Skip to footer

Monet and the Instant

Online / On-Site / Art in Context

Monday, August 22 – Thursday, August 25

3 – 5pm


Claude Monet. The Studio Boat (Le Bateau-atelier) (detail), 1876. BF730. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4-day intensive)

About the Class

As life in the 19th century sped up, so did the century’s art. Painting in “15 minutes,” as the critic Jules Laforgue described impressionism in 1883, characterized a novel kind of picture built of hectic, freewheeling brushstrokes. Impressionism, and Claude Monet’s art in particular, chronicled the profound cultural shifts of the industrial era; its shocking, unfinished appearance made movement, time, and vision its chief subjects. In the process, the “instant” became impressionism’s favored temporality. Focusing on major paintings from Monet’s career, this course explores the artist’s complex ways of painting time, or instantaneity, and will help students develop a new appreciation for his achievements within the history of modernism.

This course takes place at the Barnes, in the Comcast NBCUniversal Auditorium, but is also available for online enrollment. All students, whether on-site or remote, will have the opportunity to participate in class discussions. More about online classes.

On-site capacity: 80

Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this class; please check Safety Guidelines regarding current masking information.


André Dombrowski

Dombrowski is Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Associate Professor of 19th-Century European Art at the University of Pennsylvania. His 2013 book Cézanne, Murder, and Modern Life won the Phillips Book Prize. He is currently at work on a new book that explores the relationship between the impressionist instant and period technologies of timekeeping.

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?