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Tuesdays, May 2 – May 23, 1 – 3pm


Peter Paul Rubens. The Incarnation as Fulfillment of All the Prophecies (detail), c. 1628–1629. BF813. Public Domain.

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

Explore Dr. Barnes’s collection of old master paintings, particularly those by Dutch and German artists. Comparing pieces from Philadelphia and other East Coast collections, which range from altarpieces and devotional images to portraits and landscapes, this course seeks a deeper understanding of these works. Those who know the collection will carry away a deeper appreciation of Dr. Barnes’s collecting practice. But for those interested in wider introduction to earlier pictures, this course will also provide solid foundations.

Capacity: 18

Note: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend this class; please check safety guidelines for current masking information.

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.


Larry Silver

Silver is the James & Nan Wagner Farquhar Professor Emeritus of History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. A specialist in old master paintings, he has written about artists such as Bosch, Bruegel, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Dürer and organized several exhibitions of old master prints. He previously taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University.

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