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Wednesdays, November 1 – November 29, 3 – 5pm


Pablo Picasso. The Ascetic (detail), 1903. BF115. © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

$220; members $198
(4 classes; no class Nov 22)

About the Class

This course shines a spotlight on Pablo Picasso’s early work, from 1901 to 1906, the mainstay of Dr. Barnes’s holdings by the artist. In this period, Picasso grew from a precocious teenager into an ambitious adult, attuned to contemporary urban life while also drawing inspiration from the annals of art history—and actively seeking his place in it.

Using deep-zoom technology that offers unprecedented views of surface details, we will reappraise works from these years, including masterpieces from the Blue and Rose Periods, through a series of case studies on pictures in the Barnes collection. Rather than positioning these works as conservative precursors to Picasso’s later, more overtly radical approaches to form, we will frame his early output as quintessentially Picasso. Straddling tradition and modernity and marked by shifting styles and material experimentation, Picasso’s complex art from this period is pivotal to understanding his artistic identity and enduring legacy.

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

Barnes classes 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.

Pablo Picasso. The Ascetic, 1903. BF115. © 2023 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Naina Saligram

Saligram is a fellow researching the 46 works by Picasso in the Barnes. She has held curatorial, research, and teaching positions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery and has previously taught Barnes classes on subjects including primitivism and surrealism.

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.” Matisse and Picasso with Martha Lucy

“The instructor [was] very empathetic and knowledgeable [and] created moments of sharing across students who participated actively in discussion.” Art and Literature of the Harlem Renaissance with Michael Williamson

“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.” Visualizing Memory with Lucas Kelly

“The instructor was exceptionally well prepared and challenged us with profound questions. This was a graduate degree caliber course.” The Queer 1890s with Ty Vanover