Skip to content Skip to footer

Wednesdays, March 6 – March 27, 5 – 7pm


Jacques-Louis David. The Death of Marat (detail), 1793. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. Bequest Jules David-Chassagnol, Paris, 1886. Bridgeman Images

$220; members $198
(4 classes)

About the Class

The French Revolution (1789–99) ushered in as much visual change as it did social change. This course surveys the art and visual culture produced during this pivotal period in European history and seeks to understand its aesthetic aftermath. We will study the preference for neoclassical painting (by Jacques-Louis David and others), as well as the rise of depictions of contemporary political heroes. We will consider the various artistic destructions wrought by the revolution as well as the broad range of symbols that emerged, such as playing cards, calendars, and festival decor. Furthermore, we will examine the newly formed paradigm of artistic preservation that culminated in the birth of museums such as the Louvre, which was founded in 1793. Finally, we will think about the consequences of the French Revolution for the uprisings that followed in its wake, such as the Haitian Revolution, and the profound changes that arose as a result of expanded political representation in the early 19th century.

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.

See all classes.


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, and his newest book Monet's Minutes (Yale University Press, 2023) explores the relationship between the impressionist instant and period technologies of timekeeping.

Recent Barnes Class Testimonials

“The teacher was so smart, and knowledgeable about everything: art history, architecture, interior design, and literature! What a breadth of knowledge!” Paris in the 1920s: Art, Design, Fashion, and Literature with Caterina Pierre

“The instructor was first-rate. Poised, professional yet also inviting and comforting. She set the perfect tone for this event, and her spirit opened up beautiful connections and conversations.” Being Present with Art: The Retreat with Roksana Filipowska

“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