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Hearing Painting, Seeing Music

Online / Art in Context

Thursdays, November 10 – December 8, 6 – 8pm


Paul Signac. Evening Calm, Concarneau, Opus 220 (Allegro Maestoso) (detail), 1891. Robert Lehman Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image © Art Resource, New York

$220; members $198
(4 classes, no class Nov 24)

About the Class

From Delacroix’s fixation on achieving absolute harmony in painting to Kandinsky’s aspiration to reach mystical heights, many visual artists have embraced music as the model art form to emulate. In the 19th century, music was accorded special prestige for its unique power to convey the subjective experience through developments in form, harmony, tone, and counterpoint, among other elements. Co-taught by an art historian and a musicologist, this interdisciplinary course explores the relationship between painting and music by examining the formal analogies between the two arts through visual examples and musical excerpts. An overview of aesthetic principles from the Romantic era to early modernism provides insight on music’s unprecedented impact on painting during this time.

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


Hannah Chan-Hartley

Chan-Hartley is a musicologist who works with organizations including Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa; the Detroit Opera; and the Verbier Festival, Switzerland. She was previously managing editor and musicologist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Chan-Hartley is the creator of the Symphony Graphique Visual Listening Guides—a new kind of graphic listening guide for symphonic music, used worldwide. She holds degrees in violin performance and musicology with a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Corrinne Chong

Chong is assistant curator at the Barnes Foundation. Prior to this appointment, she was a research consultant for the 2021 Barnes exhibition Suzanne Valadon: Model, Painter, Rebel and a key member of the curatorial team for the Early Rubens exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. She holds degrees in education and art history with a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. Her publications and curatorial projects focus on the dialogue between 19th-century art and music as well as opera scenography.

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?