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Advanced Art History Workshop: The Figure in Art

A young woman with pale, peachy skin, wearing a long, flowing white dress, stands in front of a white curtain in this vertical portrait painting. Her auburn-red hair cascades down over and behind her shoulders. She looks to our left with green eyes, and her pink, full lips are closed. Her dress has puffed shoulders above a white-on-white striped pattern on the long sleeves. She stands on an animal pelt; it is not clear whether it is a wolf or a bear. The pelt spans the width of the painting and overlaps a blue patterned carpet. The animal’s mouth gapes to show sharp teeth. Its glassy eyes are wide open, and it seems to look at us. The edges of the animal skin are red. The woman holds a white lily by her side in her left hand, while yellow and purple flowers lie scattered on the pelt.

James McNeill Whistler, Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1861-1863, 1872, oil on canvas, Harris Whittemore Collection, 1943.6.2

Focusing on depth over breadth, students will investigate subject matter, technique, and patronage throughout the ages to understand how cultural context affects the form, style, and meaning of objects. The workshop will focus on the development of the figure in European and American painting from the late Byzantine period to the early twentieth century. Students will hone their skills in careful observation, interpretation, and essay writing through a variety of guided activities. This program is adaptable for all students of art history, including students enrolled in Advanced Placement Art History or International Baccalaureate programs.

This program is offered from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Teachers may register in advance for dates in February through May. 

Attendance is limited to 18 students per session.

Registration: TBA


Please address questions to [email protected].