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A History of Portraiture and Self-Portraiture

In this course, we will explore the many ways in which artists have represented the human face in Western art, from the Renaissance to the present. Through multiple visits to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, we will study Flemish masterpieces by Jan van Eyck and Petrus Christus and iconic German portraits by Hans Holbein and Albrecht Dürer. We will continue to trace the genre’s development by looking at iconic portraitists, including Titian, El Greco, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Joshua Reynolds, Gainsborough, Goya, and John Singer Sargent. Next, we will move all the way into the modern period, during which we encounter Cézanne, Picasso, Lucian Freud, and Andy Warhol, among others, who reinvent the genre. We will study outstanding self-portraits by Rembrandt, van Gogh, Rosa Bonheur, Cindy Sherman, and others. Careful examination of the psychological process involved in the creation of a portrait or self-portrait will round out the course.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with iconic portraits and self-portraits
  • An understanding of how portraiture has developed over time

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Practicing and aspiring arts professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.


    • Section

    • Semester

      Summer 2019
    • Date

      Jun 4 - Jul 23
    • Day

    • Time

      • In-Person
    • Format

      • In-Person
    • Sessions

    • Location

    Tuition $475