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Last updated:

September 26, 2023


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


Let This Be a Lesson: Heroes, Heroines, and Narrative in Paintings at Yale (Fall 2013, Yale University Art Gallery). In fall 2013 John Walsh,

Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, presented a popular semester-long public lecture series that took a close look at eleven important paintings from Yale's art museums that represent scenes from history, myth, scripture, or literature. In every case the artist intended to do more than delight and entertain the audience. The paintings depict situations in which moral issues are at stake, usually acts of heroism of one kind or another. The lectures traced the tradition of "history painting" - the category to which all of these works belong - from the Renaissance on through its rise to official dominance, its fall from privilege in the eras of Realism in the 19th century and abstract art in the 20th, and its reappearances in the 21st. (from artgallery.yale.edu)

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 01 – Introduction to History Painting Unlimited
  • Lecture 02 – Unintended Consequences: Antonio del Pollaiuolo’s Hercules and Deianira Unlimited
  • Lecture 03 – Darkness to Light: Garofalo’s The Conversion of Saint Paul Unlimited
  • Lecture 04 – “But, Lord, He Stinketh!”: Marco Pino’s The Resurrection of Lazarus Unlimited
  • Lecture 05 – Against Nature: Peter Paul Rubens’s Hero and Leander Unlimited
  • Lecture 06 – “To Paint the Way the Spartans Spoke”: Gavin Hamilton’s The Death of Lucretia Unlimited
  • Lecture 07 – Benjamin West’s Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus Unlimited
  • Lecture 08 – John Trumbull and Historical Fiction: The Battle of Bunker’s Hill, June 17, 1775 Unlimited
  • Lecture 09 – Find the Hero: Ary Scheffer’s The Retreat of Napoleon’s Army from Russia in 1812 Unlimited
  • Lecture 10 – Handwriting on the Wall: John Martin’s Belshazzar’s Feast (1820) Unlimited
  • Lecture 11 – History at the Academy & the Salon: Jean-Leon Gerome’s Ave Caesar! Unlimited
  • Lecture 12 – History Painting after Two World Wars: Anselm Kiefer’s Die Ungeborenen Unlimited

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