Around the world in 10 masterpieces

Discover 5 iconic songs and 5 iconic artworks of the same period. Explore each masterpiece in detail.

1: Italy

Bella Ciao, (Italy, late 19th Century, unknown author) & Portrait of the Stepdaughter (1889, Giovanni Fattori)

The Italian folk song Bella Ciao became the anthem first for the Italian Partisans of the Second World War, then a musical shorthand for global freedom. Fattori was an active supporter of the Risorgimento movement and one of the leaders of the Macchiaioli painters, forerunners to the Impressionists.


2: France

La Vie en Rose (1945, Edith Piaf/Louiguy) & Les Otages (1942 on, Jean Fautrier)

The “Little Sparrow’s” signature song,  La Vie en Rose is a personal story of love that captured the pain, heartbreak and resilience of post war France and beyond. Meanwhile artist Jean Fautrier had been arrested for his role in the Resistance and created a powerful series to commemorate those who died at the hands of the Nazis.


3: Brazil

The Girl From Ipanema (1962, Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius De Moraes) & A Box to Make Love In (1967, Teresinha Soares)

The Girl From Ipanema is a tale of innocence that elevated Bossa Nova globally beyond Brazil, along with its creators and musicians Astrud Gilberto, Jõao Gilberto and Stan Getz. Meanwhile artist Teresinha Soares was exploring what it meant to be female in Brazil.


4: UK

Eleanor Rigby (1966, Paul McCartney/John Lennon) & Bum (1966, Pauline Boty)

Lauded by poet Allen Ginsburg and writer William S. Burroughs for its impressive narrative content in just three verses, Eleanor Rigby contains references to family, film and the phone book. In the same year, Pop artist Pauline Boty made Bum, her last ever work, commissioned by theatre critic Kenneth Tynan for his erotic cabaret, Oh! Calcutta!.


5: USA

New York Movie (1939, Edward Hopper)

Hopper's paintings are known for their theatricality and influence on and from cinema. This work was particularly important for him as it marked his return to painting after a fallow period of artist's block.


6: USA

Over The Rainbow (1939, Harlon Arlen/Yip Harburg) 

The most iconic song from The Wizard of Oz and other socially conscious works by American lyricist Yip Harburg, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who would be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

Around the world in 10 masterpieces

  • The course will be online from 10 a.m. - 10.45 a.m. (UK) on Fridays on these dates -

    1. April 1st

    2. April 8th

    April 15th, Good Friday - no class

    3. April 22nd

    4. April 29th

    5. May 6th

    6. May 13th