The UCSD lecture series VIS 22 - Formations of Modern Art is a very interesting, inspired and at times (I expect) very entertaining lecture series in Art History by the expressive professor William Bryson. (feed) This semester it is back. I went through the whole cycle last year - much to my satisfaction.
Bryson takes the audience on a tour through the art of painting from the 17th to the 19th century with inspired and informative analysis of specific works, which can be found on the course website. Guided by Bryson we get thoroughly acquainted with assorted artists, mostly from France - or so it went last year. This year the first two lecture were missed in the feed and it only starts with the third.
In addition to the teaching in art history, Bryson's lectures are very valuable in that, that they give a complete cultural frame of reference to the works that are being discussed. Such a frame of reference, apart from being highly instructive to the work of art, give a fine picture of the culture and time in which the work was created. And I am sure that this gives the kind of insight anybody would be interested in, who wants to know more of that history, regardless of the painting.
More about Formations of Modern Art:
Renoir and Slumming,
Formations of Modern Art.