This course looks at factors that contributed to Paris's rise as the preeminent artistic center in the West at the time of the French Revolution, and traces the evolution of French art throughout what would prove to be an extraordinary century of formal advance and experiment ending in Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. The story of French art is one in which timeless ideals and triumphal narratives were continually put under pressure by the imperative to model the contingency of modern experience. Themes we will explore in this class include the significance of a public sphere for art-making and the relationship between artistic advance and appeals to an ever-widening public; painting and revolution; history painting; the persistence of Classical ideals and their relationship to modern subjects and experience; the new focus on sensation and the rise of landscape painting; the decline of narrative in painting in favor of form and surface; the relationship between modern art and academic practice; the rise of feminism and attempts on the part of women artists to find their own voice in a masculine practice; the conflict between the unabashed pursuit of artistic individualism and the need to define collective values and experience; the significance of the decorative to painting at the end of the century and the relationship between art's embrace of privacy, domesticity, and intimacy at the end of the century and France's Revolutionary legacy.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture/Discussion
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART Grading Mode: Graded
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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