Revolutionaries in 19th-Century Paris: Manet, Monet, and the Impressionists

In 1848 the official French Art Academy and École des Beaux-Arts were challenged by new perceptions of not only what to paint but how to paint, beginning with the movement of Realism initiated by Gustave Courbet and furthered by Manet, Monet, and other Impressionists.  What economic, social, and political changes fed this artistic revolution, even to the extent of how paintings were bought and sold in new capitalist markets? How did they strive to express “modernity,” leading us now to view Impressionist art as the gateway to Modernist movements?  Furthermore, if Impressionism can be interpreted as a prelude to modern art, can it not also be viewed as a postlude as well, that is, the last of the great western European art styles based on a perception of harmony and natural vision? We will attempt to answer these questions concluding with Monet’s huge murals of the Nympheas (Waterlillies) of 1923.

Instructor: Rhea Higgins

Three Tuesdays: October 18, 25; November 1 | 4:30–6 P.M.
Wasch Center Butterfield Room | $70
Rhea Higgins
RHEA PADIS HIGGINS is an adjunct professor in the art history department in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford.  She taught at Wesleyan in Graduate Liberal Studies from 1986 to 2002. Her area of expertise is 19th-century European painting, with an emphasis on
post-Impressionist artists.