This course examines a series of remarkable episodes in modern French painting, from the establishment of an official, State-sponsored form of Classicism to the succession of movements- Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Neo-Impressionism -that emerged in opposition to official art. The Nineteenth Century is the period during which modern art developed its characteristic strategies and behavioral patterns: an insistence on innovation, originality and individuality; a contentious involvement with tradition; a critical relationship with both institutional and commercial culture; and a somewhat strained allegiance with radical politics and alternative subcultures. It is also the period that witnessed a thorough-going reassessment of visual representation, and a parallel concern with the possibilities and limitations of the medium of painting. The course is designed to encourage close readings of images (by David, Ingres, Géricault, Delacroix, Daumier, Courbet, Manet, Degas, Monet, Seurat, van Gogh, Cézanne, et. al.) within the parameters of their historical contexts and of recent critical debate.
Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. D.4