This is a Michigan in Paris Program course. Please contact The University of Michigan Center for Global & Intercultural Study for more information.
This course looks at three centuries of representations of women in art in France from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. The course has two principle objectives: to consider the gender politics of the representation of women and the figuration of female subjectivity; and to provide students with a strong museum-based background in painting through close study of original works of art. Drawing on the unrivalled collections of the French national and municipal museums (Versailles, the Louvre, the Orsay, the Carnavalet), we will follow a broad historical progression beginning with the Renaissance and baroque court cultures through Paris's rise as a metropolitan center in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This period saw the rise of powerful women at court and in urban society, and we will examine changing conceptions of their roles in relation to changing fantasies of the female figure.