Nineteenth-century European Art (ARTH-241)

Honoré Daumier, Vous raisonnez comme une canne!

Honoré Daumier, “Vous raisonnez comme une canne! - Et vous comme une betterave!” [You talk like a cane! - And you like a beetroot!], plate 11 from the series “Types Parisiens” [Parisian Types], Le Charivari, 1841. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.

Instructor: Anthony Lee

Offered: Most fall semesters

Ever wonder why Monet painted merely “impressions” of nature? Why Degas composed such off-kilter scenes? Why Courbet thought that ugly, muddy pictures were better than polished ones? Why Constable returned obsessively to the same parcel of land in the English countryside? Why Gericault snuck into the morgue for his body models? Why Goya filled his household walls with images of horror?

We’ll answer these and other questions in a detailed study of European art in the 19th century. We will learn about art’s relationship to violent political revolution, dramatic industrial change, widespread social unrest and the birth of modern mass culture. We’ll study paintings, prints, photographs, drawings and sculptures, and we will investigate works of art from the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. In all, we will learn about one of the key developments in the history of art: the rise of modernism.