19th-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!], Le Charivari plate 11 from the series Types Parisiens [Parisian Types], 1841. MHC 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 nineteenth century. We learn about art’s relationship to violent political revolution, dramatic industrial change, widespread social unrest, and the birth of modern mass culture. We study paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, and sculptures, and we investigate works of art from Mount Holyoke’s Art Museum. In all, we learn one of the key developments in the history of art, the rise of modernism.