Paris: Nineteenth Century City of Elegance
The last few decades of the nineteenth century gave birth to one of the most well-loved styles of painting-Impressionism. Painters flocked to the city of Paris and its surrounds to capture this unique moment on canvas. This virtual course will consider the impact of the industrial revolution on painting in France. It will analyse how new materials and techniques enabled a change to painted surface emulating the modern fast-moving world. Impressionism will be set within the context of the rebuilding of the city of Paris by Napoleon 3rd and Baron Haussmann and we will explore the new landmarks which captured the imagination of painters.
Lecture 1 - Auguste Renoir’s Paris; the origins and techniques of Impressionism
We will focus initially on the work and career of Auguste Renoir as we celebrate the centenary year of his death. This first lecture will also consider new techniques and materials which enabled such a radical change to depictions of the city.
Lecture 2 - Manet and Degas; rivals in modernity
We will analyse the impact of the French poet Baudelaire paying particular attention to his article ‘The painter of modern life’. We will explore his relationship with Manet, whose own influence on the younger painters and rivalry with Degas will also be discussed.
Lecture 3 - Boulevards and Balconies
The city of Paris became a city of display and spectacle during this period and artists represented the new boulevards and buildings and the views from their balconies. The lecture will consider the meaning of the different viewpoints and assess how life on the streets of Paris changed at this time.
Lecture 4 - Women painting and living in the city
We will consider the inhabitants of the city and how the role of urban women changed during this period. We will look at how women became emblematic of the city and compare representations by male artists and female artists such as Berthe Morisot and Mary Casatt.
Lecture 5 - Urban Entertainment and a trip to the suburbs
This lecture will begin with a focus on Paris, the city of leisure. We will explore the opera and the bars, the night clubs and street entertainment. Many people could not afford housing in the city and sought to live on the outskirts and in the new suburbs along the Seine so the course will end with a discussion about these different places and a consideration of painters such as Seurat.
This course will be delivered online via Zoom. All participants will receive information in advance about how to access the course and if any preparation work is required before it commences.
What you will learn:
• The impact of the industrial revolution on painting in France
• Analyse new materials and techniques that enable change to painted surfaces emulating the modern fast-moving world
• Explore the landmarks which captured the imagination of painters
Please note that the virtual course session will not be recorded due to intellectual property rights.
Image: Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte, 1877, Credit: Charles H. and Mary F.S. Worcester Collection, Art Institute of Chicago