Real and Ideal: Art and Society in Mid Nineteeth Century France

History of Art, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 24003

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 20

Semester Either 1 or 2

Module description

This module will consider images by leading artists of mid-nineteenth century France such as Ingres, Bonheur, Courbet, Millet and Gérôme.
It will also analyse key aesthetic and critical categories and genres, including Neo-Classicism, Realism, Orientalism, and the male and female nude, and link art to a broader visual culture. It will also consider the institutional structure of the French art world, focusing on the École des Beaux-Arts, the Salon and debates about Realism and the Academic Ideal.

Finally, by analysing representation in relation to the key themes of class, gender and ethnicity, the module will locate artistic practice within the social-political terrain of the period.

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture and seminar