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This lecture course will focus on the dynamics of art, culture, and experience in Europe from the later eighteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century. Spanning the global conflict of the Seven Years War, French Revolution of 1789, Haitian Revolution, Napoleonic occupations, and the Revolutions of 1848, this period of dramatic artistic, social, and political change gave rise to new conceptions of subjectivity, freedom, as expressed in the visual arts. How did art, new practices of art-making, and new modes of aesthetic experience convey and embody these crises, at once at the intimate level of individual experience and across transformations wrought by war and empire? We will examine the work of major artists in depth, particularly as that work helps constitute new accounts of the individual subject, the citizen, the migrations of populations, the spectacle of punishment, and other great alterations in the public sphere. Additionally, we will discuss the ways in which these histories have been addressed in art-historical writing and in museum practice.
Format: lecture; A third of our class time will be devoted to discussion. This course will also require students to visit WCMA, Special Collections, and the Clark.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Attendance, participation, two essays (4-5 pages double spaced), midterm examination, final examination.
sophomores and juniors
ARTH pre-1800 Courses