ARTH 590
Guillaume Lethière (1760-1832) and Caribbean Networks in France during the 18th and 19th centuries Spring 2022
Division I

Class Details

Born in the colony of Guadeloupe to a French father and a formerly enslaved woman, Guillaume Lethière (1760-1832) would become a key figure in the Neoclassical movement, a well-respected pedagogue with a sizeable workshop populated by notable students, an ambitious collector, director of the Académie de France in Rome from 1807 to 1816, a favorite artist of Lucien Bonaparte, and a member of the Institut de France. Despite his many accomplishments and sizeable corpus of paintings and drawings, Lethière has notably disappeared from the “canon” of art history. Such a lacunae begs many questions about the circles of sociability in which he traveled, the reception of Caribbean artists in France in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the lack of widespread knowledge on these topics today. This seminar will be timed with the planning of a major monographic exhibition to take place at the Clark Art Institute in the summer of 2024, and students will work alongside the curators on various aspects of the exhibition’s organization. The course will also provide an opportunity for close examination of objects in the Clark’s permanent collection, including Lethière masterpiece Brutus condemning his sons to death(1788), as well an album of approximately one hundred drawings by the artist.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 12
Class#: 3803
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, presentations, research paper (approximately 20 pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: MA students, then art history major undergrads
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ARTH pre-1800 Courses

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