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Rococo to Romanticism
In this course we shall study the three great styles of the 18th and early 19th c. Rococo (covered in the Autumn Term) began life as a reaction against the authoritarian Baroque world of Louis XIV and developed into a wonderfully life-enhancing, aristocratic, look in places as far-flung as Bath with the work of Gainsborough and Bavaria. In the 1750’s a reaction began in Paris and Rome amongst art critics and artists and Neoclassicism (covered in the Spring Term) emerged to cater to the more intellectual tastes of the middle classes. Indelibly associated with the Enlightenment and ultimately with the French Revolution it was perhaps most clearly embodied in the work of Jacques-Louis David. Then, after the upheavals of the Napoleonic wars a generation or two of artists revolted against the renewed conservatism of the times and sought to express themselves and take on the world much like Bonaparte himself and Romanticism (covered in the Summer Term) was born. We shall be examining the iconic works of art – the astonishing Rococo church of Vierzehnheiligen, for example, and the Oath of the Horatii – and the careers of famous artists like Goya and Turner. But special attention will be paid to some lesser known aspects of the period. We shall be taking an interest in sculpture and architecture, for instance, as well as painting. Above all, an attempt will be made to present the work of some minor figures, most notably, that of Elizabeth Vigee le Brun. This is an age of fabulous paintings, remarkable characters and huge events. Come along and get to grips with three of the most exciting styles in European art!
Optional, Saturday, jaunts to places of interest may be organised