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Art and the French Revolution

HNRS 2021 Sec. 1 - Spring 2018

Professor Darius Spieth School of Art

Tu Th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
218 French House

This course will look at art produced during the period of the French Revolution, ca. 1775-1825, from an interdisciplinary perspective. It will retrace how neoclassical subject matter developed by Jacques-Louis David and his students became increasingly politicized during the 1780s, and how it provided potent visual allegories during Robespierre’s rule of Terror in the 1790s. By the turn of the nineteenth century, as Neoclassicism faded in importance, Romanticism reacted against it by introducing new content dealing frequently with bodily decay, human suffering, and exoticism. Although paintings and sculptures will be the focus of this class, historical, social, and political shifts will provide the framework in which these works are analyzed. Guest lectures, including a planned class visit by an internationally acclaimed member of the French Academy in Paris, Prof. Marc Fumaroli, will supplement and enrich class discussions. As capstone projects, students will curate a hypothetical exhibition on the subject of “Art and the French Revolution,” as well as write and present a research project.

Completion of this course will earn you credit equivalent to English 2000. Class is CxC (Communication across the Curriculum) approved, and students may apply credit earned in this class towards a CxC certification mentioned on their transcript (for more information, go to:

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition