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This subject examines the visual culture of Europe in the period 1660–1815, from the reign of Louis XIV of France to the end of the Napoleonic wars. We will consider several significant centres of power in France, England, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire to study how powerful political, religious, social and cultural factors shaped changes in the production, patronage and reception of images, objects and buildings. We will also consider how European contact with cultures around the globe led to a fascination with the foreign other that indelibly shaped European visual culture at this time. Close study of artworks in local collections – including paintings, prints, furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork and textiles – will explore how these objects were deployed in the construction of social identity in the courts and cities of eighteenth-century Europe.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of the subject, students should be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the contexts in which 18th century art was produced across Europe in many centres;
- demonstrate a broad understanding of the technical and stylistic achievements of the major practitioners of European eighteenth-century art; and
- employ critical and analytical skills appropriate to the study of the art of this period.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
- be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
- be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
- be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
- be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.
Last updated: 16 June 2020