Course overview

When we think about French Art, we might first imagine Impressionist paintings and Cézanne’s apples, or Matisse’s colourful paintings. But what about art created before the 19th century? In this course you will learn about key works of art, from the prehistoric paintings of Chauvet to the Rococo paintings of Boucher. The examples we will study will be diverse: Gallo-Roman mosaics, Carolingian manuscript illuminations, and frescoes in Romanesque churches, paintings by Enguerrand Quarton and Georges de la Tour, the gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte, and much more. These artistic treasures, part of the country’s heritage, will also be an opportunity to enrich your knowledge of the history, geography, and culture of France.

Course description

This course will give you a broad understanding of the art of France, throughout the centuries. In the first session, we will discuss the fluctuating borders of the French territory, and we will consider the paintings and sculptures we can consider as the “first ones”: the beautiful and complex paintings in the Chauvet Cave, some of which were made as early as 30,000 years ago. After this we will progress following a chronological timeline. Some of the themes and artists we will study include: - the Gauls and Gallo-Roman art; - Carolingian, Romanesque and Gothic art, created in the Middle Ages; - the adoption of the Renaissance style under Francis I, with the paintings and sculptures of the School of Fontainebleau; - the Baroque art with Versailles, its architecture, decoration, and gardens “a la francaise”; - the classical art of Poussin and Claude; - the rococo excess in paintings by Boucher and Fragonard; - the increasing presence of women artists in the arts in the 18th century with Vigée Le Brun and others

- the neo-classical reaction, which emerged as the 1789 Revolution unfolded, with the art of Jacques-Louis David Each session will be full of beautiful and significant works of art, set in their historical context.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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