Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Art in Europe 2: Revolutions and Modernities, 1814-1900
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (2000 words)  60%
Semester Assessment Reflective Log  (1500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment Comparative Essay  (1000 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (2000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Reflective Log  (1500 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Comparative Essay  (1000 words)  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Describe and interpret the meaning of artworks using appropriate visual vocabulary.

2. Compare artworks produced in different historical and critical contexts.

3. Locate and interpret primary and secondary sources.

4. Construct and justify a written argument about works of art and their historical contexts using the appropriate scholarly apparatus.

5. Reflect on their own learning.


The module aims to introduce first year Art History (and Fine Art students who might take it) to a comprehensive survey of European art and its social and cultural contexts from 1700-1800 and to encourage the development of communication and study skills

Brief description

The nineteenth century was a period of profound upheaval for Europe: all that was solid melted into air. Powered by the First and Second Industrial Revolutions, economies, and therefore societies, were rapidly transformed. Out of this tumult came a new social and cultural ethos: modernity. Artists of all kinds reflected on and participated in the myriad revolutions that generated modern life: indeed, many artists understood art as a powerful tool for engendering yet new revolutions, whether political or aesthetic.
This module examines how artists in the nineteenth century responded to the transformations taking place around them, and in so doing transformed art itself. It aims to, first, acquaint you with the key artists, movements, and contexts for understanding this period in the history of art; and second, help you continue to develop key art historical skills: including describing, analysing, and comparing works of visual art; conducting independent research; constructing and communicating interpretations and arguments about artworks; and contextualizing these interpretations and arguments in a historical framework.


1. The Enlightenment in Crisis
1a. Seminar 1: Eugène Delacroix’s Journals
2. Romanticism in Britain & Germany
3. The Birth of Photography
3a. Seminar 2: William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature, 1844
4. Colonialism and Orientalism
5. Realism
5a. Seminar 3: Gustave Courbet, ‘Letter to Students’ (1861)
6. Pre-Raphaelitism
7. Impressionism
7a. Seminar 4: Charles Baudelaire, ‘The Painter of Modern Life’ (1863)
8. Assessment Preparation Week
9. Neo-Impressionism
10. Symbolism
10a. Seminar 5: Albert Aurier, ‘Symbolism in Painting: Paul Gauguin’ (1891)
11. Paul Cézanne

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Articulating ideas orally in seminar discussions and textually through comparative visual analysis, reflective research diary, and essay.
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflective research diary asks student to reflect on their participating in their own learning in the context of developing a research project.
Information Technology Conducting research through library catalogues, online scholarly databases and museum websites; organizing their own research materials and notes to compile diary; engaging with digital platforms like Blackboard and Turnitin.
Personal Development and Career planning Development of key skills, including professional presentation of research using MLA style, and reflective practice.
Problem solving In seminar preparation and discussion, essay research and writing.
Research skills In seminar preparation, conducting research for reflective research diary and essay.
Subject Specific Skills Ability to visually analyze works of art, set them in their historical context, and construct arguments about their meaning and significance.
Team work n/a


This module is at CQFW Level 4