Module Information

Module Identifier
AH11320
Module Title
Pleasure, Power, and Profit: Art in the Long Eighteenth Century
Academic Year
2022/2023
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Comparative Visual Analysis  750 Words  20%
Semester Assessment Reflective Diary  750 Words  20%
Semester Assessment Essay  1500 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Comparative Visual Analysis  750 Words  20%
Supplementary Assessment Reflective Diary  750 Words  20%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  1500 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

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

Compare artworks produced in different contexts and for different purposes.

Interpret primary and secondary sources.

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

Reflect on their own learning.

Brief description

The artist in 1648 could be certain of himself: if he wanted to convey a certain emotion, he just needed to consult his copy of Charles Le Brun’s Lecture on Expression, find the ‘correct’ head, and copy it; if he wanted to get ahead as a professional artist, he knew exactly which genres to work in. Over the next century and a half, these reassuring restrictions gradually fell away, only to be replaced by new demands as the power centres of art shifted between Academies, Royal Courts, the public, and the market. Along the way, the very question of what it meant to be an artist was challenged and transformed in multifaceted ways. Was the artist supposed to provide pleasure, produce profit, or promulgate political power? Of course, for women artists excluded and suppressed by the old power structures, this tumult was more opportunity than crisis.

This module examines the history of art in Europe during the long-eighteenth century, and situates these artistic debates and transformations amid their economic, social, and cultural contexts. 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 begin to develop key art historical skills: describing, analysing, and comparing works of visual art; interpreting written primary and secondary sources; constructing, justifying, and communicating interpretations and arguments about art and its contexts; and reflecting on your own learning.

Content

Week-by-week we will examine the key artists, movements, and contexts for understanding art in the long eighteenth century. The topics covered will address the various ways in which the historical forces that defined the period transformed conceptions of art and shaped the practice of artists. These topics will evolve over time in response to the convenor's research and the latest developments in the field. As an indication, we will examine how the spread of art Academies, aristocratic patronage, the emergence of the public sphere, the intellectual culture of the Enlightenment, the shift from mercantilism to capitalism, the French Revolution, and early globalisation shaped artistic tendencies including Rococo, Neoclassicism, and Romanticism.

Taking a 'flipped learning' approach, students will read essential texts and watch pre-recorded lectures (1 hour per week, inclusive of activities) as guided independent study. Classroom time (1 hour per week) will be divided between student-led Q&A and discussion about the lectures, in-depth seminar-style discussion of important texts, and workshop-style activities and exercises centred on key skills.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Articulating ideas orally by participating in classroom discussions; communicating in writing in assessments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflecting on one's own participation and learning in reflective diary assessment; formative feedback in classroom discussion week-by-week and summative feedback to assessments will offer guidance for improving own learning and performance.
Information Technology Conducting research through library catalogues, online scholarly databases, and museum websites; organizing research materials and notes; engaging with digital platforms like Panopto, Blackboard, and Turnitin.
Personal Development and Career planning Practicing key disciplinary skills with direct relevance to future study and work: analysing, and comparing works of visual art; interpreting written primary and secondary sources; constructing, justifying, and communicating interpretations and arguments about art and its contexts.
Problem solving Applying knowledge and skills to interpret unfamiliar artworks and responding to art historical problems.
Research skills Engaging with the reading list and locating sources for class preparation and assessments (reflective diary and essay).
Subject Specific Skills Practicing describing, analysing, and comparing works of visual art; interpreting written primary and secondary sources; constructing, justifying, and communicating interpretations and arguments about art and its contexts.
Reflecting on one's own participation and learning in reflective diary assessment.
Practice critical reading of primary & secondary sources; analysing works of art; and constructing and justifying an essay argument.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 4