History of Art in France: from the Middle Ages to the 17th Century

Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of Art in France: from the Middle Ages to the 17th Century

  • Host University

    Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne

  • Location

    Paris, France

  • Area of Study

    Art History, French, French Culture

  • Language Level

    Beginning, Intermediate, High Intermediate, Advanced, High Advanced, Superior

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This series of lectures focuses on the exploration of art in France from the Romanesque period in the early eighteenth century.

    Program by session:

    1 - Introduction. General theme: Cézanne (1839-1906): "The Louvre is the book where we learn to read".
    - The Louvre before the Louvre: evocation of the Middle Ages, Romanesque period, introduction.
    - Evocation of Paris in the Middle Ages
    - Romanesque art: Paris, Bayeux, Poitiers, Talmont-sur-Gironde ...
    - The regions of art. Romanesque art outside Paris.

    2 - Our Romanesque examples, part 2
    - From the novel to the Gothic, revolution or evolution?
    - Notre-Dame-la-Grande, Poitiers; Abbey of Fontevraud ...
    - Cluny Museum - National Museum of the Middle Ages
    - The time of Romanesque cathedrals.

    3 - The time of the Gothic cathedrals.
    - Our Gothic examples, beginning: the Cathedral of Chartres, Notre-Dame de Paris ...
    - Gothic styles; the university of the Middle Ages.

    4- Our Gothic examples, continued ...
    - Gothic in Picardy, in the Paris region (in Ile de France) and in various other regions.
    - Gothic windows.
    - Gothic facades.
    - The castles, the Hundred Years War.

    5- From the Gothic Age to the Renaissance
    - From the war castles to the castles of peace in a reconquered territory.
    - Aspects of the French Renaissance.

    6- Aspects of the French Renaissance, continued.
    - Painting at the time of the French Renaissance.
    7- The baroque age. Introduction to the seventeenth century.
    - Rubens and France.
    - French painting, examples: Simon Vouet.
    - Our baroque environment: sculpture and architecture ...

    8- French painting in the 17th century, other examples:
    - Nicolas Poussin, Claude Gellée says Lorrain ...
    - Baroque and classicism, continuation.

    9- The transition between baroque, classicism and rococo
    - Introduction to the art of the eighteenth century in France: the style of Watteau.
    - The world of Chardin.
    - Greuze, moral painting, "tearful" style.

    10- A look at modernity: the still life of Chardin (1699-1779) to Cezanne (1839-1906).
    - Fragonard (1732-1806). Hubert Robert (1733-1808).

    11. Examination ("multiple choice").

    - We will study together some aspects of art in France, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.
    - Starting with Romanesque and Gothic art, then the Renaissance, our journey will lead us to modern times and to the time of Matisse and Nicolas de Stael.
    - To complete this exploration, students will be encouraged to see the works at the Cluny Museum, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay and the National Museum of Modern Art (depending on the periods studied).

    Pedagogical approach
    Course delivered in the form of lectures (lecture) with emphasis on dialogue with students; questions are put to them (this is part of the course) and they can intervene themselves.

    Preferred supports
    Course of "multimedia" type: audio, photo, video.
    - In each class, videos, film excerpts and documentaries are presented,
    - as well as sound examples (music of the studied time, voices and testimonies).
    - Photos of the works and subjects studied are shown systematically; Power Point support or other.
    - Some quotes as well as the difficult words are projected for explanation, discussion and pronunciation.

    After the session:
    Written support distributed at the beginning of the conference that allows students to better organize note taking and revisions

    Rating out of 20 - 1 out of 20 controls.
    - The exam will be of "multiple choice" type (works, photos, projected videos to identify and check on a list), duration one hour,
    - + essay for more advanced levels to be written in French (3 pages on average, double spaced) and to be submitted during the last three weeks of the course (deadline: the final exam in class).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.