Department: Art History and Theory.
Essex credit: 30 ECTS credit: 15
Available to year(s) of study: 1
Dr Neil Cox
Dr Georgina Roberts, Various
Libby Armstrong, tel: (0)1206 772200; email: libby (Non essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create the full email address).
Course is taught during the following terms:
Autumn: Spring: Summer:
The 18th century is a turbulent period historically, socially and artistically, because it witnessed the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Modern World. The Industrial Revolution, the Consumer Society, Constitutional Monarchy in Britain and revolutions in North America and France were the key social and political events. These forced people to reflect upon their cultural heritage and try to adapt it to the new circumstances. Art, public exhibitions and criticism together formed an important part of this process.
The impulses toward picture making and designing are deeply embedded in us: we make imaginary or desired things by depicting them, and so develop skills of painting; and we change our world by designing artefacts and buildings to satisfy our fantasies and not our needs alone. Even if we do not paint pictures or make designs as naturally as we speak our mother tongue, imagining things by looking at pictures of them, and by reading verbal descriptions have numerous similarities as well as deep differences.
Painting and writing were parallel and constantly interacted with one another. Jonathan Swift's mockery of religious pretension and fanaticism was carried into the visual satire of Hogarth, and Hogarth's social satire into the novels of Fielding. In France a moral and political image of ancient republican Rome was conjured up by Rousseau and formed a crucial pattern for the French Revolutionaries' view of themselves. These images of antiquity were given visible form by David, whose painting became symbols and cult images within the Revolution itself.
Broadly speaking the Autumn Term is devoted to French art and the Spring Term to English. Visits to London Galleries and architectural sites are subsidised by the department.
Learning and Teaching Methods
Lectures and classes Group projects: Small groups of 4-5 students will choose a topic related to art, architecture or sculpture in the 18 century. Individual group members will write an essay on an aspect of the project in the spring term. Groups will be expected to work as a team towards an assessed presentation in the summer term. Supervision and training in visual presentation will be given.
50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark
Three essays of 2-3000 words
Exam Duration and Period 3:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.
Year 1 BA in History of Art, BA in History of Modern Art, BA in History of Art and History, BA in Literature and History of Art, BA in History of Art and Film Studies, BA in History of Art and Modern Languages
Useful general introductions:
Craske, Matthew Art in Europe, 1700-1830, Oxford 1997
Irwin, David Neoclassicism, London 1997