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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program has been canceled. Ticket holders will be notified about credit and/or refund options.

Masters and Masterpieces of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Art in an Age of Revolutions, Revivalism, and Reforms

4-Session Evening Course

Tuesday, April 7 to May 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. (no class April 14)
Code: 1H0492
$90 - Member
$140 - Non-Member

"The Entrance to the Grand Canal", (detail) Venice, ca. 1730, by Canaletto (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Against a backdrop of political and industrial revolutions, the 18th and 19th centuries brought forth a profusion of styles in Europe and America, from rococo exuberance to classical elegance and Napoleonic splendor, romantic flights of the imagination and spectacular landscape paintings to a bold new realism. 

This class series led by art historian Karin Alexis emphasizes cultural context, major movements, the wealth of styles created, and the diversity of the period’s talents. She focuses on great classically inspired masters including Gainsborough, Jacques-Louis David, and Canova; the romanticism of Delacroix; Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites; and the expressions of realism seen in the paintings of Copley, Courbet, and Winslow Homer and the sculpture of Rodin. 

APR 7  Empires, Elegance, and Enlightenment

Rococo Sensuality to Intellectual Sobriety
The English School, French innovations, Italian masters, and American artists; splendid palaces and estates; varied interpretations of classicism; Gainsborough, Romney, Hogarth, Chardin, Boucher, Canaletto.

APR 21  The French Revolution to the Salons of Paris    

Neoclassicism and Beaux-Arts Classicism
The Napoleonic era and after; art as propaganda; the quest for the beautiful; academic classicism; the Salon; Jacques-Louis David, Ingres, Canova, Houdon, Thorvaldsen, Gerome.

APR 28  Flights of the Imagination to the Force of Nature  

The Romantic Rebellion and Romantic Landscapes
Origins and inspirations; new aesthetics and the expansions of subjects for high art; exploring emotions, influence of reform movements, landscape schools in France, England, German, and America, naturalism, Pre-Raphaelites. Goya, Delacroix, Rossetti, Corot, Friedrich, Bierstadt, Church

MAY 5  A Romance with Modern Life

A Bold Realism
Depictions of modern life, genre scenes, portraiture, social commentary, and still lives; Copley, Courbet, Manet, Bastien-Lepage, Rodin, Eakins, Homer.

4 sessions (no class on April 14)

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.