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ENRICH-0521 – Art Hist: Art and Revolution in France (ENRICH-0521_REV)

Revolution! Art and Uprising in France and Beyond (1789-1871)

From the storming of the Bastille in 1789 to the civic unrest during the radical Commune of 1871, Paris has been a stage for revolution, social change and political upheaval. And France’s artists were in lockstep with it all—capturing the chaos with stunning visuals.

Join art historian and Denver Art Museum teaching specialist Molly Medakovich as she unveils the fascinating details of this dynamic period of French art. Begin at the court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (did she really utter, “Let them eat cake”?) and discover—through court portraits, political pornographic libel and scenes from the guillotine—their fall from grace. Next, trace the long, chameleon-like career of Neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, who portrayed the changing tides of power, from pre-revolutionary court patronage to Republican portraiture, and witness his propagandistic images of Napoléon Bonaparte. Surf the dramatic waves of Romanticism during the Revolution of 1830, with paintings like Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, which expresses the swells of working-class hopes and demands for social and economic egalitarianism. Dive into the Revolution of 1848 and discover how Realist artists like Gustave Courbet and Honoré Daumier responded to the realities of the proletariat with a gritty, sober approach and pointed visual critiques of the status quo. Survey the ruins and rebuilding of Paris following the bloody months of the Commune in 1871, and see, through the eyes of artists and photographers who witnessed and participated in the insurrection, the then-largest urban uprising in modern Europe.

Finally, move beyond Paris and France to see how French paintings of the Greek War of Independence and images of the Haitian Revolution illustrate significant changes fomenting in the world at large. Come away with a better, richer understanding of art across this turbulent time while discovering its role in resistance, propaganda, power, patriotism, commemoration and calls for change.

Four Zoom sessions
Mon., Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 2021, 6:30-8:30 pm MT

Molly Medakovich is a teaching specialist for adult programs at the Denver Art Museum, an affiliate faculty member at the University of Denver and an art historian. She holds a PhD in 18th- and 19th-century European art history with a focus on French painting and sculpture.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: OnlinePlaces Left: 21Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $140


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Monday1st November 202122nd November 202106:30PM - 08:30PMN/AMolly Medakovich