Common Ground by Erin Elizabeth Wilson

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ART H 204 A: Art History And Visual Culture

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Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
TTh 9:10am - 11:10am
* *
Marek Wieczorek
Marek Wieczorek

Syllabus Description:


Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Class times: T/TH 9:10-11:10am
Instructor: Marek Wieczorek,
Office hours: by appointment on Zoom
TA: Laura Stowell,
Office hours: TBD

IMPORTANT: communicating with me should ideally be done in the Zoom sessions when your question is also relevant to others, or right after class, or otherwise through my UW email:

Course Description:
When the term “Impressionism” was first coined in 1874 as a negative label for the work shown at the first organized exhibition of a group of innovative artists, few people appreciated what these “intransigent” painters, such as Monet, Cézanne, Degas, and Pissarro, were trying to do. Today Impressionism is one of the most celebrated of all art movements. We will not only examine how their focus on capturing light through bright colors in rapid, visible brushwork upset academic standards, but also explore a younger generation of followers whose works were later dubbed “Post-Impressionist.” The most well-known of these, Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin, became more systematic in their approach to both technique and vision. Moreover, their art was produced amidst a larger “crisis in representation” in the philosophy, art, sciences, and politics of the 1880s and 1890s that is inseparable from the shape of our modernity today. We will explore some of the critical issues that their work provoked, which still preoccupy the discipline of art history. The class is largely synchronous and discussion based via Zoom, with emphasis on the development of specific skills required for art historical argumentation. You will be graded on participation, two short papers, and a final exam. Class participation is vital to the success of the class and your grade.

Course Objectives:
1.    You will gain familiarity with the development of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, and with themes that have structured scholarly inquiry into these movements.
2.    You will learn and refine your knowledge of the elements of visual analysis in modern painting, and develop your skills at communicating visual analysis.
3.    You will learn how to develop visual description into art historical interpretation.
4.    You will gain exposure to some of the ways in which art historical scholarship relates visual objects to their historical contexts.
5.    You will get hands-on experience in engaging with artworks in virtual museum settings.

Paper 1:                                                            10 %
Paper 2:                                                            30%
Final Exam:                                                       20%
Participation (including short quizzes):          40 %
A minimum of a 60 % score is required to pass the course.

Catalog Description: 
Study of art and visual culture as instruments of knowledge and methods of human expression that operate in many arenas of history, tradition, and the contemporary environment.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
April 9, 2021 - 8:36pm