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~ French Literature and Art ~

French Literature and Art, Part III : Impressionism



90 minutes


After this seminar, you'll know all there is to know about : Impressionism, Émile Zola, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec,Turn of the 20th Century.

The 19th century was one of the most culturally rich, and politically intense, periods in French history. After many centuries of rethinking and reinterpreting the classical ideals of the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, artists and intellectuals from all walks of life came together to create an all-new vision for literature and art, intimately connected with the political events of the moment and the newly-emerging modern world.

Lecture 3 - Naturalism and Impressionism


Several decades later, the French intellectual scene had changed profoundly. More and more artists were challenging the rigid standards officially established by Emperor Napoleon III, and a whole new movement had arisen, known as "Impressionism" and led by Monet, Renoir and their friends. At the same time, a literary movement called Naturalism had emerged, championed by Emile Zola, great friend of Manet and the Impressionists. Together, these two styles of expression would create a whole new vision of modern literature and art : objective yet personal, scientific yet expressive, irresistibly modern. During this lecture, we'll take a look at the great masterpieces by the Naturalist writers, such as Germinal by Zola, and compare and contrast them with the works of the most significant Impressionist painters : Manet, Monet, Renoir, Bazille, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne. We'll see how these works embody the transformation of the whole century, and how they will be used as a compass to guide the coming generations to even higher heights of expression and modernity.

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