History of Paris in Architecture & Art

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Art History
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
English
Description: 

This class retraces the major steps in the evolution of the city of Paris through art and architecture from the medieval period to today. Particular attention is paid to the 19th century from the Second Empire and the major urban planning programs conducted by the Baron Haussmann, which gave the capital its current form and style in 1900. We will then focus on he modern innovations of the XXth century and end with an overview of the Grand Paris project for the XXIst century. 

Students will study questions related to urban planning, the new Parisian lifestyle, as well as the modernity and modernization of the city but also questions of style, which will be put into context and paralleled with the major artistic movements of the times such as impressionism. 

In order to illustrate these changes and the architectural history of Paris, beside major monuments and buildings, we will look at the works of famous painters such as Lebrun, Boucher, David, Ingres, Delacroix for the pre and post revolutionary era, and Edouard Manet who illustrated “Modern” Paris as with the monuments, the impressionists, post-impressionism and the XXth century avant-garde artistes.

We will use historical novels, films and specific readings from Alistair Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris to complete our knowledge on the topic.