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French Art History Seminar - Cannes, France  

3.5 hours per week; 14 hours total in each four week session. Intermediate Level Required.
The French Cinema Seminar provides 3.5 class hours per week in addition to either the Standard or Intensive French Program. This seminar seeks to illuminate the evolution of French Cinema during the 20th century. Among the many aspects covered: the particular movements, legends of the screen, cinematic writing, the reality and role of the Film Festival in Cannes, as well as French cinema in today's world.

The objectives of the seminar include:

  •   To clarify the evolution of the French cinema by the projection and the discussion of some of the most outstanding films of the history of the French cinema from the first quarter of the 20th century to present day.
  •   To start to develop faculties of analysis.
  •   * To regard films as the expression of a particular artist and as the reflection of a society and culture.
The seminar includes viewing of film extracts which students will then discuss in an open forum.

Please Note: This is an add-on course; cannot be taken alone.

French Art History Seminar-In French or English
Number of hours per week: 3.5 hours.
Available: Spring and Fall.
Language levels applicable: all levels.
Certificate Preparation for: Certificat du Collège International

Seminar Description
Evolution of painting and artistic life in France from the end of the XVIII century to the beginning of the XX century.

  • Classicism and Neo Classicism
    • Influence of Greek and Latin Antiquity on Nicolas POUSSIN’s and J.L. DAVID’s work
  • Neo Classicism and Romanticism
    • Analyzing INGRES’ and DELACROIX’s work.
    • The relationships with mannerism and the Baroque.
  • The Painters of Nature
    • The Barbizon painters as precursors of Impressionism: 1h. ROUSSEAU, J. B. COROT and J. F. MILLET
  • Naturalism and Realism, and the Beginning of Modem Painting
    • C. COURBET’s “Manifesto for realism”
    • MANET as the first modem painter
  • The Impressionistic Revolution
    • E. BOUDIN as a real precursor
    • The importance of the new techniques: the fragmented brushstroke
    • Bright colors.
    • Development of open-air painting
    • Visits: Renoir Museum (Cagnes-sur-Mer); “Beaux arts” Museum (Nice)
  • From Impression to Expression
    • CEZANNE’s influence on PICASSO and the cubist painters
    • GAUGUIN’s synthesis and stylization, influencing the Nabis
    • VAN GOGH’s convulsed painting
    • E. DEGAS and TOULOUSE-LAUTREC: dance, drawing, movement
    • the “modern style”
  • Neo and Post Impressionism
    • G. SEURAT’s theories about division and pointillism of Paul SIGNAC
  • Fauvism Uprising
    • H. MATISSE as a key-painter of the movement.
    • Visit: Matisse Museum (Nice)
  • Cubism of BRAQUE, PICASSO and F. LEGER
    • Analyzing the complete works.
    • Visit: Picasso Museum (Antibes)
    • Fernand-Léger Museum (Biot)
  • A Poet-Painter of Our Century: Marc CHAGALL
    • The original work and the specificity of the “Biblical Message”
    • Visit: National Museum Marc Chagall (Nice)
  • Contemporary Art
    • Abstract art Paul KLEE and W. KANDINSKY theories
    • The Dada movement; ARP, M. DUCHAMP’s ready made
    • Surrealism and its followers: DALI, ERNST, MAGRITTE, MIRO
    • Visit: “The Maeght Foundation” (Saint-Paul-de-Vence)

Example of a Seminar Lecture & Practical Study

  • Lecture in a General Introduction
    • Painting as a visual language.
    • How to become capable of recognizing and analyzing a work so as to question art and set the elements of a real creative perspective.
    • The relationships between forms and colors and their organization in a space; a stylistic approach.
  • Practical Study
    • Analysis of works among the most representative of the reference periods in art history.
    • Illustration of the different styles of painting: portrait, female nude, landscape, still life and "scène de genre".
      • Portrait: “La Joconde” (L. de VINCI, Italian Renaissance). The Alberti’s theories about perspective, the sfumato and chiaroscuro.
      • “Scène de genre”: “Les bergers d’Arcadie” (“Shepherds in Arcadia”) (N. POUSSIN, XVII). A very classical “scène de genre” and a perfect example of the classical landscape.
      • A female nude: “La Grande Odalisque (INGRES, XIX). To think about the notion of ideal beauty in the neo classical period and, contradictorily, about the elongated proportions of the body in a “mannerist” way.
      • Landscape: “Impression, sunrise” (CI. MONET, 1872). The beginning of Impressionism; the fragmented brushstroke; the orange spot as a warmth source and illuminating the painting.
      • Still life: “Apples and oranges” (Paul CEZANNE, 1895). The beginning of modem art; the bright colors and the cezanian “modulation”.
      • “Scène de genre”: “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (P. PICASSO, 1906). The first cubist painting and the revolutionary aspect of this angular perspective. The elaboration of a new formula of a visual language.

Seminar Bibliography

  • “History of Art” (text book) - H.W. JANSON, 2nd edition (Prentîce Hall - 1982)
  • “The Story of Art” - E.H. Gombrich (Phaidon Press - 1984)
  • “The Story of Impressionism” - J. Rewald (The M.O.M.A. - 1973)
  • “Impressionism” - P. Pool (Thames & Hudson - 1967)
  • “Post Impressionism” - J. Revald (the M.O.M.A. - 1978)
  • “A Concise History of Modern Painting” - H. Read (Thames & Hudson - 1974)
  • “Cubism” - E. Fry (Thames & Hudson - 1966)
  • “Concepts of Modern Art” - N. Stangos (Thames & Hudson - 1981)
  • “On Modern Art” - Paul Klee (Faber & Faber - 1966)
  • “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” - W. Kandinsky (Dover Publications - 1977)
  • “Manet” - Claudia Lyn Cahan (Bloomsbury - 1985)
  • “Degas” - Giovanni Carandente (Bloomsbury Books - 1985)
  • “Monet” - Michel Hoog (F. Hazan - 1978)
  • “Cezanne: a Study of His Development” - R. Fry (The University of Chicago Press 1989)
  • “Toulouse Lautrec” - Renata Negri (Bloomsbury Books - 1985)
  • “The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh” - M. Roskill (Atheneum - 1963)
  • “Impressionism and Post Impressionist Masterpieces: The Courtauld Collection” (Yale University Press - 1987).

Important note: This seminar is NOT available during the summer session.

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