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13C019A Paris, Provence and the Painters of Modern Life

13C019A Paris, Provence and the Painters of Modern Life

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  • Sat 6 Apr ’13, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 13 Apr ’13, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 20 Apr ’13, 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Sat 27 Apr ’13, 10:00am – 12:00pm


Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Full course registration: $110.00

Take a journey through one of France’s most fascinating periods of artistic history. This course introduces the French art of the second half of the 19th century, focusing in particular on artistic responses to modernity.

In an 1863 essay entitled ‘The Painter of Modern Life’, the poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire coined the term ‘modernité’ to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of modern urban life and the responsibility of contemporary artists to capture that experience.

The course begins by exploring Paris, the cultural centre and heart of the art world, and traces its dramatic transformation under Baron Haussman (Prefect of Paris under Napoleon III from 1853-70), the civic planner responsible for redesigning the city’s layout and creating new leisure spaces for the enjoyment of the rising bourgeoisie.

The French Second Empire (1852-70) was a time of exceptionally rapid social, industrial and technological change. The course looks at the different ways artists embraced or rejected ‘modernity’, paying particular attention to the avant-garde artists associated with the Realist, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements - artists who invented a style of painting in response to the transitory and fragmented nature of contemporary life.

The course turns to Paul Cezanne, often considered the father of modern painting, whose struggle to develop an authentic observation of the seen world - one that would resituate a Pre-Impressionist world of gravity-bound, solid forms - and led him to pursue plein air painting in his native Provence.

Victoria Community Continuing Education.

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