Summer School 2021 - Course 14 - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Summer School 2021 – Course 14

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NEW Course 14

Women Artists in France, 1770-1914

Dr Lois Oliver

Summer School – Online
Monday 28 June – Friday 2 July 2021

Course description

Women artists in France created astonishingly rich oeuvres, despite considerable professional obstacles. Excluded from the official École des Beaux-Arts until 1897, they also faced prejudice from art critics and dealers who regarded genius as a male attribute.

This course offers the opportunity to explore the achievements of an extraordinary range of individuals. They include the rival portraitists Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, whose glittering careers at the royal court were interrupted by the 1789 Revolution but who subsequently reinvented themselves; animal painter Rosa Bonheur, famed across Europe and America, who became the first woman to be awarded the Légion d’honneur; Impressionist innovators Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt; and an artist who defied all convention, the model-turned-artist Suzanne Valadon.

While the geographical focus is France, the cast of artists is international. We shall explore the achievements of Americans in Paris, attracted by tuition at the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi, and the numerous Nordic visitors who not only studied in the capital but also visited artist colonies on the coast, establishing links with similar communities in Scandinavia.

The course combines in-depth lectures on individual artists and groups of artists with thematic sessions on topics such as artistic training; exhibition opportunities; the (often gendered) language of art criticism; artists as models; and self-representation.

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