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Instructor: Dr Ruth Cereceda (Winter)

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This course offers a unique opportunity to study the art of Manet, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh, where many of the paintings studied will be viewed on gallery visits to London and Paris. Some of the classes will take place in the Musée D’Orsay in Paris and the National Gallery and Courtauld Institute in London. Further classes at Herstmonceux Castle explore gender debates, the French nude and Paris as the fashionable centre of modernity.

Available only at the Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux, Winter 2021

PREREQUISITE    Level 2 or above or permission of the Department

The content of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist course centers on Paris as the capital of modernity in late nineteenth century Europe, on the rebuilding of Paris during the Second Empire and on how these structural and social changes determined the subject matter and choices made by the avant-garde artists at this time.  The impact of Baudelaire’s request for a painter of modern life is explored, and how this manifested itself in the role of the artist-flaneur.  In the 1870s, the complexity of Impressionism from both a male and female perspective is evaluated, and the ways in which gender and class may have determined viewpoint and perception.

The avant-gardes of the 1880s and 1890s are studied, and the move away from city to country, heralded by Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin are discussed in terms of their individual exploration of Modernist values. Also, the alternative art practices of Munch in Norway and Whistler and Sickert in England are explored as part of the wider impact of French late nineteenth century art.

Learning outcomes

  • The student is asked to question the values of the society that provided the basis for these paintings, and through the study of French cultural politics and social history, the student can address issues that relate to these images with an increased visual awareness and a stronger critical focus.
  • Students are expected to evaluate primary sources seen in the National Gallery and Courtauld Institute London, as well as images seen in class and to recognize the difference in style, technique and facture.
  • The aim of this course is to provide students with a cultural awareness and a critical basis from which they can build in future years.

Experiential learning opportunities

ELOs for this course are centred on the large Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection in the East wing of the National Gallery, and the unique Impressionist paintings at the Courtauld Institute which include Manets, Van Goghs and Cézannes ; current  Impressionist exhibitions in London are also included in the field studies. 


  • During the semester, students are expected to give one presentation, worth 30% of the term’s mark,
  • Also the student must undertake one essay worth 30%. due in the second half of the term of approximately 2000 words.
  • There will be an end of term slide test held during exam week, worth 20% and the student will receive a review list of slides in Week 11.
  • There will also be a participation mark of 20% based on class and gallery contribution  and  informed discussion based on the class readings.

The Bader International Study Centre (Queen’s University, Canada) is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment that is fair, positive, and supportive for all members of our community.
We strive to ensure all members’ views are valued and shared in a secure environment through a commitment to upholding equity*, diversity**, inclusion***, and advancing indigenous initiatives.
The BISC supports the fair treatment and opportunity for all by asserting the importance of non-discriminatory treatment either directly or indirectly on the ground of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.   

*Equity: Substantive fairness for everyone thereby ensuring that members of equity-seeking groups are able to achieve full participation in the university (BISC). 

**Diversity: The representation of the population with respect to designated groups. 

***Inclusion: The climate and acceptance of differences that comes with diversity i.e. different ways of living and working. 

Land acknowledgement: Queen’s University, Canada is situated on Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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