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Storming the Barricades: Pre-Impressionists and Impressionists

This week, we’re going to go back in time to the 19th century to learn about the innovations made by some painters living and working in and around Paris and how those innovations led to the first great movement in Modern Art–Impressionism.

Instructions

1. Read the attached pages 11-30 What Are You Looking At? by William Gompertz. While reading the chapter, you will encounter names of artists and paintings. Below, I have provided links to some such paintings. Take note of them as you read.

Water Lily by Claude Monet (Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (an example of art done in the Grand Manner) (Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)The Creation of Adam by Michaelangelo (an example of art done in the Grand Manner) (Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault (Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix (Links to an external site.)

Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe by Édouard Manet (Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)The Absinthe Drinker by Édouard Manet (Links to an external site.)

(Links to an external site.)

Olympia by Édouard Manet (Links to an external site.)

2. After reading the pages mentioned above, post a comment in which you list three to five major innovations made by Impressionist painters during the 1860’s and 1870’s. These innovations are discussed in the first part of the chapter, pp. 11-19. Each item in your list should contain enough description to prove that you understand the innovation. Therefore, avoid the mistake of just jotting down a few words. Two or three concise sentences per item should suffice. Use numbers or bullet points to make your list.

3. Next list three to five innovations made by Édouard Manet (not Claude Monet). His innovations are discussed in the last part of the chapter, beginning with p. 23. To produce your list, you will need to refer to what you learned in the chapter about three of his paintings: Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, The Absinthe Drinker, and Olympia. Each item in your list should contain enough description to prove that you understand the innovation. Therefore, avoid the mistake of just jotting down a few words. Two or three concise sentences per item should suffice. Use numbers or bullet points to make your list.

4. After you have made your list, write a brief paragraph or two about how Manet’s innovations, to use Becky Hendrick’s words, “reach toward that which is true.” In other words, what is “true” about Manet’s innovations? To answer this question, you will need to do a bit of your own thinking. Use only your own words and ideas. What you write should fall between 250 and 350 words.

5. For those taking the course for two credit hours, there is one more step for you. In addition to steps one through four above, make an additional list of the innovations by Géricault, Delacroix, and Courbet. The innovations they made helped shape Impressionism and, therefore, the beginning of Modern Art. Their innovations are discussed in the middle part of the chapter, pp. 19-23. Include at least one innovation for each of these three painters. To produce your list you will need to refer to what you learned in the chapter about their paintings. Each item in your list should contain enough description to prove that you understand the innovation. Therefore, avoid the mistake of just jotting down a few words. Two or three concise sentences per item should suffice. Use numbers or bullet points to make your list.

6. Once you have posted your comment, you can see comments posted by your classmates. If you wish, you may write responses to one another’s posts.

Grading

Your posts will be graded on accuracy, completeness, and clarity.

All posts must be earnest, relevant, and respectful. Any post not meeting these standards, as deemed by the professor, will be given a lower or failing grade.

Some Tips for Writing Well

  • Even thought this is quite a short piece of writing I’m asking you to do, take in the following writing tips in order to craft well all of your assignments for this course.
  • While this is a post to a discussion, avoid the mistake of thinking of it as a text message or a comment in social media. This is an assignment for a class.
  • Do not wait until the day before the assignment is due to churn out a rushed response.
  • Do several drafts and allow at least a night to go by between each one so that you can come back to the next revision with fresh eyes. That means completing your first draft no later than Sunday.
  • Think of your writing as a piece of sculpture. You chisel away until the truth of what you mean to communicate emerges.
  • When you do go back to your latest draft, pretend you’ve never read it before. With that mindset, ask yourself whether what you’ve written makes sense, carries the reader along from one point to the next in a logical way, and engages the reader with thoughtful points.
  • Find the right balance between too much detail and not enough.

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