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Art Questions


Please answer the following six questions. The first five questions require shorter answers (2-3 paragraphs each). About 5 pages total for the short essay questions. Answer all five of these questions. The last question requires a longer response (2-3 pages, double spaced, 12 point font). I’ve given you two questions to choose from for the longer essay question. Only answer one of these.

Short Essay Questions

  1. Describe four factors that contributed to the proliferation of Neoclassical painting in eighteenth-century Europe, as discussed in class lectures.
  2. Compare and contrast the Rococo paintings of Boucher and Fragonard to the Neo-classical paintings of the late eighteenth-century (David, Girodet, Gros, etc.).
  3. Discuss five key aspects of Romanticism in painting, using specific examples from Delacroix, Gericault and others. How did Romantic painting differ from earlier Academic painting, and how did it anticipate or influence subsequent movements (Realism, etc.)?
  4. Discuss four key aspects of Realism in French painting.
  5. Discuss four factors that influenced the emergence of Impressionism as a movement in French painting.

Long Essay Question
Answer one of the two questions below (2-3 pages).

Option 1: Romanticism and Realism represent two distinct tendencies in the development of modern art, as it sought to challenge the dehumanizing impact of modernity (“withdrawal” and “engagement”). The Romantic artist finds an antidote to modernity by withdrawing into a world of imagination, fantasy, or desire that provides an implicit critique of the repressive banality of present-day existence, either by evoking a utopian past or idealizing a non-European culture (Delacroix). In many ways, Impressionism can be viewed as an extension of this same logic to encompass the segregated world of bourgeois pleasure and recreation. The Realist artist (Daumier, Courbet) engages directly with the cultural forms, political debates and social dynamics of contemporary life in order to register a more direct critique, often identifying openly with the poor and working class. Identify two contemporary artists (living today) whose work can be identified with each of these positions. Compare and contrast their approach to art making.

Option 2: it was very difficult for women to enter the academy and achieve recognition as artists during the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries. At the same time, gender played a key role in many of the movements we’ve discussed during the term so far. This is evident in the varying symbolic roles played by the female body, as well as the kinds of access that women had to public space during this period. Using examples of art works from the movements we’ve examined describe some of the ways in which gender has been addressed in modern painting.


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