2 Audley Square
Mayfair, London W1K 1DB
Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.
From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?
A Catalyst for Change in Art Appreciation
From Pre-Raphaelitism & Ruskin to Impressionism, Modernity & Roger Fry (1848 – 1910)
Revolutionary iconoclasts or traditionalist in disguise? The artists in this final session seem hell-bent on causing offence and to be deliberately counter-culture just for the sake of it. Was this in reality their modus operandi or was there more to it? This session looks at two different approaches to modernity from both sides of the Chanel which changed the course of art history forever. In England, we will look at the Pre-Raphaelites and their relationship with John Ruskin and on the French side of the Chanel, the Impressionists and their critical reception. In both cases, the role of the critic, be it supportive or not, was crucial in establishing the reputation of these groups of artists. This session will also explore the tensions between artists and critics in what would become known as modern painting.