Course syllabus


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SEMESTER 2, 2019 Course Information

  • Course Coordinator 
  • Robin Woodward –
  • Teacher
  • Robin Woodward –
  • Course delivery format
    • 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial per week
    • Lecture time and place: Thursday 2-4pm. Room: Arts 1, Room 209
    • Tutorials 
    • ARTHIST201: Thursday 12pm - 1pm, 114 G17 (Commerce A)
    • ARTHIST321: Thursday 10am-11am. 201E-902 (Human Sciences - East, Rm 902)


Course Description

Europe was at war for much of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. As Napoleon and his armies rampaged across the continent and into North Africa, Russia was also forced to defend its borders, and Britain joined the fray. Art was employed as propaganda by all sides in the conflicts; monuments to the heroic and paintings of the suffering prevail. French artists glorified the Revolution and glamourized the military campaign while the Spanish artist Goya showed his compatriots’ suffering at the hands of the French invaders. While documenting the political turmoil in Europe artists also delight in the exotic of newly conquered territories and colonies such as Morocco, India and the Americas. Others, such as Ingres, Fuseli and William Blake are preoccupied with their own personal visions which they paint in a combination of romanticism and the popular neoclassical style.

Just as the political map of Europe was being redrawn, daily life was also changing irrevocably. The rise of a wealthy industrial class in English society led to changes in the subject matter of art. The newly moneyed classes wanted art that reflected their new found status, wealth and education - paintings that showcased their country estates, and portraits that touted their learning and recorded their travels to Italy. However the effects of the Industrial Revolution hit England particularly hard. Do the seemingly idyllic landscape scenes by John Constable reflect what was happening to his beloved countryside? Do Turner’s swathes of colour acknowledge the effects of science, industry and the Enlightenment?

This course focuses on late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century painting, sculpture and architecture in Europe, particularly France and Britain. The impact of social and industrial revolution is examined, and developments in portraiture, landscape and history painting are explored. The major artists include Constable, Turner, Goya, Reynolds, Gainsborough, David, Ingres, Gericault and Delacroix.


Weekly Topics

Lecture 1 Introduction   a general introduction to the course

Lecture 2 Italy, Greece and the Grand Tour   the neoclassical ideal

Lecture 3 Neoclassicism   an introduction to theory and principal artists

Lecture 4 Romanticism   ideas and examples

Lecture 5 The Hierarchy of the Arts   history painting

Lecture 6 Landscape and Nature   inspiration and imagination

Lecture 7 Portraiture: not just a pretty face

Lecture 8 Portraiture: the ‘elevation of ‘mere face painting’ Reynolds & Gainsborough

Lecture 9 A Case Study in Neoclassicism Canova and Sculpture

Lecture 10 A Case Study in Romanticism     Edmund Burke and the sublime

Lecture Session 11 Stage 2 Class Test

Lecture 12 A Romantic Individual – Joseph Wright of Derby

Lecture 13 Painting History   Jacques Louis David

Lecture 14 Recording History   Goya

Lecture 15 Themes   Art and Gender

Lecture 16 Ingres, a romantic classicist

Lecture 17 Gericault, in search of an ‘ideal’ style

Lecture 18  Delacroix,  classicist or romantic?

Lecture 19 Art, Academies and Society

Lecture 20  The Collapse of the Hierarchy in Art 

Lecture 21 Architecture  I   Neoclassicism

Lecture 22 Architecture  II  Romanticism 

Lecture 23 Survey Review

Lecture 24 Romanticism 


Assessment Dates

ARTHIST201   Class test: Thursday 29 August in the usual lecture time and place

                      Essay due date: Monday 7 October 4.30pm

ARTHIST321   1st essay due date: Wednesday 28 August 4.30pm

                      2nd essay due date: Monday 7 October 4.30pm


Coursework + exam

ARTHIST201 Coursework: one visual test and one essay. Exam: two hour exam

50% coursework (essay 30% and a class test 20%) and an examination 50% = 100%

ARTHIST321 Coursework: two essays. Exam: two hour exam

50% coursework (two essays:1st essay 20%, 2nd essay 30%) and an examination 50% = 100%

Note: The exam is a computer based exam. This will be explained in class.

Class Contact

There is a two hour lecture session each week, plus one smaller group lectorial a week which starts in the second week


Readings will be provided

Points value

ARTHIST 201: 15 points

ARTHIST 321: 15 points


ARTHIST 201 Any 15 points at Stage I in Art History

ARTHIST 321 Any 30 points at Stage II in Art History






The University of Auckland's expectation on 15-point courses, is that students spend 10 hours per week on the course. Students manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Students attend two hours of lectures each week and participate in a one-hour tutorial from week 2 of semester. This leaves seven hours per week outside the classroom to prepare for tutorials, assignments and the exam.

Deadlines and submission of coursework:

Deadlines for coursework are non-negotiable. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you will be required to provide a doctor's certificate before the assignment is due. All late assignments without a pre-approved extension will be penalised one mark per day late.




Course summary:

Date Details