HS1BCR-Beauty, Class, Revolution and Empire: European Art, 1730-1830

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Simon Lee

Email: s.lee@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module is optional for SINGLE HONOURS STUDENTS ONLY.


This module aims to introduce students to the interpretation of European art 1730-1830, with a particular focus on Britain, France and Spain, the genres of portraiture, history painting and political propaganda, their place in the canons of Western art, and their representation of ideas about class and politics in the era of Enlightenment and Revolution. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

• identify the sources of the topic in question

• trace its historical development

• be aware of differing historiographical interpretations of the pattern and causes of this development

• understand how ideas and events are shaped by their historical contexts

• organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays

• demonstrate familiarity with bibliographical conventions and mastery of library skills.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims:

• to encourage students to think independently 

• to help students develop good oral and written communication skills 

• to develop the effectiveness of students in group situations 

• to develop IT skills through the use of relevant resources. 

Outline content:

This module follows the trajectory of European painting from the first half of the eighteenth century to the July Revolution of 1830. The painting of the period will be discussed and examined with reference to the emergence of notions of beauty, Enlightenment thought, personal identity, the political upheavals of the French Revolution, the dynamic rise of Napoleon as First Consul and then Emperor, and ending with the period of the Bourbon restoration, 1814-1830.  Using a variety of artists and art works, we will consider how ideas about class and politics were encoded into the art of the period. The genres of portraiture, history painting, and political propaganda will be covered and the traditions of these genres within the canon of Western art will also be examined. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching is by eight two-hour seminars over one term. Students are reminded to email their tutors for help and advice whenever needed and to note office hours.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Written exam 50%: 

one 1-hour unseen paper requiring 1 answer

Written assignment, including essay 50%: 

1 essay of c. 2000 words, to be submitted once via Blackboard on Turnitin by latest 12 noon on the Monday of 11th week of each term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    1 hour

    Requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 11 September 2017

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