French and Italian | Civilisation française 2
F464 | 2654 | Wilkin


This course focuses on the (mostly visual) artifacts –architecture,
painting, clothing, table ware, scientific and medical inventions,
etc.— of French culture from the beginning of Marie de Médicis's
regency to the end of the second empire. Subjects we will study
include: the power attributed to the image in Counter-Reformation art;
Louis XIV's institutionalization of art and science; the beginnings of
consumer culture during the Enlightenment; iconoclasm during the
French Revolution; the rise of the civil engineer under Napoleon;
urban planning and speculation on real estate during the second
empire. We will consider the following questions: What was it like to
live in France during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth
centuries? How has "art" been defined over the course of French
history?  What political, religious, and economic ends does art serve?
We will read excerpts from a mix of primary (literary works, legal
documents, etc.) and secondary sources. Students will be graded on
participation, two exams (a mid-term and a final), one independent
research project (6-8 pages), and a class presentation.