French and Italian | Studies in 19th Century French Literature
F640 | 25999 | Valazza, Nicolas

Topic: Le genre de la critique d’art.  The Emergence of French Art
Criticism. The purpose of this course is to examine the development
of French art criticism, from its birth in the second half of the
18th century—specifically with Diderot’s Salons—to its assertion as
an autonomous literary genre during the 19th century—notably with
Baudelaire, the Goncourt brothers, Zola, and Huysmans. As an
introduction to the reading of these critics, it will be opportune to
glance through the fundamental writings on art that preceded the
critical paradigm—going back to antiquity and the Renaissance—as well
as to consider the philosophical background on which this paradigm
emerged in the Enlightenment. Furthermore, the critical readings will
be supported by several figurative examples taken from the painters
these critics contemplate.