Art in the Nineteenth Century - HART5006

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 5 30 (15) Benjamin Thomas checkmark-circle


This module will explore the major art movements of the Nineteenth Century such as Romanticism, Realism, Pre-Raphaelitism, Impressionism, the New Sculpture and Post-Impressionism. It will look in depth at the work of a number of key artists during this period (for example, these may include J. M. W. Turner, Eugène Delacroix, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, Paul Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh). While the focus will be on the visual arts in France and England, the module will situate these artistic trends within a broader historical context, exploring parallels with literary, scientific and philosophical developments. Social attitudes towards the arts will be examined in the light of the class, gender and racial issues that characterised an age of industrial growth, European colonialism and empire building. Seminars will be dedicated to analysing topics like Delacroix and Orientalism, the 'Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood', the representation of poverty, nature and landscape, the modern city and popular culture, the impact of photography, or Gauguin in Tahiti.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Total private study hours: 256
Total module study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Seminar notes (20%) – a brief paragraph to be prepared each week, and the total (no more than 1,000 words) to be submitted for assessment at the end of term.
Creative portfolio (40%) – to consist of 3 x 1,000 word components such as: the analysis of a drawing, a photo-essay on a piece of public sculpture, a blog post on a nineteenth-century painting, an exhibition review.
Essay (40%) – 2,000 words on a topic from a set of questions devised for level 5.

Reassessment methods
Like for like.

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

Indicative Reading List
Clark, T. J. (2000), The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and his Followers, London: Thames & Hudson
Eisenman, S. (2020), Nineteenth-Century Art: A Critical History, London: Thames & Hudson
Harrison, C., Wood, P. and Gaiger, J. (1998), Art in Theory, 1815-1900: An Anthology of Changing Ideas, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell
Marsh, J. (2019), Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, London: Quartet Books
Nochlin, L. (1971), Realism, London: Penguin

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Distinguish, explain and evaluate different art movements in the Nineteenth Century, their distinguishing styles, practices and ideas.
2 Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the works of key nineteenth-century artists.
3 Produce short pieces of critical work in a variety of forms that demonstrate the skills of object-based analysis and comparative visual analysis.
4 Understand the interplay between the visual arts and broader nineteenth-century culture through research into relevant scholarly literature.
5 Critically reflect upon and evaluate aspects of the art criticism produced during the Nineteenth Century.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate skills of visual, critical and historical analysis, together with generic intellectual skills of synthesis, summarisation, critical judgement and problem-solving, that will allow for the construction of original and persuasive arguments.
2 Demonstrate the skills of communication, improving performance, problem-solving, working with others and effective use of appropriate vocabulary and illustrations, ideas and arguments to a variety of audiences and/or using a variety of methods.
3 Appropriately use a range of learning and reference resources (including visual resources) within the Templeman Library and elsewhere, including the critical use of the internet and a range of primary and secondary texts.
4 Employ information technologies to research and present their work.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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