Painters: Pushing the Boundaries

Ref: C2347320

How the conservative art establishment dominated art in France in the early 19th century by favouring traditional styles and approaches to painting and how certain artists began to challenge this dominance by exploring new styles like Realism and Impressionism. We'll also look at the Pre-Raphaelites in England, who rebelled against the demands of academic art, particularly the reverence accorded to the Renaissance master, Raphael, who was held up as the exemplar for all to follow in many countries of Europe. The stand taken by these revolutionary artists allowed more experimentation towards the end of the century, with Cezanne, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Braque and Picasso really pushing the boundaries of visual art.

Course aim

How some painters in France and elsewhere in the 19th century and the early 20th century challenged the conservative art establishment by exploring new styles of art.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the some of the qualities of the art favoured by the academic art establishment at the turn of the 19th century.
  • Explain why Courbet, Manet and the Impressionists were dissatisfied with the style of art accepted by the Paris Salon.
  • Suggest reasons why the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood's existence as a movement was so short-lived.
  • Give examples of art dealers who helped experimental artists find markets for their work.
  • Discuss why the term "Post-Impressionist" seems unsatisfactory as a description.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our learning platform, Canvas, and access a Zoom presentation. If you’d like to understand more about Zoom please visit:

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Painters: Pushing the Boundaries

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This course has been cancelled.


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  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
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