The Art, Architecture and History of Paris

Ref: C3741349

This course is a journey of discovery through the history, art and architecture of Paris, a city renowned throughout the world as the city of love, the city of light and the city of elegance and style. The last 300 years have seen a series of dramatic and often traumatic passages in the lives of Parisians, their royal, military and political leaders, and their cultural icons. The course starts with an overview of this history, which sets the context for the main study of the changing cultural scene of France in the fields of art, architecture, literature et al. Examples of the topics to be covered here include the age of the Impressionists, the Beaux Arts architectural style, the Belle Epoque and the Art Nouveau movement. Finally, a study of the art displayed in the Metro stations provides a Parisian perspective on its history and its great cultural heritage.

Course aim

To provide an insight into the history, art and architecture of Paris, and to reveal the artworks illustrating all these aspects of the city that adorn the platform walls of the Metro.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Describe the 4 revolutions in Paris of 1789, 1830, 1848 and 1871.
  • Identify two of the major achievements of the French hero Lafayette.
  • Describe the art of two of the French Impressionists.
  • Identify a signature Paris building in Art Nouveau style.
  • Locate the Paris metro location of Jules Verne's submarine Nautilus.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • The following two books provide excellent background learning on Paris: "The Other Paris" by Luc Sante "Parisians - An Adventure History of Paris" by Graham Robb

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • The tutor provides corresponding courses on London and Berlin which may be available locally in the future.

Download full Course information sheet

The Art, Architecture and History of Paris


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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