The Art and Architecture of Paris

Ref: C3741371

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 style of the Belle Epoque and the Art Nouveau movement. Finally, the art displayed in the Metro stations provides a Parisian perspective on its history and its great cultural heritage.

Additional information about this course

Please note that the start time is 2pm and not as advertised.

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 adorns 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 major achievements of the French hero, Lafayette
  • Describe the art of two of the French Impressionists
  • Identify two signature Parisian buildings of the Art Nouveau movement
  • 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
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The following two books provide excellent Paris background; useful reading before, during or after the course: "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
  • This course should provide an extensive knowledge and understanding of Paris. As such, it is an ideal course for those intending to visit or stay in Paris in the future.

Download full Course information sheet

The Art and Architecture 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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