In this free course, Napoleonic paintings, we will examine a range of Napoleonic imagery by David, Gros and a number of other artists, beginning with comparatively simple single-figure portraits and moving on to elaborate narrative compositions, such as Jaffa and Eylau. In so doing, we will have three main aims: to develop your skills of visual analysis; to examine the relationship between art and politics; and to introduce you to some of the complex issues involved in interpreting works of art.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
analyse paintings centred on the human figure in terms of how a work's form and content together produce its meaning
explain how and why French painting came to be used and controlled by the Napoleonic regime
discuss the problems of interpretation raised by Gros's Napoleonic paintings
locate Napoleonic painting within the broad shift from Neoclassicism to Romanticism in French art.
If you are a fan of Napoleon and the Napoleonic era, this is a course for you. And even if you are not, I would recommend this course. Well thought out and put together. I emerged with a much enhanced understanding of the period, and I have been reading about Napoleon for decades. Very much recommended.