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Visual Arts 1

  • ECTS

    3 crédits

  • Code Apogée


  • Composante(s)

    UFR Langues et Civilisations

  • Période de l'année

    Semestre 5


Part 1 – Painting in Nineteenth-Century Britain

The focus of this corpus-based course is nineteenth-century British art in context. We will consider how artists engaged with key issues of the time such as urbanisation and industrialisation, nation and empire, gender and class, and modernity and tradition.

Course objectives:

  • to gain an overview of British art in the nineteenth century,
  • to acquire the methodology of visual formal analysis,
  • to develop students’ awareness of historical contexts, to develop their critical thinking skills, to enhance their observation and interpretative skills.


Part 2 – Photography

This part of the course covers the social and cultural history of British photography from the second half of the twentieth century to the present. It is conceived as an introduction to the main debates around the social uses of photography, with a particular emphasis on documentary photography. The focus will be on the British context, and thus the class offers an approach to British cultural and social history through photography.

Images as well as theoretical texts on photography will be studied and used in critical discussions about the different uses of the medium. This will be an opportunity to refine the method of image analysis and to reflect on the aesthetic specificities of the medium. The course is also intended as an introduction to research practices.

Texts for discussion in class, to be read and studied before the class will be provided, and the consultation of books at the library is necessary. A bibliography is provided below.

Course objectives:

  • Image analysis: introduction to the methodological tools to describe, interpret and analyse a photographic image and contextualise it.
  • Capacity to develop a critical discourse in oral and written English about different kinds of photographic images, ability to question their uses and investigate issues of production, circulation and reception of photographic images.
  • Acquisition of knowledge about the history of British photography and introduction to key concepts around the specificities of the still image.
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Contrôle des connaissances

Régime assidu :

Exposé: 50%

Devoir final : question de cours et analyse d’image (2H) 50%

Régime dispensé:

Un oral comportant une analyse d’image. Durée 15 mn (préparation 30mn)

Session 2 (rattrapage) :

Un oral comportant une analyse d’image. Durée 15 mn (préparation 30mn)

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Part 1 – Painting in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Recommended reading:

  • Curtis, Penelope, Chris Stephens (eds.) Tate Britain Companion: A Guide to British Art, 2013.
  • Laurent, Béatrice, La Peinture anglaise, Pornic, Le temps éditeur, 2017.
  • MacKenzie, John M. (ed), The Victorian Vision: Inventing New Britain, V&A Publications, 2001.
  • Wilton, Andrew, Five Centuries of British Painting: from Holbein to Hodgkin, London: Thames & Hudson, 2002.


Part 2 – Photography

Recommended reading:

  • Steve Edwards, A Very Short Introduction to Photography. Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Martine Joly, Introduction à l’analyse de l’image. Armand Collin (plusieurs rééditions)
  • Val Williams, Susan Bright, How We Are: Photographing Britain. Tate, London: 2007.
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