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Art and Society in the Nineteenth Century


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Professor Leslie Topp
  • Assessment: a 1000-word primary source analysis (40%) and 2500-word essay (60%)

Module description

This module is not intended as a survey of artists and schools of the period. It is assumed that you will already have a basic knowledge of these (such as is provided in the module Introduction to Modern Art).

indicative module syllabus

The City

  • ‘The Painter of Modern Life’
  • Modernity and Improvement
  • Urban Identity


  • Inventions
  • Portraits
  • Institutions

Art and the Body

  • Naked vs Nude
  • Race and the Nude
  • The Make Nude

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be able to use different forms of historical material relating to the history of art in Europe in the nineteenth century
  • understand the relationships between social, economic and political forces and the artistic practices of the period, and make close analyses of relevant texts and images.