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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Europe 1900: Nationalism and Decadence at the Fin-De-Siecle (HIAR10029)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will cover the period c.1885-1910. This is an exciting field with an increasingly challenging bibliography. The course deals with a wide variety of media - painting, drawings, prints, posters, sculpture, and to a certain extent the decorative arts - in a variety of primarily western European countries, including France, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, and Austria-Hungary. This range introduces art in unfamiliar countries and by little known artists. The course is organised around themes. Nationalism, internationalism, and regionalism are considered as rivals and counterparts; the notions of centres (e.g. Paris) and peripheries (e.g. Switzerland and Scandinavia, via Hodler, Gallen-Kallela, and Hammershoi) is also considered. Different nations' rivalries over the classical tradition is a key area (Puvis de Chavannes, Gustave Moreau, Cezanne, Von Stuck). Public health and its counterpoint, decadence (Toulouse-Lautrec, De Feure), is dealt with, particularly with reference to the social Darwinism which was such a prevalent contemporary discourse. Both these themes link with notions of city and country, the former growing and becoming dangerous (Kollwitz), the latter seen increasingly as a repository of nostalgic values (Zorn). Spirituality was widely acknowledged to be a fin-de-sicle concern, and this is considered not only in relation to explicitly Christian art (Corinth, Maurice Denis) but also to Theosophy (Mondrian, Kandinsky, Kupka), which encouraged artists to find new expression in abstraction. Music is also considered, as an 'abstract' form capable of expressing deep emotion and also a vehicle for nationalism (Klinger, Klimt). Finally, the course plays off artist's fascination with modernity and its articulation as anxiety (Ensor, Munch, Spilliaert).
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2A Reason, Romance, Revolution: Art from 1700 to 1900 (HIAR08027) AND History of Art 2B From Modernism and the Avant-Gardes to Postmodernism and Globalisation (HIAR08028)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have passed at least 60 credits of Architectural History at Level 8 can also take these courses. If the pre-requisites cannot be met, entry to this course can be negotiated in consultation with either the Course Organiser or Programme Director (History of Art).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). Visiting students should have completed at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above, and we will only consider University/College level courses. **Please note that 3rd year History of Art courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 24, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 3 hour online examination paper (50%) and 1 x 2,000 word essay (50%)
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3-hour online exam3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Hone close skills of picture analysis, based on the close study of objects both in the classroom and on a gallery visit.
  2. Get a fuller understanding of the social history of art. In particular, they will be encouraged to think in interdisciplinary terms, and to key the making of images into historical processes.
  3. Explore periodical literature and to read critically and widely.
  4. Prepare for classes, whether giving a paper or not, and contribute in an informed way to discussion.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMiss Michelle Foot
Course secretaryMiss Chloe Hancock
Tel: (0131 6)50 4124
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