Art and Power: From Royal Spectacle to Revolutionary Ritual (ARTHIST 252A)
From the Palace of Versailles to grand operas to Jacques-Louis David's portraits of revolutionary martyrs, rarely have the arts been so powerfully mobilized by the State as in early modern France. This course examines how the arts were used from Louis XIV to the Revolution in order to broadcast political authority across Europe. We will also consider the resistance to such attempts to elicit shock-and-awe through artistic patronage. By studying music, architecture, garden design, the visual arts, and theater together, students will gain a new perspective on works of art in their political contexts. But we will also examine the libelous pamphlets and satirical cartoons that turned the monarchy¿s grandeur against itself, ending the course with an examination of the new artistic regime of the French Revolution. The course will be taught in English with the option of French readings for departmental majors.