Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Birth of Modern Art

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Art and Art History

DESCRIPTION The art historical realities which brought about the great artistic revolution of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Topics discussed include the development of Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, Cèzanne and the beginnings of Modern Art.


The aim of this study-unit is to bring students in closer contact with the early beginnings of nineteenth century modern art. The unit is designed to provide a comparative broad overview of different modern artists and movements. Critical analysis, research oriented discussion and debate is expected.

Knowledge & Understanding:

The study-unit is directed towards a systematic understanding of the relationship between the various often conflicting mid/late-nineteenth century art movements. At the end of the study-unit the student will be in a better position to critically analyse the art-historical, philosophical and theoretical demands.


The lectures give the student the necessary skills to appreciate, evaluate and contextualise the art historical situation existing in the mid/late nineteenth century. By the end of the study-unit the student will be in a position to appreciate and to deal with the many questions inherent in this period of art history development.

Reading List:

R. Hughes, The Shock of the New: Art and the Century of Change, Thames and Hudson, London, 1996
D. Britt (ed.), Modern Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 2007
S. F. Eisenman (ed.), Nineteenth Century Art: A critical History, Thames and Hudson, London, 2007
T. J. Clark, The Absolute Bourgeois. Artists and Politics in France 1848-1851 London, 1999
T. J. Clark, Image of the People. Gustave Courbet and the 1848 Revolution, London, 1999
Ross King, The Judgement of Paris. The Revolutionary Decade that gave the World Impressionism, London, 2007


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Take Home Examination (24 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Nicola Ann Petroni
Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.