Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Manet to 1900

Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Manet to 1900

The topics listed below are broad suggestions for your research paper; you will need to narrow down your choice of one of these themes to a clearly defined, workable subject with a viable argument for your thesis.  You may utilize required class readings as sources, but your final paper must demonstrate evidence of significant independent research beyond these texts (utilizing at least three sources outside of the required reading). 

Your paper should include some visual analysis of the images you discuss (see handout, How to Do Formal Analysis), and should also contextualize those images historically in order to support your argument.  Please make sure your thesis is stated clearly in an introductory paragraph.

Suggested Topics:

1.  The changing urban environment: new places and spaces in Paris

2.  Leisure and entertainment (images of the theater, dance halls, the ballet, caf culture, boating, etc.)

3.  Travel, tourism, and the countryside (landscape images of France or other countries; artists who
traveled to exotic locales)

4.  Politics (Franco-Prussian War, French colonialism/imperialism)

5.  Images of labor and the working class in the city or the countryside (by artists such as Pissarro, van     Gogh, Degas, Caillebotte, etc.)

6.  Gender and sexuality in Impressionist and/or Post-Impressionist art (the flneur, the prostitute, women     at home and in the workplace, etc.)

7.  Symbolist art and the imagination

8.  Post-Impressionist responses to Impressionist subjects

9.  Still life painting: how did Impressionists or Post-Impressionists make this traditional subject     modern? 

10.  Religious subjects, or symbolic religious imagery (van Gogh, Gauguin, Manet…)

11.  Fashion and the modern woman (or man!) in Paris.  (There have been a few exhibitions in recent
years on Degas and millinery [hatmaking], etc. if you choose this option, look for these
exhibition catalogues!)