Unit V: Post-Impressionism from Toulouse-Lautrec to Picasso


Venue: The London Beach Hotel, Tenterden, Kent (website)

Time: Tuesday afternoons, 6.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m., including a short break for refreshments

The years around 1900 in France were characterised by increasing cultural and political pessimism. Nationalism, ethnic tensions, the ‘Dreyfus Affair’ and it’s attendant anti-semitic hysteria, socialism and the discontents of an educated but disenfranchised population seemed to point towards irreconcilable social fragmentation. New technologies such as cinema, sound recording, powered flight, the internal combustion engine and electrical engineering also contributed a sense of that humanity was experiencing uncontrolled technological acceleration towards an uncertain future. As the new century dawned, the sense of millennial doom was widespread.

display_image.phpWhat were painters to do at such a moment? Could visual art even take such unprecedented conditions as a subject-matter? The focus of this set of ten lectures are those painters in France and Belgium who attempted to articulate their fears for their present and their hopes for a better future. By doing so, they began to build the vocabulary of images and ideas that the twentieth century would use to describe itself.


1894-PaulGauguin-Mahana_no_atua-Day_of_the_GodsWe’ll look at some artists, like Van Gogh and Gauguin, who have become household names and whose works are amongst the most valuable in the modern art market. Other individuals and groups such as the Nabis and the Salon Rose + Croix may be new to you. All contributed to the formative moment of modern culture.the-night-cafe-1888





22/04/2014Gauguin and Primitivism
29/04/2014Van Gogh I
06/05/2014No LECTURE
13/05/2014Van Gogh II
20/05/2014The Nabis
27/05/2014Rodin and Symbolist Sculpture
03/06/2014Odilon Redon
10/06/2104Artists Groups and Exhibiting Societies
17/06/2014Matisse and Fauvism
24/06/2014Picasso before Cubism