The Course Art History, Literature & Music Lectures logo
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Alison Meek
Andrew Spira
Dan Evans
Denise Heywood
Dr Antonia Whitley
Dr Michael Douglas-Scott
Dr. Marie-Anne Mancio
Dr. Richard Plant
Frederico Botana
Geoffrey Toms
Graham Fawcett
Harry Mount
Ian Cox
Jacqui Ansall
James McDonaugh
Jeremy Musson
Leslie Primo
Marie-Anne Mancio
Nick Ross
Nicola Lowe
Nicole Mezey
Nigel McGilchrist
Patrick Bade
Phillip Mansel
Richard Williams
Robert Hugill
Stephen Nelson
Suzanne Perrin
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet
Loading Courses

« All Courses

Towers, Terror, Technology: French Art And Experience

January 12 - March 23

30-60 mins duration

£55 – £450

Get tickets

In addition to RECORDED sessions each week, there will be LIVE ZOOM seminars, starting in week 2 and finishing in week 11 to discuss the previous week’s lecture (full details on acceptance of booking)


The great markers of the medieval pilgrim routes, revolutions celebrated in paint and sculpture, hymns to the Eiffel Tower and the aeroplane ‐ the art of France has both lead and shocked European taste.

Gothic architecture was known as “the French style”, the 18th century delicacy of Watteau and Boucher and of Boulle furniture was copied across the great courts, while David’s heroic celebration of Napoleon and the brutal deconstruction of the Cubists were, at first, ridiculed and deplored.

Painting, building and the decorative arts, however, are the product of specific moments of thought and experience, and we will explore a thousand years of creativity not only through style and artists, but also as the expression of history.

“The series has been excellent. This is the third course I have attended of Nicole Mezey and I really enjoy her sessions. She is informative, interesting and her lectures are well structured”

Course Outline

Introduction – 12 Jan 2021

How, why and when did France emerge as an arbiter of taste for other nations? After a brief overview of the themes of the series, we will consider the architectural synthesis of the Gothic, and sophisticated manuscript production which dictated the aspirations of every enlightened court.

Salamander Splendour – 19 Jan 2021

Italy may have been the cradle of the Renaissance, but it was the French monarchy and aristocracy who used architecture, painting and decoration to turn the arts into a language of European supremacy.

The Sun Also Rises – 26 Jan 2021

Dominated, in legend, by the persona of Louis XIV and the multi‐disciplinary magnificence of Versailles, the 17th century was also nonetheless distinguished by artists flourishing beyond the court orbit, from Georges de la Tour in Lorraine to Poussin in Rome.

Court, Courtship And Kitchen Maids – 02 Feb 2021

The licentious, pleasure‐seeking court of Louis XV demanded fun and frivolity in the arts. The delightful pastel shades and sensuous lines of French rococo style became the artistic passion of the European courts, expressed in furniture, porcelain and the painting of Boucher and Fragonard.

Pain and Propaganda – 09 Feb 2021

The unrest of the later 18th century, followed by war and revolution, provoked dramatic responses. We will explore the experience of a tumultuous age in paeans of Napoleonic praise and the Romantic pain of Gericault and Delacroix.

Insiders, Outsiders – 16 Feb 2021

Few artistic worlds were as dictatorial as that of 19th century France. For the successful, reputation and wealth awaited, but the constraints also created stirrings of rebellion through the unlikely medium of landscape and the peasant studies of Jean‐Francois Millet.

Painters of Modern Life – 23 Feb 2021

Moving from classical gods to contemporary courtesans, from epic combat to country funerals, Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet shocked society by rejecting traditional themes, using their art to capture the reality of the world around them, laying the ground for Impressionism.

Bright and Beautiful – 02 Mar 2021

Today, we love impressionism, with its luminosity, brilliant colour and memories of sunny summer landscapes. As we know, however, their first audience was much less appreciative ‐ why? what was it about this style which so offended and alienated their society?

The Genius of The Future – 09 Mar 2021

In the wake of Impressionism, artists begin to use their work in new explorations of form and feeling. Cezanne, van Gogh, Gauguin and Rodin took painting and sculpture on a journey away from the past and into the 20th century.

Things Fall Apart; The Centre Cannot Hold – 16 Mar 2021

Fragmentation, emotion, mischief and protest were the driving forces as we move into the 20th century. Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp were at the forefront of those seeking a new purpose for the artist in the age of mechanical reproduction.


January 12
March 23
£55 – £450
Courses Category:


RECORDED sessions online (full details on acceptance of booking)
United Kingdom


Nicole Mezey
Our Lecturers


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Full Course: Towers, Terror, Technology
£ 450.00
Individual Lecture: Introduction - 12 Jan 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: Salamander Splendour – 19 Jan 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: The Sun Also Rises – 26 Jan 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: Court, Courtship And Kitchen Maids – 02 Feb 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: Pain And Propaganda – 09 Feb 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: Insiders, Outsiders – 16 Feb 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: Painters Of Modern Life – 23 Feb 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: Bright and Beautiful – 02 Mar 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: “The Genius Of The Future” – 09 Mar 2021
£ 55.00
Individual Lecture: "Things Fall Apart; The Centre Cannot Hold" – 16 Mar 2021
£ 55.00

Receive information about future courses

Please register here to receive information and updates about our future courses and study tours.