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AMICO Assignment Set:
Find and Compare Exercises for Modern European Art, 1780-1900
Exercise: Power, Propaganda, and Prestige in Revolutionary France

Student Instructions:

  1. Read all the instructions below before beginning the exercise.
  2. Using the AMICO Library, choose one artwork made in France during the generation before the French Revolution (a generation is about twenty years). The artwork may be by any artist in any medium.
  3. Using the AMICO Library, choose a second artwork made in France during the generation after the French Revolution. The artwork may be by any artist in any medium.
  4. In a 250 word essay, compare the two artworks, considering one of more of the following questions:
    • Who was in power in France when each work was created?
    • Who was out of power?
    • What were the social, political, and economic conditions in France when the each work was created?
    • Who do you think commissioned the works and why?
    • Does either work take a political stand and if so how is it expressed?
    • Do the works express the artist's point of view, someone else's, or a combination of the two?
    • What roles do style, setting, gesture, and costume play in the two works?
  5. Save the images and related data in your essay.
  6. Your essay will be judged on the following criteria:
    • Did you correctly follow instructions for the exercise?
    • Did you make a good choice of images?
    • How does your essay reflect your knowledge of the period, its political history, and its art?

Sample Images:

The Progress of Love, Fragonard Jean-Honoré
Copyright The Frick Collection, New York, 1999
Study for the Costume of a Civil Official, Jacques-Louis David
©The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (French)   Jacques-Louis David
The Progress of Love (The Lover Crowned), C. 1771-1773   Study for the Costume of a Civil Official, 1793
The Frick Collection, New York, New York USA, TFC_.19151048   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, MIA_.65.43.1
View the complete AMICO record   View the complete AMICO record

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