City Visions: Venice, Paris, and New York as Seen Through the Eyes of the Artists

Course Leader(s)
Day of Week: Thursday
Course Length: 10 weeks
Starting: 09/12/2024
Ending: 12/05/2024
Period of Day: Period 2 Zoom
Time: 11:30 - 1:00
Course Fee: $100

Course Description:

Cityscapes have been popular since ancient times and are considered treasures by art lovers and historians alike. In this course we will explore three renowned western cities – Venice, Paris, and New York – through the works of some of history’s greatest artists.

In the case of Venice, we’ll begin with a brief glance at the founding of the city in the lagoon and its evolution as the center of a vast trading empire; we’ll also discover how it remained radiant even in its inevitable economic decline. We’ll study the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of palazzi and cathedrals and catch glimpses of the lives of various city dwellers through the paintings of Masters from Canaletto to Turner, Whistler, and Sargent. The writings of Ruskin and Henry James will enrich our sense of the place, as will the melodies of Venetian composers Gabrielli and Vivaldi.

Our visit to Paris involves a similar approach, beginning with the small island settlement in the Seine, progressing to the construction of Gothic cathedrals and ultimately the city planning designs of Haussman. Manet, Caillebotte, and Picasso will be among our guides, with Proust and Hemingway offering commentary. Musical interludes include the works of Ravel and Satie, with a bit of Piaf.

Then on to New York, from the founding of New Amsterdam to the building of skyscrapers in the 20th century. We will be guided by Bellows, Hopper, Steichen, Estes, and others, with commentary by Mark Twain, Edith Wharton and James Baldwin and musical interludes with Gershwin and Sinatra.

The course will be a combination of presentation and discussion, and weekly preparation should take about an hour and a half.

Books and Other Resources:

All assignments will be online. Links will be accessed through a syllabus.

Course Leader Bio(s)

Suzanne Art

I have always loved art, language, and history. My favorite pastime is experiencing paintings in art museums. I have a BA in history, an MA in the French language and literature, and an MA in teaching. I taught history for 16 years at a private school. During that time, I also wrote a series of twelve history books, a major feature of which is the study of the art of a given culture. Nowadays, I take great pleasure from sharing my love of art history with groups of enthusiastic seniors. I have taught many art history courses at LLAIC and BOLLI over the years.