A-level: British and French avant-garde

Science, industry and the growth of cities transformed art forever.


Beginner's guide

The 19th century saw wide-scale industrialization and urbanization in Europe.

videos + essays

A-level: Art Nouveau
A-level: Art Nouveau

In the modern period artists recognized that the well-being of society and all its members were supported and enhanced by well-designed objects, buildings, and spaces.

A-level: Japonisme
A-level: Japonisme

The distinctive qualities of Japanese art offered striking new approaches to modern artists developing alternatives to the Western tradition of naturalistic representation.

A-Level: Sample set of works for the British and French Avante-Garde
A-Level: Sample set of works for the British and French Avante-Garde

In the latter half of the 19th century, Gauguin painted, Rodin sculpted, and Garnier designed the Paris Opera.

A-Level: Auguste Rodin, <em>The Burghers of Calais</em>
A-Level: Auguste Rodin, The Burghers of Calais

When Rodin received the commission for this monument in Calais, he was expected to produce one figure—not six.

A-Level: Auguste Rodin, <em>The Gates of Hell</em>
A-Level: Auguste Rodin, The Gates of Hell

This aborted commission was meant for a museum that was to be on the site of the Musée d’Orsay—where it now stands.

A-Level: Auguste Rodin, The Walking Man
A-Level: Auguste Rodin, The Walking Man

Does a statue need to include arms or a head to be considered complete? Rodin clearly doesn’t think so.

A-Level: Edgar Degas,<em> At the Races in the Countryside</em>
A-Level: Edgar Degas, At the Races in the Countryside

Degas is off to the races, where class issues are in the foreground.

A-Level: Edgar Degas, <em>Visit to a Museum</em>
A-Level: Edgar Degas, Visit to a Museum

Mary Cassatt, an artist and close friend Degas, is the subject of this painting about the act of seeing.

A-Level: Edgar Degas, <em>The Dance Class</em>
A-Level: Edgar Degas, The Dance Class

The elegance of the performance has been stripped away for an intimate look at off-duty ballerinas.

A-Level: Edgar Degas, <em>The Bellelli Family</em>
A-Level: Edgar Degas, The Bellelli Family

This domestic scene portrays Degas’ family with all the warmth and intimacy of a walk-in freezer.

A-Level: Gauguin, <em>Self-Portrait with Portrait of Émile Bernard (Les misérables)</em>
A-Level: Gauguin, Self-Portrait with Portrait of Émile Bernard (Les misérables)

These self-portraits were swapped like friendship bracelets among Gauguin, Bernard, and their buddy Van Gogh.

A-Level: Paul Gauguin, <em>Nevermore</em>
A-Level: Paul Gauguin, Nevermore

Gauguin’s nude is suspended between dreams and reality— just like his imperialistic vision of Tahiti.