The Dutch Golden Age, which roughly spanned the 17th century, saw Dutch art, trade, science and military prowess rise to its highest peak despite, or because of, the ongoing struggle between Catholic and Protestant world views. A fascination with all aspects of the tangible contemporary world led artists to record intimate domestic settings and civic activities and raise them to the level of icons of a perfect world.
This series of three lectures will study the new subject matter of painting created during the formation of the Dutch Republic in 1581, the era of the French Revolution of 1789 and the rise of the Parisian bourgeoisie during the Second Empire from 1851. Religious art was no longer capable of depicting emerging ideas about civic and private virtue.
SYLVIA SAGONA is an internationally recognised specialist on 19th century French society. She retired from the French Department at The University of Melbourne to work on historical documentaries for French and Australian television and is currently researching a film on the invention of the restaurant in Paris in the 18th century.
Pieter de Hooch (Dutch, 1629-1684), The Bedroom, 1658-1660, oil on canvas | 510 x 600 mm (20 1/16 x 23 5/8 in.), collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington (1942.9.33), Widener Collection, Public Domain