fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Spring Quarter

Spring Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Apr 03
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

ARTH 196 — Iconic Works of Modern Art

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Apr 10—May 15
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 12
Unit: 1
Tuition: $385
Instructor(s): Diane Zuliani
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Apr 10—May 15
6 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 12
1 Unit
Diane Zuliani
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Whether modern art strikes you as exquisite, meaningful, frustrating, or debauched, there can be no question of its importance. Art made between the mid-19th century and mid-20th century mattered—and still matters—because it bears witness to the human condition undergoing profound transformation. Gustave Courbet’s A Burial at Ornans (1849) embeds the 19th century’s conflicting political pressures of capitalism and socialism. Claude Monet’s Gare Saint-Lazare (1877) points to industry, optics, and even subatomic science. In the 1880s, Paul Cézanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire series and Vincent van Gogh’s flower still lifes reflect these artists’ desires to mine painting for deeper purposes in the wake of industrialism and the invention of photography. In the 20th century, Pablo Picasso channeled the political theories of Marx, Jacob Lawrence the sociology of the New Deal, and Salvador Dalí the psychoanalytic theories of Freud.

This course will consider, in chronological order, the aesthetics and historical contexts of realism, impressionism, postimpressionism, expressionism, cubism, and surrealism, paying particular attention to the most iconic artworks of each movement, so as to glean the core insights each has to offer. In each lecture, we will focus at length on a small handful of modern masterworks, so students may learn to see and understand the range of unusual, even rebellious, aesthetic solutions modern artists employed to accurately describe their changing world, including abstraction, non-representationalism, self-referentialism, and universality.

This is the final course of the four-course Iconic Artwork series. This series includes courses on ancient art (Fall 2021), medieval art (Spring 2022), Renaissance art (Fall 2022), and modern art (Spring 2023). While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

Art History Instructor, Chabot College

Diane Zuliani has taught the history of art, photography, film, and museum studies at Chabot College since 2000. Earlier, she was an educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.