HART3333 Picturing the Self: Portraiture in Nineteenth-century Europe

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
Tracking the shifting notion of both the citizen and the 'self', this unit explores the complex history of the nineteenth century through the lens of the portrait. By analysing visual representations and their social reception, the unit employs portraiture as both a fulcrum and foil for understanding the role of the individual in nineteenth century society. How does portraiture respond to political and cultural changes? Who is portrayed and for what audience? What is the role of the 'real' in portraiture of the nineteenth century? Implicit in this analysis is a consideration of the artist-as-individual and the personal and political stakes of self-portraiture. The nineteenth century witnessed a dramatic change in the reception and creation of portraits; by analysing the self as the subject, observer and producer of images, the unit explores how the individual evolved from an Enlightenment ideal to a 'modern subject' over the course of the nineteenth century.
Students are able to (1) analyse the theories and formal conventions of portraiture; (2) articulate how the political and philosophical definition of the individual changed over the course of the nineteenth century in Europe; (3) integrate knowledge about the evolving definition of the individual into an historical and formal analysis of portraiture in the nineteenth century; (4) employ effective research skills, including the use of primary and secondary materials; (5) construct a compelling and well-structured argument in a written paper; (6) demonstrate critical thought and cogent analysis through oral communication; and (7) engage critically with pertinent texts to make historic and theoretical arguments.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) research paper; and (3) oral assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Assistant Professor Emily Brink
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
VISA3333 Special Unit: The Shifting Subject: Portraiture in Nineteenth-century Europe
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
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