Selected Masterpieces of the Louvre (55+)

The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world. In 2018 more than 10 million visitors viewed its collection of thousands of works of art.

We’ll explore the Louvre’s repositories of French and Italian art in some depth, along with its Flemish, Dutch, Spanish and English works. We will devote one class to sculpture: the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, the Sleeping Hermaphroditus, Michelangelo’s Slaves, Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss and numerous works by French sculptors. We will also consider masterpieces of painting, including da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Virgin of the Rocks, Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa, Delacroix’s Massacre at Chios, David’s Oath of the Horatii, and works by Giorgione, Titian, Raphael, Veronese, Arcimboldo, Fragonard, Boucher, Chardin, Ingres and many more.

Please note that enrollment in this course is reserved for adults 55+.

Currently not available for registration.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Give examples of artworks on display in the Louvre
  • Relate background information on the artists of the works
  • Explain why these works are considered important enough to be in the collection and exhibited

Learning methods

You will learn through lecture with time for questions and answers (may vary from class to class). For Liberal Arts Certificate for 55+ students: you will write a reflective essay.


Week 1: Flemish, Dutch and German paintings


The early and high Renaissance: Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Gerard David, Quentin Matsys (1466-1530), Albrecht Durer and Hans Holbein the Younger

Mannerism: Jan Mabuse (Jan Gossaert), Cornelis van Haarlem and Lucas Cranach the Elder

The baroque: Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael and Meindert Hobbema

Week 2: Italian art from the late gothic to mannerism


The late gothic: Cimabue and Giotto di Bondone

The early Renaissance: Filippo Lippi, Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Piero della Francesca, Andrea Mantegna and Domenico Ghirlandaio

The high Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione and Titian

Mannerism: Andrea del Sarto, Lorenzo Lotto, Jacopo Bassano, Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo), Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese and Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Week 3: Italian art: The baroque and the rococo


The baroque: Caravaggio

The Bologna School: the Carracci family of painters, Guido Reni, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri Guercino and Carlo Dolci

Rococo: Canaletto, Francesco Guardi and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Week 4: Spanish, English and American art     


Spanish mannerism: Luis d Morales and El Greco

Spanish baroque: Jose de Ribera, Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, Alonso Cano and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Spanish neo-classicism and romanticism: Luis Egidio Melendez and Francisco Goya   

English neo-classicism: Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, John Henry Fuseli, J.M.W. Turner, John Constable and Henry Warren

American neo-classicism: Benjamin West

Week 5: French paintings and sculptures    


Mannerism: Jean Clouet the School of Fontainebleau,

Baroque: Nicolas Poussin, Georges de La Tour, the Le Nain brothers and Louise Moillon

Rococo: Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Gustaf Lundberg, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Antoine Watteau

Neo-classicism and romanticism: Jacques-Louis David, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Horace Vernet, Théodore Gericault and Eugène Delacroix

Week 6: Greek, Roman, Italian and French sculpture


Greco-Roman (by unknown artists): The Winged Nike, The Venus de Milo, The Sleeping Hermaphrodite

Italian high Renaissance: Michelangelo

Italian baroque, neo-classicism and romanticism: Antonio Corradini and Antonio Canova

French baroque: Francoias Puget, Jean Le Gros and Nicolas Coustou

French neo-classicism and romanticism: Edmé Bouchardon, Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Étienne Maurice Falcone, Jean-Antoine Houdon, François Rude, James Pradier and Jean-Baptiste Roman

Books, materials and resources

Reading material (if applicable) will be available in class. Some course materials may be available online.

Academic integrity and student conduct

You are expected to comply with Simon Fraser University’s Academic Integrity and Student Conduct Policies. Please click here for more details. Simon Fraser University is committed to creating a scholarly community characterized by honesty, civility, diversity, free inquiry, mutual respect, individual safety, and freedom from harassment and discrimination.

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