Selling Yourself: 18th Century Art and Society (V4130B)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module will consider the production of visual culture in the eighteenth century within its social contexts. Rather than simply looking at a list of artists, it will consider the visual arts against the backdrop of contemporary social and ideological issues: commerce and luxury, urbanisation and the rise of industry, the impact of empire and colonialism.

The approach, therefore, will be a thematic one, looking at topics such as the rise of satire, the image of women, the representation of war, as well as the more conventional genres of portraiture, landscape or history painting. It will also relate the visual arts to eighteenth-century literary culture: the rise of the novel, georgic and pastoral poetry, and developments in social philosophy.


100%: Seminar


70%: Coursework (Essay)
30%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: