Portraits of France: Pascal, Molière, Madame de Pompadour, Manet and Debussy WEA Sydney

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This course explores the glories of creativity in France from 17th century and the Napoleonic era through to the birth of modern art, using a mixture of written commentary, original texts, and audio and visual material. The characters studied include: Blaise Pascal - mathematician, scientist and philosopher; Moliere - France's greatest comic playwright; Mme de Pompadour - royal mistress and patron of the arts (some music to be included); Queen Marie Antoinette and the paintings of Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun; Eduard Manet - Impressionist artist; and Claude Debussy - the music of Impressionism and birth of Symbolism.

This is a Discussion Group course, if you aren’t already part of a group please see ‘Getting Started’ below.


Course Author: Robert Forgacs

Course Code: D218

Supplied Material: Course Booklet, CDs + USB

Units & Pricing: 6 units / $78 per person



Start your Group: Anyone can start a Discussion Group – seek out some like-minded friends or put up a notice in your local library, bookshop or workplace. Please note a minimum of 6 people is required to start a new discussion group.

Arrange the Meetings: New groups need to decide where and when to meet, and for how long – whatever best suits members' particular situations.

Run your Group: Choose a secretary to liaise with WEA and your tutor, a Discussion Leader to chair meetings, a reporter to take discussion notes to send to your tutor, and maybe a librarian to look after the books.

Start the Course: Contact WEA Sydney to enrol. Bookings can be made for one year, divided into two terms – Term 1 commences in February, Term 2 in July (Groups may make forward bookings for popular choices). Please indicate in what order your Group wishes to study the courses, if more than one course is booked.