Art History Course: The 1920s in Paris - Les Annees folles (Sydney)

Art History Course: The 1920s in Paris - Les Annees folles

Art History courses in Sydney, open to the general public.

Learn Art History with our Art History courses in Sydney.

Art is an expression of the state of a society at a certain point in history. It helps make sense of the world. Art makes history visible. The evolution of the arts in the 1920s is a reflection of the events of the times in the fields of politics, science, industry, the economy, etc. Those wishing to gain a broader understanding of a particular historical period will always benefit from looking at the arts. This art history course provides an overview of a significant period of modern history through the lens of artists and also provides a very lively approach to the art history of the 1920s in Paris. This art history course explains the durable impact of the artistic works of the time on today’s arts and provides a wider vision on societal progress over time.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this art history course, you will:

  1. Have gained a deeper knowledge of the various currents in the world of the arts in the 1920s.
  2. Discovered a wide range of artists from many different fields of expression.
  3. Discovered the Paris of the 1920s in its historical context.
  4. Have become a more informed traveller, should you intend to visit Paris.

Course Content

This art history course will cover the following content:

Les Années folles

  • General information on the period, followed by questions and discussion.
  • Viewing of 5 short videos, each followed by discussion on particular topics (Introduction to the Années folles, the Prohibition in the USA, Writers-A moveable feast, Fashion and women’s liberation, 1929 Wall Street Crash)

Paris, the luminous years documentary

  • Watch the documentary in 2 parts, each followed by questions and discussion.

Midnight in Paris movie.

  • Watch in 2 parts, each followed by questions and discussion.

Surrealist poetry and automatic writing

  • Study of Apollinaire’s Calligrams.
  • Writing a calligram.
  • Study of automatic writing – The Exquisite Corpse.
  • Practice of automatic writing.


  • Jean Cocteau – Study of his biography.
  • Les Enfants terribles (extracts) - discussion on biographic angles throughout the novel.
  • Jean Cocteau’s art work.

Study of artists' portraits

  • Portrait of Jean Cocteau by Amedeo Modigliani.
  • Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire by Picasso.
  • Portrait of Pierre Auguste Renoir by Picasso.
  • Portrait de Man Ray par Picasso.

Intended Audience

This art history course is suitable for anyone interested in art history of the 1920s in Paris and its historical context.

Delivery Style

This art history course will be delivered as an interactive workshop consisting of an instructor-led lecture, analysis of art/film and group discussions. This training course strives to encourage active and informed participation, group analysis and debate of the facts, issues and insights into our changing world.

Course Prerequisites

This art history course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public. This art history course will be facilitated in English* so no knowledge of the French language is necessary. Anyone who is interested in learning French may be interested in our French Course: Level 1 (Beginners) course.

* For those who are fluent in French, class exercises and activities can be made available in French after consultation with the presenter.

Recommended Reading

Josette comes from the region of Brittany, France. As a native French speaker, Josette is keen to share her knowledge of, and enthusiasm for her native language and culture. She has a long experience in teaching in Australia (+ 20 years) at all levels (Kindergarten to University) and also work as a professional translator. Josette has taught in schools, community centres, privately, over Skype and currently with Alliance Francaise. She has taught for personal development (HSC and University preparation), for fun (cookery, travels, acting) and everything in between. In Josette’s classes, students can learn all aspects of language and culture in a relaxed atmosphere.


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Course Features

Available dates for Art History Course: The 1920s in Paris - Les Annees folles

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