Centre for Continuing Education

French Conversation Course IV: Art History

French. Learn French with us.

If you want to learn to speak French, our French classes are ideal for adult learners to enjoy a practical and social experience while you learn French language and culture. Learn French the smart way with French courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

Designed for intermediate students who are wishing to practice by exploring and discussing Art masterpieces in a relaxed atmosphere. We will be reviewing European renowned artists and their paintings, using technical terms and structural device to describe the art work as well as discussing the context in which it was created. It is also developed to enhance both listening and speaking skills.


Develop the participant’s understanding and fluency as well as acquiring knowledge on Art History by reviewing key artists and their relevant artworks.


Upon successful completion of this coure, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand of Art History by exploring key artists and their relevant works of art.
  2. Enrich their vocabulary by describing representational paintings, participating in impromptus dialogues and sharing their point of view.
  3. Use their knowledge in a more artistic and cultural approach.


Class 1: Cézanne

Cézanne is credited with paving the way for the emergence of twenthieth-century modernism, both visually and conceptually. His work constitutes the most powerful and essential link between the ephemeral aspects of Impressionism and the more materialist, artistic movements of Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and even complete abstraction.

Class 2: Manet

Édouard Manet was the most important and influential artist to heave artists to become painters of modern life. He was driven to scandalize the French Salon public with his disregard for academic conventions and his strikingly modern images of urban life.

Class 3: Miró's

Joan Miró's characteristics are found in his signature biomorphic forms, geometric shapes, and semi-abstracted objects. Miró invented a new kind of pictorial space in which carefully rendered objects issuing strictly from the artist’s imagination are juxtaposed with basic, recognizable forms.

Class 4: Chagall

Marc Chagall created work which was based on emotional association rather than traditional images. A dream-like quality is characteristic of almost all of Chagall’s work; as the poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire once said, Chagall’s work is “supernatural.” He is widely regarded as one of the most successful artists of the 20th Century, synthesizing elements of Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism.

Class 5: Sidney Nolan

As an artist, Sidney Nolan is best known for his depictions of the Australian outback, and for his historical paintings 'well known for dramatic shifts between dark, moody themes and bright uplifting creations.

h3. Class 6: Grace Cossington-Smith

She is one of Australia’s most important artists; a brilliant colourist, she was one of this country’s first Post-Impressionsts. She is renowned for her iconic urban images and radiant interiors. Among the recurring themes are the metropolis and Sydney Harbour Bridge, portraits, still lifes, landscapes, religious and war subjects, theatre and ballet performances, and domestic interiors infused with light.

Class 7: Matisse

Henri Matisse is widely regarded as the greatest colourist of the twentieth century and as a rival to Pablo Picasso in the importance of his innovations. He emerged as a Post-Impressionist, and first achieved prominence as the leader of the movement Fauvism. Still life and the nude remained favourite subjects throughout his career; North Africa was also an important inspiration, and, towards the end of his life, he made an important contribution to collage with a series of works using cut-out shapes of colour.

Class 8: Picasso

He was the most dominant and influential artist of the first half of the twentieth century. Associated most of all with pioneering Cubism, he also invented collage and made major contributions to Symbolism and Surrealism. Finally, he was a famously charismatic personality; his many relationships with women not only filtered into his art but also may have directed its course, and his behaviour has come to embody that of the bohemian modern artist in the popular imagination.

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for:

  1. intermediate to advanced language speakers who have completed up to 301 (210 hours of study), as the technical vocabulary will be discussed prior to discussion and the conversation can be done in shorter sentences without having to use complex grammatical structures.
  2. those who have previously attended French Conversation III: Art History.

Delivery Style

Delivered as an interactive tutorial where student participation is encouraged.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • The tutor was always well prepared and kept the students engaged.

What others say.

  • The tutor was always well prepared and kept the students engaged.