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The Enlightenment and its Legacy: Art of the Late 18th Through the mid-19th Century ("Enlightenment and Revolution: Head vs. Heart")

Terms in this set (54)

*Death of Louis XIV in 1715 brought many changes in France: the court of Versailles was abandoned for town life, and there was a resurgence in aristocratic social, political, and economic power. The centralized administrative machine ground to a stop.
*The nobility was now freer of royal surveillance, and state-sponsored building activity was declining
*New playfulness, pleasure, frivolity, sensuality, fantasy, pale, and pastel colors were a reaction against formality/seriousness of Louis XIV
*Rococo marked by a profusion of curving tendrils and sprays of foliage blended with shell forms, giving the effect of freely growing nature
*The field of "design for private living" took on a new importance as nobility moved to elegant town houses in Paris known as hotels; these city sites were usually cramped and irregular and had few opportunities for impressive exteriors
*These small spaces in hotels demanded a less grandiloquent style than LeBrun's at Versailles—instead required an intimate style that promoted individual fancy over classicist dogma; French designers created the Rococo (or Louis XV style) from Italian gardens and interiors to fulfill this need. Architects became increasingly involved in the decoration of the rooms they designed, and designers and furniture makers were recognized as great artists in their own right
*Rococo very evident in small works, such as furniture, utensils, small sculptures, accessories of all kinds (mirror frames, ceramics and silver, "easel" paintings, tapestries = elaborate costumes of satin and brocade, elegant etiquette and wit)
*The sparkling gaiety associated with the reign of Louis XV found perfect harmony in Rococo, which began with interior design; French word rocaille means "pebble" and refers to small stones or shells used in decorating; the French exteriors were usually plain while exuberance took over the interior
*Rococo was considered the long and lovely twilight at the end of the Baroque era, corresponded with the reign of Louis XV
*Watteau was responsible for creating a fête galante painting—depicting the outdoor entertainment or amusements of upper-class society
*This is an example created for admission to the Royal Academy
*Watteau was Flemish, influenced by Rubens and emphasis on COLOR
*Royal Academy had two schools of thought: "Poussinistes" who taught that form (drawing) was most important and color was for effect and not essential vs. the "Rubénistes" who proclaimed the natural supremacy of color

*This picture depicts a group of lovers preparing to depart from the island of
eternal youth and love, sacred to Aphrodite—they are young and elegantly dressed, moving from the protective shade of a woodland park, filled with statues and amorous cupids, toward an awaiting golden barge down a grassy slope
*His figural poses combine elegance and sweetness/unparalleled
*He observed slow movement from unusual and difficult angles, intending to
find the most poised, smooth, and refined attitudes- soft, subtle movement (unlike the fierce Baroque diagonals and poses)
*Also creates shimmery silk and other iridescent colors, subtly modeled shapes,
gliding motion, suave gentility suited to Rococo's wealthy patrons
*Action unfolds in foreground as a continuous narrative from right to left
*Figures are slim and graceful without the robust vitality of Rubens
*The theme of love and Arcadian happiness (also in Giorgione) is here slightly shadowed with wistfulness or even melancholy, perhaps a
meditation on swift passage of youth (he died at
age 37 of tuberculosis)- could also relate to the fact that this period of Rococo was very short, ending abruptly with the start of the French Revolution
*1763-1790
*A major factor in revolutions coming was the Enlightenment: a new method of thought based on reason, physical experience, and critical analysis of texts, grounded in empirical evidence; promoted the scientific method and questioning of all assertions and unfounded beliefs
*England and France were major centers; roots were in work of Descartes, Pascal, Newton, and Locke and spread to U.S. to Jefferson and Franklin among others
*Newton encouraged others to avoid metaphysics and the supernatural; Locke went further to say knowledge comes through the senses to be imprinted on a blank slate; our ideas are not innate or God-given
*French philosophes believed ills of humanity could be solved by applying reason = the "doctrine of progress" that would lead to the perfectibility of mankind; saw powers of church and state as irrational limits on intellectual freedom
*Wanted to democratize knowledge—created first encyclopedias (editor was Diderot)
*Explosive consequences led to French, American, and Industrial Revolutions and the doctrine of Manifest Destiny (justification for territorial expansion)
*Voltaire (best representative of Enlightenment) hated despotic rule of kings, selfish nobility and church, religious intolerance, and above all the ancient regime ("the old order")—authorities regularly burned his books; he did not intend a revolution
*BELIEF: all human affairs ought to be ruled by reason and the common good rather than by tradition and established authority. This rationalist movement turned against the ornate and aristocratic Rococo
*Important thinker Rousseau believed that the arts, sciences, society, and civilization in general had corrupted "natural man" and that humanity's only salvation lay in a return to the
"innocence, ignorance, and happiness" of its original condition; he believed human capacity
for feeling, sensibility and emotions came prior to reason—"nature alone must be our guide,"
and "all our inclinations are right"; Rousseau exalted the peasant's simple life and emotions
*Believed man by nature is good and he is depraved and perverted by society; rejected the idea of progress; Rousseau's ideas were largely responsible for the turning away from the Rococo artificial sensibility and toward a taste for the "natural"
*In this new mode, Vigee-Lebrun looks directly at viewers and pauses in her work to return
their gaze; her lighthearted mood and costume's details echo curves of Rococo art, but her pose/mood do not indicate Rococo frivolity
*She is a self-confident woman who has won her independent role in society; worked for the
nobility throughout Europe
*She was famous for the force and grace of her portraits, especially those of highborn ladies and royalty—she was one of the few women admitted to the Royal Academy (her membership in the Academy was revoked after the French Revolution because women were no longer accepted); she fled to Russia during the French Revolution
*Here she works on one of her most famous portraits, that of Marie Antoinette
*Her figures are like real-life counterparts to poetic creatures in Watteau's Pilgrimage to
Cythera
*In comparison to Fragonard and
others, she showed women as
strong, monumental
*Hogarth expressed newly prosperous and confident middle class in England;
satirized contemporary life with comic zest and only a bit of Rococo "indecency"
*Established a truly English style of painting; waged a campaign against dependence/inferiority on continental artists: translated satire of writers such as Henry Fielding (Tom Jones) into visual art
***PROBABLY THE FIRST KNOWN ARTIST IN HISTORY TO BECOME A
SOCIAL CRITIC IN HIS OWN RIGHT***
*Combines some of Watteau's sparkle; he was an early engraver
*His work is so original as to be without precedent; his pictures (and the prints
made from them for popular sale) came in sets with details in each scene to unify the sequence; they are set on a "stage" and he wished to be judged as a dramatist
*His "morality plays" teach solid middle-class virtues by horrid example; we're entertained so well that we enjoy the sermon without being overwhelmed by the message
*His favorite device was to make a series of narrative paintings, in a sequence like chapters in a book, that followed a group of characters in their encounters with some social evil, as in this scene from Marriage á la Mode
*This is one of six scenes that satirize the immoralities practiced in a marriage by the moneyed classes in England
*Here the marriage of a young viscount is beginning to founder—the morning after
a night spent in separate pursuits; the clock on the far right shows that it's afternoon
*He has hands thrust deep into empty pockets, and dog sniffs at lacy woman's cap protruding from his pocket
*The wife probably also had an affair and is signaling to someone with her pocket mirror while stretching, satisfied; the overturned chair shows that the lover left suddenly
*A steward with hands full of bills raises his eyes to heaven in despair
-The man has a black spot on his neck which was a symptom of syphilis
*The couple's palatial house also contains witty clues about their dubious taste: Pious paintings of saints in other room hang next to a curtained one that covers an erotic subject
*So popular that forgers made unauthorized versions as fast as he made originals
*Hogarth proceeded as a novelist might, with
witty clues in the details whose discovery
heightens the comedy
*Increased democratization of art and
widespread new printing technology made
copies feasible
***PORTRAITURE REMAINED THE ONLY CONSTANT SOURCE OF INCOME FOR ENGLISH PAINTERS
*He depicts subjects in unpretentious settings; he was first interested in landscape painting and derives his style from Ruisdael—although the upper class did not till the land, the painting conveys the Englishman's closeness to the land, which was a source of their national identity-> THIS ATTACHMENT TO NATURE BECAME THE BASIS FOR ENGLISH LANDSCAPE PAINTING
*This painting includes a contrasting blend of "naturalistic" representation and Rococo setting
*Informally dressed woman sits in Watteau-esque setting with its soft-hued light and feathery brushwork
*Gainsborough intended to match the natural, unspoiled beauty of the landscape with the subject: her dark brown hair flows freely in the wind matching the tree foliage, and her clear "English" complexion and air of sincere sweetness contrast sharply with the contrived sophistication of continental Rococo portraits
*Artist originally planned to include sheep for a more pastoral air, but he did not live long enough to paint them in; but still it showed his deep interest in the landscape setting, though he won greater fame for his portraits
*This portrait is representative of what became known as Grand Manner portraiture, and he was recognized as one of the leading practitioners of this genre, which clearly depicted individualized people while also
elevating the sitters by conveying refinement and elegance—communicated through conventions such as the large scale figures relative to the canvas, the controlled poses, the Arcadian setting, and the low horizon line
*Thus he used naturalism tempered with a degree of artifice
*Sitter was the professional singer and wife of a celebrated playwright
*Shows new Enlightenment belief in goodness of nature
*American artists also addressed the "death in battle of a young military hero" theme, familiar in art and literature since the ancient Greeks
*Benjamin West was born in Pennsylvania but studied in Europe and lived in England; became president of the Royal Academy of Arts after Sir Joshua Reynolds
*Here is the mortally wounded English commander just after his defeat of the French in the decisive battle of Quebec in 1759, which gave Canada to Great Britain
*Chose a contemporary historical subject with contemporary military uniforms, though all
uniform details are not accurate—shocked contemporary Neoclassicists who used ancient garb
*Blended realism with grand tradition of history painting by arranging figures in a complex and theatrically ordered composition instead of under a tree with only 2 comrades as he actually died; also included a Native American at left to establish American setting, though this is also historically inaccurate since the Native Americans in this battle fought on the side of the French
*Modern hero dies among grieving officers on the victorious field of battle, suggesting the death of a great saint—shows death in service of state as a martyrdom charged with religious emotions
*His blend of tradition and modernism won fans in his day; influenced history painting into 19th century
*THIS PICTURE WAS THE FIRST EXAMPLE OF A MARTYRED SECULAR HERO
*West traveled to Rome from Pennsylvania in 1760 and caused a sensation because no recognized American painter had appeared yet in Europe—he relished the role of New World
frontiersman: on being shown a famous Greek statue he said: "How like a Mohawk warrior!"
He stopped in London on the "way home" but ended up staying and became the President of the Royal Academy while always taking pride in his New World background
*This painting expresses a phenomenon basic to modern times: the shift of emotional allegiance from religion to nationalism—this picture had countless successors
*European academics long considered history paintings the highest form of art, but British
patrons tended to buy them from Italian artists
*Lamentation-like scene further suggested by flag in place of cross
*18th century public also sought "naturalness" in artists' depictions of landscapes; documentation of particular places became popular, due in part to growing travel opportunities and the expanding colonial imperative
*These depictions also suited the needs of many scientific expeditions and satisfied the desires of tourists who wanted mementos of their journeys (the "Grand Tour" was considered part of every well-bred person's education)
*The English were especially eager collectors of pictorial souvenirs, and certain artists in Venice specialized in painting vedute (views) of that city to sell to tourists
*Sunny Venice scenes popular to look at back in gray England: here is a panoramic view of a cloud-studded sky, calm harbor, varied water traffic, pedestrians, and well-known Venetian landmarks all painted in scrupulous perspective and minute detail
*His mastery of detail, light, and shadow made him one of the most popular "vedutisti" in Venice
*Usually he made drawings "on location" to take back to his studio to use as sources for his paintings; he used a camera obscura (darkened chambers with optical lenses fitted into a hole in one wall through which light entered and
projected an inverted image onto the opposite wall—ancestor of the modern camera
*The camera obscura allowed artists (also Vermeer in 17th century) to create visually convincing paintings that included variable focus of objects at different distances; his paintings gave the impression of capturing every detail with no editing, but he actually used Renaissance perspective and selectivity about which details to include and exclude to create a coherent and engaging picture
*Lingering echoes of Rococo disappeared in the work of David, the Neoclassic painter-ideologist of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic empire—the revolt prompted in part by the Enlightenment idea of a participatory and
knowledgeable citizenry—French liberty and equality.
*David rebelled against the "artificial taste" of the Rococo and exalted classical art as the imitation of nature in her most beautiful and perfect form; he also concurred with the Enlightenment belief that subject matter should
have a moral
*This painting depicts a story from pre-Republican Rome, the heroic phase of Roman history; the story of conflict between love and patriotism was familiar to David's viewing public, due to a play performed in Paris a few years earlier
*The story: leaders of warring cities of Rome and Alba sent 3 representatives from each side to resolve their conflicts, the Horatius brothers from Rome vs. the Curatius brothers from Alba; the women were the sisters of both families
who had married brothers from the other families
*Here the Horatii swear on their swords to win or die for Rome, oblivious to the suffering of their female relatives
*The scene is depicted in a shallow, stage-like setting, defined by a severely simple architectural framework; the carefully modeled figures are close to the foreground, like in ancient relief sculpture
*The rigid, angular, virile forms of the men on the left contrast with the soft curvilinear shapes of the distraught women on the right, visually pitting the Enlightenment virtues of courage, patriotism, and loyalty to a cause against the
emotions of love, sorrow, and despair
*Although not intended as a revolutionary statement (commissioned by royal patronage), this painting became the semiofficial voice of the revolution: a program for arousing his audience to patriotic zeal
*The work reflects the tastes and values of Louis
XVI and his minister of the arts, Count d'Angiviller, who both believed that art should improve public morals
*Count d'Angiviller banned nudity from the Salon of 1775 and commissioned a series of didactic history paintings, including this one
*This painting's becoming an emblem of the French Revolution was ironic since that movement led to the downfall of the monarchy that had commissioned the work
*David became part of the group called Jacobins, the radical and militant faction of the French Revolution; he accepted the role of minister of propaganda, organizing political pageants and ceremonies—realized that the emphasis on patriotism and civic virtue integral to classicism would prove effective in dramatic, instructive paintings
*However, instead of continuing to create art that focused on scenes from antiquity, David
began to portray scenes from the French Revolution itself—this is one of those works; it
recorded an important event in the revolution and also provided inspiration and encouragement to the revolutionary forces
*Jean-Paul Marat was a revolutionary radical, writer, and friend of David—tragically assassinated in 1793; David depicted him after he was stabbed to death in his medicinal bath by Charlotte Corday, a member of a rival political faction
*David included several references to identify Marat: the makeshift writing surface, inscription on the writing stand, and the medicinal bath for Marat's skin disease where he conducted business—the desk becomes his tombstone
*Scene presented with directness and clarity; cold neutral space above creates a chilling
oppressiveness; narrative details such as the knife, the wound, the blood, and the letter the
woman used to gain entrance sharpen the sense of pain and outrage and immediacy for viewer
*The knife was changed to gilded to imply that royalty killed him
*Based on historical events, but also shows David's familiarity with Caravaggio's Entombment and Michelangelo's Pietà; shows Marat to the French people as a tragic martyr who died in service of their state
*Functions as an "altarpiece" to the new civic "religion"—designed to inspire viewers
*This is David's greatest work; this picture was planned as a public memorial to the martyred
hero
*In this painting, classical art coincides with devotional image and historical account
*Because David supported Robespierre and the Reign of Terror, he was twice imprisoned
after its end, but later reemerged as a partisan of Napoleon and reestablished his career
*When Napoleon approached David and offered him the position of First Painter of the Empire, David seized the opportunity
*This is one of the major paintings he produced for Napoleon, a large scale work that documents the pageantry and pomp of Napoleon's
coronation in 1804 (canvas is 20' x 32')
*This monumental painting reveals interests of both patron and artist
*David was present at the coronation and recorded his presence there, as a spectator in one of the tribunes or loges
*Also faithfully reproduced the interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral, where ceremony occurred, and those in attendance: Napoleon, his wife Josephine, Pope Pius VII, Joseph and Louis Bonaparte, retinues, and representatives of the clergy
*Despite apparent fidelity to historical accuracy, preliminary drawings reveal that David made several changes at Napoleon's request; example: pope's hand raised in blessing, Napoleon's mother prominent in center
background, though she refused to attend the coronation
*Despite numerous figures and lavish pageantry, David retained the structured composition central to Neoclassical style: presented as if on stage; conceptually divided like Oath of Horatii—popes and priests of
Catholic Church on right, Napoleon's imperial court on left
*The relationship between church and state was one of the era's most contentious issues; Napoleon emphasized his power by choosing to crown himself and his wife rather than being crowned by pope, as was traditional
*Napoleon embraced all links with Neoclassicism and the classical past as sources of symbolic authority for his short-lived state; especially liked connections to Roman Empire
*Architecture served as a vehicle for consolidating authority because of its public presence; early in 18th century, architects turned away from theatricality and ostentation of the Baroque and Rococo and embraced a streamlined classicism
*Neoclassical portal of this Parisian church of Sainte-Geneviève is a testament to revived interest in Greek and Roman cultures, especially inspired by Roman ruins at Baalbek in Syria, reproduced with studied archaeological exactitude
*This is the first revelation of Roman grandeur in France
*Walls are blank except for a repeated garland motif near the top; colonnaded dome (neoclassical version of St. Peter's, St. Paul's, and the Church of the Invalides) stands above a Greek-cross plan
*Was built originally as the Church of Sainte-Genevieve but was secularized during the French Revolution
*The dome was derived from St. Paul's in London, indicating England's new importance for Continental architects
*The huge portico was modeled directly on ancient Roman temples
*An interior grid of freestanding Corinthian columns echoes the colonnade of the portico; the whole effect, inside and outside, is Roman, but the structural principles involved are Gothic
*Soufflot was the first to suggest that Gothic engineering could be applied to modern buildings—laid foundation for 19th century admiration of Gothic engineering
*French architects of the late 18th century considered classicism THE single, true
style; the Baroque was associated rightly or wrongly with corrupt and scheming Roman Catholicism, while the Gothic conjured up the superstitions of the medieval period
*Original Greek art was hard to see because the region was dominated at the time by the Ottoman Turks, but Roman art was close at hand
*Nobel-prize winning chemist (1911) Marie Curie was 1st woman to be enshrined there when ashes were moved in 1995
*In 1851, church was used as a physics lab, where Foucault suspended his pendulum and proved earth rotates counter-clockwise
*England was considered the birthplace of Neoclassicism in architecture, experienced a Palladian (Renaissance) revival in the 1720's
*Classicism's rationality, morality, and integrity as well as its connection to political systems of Athenian democracy and Roman imperial rule appealed to parliamentary England along with revolutionary and imperial France
*The complexity and opulence of Baroque art was associated with the showy rule of absolute monarchy, played down in England in favor of clarity and simplicity
*Chiswick House is a free variation on the theme of Palladio's Villa Rotunda (Fig. 22-56)
*It is compact, simple, and geometric—the antithesis of Baroque pomp
*Exterior design provides a clear alternative to the colorful splendors of Versailles: simple symmetry, unadorned planes, right angles, and stiff proportions—looks very classical and "rational"
*POLITICAL MOTIVATION WAS IMPORTANT: instead of merely reasserting the superior authority of the ancients, it satisfied reason and was considered more "natural" than the Baroque which was identified with
TORY policies by the WHIG opposition-> began an association between Neoclassicism and liberal politics that continued through the French Revolution
*Garden includes winding paths, a lake with a
cascade, irregular plantings of shrubs, etc. that
imitated natural rural landscape
*The effect on interior is modified by irregularly shaped informal gardens; the interior design creates a luxurious Late Baroque foil to the stern exterior—style became the well-known English garden due to Enlightenment emphasis on the natural
*Visionary English poet, painter, and engraver is classified as a Romantic artist, but his work
also incorporates classical references
*Blake admired Greek art because it exemplified for him the mathematical and eternal
*He did not align himself with the Enlightenment but was drawn to the art of the Middle Ages
*He derived the inspiration for many of his poems and paintings from his dreams, the source of the spiritual side of human nature; also believed rules of behavior from orthodox religions killed the individual creative impulse
*The vision of the Almighty here combines the concept of the Creator with that of wisdom as a
part of God—this is a frontispiece for his book Europe: A Prophecy that begins with the quotation from Proverbs 8:27: "When he set a compass upon the face of the deep"
*Energy fills the composition: the Almighty leans forward from a fiery orb, peering toward earth and unleashing power through left arm into twin rays of light, which emerge like an architect's measuring instrument; a mighty wind surges through his hair and beard; his strong, Michelangelesque physique keeps him firmly planted
*Here, classical anatomy merges with the inner dark dreams of Romanticism
*A metal relief etching, hand colored
*Blake cast his visions in pictorial as well as literary form
*He had tremendous admiration for the Middle Ages
*He produced and published his own books of poems with engraved text and hand-colored
illustrations
*The Almighty here is radically foreshortened
*Blake felt that reason was ultimately destructive—the inner eye was most important!
*In 1786 he was appointed Pintor del Rey (Painter to the King) in Spain
*But turmoil increased as the Spanish people began to support Ferdinand VII as opposed to his parents, Charles IV and Maria Luisa, in hopes that he would initiate reform; to overthrow his father and mother Ferdinand enlisted the support of Napoleon Bonaparte, who had designs on the Spanish throne and
thus willingly sent French troops to Spain. Unsurprisingly, once Charles IV and Maria Luisa were ousted, Napoleon revealed his plan to rule Spain himself by installing his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the throne
*The Spanish people, finally recognizing the French as invaders, sought a way to expel the foreign troops; on May 2, 1808, the Spanish attacked the French soldiers and in retaliation the French executed numerous Spanish citizens on the next day
*This is an emotional depiction of the murderous wall of French soldiers ruthlessly executing the unarmed and terrified Spanish peasants
*The Spanish have horrified expressions and anguish on their faces, giving them a humanity absent from the firing squad
*The peasant about to be shot throws his arms out in a Christlike gesture
*Goya enhanced emotion with the stark use of lights and darks and also used imagery to extend the time frame, showing others already dead at his feet and others lined up to be shot
*This was painted for Ferdinand VII who had been restored to the throne after the ouster of the French; he did not install more democratic reforms but imitated his father with an authoritarian monarchy and reinstatement of the Inquisition
*When Napoleon's armies occupied Spain in 1808, Goya and other citizens hoped they would bring badly needed liberal reforms, but the barbaric behavior of the French troops soon crushed these hopes
*Lighting here is emphatically Neo-Baroque, with all the intensity of religious art
*The image was repeated in countless scenes in modern history; the painting became a symbol of our era
*When asked why he painted such a brutal scene, Goya responded: "To warn men never to do it again."
*But Goya himself was called before the Inquisition in 1815 for the alleged obscenity of an earlier painting of a female nude; though found innocent, he gave up hope in human progress and retired to his home outside Madrid, where he vented his disillusionment in a series of "black paintings" on the walls of his home
*In France, Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix were the artists most closely associated with the Romantic movement; although Gericault retained an interest in the epic and heroic and was trained in classical drawing, he chafed at the rigidity of the Neoclassical style and produced works with drama, visual complexity, and emotional force
*This was his most ambitious project: 16 x 23'—a depiction of an actual historical event, a shipwreck that took place in 1816 off the African coast; the French frigate Medusa ran aground on a reef due to the incompetence of the
captain, an aristocratic political appointee. As a last-ditch effort to survive, 150 of those remaining built a makeshift raft from the disintegrating ship. The raft drifted 12 days and the number of survivors dwindled to 15 who survived on human flesh in the last days
*The painting became political dynamite once it became public knowledge
*The painting took him 8 months to complete; he conveyed the horror, chaos, and emotion of the tragedy while invoking the grandeur and impact of large-scale history painting
*The few survivors flag down the passing ship on the horizon
*Gericault departed from straightforward Neoclassical composition to include a jumble of writhing bodies; survivors and bodies are piled in every attitude of suffering, despair, and death
*One light-filled diagonal axis reaches from lower left to upper right man with flag; the cross axis extends from the clouds and sail on upper left to the shadowed upper torso of the body trailing in the open sea
*The raft at a diagonal extends into the viewer's space with the jutting corner
*Subdued palette and prominent shadows lend an ominous pall to the scene
*Striking because it has no mythological or recognizable hero, only anonymous
sufferers
*Despite the theatricality and Romantic spirit,
Gericault went to great lengths to ensure
accuracy: visited hospitals and morgues to
examine corpses, interviewed the survivors, and
had a model of the raft constructed in his studio
as well as corpses to create an authentic mood
*Artist also inserted a comment on slavery: he
was an abolitionist and placed Jean Charles, a
black soldier and one of the few survivors, at the
top of the pyramidal heap of bodies, showing
metaphorically that freedom for all humanity will only occur when the most oppressed member of society is emancipated
*Bodies are muscular and ennobled rather than
emaciated, exhausted, and close to death
*Delacroix's works were products of his view that the artist's powers of imagination would in turn capture and inflame the viewer's imagination
*In those days, the artists read the poets, and the poets visited the artists
*This example of pictorial grand drama was inspired by Lord Byron's 1821 narrative poem Sardanapalus, but the painting does not illustrate the text; instead, Delacroix depicted the last hour of the Assyrian king, who received news of his armies' defeat and the enemies' entry into his city, in a much more crowded setting than Byron described
*Here, orgiastic destruction replaces the sacrificial suicide found in the poem
*In the painting, the king watches gloomily from his funeral pyre, soon to be set alight while all his possessions—women, slaves, horses, and treasure—are to be destroyed in his sight
*His favorite concubine throws herself on the bed, determined to die in flames with her master; most conspicuous are the tortured and dying bodies of the harem women, including the one whose neck is stabbed by a slave in the foreground
*The suffering and death is heightened by the daring and difficult poses and by the rich intensities of hue—has exotic and erotic overtones that tap into the fantasies of both the artist and viewers
*Delacroix was a Rubeniste of the first order
*He and Ingres were rivals in the Parisian artistic scene for 25 years
*Delacroix was the most important Romantic
painter after the early death of Gericault; others
commented on how furiously he worked, working on the whole painting at once
*Many sculptors of this time produced works that combined both Neoclassical and Romantic
elements; this colossal group is mounted on one face of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
*This is a carving of an allegory of the national glories of revolutionary France, depicting the
volunteers of 1792 departing to defend the nation's borders against the foreign enemies of the revolution, the Prussian invasion of 1792-93
*The Roman goddess of war, Bellona (who here personifies liberty as well as the revolutionary
hymn, now France's national anthem which is also the title of the work La Marseillaise), soars
above patriots of all ages, exhorting them forward with her battle cry
*The figures recall David's armored figures in Oath of the Horatii, as do the rhetorical
gestures of the wide-flung arms and the striding poses
*Rude's father had been among these volunteers
*Yet the violence of motion, the jagged contours, and the densely packed, overlapping masses relate more to the compositional method of dramatic Romanticism, as found in Gericault and Delacroix
*The allegorical figure in La Mareseillaise is the spiritual sister of Delacroix's Liberty, but
these figures wear classical costume while those in Delacroix wear modern Parisian costumes
*Rude enthusiastically took Napoleon's side after emperor's return from exile
*He sought refuge from Bourbon Rule
*Knew and revered David
*Returned to Paris looking for a new sculptural tradition—a rediscovery of a national
sculptural tradition that was like historical portraits and "morally elevating for the public"
*This sculptural program had to offer something for every segment of the French political spectrum
*Landscape painting came into its own in the 19th century as a fully independent and respected genre, contributed to by the popularity of tourism and the expanding
railway system, after it was briefly eclipsed at the century's beginning by figural composition and history painting
*The sensitive Romantic translated landscape vistas, colored by the viewer's mood, into poetry or painting, often using nature as allegory to comment on spiritual,
moral, historical, or philosophical issues
*The Industrial Revolution completely changed urban centers, technological advances, and factory development, but its effect on the countryside is no less
severe: detrimental effect on agrarian product prices and displaced farmers who could no longer afford their small land plots
*Constable, the son of a successful miller, declared that the landscape of his youth made him a painter even before he picked up a brush; influenced by 17th century Dutch landscapists; so convinced that artists should study nature afresh that he opposed the establishment of the English National Gallery of Art in 1832, thinking it might unduly distract painters
*Here he pictured a placid, picturesque scene of the countryside: small cottage on left, man leads a horse and wagon across a stream in the center foreground
*Scene's tranquility is augmented by the muted greens and golds and by the delicacy of Constable's brush strokes; also the figures are not observers but participants in the
landscape's being
*The picture does not show the civil unrest of the agrarian working class and the outbreaks of violence and arson that resulted; instead it shows Constable's memories of a disappearing rural pastoralism
*Constable admired both Ruisdael and Claude Lorrain, but opposed all flights of fancy
*He believed in observable facts, a pure appreciation of natural effect
*All his works showed familiar views of the English countryside
*Constable made countless studies from nature for each canvas, studying it as a meteorologist, which he was by avocation
*His special gift was capturing the texture that the atmosphere (climate and weather) gave to landscape; he used tiny dabs of local color, stippled with white to create a vibration suggesting movement
*Rarely does he show workers engaged in tedious labor; this nostalgia renders Constable's works Romantic in tone
*Haywain: both earth and sky have become "organs of sentiment" informed with poetic sensibility, also an intimacy that reveals his deep love of the countryside; we see the scene through his eyes (ROMANTIC = new,
personal style)
*Constable's contemporary William Turner produced work that also responded to
encroaching industrialization; however, where Constable's paintings are serene and precisely painted, Turner's are composed of turbulent swirls of pigment
*His passion and energy reveal the Romantic spirit as well as the concept of the sublime: awe mixed with terror
*The subject of this painting is an incident that occurred in 1783 and was recorded in a widely read book reprinted in 1839: The History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade by Thomas Clarkson; the incident involved the captain of a slave ship who, on realizing that his insurance company would only reimburse him for slaves lost at sea and not for those who died en route, ordered the sick and dying slaves thrown overboard
*Turner's frenzied emotional depiction of this act matches its barbaric nature: the sun is transformed into an incandescent comet amid scarlet clouds
*The slave ship moves into the distance leaving a wake of the bodies of slaves sinking to their deaths
*The relative scale of the miniscule human forms compared to the vast sea and sky reinforces the sense of the sublime, especially the immense power of nature over humans
*The event's particulars are almost overwhelmed by the colors, but the cruelty is
evident on close inspection: iron shackles and manacles around the wrists and ankles of the drowning slaves prevented them any chance of saving themselves
*Turner's interest in the slave trade indicates his fascination with the effects of the Industrial Revolution, revealing a more inquisitive attitude toward industrialization than Constable did
*Constable called Turner's work "airy visions, painted with tinted steam"
*Turner began as a watercolorist, preoccupied with colored light
*He chose Romantic sites: mountains, seas, or sites linked with historic events
*Was first titled: Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhoon Coming On
*Turner released color from any defining
outlines so as to express both the forces of nature and the painter's emotional response to them
*Turner's methods had an incalculable effect on
the development of modern art in his discovery
of the aesthetic and emotive power of pure color
and his pushing of the medium's fluidity to a
point where the paint itself is almost the subject
*Often included poetry with his paintings
*Relation of typhoon? Nature's retribution for
captain's cruelty? It has an apocalyptic quality
about to engulf everything
*Famous theorist John Ruskin owned the ptg
and said it depicts "the true, the beautiful, the
intellectual—qualities that raised him above
other landscape painters"
*In the middle ground between Turner (favoring imagination and feeling) and Constable (favoring down-to-earth sensation) is Cole
*He emigrated from England to the U.S. at 17 and by 1820 was working as an itinerant portrait painter
*On trips around New York, he sketched and painted the landscape, which became his chief interest, and his paintings launched what
became known as the Hudson River School.
*He painted this work for exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York; he believed that a too-close focus on factual accuracy was murderous to art, so he made paintings months after his sketches were complete, the better for memory to "draw a veil" over the scene
*Although most of his "view" paintings were small, this one is monumental, suiting the dramatic view from the top of Mount Holyoke
in western Massachusetts across an oxbow-shaped bend in the Connecticut River
*To Cole, this was one of America's "antiquities"—based in fact but orchestrated to convey its grandeur: he exaggerated the steepness of the mountain and created a dramatic sky
*Cole contrasts the two sides of the American landscape: its dense, stormy wilderness and its congenial, pastoral valleys; the fading storm
suggests that the wild will give way to the civilized
*Cole founded the Hudson River School from 1825-1876 (Centennial Celebration)
*American painters invested forests and mountains with power to be symbolic of U.S.
*The miniscule artist in the bottom center of the painting (wearing a top hat), dwarfed by the landscape's scale, turns to the viewer as if to ask for input in deciding the country's future course
*Cole appealed to the public with his depictions of expansive wilderness incorporating Romantic moods and reflections
*In London, when the old Houses of Parliament burned in 1834 in the fire memorably painted by Turner, the Parliamentary Commission decreed that designs for the new building be either Gothic or Elizabethan to coordinate with
nearby Westminster Abbey from the 13th century
*Charles Barry and A.W.N. Pugin submitted the winning design
*By this time, style had become a matter of selection from the historical past; Barry had traveled widely in Europe, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Palestine to study architecture; he preferred classical Renaissance styles, but Pugin persuaded him to design English Late Gothic—Pugin was one of the English artists and critics who saw moral purity and spiritual authenticity in the religious architecture of the Middle Ages and the artisans who created it
*The Industrial Revolution was flooding the market with cheaply made and illdesigned
commodities, and machine work was replacing handicraft, and many such as Pugin believed in the necessity of restoring the old artisanship
*This design is not purely Gothic, despite its tower groupings (Big Ben clock tower at one end; Victoria Tower at the other)
*The building has a formal axial plan beneath its Tudor detail (early 16th century domestic architecture characterized by expansive living spaces with oak paneling and ornamented walls and ceilings)
*Barry and Pugin: after 1800, the choice between classical and Gothic most often ended up GOTHIC->largely due to nationalist sentiments. In fact, England, France, and Germany each claimed the origin of the Gothic
style)
*Some people believed Gothic was superior for religious reasons because it was Christian
***House of Parliament was the largest monument of the Gothic Revival
*It is a curious mixture: repetitious symmetry for main body of building and irregularity of silhouette
*Many Germans considered the Gothic style an
expression of THEIR national genius, including
Karl Schinkel who designed the Altes Museum in Berlin; but meanwhile the British claimed the
Gothic as part of THEIR patrimony and erected a plethora of Gothic revival buildings in the 19th cent
*The epoch-making designs were more rational, pragmatic, and functional than the historical designs; toward the end of the 19th century, architects gradually abandoned sentimental and Romantic designs from the historical past (including the Baroque-inspired Beaux Arts style)—they turned to honest expressions of a building's purpose
*Since the 18th century, bridges had been built of cast iron as well as most other utility architecture (factories, warehouses, dockyards, mills, etc.), built without ornamentation; iron and other industrial materials permitted
engineering advancements in larger, stronger, and more fire-resistant structures than before, esp. the tensile strength of steel, available after 1860
*This library shows an interesting modification of a revived style—here the Renaissance—to accommodate the skeletal cast-iron elements
*The row of arched windows in the façade recalls Renaissance buildings; the division of stories marks the stacks below and the reading rooms above, which is comprised of two barrel-vaulted halls, roofed in terracotta and separated by a row of slender cast-iron columns on concrete pedestals
*The Corinthian columns support the iron roof arches (a reminder that modern construction technology rests on the accomplishments of the Romans), which are pierced with intricate vine-scroll ornamentation from the Renaissance style
*Architects continued to scoff at "engineers' architecture" for many years and clothed their steel-and-concrete structures in the Romantic "drapery" of a historical style
*Because of the building's educational function,
Labrouste wanted the building to suggest both
learning and technololgy
*The window arches on the exterior have panels
with the names of 810 important contributors to western thought, arranged chronologically
*Completely "undraped" construction first became popular in theconservatories (greenhouses) of English country estates; Joseph Paxton built several for his patron, the Duke of Devonshire, and in the largest (300 feet
long) he used an experimental system of glass-and-metal roof construction
*Encouraged by this success, he submitted a winning glass-and-iron building plan to the design competition for the hall to house the Great Exhibition at the World's Fair of 1851, organized to present "works of industry of all nations" in London
*His building the Crystal Palace was built with prefabricated parts, allowing the vast structure to be erected in the unheard-of time of six months and then dismantled at the exhibition's closing to avoid permanent obstruction of the
park
*The plan borrowed much from ancient Roman and Christian basilicas, with a central flat-roofed "nave" and a barrel-vaulted crossing "transept"
*The design provided ample interior space to contain displays of huge machines as well as decorative touches such as large working fountains and giant trees
*The public admired the building so much that after it was dismantled, it was reerected on the outskirts of London, where it remained until fire destroyed it in 1936
*The iron-framed glass panes measured 49 by 30 inches, the largest that could then be mass-produced
*The triple-tiered edifice was the largest space ever enclosed up to that time—1,851 feet long, covering more than 18 acres, and providing for almost a million square feet of exhibition space; the central vaulted transept rose 108 ft. to accommodate a row of elms dear to Prince Albert
*Artists themselves were instrumental in the development of this new technology, which could seemingly record reality, truth, and fact with astonishing speed and accuracy
*The camera obscura with its enclosed chamber was used in the 18th century and then supplanted by the camera lucida (lighted room): a small prism lens, hung on a stand, was aimed downward at an object so that the lens projected the image onto a sheet of paper; artists using either of these processes found the labor long and arduous, no matter how accurate the resulting work—2 very different scientific inventions that captured the image more directly were announced almost simultaneously in France and England in 1839
*The first new discovery was the daguerreotype process, named for Louis Daguerre; the second (calotype process) is discussed later
*Daguerre had trained as an architect and then a theatrical set painter and designer; he then opened with a friend a Diorama, which consisted of "living paintings" created by changing the lighting effects on a "sandwich" composed of a painted backdrop and several layers of painted translucent front curtains
*Daguerre used a camera obscura for the Diorama but wanted a more efficient procedure
*He worked with Joseph Nièpce, who in 1826 had made a permanent picture of the cityscape outside his window by exposing in a camera obscura a metal plate covered with light-sensitive coating, taking eight hours exposure time to record the subject
* Nièpce died in 1833, but Daguerre continued on his own: he discovered latent development (using chemical solutions to bring out the image) and he discovered a better way to "fix" the image chemically by stopping the action of light on the photographic plate, which otherwise would have continued to darken until the image was no longer discernible
*Soon people worldwide were taking pictures with the daguerreotype "camera" (name now shortened from camera obscura) in a new process called photography (from the Greek photos (light) and graphos (writing)
*Each daguerreotype is a unique work, possessing amazing detail and finely graduated tones from black to white
*like a skull and timepiece in a painting, Daguerre's sculptural and architectural fragments and the framed print of an embrace suggest that even art is vanitas and will not last forever
This Still Life in Studio was one of the first successful plates Daguerre produced after perfecting his method The process captured every detail: the subtle forms, varied textures, and diverse tones of light and shadow in his carefully constructed tableau *The 3D forms of the sculptures, the basket, and the bits of cloth spring into high relief
The composition was inspired by 17th century Dutch vanitas still lifes Unlike a painter, Daguerre could not alter anything within his arrangement to effect a stronger image; however, he could suggest a symbolic meaning through his choice of objects
*The second major photographic invention was unveiled less than 3 weeks later in
London, an ancestor of the modern negative-print system
*William Henry Fox Talbot presented a paper on his "photogenic drawings": he made
"negative" images by placing objects on sensitized paper and exposing the arrangement to light, creating a design of light-colored silhouettes recording the places where opaque or translucent objects had blocked light from darkening the paper's emulsion
*In his next experiments, he exposed sensitized papers inside simple cameras and with a
second sheet created "positive" images; he further improved the process with more lightsensitive chemicals and a chemical development of the negative image, allowing for
multiple prints *However, his process he named the calotype (after the Greek kalos, meaning "beautiful") was limited by the fact that his images incorporated the texture of the paper, which produced a slightly blurred, grainy effect very different from the crisp detail and wide
tonal range of the daguerreotype
*Widespread adoption of the calotype process was prevented by licensing and equipment
fees charged after Talbot patented the process in 1841
*Portraiture was one of the first photography genres to use a technology that improved the
calotype; the greatest of the early portrait photographers was Nadar, who also was a
novelist, journalist, balloonist, caricaturist, and later photographer
*So talented was he at capturing the essence of his subjects that the most important people
in France, including Delacroix, Daumier, Courbet, and Manet flocked to his studio to have their portraits made
*His skill is evident here in the portrait of Delacroix at the height of his painting career:
the artist appears with remarkable presence, with a mood and gesture that reveal much
about him
*This new "wet plate" technology almost at once replaced both the daguerreotype and the
calotype and became the universal way of making negatives up to 1880; the drawbacks
were that the plates had to be prepared and processed on the spot—meaning to work
outdoors meant taking along a dark room of some sort (a wagon, tent, or box with lighttight
sleeves for the photographer's arms)
*Nadar took the first aerial photographs
of Paris from a hot-air balloon equipped
with a dark room, including the city's
catacombs and sewers
*The photograph's documentary powers
were immediately realized, especially for
producing historical records of the
Crimean War and the American Civil
War

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