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Romanticism Post

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  • Thank you - I teach at Amity High School in Woodbridge, CT. Love the AP Art History course but it's an enormous amount of work, so I will certainly take you up on your offer of slides.
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  • These are some great slides. They are very well organized, thank you for posting. Please feel free to grab mine anytime. Where do you teach?
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  • 1.  
  • 2. Romanticism
    • Covers literature, painting, music, architecture, criticism, etc.
    • Rejection of the precepts of order, calm, harmony, balance, idealization and rationality (Classicism)
    • Reaction against the Enlightenment and physical materialism
  • 3. Romanticism Emphasized
    • the Individual
    • the Subjective
    • the Irrational
    • the Imaginative
    • the Personal
    • the Emotional
    • The Visonary
    • The Transcendental
    • Deepened appreciation of nature
    • Exaltation of emotion over reason
    • Senses over intellect
    • Examintion of human moods
    • Preoccupation with the genius and ther hero
  • 4. Romanticism
    • Highly Influenced by Rousseau
    • Starts in Germany with Goethe
    • The Science of Light tells us nothing of the beauty of light
    • Work for the sheer intrinsic value of it
    • Emmanuel Kant – Science had left a philosphy that ws too mechanical and indifferent to the human condition
  • 5. Introduction to Romanticism
    • Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare, 1781
    • Girl: virginal white
    • Horse: peeks from behind curtain
    • Incubus: brown, cannot be seen by the girl even if her eyes were open, sits on her chest
    • She feels the suffocation of the incubus
    • Sexual overtones
    • Curtain: dark and theatrically red
    • Nightmare conveys what is felt, not what is seen, by the dreamer
    • Mirror reflects nothing
    • Mara: in Norse mythology a spirit who comes in the night and suffocates sleepers, stealing their breath away
    • Contemporary scene, not mythological: contemporary furnishings
    • Germanic violence and Italian Mannerism
  • 6. Introduction to Romanticism
    • Blake, Ancient of Days, 1794
    • From Europe, A Prophecy
    • A sun, or a shield covering a sun, rays from behind
    • Strong lateral wind
    • Black abyss
    • Compass: makes order out of chaos
    • Influence of Italian Mannerism
    • Figure’s name is Urizen: play on “Your Reason”
  • 7.
    • Giaovanni Battista Piranesi, Prisons #14, 1746 - 1761
    • Many ambiguities: where do the vaults end? The staircases lead? The balconies go to?
    • Who are the wretched who wander up and down the stairs?
    • By whose authority are they in prison? For what reason?
    • Haunting, frightening, mysterious quality
    • Monumental compositions
    • Zigzag of contrasting diagonals
    • Deeply enclosed structures
    • Sketchy and mysterious figures
    • Darkly inked engraving
    • Spikes emerge ominously from lower left corner
  • 8. Romanticism in France
    • Jean Gros, Napoleon at the Pesthouse of Jaffa, 1804
    • Event that took place March 11, 1799
    • Violent outbreak of bubonic plague in Napoleon’s army in the Middle East
    • Painted to respond to negative publicity Napoleon earned when he ordered the poisoning of prisoners whom he could not afford to house nor feed
    • Acting out his legend as a divinity he enters the pesthouse to calm the panic by demonstrating he is not afraid
    • Comforting them, touching them, in a reference to the Doubting Thomas of the Bible
    • Napoleon as Christ with the miraculous powers to heal
    • Sacred tradition of the healing king
    • Napoleon’s touching of the sick man was to disprove that the disease was contagious and incurable
    • Semi-nudity of figures
    • Cf. Oath of the Horatii
    • Architectural framework sets the scene
    • Gothic arches
    • Young doctor, himself stricken with plague, holds the body of a dying man in his lap at lower right
    • Napoleon’s trim figure is bordered by the naked flesh of two monumental plague-stricken men
    • Napoleon’s men hide their noses from the stink of decaying flesh
  • 9.  
  • 10. Romanticism in France
    • Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1818
    • Government ship bound for Senegal wrecked in 1816
    • Life boats accommodated the wealthy, 149 other passengers were deserted by the captain, placed in a raft 65 by 35 and cut loose in the Atlantic
    • Only 15 survived
    • Géricault made scale model of raft in his studio, interviewed and painted survivors
    • Concentration on moment of rescue
    • Use of foreshortening
    • Pyramid structure
    • Heroic musculature
    • Delacroix upside-down in foreground
    • Monochromatic
    • Concentric zones: outer margin of green water and blue sky frames the brown mass of raft which, in turn, holds the grayish figures
    • Appears in twilight, warm diffuse glow of the morning sun
    • Foreground: weight of corpses and massive mourners
    • Middle ground: figures lifting and holding
    • Ascent: climax of the painting at the intersection of the diagonals
    • Painting dips down into our own space
    • References to Michelangelo
  • 11.  
  • 12. Romanticism in France
    • Gericault, Insane Woman
    • Insightful portrait of the insane
    • Artist’s own fragile mental health
    • History of insanity in his family
    • Suffered a mental disorder in October 1819
    • Painted 10 paintings of lunatics, 5 survive
  • 13. Romanticism in France
    • Eugene Delacroix, Death of Sardanapalus, 1827
    • Inspired by a tragic drama by Byron, published in 1821
    • The satrap, on his bed of state, surrounded by a funeral pyre
    • Faced with defeat, he destroys all so that nothing will survive for the victors
    • Eunuchs, wives, concubines, pages, dogs, horses killed before his eyes
    • Pandemonium of passions
    • Whirling mixture of human and animal forms
    • King: cf. Etruscan Sarcophagus from Cerveteri
    • Vignette: an empty central part of the painting, clear in center and objects scattered toward edges
    • Tempestuous, crowded
    • Rubenesque women
    • Triangular composition
  • 14.  
  • 15. Romanticism in France
    • Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People
    • July Revolution of 1830
    • Anecdote that Delacroix had witnessed a young girl who saw the nude corpse of her brother who had been shot by the Swiss Guards; she took up arms and killed nine Royalist troops before she was shot
    • Unity of structure
    • Dead man seems to have been dead eight days ago, critics said
    • Liberty: face similar to an ignudi on the Sistine Ceiling
    • Frieze-like arrangement of the background
    • Pyramid structure rises up and triangular grouping comes toward us
    • French tri-color atop Notre Dame
    • Cf. Venus de Milo
    • Figure with the cocked hat in the background symbolizes the role of the students from the Ecole Polytechnique for their role in helping the uprising
    • Middle class man with rifle and top hat
    • Proletariat with saber
  • 16.  
  • 17. Romanticism in France
    • Ingres, The Grand Odalisque
    • Criticized as “three too many vertebrae” and “no muscle, no bone, no life”
    • Exotic Turkish setting
    • Sculpturesque style
    • Raphael inspired head
    • Cool detachment
    • Arms are out of proportion with one another
    • Position of legs structurally impossible
    • Suppleness of her curves
    • Elongation: Italian Mannerism, i.e. Parmigianino, Bronzino
    • Flatness of forms
    • Cf. Canova, Pauline Borghese as Venus
    • http://cgfa.dotsrc.org/ingres/p-ingres8.htm
  • 18. Romanticism in France
    • Ingres, Apotheosis of Homer
    • Composition centered around the enthroned Homer, seated in front of an Ionic temple, crowned by Fame
    • On either side are personifications of Iliad (left) and Odyssey (right)
    • Inspired by The School of Athens
    • Symmetrical, balanced, orderly
    • Neoclassical style
    • http://www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres52.html
  • 19. Romanticism in Spain
    • Goya, The Family of Charles IV, 1800 - 1801
    • Goya used a mirror asking the sitters to compare their likeness to the painted likeness
    • Goya in shadow of painting, a reference of Velázquez’s Maids of Honor
    • Magnificent ceremonial costumes seem overplayed
    • Left group dominated by Prince Ferdinand in blue
    • Center group dominated by Queen Maria Luisa, who was cruel and ambitious in life, unfaithful to her husband
    • Right group dominated by King Carlos IV
    • Satire?
    • Background painting on left is of Lot and His Daughters: relationship to the main painting?
  • 20. Family of Charles IV, 1800
  • 21. Romanticism in Spain
    • Goya, The Third of May 1808
    • Historical background: French army occupies Spain, and seizes King and Queen of Spain. The uprising is caused by the abandonment of the Royal Family, held in prison in France
    • Uprising in Madrid brutally crushed by the French
    • French round up suspects, killing 40-45 outside the city walls
    • Christ-like figure in crucifixion pose with stigmata on hands expresses frustration
    • French are faceless with robotic movements
    • French fire at extremely close range
    • Emphasis on gory details
    • Various human emotions displayed
    • Dark background surrounds church in distance
    • Spanish sacrifice for their country but are unheroic figures
    • Goya, Saturn Devouring One of His Children
    • Sinister blackness, panic stricken eyes
    • Voracious mouth
    • Symbol: monstrous self-destruction of humans
    • Symbol: time which destroys its creations
  • 22.  
  • 23.
    • Goya, Saturn Devouring One of His Children
    • Sinister blackness, panic stricken eyes
    • Voracious mouth
    • Symbol: monstrous self-destruction of humans
    • Symbol: time which destroys its creations
  • 24. Romantic Landscape
    • Constable, The Hay Wain
    • Painter of pastoral English scenery
    • Oneness with nature sought by Romantic poets
    • Man as a participant in the landscape
    • Sense of monumentality, rhythm, color, movement
    • Composed as if accidental
    • Clouds filled with color and light
    • Many colors in one: trees many shades of green, clouds, reflections, etc.
    • Cottage camouflaged by trees
    • Legend about the occupant of the cottage: he was 80 and spent only four nights of his life elsewhere. He and the cottage are part of the natural landscape
    • Colors and light are flecked and vibrant and tend to obscure details
  • 25. Romantic Landscape
    • Turner, The Slave Ship
    • 1833: slavery ended in Britain, but guilt of slave trade cannot be erased by an act of Parliament
    • Slave traders are the sharks
    • In 1783 an epidemic broke out on a ship, The Zong
    • Slaves thrown over board so that the owners could collect insurance money. Slaves dying of disease were uninsurable
    • Shipwrecks a common theme in English painting, 5000 people a year died at sea
    • Color reflective of emotional state
    • Horror of man’s inhumanity to man is stressed
    • Fast sketchy brushwork
    • Blood red sunset acts symbolically
    • Blurred forms
  • 26. Romantic Landscape
    • Caspar David Friedrich, Abbey in the Oak Forest
    • Landscapes as temples
    • Paintings as altarpieces
    • Landscape as a representation of the unrepresentable God
    • Gothic cathedral as Christendom, oaks as the pagan past
    • Landscape itself elegized as a monument
    • Row of monks carrying a coffin
    • Immediate foreground, remote background
    • Winter: skeletal and chilling
    • Irregularity of Gothic ruins in step with the adjacent oak trees
    • Feeling of melancholy
    • Divinity inherent in nature
    • Strong horizontals interrupted by verticals of trees and ruins
    • Many symbols of death
  • 27. Romanticism in America
    • Thomas Cole, The Oxbow, 1836
    • Founder of the Hudson River School of landscape painting
    • Painted as reply to Captain Basil Hall’s book Travels in North America , 1829, in which he alleged that America was indifferent to its natural blessings
    • Also alleged that American painters were incompetent and could not capture American scenery
    • To Cole, America possesses the sublime and the beautiful in its landscape
    • Wildness of landscape on left compared to the domesticated landscape on right
    • Cole is seated with an easel between both landscapes, looking at us
    • Left: contorted trunk, receding storm, wild mountains, impenetrable forest
    • Right: cultivated, orderly, man taming nature, but remaining in harmony with her
    • Oxbow as a counterstatement to Hall’s book
  • 28. Cole, The Oxbow , 1836
  • 29. Romanticism in America
    • Frederick Church, Twilight in the Wilderness
    • Cole’s only pupil and his successor
    • Awe-inspiring view of the sun setting over a majestic landscape
    • No trace of humanity
    • Idealistic and comforting view
    • Affirmation of the divine in nature
    • Strong horizontals interrupted by verticals and diagonals
    • Color used as spectacle
    • Great detail in leaves of trees and feathery clouds
    • Is it a symbol of the oncoming Civil War?