Palladian Architecture Palladianism is, loosely, a philosophy of design based on the writings and work of Andreas Palladio, an Italian architect of the 16th century who tried to recreate the style and proportions of the buildings of ancient Rome. Palladio himself was heavily influenced by the writings of the Roman architect, Vitruvius. He also made several erroneous assumptions about Roman domestic architecture based on partial remains of classical temples, but his ideas and philosophy were widely imitated throughout Europe, and particularly in 18th century England. The first popularizer of Palladian style was Inigo Jones, Surveyor-General under James I. Jones was responsible for several very early classical buildings, notably Queen's House, Greenwich, and the Banqueting House at Whitehall. In many ways Jones was ahead of his time, for it was not until well into the 18th century that adherence to the classical ideals of Palladio became truly widespread in England. What characterizes English Palladian architecture? In a nutshell, grace, understated decorative elements, and use of classical orders. Unfortunately some of these designs ignored the fact that Palladio was designing for the sunny climate of his native Italy, and not for the gray skies of England. These Italianate buildings tend to be among the least appealing of the classical movement in England, and physically, as well as artistically, cold. But better was on the way, led by Richard Boyle, Lord Burlington (1694-1753), the foremost patron of the arts during the mid-18th century. More than any other person, Burlington was responsible for the popular success of Palladianism and the classical style in general in 18th century England.
Chiswick House London One of the most glorious examples of 18th-century British architecture, Chiswick House was designed by the third Earl of Burlington (1694-1753). A promoter of the Palladian style pioneered by Inigo Jones, Burlington sought to create the kind of house and garden found in the suburbs of ancient Rome. To do this, he employed William Kent to design sumptuous interiors to contrast with the pure white exterior. An exhibition and video tell the story of the house, grounds and Lord Burlington, including his ‘grand tours’ of Europe. As you walk through the house, take in the splendour of the Gallery with its beautiful painted and gilded ceiling, and discover the Red, Blue and Green Velvet rooms. Then step into the classical gardens – a perfect complement to the house itself. The grounds are fascinating – look for the unique statuary in the Italianate gardens and the recently restored water cascade. This villa on the banks of the Thames west of London has puzzled visitors. It lacked a kitchen, dining room, and service facilities; it is not even clear that it originally had bedrooms. It is relatively small--about 70 feet square in plan. It certainly served as an art gallery--the central octagonal domed space had large paintings and the three adjoining rooms on the garden front served as art galleries.
Royal Crescent was built by John Wood the Younger between 1767 and 1774. It consists of thirty elegant mansions of freestone, uniformly built, and is justly considered one of the finest achievements of urban 18th century architecture. Columns of the Ionic order, rising from a rustic basement, support the superior cornice, and the stately fronts of the houses at each end, add greatly to the general effect. John Wood the Younger Royal Crescent Bath, England
Rococo art was fashionable primarily in Europe - especially France - during the Eighteenth century. T he term rococo style, or the rococo, refers to a style of decoration current in Europe, particularly France, during the 18th century. It applies both to interior decoration and to ornaments. By extension it may also be applied to some sculpture, paintings, furniture, and architectural details, although hardly to architecture as such. It was a style of high fashion and had few popular forms.
R ococo is derived from the French word rocaille , originally meaning the bits of rocky decoration sometimes found in 16th-century architectural schemes. It was first used in its modern sense around 1800, at about the same time as baroque, and, like baroque, was initially a pejorative term . The revival of the rococo occurred gradually during the 19th century, beginning as a vogue for collecting French 18th-century pictures and furniture and for imitation rococo interiors.
T he earliest rococo forms appeared around 1700 at Versailles and its surrounding châteaux as a reaction against the oppressive formality of French classical-baroque in those buildings. In 1701 a suite of rooms at Versailles, including the king's bedroom, was redecorated in a new, lighter, and more graceful style by the royal designer, Pierre Lepautre (1648-1716). Versailles remained the creative center of the rococo until Louis XIV's death, in 1715, after which the initiative passed to Paris.
The movement portrayed the life of the aristocracy, preferring themes of romance, mythology, fantasy, every day life to historical or religious subject matter.
Rococo was a light, ornamental, and elaborate style of art, identified by elegant and detailed ornamentation and the use of curved, asymmetrical forms.
Other elements of the style included graceful movement, playful use of line, and delicate coloring.
Dominated by feminine taste and influence, the lively colors and playful subject matter made it suitable for interior decoration.
The Rococo style is sometimes considered to be the end of the Baroque period and was eventually replaced by Neoclassicism during the American and French Revolutions at the end of the eighteenth century.
Similar to the Baroque but with an emphasis on ultra-beauty and nature
Rococo style was graceful and harmonious but still very ornate
The use of sea shells, ribbons, and other ornamentations gave Rococo its name (from the French word rocaille , which means an elaborate decoration or rocks and shells that often adorned grottos in Baroque gardens)
Lots of cupids, children and beautiful plants in outdoors scenes
Rococo was less dramatic than Baroque in its use of light and posing effects
The entire world seemed to be more relaxed and less worried about conveying a strong message
Themes were lighter compared with the seriousness of Baroque
Many Rococo paintings were quite frivolous (no particular purpose except to please and entertain)
Typical subjects were elegant picnics, graceful lovers, Greek gods and goddesses in nature
Portraits became an important part of Rococo and added a strong sense of individualism to the style
The entire style seemed to be aimed at the aristocrats and the increasingly wealthy middle class
Tiepolo The Apotheosis of the Pisani Family 1761-62 Fresco, 2350 x 1350 cm Villa Pisani, Stra The ceiling fresco is conceived as a trompe-l'oeil opening onto a silvery-blue sky, whose endless depths are defined by various towering cloud formations. The composition consists of two sections which exist independently of one another: the portrayal of the Pisani family and various allegorical figures in the lower portion, and the Continents in the upper portion. The figure of Fame, sounding her trumpets in either direction, connects the two. Below her, Divine Wisdom is enthroned and reigns over a harmonious empire. The Virtues Faith, Justice, Love, Hope and Strength appear at her feet. A gifted storyteller, Tiepolo painted walls and ceilings with large, expansive scenes of intoxicating enchantment. In breath-taking visions of mythology and religion, the gods and saints inhabit light-filled skies. His ability to assimilate his predecessor and compatriot Paolo Veronese's use of color was so profound that his contemporaries named him Veronese redivio (a new Veronese).
Germain Boffrand. Salon de la Princesse, Hotel de Soubise . Paris. Begun 1732. The French architect Germain Boffrand (1667-1754) was one of the most distinguished designers in Paris of private palaces and town houses (hotels) for the aristocracy. In his designs for both exteriors and interiors, an impression of elegance and refinement is given by the use of smooth, light-colored surfaces, occasionally curved, and extensive areas of glass (windows and mirrors). Exterior decoration comprises restrained patterns of horizontal grooves, variations in the curved crowns of window openings, and occasional accents of sculpture in low relief. On the interior, mirrors, wall panelling, and window openings are united by rocaille ornament: a free, curvilinear two- dimensional pattern of crisp stucco plant and shell forms, in arabesques and cartouches, open and lively in contour and occasionally asymmetrical. Furniture and painted panels pick up the rhythms of this architectural ornament. Such
Rococo decoration was particularly popular in Germany, as represented here by Amalienburg. Transplanted to Germany, the rococo took a more fanciful and wayward turn, with greater emphasis on forms derived from nature. The supreme example of German rococo style is the Francois Cuvillies Hall of Mirrors in his Amalienburg Pavilion (1734-40), a hunting lodge in the park of Nymphenburg Palace, near Munich.
Hyacinthe Rigaud Portrait of Louis XIV 1701 Oil on canvas, 279 x 190 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris This famous portrait is regarded as the very epitome of the absolutist ruler portrait. Yet it represents more than just power, pomp and circumstance. The sumptuous red and gold drapery is not only a motif of dignity, but also creates a framework that echoes the drapes of the ornate, ermine-lined robe. The blue velvet brocade ornamented with the golden fleurs-delis of the house of Bourbon is repeated in the upholstery of the chair, the cushion and the cloth draped over the table below it: the king quite clearly "sets the tone". A monumental marble column on a high plinth is draped in such a way that it does not detract from the height of the figure. Louis is presented in an elegantly angled pose, situated well above the standpoint of the spectator to whom he seems to turn his attention graciously, but without reducing the stability of his stance.
High heels for men were considered in vogue during the 17 & 18th century. Louis XIV became fanatical about them and banned anyone other than the privileged classes from wearing them on penalty of death. The Sun King was of short stature and may have preferred the borrowed height heels could give him. The heels of men's shoes often were painted with miniature rustic or romantic scenes. Different shapes were experimented with including hourglass heels. Also during this time men's shoes were ornamented with silver buckles. The Louis Heel was invented by Louis XV (1715-1774) and was splayed at the base with a wasted section, which is still used in modern female fashion. He also introduced the white shoe to match his hose but red heels survived until 1760. The term "down on your heels" is thought to relate to the habit of the rich towering over the poor.
Jean-Antoine Watteau. L'Indifférent (The Casual Lover). c. 1717. Oil on canvas In rococo painting, the powerful rhythms, dark colors, and heroic subjects characteristic of baroque painting gave way to quick, delicate movements, pale colors, and subjects illustrating the varieties of love: romantic love
The Salon …………..Official exhibition of art sponsored by the French government. It originated in 1667 when Louis XIV sponsored an exhibit of the works of the members of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. The Salon derives its name from the exhibition's location in the Salon d'Apollon of the Louvre Palace. After 1737 it became an annual event, and in 1748 the jury system of selection was introduced. During the French Revolution, the Salon was opened to all French artists, though academicians continued to maintain near-total control over the teaching and exhibition of art through most of the 19th century. In 1881 the new Société des Artistes Français began to oversee the Salon, and with the growing importance of independent exhibitions of the works of avant-garde artists, it gradually lost its influence and prestige.
Jean-Antoine Watteau The Embarkation for Cythera 1717 Oil on canvas, 129 x 194 cm Musée du Louvre, Paris Love is a traditional theme of French poetry since the Middle Ages. From the beginning of the 18th century, the idea of departure for Cythera recurs in numerous ballets and operas. Elegant couples acted out polite rituals of behavior and conversation, where true meanings and desires were discretely hidden. The couples are shown here in contemporary dress but they are transported to Cythera, the island sacred to Venus and her home after her birth (Botticelli?). Watteau used statues as almost living things in his paintings. In this painting Venus looks over her visitors while her son Cupid shoots arrow at them. Most women carried fans, they were used to convey secret messages to lovers while the couple remained closely chaperoned. Artist of the Rococo period looked to nature as a guide and inspiration, they thus alluded to the gods only in a playful or romantic way. The light-hearted theme, the harmony between humans and nature, and the pastel colors are all typical of the Rococo The handle of the paint in scumbles and glazes, thinly applied, with very little impasto, is close to that of Rubens in his final period. Watteau was able to study his style of painting in the royal collection. Even the subject is derived from Rubens' Jardin d'Amour. Moreover, Watteau made a very close study of the Rubens painting in the Galerie Médicis. There are also reminiscences of Italy in this enchanted land; the general atmosphere of the painting is Venetian, and the distant mountains in their blue haze recall Leonardo. Cythera- The island where Aphrodite was blown ashore by the West Wind after she emerged from the foam of the sea. The three Graces welcomed her there and became her attendants.
Fragonard The Swing 1767 Oil on canvas, 81 x 64 cm Wallace Collection, London The painting was originally commissioned from a serious history painter by an unknown French nobleman (he was not the Baron the St Julien as has been assumed in the past): 'I desire', he said, 'that you should paint Madame (pointing to his mistress) on a swing which is being set in motion by a Bishop. You must place me where I can have a good view of the legs of this pretty little thing....'. The serious history painter could think of nothing else to say except to recommend M. Fragonard as a more suitable executants.
Maurice-Quentin de La Tour carried the difficult and capricious pastel medium to a point of sheer technical brilliance not reached before or since. His mastery of pastels led not only to imitation but to fears that he would provoke a distaste for oil paint. La Tour was at his best when concentrating on the face alone. There is a suggestion of mobility in the features of his subjects, and the artist himself referred to "un peu d'exagération" that art allowed beyond nature. His self-portrait is marked by characteristics that aptly describe his style: the tremendous handling and technique, the humorous look to the eyes and the slight upturn of the lips, all of which lend a vivid actuality and personality to the sitter. Quentin de La Tour Self-Portrait 1751 Pastel on paper
Nymph and Satyr , 18th century (ca. 1780–90) Clodion (Claude Michel) Terracotta;
THE PHILOSOPHIES OF ENLIGHTENMENT The period of Enlightenment refers to the European culture of the 18th century. The People of Enlightenment believed the almightiness of human knowledge and defied the tradition and the pre-established thoughts of the past. this is the period in which the humans became overconfident in the human Reason an rationality. Philosophers and Scientists committed the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Anything which cannot be understood by rational knowledge and the current status of sciences was defied as meaningless or superstitious. Philosophy became very popular among the intellectuals and people read philosophical opera. However, the general concerns were about the practical use of our knowledge. In other words, The Two Fundamental Characteristics of the Philosophy of Enlightenment are: 1) faith in the European Reason and human rationality to reject the tradition and the pre-established institutions and thoughts; 2) Search for the practical, useful knowledge as the power to control nature THE ENLIGHTENMENT This is one of those rare historical movements which in fact named itself. Certain thinkers and writers, primarily in London and Paris, believed that they were more enlightened than their compatriots and set out to enlighten them. They believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition, and tyranny and to build a better world. Their principal targets were religion (embodied in France in the Catholic Church) and the domination of society by a hereditary aristocracy.
Joseph Wright A Philosopher Lecturing with a Mechanical Planetary 1766 Oil on canvas Like other artists, Joseph Wright went to Italy, but he was more interested in its natural effects than its art. It is apt that he should be known as Wright of derby, for it was there that he was to find pioneers of science and industry who provided him with subject-matter and with patrons. His is a provincial milieu, with serious rather than sophisticated interests, more doggedly bourgeois than the capital, and still optimistic about the benefits of progress. As Hogarth has been the initiator of 'la peinture morale', so Wright was the initiator, and the finest exponent, of the century's final contribution to genre: the industrial picture. Wright was trained as a portrait painter by Thomas Hudson in the 1750s. Wright's home was Derby, one of the great centres of the birth of the Industrial Revolution, and his depictions of scenes lit by moonlight or candlelight combine the realism of the new machinery with the romanticism involved in its application to industry and science. His pictures of technological subjects, partly inspired by the Dutch followers of Carravaggio. date from 1763 to 1773; the most famous are The Air Pump (1768) and The Orrery (c. 1763-65). Wright was also noted for his portraits of English Midlands industrialists and intellectuals.
The French philosopher Voltaire (his real name was François-Marie Arouet) had a strong influence on the political life in Europe during the time of the Enlightenment not only as a result of his publications but also because of his close contact to some of the reigning monarchs. Shortly before Voltaire died in 1778, the sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon made a number of busts (some of them also with a wig). Jean Houdon Voltaire Voltaire's contradictions of character are reflected in his writings as well as in the impressions of others. He seemed able to defend either side in any debate, and to some of his contemporaries he appeared distrustful, avaricious and sardonic; others considered him generous, enthusiastic, and sentimental. Essentially, he rejected everything irrational and incomprehensible and called upon his contemporaries to act against intolerance, tyranny, and superstition. His morality was founded on a belief in freedom of thought and respect for all individuals, and he maintained that literature should be useful and concerned with the problems of the day "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." --- Voltaire , letter (1767) "Love truth, but pardon error." --- Voltaire , Sept discours en Vers sur l'homme "I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."
The year 1768 was an important one for two young Bostonians: John Singleton Copley, who painted this picture, and Paul Revere, who sat for it. They were both in their early thirties, and they could not have been more different. This was a time of extreme political tension, when Boston was divided into Whigs, who wanted freedom, and Tories, who were content to stay British. Paul Revere was deeply political - and 100 percent Whig. Copley, on the other hand, was completely uninterested in politics; he wanted only to be neutral, which was not possible. He was about to marry into one of the leading Tory families, the Clarkes (owners of the notorious tea concession). Copley was performing a balancing act, but this was the year when he wrote that he felt he must leave America and go to live in England. There he could be an artist and a gentleman - while silversmith Paul Revere was happy to be a craftsman. It was costly to have one's portrait painted, and very unusual to be painted without a gentleman's coat. Revere's descendants misunderstood this picture. They thought it made him look like a workman, and they hid it in the attic, but Revere is wearing an elaborate vest with gold buttons. The great expanse of bare sleeve - a fullness of flowing linen - makes a political statement. There was supposed to be no linen in America unless it was imported. The ladies of Boston objected to this, and in this very year they produced a hundred ells (about 125 yards) of linen. Revere is honoring this act of defiance, sporting a symbol of his country's freedom. The problem is the teapot, because tea was a burning issue. Only the Tories drank tea; the Whigs drank "Boston Tea," which was punch. Why does Revere hold a teapot? Is Copley deliberately trying to balance the Whiggish sleeve? Or was it Revere's own choice - to show off his skills as a silversmith? John Singleton Copley Paul Revere 1768-70 Oil on canvas, 87,5 x 71,5 cm Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Thomas Gainsborough British, 1727 - 1788 Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan , 1785-1787 Depicted in her early thirties, this celebrated soprano had been a lifelong friend of Gainsborough. Decades before, the painter had taken music lessons from her father, a concertmaster at Bath, the resort city where Gainsborough had emerged as Britain's foremost portraitist. In 1773 Elizabeth Linley had eloped with the liberal politician and eminent playwright, Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The Rivals and The School for Scandal, Sheridan's witty comedies, satirize the glamorous world of British society to which sitter and artist belonged. Mrs. Sheridan spent much of her time in the country, imploring her husband, "Take me out of the whirl of the world, place me in the quiet and simple scenes of life I was born for." Her friend Gainsborough did precisely that by depicting her seated upon a rocky knoll on a windswept hillside almost as if she were a muse of nature. A newspaper reviewer, seeing this work in progress in Gainsborough's studio in 1786, wrote that the artist intended to add the lambs now.
French painter (full name: Marie-Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun), one of the most successful of all women artists, particularly noted for her portraits of women. Her father was Louis Vigée, a pastel portraitist and her first teacher. She studied later with a number of well-known painters, among them Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Joseph Vernet . In 1776 she married a picture dealer, J.-B.-P. Lebrun. Her great opportunity came in 1779 when she was summoned to Versailles to paint a portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette. The two women became friends, and in subsequent years Vigée-Lebrun painted at least 25 portraits of Marie-Antoinette in a great variety of poses and costumes; a number of these may be seen in the museum at Versailles. Vigée-Lebrun became a member of the Royal Academy in 1783. On the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, she left France and for 12 years traveled abroad, to Rome, Naples, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, painting portraits and playing a leading role in society. In 1801 she returned to Paris but, disliking Parisian social life under Napoleon, soon left for London, where she painted portraits of the court and of Lord Byron. Later she went to Switzerland (and painted a portrait of Mme de Staël) and then again (c. 1810) to Paris, where she ceased painting. Vigée-Lebrun was a woman of much wit and charm, and her memoirs, Souvenirs de ma vie (1835-37; Reminiscences of My Life), provide a lively account of her times as well as of her own work. She was one of the most technically fluent portraitists of her era, and her pictures are notable for the freshness, charm, and sensitivity of their presentation. During her career, according to her own account, she painted 877 pictures, including 622 portraits and about 200 landscapes. Marie-Louise-Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842)
Although honored as a painter during his lifetime and the author of a treatise on painting, William Hogarth was often typecast as a satirist because of his mass-market, often satirical engravings. After an apprenticeship to an engraver of arms, Hogarth had his own engraving shop by 1720. A natural with oils, he reached the height of his reputation as a painter before the decade's end. His early works displayed French Rococo influence, then Hogarth hit on a new, more chauvinistic idea: "painting and engraving modern moral subjects. . . . to treat my subjects as a dramatic writer; my picture is my stage." Earlier artists had depicted ordinary life, but Hogarth's moralizing was revolutionary. Marriage à la Mode (6 scenes, National Gallery, London, c. 1743), which each portray the punishment of vice in a somewhat lurid melodrama. Each series was painted with a view to being engraved, and the engravings had a wide sale and were popular with all classes. They were much pirated and Hogarth's campaigning against the profiteers led to the Copyright Act of 1735. 'I have endeavoured', he wrote, 'to treat my subjects as a dramatic writer: my picture is my stage, and men and women my players.'
Shortly after the Marriage – William Hogarth. Shortly After the Marriage. 1743. Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London, UK. The breakfast-room, and an inner room beyond, in which are seen cards and card-tables, candles still burning, and a sleepy servant extinguishing them. The peer, after a night on the town, has just entered; his wife, who has been all night at cards and entertaining, is seated at breakfast. He has thrown himself carelessly on a chair, his hands in his pockets; she is yawning. The dog is sniffing at a handkerchief scented with someone else's perfume. An old steward with a parcel of bills and a solitary receipt is leaving the room in despair.
Neoclassicism: the first international style of art, representing a reaction against Rococo, a revival of classicism, and a renewed interest in history painting. Characteristics include a very shallow picture space and linear style based on Greek vase painting; subjects from Greek history and mythology, and Roman history, that simply and clearly show a moral lesson. Factors influential to the development of Neoclassicism: Enlightenment philosophers advocated an art that was clear, and that taught high moral principles. The excavation of Herculaneum, begun in 1737, and Pompeii, begun in 1748, became world news and provided a source for accurate depictions of ancient Roman life, as well as an increase in "tourism."
Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807) Swiss prodigy, Maria Anna Catharina Angelica Kauffmann had an established reputation as an artist and musician by the age of eleven. Her father taught her and also accompanied her to Italy where she studied and continued to create her Rococo-style paintings. Kauffmann moved to London in 1766 and met Sir Joshua Reynolds. She helped to found the Royal Academy in 1769 and married fellow artist, Antonio Zucchi. The couple moved to his home country of Italy and settled in Rome. In addition to her many portraits, several of Kauffmann’s great works were the decorations at St. Paul’s and the Royal Academy’s lecture room at Somerset House. Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807) chose to do paintings of famous historical events. This type of art was considered a field for men only. However, Kauffmann courageously refused to limit her ambitions and won international acclaim.
Virgil Writing His Own Epitaph (1785) Design in the Ceiling of the Central Hall of the Royal Academy (1778)
Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) David was the most important and influential painter in France during the period and a major political figure in the French Revolution. David, Oath of the Horatii , 1784, o/c David, The Death of Marat , 1793, o/c David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800, o/c From the outset, David was in active sympathy with the Revolution, and his majestic historical paintings (especially the Oath of the Horatii, Death of Socrates, and Brutus's Sons) were universally hailed as artistic demands for political action. He orchestrated the great festival of the people, 14 July 1790, and designed uniforms, banners, triumphal arches, and inspirational props for the Jacobin club's propaganda. He was elected a Deputy from the city of Paris, and voted for the execution of Louis XVI. He was active in numerous agencies of the reign of terror, and historians have identified more than 300 victims for whom David signed execution orders. David, The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine , 1805-07
Jacques-Louis David: The Death of Marat He was president of the Jacobin club on the day when his good friend and fellow Jacobin, Jean-Paul Marat, was killed. Marat, friend of Robespierre, Jacobin deputy to the Convention, and editor-in-chief of L'Ami du Peuple, was a fiery orator; he was also a violent man, quick to take offense. Some saw him as an intransigent patriot; for others he was merely a hateful demagogue On July 13, 1793, a young Royalist from Caen, Charlotte Corday, managed, by a clever subterfuge, to gain entry into his apartment. The faked letter of introduction with which she fraudulently entered his home is still held in the dead man's hand. When Marat agreed to receive her, she stabbed him in his bathtub, where he was accustomed to sit hour after hour treating the disfiguring skin disease from which he suffered. The petition ("My great unhappiness gives me a right to your kindness"), the assignat Marat was preparing for some poor unfortunate ("you will give this assignat to that mother of five children whose husband died in the defense of his country"), the makeshift writing-table and the mended sheet are the means by which David discreetly bears witness to his admiration and indignation.
Jacques-Louis David: The Oath of the Horatii This painting occupies an extremely important place in the body of David's work and in the history of French painting. It was commissioned by the Administrator of Royal Residences in 1784 and exhibited at the 1785 Salon under the title The Oath of the Horatii, between their Father's Hands. The story was taken from Titus-Livy. We are in the period of the wars between Rome and Alba, in 669 B.C. It has been decided that the dispute between the two cities must be settled by an unusual form of combat to be fought by two groups of three champions each. The two groups are the three Horatii brothers and the three Curiatii brothers. The drama lay in the fact that one of the sisters of the Curiatii, Sabina, is married to one of the Horatii, while one of the sisters of the Horatii, Camilla, is betrothed to one of the Curiatii. Despite the ties between the two families, the Horatii's father exhorts his sons to fight the Curiatii and they obey, despite the lamentations of the women.
David became an ardent supporter of Napoleon and retained under him the dominant social and artistic position which he had previously held. Between 1802 and 1807 he painted a series of pictures glorifying the exploits of the Emperor, among them the enormous Coronation of Napoleon (Louvre, 1805-07). These works show a change both in technique and in feeling from the earlier Republican works. The cold colors and severe compositions of the heroic paintings gave place to a new feeling for pageantry which had something in common with Romantic painting, although he always remained opposed to the Romantic school.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1781-1867) A student and follower of David, the leader and last of the Neoclassicists during the period of Romanticism, he was chosen by the Academy to restore the "wholesome tradition of great art in the face of the Romanticist onslaught." Ingres, The Grand Odalisque, 1814 Continues the historic tradition of the "reclining nude," and appealed to public interest in the exotic east. Totally inaccurate, it actually reflects the Western imperialist vision of their colonial occupied societies
The odalisque was a favorite subject of nineteenth century European artists, sometimes called orientalists, and was depicted as a reclining nude or semi-nude in typically Turkish surroundings 1. Idealization of the woman a. Facial features are regular and symmetrical b. Use of arabesque -- the body is articulated by a beautiful linear contour that does not replicate "nature" but is constructed by the artist. Note the unnaturally long, elegant spine and the serpentine twist to the body. Beautiful abstract line used to suggest "beauty" as property of both woman and Ingres's art. 2. Figure is placed in an interior setting surrounded by exquisite, exotic, costly objects clearly rendered with an emphasis on surface and sensual appeal. Orientalist subject matter. Subject of the odalisque (woman in a harem) gives an exotic, character to the painting and gives sexuality an acceptable disguise. French culture long viewed the "orient" as a place of pleasure and sensuality.
A movement first in literature, and then in art, having to do more with ideas and attitudes about art than a shared visual style; emotional experience was highly prized. The origin of the idea of artist as the misunderstood creative genius, alienated from society. Anti-academy; they believed that artistic ability can not be taught.
Factors that contributed to the movement included:
Popularity of romance novels--legendary exploits of heroes in exotic places.
Disillusionment with the "rational thinking " of the Enlightenment
Political instability and uncertainty
Rapid changes in society brought about by the Industrial Revolution
Scientific discoveries that made life seem more mysterious than ever before.
Stories and scenes from Romantic literature and contemporary events, such as war, and news events, especially those that held terror and expressed fear.
The idea of nature as a great untamed force.
A fascination with the subconscious and the insane.
Joseph Mallard William Turner (1775-1851) Painted the powers and mysteries of nature. Turner, The Slave Ship (Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying--Typhoon Coming On), 1840 An event described in the second edition of Thomas Clarkson's History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, published in 1739. England was the first to abolish slavery. One of Turner’s most celebrated paintings, Slave Ship was inspired by an eighteenth-century poem and by the true story of an English ship, traveling in 1783 from Africa to Jamaica. The captain of this ship threw overboard 132 sick slaves because he could collect insurance money for slaves “lost at sea,” but not for those who died from disease. Although the limbs and chains of the victims are discernible in the foreground, Turner focuses on the terrifying power of nature and the merging of churning sea and livid sky. The painting was owned for almost thirty years by English art critic John Ruskin who stated: “If I were reduced to rest Turner’s immortality upon any single work, I should choose this.”
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) A painter to the Court of Spain, trained in the Rococo style, but became increasingly fascinated with man's inhumanity, ability for violence, and committing atrocities. Goya, Disasters of War , What More Must We Do ?and Out Hunting for Teeth Graphic series depicting the atrocities committed by Napoleonic forces during their occupation of Spain; not published until long after Goya died. Goya, The Second of May, 1808, 1814, o/c Goya, The Third of May , 1808, 1814, o/c Paintings that Goya proposed to the interim government following the withdrawal of Napoleonic forces, documenting the guerrilla attack on French mercenaries at the Puerta del Sol, in Madrid, on May 2, 1808, and the execution of Spanish citizens by the French on the following day.
Francisco Goya's “ the Third of May , 1808 "), painted in 1814-1815, proves that the subject of a painting may be ugly and cruel. The revenge of Napoleon's invading troops on the Spaniards who rebelled against their invasion, attacking the French, is taken by firing squad at night. The subject of the painting is the horror of the execution. Goya has massed his figures in four distinct groups...those already dead, those about to be shot, those waiting to be placed before the rifles, and the firing squad itself (the dead and those next to die actually form a single group, separated only by the horizontality of death and the verticality of life. The dead lie sprawled and bloody at the bottom-left of the picture. Those to be shot next, stand behind the dead, above their heaped, prostrate bodies on the left side of the painting, opposite the firing squad on the right. The group waiting to be put before the guns, occupies the space between them in the center of the painting, overlapped by the bayonets and rifle barrels, caught between the firing squad and the next to die. Hands and arms of the victims play major expressive and design roles in the painting. The V of helpless surrender of the spread, raised arms of the most visible victim in white shirt and yellow pants, about to be shot, is repeated in the inverted V of the arms of the dead man bathed in blood in front of him. Any acknowledgement of helplessness, any plea for mercy to our common humanity will not be heard. Goya uses this standing figure to signify, on an individual basis, the humanity of the victims, their helplessness and futile appeal to the killers. The inhumanity of the squad versus the humanity of the rebels, aside from their act of murder, is revealed in the faceless, mechanistic formation of the soldiers, backs to the viewer, that contrasts with, and directs our attention at, the faces and bodies – the individuality -- of the victims in their variety of postures and expressions. The Third of May Francisco de Goya 1814 oil on canvas 266x406cm The Prado
Theodore Gericault (1791-1824) Trained in Neoclassicism, felt that he lacked the experience of human suffering, and sought a new kind of subject matter that replaced reason and morality with human hell. Gericault, The Raft of the 'Medusa', 1818-19 Subject was a news event, a government scandal, that resulted from the appointment of an incompetent captain whose ship wrecked on the coast of Africa. Of the 150 people who were abandoned, 15 survived. The nightmare included insanity and cannibalism
The tragedy was blamed on official negligence and created a political scandal. Géricault depicted the instant when the survivors first saw the rescue ship, and he went to extraordinary lengths to achieve authenticity: he interviewed survivors and drew their portraits, he had a model of the raft built, he even studied corpses in the morgue. Such a choice of subject matter, and the presentation of a dramatic moment, is typical of Romantic painting, and forcefully illustrates the extent of Géricault's break from the balance and chill calm of the prevailing Neo-classical school. In June of 1816 four ships were making their way from France to Senegal to embark into the process of colonization and the slave trade. The Medusa’s captain was incompetent- he only had this high ranking position because of political influence. Because of this, the ship hit a reef south of Tenerife, and sank. At this time, the higher class saved themselves in the lifeboats, and left the lower class to fend for themselves. The lower class worked together to make a raft, but the corporation didn’t last long. With men fighting for their lives they began to turn on each other. After thirteen days, only fifteen were rescued alive. They had had nothing but a few drops of wine - and human meat - to sustain them. This lasted for 13 days when finally a ship found them. There were 15 survivors, but 5 more died on land. In all there were 134, mostly slaves, that died.
Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) Born after the Revolution; an important student of Gericault, he posed for the Madusa. Most of his paintings are about bloodshed. "If you can't make a drawing of a man who has thrown himself out of a fourth floor window before he hits the ground, you will never be able to paint the grand (events)." from Delacroix's writings on art. Delacroix, Scenes from the Massacres at Chios , 1824 Originally exhibited as Scenes from the Massacres at Chois; Greek Families Awaiting Death or Slavery, etc. --See Various Accounts and Contemporary Newspapers Based on news reports of the Greek revolt against the occupying Turkish forces, with vivid descriptions of brutality and mayhem by the Turks in retaliation. Twenty thousand inhabitants of the Greek island of Chios were slaughtered, and women and children were taken as slaves to be sold in North Africa.
DELACROIX, Eugene Liberty Leading the People 1830 Oil on canvas 102 1/4 x 128 in. Delacroix was not actively involved in the three days of July 1830, known as the Trois Glorieuses, which saw out the autocracy of Charles X and brought in Louis-Philippe's parliamentary monarchy. But liberal and romantic as he was, he was keen to celebrate the 28 July, when Parisians took up arms in the vain hope of restoring the Republic. The allegorical figure of Liberty waves the tricolour flag and storms the corpse-ridden barricades with a young combatant at her side. Realism and epic vision work together. Reviled by conservatives, the work was bought by Louis-Philippe at the 1831 Salon. Soon after, it was hidden for fear of inciting public unrest. This painting celebrated the day, during the 1830 Revolution, that the people rose and fought for their liberty. Delacroix used the painting as a political poster for the revolution. Delacroix was a member of the National Guard, and he placed himself into the picture as the man on the left wearing a top-hat. Marianne is a national emblem of France. She is present in many places in France and holds a place of honor in town halls and law courts. She symbolizes the " Triumph of the Republic ", a bronze sculpture overlooking the Place de la Nation in Paris. Her profile stands out on the official seal of the country, is engraved on French euro coins, and appears on French postage stamps; it was also featured on the former French franc coins and banknotes. Marianne is considered one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic.
Emphatic in his opinions and constantly defying authority, Courbet believed that painters should paint only their own time and that "painting is an essentially concrete art, and can consist only of representation of real and existing things." The government announced its plans to organize the Exposition Universelle, a grand international show designed to demonstrate the cultural and economic strength of France. Courbet began to dream of a pavilion of his own next to the Exposition grounds, where he could mount an exhibition of his own work. The centerpiece of this exhibition was the "The Painter's Studio" (11'10" x 19'9" or 359x 598cm) 1854-1855. This painting, which contained over twenty almost life-size figures, presented the artist's studio as an image of the significance of art in society. Courbet described the painting to a friend as "the most surprising picture that one could imagine". The Painter's Studio is an allegory of Courbet's life, bringing together the different people he encountered. The painting is also a picture of the ages of man; it represents all stages of life, from the child at his mother's breast to the gravedigger in the background. In The Painter's Studio, Courbet also portrays representatives of society's upper, middle, and lower classes Courbet's dream of a separate pavilion for his show was temporarily waylaid as the financial support did not materialize. He submitted fourteen paintings to the Exposition, among them the monumental "Painter's Studio" and "Burial at Ornans". Not surprisingly, the two large paintings were refused, which again spurred interest in the pavilion. Many of Courbet's friends rallied in support of the idea, and a temporary structure was built adjacent to the grounds Courbet showed forty paintings in his "Pavilion du Realisme", in effect creating the first one man show/retrospective that today is an integral part of the way we exhibit and view art. Courbet had achieved his dream and in the process had planted the seeds of an alternative to the state run Salon. Courbet, Gustave The Painter's Studio; A Real Allegory 1855 Oil on canvas
William Blake The Ancient of Days 1794; Relief etching with watercolor
John Constable Constable rejected the formal or "picturesque" rendering of nature found in the works of artists like Gainsborough. Instead, he tried to capture informally the effects of changing light and the patterns of clouds moving across the country sky. He loved the countryside, and his best work was of outdoor scenes in his native Suffolk and his London home in Hampstead. He worked in the open air, though he he returned to his studio to finish his paintings. His larger scenes were sketched full-size in oil, and the sketch was then used as a model for the finished painting. In France Constable found the success that eluded him in England. His 1821 master work The Haywain was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1824. Constable's work greatly influenced the French artist Delacroix, and the so-called "Barbizon School", who followed Constable's lead in working outdoors. Later still, the French Impressionists built on Constable's efforts to capture the moods of light. John Constable His nostalgic vision of the English countryside is for many people an ideal of rural England. His distinctive approach to landscape depended on long and close observation and study, particularly of clouds and light effects.
The Death of General Wolfe 1770 Oil on canvas, 152,6 x 214,5 cm National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa The composition is an idealization of the event, replete with many figures who were not present at the time. West's painting engendered considerable debate surrounding the artistic license that he took with the scene and the decorum of treating a contemporary event. By representing Wolfe in modern uniform, West contravened rules of painting in the “grand manner” which dictated that the hero should be elevated from the mere mortal by being depicted in the nude or in classical dress. These points of debate, however, did not detract from the work’s popularity and it eventually became one of the most celebrated British history paintings of all time. Such was its renown that West painted at least five replicas. There are also numerous copies by other artists, such as the two on display here. General Wolfe was the hero of the great war between the French and the English for control of Canada. He died on the Plains of Abraham near Quebec City after winning the decisive victory for the English. West was already a successful painter in London and a favorite of the King when we began this work.