18th Century Styles The Art of the Enlightenment
Context• The Enlightenment – A period of great advances in the pureand natural sciences, accompanied by a decline in the Church.• Beginning of democratic movements (such as in the newUnited States)• Decline of Monarchies – French Revolution in 1789, decline ofabsolute monarchies in other countries.• Industrial Revolution – scientific investigation leads totechnological inventions, such as electricity, combustion, coal,steam engines, understanding of oxygen, invention of newbuilding materials, improved iron quality, and photography.Steam engine replaces human labor, leading to manufacturingbased economy in England, then the rest of Europe.• Industrial Revolution lead to growth of cities and urbanworking class, expansion of colonialism to supply cheap laborand raw materials.• Idea of Manifest Destiny – ideological justification for Illustration of Industrial Manufacturingcontinued territorial expansion.• Emergence of Britain as a dominant maritime power• Archeological discoveries of Herculaneum (1709) and Pompeii(1748) lead to interest in history, Neoclassicism.• Great Age of Music – Handel, Bach, Haydn, Pachelbel, Vivaldi
Great Thinkers• Newton - Isaac Newton insisted on empirical proof of histheories, and avoided metaphysics and the supernatural. Thisemphasis on tangible, concrete data became the standard forEnlightenment thinkers. Later thinkers applied Newton’srationality to structuring a rationally organized society.• Locke – John Locke’s Doctrine of Empiricism dictated that“knowledge comes through sensory perception of the materialworld,” from which people form ideas. People are born good.Laws of nature grant them the natural rights of life, liberty,property, and freedom of conscience. Government is to protectthese rights, and people have right of revolution when thegovernment is corrupt.• Diderot – Took on task of gathering and disseminatingknowledge. Became editor of the Encyclopédie (consisting of 35volumes of text and illustrations published between 1751 and1780), a compilation of articles written by more than a hundredcontributors, including leading philosophers, scientists, andartists.
Great Thinkers• Voltaire-Introduced ideas of Newton and Locke to French society-Hated the arbitrary despotic rule of kings, the selfish privileges of the nobilityand the church, religious intolerance, and the injustice of the French “oldorder.”-Wrote numerous books and pamphlets, which were frequently condemnedand burned by authorities.-Believed humankind could never be happy until an enlightened societyremoved the traditional obstructions to the progress of the human mind.-Did not believe that all men were created equal.• Rousseau-Believed the salvation of humanity lay in the advancement of science and therational improvement of society.-Argued the arts, sciences, society, and civilization in general had corrupted“natural man” – people in their primitive state.-Believed emotion came before reason, and was the more “natural” state.-Believed natural inclinations were correct, that man was naturally good, butwas perverted by society.-Exalted the ideal of the peasant’s simple life, with its honest and unsulliedemotions.
Chardin Saying Grace Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin• The writings of Rousseau were largely responsible for the 1740. Oil on canvas. 1’ 7” x 1’ 3”.turning away from the Rococo sensibility in the arts and theformation of a taste for the “natural,” as opposed to the artificialand frivolous – Naturalism.• Chardin painted quiet scenes of domestic life, praising thesimple goodness of ordinary people, especially mothers andyoung children.• In this scene a young mother in a humble home lays out dinnerfor her two daughters. In a moment of social instruction, themother and older daughter supervise the younger daughter inthe simple, pious ritual of giving thanks to God before a meal.• The simple composition and subdued colors, with the figureshighlighted against a dark background, communicate the gentleseriousness and calm of the moment.• The objects in the painting, realistically rendered, appear well-worn and humble.• The emotion is sincere and sympathetic, not contrived andartificial.
Greuze• Greuze was another naturalist painter who focused on thesimplicity and virtue of rural life.• A growing bourgeois middle class created an expanding marketfor artworks such as this one.• In this image, a father passes his daughter’s dowry to his newson-in-law, and blesses their marriage. A notary on the rightrecords the event.• While the couple gently clasp hands, the mother gives herdaughter’s hand a final caress, and a sister weeps behind thebride’s shoulder. A jealous older sister broods behind the father.• Rosy-faced children and country birds move about in theforeground, adding to the country setting.• The story is one of a happy climax to a rural romance,communicating the moral that happiness is the reward of“natural” virtue. Village Bride Jean-Baptiste Greuze. 1761. Oil on canvas. 3’ x 3’10”.
Marie Antoinette and her ChildrenElisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun Vigee-Lebrun1787. Oil on canvas. 9’ x 7’. • Vigee-Lebrun was a well-respected portrait artist in the mid- to late-1700s. One of her most famous patrons was the French Queen Marie Antoinette. • In Vigee-Lebrun’s self-portrait, she depicted herself looking directly at the viewer, in a self-confident yet lighthearted stance. • Vigee-Lebrun’s art won her independence and prominence, and she was even one of the few female artists to be admitted into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (although her membership was revoked after the French Revolution, when women were no longer welcome into the Academy). Self-Portrait Vigée-Lebrun. 1790. • In the portrait of Marie Antoinette and her Children (painted 8’4” x 6’9”. five years before Marie’s execution in 1792), Vigee-Lebrun attempted to counter public opinion of the Queen as selfish, extravagant, and immoral by depicting her as a kindly, stabilizing mother. • Although the Queen holds a regal pose, her children are depicted more sympathetically, with her daughter leaning against her arm, and her son pointing to the empty cradle of a recently deceased sibling. • Vigee-Lebrun fled Paris in 1789 with her daughter, and after working successfully in Rome, England, Russia, and Austria, later returned again to Paris in 1805.
Self-Portrait with Two Pupils Adélaïde Labille-Guiard Labille-Guiard 1785. Oil on canvas. 7’ x 5’. • Labille-Guiard was one of the other few women to be accepted into the Royal Academy of Art. Although she did receive royal patronage, it was only of Louis XVI’s aunts, not the queen herself. • However, during the French Revolution, Labille-Guiard took the opposite side as Vigee-Lebrun, and Labille-Guiard painted portraits of some of the uprisings leaders, most notably one of the few known portraits of Maximilien Robespierre, the most prominent figure calling for the death of Louis XVI. • There are a few notable differences between Labille-Guiard’s and Vigee-Lebrun’s self-portraits. Maximilien -Vigee-Lebrun painted herself working on a portrait of Marie Robespierre Antoinette (her most important patron), whereas Labille- Guiard’s subject is unknown to the viewer. -Labille-Guiard’s portrait focuses on herself in the role of teacher. She had as many as 9 apprentices at one time. -In this image, two apprentices (clad more simply) look on. -The figures form a classical pyramidal composition, echoed by the easel. -In the background is a portrait bust of her father, reversing the gender roles of artist and muse.
Hogarth • The English painter William Hogarth sought to translate the satire found in English writing at the time to visual art by painting a series of images, in chronological order, following the same characters through an experience with a moral ill. • Communicates a moral message (usually about the excesses of the wealthy, privileged elite) through the use of satire. • In Marriage a la Mode, Hogarth chronicled the marriage of a young couple (for money), from the arrangement of the marriage, through romantic dalliances, disease, and eventually death. • In the second of six paintings (Breakfast Scene), identify clues that hint at the couple’s doomed fate. • As a novelist might, Hogarth elaborated on his subject withBreakfast Scene carefully chosen detail, the discovery of which heightened thefrom Marriage á la comedy.Mode • These paintings were originally intended to be made intoWilliam Hogarth engravings, the prints of which could be sold cheaply to many,c. 1745. thereby spreading his moral message.Oil on canvas.2’4” x 3’.
Gainsborough The Blue• Another English painter, Thomas Gainsborough, combined Boynaturalistic portraits with landscapes (his favorite type ofpainting).• In the painting of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Gainsboroughpresented Mrs. Sheridan as a lovely, informally dressed womanin a rustic landscape reminiscent of Watteau.• Gainsborough matched the natural, unspoiled beauty of thelandscape with Mrs. Sheridan, whom he painted with darkbrown hair blowing in the wind and expression of sweetness.• Originally, Gainsborough planned to add sheep in the Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Thomas Gainsborough.background to make the painting more pastoral, but died before 1787. Oil on canvas.he could finish the painting. 7’2” x 5’.• The image of Robert Andrews and Frances Carter (bottom) alsodepicts people in an idealized, pastoral landscape. The farmer,Robert, and his new wife, pose naturally, proudly surveying theirfarm, which shows evidence of careful tending.• The pheasant in Frances’ lap is also unfinished.
Reynolds• Morality of a more heroic tone than found in the work ofGreuze, yet in harmony with “naturalness,” included the virtuesof honor, valor, and love of country. “Nobility” (according toRousseau) referred to character, not to aristocratic birth.• As the revolutionary mood became stronger, ideas of courage,patriotism, and self-sacrifice became important, and the modernmilitary hero was of humble origins, not aristocratic birth.• Lord Heathfield was an English commander who defended theEnglish fortress at Gibraltar against the Spanish and French(symbolized by his holding a key of the fortress in front of a Lord Heathfieldsmoky battle scene background). Sir Joshua Reynolds• Lord Heathfield is an example of Grand Manner portraiture, in 1787. Oil on canvas.which the subject was depicted naturalistically, but the person’s 4’ 8” x 3’ 9”grace and class was communicated through conventions such aspose, landscape, and view angle.• Reynolds also advocated for the study of classical artists, andsought to communicate Grand Manner through classicalassociation.• What allusions to Classical Greece are visible in the depiction of Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the GracesLady Sarah Bunbury? Sir Joshua Reynolds 1765. Oil on canvas. 7’ 10 x 5’.
Copley Paul Revere• An American by birth, Copley later moved permanently to John Singleton CopleyEngland. He specialized in portraits and historical events. c. 1770. Oil on canvas.• Before his move, he painted a portrait of Paul Revere. This 2’ 11” x 2’ 4”.portrait shows Revere at work in his silversmith shop, working ona silver teapot. He pauses for a moment, and glances at us.• The informality and the sense of the moment link this paintingto the contemporaneous European Naturalistic portraits,however, the spare style and the emphasis on Revere’s down-to-earth character, dressed only in his simple shirtsleeves, makethis work distinctly American.• After his move to London, Copley focused on depictions ofhistorical events, such as in Watson and the Shark. Watson, aTory politician, commissioned Copley to paint a depiction of thetime Watson was attacked by a shark as a teenager.• An African man standing at the apex of the scene has unclearconnotations. He may signify one of the following: Watson and the Shark-British exasperation with American insistence on independence John Singleton Copleywhen they themselves kept slaves 1778. Oil on canvas.-He may be a slave, holding the rope to hand to his master 5’11” x 7’6”.-He may signify that the event is taking place in Havana.
Benjamin West • Like Copley, Benjamin West was an American painter who moved to Europe, where he made a name for himself creating paintings depicting historical events. • He co-founded the Royal Academy of Arts, and succeeded Reynolds as its president. • He became official painter to King George III, even through the tense times of the American Revolution. • In this painting, West depicted the mortally wounded young English commander just after his defeat of the French in the decisive battle of Quebec in 1759, which gave Canada to Great Britain. • The uniforms, while not completely accurate in detail, were typical of contemporary clothing. • West created a sense of traditional history painting by arranging the figures in a theatrical, saint-like composition,Death of General Wolfe reminiscent of images of the lamentation over Christ. Benjamin West 1770. Oil on canvas. • West wanted to depict the hero’s death in the service of the 5’ x 7’. state as a martyrdom charged with religious emotions. • His combination of the conventions of traditional heroic painting with a look of modern realism influenced history painting well into the 19th century.
Wright A Philosopher• Another artist who focused on images of “events,” although Giving anot historical ones, was Joseph Wright of Derby, England. Lecture at• Wright was fascinated with science and experimentation, and the Orrery. Joseph Wrightdepicted scientists at work in dramatic but generic scenes. of Derby.• In A Philosopher Giving a Lecture at the Orrery, the scientist, in c. 1765.red, demonstrates an orrery (a model of the orbits of the Oil on canvas,planets, which rotates around a lamp representing the sun, at 4’10” x 6’8”the correct velocity for each orbit) to a crowd of rapt onlookers.• The drama of the scene is heightened by the lighting.• Wright arranged the subjects in a circular fashion, echoing theroundness of the orrery.• What appears to be happening in An Experiment on a Bird inthe Air Pump? How are the observers reacting?• Although there are less women than men in the audience, andin both cases the scientists are male, it is notable that womenare being included in the audience.• Wright’s choices of subjects and realism appealed to the greatindustrialists of the day. An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump. Joseph Wright of Derby. c. 1768. 6 x 8’
View of the Pantheon, Rome. Piranesi Giovanni Battista Piranesi. From the Views of Rome series,• The discoveries of the ancient Roman cities buried by the first printed in 1756. Etching. 189 xeruption of Mt. Vesuvius (Herculaneum and Pompeii) lead to a 27”.sudden interest in the history of Rome.• European tourists were eager to purchase artifacts recoveredfrom Herculaneum and Pompeii, and the rocaille of the Rococostyle faded quickly out of favor, replaced by replicas of the Thirdand Fourth Styles of fresco painting. This style was calledPompeian style, and it replaced Rococo decor by about 1750.• It became fashionable for well-educated elites of France andEngland to take a “Grand Tour” of Europe as part of theireducation, during which they would visit various historical cities.• Eager to bring home souvenirs of their travels, English touristspurchased scenic images of the cities they visited, known asvedute (scenic views, veduta singular).• Piranesi was an Italian artist who created a series of etchings ofvarious Roman buildings, the prints of which were sold to Etruscan Room,enthusiastic tourists. Osterley Park House. Robert Adam. 1761.
Riva degli Schiavoni, VeniceAntonio Canaletto, c. 1740. Canaletto Oil on canvas. 1‘6” x 2’1” • Another artist who specialized in veduta painting was Canaletto, who focused primarily on paintings of Venice. • Wealthy Europeans (primarily the British) and Americans embarked on Grand Tours not as vacations, but as educational opportunities. The emphasis on classical knowledge during the Enlightenment made a Grand Tour a must-do for anyone looking to make a mark on society. • Typically, travellers followed a pre-determined itinerary, which focused on Rome as the primary city to visit in Italy, but could also include other major cities such as Venice. • In addition to Italy, travellers would also visit other major sites in Europe. Grand Tours typically took several years to complete. • Canaletto’s vendute, depicting sunny, picturesque views of Venice (note the Doge’s Palace) would have been pleasing to look at on a cold day back in England. • Canaletto made drawings using a camera obscura on site, then returned to his studio to refine his drawings. He used Renaissance perspective conventions and was selective about which details to include or not to create an ideal image.
Kauffmann• The renewed interest in ancient Greece and Rome alsomanifested in a resurgence of classical painting subjects and style,known as Neoclassicism (“new classicism”).• The Enlightenment’s emphasis on rationality explains thisclassical focus, because the geometric harmony of classical artand architecture embodied Enlightenment ideals.• In addition, classical cultures represented the pinnacle ofcivilized society. Greece and Rome served as models ofenlightened political organization, with their traditions of liberty,civic virtue, morality, and sacrifice.• Johann Joachim Winckelmann, considered the first art historian,wrote the History of Ancient Art (1764), in which he describedancient works of Greco-Roman art and positioned each one withina huge inventory by subject matter, style, and period (rather thanfocusing on artist biographies). In this way, he applied thescientific method of categorization to art history. Cornelia Presenting her Children as her Treasures• Angelica Kauffmann was a Swiss artist who worked in England, Angelica Kauffmann.and was a founding member of the British Royal Academy of Arts. c. 1785. Oil on canvas.• In this image, Cornelia (mother of 2nd Century Roman leaders 40” x 50”Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus) shows off her two sons as her“jewels” to a woman who is showing off her own jewelry.• Moralizing image, but set in ancient Roman setting.
David • Initially influenced by his distant cousin Boucher, Jacques-Louis David traveled to Rome and became enamored with the “perfect form” of classical Greco-Roman sculptures, and rejected Rococo as artificial. • This scene depicts a story from pre-Republican Rome, in which the leaders of the warring cities of Rome and Alba decided to resolve their conflicts in a series of encounters waged by three representatives from each side. The Romans chose the three Horatius brothers, and the Albans chose the three Curatius brothers. The Horatius brothers prepare to fight for Rome. • The women on the right weep, because one Horatius sister is engaged to a Curatius brother, and the wife of one of the Horatius brothers is a sister to the Curatii. This creates a contrast between the masculine virtues of heroism and civic valor with emotion, love, and sorrow. Oath of the Horatii • David used Roman art as his model, arranging his figures in aJacques-Louis David shallow, relief- or stage-like space.1784. Oil on canvas. • This painting was commissioned by Louis XVI to arouse civic 10’10” x 13’11” pride, but it ironically incited revolutionary fervor.
Death of MaratJacques-Louis David. David1793. Oil on canvas. • When the Revolution began, David sided with the Jacobins, a politically5’5” x 4’2”. radical faction, who employed him as their main creator of propaganda. He used his art to inspire civic duty. • He ultimately decided to abandon images of classical events in favor of depicting current ones to create revolutionary zeal. • This image depicts Jean-Paul Marat, a Jacobin writer who was murdered in his bathtub (he suffered a skin condition which required frequent medicinal baths) by a woman named Charlotte Corday, a member of a rival political faction. • The dark, empty space creates a sense of eerie oppression. • The items indicating the narrative are all included in the foreground, such as the knife, and the letter with which Corday gained entrance, to enhance the outrage of the viewer. • The composition is based on Christ in Michelangelo’s Pieta, making an allusion to Marat as a saint-like martyr for the new civic “religion” of the revolution.
Coalbrookdale Bridge • The first use of iron in bridge design was the cast iron bridge built over the Severn River, near Coalbrookdale in England, where Abraham Darby III, one of the bridge’s two designers, ran his family’s cast iron business. • The Darby family had spearheaded the evolution of the iron industry in England, and they vigorously supported the investigation of new uses for the material, now that the material could be made more cheaply and with greater strength. • Darby worked with an architect (Pritchard) to use cast iron pieces to design a bridge. Coalbrookdale Bridge (or Severn River Bridge) • The cast-iron armature supporting the roadbed springs from Abraham Darby III & Thomas F. Pritchard stone pier to stone pier until it leaps the final 100 feet across theIron bridge, Coalbrookdale, England, 1776-1779. river. The series of arches is reminiscent of Roman aqueducts. • Cast iron is made when liquid iron is poured into a mold. Wrought iron is made when the metal is heated enough to be flexible (but not liquid), then pounded into shape. Wrought iron Cast iron
Soufflot’s Panthéon• As painting turned away from the ornate ostentation ofBaroque and Rococo styles, it returned to the clean, streamlinedlook of Classical architecture, echoing the Enlightenmentemphasis on logic, order, and reason.• The Parisian church of Sainte-Genevieve, now the Panthéon,was based on the Roman ruins at Baalbek in Lebanon, especiallythe titanic Corinthian colonnade of the temple of Jupiter.• The walls are mostly blank, except for the garland at the top.• Floorplan is a Greek cross (equal length arms).• The drum of the dome is surrounded by a colonnade, aNeoclassical version of the dome of St. Peter’s.• The interior is supported by a grid of Corinthian columns.• Although the style is clearly Roman, the structural principles Panthéon (Sainte-and modular plan is Gothic. Geneviéve Church) Jacques-Germain Soufflot Paris, France 1755-1792.
Chiswick House • Classical architecture was appealing in parliamentary England because of its association with morality, rationality, integrity, Athenian democracy, and Roman imperial rule. It rejected Baroque opulence, associated with absolute monarchies. • Vitruvius influenced Palladio who influenced Inigo Jones who influenced Kent & Boyle. • In 1715, Colin Campbell published Vitruvius Britannicus, which contained engravings of ancient buildings and text which denounced Baroque style while praising Jones and Palladio. • This also helped to popularize classical architecture, which Kent and Boyle drew from for Chiswick house, a new version of Palladio’s Villa Rotonda. Chiswick HouseBanqueting House Richard Boyle and William Kent • In its simple symmetry, unadorned planes, right angles, andInigo Jones. Near London, England. Begun 1725. precise proportions, Chiswick looks classical and rational. • However, this stern classical rationality is softened by the irregularity of the surrounding informal English garden, and the Rococo interior. Villa Rotonda Palladio.
Jefferson• The statesman Thomas Jefferson, who was also an amateurarchitect, attempted to make Neoclassical style the “official”architectural style of the Unites States because it communicatedmorality, idealism, patriotism, civic virtue, and a connection toAthenian democracy.• Jefferson admired Palladio, and had studied Palladio’s FourBooks of Architecture closely.• After returning from France (where he had studied the MaisonCarree, an ancient Roman temple at Nimes), he began toredesign his home, Monticello. Monticello Thomas Jefferson• His new design was clearly influenced by Palladio’s Villa Charlottesville, Virginia. 1770-Rotonda, however it differed in that he used local materials 1806.(timber and brick).• As president, he appointed Benjamin Latrobe to build the USCapitol in Washington, DC in Roman style.• Jefferson designed the University of Virginia (whichhe founded) with a rotunda (reminiscent of thePantheon) at the end of a large rectangular lawn. Thelawn is lined on both sides with a total of tendifferent temples, similar to small Roman temples. Rotunda and Lawn, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Thomas Jefferson, c. 1820.
Walpole• Although architecture in the mid- to late-1700s primarilyfocused on Neoclassical style, there was also a smallresurgence of Gothic style.• An early advocate of the Gothic revival was the conservativepolitician and author Horace Walpole, who published TheCastle of Otranto, the first Gothic novel. His novel was a tale ofmysterious and supernatural happenings, set in the MiddleAges, and it sparked a fashion for the Gothic.• In 1749, Walpole began redesigning his own residence (with Strawberry Hillthe help of Chute and Bentley), called Strawberry Hill, to Horace Walpole, John Chute,resemble the Gothic castles of his novels. Richard Bentley Twickenham, England• What aspects of Strawberry Hill are Gothic? 1749-1776.• Does the architecture resemble any Gothic buildings westudied?
Houdon’s Washington • Neoclassicism also became the preferred style for public sculpture in the new American republic. • The commission for the public sculpture of George Washington was awarded to the leading French Neoclassical sculptor, Jean- Antoine Houdon. • How is this sculpture of Washington the sculptural equivalent of a Grand Manner portrait? • The “column” upon which Washington leans is a bundle of rods with an axe attached, known as a fasces, a Roman emblem of authority. There are 13 rods (one for each of the thirteen original states). • The plow behind Washington alludes to Cincinnatus, a patrician of the early Roman Republic who was elected dictator during a time of war, and resigned his position as soon as victory had been achieved, to return to his farm. George Washington • Washington wears the badge of the Society of the Cincinnati,Jean Antoine Houdon an association founded in 1783 of officers of the revolutionary 1790. Marble, 6’2”. army who had resumed their peacetime roles. • Washington’s sword is no longer held in hand.
George Washington Greenough’s Washington Horatio Greenough1840. Marble. 11’4”. • After his death, Washington’s popularity rose until he was venerated as the “father” of the United States. • In 1840, Congress commissioned the American sculptor Horatio Greenough to create a statue of Washington to place under the dome of the capitol building. • Greenough used Houdon’s portrait as his model for the head, but he portrayed Washington as seminude and enthroned, as Phidias depicted Zeus in the famous lost statue he made for Zeus’ temple at Olympia. • Although the colossal statue epitomizes the Neoclassical style, it was not well received, and it was never placed in its originally intended spot. • Shortly thereafter, Neoclassicism fell out of style in favor of Romanticism.