stereotype, the artist-viewer-art-context relationship, techne, guild/atelier, humanism, academy, modernism, avant garde, postmodernism.
The Foundry Painter, Red-Figure Hydria, c. 5 th century BCE.
Nanni di Banco. Sculptor’s Workshop, detail of the Tabernacle of the Four Saints. Marble. Or San Michele. C. 1410-1414 CE.
Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait , 1500.
Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers , 1849-1850.
Jeanne Claude and Christo, Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005.
Stereotypes of the Artist “ The Genius” “ The Madman” “ The Eccentric”
Artist Art Viewer Context Context Context
The Creators of Myth Khnum creates the human form on his potter’s wheel. Temple to Khnum. Esna, Egypt. Ptolemaic. 323-31 BCE
The Creators of Myth Hephaestos, the Blacksmith god, made armor for the hero Achilles. Red-Figure Kylix. Attica, Greece. Early Classical Greece. 480-450 BCE
The Ancient World: Artist as Skilled Laborer Greek Artists working on bronze statues. The Foundry Painter, Red-Figure Hydria, c. 5 th century BCE.
The Ancient World: Artist as Skilled Laborer Sculptors and Craftsmen working stone statues. Tomb of Rekhmire, Thebes, 18 th Dynasty, 1479-1425 BCE
The Ancient World: Artist as Skilled Laborer I think it would be fair to describe [the painter] as the artist who represents the things which the other two [gods and carpenters] make…so the work of the artist is the third remove from the essential nature of the thing…third in the succession from the throne of truth...The art of representation, then, is a long way from reality.” -- Plato, The Republic
The Ancient World: Artist as Skilled Laborer “ If you become a stone cutter [a sculptor] you will be nothing more than a workman doing hard physical labor…You will be obscure, classed as worthless by public opinion, neither courted by friends, feared by enemies, nor envied by your fellow citizens, but just a common workman, a craftsman, a face in a crowd, one who makes his living with hands.” -- Lucian of Samosata
Medieval World: Artist as Pious Craftsman Giselbertus (?), The Last Judgment Tympanum, Autun Cathedral, Autun, France, 1120-1135 CE.
Medieval World: Artist as Pious Craftsman Frater Rufillus of Weissenau self-portrait, Diocese of Constance, 1170-1200 CE. Scribe at Work, Manuscript Margins, Manuscript, 13 th Century CE
Medieval World: Artist as Pious Craftsman Sculptors at work, Chartres Cathedral, France, 1198-1237 CE. Lancet Window, Chartres Cathedral, Chartres France, 1198-1237.
Early Modern: Artist as Guild Member Nanni di Banco. Sculptor’s Workshop, detail of the Tabernacle of the Four Saints. Marble. Or San Michele. C. 1410-1414 CE.
Early Modern: Artist as Guild Member Enea Vico. Baccio Bandinelli's Studio, Italian, 1523-1567 Engraving.
The Renaissance: The Artist as a Producer of Knowledge “ Sane judgment abhors nothing so much as a picture perpetrated with no technical knowledge, although with plenty of care and diligence. Now the sole reason why painters of this sort are not aware of their own error is that they have not learnt Geometry, without which no one can either be or become an absolute artist; but the blame for this should be laid upon their masters, who are themselves ignorant of this art. -- Albrecht Durer The sculptor, and the painter also, should be trained in these liberal arts: grammar, geometry, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, perspective, history, anatomy, theory of design, arithmetic. -- Lorenzo Ghiberti Lorenzo Ghiberti, 1378-1455
The Renaissance: Artist as Divine Genius And when he had reached the age of ten years, showing in all his ways though still childish an extraordinary vivacity and quickness of mind, which made him beloved not only by his father but by all who knew him, Bondone gave him the care of some sheep. And he leading them for pasture, now to one spot and now to another,was constantly driven by his natural inclination to draw on the stones or the ground some object in nature, or something that came into his mind. One day Cimabue, going on business from Florence to Vespignano, found Giotto, while his sheep were feeding, drawing a sheep from nature upon a smooth and solid rock with a pointed stone, having never learnt from any one but nature. -- Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists Giorgio Vasari, 1511-1574
The Renaissance: Artist as Divine Genius THE GREATEST GIFTS are often seen, in the course of nature, rained by celestial influences on human creatures; and sometimes, in supernatural fashion, beauty, grace, and talent are united beyond measure in one single person, in a manner that to whatever such an one turns his attention, his every action is so divine, that, surpassing all other men, it makes itself clearly known as a thing bestowed by God (as it is), and not acquired by human art. This was seen by all mankind in Leonardo da Vinci, in whom, besides a beauty of body never sufficiently extolled, there was an infinite grace in all his actions; and so great was his genius, and such its growth, that to whatever difficulties he turned his mind, he solved them with ease. In him was great bodily strength, joined to dexterity, with a spirit and courage ever royal and magnanimous; and the fame of his name so increased, that not only in his lifetime was he held in esteem, but his reputation became even greater among posterity after his death. -- Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artist Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519
The Renaissance: Artist as Divine Genius “ Why has God given me such magnificent talent? It is a curse as well as a great blessing.” -- Albrecht Dürer “ Nature holds the beautiful, for the artist who has the insight to extract it.” ― Albrecht Dürer “ I, Albrecht Dürer of Nuremberg painted myself thus, with undying colors, at the age of twenty-eight years.” -- Inscription on Painting Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait , 1500.
The Renaissance: Artist as Divine Genius Raphael, Christ Blessing, 1502. Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait , 1500.
The Renaissance: Artist as Divine Genius Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, 1513. Albrecht Durer, Self-Portrait , 1500.
The Early Modern: The Artist as Intellectual Sebastien Leclerc. Academy of the Fine Arts and Sciences. 1700.
The Early Modern: The Artist as Intellectual Raphael. School of Athens. 1510-1511. Plato as Leonardo da Vinci Raphael as Apelles
The Early Modern: The Artist as Intellectual Greek Artist Zeuxis Painting Beauty. Illustration of Cicero, Italy, 15 th century.
The Early Modern: The Artist as Intellectual Peter Paul Rubens, The Exchange of the Princesses, 1621-1625
The Modern Era: The Artist as Independent Agent Eduoard Manet, Olympia , 1863. Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers , 1849-1850.
The Modern Era: Artist as Critic Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers, 1849-1850.
The Modern Era: Artist as Provocateur Eduoard Manet, Olympia , 1863.
The Modern Era Alexandre Cabanel, The Birth of Venus , 1863.
The Modern Era: Artist as Prophet Wasily Kandinsky, Composition VII , 1913.
The Modern Era: Artist as Prophet "The true work of art is born from the 'artist': a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being.” -- Wasily Kandinsky
The Modern Era: The Artist as Madman Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait , 1889.
The Modern Era: The Artist as Madman “ It is only too true that a lot of artists are mentally ill- it's a life which, to put it mildly, makes one an outsider. I'm all right when I completely immerse myself in work, but I'll always remain half crazy.” -- Vincent van Gogh Possible that these great geniuses are no more than crazies, and that to have faith and boundless admiration for them you’d have to be a crazy too. That may well be — I would prefer my madness to other people’s wisdom. -- Vincent van Gogh
The Modern Era: The Artist as Eccentric Portrait of Salvador Dali, c. 1922 "Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.” -- Salvador Dali "The only difference between a crazy person and myself, is that the crazy person believes they are sane. I know that I'm crazy.” -- Salvador Dali “ Sometimes, I spit for fun on my mother’s portrait” -- Inscribed on one of works
The Postmodern Era: Artist as Collaborator Jeanne Claude and Christo in front of Gates. Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005.
The Postmodern Era: Artist as Collaborator Jeanne Claude and Christo, Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005.
The Postmodern Era: Artist as Collaborator Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory, a group of collaborators, Soho, New York, 1965-1967.
On the Margins: Women Artists Artemisia Gentileschi, Self Portrait Artist as the Allegory of Painting, 1635.
On the Margins: Artist as Shaman Nkisi Nkonde Power Figure, Congo, 19th century
On the Margins: Artist as Healer Navajo Sandpainting Rituals (Chantways), 20 th century.
On the Margins: The Artist as National Treasure Shoji Hamada, 1950s
Identify the major “stereotypes” that categorize artists today and where they originated.
Understand the two major shifts in the identity of the artist at the beginning of the early modern and modern eras.
Understand how the changing roles of the artist are connected to the changing conception of worth of the individual.
Note how contemporary artists are challenging and addressing the historical roles that have been assigned to artists.