Part II in a series of lectures introducing modern art. Movements covered include Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism and the works of artists including Courbet, Manet, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Gauguin, and others.
A Brief History of Modern Art Lecture II: Realizing Modernity
Modern Art (1860-1970)• There is no exact definition of modern art.• There is no one style.• Most scholars agree, however, that the term applies to art produced roughly during the years 1860-1970.• Artists practicing in this “style” generally reject Renaissance- based convention in favor of the new and experimental. – These artists experimented with materials, subject matter, technique, and developed new theories about art, its role in the modern world, and the function of the artist.• Scholars debate the exact onset of modern art in the visual arts. – Most consider artist, Édouard Manet (1832-1883), and the schools of Realism and Impressionism to be at the forefront of its birth. – In general, those who would be considered modern artists rejected traditional academic art forms associated with the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Becoming Modern• Modernism refers to the period from 1850 to 1960.• Historically, modernism comes to light with the 1848 Revolution in France.• Its origins lie in the writings of René Descartes (1596-1650) and John Locke (1632-1704)• Modern Art (arguably) begins with Realism and ends with Abstract Expressionism.• Period characterized by a tremendous amount of different artistic styles. Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers, 1849. Oil on canvas, 65” × 128”× 12134”. Now destroyed.
Becoming ModernRealism (1840-late 19thcentury)• Social change, triggered by the Industrial Revolution, leads to greater emphasis by artists on realism of subject matter.• The role of the artist changes-the artist is now a social commentator, a bohemian living on the Gustave Courbet, The Meeting or, Bonjour M. outskirts of society. Courbet, 1854. Oil on canvas, 52” x 59.3”. Musée Fabre de Montpellier, Australia.
Becoming Modern• The popularization of photography is also responsible for the move toward Realism in painting.• Artists were now competing with a machine in attempt to depict subjects in Announcing the invention of objective reality. photography (the daguerreotype) at The Joint Meeting of the Academies of Science and Fine Arts in the Institute of France, Paris, August 19, 1839, unsigned engraving.
Photography• 1839 Daguerre demonstrates to the public the daguerreotype-a technology that permanently affixed an image of the world on a flat surface• Some painters embraced this new technology (Edgar Degas and Thomas Eakins) experimenting with photography and using it as a tool; while others, artists and critics, alike were skeptical• Photography was not included within the various important art Louis-Jacqyes-Mandé Daguerre, The exhibitions Artist’s Studio,1837. An early daguerreotype taken in the artist’s studio. Société Française de Photographie, Paris.
Photography • Almost immediately, photographers began to exploit the visual and creative nature of this new medium. • Many, like Daguerre, look to master painters from the Renaissance and Baroque for inspiration. – Seen here, Daguerre mimics Claesz’s still Louis-Jacqyes-Mandé life to create his own, Daguerre, The Artist’sPieter Claesz, Still-Life with Skull modern version. Studio,1837. An early and Writing Quill ,1628. Oil on daguerreotype taken in the wood, 9 ½” x 14 1/8”. artist’s studio. Société Metropolitan Museum of Art, Française de Photographie, NYC. Paris.
Photography• Photography was used to document (or re- enact) important historical events not unlike paintings prior to its invention. Re-enactment of the October 16, 1846 ether operation. Daguerreotype by Southworth & Hawes. Library of Congress.
Rembrandt, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875. Oil onTulp, 1632. oil on canvas, 85.2” × 66.7”. canvas 8’x 6’6”. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mauritshuis, The Hague. PA.
Photography• Muybridge (1830-1904), originally a landscape photographer, became best known for his ground-breaking work in animal locomotion-he used photography to capture and understand motion (of horses, humans, etc.). – His technique used multiple cameras to capture a horse galloping. Eadweard Muybridge, The Horse in Motion,1878- 87. Wet-plate photograph.
• Humans in motion. Eadweard Muybridge, The Body in Motion, c. 1878-87. Wet-plate photograph.
Chinese Horse, c.15,000-10,000 BCE. Lascaux Caves, France. First discovered 1940.• Prior to Muybridge’ studies, painters did not fully understand the physical movement of horses (for example).• Before Muybridge, painters did not know that while running, all of a horse’s hooves leave the ground. – Historically, this resulted in rather unbelievable renditions of a horse in motion, often referred to as the “hobby-horse”. – Artists, including the Renaissance master, Leonardo da Vinci, studied horse for a better understanding of how they move. – This was not fully understood until Muybridge’s efforts. Leonardo da Vinci, Study of Horses, (details from the artist’s notebook.), 1494. Silverpoint on prepared paper. Royal Library, Windsor.
Eadweard Muybridge, The Horse in Motion,1878-87. Wet- plate photograph.• Muybridge’s findings enabled painters to present more believable representations of animals and humans in motion.• Artists like Degas reference photography for various reasons, including painting anatomically correct animals in motion. Edgar Degas, The Jockey, 1889. Pastel on paper, 12 ½” x 19 ¼”.Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art, PA.
Photography• Introduced to the public in 1839, photography experienced great success and popularity with the general public.• Still, photography faced many critics who rejected its efforts to become considered a fine art.• This lithograph demonstrates the debate of the medium and its status as technical Honorè Daumier, Nadar Elevating Photography to the Height of Art, process or fine art. 1862. Lithograph, 10 11/16” x 8 ¾”. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Photography• To advocate photography’s acceptance as a fine art, photographers copied well-known paintings to demonstrate its aesthetic potential. Thomas Couture, Romans of the Oscar Rejlander, The Two Ways of Life, 1857.Decadene, 1847. Oil on canvas, 185.8” x Combination albumen print. Royal 303.9”. Musée dOrsay, Paris. Photographic Society, England.
Photography • Photographers opened portrait studios and often entertained (and competed for) well- known personalities to add to their collection. • Photographers often referenced famous portraits while composing photographs of their subjects. – Here, Nadar takes the ¾ pose used by Leonardo when Nadar, Portrait of Sarah painting the Mona Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa,Bernhardt,1864. Photograph, Lisa. 1503-06. Oil on poplar wood,9 5/8” x 9 3/8”. Bibliothèque 30”x21”. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Nationale de France, Paris.
Becoming Modern• Realism is a response to its times. – It is a rejection of Romanticism. – It is a response to photography. – Its is a response to the revolutionary attitude of the day. – It is a quest for truth.• Realism links Romanticism with Impressionism.
Schools of Modern Art: RealismRealism (1840-late 19th century)• The Realist movement thrived in France from approximately 1840 until the late nineteenth century.• Realists sought to express a truthful and objective vision of contemporary life.• Realists began to challenge conventions upheld by the academy experimenting with subject matter, process, and interjecting social commentary into their work.• French painter, Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), is considered the Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849- leader of the Realist movement. 1850. Oil on canvas, 123.6” x 261”, Musee – Artists like Édouard Manet would dOrsay, Paris. Exhibited at the 1850–1851 inherit his innovative style. Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and brought Courbet instant fame.
Schools of Modern ArtRealism (1840-late 19th century)• Courbet’s A Burial at Ornans demonstrates what Realist artists sought: – Courbet paints an actual event, one that is more personal than historically important, the death of a relative. – He uses the ordinary people that attended this event. – He paints them as they were, not beautiful or idealized, but accurate. • Critics argued his faces were caricature and accused the Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849- artist of “a deliberate pursuit of 1850. Oil on canvas, 123.6” x 261”, Musee ugliness.” dOrsay, Paris. Exhibited at the 1850–1851 – The painting is a real life depiction Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and of Ornans- its people and events. brought Courbet instant fame.
Schools of Modern ArtRealism (1840-late 19th century)• Critics rejected the work based on its subject matter- – Academic convention ruled that large canvases (this painting measures 10 feet by 22) was reserved for historically important events and people (battle scenes, religious imagery, political leaders), not ordinary life.• Courbet attempts with this piece to “thrust himself into Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849- 1850. Oil on canvas, 123.6” x 261”, Musee the grand tradition of history dOrsay, Paris. Exhibited at the 1850–1851 painting”. Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and brought Courbet instant fame.
Schools of Modern ArtRealism (1840-late 19th century)• In addition, critics rejected the style in which it was painted. – Courbet asserts the paint’s texture. • Courbet employs texture to make the image painted seem more tangible and NOT to Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849- explore Romantic notions 1850. Oil on canvas, 123.6” x 261”, Musee of the sublime. dOrsay, Paris. Exhibited at the 1850–1851 Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and brought Courbet instant fame.
Becoming ModernRealism (1840-late 19th century)• Partly responsible for the movement’s name, The Painter’s Studio was rejected by the Exposition Universelle of 1855• In response Courbet opens his own exhibition, "Le Realisme” or “Exhibition of Realism” in his Pavilion of Realism. – Visitors attended Courbet’s pavilion out of curiosity more than anything else. – While the public rejected the work, it did solidify his place amongst avant-garde artists. – Courbet became inspiration for the younger generation Gustave Courbet, The Painter‘s Studio: A real allegory including Édouard Manet summing up seven years of my artistic and moral life, and the Impressionists. 1855. Oil on canvas, 11’ 10 ¼ x 19‘ 7 ½ “. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Becoming ModernRealism (1840-late 19th century)• The Painter’s Studio is an allegory of the artist’s life as a painter.• Situated in the center is the artist, flanked by a nude model and young child.• Surrounding him are friends and supporters (to the right) and the opposition (to the left). – These people are identifiable. To identify these people see Gustave Courbet, The Artist’s Studio.• Photography’s influence is also evident as Courbet, and many other artists, begin to Gustave Courbet, The Painter‘s Studio: A real allegory crop their paintings in ways summing up seven years of my artistic and moral life, reminiscent of photography. 1855. Oil on canvas, 11’ 10 ¼ x 19‘ 7 ½ “. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Schools of Modern ArtRealism (1840-late 19th century)• A Burial at Ornans captures Courbet’s Realism in its rejection of illusionistic depth, lack of formal composition, and radically new subject matter.• Its use of everyday people and events as its subject matter.• Its dramatic scale Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, 1849- 1850. Oil on canvas, 123.6” x 261”, Musee – Traditionally, large scale dOrsay, Paris. Exhibited at the 1850–1851 canvases were reserved Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and for history painting. brought Courbet instant fame.
Schools of Modern ArtCharacteristics of Realist paintings include:• Commitment to verisimilitude (the appearance of truth in painting).• Rendering of the everyday (person, experience).• Rejection of the theatrical, dramatic, or ceremonial.• A replacement of convention and the grandiose for the commonplace.• Rejection of the ideal for the familiar.• Rejection of universal truths.• Debate with conventional aesthetics.
“The Painter of Modern Life”• Written in 1860 by French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), “The Painter of Modern Life” summarizes the new role of the artist.• Although the poet did not know the painter Édouard Manet (1832-1883) while writing the article, the two became close friends and Manet representative of Baudelaire’s “painter of modern life.”• Manet painted in a style all his own oscillating between Realism and Impressionism (he does not belong specifically in any one category, he Édouard Manet, Autoportrait à la palette painted in both styles) (Self-Portrait with Palette), 1878/1879. Oil on canvas, 33” × 26”. Private Collection, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Becoming Modern• Considered by many to be the first modern painter, Manet’s paintings became watershed moments in the history of art and inspired generations of avant-garde artists.• His Déjeuner sur l’herbe, introduced to the public at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. – The Salon des Refusés, or “salon of the refused” was an exhibition of works rejected by the Paris Salon. – After artists protested the 3,000 paintings rejected by the Salon, Emperor Napolean III ordered the works to be displayed in the Salon des Refusés. – Even though the official Salon rejected these works, the attention established the “rejected” artists as the leaders of Édouard Manet, Déjeuner sur l’herbe modern art’s avant-garde. (Luncheon on the Grass), 1863. Oil on canvas, 6’9 1/8” x 8’ 10 ¼”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Becoming Modern• Although he was considered the leader of the avant- garde, Manet DID seek official acknowledgment from the Salon.• Manet was a realist who sought to obtain recognition working within the conventions of the Salon-but in a modernized way.• In Déjeuner sur l’herbe he quotes from Renaissance Édouard Manet, Déjeuner sur l’herbe artists before him. (Luncheon on the Grass), 1863. Oil on canvas, 6’9 1/8” x 8’ 10 ¼”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Titian,(formerly thought to be by Giorgione), The Pastoral Symphony (Fête Champêtre), c. 1510. Oil oncanvas, approx. 3 7" x 4 6” . Musée du Louvre, Paris. Édouard Manet, Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheonon the Grass), 1863. Oil on canvas; 6’9 1/8” x 8’ 10 ¼”. Musée dOrsay, Paris. Marcantonio Raimondi, The Judgment of Paris, c. 1510-18. Engraving based on Raphael cartoon, 11 ½” x 17 3/16”. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Becoming Modern• Manet continued to scandalize Paris with with the exhibition of Olympia at the 1865 Salon.• With this piece, Manet joined many artists before him in taking on the subject of the female nude. Édouard Manet,Olympia,1863-65. Oil on canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Giorgione, Sleeping Venus, c. 1510. Oil on canvas, 42.5” x 68.9”. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden• The subject of the reclining female nude was first explored in 1510 by Renaissance master, Giorgione (1477/8 -1510).• Upon completing the background of Sleeping Venus after the artist’s death, Titian (1488/90-1576), a student of Giorgione, created his own Venus and thus began a long history of the female nude depicted in a landscape.• Titian’s Venus of Urbino takes Giorgione’s subject (the female nude) and domesticates her, brings her indoors.Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538. Oil on canvas 47” x 65”. Uffizi, Florence.
Giorgione, Sleeping Venus, c. Francisco Goya, The Nude Majas, 1792.1510. Oil on canvas, 42.5” x Oil on canvas, 38.6” x 75.2”. Prado 68.9”. Gemäldegalerie Alte Museum, Spain. Meister, Dresden• With Olympia in 1863, Manet joins the ranks of the many painters before him who have taken the female nude as subject. Édouard Manet,Olympia,1863-65. Oil Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538. Oil on on canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée canvas 47” x 65”. Uffizi, Florence. dOrsay, Paris.
Becoming Modern• What offended the public was not Olympia’s nudity.• It was her confrontational stare implicating the audience, the viewer as client and voyeur.• Manet also uses the objects within the painting to identify Olympia’s profession as a courtesan or prostitute. – It may not seem obvious to us today but in the 19th century the signs included: • orchid in her hair • the replacing of the dog (a symbol of fidelity) with a cat (representative of female anatomy and a cat-house or brothel) • the bouquet of flowers (also disguised symbolism for female genitalia) • the bracelet, the necklace, the Oriental Édouard Manet,Olympia,1863-65. Oil on shawl, and pearl earrings all signify canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée dOrsay, wealth, opulence, and excess. Paris.
Becoming Modern• Manet’s Olympia however defied traditional representations of the female nude.• Manet uses these traditional subjects to challenge convention.• Here, he modernizes the nude- he paints the portrait of a recognizable woman, Victorine Meurent, a painter and favorite model of Manet, and presents the nude in a much more obvious way. Édouard Manet,Olympia,1863-65. Oil on canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Becoming Modern• The in-your-face presentation of the subject was not all that offended the audience. – The positioning of Olympia’s hand over her pubic area was unlike any nude before.• The realism of the piece was what most offended its audience.• Manet’s work is unapologetic in its handling of the subject matter, paint, and implication of the spectator. Édouard Manet, (detail) Olympia,1863-65. Oil on canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée dOrsay,
• In comparison to Giorgione and Titian, Manet’s Olympia is vulgar, she has agency, takes possession/control of her body and Giorgione, Sleeping Venus, c. access to it. 1510. Oil on canvas, 42.5” x 68.9”. Gemäldegalerie Alte • Unlike the Meister, Dresden Renaissance Venus, she is not docile but confrontational. • The classical subject of a reclining Venus has been replaced by Manet with an unidealized, modern prostitute of Paris. Édouard Manet, (detail) Olympia,1863-65. Oil on Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538.canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée Oil on canvas 47” x 65”. Uffizi, dOrsay, Paris. Florence.
• Reactions to Manet’s Olympia made headlines.• Critics were certainly not shy about publishing their sentiments, as seen here in this caricature. Newspaper caricature in response to Manet’s Olympia.
Becoming Modern• Stylistically, Manet was criticized for his flattening of the picture plane, unflattering painting of the female form, and lack of illusionistic depth. – Manet uses contours to create volume within the figure. – Olympia’s startlingly white skin is a collection of angles pressed against the picture plane. Its flatness troublingly unsettling for even Courbet. Édouard Manet,Olympia,1863-65. Oil on canvas, 4’3” x 6’2 ¾”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Outside Influences• Aside from photography, Japanese prints represent the most prominent influence on 19th century painters.• In 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry opens/forces Japanese ports open to West.• Artists are attracted to the sharp angles, bold, snap-shot cropping, near- flat arrangement, and brilliant colors defined by contour line of Japanese artists.• Emphasizes it is NOT pictorial truth but Andō Hiroshige, Moon Pine at Ueno from One Hundred Views of Famous artistic integrity. Places in Edo, 1857. Color woodcut, 13 ¾” x 8 5/8”. The Brooklyn Museum, NY.
• Manet publishes his influences here in his portrait of Èmile Zola (1840- 1902), the French writer. – Zola was a friend and supporter, his tract on Manet is included in the portrait (on the desk). – Zola wrote L’Evénement on the Salon of 1866, a vigorous defense of Manet’s work aligning the artist with the avant-garde dogma, “Art for art’s sake”.• In the background of Zola’s library is Manet’s own Olympia, a detail of Bacchus by the Spanish Baroque painter Velázquez (1599-1660), and a Japanese print. Édouard Manet, Portrait of Èmile Zola, 1868. Oil on canvas, 57 1/8” x 44 7/8” . Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Becoming Modern• Manet’s later work, demonstrates the uniqueness of his style.• Never solely dedicated to the Realist style, nor Impressionism, Manet is best described as an enigmatic Realist.• His Bar at the Folies Bergere demonstrates how the artist oscillates between the two schools combining subject matter and painterly style.• His barmaid demonstrates the alienation that was symptomatic of modernity.• His brushstrokes are evidence of the artist’s constant experimentation.• His work would become primary inspiration for a younger generation of artists that would become known as the Édouard Manet, The Bar at the Folies Bergere, Impressionists. 1882. Oil on canvas, 37.8” x 51.2”. Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Schools of Modern Art: ImpressionismImpressionism (1860-1900)• An art movement which took its name from one particular painting by painter Claude Monet (1840-1926), Impression: Sunrise of 1872.• Born from the naturalism of the Realists, as well as an interest in the transitory experience of light and color on objects• Impressionism did two distinct things to painting: – It elevated color to the status of subject matter, liberating the artists marks from previous craft constraints – It inadvertently asserted paintings relationship to the flat surface. • The ripple effects of this will be felt Claude Monet, Impression, soleil levant throughout modernism culminating (Impression Sunrise), 1872. Oil on canvas, 17 with the Abstract Expressionists. ¾” x 21 ¾”. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.
Schools of Modern Art: ImpressionismImpressionism (1860-1900)• Inspired by the work of Eugène Delacroix and Joseph Mallord William Turner, Impressionist painters favored free brush Joseph Mallord William Turner, work over line and form. The Slave Ship, 1840. Oil on canvas 35 3/4 x 48 ¼”. Museum• Like Realists before them, of Fine Arts, Boston. Impressionists were influenced by Japonism, in the form of Japanese art prints usually found on wrapping paper. Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830. Oil on canvas, 128”x102.4”. Musée du Louvre, Paris
Realizing Modernity • Impressionists painted primarily urban scenes. Claude Monet, Boulevard des Capucines, 1873. Oil on canvas, 31 ¼”x 23 ¼”. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Auguste Renoir, Moulin de la Galette, 1876. Oil Kansas City, Missouri. on canvas, 51 ½” x 69”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Modernism vs. Modernity• modernity- refers to the social condition; the condition of post-industrial capitalist society• modernism- primarily refers to the cultural expression of modernity and its form of social organization – the 100 year period of 1780 through 1880 has been accepted by scholars as its beginning dates – many accept that modernism lasts until 1939 (the outbreak of World War II)
Realizing Modernity• Haussmanization, as it became known, took place 1853-1870 and modernized Paris.• Under Emperor Napoleon III’s order, Haussman modernized Paris by widening its streets- displacing thousands who lived in the area.• As Paris became the first modern city, its inhabitants and their leisure activities became central focus of Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street; Rainy Day, Impressionist painters. 1877. Oil on canvas, 83 ½” x 108 ¾”. The Art Institute of Chicago
Realizing ModernityEmperor Napoleon III by Hipolyte Flandrin (Salon of 1863) with Plan of Paris – radical urban renewal designed by Baron Haussmann, 1853-1869.
Realizing Modernity Blvd. Haussman with Galeries Lafayette, one of Napoleon III and Baron Haussmannthe first department stores in the birth of urban renewal program, Paris:1853- commodity culture. 1869.
• Artists like Monet retreat from the Realists’ aim to represent their world as directly and objectively as possible.• Aesthetic, personal, and social concerns lead to the development of new styles of painting.• Impressionism develops as an alleviator to social upheaval as well as an aesthetic response to Realist, Romantic, and Neoclassical forerunners.(top) Destruction of Paris following the Franco-Prussian war, siege of Paris, and (bottom) the Commune 1871, Communards shot by firing squad of French soldiers in the streets of Paris.
Schools of Modern ArtCharacteristics of Impressionist paintings include:• Relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes of NO uniformity.• Colors are applied side by side with as little mixing as possible.• Layer upon layer of wet paint is added before allowing previous layers to dry.• Painted en plein air (in plain air, meaning outdoors in nature).• Painting occurs at night to achieve the shadowy effects of twilight.• Physical declaration of the pigment itself (inherited from the Romantic painters (like Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)), the heavy modeling impasto of Courbet, and overt gestures of Manet.• Open composition.• Emphasizes accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, studying the changing of time, season, and weather.• Includes movement as an essential element of human perception and experience, quite often through the introduction of unusual angles.• Focus on the “everyday” of the leisure class and ordinary subject matter primarily of city/urban living.• Heavy influence of Japanese prints.
Realizing Modernity• Impressionist painters took the ballet, the opera, the races, and urban leisure activity as their subject.Edgar Degas, Ballet Rehearsal,1875. Gouache and Pastel on canvas, 21- Edgar Degas, The Jockey, 1889. Pastel on 3/4" x 27”. The Frelinghuysen paper, 12 ½” x 19 ¼”. Philadelphia Museum of Collection, NY. Fine Art, PA.
Realizing Modernity• The woman’s experience of modernity was quite different from her male counterpart.• French artist Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) and the American expatriate Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) were the dominant female painters of the Impressionist movement. Berthe Morisot, Woman at her Toilette, c. 1875. Oil on canvas, 23” x 31 5/8”. The Art Institute of Chicago.
Realizing Modernity• Women did not enjoy the same independence as men in modern Paris.• The opera was one of a few places where women had agency, the ability to participate in the public sphere. Mary Cassatt, In the Loge, 1878. Oil on canvas, 32” x 26”. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
• Unlike their male counterparts, female Impressionists were limited in subject matter because of restrictions on travel, propriety and gender ideals, and access to the human form and education.• As a result their subject matter tended to focus on the private sphere-women and children, women at the bath, or enjoying other acceptable “feminine” Berthe Morisot, The Mother and Sister of the Artist, c. 1869/1870, oil on canvas leisure activities. 39 ¾” x 32 3/16”. National Gallery of Art.
Realizing Modernity• By the mid-1880s, the Impressionist artists began to re- evaluate their work and as a result, move in separate directions.• The Impressionist artists exhibited together 8 times within the span of 1874 and 1886, the year of the last Impressionist Exhibition.• Monet remained true to the visual experience but began to experiment with an anti- naturalistic subjectivity and pure abstraction.• Interestingly, his final works anticipate the direction of modern art in the form of total abstraction sought by future artists including Claude Monet, Les Nuages (Clouds), 1916- Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and the Abstract Expressionists (late 1926. Oil on canvas, left panel of 3; each 1940s and 1950s). panel 6’6 ¾” x 13’ 11 3/8”. Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Early American Artists• Early American modern art has its roots in Romanticism and Realism.• American artists of the 19th century utilized art to define a uniquely American identity.• Artists, including George Catlin (1796- 1872), were intrigued by our country’s diverse population of people and our landscape.• Catlin made what many criticize as no more than ethnographic studies of Native Americans, a group of peoples George Catlin, Buffalo Bull’s Back facing extinction due to aggressive Fat, Head Chief, Blood Tribe, 1832. government policies. Oil on canvas, 29” x 24”. National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
The Hudson River School• In the United States, the leading Romantic movement was the Hudson River School, a style characterized by dramatic landscape painting.• Here, idealization of Romanticism flirts with aspects of scientific Realism to paint areas of the Hudson River Valley.• Artists painted pristine landscapes of hope and promise infused with the sublime. Thomas Cole, The Oxbow, 1836. Oil on canvas, 51 ½” x 76”. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Early American Artists• Philadelphia painter, Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) is known for his uncompromising Realism.• Heavily influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, Eakins recovers many of the Renaissance master’s style. Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875. Oil on canvas 8’x 6’6”. Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA.
Rembrandt, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp, 1632. oil on canvas, 85.2” × 66.7”. Mauritshuis, The Hague.• Best known for his Gross Clinic of 1875, Eakins studied Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp for his own painting of the American surgeon Dr. Gross.• Eakins uses light to highlight the doctor’s intellect and skill by focusing on his head and hands. Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875. Oil on canvas 8’x 6’6”. Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA.
Early American Artists• African-American artists, including Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) also depicted contemporary experience.• By the late 19th century, many African- American artists had already achieved significant recognition at home and abroad.• The Banjo Lesson, Tanner’s most famous work, addresses the stereotypes people of color faced in 19th century America.• Often depicted in the role of entertainer, Tanner re-interprets “the black as minstrel” tradition for a thoughtful exchange between a grandfather and his grandson.• The background can also be argued to anticipate the work of Color field artists of Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, 1893. Oil on canvas, 49” x the mid-20th century in America. 35 ½”. Hampton University, Virginia.
Early American Artists• The 1920s enjoyed the Harlem Renaissance, a movement that broadcast, documented, and celebrated the lives of African- Americans.• Photographers including James Van Der Zee (1886-1983) photographed the modern African-American living and working in the United States, particularly NYC’s Harlem.• Van Der Zee captures African- Americans in a positive light; he depicts their everyday lives, James Van Der Zee, Portrait of Couple with their success, joy, failures, Raccoon Coats & Stylist Car, 1932. Gelatin- families, activities, etc. like silver print, 8” x 10”. Image courtesy of Donna none had before him. Musssenden VanDerZee. Dr. Kenneth Montague/ The Wedge Collection.
Early American Artists• Artists like Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917) represent the Romantic tradition present in early American art through mid-20th century art.• His radical experimentation with technique jeopardizes the integrity of his work today (evident here in the cracks present in the painting).• Ryder’s work recalls the coloring of Rubens, the rhythm of Delacroix, and echoes the expression of German Expressionist painters-evidence of a continuous link between American modernists and their European Albert Pinkham Ryder, Moonlight counterparts. Marine, c. 1890s. Oil and possibly wax on panel, 11 3/8” x 12”. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Faced with rapid change, growing backlash against industrialization, and a conflict in ideologies artists renounce the Realist tradition in search of some new reality-one that embraces the inner world of the mind and its revelations and the outer world of physical phenomenon. Paul Cézanne, Battle of Love, 1880. Oil on canvas 14 7/8” x 18 ¼”. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism (1880s-1920)• Term coined by the British artist and art critic Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the development of French art since Manet.• Fry applied the term while organizing the 1910 exhibition “Manet and the Poster of the 1889 Exhibition of Paintings by Post-Impressionists” the Impressionist and Synthetist Group, at Café des Arts, known as the The Volpini Exhibition, 1889.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Post-Impressionism is an umbrella term for those artists practicing art from the early 1880s until the 1920s.• Some of modernism’s most prominent artists including Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), and Georges Pierre Seurat (1859-1891) were Post- Vincent Van Gogh, Potato Eaters, 1885. Oil on canvas, 32.3” x 44.9”. Van Gogh Museum, Impressionist. Amsterdam.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Most often associated with 5 painters who were influenced by Impressionism: – Paul Cézanne(1839-1906) – Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) – Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) – Georges Pierre Seurat (1859-1891) – Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)• These artists were contemporaries of the Impressionists but chose NOT to work in the Impressionist style.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Post-Impressionists rejected the restrictions of Impressionism yet maintained the use of vivid color, thick application of paint, noticeable application of pigment (distinctive brushstrokes), and contemporary subject Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the matter. Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-86. Oil on canvas, 6’9 ½” x 10’ 1 ¼”. The Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Seurat was an academically trained artist, classical enthusiast, and fan of artists including Poussin and Ingres.• He took a scientific approach to painting studying color theory and the mechanics of vision.• This led to the development of his unique application of the paint to canvas in the form of dots, or points giving his style the title of Pointilism (also known as Neo- Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-86. Oil on Impressionism). canvas, 6’9 ½” x 10’ 1 ¼”. The Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Post-Impressionists accentuated the geometric, abstracted and exaggerated form for expressionist purpose, and introduced the arbitrariness of color. Paul Cézanne, The Basket of Apples, c. 1893. Oil on canvas, 24 3/8” x 31”. The Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Post-Impressionists, unlike the Impressionists, were not afraid to paint the negative aspects of modernity and the seedy side of modern life. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge, Self-portrait of the artist 1892. Oil on canvas, 48.5” x 55.5”. The Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Post-Impressionist artists sought an escape from modernity.• Some, like Gauguin, attempt to find this utopia in other lands. Paul Gauguin, Nevermore, 1897. Oil on canvas, 23 7/8” x 45 5/8”. Courtauld Gallery, London.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Artist Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) is considered by many to be the father of 20th century experimentation.• Cézanne sought through his work to paint his ideas about the nature of art.• He studied the works of artists Delacroix and Poussin at the Louvre in Paris.• His unique and unusual blending of emotion and logic precedes and gives credence to Expressionism and laid the foundation for a radically new art Paul Cézanne, Battle of Love, 1880. Oil on in the 20th century. canvas 14 7/8” x 18 ¼”. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Édouard Manet, Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), 1863. Oil on canvas; 6’9 1/8” x 8’ 10 ¼”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.• Cézanne’s Battle of Love is an adaptation of Manet’s 1863, Déjeuner sur l’herbe .Paul Cézanne, Battle of Love, 1880. Oil on canvas 14 7/8” x 18 ¼”. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Cézanne was a vocal critic of Impressionism.• Both Matisse and Picasso considered Cézanne to be, “the father of us all”.• Cézanne’s work is a direct bridge from Impressionism to Cubism- considered by most to be the first artistic style of the 20th century.• He argued Impressionism ignored aspects of good painting important since the Renaissance.• He sought the reality of the Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Basket of Apples, c. painting. 1893. Oil on canvas, 24 3/8” x 31”. Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Cézanne did have an Impressionist period from 1870-1878, even exhibiting in the first (1874) and third Impressionist shows (1877).• Even then, Cézanne’s paintings showed evidence of his intense study of his subjects from nature. – Impressionists painted outdoors, Post- Impressionists generally brought their canvases indoors and painted from memory. Paul Cézanne, Jas de Bouffan (The Pond), 1876. Oil on canvas, 18.1”x 22.2”. The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• To define and make visual his theories on art, Cézanne focused on a fixed mix of subjects: – Bathers – The Bay of Marseilles – Still Lifes (particularly the apple) – Mont Sainte-Victoire Paul Cézanne, The Bay of Marseilles, Seen from LEstaque, ca. 1885. Oil in canvas. 31 1/2 x 39 5/8”. Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• The various views of Marseilles demonstrate the revolutionary evolution in his personal style that would give birth to abstraction.• Here, his characteristic brushstrokes begin to make an appearance.• Cézanne would become known for the planes of color and small brushstrokes used to build up the complex surface of the canvas.• Like others before him, he denies the illusive recession of depth by cutting off the scene at the sides.• The overwhelming area of blue, which would become inspiration for modern and contemporary artists alike, dominates the Paul Cézanne, The Bay of Marseilles, Seen from LEstaque, ca. 1885. Oil in scene over the natural colors of the houses. canvas. 31 1/2 x 39 ”. Art Institute 5/8 of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Cézanne was especially intrigued by the apple-it was a three dimensional form that was difficult to control and represent as a distinct object within an arrangement of forms. Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Basket of Apples, c. 1893. Oil on canvas, 24 3/8” x 31”. Art Institute of Chicago.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Cézanne carefully arranged his still lifes to create a challenging and dynamic composition. – Each object was strategically placed to create relationships between the different elements.• Each form was modulated with his iconic small, flat brushstrokes; his shapes distorted to order, and contours loosened to address the spatial tension of the arrangement.• He would often tilt the table, bottles, bowls, etc. to unify color areas-this allows him to concentrate on the Paul Cézanne, Still Life, Drapery, Pitcher, and relationships and tensions between Fruit Bowl, 1893–1894. Oil on canvas, 23.2” × objects represented. 28.5”. Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• The 1890s witnessed Cézanne’s brushstrokes increase in size and abstraction.• Each brushstroke dances across the canvas independently, yet harmoniously.• His work grew more expressive, his contours broken.• The artist’s hand is increasingly present in Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from process. Les Lauves, 1902-1906. Oil on canvas, 25 ½” x 32”. Private collection.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Left unfinished, this piece was the conclusion of the artist’s experimentation with a subject that occupied him for some 30 years.• His Bathers, painted in multiple varieties, were painted from the imagination and became example for his younger contemporaries including the Symbolist painters. Paul Cézanne, Large Bathers, 1906. Oil on canvas 82 7/8” x 98 ¾” . Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• Artists including Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824- 1898), and Odilon Redon (1840-1916) were associated with a smaller Post- Impressionist movement called, Symbolism.• Symbolism was an exclusive movement, its artists associated with a very limited circle, read specific authors, and had very different ideas about art. Puvis de Chavannes, Summer, 1891. Oil on canvas, 4’11” x 7’7 ½”. Cleveland Museum of Art.
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• Symbolism is directly influenced by Romanticism; it is a direct response to Art for Art’s Sake.• Symbolists favored the ideal over the real, symbol over sight, and conception over perception.• They sought a balance between mind and spirit, thought and emotion. Henri Fantin-Latour, Homage to Delacroix, 1864. Oil on canvas, 63”x 98.4”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• Symbolism was an Delacroix interdisciplinary movement with an origin in poetry and literature.• In literature, the movement was founded by author Charles Baudelaire whose Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil, 1857) was a heavily influential inspiration to visual artists.• Symbolists had no vested need to influence contemporary art, politics, or social policy.• Symbolist artists enjoyed free access to the imagination ad artistic license. Henri Fantin-Latour, Homage to Delacroix, 1864. Oil on canvas, 63”x 98.4”. Musée dOrsay, Paris.
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• High point of French Symbolism 1874-1880.• Declared a movement 1866.• Look to musicians, poets, and writers for inspiration.• Reaction to Darwin’s evolution (as early as 1858) as well as Realism, Impressionism, and Positivism.• Elite group of artists.• Stresses subconscious and mystical, feelings and emotion.• Interest in the mind and subconscious before Freud. Odilon Redon, Roger and Angelica, 1910.• Influential on Art Nouveau artists. Pastel on paper on canvas, 36 ½” x 28 ¾”. Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• Symbolists searched for an ultimate reality.• They believed art should come from the emotions and inner spirit and NOT the empirical.• The inner idea, symbolism, and the dream were most important. – Around the time Symbolists are exploring the dream, Freud is beginning his work on dreams and the unconscious.• As is evident here with Moreau’s The Apparition, Symbolists works were often very enigmatic -at once vaguely familiar but not fully explainable. Gustave Moreau, The Apparition, c. 1876. Oil on canvas; 21 ¼” x 171/2”. Louvre, Paris
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• Academically trained, Moreau becomes one of the older members to represent Symbolism and a model to the younger generation of artists.• His work exemplifies the mal-du-siècle (melancholic mentality or soul sickness experienced at the end of the century and often expressed in literature and painting that focuses on the decadent and morose). Gustave Moreau, The Apparition c. 1876. Oil on canvas; 21 ¼” x 171/2“. Louvre, Paris
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• Stylistically, Moreau’s work is exceptionally rendered.• The artist uses fine line, meticulous draftsmanship, and compulsive detail.• His colors are highly decorative jewel tones rich in texture.• The subject matter is typical of his generation but uniquely his own.• Moreau’s presents the biblical story of Salome’s dance in a new and imaginative way. – The femme fatale and New Woman of Paris was often underlying subject matter of Symbolist painting. Gustave Moreau, The Apparition c. 1876. Oil on canvas; 21 ¼” x 171/2“. Louvre, Paris
Schools of Modern ArtSymbolism (late 19th century)• One of Symbolism’s earliest advocates was Odilon Redon (1840- 1916).• Known as “prince of mysterious dreams”.• Argued Impressionism lacked the ambiguity he desired in art.• Drawn to the work of Goya and earlier Renaissance artists Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669).• Close to Symbolist poets even dedicated lithographs to Edgar Allan Poe. Odilon Redon, Roger and Angelica, 1910. Pastel on paper on canvas, 36 ½” x 28 ¾”. Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Post-Impressionist artist, Paul Gauguin was closely associated with the Symbolists.• He was known for his experimental use of color.• His work was particularly influential on artists Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).• His style evolved from interests in folk art, Japanese prints, and Cloisonnism. – His Yellow Christ is a premiere example of the cloisonné style (a style of painting with bold and flat forms separated by dark contours). Paul Gauguin, The Yellow Christ (Le Christ jaune), 1889. Oil on canvas, 36.3” x28.7”. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Gauguin’s work practices synthetism (the fusion of subject and idea with color and form).• The scene painted is anti-Realist.• Gauguin, and many other Post- Impressionists, seek an escape from the industrialization an urbanization of modern Paris.• Artists take advantage of colonization and Christianizing efforts to explore pre-industrialized society. – Escapism/attempt to free self from corruption of sophistication of modern world.• Paintings convey immediacy and Paul Gauguin, Vision after the Sermon, or authenticity of the imagination. Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, 1888. Oil on canvas, 28 ¾” x 36 ¼”. National Gallery of Scotland.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Gauguin rejects the traditionalism of Puvis de Chavannes and Moreau and the optical naturalism of Impressionism.• “Synthesis of form and color derived from the observation of the dominant element”.• Uses color arbitrarily rather than to describe an object visually, privileges the creative act, considers painting an abstraction. Paul Gauguin, The Spirit of the Dead keeps• Heavy influence on Nabis Group Watch, 1892. Oil on canvas, 28.5” × 36.38”. and Fauves. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Considered one of the fathers of 20th century modernism, van Gogh is known for his raw emotional content, brutal honesty, and experimentally bold use of color.• Like his friend, Gauguin, he is credited for paving the way for Expressionist ad Fauve artists. Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889. Oil on canvas, 29” x 36 ¼”. Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Considered a Post- Impressionist, his work drew influence from the Impressionist color palette, causing him to develop a deep love of and emphasis on color.• He used color to communicate emotion in his work.• His Night Café is a prime example. Vincent van Gogh, The Night Café, 1888. Oil on canvas, 29” x 36 ¼”. Yale University Art Gallery, CT
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• “I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green.” -van Gogh – Van Gogh uses acidic colors and incorrect perspective to create a claustrophobic nightmare and frightening experience for the viewer. – His use of perspective anticipates the work of Surrealist artists of the 20th century. Vincent van Gogh, The Night Café, 1888. Oil on canvas, 29” x 36 ¼”. Yale University Art Gallery, CT
Schools of Modern Art Post-Impressionism • Considered his best known work, Starry Night displays van Gogh’s acknowledgement and respect for his Dutch roots. • Van Gogh never abandons the landscape and carries on the Netherlandish tradition ofVincent van Gogh, Self- portraiture with his Portrait, 1888. Oil on series of self- canvas, 29” x 36 ¼”. portraits. Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night,Harvard University Art 1889. Oil on canvas, 29” x 36 ¼”. Museum, MA. Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Schools of Modern ArtPost-Impressionism• Along with Gauguin and van Gogh, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) is considered an important link between the 19th century avant-garde and early 20th century greats including Edvard Munch, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.• His prints won him great fame in the 1890s making his work synonymous with turn-of- the-century Paris.• Lautrec captured the dirtier side of Paris; its nighttime activities and lives of the less- than-savory characters of the night. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin• His posters elevated graphic design within Rouge-La Goulue, 1891. Color the fine arts. lithograph, 6’ 3 ¼” x 4’. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Schools of Modern ArtCharacteristics of Post-Impressionist paintings include: • The rejection of restrictions of Impressionism. • Continued and exaggerated use of vivid color. • Thick application of paint. • Noticeable application of pigment (distinctive and personalized brushstrokes). • Contemporary subject matter. • Accentuation of geometric form for expressionist purpose. • Abstracted form. • Arbitrariness of color.