British Painters Presentation


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The presentation gives an outline of creative works of the most outstanding English artists of the 18-19 centuries.

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British Painters Presentation

  1. 1. English Artists (the XVIII-XIXth centuries) by Kseniya Shilova group 753
  2. 2. An Outline of English Painting of the XVIII-XIXth centuries <ul><li>British painters found guidance from the German, Dutch, and Flemish Masters, attracted to England as well as from their journeys abroad, especially in Italy; </li></ul><ul><li>Since the early eighteenth century, English artists began to develop their own styles in portraiture and allegorical painting; </li></ul><ul><li>The history of British painting is closely linked with the broader traditions of European painting; </li></ul><ul><li>For rather more than a century England was to see a brilliant succession of geniuses, William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, William Turner. </li></ul>
  3. 3. William Hogarth Satirist. Engraver. Portrait painter <ul><li>Birth: 1697; </li></ul><ul><li>In his youth was apprenticed to a silver-plate engraver that had a considerable bearing on Hogarth’s development as an artist; </li></ul><ul><li>The genres he preferred: portrait, conversation piece, moralistic and dramatic narrative ; </li></ul><ul><li>His models: representatives from both high and low social layers ; </li></ul><ul><li>His approach to painting: preferred to capture the scenes than to draw from nature ; </li></ul><ul><li>His aim: to make his pictures instructive to the descendants ; </li></ul><ul><li>Death: 1764. </li></ul>
  4. 4. W. Hogarth’s Innovations <ul><li>to give a comprehensive view of social life within the framework of moralistic and dramatic narrative; </li></ul><ul><li>to be an observer of both high and low life with a keen and critical eye; </li></ul><ul><li>to adapt the formality of the ceremonial portrait to a democratic level; </li></ul><ul><li>to introduce a specific dimension – the S-line (Line of Beauty). </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Moralistic Narrative “Marriage a-la Mode” <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>The scene from negotiations between Alderman and the old Earl concerning their children’s marriage; </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>As in any other conversation piece, the figures are depicted in full length; </li></ul><ul><li>The sitters are portrayed according to one of Hogarth’s famous dimensions – the S-line; </li></ul><ul><li>The Earl is posed to the right side of the table while Alderman with his bag of money – to the left; the cheaty steward is helping the old men; </li></ul><ul><li>Alderman’s daughter is listening to Councellor Silvertongue playing with her marriage ring; the Earl’s son is contemplating himself in a mirror. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>The Symbolism: </li></ul><ul><li>The framed pictures on the walls represent biblical and mythological scenes that reinforce the atmosphere of the canvas; </li></ul><ul><li>The two chained dogs in the left foreground symbolize the decided fate of the young man and girl who sit “united but apart”; </li></ul><ul><li>The coronet on all the belongings of the Earl points at his high social position; </li></ul><ul><li>The pedigree with the depicted William the Conqueror hints at the Earl’s noble origin. </li></ul><ul><li>The Colour Scale : </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional English tints: greenish, reddish and golden . </li></ul>
  7. 7. “ The Portrait of Captain Coram”(1740) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>The full-length ceremonial portrait was done and donated to the Foundling Hospital; </li></ul><ul><li>The depicted person is an elderly smart and respected Captain whom Hogarth represented with personal liking. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition : </li></ul><ul><li>Despite his modest position in the society, the Captain is depicted solemnly against the background of the traditional column and drapery; </li></ul><ul><li>The broad and stocky figure of the Captain is posed centrally sitting on a chair surrounded by the objects pointing at his occupation. </li></ul><ul><li>The Colour Scale: </li></ul><ul><li>The predominant colours are brown, red and greenish. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Joshua Reynolds <ul><li>Birth: Devonshire, England, in 1723 ; </li></ul><ul><li>Possessed an exceptionally strong will, determination to succeed, personal creative power and variety of pictorial invention; </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized in portraiture, group pictures and historical themes; </li></ul><ul><li>Brought fresh tendencies to the ceremonial portraiture; </li></ul><ul><li>Worked mostly with socially prominent people; </li></ul><ul><li>Became an important influence on his contemporaries; </li></ul><ul><li>Death: 1792. </li></ul>
  9. 9. J. Reynolds’ Innovations <ul><li>conceived his portraits in terms of history-painting; </li></ul><ul><li>the sitters are not static but caught between this movement and the next. </li></ul>
  10. 10. “ Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse” (1783) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>A brilliantly successful drama actress – Sarah Siddons - as Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, in a deeply contemplative state. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>The central figure is posed on a thronelike chair; </li></ul><ul><li>The cluster of pearls that adorns the front of her dress and the sweeping draperies that envelop her figure add an effect of solemn grandeur; </li></ul><ul><li>The two shadowy attendants in the background – with a dagger and with a bowl – add sinister impression to the portrait; </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The Borrowings: </li></ul><ul><li>Michelangelo: </li></ul><ul><li>The pose of Sarah Siddons – Isaiah; </li></ul><ul><li>One of the two attendants – the prophet Jeremiah; </li></ul><ul><li>Rembrandt: </li></ul><ul><li>The colour, the shadowy effects, the application of the paint. </li></ul><ul><li>The Colour Scale : </li></ul><ul><li>The dominant tone: rich golden brown interrupted by creamy areas of the model’s hands and face; </li></ul><ul><li>On closer examination reddish and deep velvety tones are distinguished. </li></ul>
  12. 12. “ The Portrait of Admiral Keppel” (1780) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>The portrait was an expression of gratitude to the Admiral, a close friend of the artist, who took Reynolds on a fateful voyage. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>The centrally-posed solemn figure of the Admiral is done in full length; </li></ul><ul><li>Abandoning himself to inspiration, Reynolds avoided static ceremoniality adding swiftness to the man’s build; </li></ul><ul><li>The stormy clouds forming the background function to reinforce the impression from the image and emphasize the Admiral’s occupation. </li></ul><ul><li>The Colour Scale: </li></ul><ul><li>It is not an easy matter to make out the initial colour scheme as due to Reynolds’ experiments with pigments some of the colours cracked and faded and needed restoration. </li></ul><ul><li>The Borrowings: </li></ul><ul><li>Antiquity: the pose </li></ul><ul><li>of Apollo. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thomas Gainsborough Painter and Musician Birth: Suffolk, England (1727); Acquired love of rustic scenes; Diversified interests (an amateur violinist and lover of the drama). Depicted both, the rich and the poor; Had a longing for painting landscapes more than for portraits; Influenced his successors; Death: 1788.
  14. 14. T. Gainsborough’s Innovations <ul><li>combined two branches of art: landscape painting and portraiture; </li></ul><ul><li>achieved phenomenon of optics and spectroscopy; </li></ul><ul><li>avoided artificiality; </li></ul><ul><li>transient impression of the sitters. </li></ul>
  15. 15. “ The Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Andrews” (1749) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>Robert and Frances Mary Andrews rest on a rustic bench in the cool shade of an oak tree on their own farm; </li></ul><ul><li>Agriculture and gardening were extremely popular with the British of that epoch – Gainsborough chose such a background. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>The married couple and the scenery merge into a single entity; </li></ul><ul><li>Robert is portrayed with a shotgun under his arm and a dog near his feet; </li></ul><ul><li>Frances Mary is posed on a garden bench; </li></ul><ul><li>The area in her lap is for some reason left unfinished; </li></ul><ul><li>The masterpiece delights the eye by its unity of composition. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>The Colour Scale: </li></ul><ul><li>In comparison with the artists of the previous epoch, Gainsborough was a lyricist in art; </li></ul><ul><li>The use of light blues and yellows was specific to the early period of his painting; </li></ul><ul><li>The spontaneous lyric charm is reproduced; </li></ul><ul><li>Light feathery brush strokes are evident. </li></ul><ul><li>The Borrowings: </li></ul><ul><li>The Rococo elements in depicting the dress of </li></ul><ul><li>Mrs. Andrews and the bench she rests on; </li></ul><ul><li>The poses that lack animation and mobility. </li></ul>
  17. 17. John Constable A Foremost Landscapist of his Century Birth: 1776; Suffolk, England; Came from a family of a mill-owner; Cultivated naturalistic approach to the nature and depicting it; Excelled in landscape painting; Was rewarded firstly abroad (France); Was a member of the Royal Academy in the twilight of his life; Was a master of realistic landscape painting; Influenced young artists, mostly French; Death: 1837.
  18. 18. J. Constable’s Innovations <ul><li>the first English artist who asked no lessons from the Dutch; </li></ul><ul><li>making preparatory sketches for canvases; </li></ul><ul><li>broke the tradition of smooth painting; </li></ul><ul><li>introduced the so called “Constable’s snow” – white highlights; </li></ul><ul><li>rendered true and full impression of nature; </li></ul><ul><li>perceived clouds, sunshine, trees and fields as vehicles for human emotions. </li></ul>
  19. 19. “ The Hay Wain” (1821) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>The landscape represents a peaceful rustic scene in Suffolk; </li></ul><ul><li>A small wain is crossing the river Stour. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>The picture is arranged around the wain in the middleground; </li></ul><ul><li>The old farmhouse in the left part of the canvas had a real prototype – a house in Suffolk where a villager who never left his native place lived; </li></ul><ul><li>Rich broad meadows spread to the right; </li></ul><ul><li>The ever-changing sky, the key note for Constable, is depicted in an extremely masterly way and occupies a significant part of the masterpiece. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>The Colour Scale: </li></ul><ul><li>Deep greenish and brownish tints; </li></ul><ul><li>Blue, grey and all hues of white. </li></ul>
  21. 21. William Turner A Life-Long Admirer of the Sea Birth: 1775, London; From the childhood was a keen and inspired observer of the Thames; Perfected his mastery from topographical painting to water-colour and oil masterpieces; Worked in the genre of marine landscape; Subject matter: seascapes, later – light, colour and air; Became a member of the Royal Academy; Anticipated the Impressionists; Death: 1851.
  22. 22. W. Turner’s Innovations <ul><li>investigation of colour (experiments with interplay between dark and light, cold and warm); </li></ul><ul><li>application of water-colour technique to oil painting and vice versa. </li></ul>
  23. 23. “ The Fighting Temeraire” (1838) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>The grand proud battleship, a participant of the Trafalgar battle, is towed to her last resting place by a small modern iron snorting tug against the background of the glorious setting sun. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>The major part of the canvas is occupied by the magnificent sunset sky which plays an important role in the plot; </li></ul><ul><li>In the left middle ground a high battle ship is depicted which is towed by an iron tug to be broken; </li></ul><ul><li>It’s remarkable that the artist deliberately changed the position of the mast and the chimney of the tug to make the smoke look more effectively; </li></ul><ul><li>The still sea reflects the partly golden, partly pale sky like a large mirror. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The Colour Scale: </li></ul><ul><li>The peculiarity of the seascape is the interplay between warm and cold, dark and light tones; </li></ul><ul><li>The predominant colour is rich golden. </li></ul><ul><li>The Symbolism: </li></ul><ul><li>The “Temeraire” is the symbol of the glorious past of the country; </li></ul><ul><li>The iron tug symbolizes the coming industrial future; </li></ul><ul><li>The sunset emphasizes the twilight of the “Temeraire”’s career. </li></ul>
  25. 25. “ Burning of the Houses of Parliament” (1834) <ul><li>The Subject Matter: </li></ul><ul><li>The witnessed by the painter great inflammation that took place in October, 1834. </li></ul><ul><li>The Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>The inflammation itself and its reflection in the tranquil waters of the Thames occupies the major part of the canvas; </li></ul><ul><li>The whirled clouds serve as background for the captured disaster adding a lively atmospheric effect; </li></ul><ul><li>The foreground is framed by dense crowds of people who are opposed to the furious element. </li></ul><ul><li>The Colour Scale: </li></ul><ul><li>The prevailing colours are reddish and yellowish which interplay with pale white and blue. </li></ul>
  26. 26. My Impressions <ul><li>Having carefully studied the creative works, artistic manners and techniques of the most outstanding English painters of the XVIII-XIXth centuries it is possible to conclude: </li></ul><ul><li>All the canvases are marked by originality of style and reveal the striking individuality of their creators; </li></ul><ul><li>Despite some of the painters preferred to refer to the Old Masters, every of the mentioned artists made a significant contribution to the development of British (and universal) art; </li></ul><ul><li>The most remarkable masterpieces are worth ranking among the world’s finest creations. </li></ul>
  27. 27. As far as my personal liking is concerned, best of all I was impressed by the creative works and artistic style of John Constable whose masterful combination of Romantic and Realistic conceptions made his landscapes team with life and memorable. Studying his masterpieces, I was captivated by his faithful reproduction of the ever-changing sky. J. Constable’s conception of natural phenomena as vehicles for human emotions extremely appealed to me. To my taste, it is hard to tear oneself from Constable’s canvases thanks to their strong attractiveness and great emotional depth. Constable’s works as well as the masterpieces by Hogarth, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Turner are once seen and never forgotten !