Anonymous. Old Hetton Colliery, Newcastle . ca. 1840.
Gustave Doré. Orange Court, Drury Lane, from London, A Pilgrimage , 1872, by Gustave Doré and Blanchard Jerrold, 1872. 1869.
How did industrialization shape the nineteenth century? During much of the nineteenth century, industrialization created wealth for a few but left the vast majority of men and women living bleak and unhealthy lives. They worked long hours for low wages in an environment plagued by smoke and soot. In London, their drinking water was taken from the river Thames, which was little better than an open sewer. Cholera and other contagious diseases thrived in the rapidly growing urban areas of Britain, Europe, and the United States, causing millions of deaths. Housing was cramped at best, owing to the fact that workers needed to live near the factories in which they worked. As single women increasingly entered the workforce—sometimes resorting to prostitution to supplement their wages—married women were driven out, leaving men as the sole breadwinners for the family.
Map: London in 1898: Factories with over 100 workers.
Map: The growth of London, 1800-1880.
How did reformers react to industrialization? In France and England, the horrific conditions brought about by industrialization led socialist thinkers such as Charles Fourier and Robert Owen to argue for the creation of utopian communities where work and wealth would be shared by all. Other humanists called for a return to medieval values. Augustus Pugin was chief among those who argued that restoring Christian values to art and architecture would instill those principles into the social fabric of nations. How did Pugin see Gothic art and architecture as contributing to social reform?
A. W. N. Pugin. Contrasted Residences for the Poor, from Contrasts: or, a Parallel Between the Noble Edifices of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, and similar Buildings of the present Day; showing the Present Decay of Taste . 1836.
What is literary realism? Humanist writers attacked the problems afflicting the working class by addressing their plight in realistic terms, describing in minute detail the material conditions and psychological impact wrought by unhealthy surroundings. How does Charles Dickens address industrialization in Hard Times? In France, realist writers such as Honoré de Balzac depicted the full breadth of French society, from its poor to its most wealthy. In the 92 novels that make up Balzac’s Human Comedy , some 2,000 characters come to life for the reader. In the novel Madame Bovary , Gustave Flaubert attacked the Romantic sensibilities to which he was himself strongly attracted. How does this French brand of realist writing differ from that of Dickens? In the United States, slavery was the chief target of realist writers, even as intellectuals such as Louis Agassiz argued for the cultural inferiority of black Africans. Such arguments were countered, at least in part, by the slaves themselves, who recounted the horrors of their lives in autobiographical narratives such as those by Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. Truth saw the cause of women’s rights to be intimately connected with the effort to end slavery. How do Truth’s arguments compare to those of Olympe de Gouges and Mary Wollstonecraft (see Chapter 26)? One of the most important attacks on the institution of slavery and the most widely read novel of the era was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin . Even so, Stowe’s novel adopts a patronizing tone in its treatment of African Americans. How does Mark Twain address attitudes such as Stowe’s in his great novel Huckleberry Finn?
Charles Barry and A.W.N. Pugin. Houses of Parliament, London. 1836-60. Length: 940’.
J.M.W. Turner. Rain, Steam and Speed: the Great Western Railway . 1844. 33-3/4" × 48”.
J. T. Zealy. Renty, Congo . Plantation of B. F. Taylor, Esq. Columbia, SC, March 1850. 1850.
Portrait of Frederick Douglas. 1847.
Portrait of Sojourner Truth seated with Knitting. 1864.
Robert S. Duncanson. Uncle Tom and Little Eva . 1853. 27-1/4" × 38-1/4”.
Who defined the direction of French painting during the nineteenth century? After Napoleon’s defeat in France, the monarchy was restored. Painters like Théodore Géricault became increasingly disenchanted with the monarchy and rejected their classical training. His Raft of the “Medusa,” based on the wreck of a government frigate and the abandonment of its passengers, represents a new direction in Romantic painting by depicting with a sense of urgency and immediacy a disturbing contemporary event. How did Géricault’s student Eugène Delacroix do the same in his Scenes from the Massacres at Chios , which was exhibited at the Salon of 1824? How does Delacroix’s painting compare to Ingres’s Vow of Louis XIII , exhibited at the same Salon? Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People was received by the public as both a threat to the aristocracy and an attack on the middle class. How was it viewed as both realist and idealist? A full-blown French realism found its first expression in Honoré Daumier’s cartoon work for daily and weekly newspapers. Daumier constantly held the French court of King Louis-Philippe up to ridicule, even as he depicted the plight of working people in a series of paintings not exhibited until near the end of his life. Working-class life became an increasingly popular subject. How do Jean-François Millet’s and Gustave Courbet’s realist paintings challenge traditional notions about the nature of art?
Théodore Géricault. The Raft of the "Medusa.” First oil sketch. 1818. 16’ 1" × 23’ 6”.
Eugène Delacroix. Scenes from the Massacres at Chios . 1824. 165" × 139-1/4”.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The Vow of Louis XIII . 1824. 165-3/4" × 103-1/8”.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. La Grande Odalisque . 1814. 35-7/8" × 63”.
Honoré Daumier. Rue Transnonain, April 15, 1834 . 1834. 11-1/2" × 17-5/8”.
Materials & Techniques: Lithography (black and white diagram).
Honoré Daumier. The Third-Class Carriage . ca. 1862. 25-3/4" × 35-1/2”.
Jean-François Millet. The Sower . 1850. 40" × 32-1/2”.
Gustave Courbet. The Stonebreakers. Salon of 1850-51. Destroyed 1945. 1849. 5’ 3" × 8’ 6”.
Gustave Courbet. A Burial at Ornans . Salon of 1850-51. 1849-50. 10’ 3-1/2" × 21’ 9”.
What is photography’s role in the rise of a realist art? The new art of photography arose in the context of the rise of realism in the arts. In England, William Henry Fox Talbot developed a process for fixing a negative image on paper at the same time that in France Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre invented the daguerreotype, a process yielding a positive image on a metal plate. Daguerre’s process, which produced single images that could not be reproduced, quickly revolutionized the art of portraiture, while Fox Talbot’s calotype process offered a way of making multiple prints, and it was not long before commercial photographers such as Maxine Du Camp took advantage of the new process to sell images of the world’s architectural and natural wonders. How would you describe the calotype process? What were its limitations?
William Henry Fox Talbot. Wrack . 1839. 8-11/16" × 8-7/8”.
Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. Le Boulevard du Temple . 1839.
Charles Richard Meade. Portrait of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre . 1848. 6-3/16" × 4-1/2”.
William Henry Fox Talbot. The Open Door . 1843. 5-5/8" × 7-5/8”.
Maxine Du Camp. Westernmost Colossus of the Temple of Re, Abu Simbel, from Du Camp's Egypte, Nubia, Palestine et Syrie (Paris, 1852), plate 107. 1850. 8-7/8" × 6-5/16”.
What is The Origin of the Species? Charles Darwin’s voyage on the H. M. S. Beagle to the Galapagos Islands led him to develop a theory of evolution, published in 1859 as The Origin of the Species. What do Darwin’s theories have in common with the fiction of Dickens, Flaubert, and Twain? How did Louis Agassiz counter Darwin’s theories?
Conrad Martens. The Beagle Laid Ashore for Repairs , from Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H. M. S. Beagle (London, 1839). 1833-34.
Roger Fenton. The Valley of the Shadow of Death . 1855. 10-7/8" × 13-3/4”.
The Industrial City: Conditions in LondonHow did industrialization shape the nineteenth century?• Water and Housing — Lethal bacteria such as cholera thrived inthe Thames and its principle victims were the poor. London’s rapidgrowth contributed to the problem. The poor crowded into buildingsalready stressed by age and disrepair turning neighborhoods intoslums.• Labor and Family Life — As a result of industrialization, the Britishworkforce became a class of workers who neither owned the meansof production nor controlled their own work. Children of poorfamilies worked as assistants in the factories. Wives were solelyresponsible for domestic life.
Reformists Respond: Utopian Socialism, Medievalism,and Christian ReformHow did reformers react to industrialization?• Utopian Socialism — Among the critics of free enterprise werethose who envisioned ideal communities, where production wouldbe controlled by society as a whole rather than by individuals.Fourier was a utopian socialist.• A.W.N. Pugin, Architecture, and the Medieval Model — Puginpublished a book called Contrasts comparing medieval and modernbuildings, aiming to show the decay of taste over time. He wascommissioned by the architect Barry to design the interiors andornamentation of London’s new Houses of Parliament.
Literary RealismWhat is literary realism?• Dickens’s Hard Times — Nothing exasperated Dickens more thanthe promise of the Industrial Revolution to improve life and its abilityto do just the opposite. He addresses this issue in Hard Times.• French Literary Realism — French realists claimed to examine lifescientifically, without bias. Balzac’s Human Comedy is populated bycharacters from all levels of society and drew them from directobservation. Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is a realist attack onRomantic sensibility.
• Literary Realism in the United States: The Issue of Slavery —American realist writers were haunted by the “terrible truth” ofslavery and were inspired by the abolitionist movement. Narrative ofthe Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave was published in1845, his account of life under slavery. Slave narratives, such asthe Narrative of Sojourner Truth offers evidence of the rhetoricalpersuasiveness of Truth. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’sCabin became the symbol of the abolitionist movement in America.Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is vigorously opposedto slavery, and portrays those who supported it in a uniformlyunflattering light.
French Painting: The dialogue Between Idealism andRealismWho defined the direction of French painting during the nineteenthcentury?• Theodore Gericault: Rejecting Classicism — Gericault’s TheRaft of the “Medusa” is a rendering of true events and assumes apolitical dimension.• The Aesthetic Expression of Politics: Delacroix versus Ingres— Delacroix exhibited Scenes from the Massacres at Chios at theSalon of 1824 and shows journalistic themes. His Liberty Leadingthe People, is an allegorical representation with realistic details.Ingres showed a deeply royalist work in The Vow of Louis XIII andnever hesitated to adjust the proportions of the body to the overallcomposition as seen in his Grand Odalisque.• Caricature and Illustration: Honore Daumier — Daumier was anartist known for his political satire who regularly submitted cartoondrawings to the newspapers. These were made possible by thenew medium of lithography.
• Realist Painting: The Worker as Subject — Daumier openlylampooned the idealism of both Neoclassical and Romantic art.What mattered was the truth of everyday experience such as isdepicted in The Third-Class Carriage. By focusing on laborers thepainting is implicitly political.• Gustave Courbet: Against Idealism — Courbet rejected thetraditional political and moral dimensions of realism in favor of amore subjective and apolitical approach to art exemplified by TheStonebreakers and A Burial at Ornans.How does Realism change the role and identity of the painter?
Closer Look: Courbet’s A Burial at OrnansMyArtsLabChapter 28 – Industry and the Working Class: a New Realism
Photography: Realism’s Pencil of LightWhat is photography’s role in the rise of a realist art?• Some painters understood the potential of photography to seizepainting’s historical role of representing the world. The new mediummade personalized pictures available not only to the wealthy but tothe middle- and working classes. The public’s taste for views of theworld’s architectural and scenic wonders gave rise to the practice ofcommercial photography.
Charles Darwin: The Science of Objective ObservationWhat is The Origin of the Species?• The emphasis on direct observation and the objective reporting ofreal conditions is reflected in the science of the nineteenth century.In Origin of Species, Darwin argued that through the process ofnatural selection, certain organisms are able to increase rapidly overtime by retaining traits conducive to their survival and eliminatingthose that are less favorable to survival.Given Darwin’s objective observations and conclusions, why were hisconclusions so controversial?