UNIT 8 (2nd part)- 4º Bil-The Russian Revolutions-Spain-Art and Avant-garde
5- Russia: from absolutism to revolution-Russian History was determined by its condition of isolated and backward Empire regarding others European countries.-It continued to be an absolute monarchy despite the liberal revolutions in the 19th century in Europe.
5.1. The Tsarist empire-Russia was an absolute monarchy ruled by a tsar.-There were no civil rights.-Economy was semi-feudal, and capitalism could not develop due to the lack of middle classes.
Tsar Nicholas II-Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until his abdicationon 2 March 1917. His reign saw Imperial Russiago from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse.-At the beginning of the 20th century the Russian empire began to experience serious problems.-In 1898, the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was formed, and it began to prepared the establishment of a Socialist State based on Marxism.
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party-In 1903 the party divided into two separated factions: .The Mensheviks (moderates), led by Martov. .The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, who argued for an immediate revolution (communists).
Revolution of 1905-In 1905 Russia lost a war against Japan, and consequently they suffered an important economic and social crisis.-After that, there were protests against the tsars absolutist regime, but they were suppressed by the government.-A revolutionary council (soviet) was formed in response, and protests and strikes continued.
First World War-From 1914 to 1917 Russia participated in the WWI with the Allied Powers.-It was a national disaster and led to more protests and discontent against the tsar regime.-It was another cause for the end of the Tsarist empire and the beginning of the Revolution of 1917.
5.2. The revolutions of February andOctober 1917-In february 1917 a bigger revolution made abdicate Nicholas II and restored the Duma (Parliament).-A provisional government was established then, leaded by Kerenski (menshevik).-Bolsheviks began the opposition to the provisional government creating an alternative government based on the soviets and leaded by Lenin and Trotski.-In October 1917 the Bolsheviks took the power in another revolution, and Lenin became the new leader of Russia.
Lenin-He soon decided to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918) with the German Empire to withdraw from the unpopular WWI. They had to pay reparations to Germany.-At the same time a civil war broke out in Russia between the Whites (counter-revolutionaries) and the Red Army (Bolsheviks).-The Lenin Red Army won the war and established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.-He approved a constitution based on Communism.-The ideas of Marxism were put on practice.
Treaty of Brest-LitovskPeace treaty signed on March 1918, at Brest-Litovsk, between Russia and the Central Powers marking Russias exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year, it did provide some relief to the Bolsheviks, who were tied up in fighting the Russian Civil War, and it affirmed the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania.
The Communist Party ofthe Soviet Union It was the only legal, ruling political party in the SovietUnion and one of the largest communist organizations in theworld. The Party established the Third International, known as"Comintern" ("Communist International"), an internationalnetwork of communist parties loyal to the RussianCommunist Party, with the aim of fighting "by all availablemeans, including armed force, for the overthrow of theinternational bourgeoisie and for the creation of aninternational Soviet republic as a transition stage to thecomplete abolition of the State."
6- Spain: the reign of Alfonso XIII-Alfonso was born in Madrid, posthumously born son of Alfonso XII of Spain, and became King of Spain upon his birth.-His mother, Maria Christina of Austria, was the regent during his minority.-In 1902, on his 16th birthday, the King assumed control of the state.
Political opposition-The two-party system continued but it began its collapse due to several reasons: industrialization process accelerated, cities growth, political opposition and so on.-Political parties organized the opposition: .PSOE .Radical Republican Party .Spanish Communist Party (PCE)-Regionalist movements increased their demands, such as: .Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) .Regionalist League of Cataluña (LRC)-Regional Associations were created in response to this Regionalism, for example, the Mancomunitat (Cataluña).
Social conflicts-Working-class movement increased during the reign of Alfonso XIII, they were better organised and represented. They continued their protests and strikes to improve their working conditions.-Left-wing parties were against the fraudulent electoral system and began a hard opposition.-Trade unions (UGT, CNT) achieved important advances: .8-hour working day and 6-day working week .pension system for retired workers .new laws (legalisation of trade unions, regulations for child and female labour)
Colonial problems-The disaster of 98 meant for Spain the end of the role as great power.-Sense of frustration, national crisis and a necessity of regeneration (Regenerationism).-Spain tried to recover its international prestige by acquiring new colonies, a kind of new Imperialism that created more
Tragic Week, Barcelona 1909-They were bloody confrontations between the Spanish army and the working classes of Barcelona and other cities of Catalonia, backed by anarchists, socialists and republicans, during the last week of July 1909.-It was caused by the calling-up of reserve troops by Prime Minister Maura to be sent as reinforcements when Spain renewed military-colonial activity in Morocco on 9 July, in what is known as the Second Rif War.-Many of the rioters were antimilitarist, anticolonial and anticlerical.-The government, declaring a state of war, sent the army to crush the revolt.
War in Morocco,1920-26-The Rif War, also called theSecond Moroccan War, wasfought in the early 1920s between Spain (later assisted by France) and the Moroccan Berbers of the Rif mountainous region.-Initially, the Spanish forces were largely composed of Spanish conscripts. These troops were poorly supplied and prepared, few had marksmanship skills and proper battle training, and widespread corruption was reported amongst the officer corps, reducing supplies and morale. Even with their numerical superiority, they proved no match for the highly skilled and motivated Rifian forces.-By late August 1921, Spain lost all the territories it had gained since 1909.
The Rif War-The Battle of Annual was the major military defeat suffered by the Spanish army on July 1921 at Annual in northeastern Morocco.-The defeat, almost always referred to as the Disaster of Annual, led to major political crisis and a redefinition of Spanish colonial policy toward the Rif.-The Spanish lost more than 20,000 soldiers in Annual. German historian Werner Brockdorff states, that only 1,200 of the 20,000 Spanish escaped alive. Rif Berber casualties were 800.-This crisis was one of the many that, over the course of the next decade, undermined the Spanish monarchy and led to the rise of the Second Spanish Republic.
Spain and the First World War-Spain remained neutral throughout WWI between July 1914 and November 1918, but despite domestic economic difficulties, it was considered "one of the most important neutral countries in Europe by 1915". Spain had enjoyed neutrality during the political difficulties of pre-war Europe, and would continue its neutrality after the war until the Spanish Civil War began in 1936.-Causes of the neutrality: .the insufficient army .the objectives of Spain were far from the ones in Europe, Gibraltar and Morocco.
Spain and the First World War-The situation before the war in Spain was: .Backward economy. .After the disaster of 98: no colonies, social crisis, obsolete army, etc. .Fraudulent electoral systems. .Morocco problem .Tragic week in Barcelona, 1909.-From 1898 Spain was internationally isolated.-On 7 August 1914 Alfonso XIII declared Spain neutral by Royal Decree.
Economy during the war-During the war Spain experienced a good economical situation with the increase of the arms industry, and as provider of different products for both military bands.-Cataluña and the Pais Vasco were the more benefited.-By 1917 nevertheless the war was ending and the situation changed. Spain suffered an economic crisis because demand for its products collapsed.-The post-war economic crisis forced many factories to close.
Economic and cultural changes-Overall economy during the reign of Alfonso XIII improved.-Society became more industrialised.-Industrial cities grew a lot, people came from rural areas looking for a job.-Regarding culture, there were changes such as new habits like bullfighting or football.
The military and Primo de Rivera-Military were not very appreciated during this period because of the defeats in Morocco and the role they played in the protests and strikes.-Compulsory military service was another source of problems between poorer classes.-All of that led to political and social instability.-The government was overthrown by a militarycoup in 1923 led by General Primo de Rivera withthe approval of the king. After the coup, Primode Rivera established a dictatorship.
ActivitiesExercises 23 and 24 on page 173.Exercise 9 on page 177.
7- Art and the avant-garde-Avant-garde refers to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.-The concept of avant-garde refers primarily to artists, writers, composers and thinkers whose work is opposed to mainstream cultural values and often has a trenchant social or political edge.-Regarding Art, there are a lot of art movements included in the avant-garde, and their main characteristics are the Freedom of expression and the use of innovative materials and techniques.-Historically it was a moment of international tension and war. Culturally ut was a time of changes and technological advances, whose main value was modernity.
Art and the avant-garde-We are going to study just some of them, the most famous,which are: .Cubism .Expressionism.Dadaism
Cubism-Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde art movement pioneered by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, and later joined by Gris, Metzinger, Gleizes, Delaunay, Le Fauconnier, and Léger, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture. Cubism has been considered the most influential art movement of the 20th century.-A primary influence that led to Cubism was the representation of three-dimensional form in the late works of Paul Cézanne.-In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.
Cubism. Characteristics:-They did not depict reality, but ideas and concepts, emphasising what they considered more important.-Shapes and objects substituted realistic depictions.-Simple geometric shapes are commonly used to represent figures.-Paintings had defined areas of colour called facets. There were colour austerity.-New techniques were developed, such as collage.-Disengagement from nature. They didnt want to copy the nature.-Painting were bidimensional, but inn a new way, each object can provide a different perspective.
Pablo Picasso-Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who spent most of his adult life in France.-As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore.-Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortune, making him one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art.
Les Demoiselles dAvignon (1907), Museumof Modern Art, New York
Three Musicians (1921), Museum of ModernArt, New York
Georges Braque-He was a major 20th-century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-He practised different art styles during his career.-Braques paintings of 1908–13 reflected his new interest in geometry and simultaneous perspective. He conducted an intense study of the effects of light and perspective and the technical means that painters use to represent these effects, seeming to question the most standard of artistic conventions.-Beginning in 1909, Braque began to work closely with Pablo Picasso, who had been developing a similar style of painting.
Violin and Candlestick, Paris, 1910, SanFrancisco Museum of Modern Art
Juan Gris-He was a Spanish painter who lived and worked in France most of his life. His works, which are closely connected to the emergence of an innovative artistic genre—Cubism—are among the movements most distinctive. Gris began to paint seriously in 1910, and by 1912 he had developed a personal Cubist style.
Expressionism-Expressionism was an art movement originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express meaning or emotional experience rather than physical reality.-Expressionism was developed as an avant-garde style before the WWI.-In 1905, a group of 4 German artists, led by Kirchner, formed Die Brücke (the Bridge) in the city of Dresden. This was the founding organization for the German Expressionist movement, though they did not use the word itself. A few years later, in 1911, a like-minded group of young artists formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) in Munich.
Expressionism. Characteristics:-Emphasis of the depiction of emotions and subjectivity.-Use of simple but dramatic techniques, powerful colours and bold dynamic images.-Emotions were shown by deformed faces, hands and other body parts.-They used very basic outlines or silhouettes to depict objects or human figures.-Compositions tend to be simpler and more direct.-Portrayal of human terror, haunting anxieties, nightmarish fears, anguish and so on.
Edvard Munch. Precedent-He was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main dogmas of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. One of his most well-known works is The Scream of 1893.
Ernst Ludwig KirchnerHe was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or "The Bridge", a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th-century art.
August Macke-Macke was one of the leading members of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter. He lived during a particularly innovative time for German art which saw the development of the main German Expressionist movements as well as the arrival of the successive avant- garde movements which were forming in the rest of Europe. Like a true artist of his time, Macke knew how to integrate into his painting the elements of the avant-garde which most interested him.
Dadaism-Dada or Dadaism was an cultural movement of the European avant- garde in the early 20th century. It began in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916, spreading to Berlin shortly thereafter.-The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature, art theory, theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti- art cultural works. In addition to being anti-war, Dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left.-Dada is the groundwork to abstract art, a starting point for performance art, a prelude to postmodernism, an influence on pop art, a celebration of antiart to be later embraced for anarcho- political uses in the 1960s and the movement that lay the foundation for Surrealism.
Dadaism-The beginnings of Dada correspond to the outbreak of WWI. For many participants, the movement was a protest against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist interests, which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual conformity—in art and more broadly in society—that corresponded to the war.-According to Hans Richter, Dada was not art, it was "anti-art." Everything for which art stood, Dada represented the opposite.-Dadaist often used collage and photomontage techniques to produce their works of art.-Sculptors used miscellaneous objects to create what they called "readymades".
Marcel DuchampDuchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions. He famously dubbed a urinal art and named it Fountain. Duchamp produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.
Hannah HochHannah Hoch was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage.
Jean ArpShirt Front and Fork, painted wood, 1922, National Gallery of Art and SRelief, clock, 1914.
ActivitiesExercises 26, 27, 28 and 19 on page 175.