Compare the themes of the Social Realists to the Impressionists by using the work of two artists. Students should examine the impact of Marx and Baudelaire on their topics. You must post and image of their work and discuss it (don’t use one shown in your textbook or already posted by a fellow student).
please look through the file
between 400-500 words each, and include an image either taken by yourself or found online. You should explain how your chosen image relates to the specific question given for this unit discussion (listed below). You MUST cite the source of information and/or images you find using Chicago style. Your post should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. These postings will be used to assess your understanding of materials and processes as well as the social, political, and religious role of art within each specific unit.
Compare the themes of the Social Realists to the Impressionists by using the work of two artists. Students should examine the impact of Marx and Baudelaire on their topics. You must post and image of
Compare the themes of the Social Realists to the Impressionists by using the work of two artists. Students should examine the impact of Marx and Baudelaire on their topics. You must post and image of
Mid-to-Late Nineteenth-Century Art in Europe The eighteenth century witnessed the Industrial Revolution. The move from hand-made tools and goods to mass-produced machine-made items had far-reaching consequences beyond the introduction of new technologies into the workplace. There had been, from time to time, the introduction of new ways of production since the twelfth century. The main issue was the move from a society that was primarily rural and agricultural to a capitalistic, urban, industrial base. In the middle of the eighteenth century, large wealthy families owned the land. Families who had a set of specialized skills produced anything that was not directly connected with agriculture. We commonly refer to this as a cottage industry. They included textiles, knitting, blacksmithing, or the manufacture of wagon wheels. At the time, capitalists were involved with sales rather than production. The industrial revolution saw the demise of the family-run or cottage industry and a shift in capitalism to production and sales. The rapid growth of the Industrial Revolution was due in part to British (the Industrial Revolution began in Britain) imperial expansion. Raw materials from the colonies and other non-Western countries were shipped back to England for processing. The invention of the spinning jenny and the cotton gin made cotton an inexpensive fibre that could be produced cheaply, and one of the unlimited possibilities in terms of production items. Cotton from the Americas and India made the rapid expansion of the textile industry in Britain possible. Small family cotton businesses were displaced and finally devastated by the mills and factories. It was, however, the invention of the steam engine, decades earlier, that really started the Industrial Revolution. Another aspect of industrializing Europe was the change from wood to coal to run the factories. Social Realism is a natural rendering in the art of subjects or themes that concern themselves with social problems and the hardships of everyday life. The goal of the artist is not to amuse their viewers but to show them the evils of society. Social Realists believed that paintings should describe and express the people, their problems, and their times. An excellent example in your text is Jean-Francois Millet’s The Gleaners. Millet depicts the three women, the central figures of the group, leaning over with their dirty hands to pick up the grain left after the machinery has been through. The image directly points to the wealth of the producer with the wagons and stacks while the women struggle to find enough to make a loaf of bread. Millet was part of a group of French landscape painters nicknamed the Barbizon School. In 1830, the artists abandoned revolutionary Paris and moved to the northern French village of Barbizon. Other artists in our text who belonged to the Barbizon School include Bonheur and Courbet. The Barbizon School was part of the French Realist movement that rejected Academic tradition and abandoned theory in an attempt to achieve a more accurate representation of the countryside. The English painter, John Constable, who had led the way into making a landscape painting a worthy endeavour, inspired their works. Another good example of Social Realism is Gustave Courbet’s The Stone Breakers. Here the father is in the front pounding rocks, while his young son is behind him picking up the heavy load to move it away. The whole image points to the fact that generation after generation was caught up in rural labour brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Individuals had to work long hours doing hard physical labour to make a small living, while the industrialists grew richer and richer through the efforts of the workers. Rosa Bonheur Rosa Bonheur was the painter whose work was inspired by the countryside around her. Bonheur was very unusual because, at a time when most women were satisfied to be amateur painters, she chose to pursue painting as a career. Her family supported her. Her father taught her drawing and painting because women were not allowed in the official schools of France. In fact, it would not be until 1897 that women could attend The Academy. Even so, Bonheur was so accomplished by the age of seventeen that she was selling copies of her drawings of the Old Masters in the Louvre. Like other members of the Barbizon group, Bonheur believed in direct observation of nature and was determined to be accurate in all details. To this end, she dissected animal parts sketched from life and attended horse fairs. Horse fairs were not suitable social outings for a woman at the time, and to avoid being harassed, Bonheur applied to the local police to allow her to wear men’s clothing when she went to the fairs and the slaughterhouses to sketch. Permission was granted in 1852. In the Horse Fair, Bonheur conveys the power and majesty of the horse, while their handlers have to concentrate fully on keeping them under control. The viewer’s attention is drawn to the horses by the light that focuses on them from the right side of the canvas. The work was shown in Paris in 1853 at the Salon, the official exhibition of the French Academy. The picture was so popular that Empress Eugenie awarded Bonheur the Legion of Honor for outstanding painting. Rosa Bonheur was the first woman to receive such a prestigious award. In 1850 French artists could only expect to succeed if their works were exhibited through the official Academy exhibitions, the Salon. The individuals who chose the works for inclusion in the prestigious annual event favoured Biblical and mythological themes painted in a polished academic style like that of David. Several young artists began to challenge the stranglehold that The Academy had over French art. When Edouard Manet had his picture Olympia accepted for the Salon in 1865, it caused a scandal. A viewer was not used to seeing images so flat and shallow, but it was the boldness of the female figure that caused such a stir. Here a contemporary female looks directly out at the viewer. She is bold and proud of her nudity, an easily recognized figure amongst the women who frequented the streets and dancehalls of contemporary Paris. She is not a woman in the guise of a classical goddess or a female from another country. She does not apologize for her sexuality; she is proud of it. The scandal surrounding this image and of an earlier work, Luncheon on the Grass, a work rejected by the Salon in 1863, where nude female figures sit or bathe amongst clothed men, made Manet the leader of the avant-garde, a group of innovators of non-traditionalists in the arts. In fact, the classical tendency and the conservative attitudes of the jury members of The Academy resulted in Napoleon III having to authorize an alternative exhibition for all of the works that were rejected by the Salon. This alternative gallery of rejected images was called the Salon des Refusés. In 1851, Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, organized a Great Exhibition to be held in Hyde Park to showcase industrial products from around the world. To place the works within a technologically innovative building, Joseph Paxton’s proposal for a large glass hall based on a greenhouse design was accepted. The Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton, was a symbol of the application of industrial design, mass production, and manufacturing. The building had more than 300,000 meters of glass. The building was the first prefabricated space, constructed of glass and iron panels, put in place at the site. In fact, the Crystal Palace was the most significant enclosed space at the time it was built. Over 13,000 exhibits were displayed and viewed by over 6,200,000 visitors to the exhibition. Among the 13,000 exhibits from all around the world were the Jacquard loom, an envelope machine, tools, kitchen appliances, steel-making displays, and a reaping machine from the United States. The objects on display came from all parts of the world, including India, Australia, and New Zealand. Similarly, the French used the Eiffel Tower designed by Alex André-Gustave Eiffel to showcase its technological achievements as part of the Universal Exposition of 1889. It stood 300 meters high and weighed 7000 tons. At the time it was the world’s tallest structure. Under the rule of Napoleon III the city of Paris thrived. The Emperor appointed Georges Eugene Haussmann to oversee a series of improvements to the city, including its infrastructure and all of the public spaces and buildings. Completed improvements included new water and sewage systems, public parks, the Opera House, the Palais des Tuileries, and enhancements to the Louvre. In their visions, Napoleon III and Haussmann changed Paris from a medieval city to the grand cultural centre it is today. Paris was like other urban centres of the period being rebuilt as a modern city to provide beautiful living spaces for the growing bourgeois population, which had become rich through the ownership of industries. While the rich were attracted to all the glitter and cultural opportunities, critics of the new city saw only the displacement of thousands of poor families who could no longer afford to live in the expensive new fashionable neighbourhoods. In 1871 France was defeated in the Franco-Prussian War. As a result, an insurrectionary government was established, although short-lived. The rebellious leaders wanted to create a perfect society citing the imbalance between the cultured rich who had made their fortunes in industrialization and the living poor. The rebellious citizens fought with government troops during May. Forty thousand individuals were believed killed while many of the magnificent monuments raised by Napoleon III were destroyed in a reaction to the rich and powerful who enjoyed them. In 1872 the Commune collapsed. The French Academy of Painting and Sculpture maintained its hold over artistic production. The jurors at the annual Salon continued to exhibit the work of artists of the classical Academic style. In 1874 fifty-five artists held the first independent exhibition of Impressionist art. Amongst the painters were Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, and Morisot, who had their works rejected by the jury of the annual exhibition of the French Academy, the Salon. To the critic Louis Leroy the reason for their rejection was simple, and Monet’s painting, Impression Sunrise, was a perfect example. Leroy, like the jury at the Academy, noted that the work was sketchy, unfinished. Within a year, the term Impressionism was applied to the works of the modern artists who, in response to their refusal, began holding the first of eight annual exhibitions in 1874 at the studio of the Paris photographer, Nadar. Today many individuals, even those without artistic training, will recognize the term Impressionism. However, remember that the name as it was applied in the 1870s was derogatory. Most people felt that the artists were unable to draw, and the use of pure colour was vulgar. In fact, the Impressionist artists broke almost every rule that came out of the French Academy. Their images of the new urban areas of Paris did not evoke any moral lesson as David had taught. Their work did not even include idealized images, nor did they base their rendering within the credible Renaissance tradition of balance, harmony, perspective, modelling, and shading. The one element that united the artists was their interest in the contemporary subject matter. In fact, the French writer, Charles Baudelaire, appealed to the artists and writers in his essay, The Painter of Modern Life, to focus on their own time and place. The artists were all members of the bourgeoisie, and the world they knew and painted was the new urban life in Paris and their country homes and holidays. Their subjects included the café society, the racetrack, the Opera, the streets, and parks of the city. The rural areas of France also appeared, but these are country homes and outings where life is pristine and joyful. One of the newest inventions, the steam engine, shows up because it gave the artists the freedom to move from the city to the rural areas with comfort and ease. For the women of the group, and there were only two of them, Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, their world was the world of the home and garden. Unable to sit at the café tables unattended or to set up an easel and paint in a public place, these women relied on their own world for their inspiration. During the period of rule under the Tokugawa Shogunate, Japanese artists developed a new type of popular print aimed at the new merchant or middle classes: the woodblock print. These prints are often called ukiyo-e, a term that means pictures of the floating world. Most people believe that the term refers only to the area of the pleasure quarters in Edo (modern-day Tokyo), such as the Yoshiwara, where men would be entertained by women of the quarters. However, the term also implies something else—impermanence. The idea of impermanence is from Buddhism and underlines the belief in a state of being that is carefree. Also, during this period, the Shogunate levied high taxes on the merchants; to be able to enjoy the money that they had made in trade, these merchants would spend it quickly to avoid paying more taxes. Woodblock prints were the answer to creating more inexpensive books and prints around 1650. The process of creating a woodblock print has several stages. First, the artist would produce the drawing. This would be traced by an engraver onto wood blocks, one for each colour that was to be printed. Each colour would then be applied separately to create the final print. Popular during this period were calendars, souvenirs from Buddhist temples, single and double albums made up of editions of landscapes, and city life in the pleasure districts. With the establishment of the Meiji rule and the end of the Shogunate, Japan, at the insistence of the United States, opened its doors once again to the world after being isolated for several hundred years. The International Exposition of 1867 provided an opportunity for French collectors and artists to see the works, which were rapidly filling up the new shops in Paris. Edgar Degas and Claude Monet began to use steep perspectives and sharp contours without shadows in their work, along with flat patterns of bright colour. Degas is particularly noted for his images of women in their private spaces and of the theatre, subjects common to Japanese artists. Both Degas and Monet cut off their figures and included paraphernalia such as kimonos and fans to add a sense of the exotic to work and to demonstrate their knowledge of this new art. In fact, Monet amassed a massive collection of Japanese prints going on to transform his garden at Giverny into a sizeable Japanese water garden complete with lily pond and bridge. The restrained Japanese use of line and shading was widespread among the French artists of the mid-nineteenth century who were attempting to challenge the traditional academic style that relied heavily on naturalism, modelling, and shading. The trend of collecting Japanese prints was another way that these avant-garde artists challenged the Academy. Through their collections, there was a change in the subject matter. While the Academy supported large historical and mythological paintings, the landscapes and genre scenes of the Japanese appealed to the modern artists. The pictures and the sculpture of the Impressionists differ significantly from the accepted academic techniques and subjects prevalent within the Academy. Immaculate detail, smooth, glass-like paint surfaces, and heroic subject matter remained paramount at the Academy, both in the subjects students were taught and in the works accepted for exhibition at the annual Salon. The invention of the tin paint tube and a portable easel allowed artists the freedom to paint outside in the plein air. They would take their small canvases, already stretched and covered with a white primer called gesso, to the villages, the fields, the cafés, where they would paint directly on the canvas. Previously, artists had done sketches outside and returned to their studios to mark in their sketches on the canvas, mix their paints, and work. The new study in optics and a keen interest in light and vast spaces of bright flat colour added to the new look of the pictures from mid-nineteenth century France. Notice image of Rouen Cathedral in your text painted by Monet. It was painted when the cathedral was flooded with bright sunlight. Like the Japanese artists, Monet was also interested in how the light changed during the seasons, and he did many studies of buildings and the landscape during different times of the day and different months. Post-Impressionism was a French art movement that lasted roughly from 1880 to 1920. The artists of the movement showed great concern for expression, or structure and form while rejecting the emphasis on naturalism and the changing effects of light upon objects at different times of the day and in different seasons. Some of the artists who were part of this movement included Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The British art critic Roger Fry, when the works of these artists were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1910, coined the term Post-Impressionism. Fry curated the exhibition. Post-Impressionism artists Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Munch belong to the group of Post-Impressionists that sought to evoke the personal, the spiritual, and the expressive in their work, while denouncing the naturalism of the Impressionists. In Starry Night, Van Gogh’s swirling sky gives us a glimpse into his mental state shortly before he took his own life. Edvard Munch’s The Scream is not realistic. Munch has painted an isolated distorted figure, hands covering its ears and supporting its head. The central figure glances back to two dark figures. The character is afraid; notice the eyes, the wide-open mouth. It is screaming. Is it the individuals lurking behind? Or is it something else? This is not clear. The colours of the sky and the twisting and bending of the river add a feeling of heightened anxiety to the image. George Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte, is representative of the artists who were more concerned with structure and form than emotion. The people in the image are enjoying their new middle-class wealth created by the Industrial Revolution seen in the distant smokestacks of the factories. The park they are enjoying was part of the urban renewal within Paris, a place where urban society could enjoy nature. This is a visual record of the new Parisian middle class with their new clothes and their proper manners. Unlike a village scene, they do not know one another. They go separate ways of enjoying a lovely afternoon. Seurat’s image also owes a depth to new studies in optics. In this work, as in others, the artist places either contrasting or bright, pure colour next to one another to either intensify or nullify the other. This is called pointillism. Our eye or brain, current scientists do not know which one, mixes the colours and creates what we see. Even though Paul Cézanne painted directly from nature, like the Impressionists, he did not want to capture a fleeting moment in time, nor did he want the objects he was painting to appear floating or transitory. Cézanne wanted the objects to look solid and structured. He became preoccupied with still lifes and landscapes and analyzed variations in tone and colour as well as the geometric forms of the cylinder, the sphere, and the cone that made up the subjects of his work. Art Nouveau was an international style of the 1880s and 1890s that reacted against industrially produced goods. Art Nouveau took many forms in many different countries. Examine the staircase of the Maison Tassel by Victor Horta in your text. This is a work typical of the movement. The lines creating the organic forms are expressive of a movement that took as its organic inspiration elements of the world, such as plant stalks, tendrils, and vines. In Britain, many of the most innovative designs of the style come from the studio of Rennie Macintosh. You might want to do an Internet search on Macintosh and the Glasgow School. The Symbolists were well aware of the new writings of Sigmund Freud and incorporated dream imagery mixed with mythology to create an individual, often highly emotional or evocative, imagery. Notice the works of Edvard Munch in your textbook. While Munch is listed along with Van Gogh and Gauguin as an example of a Post-Impressionist artist, it is in the area of deeper inner meaning and the theories of Freud that Munch’s work proves profound. Notice again The Scream. The image is, today, as it was when it was painted, a symbol of personal angst. YouTube video please go thorough: YouTube “Landmarks of Western Art Documentary. Episode 06 Impressionism & Post Impressionism” (47 mins)