Neoclassicism: Mengs, Diderot, and Winkelmann
Neoclassicism: Mengs, Diderot, and Winkelmann ARH 4414
Popular in Modern European Art: Neoclassicism through Impressionism
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Lauren Vaccaro on Saturday October 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ARH 4414 at Florida State University taught by Jennifer Pride in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Modern European Art: Neoclassicism through Impressionism in Art History at Florida State University.
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Date Created: 10/08/16
Anton Raphael Mengs Summary and charts illustrating Mengs’ theory of beauty from Thoughts on Beauty and Taste in Painting (1762) Most of the following statements are direct quotations from the treatise. A How to Develop Taste “Hard way”: “Easy way”: Select the most essential and beautiful Learn from (the best) works of art in which from nature itself. such selection has already taken place. Creating Beauty Copy the artworks correctly without questioning at the start the reasons for their beauty Trains the justness of the eye, the most essential instrument of art Discerning Beauty If in the works of a particular master he finds certain features consistently well observed and beautifully executed, he can take this as a sign that these features indicate the master’s main intention and choice. If he should find them so in only certain works and not in others, this means that they were not the master’s strength and were not part of his intention or taste. Post-Renaissance The Three Luminaries Artists Chose both the “hard way” and the Chose both the “hard way” and the “easy way” “easy way” Succeeded with the latter Succeeded with both Taste = Finally raised to the level of discrimination. Taste = Raphael Corregio Titian Significance Grace Truth Composition and drawing Light and shade Color Greatest painter 2 greatest 3 greatest DENIS DIDEROT Summary statements of Diderot’s standards of excellence Many words are quoted from Neoclassicism and Romanticism by Lorenz Eitner Secular Morality High value on the socially useful, the instructive, and the elevating; the middle Ethics = Aesthetics class values Follow nature Good art = visually representing psychological and moral rightness The artist must discover in external and in human nature the special qualities and Feeling = Form correspondences of form and feeling which constitute the truth of art The truth can be recognized by sensibility JOHANN WINCKELMANN Summary and charts illustrating Winckelmann’s main arguments Almost all statements are direct quotes from Winckelmann’s pamphlet Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture (1755) and The History of Ancient Art (1764) THE MODERN ANCIENTS ARTISTS Lifestyle Exercised naked Avoided every “deforming custom” “In their dress they profess“Stiffening habit” followers of nature” “Anxiety about their attire” Unknown to disease Small-pox, “venereal plagues” I. “Devotion to mirth and pleasure” Nature Artistic Practice Models = youths exercising iModels = hired for academies Gymnasies “Every solemnity, every festival, afforded the artist opportunity to familiarize himself with all the beauties of Nature” Danced, entertained naked Rule: “form a just resemblance, “nature alone is imitated” and, at the same time, a handsomer one” “if the skin happens to be anywhere pressed, you see there several little smart wrinkles” Skin “appears in plaits distinct from the flesh” “Small touches and dimples too sensibly drawn” “Lean tensions and hollow wrinkles” II. Characteristic distinction of the Too corpulent or lean ancients Contour “the noblest Contour unites or circumscribes every part of the most perfect Nature, and the ideal beauties in the figures of the Greeks; or rather, contains them both” “Adjusted his Contour, in every figure, to the breadth of a single hair, even in the nicest and most tiresome performances, as gems….” The Greek Drapery were taken “Artists are forced to heap III. Drapery from thin and wet clothes – they garments, and sometimes clasped the body and discovered heavy ones, on each other, the shape which of course could not fall into the flowing folds of the Robe = extremely thin ancients” Garments = “stiff as brass” IV. Noble simplicity and sedate No approbation grandeur Expression Contortions and strange No excessive gesture – otherwise postures there would be no tranquility Contrast = “darling of their “a tranquility however that is ideas” characteristical: the soul will be herself – this individual – not the “fancy every perfection” soul of mankind; sedate, but active; calm, but not indifferent or “they fill their performances drowsy” with comet-like excentric souls, despising everything but an Ajax or a Capaneus” ON BEAUTY Acts as an assistant to beauty Color Simple and flowing forms = harmony Unity Simplicity creates elevation -“…because the mind can survey and measure it with a glance, and comprehend and embrace it in a single idea; but the very readiness with which it may be embraced places it before us in its greatness, and the mind is enlarged, and likewise elevated, by the comprehension of it” Absence of individuality Generality No expression of one state of mind or affection of the passions Shape Individual = the shape is confined to an imitation of one individual Ideal = selection of beautiful parts from many individuals and their union into one “Forms of a beautiful body are determined by lines the centre of which is constantly changing, and which, if continued, would never describe circles” Line must be found by means of several circles; elliptical figure -Unity in the “junction of the forms and in the flowing on one out of another”
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