Impressionism ARHI 2400
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessika Song on Monday April 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHI 2400 at University of Georgia taught by Beth Fadeley in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see History of Art Survey, Part II in Art History at University of Georgia.
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Date Created: 04/18/16
+ORTGUUKQPKUO Impressionism impressionism: an art movement born in late 19th century industrialized, urbanized Paris as a reaction to the sometimes brutal and chaotic transformation of French life, which made the world seem unstable and insubstantial. - Impressionist painters built upon the innovations of the Realists in turning away from traditional mythological and religious themes in favor of daily life, but they sought to convey the elusiveness and impermanence of the subjects they portrayed. Marxism, Darwinism, Modernism - Karl Marx (1818-1883) — born in Germany, Marx received a doctorate in philosophy and after moving to Paris, met fellow German Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), who became his lifelong collaborator. Together they wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848), which called for the working class to overthrow the capitalist system. - Equally inﬂuential was the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), whose theory of natural selection did much to increase interest in science, postulating a competitive system in which only the ﬁttest survived. - Darwin’s controversial ideas, as presented in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859), contradicted the biblical narrative of creation. By challenging traditional religious beliefs, Darwinism contributed to growing secularism. - Modernist artists seek to capture the images and sensibilities of their age, but modernism transcends the simple depiction of the contemporary world — which was the goal of Realism. Modernist artists also critically examine the premises of art itself. - Modernism thus implies certain concerns about art and aesthetics internal to art producation, regardless of whether the artist is portraying modern life. Claude Monet (1840-1926) - Born in Pairs, but grew up in Le Havre in Normandy - Attended Le Havre Secondary School of the Arts and locals knew him for his charcoal caricatures. Also took lessons from a former student of Jacque-Louis David. - Painting en plein air sharpened Monet’s focus on the roles light and color play in capturing an instantaneous representation of atmosphere and climate. - This method was considered a modern way of painting because it wasn’t possible without the invention of paint tubes and portable easels. This would cause the artists to paint faster and with looser brushstrokes in order to ﬁnish in one day. - Monet moves to Paris and meets Camille Pissarro — too poor to join Academy, so they pick up Renoir and go to the outskirts of Paris (Le Grenouillère) en plein air: French, meaning “in the open air.” Applies speciﬁcally to painting outdoors, as opposed to in a studio, notably by the Impressionists. Le Grenouillère - Working-class hang out location; frog pond - Painterly style as a result of en plein air method. Should also be noted that the brushstrokes are rectangular due to creation of new paintbrushes. - Depicting modern Parisian life, both subject matter and style have a modern look. - Used an earthy palette and none of the people have clearly deﬁned faces. Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871 - Monet and Pissarro left Pairs and went to London, where they saw Turner’s art which explored atmosphere and light. - Returned after the war and, under Pissarro’s direction, organized a group that was modeled after a baker’s guild. There would be no hierarchy and everyone would be equal (democracy); known as the Société Anonyme des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs (Society/ Corporation of Artists, Painters, Sculpters, Gravers) Boulevard des Capucines - Nadar, a famous photographer at the time, allowed the artists to use his studio. - This depiction of modern Pairs was painted from Nadar’s studio and possesses a photographic quality. Impression, Sunrise - “Impressionist” name was given to them by a critic who was not impressed — eventually adopted the name themselves. - Exhibition was held at Nadar’s studio and they presented sketches as “ﬁne art works,” which was very controversial. Edgar Degas (1834-1917) - Major ﬁgure in Impressionism, studied motion and depicted more formal leisure activities Place de la Concorde - Unconventional portrait of Viscount Lepic and his daughters — strange layout, none of the ﬁgures are centered, Lepic is depicted as a ﬂâneur/wanderer and seems to be alienated as he is going in the opposite direction. - This painting is an example of Japonisme and reveals many similarities to Japanese art — ﬂattening of ﬁgures, elongated canvas, mostly yellow color scheme. japonisme: a late 19th century Western style in ﬁne arts and decorative arts that imitated or was inﬂuenced by Japanese prints, painting, and furniture. Horseraces at Longchamp - Longchamp = race course built by Haussman in 1857 - Degas was intrigued by color and horses — explored the body/movement of horses through bronze sculptures and Muybridge’s photographs of horses. Eadward Muybridge (1830-1904) - Inﬂuenced Degas with his studies of horses running, as well as A Woman Undressing. Wrote a book on Animal Locomotion and Human Locomotion. Horse in Motion - Used a series of photographs to capture each moment of a horse’s gallop - Details of a horse’s movement were not known before the invention of photographs, thus the inaccurate representation of horses prior — ﬁnally they could be represented naturally. The Dance Class - Degas was never interested in depicting the prima ballerina or their grace and beauty, but was more interested in their contorted bodies, their awkwardness, and their ability to defy nature. - Only painted the less advanced group of ballerinas in this painting and depicts them in their most awkward and ungraceful form. Little Dancer Aged Fourteen - A girl that Degas depicted quite often, not standing in a standard ballet pose, but in an awkward manner. - It is recognized that her body appears to be underdeveloped, possibly denoting the standard of beauty that was expected in the ballet world. Gustave Caillebotte (1849-1893) - Born into a very wealthy family, thus did not have to worry about his popularity or about showing his work. The Floor Scrapers - Depicts the urban working-class, like the Realists did - The men are working sequentially, showing three different states (cyclical quality of labor) of the same task — like Courbet’s Stone Breakers or Millet’s Gleaners. - Metaphor of what the Impressionists were doing in the art world — scraping away what older, traditional artists painted, like Géricault with his dark, dramatic varnishes, and reﬁning art in itself. Paris Street; Rainy Day - Although Caillebotte didn’t make use of broken color and the brushwork of Impressionists, he did use an informal, asymmetrical composition and was also interested in light. - This painting possesses an interesting perspective with the horizon line and street lamp splitting the canvas into different compartments. - The ﬁgures seem randomly placed, with the frame cropping them arbitrarily, suggesting the transitory nature of the street scene. Despite the sharp focus, the painting captures the artist’s “impression” of urban life. - This depiction of modern Paris, with the wide boulevards and huge building (results of Haussmanization), has a sense of alienation — everyone is under their own umbrella/ their own bubble; no sense of clear identity. - Although they all appear the same because of their clothing, it is obvious that they are all separate. Impressionist Women - Women were accepted in the Impressionist group, but were never seen quite as modern/ good enough. These women were upper-class, aristocratic, well-educated, society ﬁgures, and mothers, but they didn’t have access to the same spaces as the male artists, such as cafes. - It wasn’t acceptable for women to be professionals in any area. Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) - Felt an obligation to be a mother and never fully committed to the art world. - Édouard Manet’s sister-in-law, regularly exhibited with the Impressionists. - Most of her paintings focus on domestic subjects, the one realm of Parisian life where society allowed an upper-class woman such as Morisot free access, but also produced many outdoor scenes. Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) - Upper-middle class woman who, like Morisot, is known for concentrating on women and children (domestic life). - Supposedly depicted the same girl as Degas’ ballerina The Child’s Bath - Great example of Cassatt depicting her usual version of the world of the domestic interior, but also borrowed many aspects from Japanese aesthetics — ﬂattened objects, elongated format, cropping of ﬁgures. - Compositions owe much to Degas and Japanese prints, but her subjects differ from other Impressionist painters, in part because, as a woman, she could not frequent cafes.
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