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ARTH 430 Week 4 Notes

by: Tia Goebel

ARTH 430 Week 4 Notes ARTH 430

Tia Goebel
GPA 3.93

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About this Document

These notes cover battle paintings from the era of Napoleon's reign, as well as beginning information on the Age of Romanticism. Images, detailed class commentary, and key terms are included.
19th Century Art History
Dr. Todd Larkin
Class Notes
Romanticism, Napoleon Bonaparte, ArtHistory
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tia Goebel on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARTH 430 at Montana State University taught by Dr. Todd Larkin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see 19th Century Art History in ARTH - Art History at Montana State University.


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Date Created: 09/25/16
ARTH 430: 19 thCentury European Art History September 19, 2016 Gros and Napoleonic Militarism  Let’s look a little more at the painting of Napoleon’s crowning…  Brushstrokes visible  Modeled after a coronation painting by Ruebens  Napoleon thought that the church was tool for controlling the people, win people over with a value for Christianity  Pope was forced by armed guards to attend the ceremony, he was disgusted that Napoleon and Josephine had never been married in a church, so they got married ‘appropriately’ the night before  Napoleon is detested in America at this time because of warfare – British and French ships take American ships hostage and make them work for decades  How is this painting Neoclassical?  Flat background, compound piers covered up in the actual space to look classical (EXPENSIVE!)  We see a wide use of red  Whole piece divided into three sections, colors very different than Rococo, imperial looking  How did the British react to the coronation?  British took the whole ceremony as a joke: James Gillray, The Coronation of Napoleone, or the Acme of Presumption, 1804- 05, engraving.  Also making fun of French fashion – sometimes fashionable to go bare breasted, like the “amazon”  So enough about Napoleon – what about his troops? How were they portrayed?  Napoleonic Europe: Spain, Italy, France, Poland, Germany, Austria… (Eventually defeated by Russia) David, The Distribution of Eagles on the Champ-de-Mars, 5 December 1805, 1808-10. (20” x 30” about) (Detail)  2 ndof 4 great scenes commissioned by Napoleon for David, stage built on the “field of war” in front of the military building, pledge to defend the standards to the death, standards guilded with Napoleon eagles, cloudy day made to look sunny  Conceptual dualism – dressed like an emperor, giving military orders, the mood is as if the soldiers have already seized victory, he is portrayed as an emperor and soldier at the same time, think about the symbolism of an oath – oath of the Horatii and so on  From sketch to final painting – Victory personification was deleted because it was too mythical and suggested that Napoleon needed help from above, Josephine was also in the sketch but not in the final painting. They divorced because she couldn’t bear children.  Now we shall look at: Battle Paintings – dealing with the common soldier Antoine-Jean Gros, The Battle of Nazareth, 1801.  Momentary approach – sand, smoke, horses squealing, men moaning/dying  Napoleon had a contest done for this painting in 1801. Requirements: you must show the heroism of French officers, heroic death of Pasha’s Son, a fight for the standard, and a wounded officer fighting to the last stand. Gros (David’s student) won.  April 8, 1799 – Battle of Nazareth (Middle East), French forces were lead by General Juno (on a white horse in Gros’s painting) – 500 men, versus Turkish & Arabs - 6,000 men  Remember that in Neoclassicism drawing is treasured over color.  Even though Gros won the contest, public support tended to prefer this painting: Louis-Francois Lejeune, Battle of Marengo, Salon of 1801  French preferred the second painting because it pointed more to “traits de courage et dhumanite,’ or traits of courage and humanity – mothers and fathers wanted to believe that their children were heroic and merciful  Lejeune’s is less about the king/royalty…cleaner image  HOWEVER, Gros’s shows more acts of humanity – closer look…dirtier, rawer image  Gros met the government’s expectations, and Lejeune met the people’s expectations – which is more progressive?  More about Napoleon’s regard for the common soldier… Gros, Napoleon in the Pesthouse at Jaffa, Syria, Salon of 1804.  Plague broke out among soldiers  Medical doctors tried to convince Napoleon not to touch the buboes (diseased areas)  March 11, 1799  The mosque was converted into a “pesthouse,” a quarantine of sorts  Napoleon is appearing “Christ-like”, untouchable, divine, like a fearless savior  This painting emphasizes Napoleon’s sense of humanity  Divided into three – Napoleon in the center, officers around him, wounded men being tended by medicinal Arabs on the right, and suffering/helpless on the left  Miracle-working king (roi thaumaturge), healing touch – these ideas applied to Napoleon and referenced Christ and King Louis  There was a French tradition involving certain feast days where the poor would come up to the king and be touched/healed by him.  This was a tradition under the reign of several King Louis, successive “touché des ecvouelles”  Here Napoleon is making a tradition from military man to divine ruler (emperor) Gros, Napoleon at the Battle of Eylau, February 9, 1807. 1807.  (In between Austria and Prussia – Czech area?)  Napoleon fighting Prussians and Russians – 45,000 dead on the battlefield, and the result was a stalemate  60,000 French versus 80,000 – thousands died in the snowy field  This painting was again completed via a competition, used to confirm that they did not lose in the battle (even though it was a tie)  We see Napoleon made into a humanitarian, calling for help to assist the fallen Russians  Napoleon depicted like Christ entering Jerusalem, Marcus Aurielles, and other kings after horrific battles  Monochromatic and warm tones included …Here’s an alternative point of view for this painting – Napoleon can’t avoid the carnage he has caused anymore. Thousands of lives have been touched/lost, so instead of ignoring the topic, maybe this painting accepts the reality (somewhat) but shows Napoleon as innocent or helpful rather than hurtful. This painting shakes the public eye – gives them a sense of reality. Among all these paintings, notice Napoleon is in the center. As propaganda: heroic, seen in a certain light, fabricated an eyewitness report as a German onlooker, people are beginning to tire of war Next, we look at Romanticism…. September 21, 2016 Romanticism What is Romanticism?  Romantic does not equal romantic  Paintings with private (individual) meanings  Art historians are still searching for themes within Romanticism. Two examples of subjects with potentially shared meanings are windows and boats: windows suggesting wonder, containment, and desire, for example.  L. Either, “The Open Window and the Storm-Tossed Boat” I. Defining Romanticism  Shifting from pure representation (intellectualism) to individualism – giving personal meaning to the art, about the subjective, about individual representation, beyond the rational discourse  Period of about 50 years (1800-1850) Rough Timeline: Renaissance  Baroque  Rococo  Neoclassicism  Romanticism Drawing Expression Expression di segno expression Di segno intellect individualism Composition reason There was a divide among David’s students: Classical purists vs. Romantic individualists David  Girodet Romantics: Guerin Gros  Gericualt Ingres Delacroix  Philosophically: we see Voltaire side with reason and logic, and Rousseau with expression (from the Renaissance period- ish)  We can also refer to Romanticism as an Era of Individual Sensibility. This means that the creator works from a unique point of view. Are we in an era of individual sensibility, or one about thinking globally? We are becoming more globalized – which points to collective responsibility.  In Romanticism, it is no longer okay to paint to the point where you can’t see the brushstrokes – removes the feeling. The individual approach is what defines romanticism  What makes both of these paintings “Romantic”? Caspar David Friedrich, Cross in the Mountains (Teschen Altarpiece), 1807-08. (German) Gros, Napoleon at the Battle of Eylau, February 9, 1807. 1807.  Both of these paintings break the status quo. We see individuality in Gros’s work – he’s showing Napoleon in a new way (Ceasar, Christ, Henry IV)  No one would paint Napoleon like this  In Friedrich we see a new spiritual/landscape painting (commissioned by a Catholic Duke)  Friedrich is turning to faith when the political status is hopeless  More Romantic works… Gheodore Gericault, Wonded Cuirassier of the Imperial Guard, 1814.  Tragic destiny of man, grim palette, brushstrokes, looking at failure, created the cult of the anti-hero, failures teach us about our humanity  A single soldier as the central subject of the work significant A protest against political corruption… Gericault, Raft of the Medusa, 1819. Eugene Delacroix, Massacre at Chios, 1824.  Greece was occupied by the Ottoman Turks  The point of this was to reveal what life was like under foreign rule. It was pretty miserable. John Constable, The Haywain, 1821. (English painter)  Paints in such a way that British landscapes are now called ‘Constable’ paintings  Admired by the French – beautiful detail – especially the way light reflects off of the tree leaves Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Odalisque, 1814.  An artist creates their own iconography.  Ingres subjects the woman’s body to distortions to make her more ideal, desirable  Erotic – white woman paired with exotic imagery (Turkish cloths, hookah, coy look, peacock feathers)  We are forced to use our imagination II. The New Iconography  Windows and boats seem to have a collective meaning in Romantic paintings  Windows are at the same time a threshold and a barrier  Themes of frustrated longing, desire for escape, to be daring Friedrich, Woman by the Window, 1822.  Public loved these paintings – anti- intellectual, emotional Johann Peter Hasenclever, The Sentimental Girl, 1846.  Moonlit landscape, still water stands for captive passion John Constable, Golding Constable’s Kitchen Garen, 1815.  When he painted this painting, it was the view he remembered from loving in love with this wife  Another collective impulse is the storm-tossed boat – theme: the misery of humankind in all its forms, nature is indifferent to human suffering, threatening Gericault, Raft of the Medusa, 1819. (Seen above) Ludolf Bakhuizen, Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast, 1666. (Dutch) J.M.W Turner, Calais Pier, 1803. Paints seascapes, painted more as a journal entry, more of an experience


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