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So…what is this, then? Using the Conceptual Framework, what could we say about the practice of the French Impressionists? We could say that the public.

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Presentation on theme: "So…what is this, then? Using the Conceptual Framework, what could we say about the practice of the French Impressionists? We could say that the public."— Presentation transcript:

1 So…what is this, then? Using the Conceptual Framework, what could we say about the practice of the French Impressionists? We could say that the public and critics did not like their work at first. They were shocked by the newly invented colours they used, and the rough, dabbing brush-marks which didn’t seem finished or proper. This changed over 20 years or so. We could say that something people DID like was the contemporary subject matter. We could say that artists painted en plein air – out in the open much more during this time. So this means they had a different relation with their world.

2 LANDSCAPE V – Australian Impressionists (the Heidelberg School.)
At the end of the 19th century, artists in Australia were experimenting with new technologies and approaches, just like the French Impressionists. They were aware of some of the art trends in Europe. A group of Melbourne-based artists became known as ‘the Heidelberg school’ as they spent time painting there. (Heidelberg is about 15 km away from the centre of Melbourne and now a Melbourne suburb.) Jane Sutherland (Aust.1853 – 1928) Field Naturalists, oil on canvas, 1896. What can we say about this painting, using the Structural Frame? (The Structural Frame considers compositional elements; symbols/signs; Art movements.) Using Structural Frame: Colour – sweet. Pinks, purples, light blue. What kind of feeling does this give us? All is well. Some of these colours were newly available and a bit radical for the time. Content: Children at play in the environment – a sense of safety, calm and enjoyment. The Title: Field Naturalists – little scientists, exploring their environment. Interacting with Nature. The rapid, rough brushwork rather than smooth marks marks this as a work from the 19th century. Plein air painting was a feature of late 19th century work, especially that of the French Impressionists. Australia followed suit. audio video on Sutherland. Is perspective used? Diminution; some atmospheric perspective. We have a sense of space. The painting is produced a little later than the French Impressionists started (20 odd years earlier.) The kind of artworks created by the Australian Impressionists often showed a land that was peaceful, beautiful and harmonious. This was an idealised landscape…not strictly realistic. VIDEO: While watching, think about Jane Sutherland with regard to the Conceptual Framework – think about HER WORLD.

3 This is another example of
Towards the end of 19th century, there was a growing sense of Australia as a nation rather than a group of colonies. There was the celebration of the Centenary of white settlement (1888) and moves towards Federation (1901.) The Australian Impressionists were interested in this idea of what it means to be Australian. The way landscape, both rural and urban, is represented, influences how people see themselves, and think of themselves. This is another example of our Conceptual Framework at work. The paintings of the Australia Impressionists were very popular and have remained so. Part of the reason for this is that people enjoyed the way Australia was being described. They liked the ideas behind the artworks. Using the Cultural Frame, what could we say about this painting? Arthur Streeton (Aust ) Golden Summer Eaglemont, 1889, oil on canvas, 81cm x 152cm Using the Cultural Frame, what could we say about this painting? The artist is creating a world in harmony, where people are raising their sheep in safety and plenty. Life is good here in Australia, our country produces good sheep and strong, sturdy healthy children. Sheep’s wool was an essential part of Australia’s economy, and was making the country wealthy. Paintings like this were sent back to England, as well as being sold in Australia. This in turn affected how people back in England would see Australia. Note the sheep is turning back to look at the magpie. This was regarded as a humorous inclusion. It is a symbol for us, though.

4 What is this saying about the artist’s world?
Plein air painting, mentioned last session with the French Impressionists, was adopted by the Australian artists of this period. This work by Tom Roberts is of a contemporary activity becoming popular for Melbourne people - going for a sail. What could be the implication of describing a leisure activity? What is this saying about the artist’s world? Tom Roberts (Aust ) The Slumbering Sea, Mentone, 1887, oil on canvas, 51 x 76 cm Using the Cultural Frame, we could note something about the figures in this image. It is idyllic scenes like this which helped perpetuate the idea in England that Australia was all golden days and lazy afternoons out of doors. Again, all is well with the world. The water is calm, and looks clean and lovely everyone is having a nice time. A leisure time activity implies that people have time and money for such things. That implies employment and opportunity. Images of children and animals – what is happening to them in an image – can be a powerful symbol. Note the light described in this work is typically Australian – very harsh, with dark shadows and white whites. Cultural Frame – the artist has described people down at the beach with the women in long dresses and bonnets. Bathing in the ocean was still illegal at this time.

5 Initial sketch for the painting, 1888,
Here, we again see the artist describing a contemporary scene, but this time it’s hard work. This work was created to celebrate Australia’s Centenary of settlement. There was enthusiasm for all things Australian. The idea of a world of healthy, tough men working together – being mates – was a popular theme in Australia. Although this work was in fact very carefully composed, it has a sense of realism and naturalism. Roberts was truly trying to capture the scene, and include the bright Australian light. Initial sketch for the painting, 1888, gouache on brown paper, 22 x 30cm. In the audio clip, you’ll notice the speaker calls this an Australian History painting. He is referring to the fact that through careful composition, he has made the work of shearing sheep into a noble and heroic deed, rather than a humble matter of hard work. It is a contemporary subject, but he makes it into some kind of legend. He also talks of the importance of sheep to the Australian economy. The boy walking in from the side, rosy cheeked and beautiful (actually modelled on a girl) opposed by the older man, squatting down watching proceedings – youth, manhood, and old age as you scan across the canvas – gives us a sense that what is being done is an important part of life. The pattern created by the front figure and the figure immediately behind him in an identical pose serves to emphasise the teamwork of the job, and the orderly nature of what they are doing. Mechanical shearing was actually introduced into Australia in the late 1880s, so it’s possible that this image, although painted on the spot in the shed, may have been changed for nostalgic reasons. So again the artist makes choices about what is kept and what is changed. Tom Roberts (Aust. ) Shearing the Rams,1890, oil on canvas, 122 x 183cm

6 What on earth is this naked woman doing in the landscape? What are we
Arthur Streeton (Aust ) Spirit of the Drought, c.1895, oil on wood panel 35 x 37 cm What on earth is this naked woman doing in the landscape? What are we to make of this? . This is a History Painting technically, because of the allegorical figure. So it’s a traditional theme, but in a contemporary style. She has an other-worldly attitude. She is some kind of goddess, she’s not worried. She is dancing or twirling a cloak. She could have flames about her, with the yellow in her hair, and she stands above the bones of the poor beast. Is there a human skull there too? Perhaps. Note that although we can easily believe this is a figure based on a human, the painting is quite rough and relatively flat. This is a contemporary subject (drought in Australia) but the artist has used allegory, that is, used a human figure to describe a concept. However his rough treatment of the landscape itself, with emphasis on the colour and lack of careful detail, as well as the way he has described the figure, with minimal modelling, is Impressionist in style. Notice the complementary colours of the violet sky and yellow grasses. This image is both beautiful and sinister.

7 The artist took this large canvas and painted this en plein air
The artist took this large canvas and painted this en plein air. He was perched on a rock ledge to capture this odd, photographic-style perspective. (Note how high the horizon line is.) The scene is of a railway tunnel that was being created by blasting rock away with explosives. The phrase ‘fire’s on’ was yelled as a warning before a detonation occurred, so everyone could take shelter. While Streeton was painting, there was a unexpected explosion and a worker was killed. Streeton ended up painting his body being brought out from the tunnel and family waiting for his body to come out. Horizon very high. This has the effect of making us feel we’re really inside the action, even though the figures are very small. The rocks on the left hand side have a lot of diagonal lines going up. There is a lot of action there. The perspective is a bit weird and flattened. We don’t’ have a whole sense of recession or space as you look up the hill, but more on the right side with the linear perspective and diminution of figures. A vertical division between left and right side of the canvas. On the right hand side, we have the very dark hole where the tunnel goes. A lot of tonal variation. Also the strong diagonal of the shadow at the entrance to the tunnel. There is a sense of very harsh light, and beauty in the sky and bush. So we have both drama and beauty. What is this painting really about? The beauty of the sandstone and sky; heroism of men working dangerous jobs to build this great country. Realism. Arthur Streeton (Aust ), Fire’s on, 1891, oil on canvas 184 x 122 cm Using the Structural Frame, what can we say about this artwork?

8 Again we see the use of a contemporary subject.
This work describes a gold prospector who has not found any gold, therefore is ‘down on his luck’ or unlucky. It has been painted mostly plein air, and McCubbin used a friend as the model. Gold mining was a significant part of Melbourne’s history and wealth. This image caught the imagination of Australians who were then, as now, mainly urban dwellers rather than ‘bushies’. There was an idea of the prospector being ‘his own man’, having freedom to make his own decisions, even though today he didn’t find any gold. This was a kind of myth which people liked to believe in. Again we see the use of a contemporary subject. The figure is actually very detailed and carefully modelled however so this part of the painting was probably done back in the studio. Individual prospectors going off to make their fortune was pretty much a thing of the past by the time this work was done though. Modelling: careful attention to emphasising the volume of the mass of the figure with shading. We have a sense of a rounded form, rather than a flat one. This was typical of more traditional, academic approaches which looked to the modelling of Classical Greek art. Fred McCubbin (Aust ) Down on his luck, 1889, oil on canvas,145 x 183x 14cm (framed) ,


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