Baroque Art Originated in Rome at the beginning of the 17th century ( 1600s ) Ornate, dynamic and filled with emotion - all available space on a canvas filled with action, detail and movement Dramatic action due to crucial moments, gestures, use of angles for spectator’s view of the scene Very elaborate, whether religious in nature (vivid images of the Bible, saints, miracles and the crucifixion) or secular works commissioned by rulers and other important people who wanted to show off their own wealth and power Strong contrasts of light and dark ( chiaroscuro ) Caravaggio, Rubens, Velazquez and Rembrandt were important Baroque artists
Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes c. 1598; Oil on canvas Dramatic chiaroscuro, “A word borrowed from Italian ("light and shade" or “dark") referring to the modeling of volume by depicting light and shade by contrasting them boldly ” Emotional, Biblical subject matter Intensely dramatic moment Twisting diagonal lines create movement
Rubens, Daniel in the Lion's Den c. 1615, Oil on canvas Diagonal lines and twisting forms create dramatic movement Realistic portrayal of animals from several angles Dramatic moment Religious subject Dramatic lighting (chiaroscuro)
Velázquez, The Maids of Honour (Las Meninas), c. 1656, oil on canvas Velázquez earned a living as a court painter In the artist’s studio; we see the artist poised with brush in hand before easel; interpreters have suggested that Velazquez was indicating - by commanding this unusual place in the painting - that this is the rightful position of the artist in society Velazquez reversed the order of importance by giving more prominence to Princess Margarita and her ladies in waiting than to the royal couple, and even greater importance to the dwarfs and to the dog by placing them in the forefront Not idealized – in this sense very realistic Viewer is made to feel present – artist, princess and a couple attendants are making eye contact – our vantage point is that of the King and Queen of Spain reflected in the mirror on the back wall
Rembrandt, Jan Six 1654, Oil on canvas Rembrandt had abandoned conventional Dutch smoothness - surfaces were caked with more paint than was strictly necessary to present an illusion Vigorously modelled with a heavily loaded brush - where others needed five touches he was using one, and so the brushstrokes had begun to separate and could sometimes only be properly read from a distance The exact imitation of form was being replaced by the suggestion of it (note the gloves): to some of his contemporaries, therefore, his paintings began to look unfinished
Rococo Western Europe from about 1700 to 1780 (18 th century) Emphasis on portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy Love and romance were common subjects – departure from historical or religious subjects – light-heated themes Playful, showy, and luxurious, with delicate colours Often appears in decorative art (tapestries, furniture and porcelain) as well as other art and architecture.. Some of the better known Rococo artists were Watteau, Fragonard, and Boucher
Watteau, The Embarkation for Cythera 1717, Oil on canvas Lovers coming to seek love on the island of Cythera, under the statue of its goddess, Venus developed a new category of genre painting known as the fête galante – fanciful scenes depicting elegantly dressed young people engaged in outdoor entertainment display a sober melancholy, a sense of the ultimate futility of life (ladies looking back with longing glances), that makes him, among 18 th century painters, one of the closest to modern sensibilities Watteau's paintings seem to epitomize aristocratic elegance, although he never had aristocratic patrons. His buyers were bourgeois such as bankers and dealers.
Fragonard, The Swing 1767, Oil on Canvas By today's standards Fragonard’s The Swing is rather tame, but in the 18 th century this painting of a woman being in a position where a man can look up her skirts was considered highly erotic. Note 18th century women did not wear ‘knickers’ or other similar undergarment (no funderwear!) Soft, delicate colours Lush foliage High degree of ornamentation
More than any other 18 th century painter, Boucher achieved success as a court painter Commissioned by Madame de Pompadour (mistress of Louis XV) for her residence The cupids and the doves are attributes of Venus as goddess of Love. The flowers allude to her role as patroness of gardens and the pearls to her mysterious birth from the sea Considered # 1 painter of nudes in the 18 th century Boucher, The Toilet of Venus 1751, Oil on canvas
Neoclassicism In the 1700s, archaeological discoveries in Greece and Rome revived interest in the study of classical art and literature Heroic, moral themes in classical history were used to inspire the causes of the French Revolution Calm, serious subjects presented with simple lines and a sense of order and purpose Better known artists of the Neoclassical style are the painters Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Jacques-Louis David and the sculptors Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldson
David, Oath of the Horatii 1784, Oil on canvas Drawing subject matter from ancient sources Basing form and gesture on Roman sculpture. Dramatic lighting and ideal forms are emphasized. Presenting a lofty moralistic theme, the work became the principal model for noble and heroic historical painting of the next two decades. As the French Revolution loomed, paintings urging loyalty to the state rather than to clan or clergy abounded. Although it was painted nearly five years before the revolution in France, the Oath of the Horatii became one of the defining images of the time. There is only clear, hard details and no wispy brushstrokes like the Rococo; the brushstrokes are invisible showing that the painting is more important compared to the artist; the frozen quality of the painting gives it the feeling that it’s rational unlike the Rococo style. David proposed the establishment of an inventory of all national treasures- making him one of the founders of France's museums - he played an active role in the organization of the future Louvre, Paris
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Jupiter and Thetis 1811, Oil on canvas Ingres was a student of David clarity of line and a cool formality preference for drawing rather than colour he said paint should be as smooth `as the skin of an onion'--but he was often attacked for the expressive distortions of his draughtsmanship; critics said, for example, that the abnormally long back of La Grande Odalisque (Louvre, 1814) had three extra vertebrae
Canova, Pauline Bonaparte Borghese 1801, Marble This marble statue of Napoleon’s sister Pauline in a highly refined pose is considered a supreme example of the Neoclassical style Antonio Canova executed this portrait between 1805 and 1808 without the customary drapery of a person of high rank, an exception at the time, thus transforming this historical figure into a goddess of antiquity in a pose of classical tranquillity and noble simplicity.
Thorvaldsen, Venus , Marble complete harmony and balance, marked by great simplicity Resting squarely within the Neoclassical tradition, Thorvaldsen's great talent was his ability to perfectly balance his sculptures, giving them a sense of weightlessness
Romanticism In the early 1800s, the drama, struggle and emotion of Romanticism replaced the calm, order and sense of purpose of Neoclassicism. New interests in exotic lands and travel fuelled Romanticism. In France, despair followed the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and was reflected in art of the time. Artists painted soldiers fleeing the battlefield and scenes of death, despair and destruction. Painters chose scandalous and tragic subjects from the news of the day and transferred, in great detail and graphic emotion, these events to canvas Pictures of nature in its untamed state, or other exotic settings filled with dramatic action, often with an emphasis on the past Some of the better known artists of Romanticism are painters Theodore Gericault and Eugene Delacroix.
Gericault, Raft of the Medusa 1819, Oil on canvas The combination of idealized figures and realistically depicted agony, as well as its gigantic size and graphic detail, aroused controversy between neoclassical and romantic artists Its depiction of a politically volatile scandal (the wreck was due to government mismanagement) also caused controversy. The captain was a political appointee, and caused the ship to sink off the coast of Africa. The captain and crew took the lifeboats and 149 French passengers were put on a raft towed behind the boats. The ropes were eventually cut, only 15 survived after 12 days afloat. Gericault studied the wreck like a reporter. He was obsessed with the theme of struggling for survival. Violent action, bold design, and dramatic color, all evoke powerful emotion in this painting which is considered one of the first paintings of the Romantic era.
Friedrich, Cloister Cemetery in the Snow , Oil on canvas Friedrich's apparently paintings contain inner meanings, clues to which are provided either by the artist's writings or those of his literary friends For example, a landscape showing a ruined abbey in the snow, can be appreciated on one level as a bleak, winter scene, but the painter also intended the composition to represent both the church shaken by the Protestant Reformation and the transitoriness of earthly things
Eugène Delacroix Delacroix was another leader of the Romantic movement, painting scenes of violence and passion taken from literary sources or intriguing news of the day. Delacroix’s work is often characterized by lush colours, swirling curves, and animals. This painting depicts the story of the emperor Sardanapalus (as told in the verses of Byron) The emperor, who was about to be defeated in battle and lose everything, ordered that all his possessions, including his horses and the women in his harem (concubines) be destroyed (killed!!). This painting depicts Sardanapalus’ slaves killing the harem girls. The very intense colours (bright red), the writhing and dying bodies of the girls, and the strong contrast are all typical features of a Romantic painting. “Death of Sardanapalus” 1827, oil on canvas
Realism The 1800s saw social/economic problems related to the Industrial Revolution - jobs were hard to find and working conditions were poor for those lucky enough to find employment. Artists and writers became concerned with the troubles of ordinary people, peasants and the urban working class. The subjects were humble citizens doing everyday work, rather than mythical heroes, Biblical or classical subjects, or portraits of the rich. New ways of handling brushes and paint At this time, the invention of the camera gave artists the possibility of working from a photo for the first time, making Realist work all the more possible to achieve. Very interested in painting landscapes from a realistic point of view, and were especially interested in how the land looked during different weather and different times of the day. In fact, Realists' desire to paint in the open air and their interest in how light affected one's perception of a scene paved the way for the work of the Impressionists. Some of the better known Realist artists are painters Gustave Courbet and Francois Millet.
Courbet, The Painter's Studio; A Real Allegory 1855, Oil on canvas In 1855, the Academy did not accept his paintings for the annual show. As a result, he built a pavilion and called it the Pavilion of Realism. He even painted himself in working clothes to shock people into viewing common people in a different way. Gustave Courbet On the left of this painting are the ordinary models, on the right are friends of Courbet. The artist takes centre stage in sharp daylight. Velázquez and Goya had brought the artist into art, but Courbet went a step further and placed himself as the central figure. It’s speculated that the little boy who watches might symbolize the unfettered admiration an artist craves
Gustave Courbet Courbet believed that “painting is essentially a concrete art and must be applied to real and existing thing.” He is sometimes referred to as the father of Realism. This painting, entitled “A Burial at Ornans” was not well accepted by critics of the time. The canvas was HUGE (22 feet in length) and never before had an artist used such an epic sized canvas to paint a scene depicting simple, everyday people. This type of large scale was usually reserved for subjects deemed to be more important. A Burial at Ornans, Gustave Courbet, 1851, Oil on Canvas
Millet, The Gleaners 1857, oil on canvas French painter noted for his depictions of peasant life. The son of a farmer in Gréville In 1849, when a cholera epidemic broke out in Paris, Millet moved to Barbizon and became devoted to this area as a subject for his work, and helped establish the Barbizon School. Though Flemish artists of the 17th century had depicted peasants at work, Millet was the first painter to endow rural life with so much dignity, making the peasant an almost heroic figure. Francois Millet
Quiz! Some hints… You will need to be able to explain both Romanticism and Realism in your own words. You should know at least 2 characteristics of each movement. You will need to be able to recognize the works we have looked at in class, and give me the title, artist and movement for each. You should understand the subject matter that each artist discussed was interested in painting. All other content is fair game, so review the slides and your notes please!