Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Neoclassicism, Salon Painting, Romanticism, Realism

(a style that originated in France in the 18th century marked by elaborate decorativeness, light colors, and organic forms. In painting, Rococo subjects tend toward the frivolous, elegant, flirtation, and typically deploy symbolic iconography that audiences could read as readily as a text.)
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Happy Accidents of the Swing, 1767, French Rococo*
(in painting, a return to classical emphasis on sobriety and restraint in form and content-- precise lines, clarity, order, unity and often symmetry. Usually joined by a return to classical subject matter.)
David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1802*
Salon Painting (also known as French Academic Painting)
File:William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Birth of Venus (1879).jpg
Bouguereau, Birth of Venus, 1879
Reached back away from classicism toward a more medieval (or Baroque) emphasis on emotion, including terror, awe, joy, loneliness. Romantics expressed their love for nature in serene landscapes where humans played small roles. While neoclassicism erased the presence of the artist in smooth canvases with tiny brush marks, the romantics celebrated the artists unique imagination, and you can see that in their active, animated brushwork.
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Caspar David Friedrich, Monk by the Shore, 1809* (854)(what emotional aspect of Modernism does this image illustrate poignantly?) ,

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Goya, Third of May 1808, 1814 (857)* GĂ©ricault, Raft of the Medusa, 1819(860),
as opposed to Romanticism and neoclassicism, Realism seeks to show life experiences as they are, without exaggerations or idealizations. Realist painters often chose 'low' subjects, and did not sought to show viewers that they were looking at paintings, rather than to deceive them into believing in the illusion.
Jean-Francois Millet, The Gleaners, 1857(882)
Manet, Lunch in the Studio, 1879(888
If a painstaking scrupulous, but feebly imaginative artist has to paint a courtesan of today and takes his ‘inspiration’ (that is the accepted word) from a courtesan by Titian or Raphael, it is only too likely that he will produce a work which is false, ambiguous and obscure. From the study of a masterpiece of that time and type he will learn nothing of the bearing, the glance, the smile or the living ‘style’ of one of those creatures whom the dictionary of fashion has successively classified under the coarse or playful titles of ‘doxies’, ‘kept women’, lorettes, or biches.
in other words. The stuff Baudelaire hates:
Alexander Cabanal, Birth of Venus, 1863, Salon painting, french academic painting
The stuff that lead to Cabanal (the old masters):

"...a courtesan by Titian..." Titian's Venus of Urbino, 1538, Venetian Renaissance
the stuff Baudelaire wants:

the sort of object Baudelaire calls for... Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, French Modernism, Realism*

Images from Constantine Guy

Courbet, The Studio of the Painter: a real Allegory, 1855 (880)*
on the left, the 'real life' that courbet paints, while turning his back on the model available to pose as venus as Salon painters would have done. On the left, the artists friends, including Baudelaire himself, and novelist Georges Sand, art critic and realist novelist Champfleury, and anarchist Proudhon.

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