Art History 21
1. Discuss the impact of photography on the nineteenth-century landscape. How did it affect painting? What were the political implications of the medium? Use examples to support your essay. Landscape painting was a particularly effective vehicle for allegory because it allowed artists to make fictional subjects appear normal, conditioned, acceptable, or destined. Art was not just about the landscape, it actually allowed the spirit of the painter to come alive in their work. The allegory was for moral and spiritual concerns.
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The introduction to photography therefore impacted 19th century landscape in a manner that was found to be unacceptable because personal intertwinement of expression and emotion could not come from photography. Photography represented the optical fact. Previously, the emphasis was on fictional visuals. Realism becomes the dominant style in the 19th century and the optical truth expands as ideas and exploration of science and technology develop. The most important optical device was the camera. The impact of the camera, invented shortly before the mid-19th century, was revolutionary.
The camera was a revolution of visible objects and, among other uses, became a very useful tool for recording. People became intrigued with the ease of capturing the moment and the accuracy these images could provide. The middle class especially welcomed the modern form of art because it cost less. Photography was a significant accomplishment that changed the public’s perceptions of ‘reality’. The impact and issues in perceptions of reality and realism were addressed in the movement that followed Romanticism, Realism.
Artists aimed for middle class patrons because they held a strong and powerful position, but also because the lower costs would expand artist’s audiences and potential buyers. This would reduce sales in paintings which had some artists furious. The response to photography stemmed back to traditional art. Many artists believed traditional forms of pictorial representation originating in Renaissance should remain the dominate practice in art. Revolting artists found photography to be a mechanism capable of displacing the true art and beauty in paintings.
Some famous artists accepted photography such as “Delacroix, Edgar Degas and Gustave Courbet. ” (p. 678. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, the Western Perspective. 12th Ed. ) 2. Compare Constable’s The Haywain with Bierstadt’s Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. What are the sociopolitical overtones of each work, and how do they represent their respective countries and environments? Constable (English landscape artist) and Bierstadt both incorporate oneness with nature throughout their work. The zest of Bierstadt and Constable was conveyed in the manner of nature as allegory.
Delicate brush strokes are implicated on both pieces and portray scenes of tranquility. Although Constable’s The Haywain is more painterly, the paintings both easily capture the texture that the atmosphere gives to the landscape. The use of light in Bierstadt’s Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, and the small white strokes against darker shades in Constable’s The Haywain, creates a suggestive movement in both pieces. Each piece persuades a genuinely accurate landscape and an aura of reality. Both artists allow the viewer to have a sense of participation in the landscape’s being, not just a sense of observing.
Neither art work depicts the civil uneasiness of the agricultural working class and outbreaks of violence that were resulting from the Industrial Revolution. Industrial Revolution impacted the evolution of romantic landscape painting in England. Although discussion of the Industrial Revolution focuses on technological advances, factory development etc. , its effects on the countryside and the land itself were still severe. The economic impact industrialization had on the prices of agricultural products created significant damages to the English countryside.
In particular, increasing numbers of displaced farmers that could no longer afford to farm even their small properties. Constable is representing this environment in his canvas by portraying the oneness that once was had with nature. Bierstadt’s canvas is the basis of manifest destiny of the United States. Albert Bierstadt furthermore presented Romantic panoramic landscape views that also participated in the continuous exploration of the individual’s and the country’s relationship to the land.
He focused on identifying qualities that rendered America unique, which was part of the manifest destiny. The sunrays attempting to break through the clouds are further support of the manifest destiny suggesting the heavenly light shining through on a portion of the land (uncultivated and wild) is awaiting the people. His canvas is focused on the Western part of the country to create attention of the uniqueness of the regions that need be discovered, that expansion throughout the country was the logical destiny for the United States.
The primary and most important difference between the underlining meaning of the two pieces of art respective to their countries and environment is the building and destruction of lifestyle. Constable’s piece is brought upon by the environment lose many farmers faced at the time, while Bierstadt expresses enthusiasm to build and create farm-life in new found lands of the United States. Each piece, once brought together, represents both aspects of expansions, the losing and the gaining. 3. Compare and contrast the work of Millet and Courbet.
How did they visually respond to the social climate of their period? Use examples to support your essay. Millet and Courbet were realists, attempting to capture and response to the images and discriminations of their time. Courbet followed a strict definition of paintings –”they can consist only in the representation of objects visible and tangible, who then has to apply his personal faculties to the ideas and the things of the period in which he lives. ” (p. 687. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, the Western Perspective. 12th Ed).
Both artist emphasized the authenticity of painting, not to have it intertwined with romanticism or idealism but to provide sincerity and precision in their work. Courbet’s interest in the laboring poor as subject matter had significant representation for the mid-19th-century French patrons. In 1848, rebelling against the bourgeois leaders of the newly formed Second Republic and against the rest of the nation began, demanding better working conditions and a redistribution of property. The Revolution of 1848 thus raised the issue of labor as a national concern.
Shortly after in 1849, Courbet depicted a canvas of laborers coming from ‘the lowest of the low’ entitled The Stone Breakers. Burial at Ornans, also a painting of Courbet, blocks any view into deep space and represents the grave opening up into the viewer’s space in the center foreground. ‘The heroic’, ‘the sublime’, and ‘the dramatic’ are not visual throughout these paintings—simply the earthly realities of daily day-to-day living. Both artists suffered poor reviews from the public because their style and content appeared too ‘socialistic’ and coarsely depicted.
The public shamed the images portraying hard work and discipline. Courbet and Millet depict labors as hard working and the drudgery of their life Each artist was known to find their subjects in the people and occupations of the everyday world. Millet’s painting represents an even lower classification of labor—women, coming from the lowest level of peasant society. Millet’s work has a sentimentality absent from that of Courbet; the French public reacted to paintings such as Millet’s The Gleaners with belittlement and skepticism.
The aftermath of the Revolution of 1848 inspired Millet to invest largely in the poor and portraying them with dignity, (which also didn’t meet the approval of the higher classes). Miller shows the gleaners with great dignity by placing us at their level making us feel with them and as one of them Socialism was a growing movement, and both its views on property and its call for social justice, even economic equality, distraught the bourgeoisies. Millet’s sympathetic depiction of the poor seemed too much like a political manifesto, similar to how Courbet’s work amounted to the new movement’s manifestos. . Compare and contrast the works of Eakins and Manet. How does each artist relate to his respective environment, and how does each artist reflect the art of the nineteenth century? Use examples to support your essay. The devotion Eakins and Manet contribute to Realism creates a stepping stone in affecting the progression of modernist painting. They were punished for their commitment to Realism by rejection from the public for their outrageous and ‘too realistic’ paintings; such as Olympia, Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe and The Gross Clinic.
Manet’s work, especially Olympia, was constituted as evoking moral depravity, inferiority, and animalistic sexuality. Similar to the effects Easkins The Gross Clinic had on the public for its gruesome and disturbing nature. Both artists’ work was always exceptionally controversial. Manet most frequently involves the viewer in the uneasiness of his work psychologically. He relates his work to the new city, the new Paris and its industries. The crowded housing, poor working environments and conditions created substantial tension between he people and its government. The streets of Paris were eventually widened to prevent barricading and this redesigning, along with further development, created the new city. Manet does metaphors of industrialization but more so to see a change in art. This challenge to reform art played an important role in the development of Impressionism in the 1870s. Manet wanted to portray paintings that represented synthesis of many painting genres, such as pastoral scenes, nudes, and religious scenes.
Manet has a loose manner of painting which he often contrast with the sharply lit foregrounds by using whites, visible in Olympia and Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, much like Eakins does in his painting The Gross Clinic. Capturing light on surfaces are signature marks for Manet and Eakins. Eakins uses living, identifiable people in his work (Dr. Gross) as does Manet (his brother and favorite model used for Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe). Eakins attitude was very much in tune with 19th century American taste, combining an admiration for accurate depiction with a hunger for truth.
Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe wanted to represent the same depiction Eakins wanted—to show the realities of the human experience. The ‘behind the scenes’ scenes were at once put forth. Neither artist painted to please the viewers’ eye, but to paint as it lay in front of them. Eakins’ concerns at the time were for the anatomical correctness. Both artists were highly indulged in the realistic and naturalism of modern life. Their obsession and unwillingness to conform to modern art opened doors to a new genre, Impressionism.