Chapter 21 covers the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries in Western art. There are six major movements during this period, beginning with Romanticism and ending with Post-Impressionism, and for the most part, each of these six movements is a reaction to the movement which immediately preceded it. Therefore, Rococo is a reaction to the later classical manifestations of the Baroque; Neoclassicism is a reaction to the frivolity of the Rococo, Romanticism is a reaction to the stoic line and "Republican" themes of Neoclassicism; Realism is a reaction to the lofty mythical themes of Romanticism; and so on. During this time, science and technology are rapidly advancing, beginning an era that became known as the "Age of Enlightenment."
After reading this chapter you should:
- know the contributions made by the following artists, thinkers and cultural catalysts:
- Charles Lebrun
- Louis the XIV
- Peter Paul Rubens
- Jacques Louis David
- Thomas Jefferson
- Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
- Eugène Delacroix
- Francisco Goya
- Théodore Géricault
- Gustave Courbet
- Edouard Manet
- Claude Monet
- Paul Gauguin
- Georges Seurat
- Paul Cézanne
- Karl Marx
- Henry David Thoreau
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- know the following movements and terms:
French Classicism, Rococo, Neoclassicism (and Federal style), Romanticism, Realism, Social Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Modern, color patch theory, plein air painting, and optical mixing.
- see that architecture during the Rococo period mimics the curvilinear style that typified the Baroque age, but becomes more delicate and refined. Society during this time seems to embrace its own decadence with sculpture and painting that reflects erotic themes.
- see how the discoveries of Herculaneum and Pompeii fueled Neoclassicism and a return to "classical" compositions with underlying political themes. Thomas Jefferson leads the effort to bring Neoclassicism to the United States as an architectural style, where it becomes known as "Federal Style."
- see that Romanticism, while reprising bright color, motion and romantic treatment of subject matter, was also a political forum for many painters. particularly "Raft of the Medusa" by WORKS IN PROGRESS artist Théodore Géricault, helped fuel the movement.
- know that Realist artists, following their call to represent the "here and now" also established the notion of "modernity," a societys interest in "living within their own time."
- understand how the advent of photography not only creates a new medium in the arts, but also brings about new vision of society.
- see how Impressionism, with its focus on the pleasures of life, is both a response to realism, and also an art that announces the appearance of a new faction of societythe "leisure class."
The chapter ends with Post-Impressionism, which is best understood as a period of
time. Unlike the movements that preceded it, Post-Impressionism had no unifying visual style. Artists worked in their individual styles, and are often categorized as either "expressionists" or "formalists." Of this latter group, one artist in particular is considered the catalyst that ignites the beginning of modern painting. Paul Cézanne's paintings not only begin to distort and compress space, but they stand in stark defiance of verisimilitude, the Renaissance ideal of representation. Cézanne, who encouraged all painters to replicate nature using the forms of "the cone, the cylinder and the sphere," would have a profound influence on the next generation of painters, among them Pablo Picasso and George Braque.