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  Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Art Styles in 19th century

Neoclassicism and Romanticism

Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Symbolism
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Art Styles in 19th century
 
 
 

Robert Adam
Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Washington Allston
Thomas Banks

Charles Barry
William Beechey
Reinhold Begas
Albert Bierstadt
William Blake
Karl Blechen
Richard Parkes Bonington
Gustave Boulanger
Ford Madox Brown
Edward Burne-Jones
Karl Bryullov
Antonio Canova
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Carolus-Duran
Asmus Jacob Carstens
Theodore Chasseriau
Georges Clairin
James Collinson
John Constable
John Singleton Copley
Peter von Cornelius
Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
Gustave Courbet
Johan Christian Dahl
Charles Daubigny
Jacques-Louis David
Honore Daumier
Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
Eugene Delacroix
Paul Delaroche
Gustave Dore
Jules Dupre
William Dyce
Anselm Feuerbach

Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin
John Flaxman
Karl Philipp Fohr
Maria Fortuny
Caspar David Friedrich
Eugene Fromentin
Henry Fuseli
Frangois Gerard
Theodore Gericault
Jean-Leon Gerome
James Gillray
Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson
John William Godward
Francisco de Goya
Anton Graff
Antoine-Jean Gros
Pierre-Narcisse Guerin
Henry Holland
John Hoppner
Jean-Antoine Houdon

Arthur Hughes
William Holman Hunt
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Jean Baptiste Isabey
Joseph Israels
Angelica Kauffmann
Leo von Klenze
Joseph Anton Koch
Sir Thomas Lawrence
John Leech
Jules Joseph Lefebvre
Frederic Leighton
John Martin
Anton Raphael Mengs
Adolf Menzel
John Everett Millais
Jean Francois Millet
George Morland
William Morris
John Nash
Alexander Nasmyth
William Orchardson
Johann Friedrich Overbeck

Augustin Pajou
Charles Willson Peale
Edward Poynter
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
Henry Raeburn

Christian Daniel Rauch
Jean-Baptiste Regnault
George Romney
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Theodore Rousseau
Thomas Rowlandson
Philipp Otto Runge
Johann Gottfried Schadow
Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Moritz von Schwind
Carl Spitzweg
Alfred Stevens
Gilbert Stuart
Bertel Thorvaldsen
James Tissot
John Trumbull
J.M.W. Turner
Carle Vernet
Ferdinand Waldmuller
George Frederic Watts
Benjamin West
David Wilkie
Johann Zoffany
 
 
 
 

Angelica Kauffmann. El juicio de Paris
 
 
 
Neoclassicism
 

Neoclassicism was a widespread and influential movement in painting and the other visual arts that began in the 1760s, reached its height in the 1780s and '90s, and lasted until the 1840s and '50s. In painting it generally took the form of an emphasis on austere linear design in the depiction of classical themes and subject matter, using archaeologically correct settings and costumes.

Neoclassicism arose partly as a reaction against the sensuous and frivolously decorative Rococo style that had dominated European art from the 1720s on. But an even more profound stimulus was the new and more scientific interest in classical antiquity that arose in the 18th century. Neoclassicism was given great impetus by new archaeological discoveries, particularly the exploration and excavation of the buried Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii (the excavations of which began in 1738 and 1748, respectively). And from the second decade of the 18th century on, a number of influential publications by Bernard de Montfaucon, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the Comte de Caylus, and Robert Wood provided engraved views of Roman monuments and other antiquities and further quickened interest in the classical past. The new understanding distilled from these discoveries and publications in turn enabled European scholars for the first time to discern separate and distinct chronological periods in Greco-Roman art, and this new sense of a plurality of ancient styles replaced the older, unqualified veneration of Roman art and encouraged a dawning interest in purely Greek antiquities. The German scholar Johann Joachim Winckelmann's writings and sophisticated the orizings were especially influential in this regard. Winckelmann saw in Greek sculpture “a noble simplicity and quiet grandeur” and called for artists to imitate Greek art. He claimed that in doing so such artists would obtain idealized depictions of natural forms that had been stripped of all transitory and individualistic aspects, and their images would thus attain a universal and archetypal significance.

Neoclassicism as manifested in painting was initially not stylistically distinct from the French Rococo and other styles that had preceded it. This was partly because, whereas it was possible for architecture and sculpture to be modeled on prototypes in these media that had actually survived from classical antiquity, those few classical paintings that had survived were minor or merely ornamental works—until, that is, the discoveries made at Herculaneum and Pompeii. The earliest Neoclassical painters were Joseph-Marie Vien, Anton Raphael Mengs, Pompeo Batoni, Angelica Kauffmann, and Gavin Hamilton; these artists were active during the 1750s, '60s, and '70s. Each of these painters, though they may have used poses and figural arrangements from ancient sculptures and vase paintings, was strongly influenced by preceding stylistic trends. An important early Neoclassical work such as Mengs's “Parnassus” (1761; Villa Albani, Rome) owes much of its inspiration to 17th-century classicism and to Raphael for both the poses of its figures and its general composition. Many of the early paintings of the Neoclassical artist Benjamin West derive their compositions from works by Nicolas Poussin, and Kauffmann's sentimental subjects dressed in antique garb are basically Rococo in their softened, decorative prettiness. Mengs's close association with Winckelmann led to his being influenced by the ideal beauty that the latter so ardently expounded, but the church and palace ceilings decorated by Mengs owe more to existing Italian Baroque traditions than to anything Greek or Roman.

A more rigorously Neoclassical painting style arose in Francein the 1780s under the leadership of Jacques-Louis David. Heand his contemporary Jean-François-Pierre Peyron were interested in narrative painting rather than the ideal grace that fascinated Mengs. Just before and during the French Revolution, these and other painters adopted stirring moral subject matter from Roman history and celebrated the values of simplicity, austerity, heroism, and stoic virtue that were traditionally associated with the Roman Republic, thus drawing parallels between that time and the contemporary struggle for liberty in France. David's history paintings of the “Oath of the Horatii” (1784; Louvre, Paris) and “LictorsBringing to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons” (1789; Louvre) display a gravity and decorum deriving from classical tragedy, a certain rhetorical quality of gesture, and patterns of drapery influenced by ancient sculpture. To some extent these elements were anticipated by British and American artists such as Hamilton and West, but in David's works the dramatic confrontations of the figures are starker and in clearer profile on the same plane, the setting is more monumental, and the diagonal compositional movements, large groupings of figures, and turbulent draperies of the Baroque have been almost entirely repudiated. This style was ruthlessly austere and uncompromising, and it is not surprising that it came to be associated with the French Revolution (in which David actively participated).

Neoclassicism as generally manifested in European painting by the 1790s emphasized the qualities of outline and linear design over those of colour, atmosphere, and effects of light. Widely disseminated engravings of classical sculptures and Greek vase paintings helped determine this bias, which is clearly seen in the outline illustrations made by the British sculptor John Flaxman in the 1790s for editions of the works of Homer, Aeschylus, and Dante. These illustrations are notable for their drastic and powerful simplification of the human body, their denial of pictorial space, and their minimal stage setting. This austere linearity when depicting the human form was adopted by many other British figural artists, including the Swiss-born Henry Fuseli and William Blake, among others.
 

Neoclassical painters attached great importance to depicting the costumes, settings, and details of their classical subject matter with as much historical accuracy as possible. This worked well enough when illustrating an incident found in the pages of Homer, but it raised the question of whether a modern hero or famous person should be portrayed in classical or contemporary dress. This issue was never satisfactorily resolved, except perhaps in David's brilliantly evocative portraits of sitters wearing the then-fashionable antique garb, as in his “Portrait of Madame Récamier” (1800; Louvre).

Classical history and mythology provided a large part of the subject matter of Neoclassical works. The poetry of Homer, Virgil, and Ovid, the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and history recorded by Pliny, Plutarch, Tacitus, and Livy provided the bulk of classical sources, but the most important single source was Homer. To this general literary emphasis was added a growing interest in medieval sources, such as the pseudo-Celtic poetry of Ossian, as well as incidents from medieval history, the works of Dante, and an admiration for medieval art itself in the persons of Giotto, Fra Angelico, and others. Indeed, the Neoclassicists differed strikingly from their academic predecessors in their admiration of Gothic and Quattrocento art in general, and they contributed notably to the positive reevaluation of suchart.

Finally, it should be noted that Neoclassicism coexisted throughout much of its later development with the seemingly obverse and opposite tendency of Romanticism. But far from being distinct and separate, these two styles intermingled with each other in complex ways; many ostensibly Neoclassical paintings show Romantic tendencies, and vice versa. This contradictory situation is strikingly evident in the works of the last great Neoclassical painter, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, who painted sensuous Romantic female nudes while also turning out precisely linear and rather lifeless historical paintings in the approved Neoclassical mode.

Britain

Hamilton—Scottish painter, archaeologist, and dealer—spentmost of his working life in Rome, and his paintings include two series of large and influential canvases of Homeric subjects. West and the Swiss-born Kauffmann were the most consistent exhibitors of history pieces in London during the 1760s. James Barry and Fuseli also were important. Blake, poet and painter, was a Neoclassicist to some extent.
 


France

As well as being a painter, Vien was a friend of the archaeologist Caylus and a director of the French Academy in Rome. This generation also included Jean-Baptiste Greuze, who painted a few classical history subjects as well as the scenes from contemporary life for which he is best known; Jean-Jacque Lagrenée the Elder, like Vien a director of the French Academy in Rome; and Nicolas-Guy Brenet.

The outstanding and most influential of all French Neoclassicists and one of the major artists in Europe was Vien's pupil Jacques-Louis David. David's early works are essentially Rococo, and his late works also revert to early 18th-century types; his fame as a Neoclassicist rests on paintings of the 1780s and '90s. After winning the Prix de Rome of the French Academy in 1774 (important in the history of French painting because it awarded a stay in Rome, where winners studied Italian paintings firsthand), he was in that city in 1775–81, returning there in 1784 to paint “Oath of the Horatii”. David's contemporaries, or near-contemporaries, included Jean-Germain Drouais, whosehistory paintings almost equaled David's own in severity andintensity.

The slightly younger generation of painters included Jean-Baptiste Regnault, Louis-Léopold Boilly, and Louis Gauffier. They were followed by a more important group that included Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. Prud'hon blended in his paintings a mild classicism and the lyrical mood and soft lights of Correggio; he was patronized by the empresses Josephine and Marie-Louise. Baron Pierre-Narcisse Guérin painted in a style close to the Neoclassicism of David, although he was not one of his pupils.

Of David's pupils, three became well-known and one became very famous. Baron François-Pascal-Simon Gérard had a high reputation as a portraitist under both Napoleon and Louis XVIII. Antoine-Jean Gros executed many large Napoleonic canvases and after David's death was the leading Neoclassicist in France. Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy, known as Girodet-Trioson, won a Prix de Rome but stopped painting after 1812 when he inherited a fortune and turned to writing. The famous pupil was Ingres, who was important as a Neoclassicist in his subject paintings but not in his portraits.




Christian Daniel Rauch. Immanuel Kant


 

Germany and Austria

Mengs was born in Aussig in Bohemia (modern Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic) in 1728, the son of the court painter there. He was himself appointed Dresden court painter in 1745. In 1755 he met Winckelmann, and subsequently he became a prominent figure in Roman Neoclassical circles. Mengs is important both as a painter and as a theorist. Apart from him, Germany's and Austria's main contribution to Neoclassicism was theoretical, not practical, however. Theearly Neoclassicists included Cristoph Unterberger; Anton von Maron, who married Mengs's sister; and Friedrich Heinrich Füger. After Unterberger, the most interesting painter was Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, who executed both portraits and subject pieces. He was a director of the art academy in Naples and supervised the publication of engravings of the Greek vases in the collection of Sir William Hamilton, the British ambassador to Naples, who was a notable connoisseur.

The German painter Asmus Jacob Carstens worked in Berlin and was a professor at the Berlin Academy. Members of his artistic circle included the painters Karl Ludwig Fernow, Eberhard Wächter, Joseph Anton Koch (who was the most outstanding of this German group), and Gottlieb Schick.


Italy

One of the earliest Neoclassicists and one of the foremost painters of his generation in Italy was Batoni. His style blends Rococo with Neoclassical elements, and his work includes classical subject pieces as well as portraits in contemporary dress, the sitter posing with antique statues and urns and sometimes amid ruins. The painter Domenico Corvi was influenced by both Batoni and Mengs and was important as the teacher of three of the leading Neoclassicists of the next generation: Giuseppe Cades, Gaspare Landi, and Vincenzo Camuccini. These artists worked mostly in Rome, the first two making reputations as portraitists, Landi especially being noted for good contemporary groups.

Rome was indeed the city where the principal Italian painters of this period were most active. One such was Felice Giani, whose many decorations include Napoleonic palaces there and elsewhere in Italy (especially Faenza) and in France.

Important painters outside Rome include Andrea Appiani the Elder in Milan, who became Napoleon's official painter and executed some of the best frescoes in northern Italy. He was also a fine portraitist. One of his pupils was Giuseppe Bossi. Another leading Lombard painter was Giovanni Battista dell'Era, whose encaustic paintings were bought by Catherine the Great and others. Other good examples of Neoclassical decorative schemes outside Rome are in Florence (Pitti Palace) by the Florentine Luigi Sabatelli and by Pietro Benvenuti, who was born at Arezzo, and in Venice (Palazzo Reale) by Giuseppe Borsato, who was born in that city and was both painter and architect. Another painter of the time, though only given to a mildly Neoclassical style, was Domenico Pellegrini, born near Bassano, who traveled widely. The principal Neoclassicists in the south were the Sicilians Giuseppe Velasco, who did important frescoes in palaces in Palermo, and Giuseppe Errante.

Other countries

The main Danish painter who produced original Neoclassical works was Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard. Other Danish painters include Abildgaard's and David's pupil Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg. David was very influential in Brussels, where he retired late in life. The paintings of his Belgian pupil François-Joseph Navez, for example, are pure French Neoclassicism. The two main Neoclassical artists in The Netherlands were Humbert de Superville and Jan Willem Pieneman. The principal Neoclassicist in Spain was José de Madrazo y Agudo.

David Irwin

 
 

Frangois Gerard. St Theresa
 
 
 
Romanticism
 
 

Romanticism is a term loosely used to designate numerous and diverse changes in the arts during a period of more than 100 years (roughly, 1760–1870), changes that were in reaction against Neoclassicism (but not necessarily the classicism of Greece and Rome) or against what is variously called the Age of Reason, the Augustan Age, the Enlightenment, or 18th-century materialism. In the sense of a personal temperament Romanticism had always existed, but in the sense of an aesthetic period it signified works of art whose prime impulse and effect derived from individual rather than collective reactions. Romanticism can generally be said to have emphasized the personal, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the spontaneous, the emotional, and even the visionary and transcendental in works of art. The Romantic movement first developed in northern Europe with a rejection of technical standards based on the classical ideal that perfection should be attained in art.

It was writers and poets who gave initial expression to Romantic ideas; painters, while subject to similar feelings, acquired fundamental inspiration from the literature of the period. There was an increasing awareness generally of the way the various arts interacted. The Frenchman Eugène Delacroix and the German Philipp Otto Runge explored the implications of musical analogies for painting, and everywhere writers, artists, and composers could be found in close association.

Romantic critics agreed that experience of profound inner emotion was the mainspring of creation and appreciation of art. Received ideas, and especially aesthetic values sanctioned by the authority of official institutions, were distrusted, and the individual was pitted against society. The artist asserted the right to evolve his own criteria of beauty and in so doing encouraged a new concept of artistic genius. The genius whom the Romantics celebrated was one who refused to conform, who remained defiantly independent of society, and whose chief virtues were novelty and sincerity. This sometimes led to bizarre and extravagant projects in which the intention to shock, excite, and involve struck a melodramatic, almost hysterical note that failed to convince by its very lack of restraint.

As in the literature of the period, tragic themes predominated in Romantic painting, and interest turned sharply from classical history and mythology to medieval subjects, although an interest in the primitive was sometimes common to both. The fascination with the Middle Ages combined with strong nationalist tendencies, disposing artists to a concern with the history and folklore of their own countries. At the same time they often sought themes or styles that were distant in place as well as time. Accounts of foreign travel and the literary works of Dante, Shakespeare, Byron, Goethe, Sir Walter Scott, and the supposed Celtic bard Ossian greatly influenced painters. Study of medieval culture imbued some painters with a Christian ideal of simplicity and moral integrity.

A salient feature of Romantic sensibility was awareness of the beauties of the natural world. Artists identified their personal feelings with nature's changing aspects. An almost reverential affection, animated by the belief that the divine mind was immanent in nature, engendered at times a Christian or theistic naturalism. The artist was seen as the interpreter of hidden mysteries, to which end imaginative insight must combine with absolute fidelity and sincerity. In Britain and Germany especially, the moral implications inherent in the appreciation of natural or artistic beauty tended to outweigh aesthetic considerations. Interest in transitory phenomena led painters to devote themselves to an accurate study of light and atmosphere and their effects on the landscape. Concern to preserve the spontaneity of the immediate impression brought about a revolution in painterly technique, with the rapid notation of the sketch carried into the final conception. Whether emphasizing expressive or purely visual considerations, the landscape paintings of the period display dazzling colour.

Curiosity about the external world and a spirit of what might be called scientific inquiry led many painters to explore the minutiae of nature. Technological advance also excited artistic interest, though painting was affected less than architecture and the decorative arts; and the humanitarian sympathy and generosity so vital to the Romantic spirit gradually effected a reconciliation between art and life. The political and social upheavals of the 19th century involved many painters in revolutionary movements and stimulated asolicitude toward the helpless and downtrodden that found most passionate and powerful expression in the works executed during and immediately after the Revolutions of 1848.

Britain

In the late 1760s and '70s a circle of British painters in Rome had already begun to find academic precepts inadequate. James Barry, the brothers John and Alexander Runciman, John Brown, George Romney, and the Swiss-born Henry Fuseli favoured themes—whether literary, historical, or purely imaginary—determined by a taste for the pathetic, bizarre, and extravagantly heroic. Mutually influential and highly eclectic, they combined, especially in their drawings, the linear tensions of Italian Mannerism with bold contrasts of light and shade. Though never in Rome, John Hamilton Mortimer had much in common with this group, for all were participants in a move to found a national school of narrativepainting. Fuseli's affiliations with the German Romantic Sturm und Drang writers predisposed him, like Flaxman, toward the “primitive” heroic stories of Homer and Dante. Flaxman himself, in the two-dimensional linear abstraction of his drawings, a two-dimensionality implying rejection of Renaissance perspective and seen for instance in the expressive purity of “Penelope's Dream” (1792–93), had important repercussions throughout Europe.

William Blake absorbed and outstripped the Fuseli circle, evolving new images for a unique private cosmology, rejecting oils in favour of tempera and watercolour, and depicting, as in “Pity” (1795; Tate Gallery, London [see ]), a shadowless world of soaring, supernatural beings. His passionate rejection of rationalism and materialism, his scorn for both Sir Joshua Reynolds and the Dutch Naturalists,stemmed from a conviction that “poetic genius” could alone perceive the infinite, so essential to the artist since “painting, as well as poetry and music, exists and exults in immortal thoughts.” The spiritual, symbolical expression of Blake's complex sympathies, his ability to recognize God in a single blade of grass, inspired Samuel Palmer, who, with hisfriend Edward Calvert, extracted from nature a visionary world of exquisite, though short-lived, intensity.

Empiricism and acceptance of the irrational, however, were not mutually exclusive, and each profoundly affected attitudes toward nature. Susceptible to the ideas of Blake and other radical theorists and animated by a growing spirit of inquiry into natural phenomena, painters slowly abandoned the picturesque desire to compose and became willing to be moved, awestruck, and terrified by nature unadorned. Early artists of the sublime, such as Alexander Cozens or Francis Towne, worked largely in watercolours andsolved the problem of scale by abstraction—use of broad areas of colour to suggest the vast scope of natural forces—an approach developed by Thomas Girtin and John Sell Cotman.

By the early 19th century, the watercolourist John Varley wasechoing current practice when he told his pupils John Linnell, William Mulready, and William Henry Hunt: “Go to nature for everything.” But already two outstanding British landscape painters, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner, were going still further. Both men, while admiring the classical landscapes ofClaude Lorrain and Poussin, believed that personal feeling was the mainspring of artistic activity and felt an almost mystical sympathy for the natural world. They made atmosphere almost palpable and painted everything from clouds to lichens with astonishing technical diversity. Constable considered himself before all else a “natural” painter and sought, in his own words, to capture “light—dews—breezes—bloom—and freshness” with scientific precision and deepest affection. For Constable, light clarified and enlivened, and his nostalgia for the Suffolkcountryside is personal and explicit. With Turner, light increasingly diffused the objects illuminated, and only a more literary expression satisfied his concept of the sublime, drawing him to mountain grandeur, raging seas, storms, and conflagrations. The technical innovations of these two men were better understood in France than in Britain; even John Ruskin's passionate defense of Turner, with its emphasis on absolute fidelity to nature, helped deflect Turner's and Constable's successors onto a very different course.

George Stubbs's anatomical studies and accurate delineations of animals were echoed a generation later by Thomas Bewick's bird studies, themselves harbingers of the drawings of Edwin Landseer and Ruskin's closely observed renderings of naturalistic detail. Stubbs's empathy for the animal world reemerged in the work of James Ward, together with an exultation in the power of nature, shared by Philip James de Loutherbourg. Demand for information about distant places partially superseded the taste for picturesqueEuropean scenes, and following William Hodges, who accompanied Captain James Cook's second voyage (1772–75), such painters as Richard Parkes Bonington, Samuel Prout, John Frederick Lewis, and Edward Lear traveledwidely, recording scenes of historic or exotic interest.

In portraiture an interest in extremes of mood found most eloquent expression in the work of Sir Thomas Lawrence, who combined in portraits such as those of Richard Payne Knight (1794; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester) and Pope Pius VII (1819; Royal Collection, Windsor Castle) brilliant freedom of handling, at times approaching exhibitionism, with dramatic expression and setting, at times almost melodramatic.

History painting, too, was transformed: Bonington's “Henri III and the English Ambassador” (1827–28; Wallace Collection, London), while testifying to a sustained delight in the medieval world, already betrays commensurate interest in period detail and the finer points of human insight. The authentic, domestic treatment of biblical themes at the hands of William Dyce and the Pre-Raphaelites (see below) contrasts sharply with the earlier apocalyptic fantasies of John Martin and Francis Danby. Inspired by David Wilkie's mellow, unassuming representation of country life subject matter, William Mulready turned to contemporary scenes of daily life, adopting the brilliant palette that distinguished British painting for the next half-century. The high Victorian Age saw much narrative painting, a genre that was practiced with accurate and sympathetic observation, from the panoramic activity of William Powell Frith's “Derby Day” (1858; Tate Gallery) to such intimate glimpses of reality as “The Travelling Companions” (1862; City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham), by Augustus Egg. Painting as a vehicle for social or moral comment was provided by Sir Luke Fildes and Frank Holl, in whose work a tendency to sentimentality isredeemed by a genuine regard for the sufferings of the poor. In the 1850s the Pre-Raphaelites gave expression to the painting of contemporary life with such memorable images as “The Blind Girl” (1856; City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham), by John Everett Millais, or “The Stonebreaker” (1857–58; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), by John Brett.

The Pre-Raphaelite movement, echoing that of the Nazarenes (a group of religiously minded painters who sought to revive medieval workshop practices; see below), reiterated many earlier Romantic ideals. Literary inspiration and a passion for the Middle Ages were tempered for the Pre-Raphaelites by a moral outlook that recoiled from sophistication and virtuosity and demanded rigorous studiesfrom natural life. These painters handled literary, historical, biblical, and contemporary themes with the same sincerity and fidelity that yielded the sparkling precision of Pre-Raphaelite landscape. Their earnest pursuit of truth, whether in depicting painful social realities or concentrating on the foreground blades of grass in a landscape, entailed a denial of many orthodox artistic pleasures. Together with Ford Madox Brown, the Pre-Raphaelites sustained the devotion to colour and light in painting that underlies the finest endeavours of English Romanticism.


Germany

In Germany also there was a reaction against classicism and the academies, and, as elsewhere, it involved all aspects of the arts. Again, as elsewhere, theory preceded practice: Herzensergiessungen eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders (“Effusions of an Art-Loving Monk”), by Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, had an immediate and widespread influence upon its publication in 1797. Wackenroder advocated a Christian art closely related to the art of the early German masters and provided the artist with a new role as interpreter of divine inspiration through his own feelings.

The painter Philipp Otto Runge had been reared on 17th-century German mysticism, and he proved susceptible to the ideas of writers such as Wackenroder when introduced to them in Dresden at the very end of the 18th century. In Dresden he formed a close association with the leading German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. Like Friedrich he was fascinated by the potential symbolic and allegorical power of landscape, which he used as a vehicle for religious expression. His vision of nature was pantheistic (as was Friedrich's), and in his portraits his aim was to capture the soul of the individual as part of the universal soul of nature. “The Artist's Parents and Children” (1806; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg) reflects not only his constant search for truth but also his admiration for the early German masters, through whose work he was made aware of the expressive power of line and colour. His interest in the German past, including folklore and fairy tales, was reflectedin a bizarre fairylike quality in much of his work (e.g., “Night,”1803), and it was this quality that was taken up and popularized by his two most important followers, Moritz von Schwind and Adrian Ludwig Richter, in whose hand the intensity of the first generation declined into popular genre paintings (usually small pictures depicting everyday life, as opposed to some idealized existence) and the comfortable Romanticism of the Biedermeier period (1815–48).

Friedrich was a deeply religious man whose vision demanded complete subjection to the spirit of God in nature; in suggesting through landscape the eternal presence of the Creator, he intended to induce in the beholder a state of religious awe. Among his pupils was Carl Gustav Carus, a physician, philosopher, and self-taught painter whose chief contribution was as a theorist; Neun Briefe über Landschaftsmalerei (1831; “Nine Letters on Landscape Painting”) elucidates and expands the ideas of Friedrich, adding Carus' own more-scientific approach to natural phenomena. Other important painters influenced by Friedrich were Ernst Ferdinand Oehme, a landscape painter, and Georg Friedrich Kersting, who captured in his stark interiors something of the master's atmosphere of silent worship. However, two other pupils of Friedrich subsequently abandoned tragic landscapes; one, the Norwegian Johan Christian Dahl, reverted to naturalism; the other, Karl Blechen, joined the Romantic realists.

Whereas Runge, Friedrich, and their followers interpreted Wackenroder in a highly personal way, others were inspired to communal activity. A number of young painters in Vienna founded in 1809 a group they called the Guild of St. Luke. Thefounding members were Johann Friedrich Overbeck (their leader), Franz Pforr, Joseph Wintergerst, Joseph Sutter, and Georg Ludwig Vogel. In 1810 they moved to Rome, where they were soon joined by Peter von Cornelius, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Friedrich Olivier, the brothers Philipp and Johannes Veit, Wilhelm von Schadow, Johann Evangelist Scheffer von Leonhartshoff, and Josef von Führich. Their semimonastic existence occasioned the nickname Nazarenes.

In general, their highest aspirations—toward monumental history painting—produced the least successful results, and they came closest to realizing their intentions on a small scale in highly finished watercolours and drawings, as in Overbeck's “The Raising of Jairus' Daughter” (1814). Only Joseph Anton Koch and Cornelius, who were both older and more experienced, achieved great vigour in their history paintings, combining medievalizing tendencies with the powerful classicism of Carstens (see above Neoclassicism: Germany and Austria), as seen in Cornelius' “The Recognition of Joseph by His Brethren” (1815–16; National Gallery, Berlin). Even Overbeck, an articulate leader and a lucid draftsman, could not escape, in his “Joseph Being Sold by His Brethren” (1816–17; National Gallery, Berlin), the self-conscious naïveté common to many of the Nazarenes. This naïveté is also noticeable in Pforr's “The Entry of the Emperor Rudolf of Habsburg into Basel in 1273” (c. 1809; Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main) and Schnorr's “The Procession of the Three Magi” (1819; Museum of Fine Art, Leipzig). Alfred Rethel, a late arrival, however, manages to avoid such an effect in his haunting “King David with His Harp” (c. 1831; Museum of Art,Düsseldorf). Not long afterward there was a move toward themore dramatic, though no less nostalgic, approach of von Schadow and his pupil Karl Friedrich Lessing.

Portraiture required less self-consciousness than history painting, and there are a number of highly sensitive portraits, mainly of their friends, by Overbeck, Schnorr, Scheffer von Leonardshoff, and Carl Philipp Fohr (“Portrait of Wilhelm von Schadow” [1818; Museum of the Palatinate, Heidelberg]). The Nazarenes' greatest contribution, however,was to landscape painting: inspired by the heroic landscapes of Koch (e.g., “Bernese Oberland” [1816; Gallery of Modern Paintings, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden]), by the German “primitives,” and by their own concept of truth to nature, they renounced the conventional Italianate solution and turned instead to the countryside around them and to memories of Germany and German painting. As the movement gathered momentum, the possibilities for development expanded, and the Nazarene landscape was valuable to later painters of the Biedermeier period and to painters of naturalistic landscape, Romantic realism, and secular historical subjects.





Theodore Gericault. The Raft of the Medusa

 

France

The French Revolution greatly stimulated interest in the depiction of contemporary events, although richly documented and highly detailed paintings of topical patriotic events were being painted in London by West and John Singleton Copley even before the Revolution. Encouraged by David's example, however, painters in Francesought to represent authentically the crucial moments of their own time. Napoleon I enthusiastically endorsed this awareness of modern heroism and demanded pictorial celebration of the glorious achievements of the empire. David recorded the ceremonies of the imperial court with scrupulous precision. Napoleon's potent hold on the artistic imagination is well illustrated by Gros's “Napoleon Visiting the Pesthouse at Jaffa” (1804; Louvre), where he is endowed with godlike authority and the humanitarian sensibility of the true Romantic hero. At the same time, other artists—suchas Gérard, Girodet-Trioson, and Ingres—readily responded tothe Emperor's admiration for the stories of Ossian. After the fall of Napoleon few were disposed to depict contemporary subjects. Théodore Géricault was something of an exception,but he was separated from his immediate predecessors both by temperament and by the sincerity of his approach. Individual suffering rather than collective drama is vividly portrayed in “The Raft of the Medusa” (c. 1819; Louvre). This, Géricault's masterpiece, echoes in its strenuous forms the school of Caravaggio in the 17th century. His studies of the poor, aged, and insane are realistically observed and have a sympathetic intensity unmatched before the generation of Honoré Daumier and Gustave Courbet.

The paintings of Delacroix frequently disrupted the salons ofthe 1820s and '30s with their tumultuous colour and emotive energy. To many young men after 1815, France appeared to settle into a bourgeois respectability that implicitly disparaged the exhilarating years of the republic and the empire. In consequence, the art of the period often seems melancholic and introverted, the discontent expressing itselfin historical and exotic themes or in a passionate concern with the humble and rejected members of society. Delacroix has justly been acclaimed the leader of the Romantic school in France. His fertile imagination, embracing a novel range ofliterary and historical themes and fastening with a characteristic sense of the sadness of life on moments of death, defeat, and suffering, together with his prodigious technical resources exemplify Romanticism in its most obvious aspects. His vigorous handling of paint and expert use of colour values for both description and expression were important for the later development of French painting. “The Massacre at Chios” (1824; Louvre) transposes contemporary events into a realm of tragic fiction soon established unrestrainedly with such melodramatic works as“The Death of Sardanapalus” (1827; Louvre), a riot of brilliant colour and ebullient forms.

Delacroix's Moroccan paintings released a flood of North African subjects, although, in the hands of lesser artists—such as Eugène Fromentin, Ary Scheffer, and EugèneDevéria—the treatment is less effective. Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, whose small canvases have a delicate, jewellike quality, provided the most refreshing variations on the theme. But Delacroix was not the first to handle Oriental subjects; Ingres had already done so with a reticence that belies the sensuous delight in “Valpinçon Bather” (1808; Louvre) and in “La Grande Odalisque” (1814; Louvre [see ]). Early in his career Ingres made notable contributions to the historical genre with episodes from medieval French history painted in a style of linear purity that parallels the methods of Flaxman and Blake in Britain and the Nazarenes in Germany. Under the spell of Raphael he returned to the academic fold, but his portraits always retained that trenchant simplicity and lucid insight that make him such a memorable exponent of lyric realism. The career of Ingres and in a converse sense that of Paul Delaroche well illustratethe imprudence of too readily distinguishing between academic and Romantic artists. Delaroche, perhaps the mostpopular representative of the Romantic school, specialized in highly charged narratives with royal and child characters, of which “The Children of Edward” (c. 1830; Louvre) is a typical example, being executed with a flatness that lacks either linear or colouristic inspiration. In comparison, the work of Théodore Chassériau is animated by powerful emotional overtones reminiscent of Delacroix. “The CossackGirl Finding the Body of Mazeppa” (1851; Museum of Fine Art, Strasbourg) shows a similarly expressive use of paint, together with poignant imagery, both characteristic of his regrettably slender oeuvre. At the end of the century, Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon transformed these features, along with others in Louis Boulanger's work, into whimsical, haunting fantasies that delighted the Symbolist poets.

In the 1830s and '40s it was Honoré Daumier, more than any other artist, who portrayed relatively lowly members of society, expressing in numerous drawings and paintings their patient resignation. In contrast, his truly excoriating depiction of the weaknesses and vices of the privileged classes, particularly officialdom, often displeased authority, which had long identified Romanticism with liberalism—and with good reason. A strain of poetic realism in the 1840s, essentially Romantic in approach, gathered sudden momentum with the Revolution and short-lived republic of 1848. Jean-François Millet and Gustave Courbet depicted peasant life, investing it with a certain timeless quality. Courbet's “Stone-Breakers” (1849; destroyed during World War II) and Millet's harrowing “Quarriers” (c. 1847; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) powerfully express their creators' concern for the poor. Courbet created a sombre monument tohis own village in “Burial at Ornans” (1849; Louvre), and Millet succeeded in conferring an epic grandeur on scenes ofrural life.

A new approach to the familiar and unsophisticated occurs inthe landscape painting of the 1830s and '40s; for, although French Romanticism produced no Turner, it did give rise to the Barbizon school, a group of naturalist painters who were particularly active in the forest of Fontainebleau. In this period the charm of the spontaneous sketch as opposed to the finished study was recognized: painters readily set up their easels in the open air and scrutinized the scene before them. A direct approach to nature and an interest in transitory moments, especially the changing effects of light, were features common to Romantic landscape painters throughout Europe and the United States. Paul Huet, a friend of Delacroix and Bonington and a painter closely associated with the Romantic school, represented dramatic, stormy scenes of solitude; yet, though scarcely a naturalist, he was deeply impressed by the works of Constable, several of which he copied and which inspired him to adopt a broken style of brushwork with dabs of bright pigment. The changed attitude to landscape is aptly expressed in the words of Théodore Rousseau, the most controversial representative of the new school: “Our art can only attain pathos through sincerity.” Rousseau attempted to render nature as he foundit, though his melancholic temperament is inevitably reflected in the desolate panoramas and gloomy sunsets in which he expressed an almost pantheistic feeling for the natural world. At the same time, his close attention to detail and painstaking accuracy in the delineation of plants and grasses betray the scientific concern shared by many Romantic artists. A similar penetration informed his studies of light, and both he and Charles-François Daubigny repeatedvirtually the same subjects under different weather conditions in order to capture the ephemeral effects of light and atmosphere. The freedom and freshness of Constable's handling is echoed in Daubigny's flickering treatment of sunset and light over water. A particularly poetic insight into nature was that of Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de La Peña and Constant Troyon. The work of Camille Corot, despite the restrained classicism of his style, is similarly enlivened by an instinctive feeling for naturalistic landscape. For, while they laid the foundation for the painterly revolution of the Impressionists, the Barbizon painters always retained the generous appreciation of natural beauty and emotional involvement with their subject that everywhere distinguish the Romantic temperament.
 


United States

American Romantic painters were largely influenced by trends in late 18th-century Europe, especially Britain, but theabsence of an indigenous artistic tradition permitted a much more intuitive development. At the same time, their work, like that of the early French Romantics, is closely associated with the new spirit fostered by a national revolution. The American Revolution, by reinforcing the democratic ideal, inspired a unique brand of Romantic realism that was a strong force in American painting from the late 18th century onward and that anticipated the emergence in Europe by a whole generation. Benjamin West, in addition to his contribution to Neoclassicism, developed a style of narrative painting with dramatic subjects taken from contemporary life; while he painted his most significant workin Britain, it was on American rather than English artists that it made the most impact. John Trumbull undertook a series of 12 scenes from the American Revolution, in which careful studies of the principal participants were incorporated into colourful, baroque compositions. At their best, these works, for example “Sortie from Gibraltar” (1789; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), carry great conviction, even if they tend to be somewhat theatrical. In 1784 one of the most candid portraitists of the period, Charles Willson Peale, completed a similarly ambitious project in his paintings of the leading figures of the Revolution. A more limited enthusiasm for precise naturalistic study informs the work of Alexander Wilson, whose devoted love of birds emerges in the freshness and simplicity of the plates to his American Ornithology (9 volumes; 1808–14). His achievement has been overshadowed by his greater successor, John James Audubon, who combined scientific precision with a delight in his specimens that transforms his watercolour drawings of birds into works of rare and delicate beauty.

At the beginning of the Romantic period, artists were still influenced by British painting, but this influence grew less and less perceptible as the 19th century progressed. For instance, the portrait of “Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins”(1831–32; Boston Athenaeum), by Thomas Sully, the leading exponent of a new portraiture supposedly expressive of mood, has touches of Sir Thomas Lawrence in the delicately brushed surface, strong contrasts of light and dark, and exquisite elegance of pose. But, though Samuel F.B. Morse, Samuel Waldo, William Page, and others also practiced an emotive style, portraits of the 19th century increasingly tended to endorse the native tradition of solid characterization.

The career of the landscape painter Washington Allston reflects the development of American painting in his lifetime. Absorbed by German and English Romantic poetry, he began on a note of high drama, moving in cosmopolitan artistic circles in Rome and producing a number of early landscapes that seem to have played a part in winning the friendship of the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. At this point, what was obviously an impetuous and brooding strain in Allston's temperament found expression by depicting nature in the darker, more destructive moods dear to Turner. “The Deluge” (1804; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) is a typical macabre invention, with bodies in a raging tempest swept ashore to where wolves and serpents lurk. On his return to the United States, however, his work assumed a quieter, more pensive aspect. “The Flight of Florimell” (1819; Detroit Institute of Arts) illustrates this later style.

An uncomplicated love for their own natural scenery emerges in the work of a succession of landscape painters who frequently strike a contemplative, lyrical note. Thomas Cole reverently recorded scenes in the valley of the Hudson River that echo the loneliness and mystery of the North American forests. With his generous humanitarian sympathies, Asher B. Durand gave a serene and artless account of nature. His feeling for space and finely diffused light renders “Kindred Spirits” (1849; New York Public Library) a touching tribute to the friendship of Cole with the American Romantic poet William Cullen Bryant. An interest in light and atmosphere was shared by George Loring Brown, FitzHugh Lane, Frederic Edwin Church, and George Harvey; all followed Durand and painted in the open. Simplicity and reticence distinguish the landscapes of Thomas Doughty, who concentrated on painting the Hudson River valley as he knew and loved it. The details of country life that fill the stories of Washington Irving are portrayed with affection by William Sidney Mount, who in “Eel Spearing at Setanket” (1845; New York State Historical Association, New York City) transcends the merely anecdotal. George Caleb Bingham approached the life of the frontier without the passionate concern that motivated many contemporary French artists. Solemn and severe in style and glowing with colour, his “Fur Traders Descending the Missouri” (c. 1845; Metropolitan Museum of Art) captures the silence and solitary grandeur of frontier life. The wildness of the frontier caught the imagination of many 19th-century artists: George Catlin, Seth Eastman, John M. Stanley, Alfred Jacob Miller, and Karl Bodmer all discovered a picturesque drama and excitement in Indian life. The Romantic period witnessed the emergenceof a truly national school of painting in the United States, where events and scenery provided a constant source of stimulation for artists content to distill their own poetry fromthe world around them.

Susan Elizabeth Benenson






Karl Bryullov. Girl Gathering Grapes in a Suburb of Naples. 1827


Russia

Napoleon's invasion of Russia (1812) had far-reaching consequences. It marked the revival of national consciousness and the beginning of a widespread cult of Russian separateness from Europe, thus precipitating the long controversy between “Westerners” and “Slavophiles” that ran through so much of Russian 19th-century literature and thought. At the same time, Russia shared in the Romanticism—cultivated by France and Germany—that gripped Europe during the era of the Napoleonic Wars. This isreflected in the paintings of Orest Kiprensky and Vasily Tropinin. The most notable contribution to the Romantic spirit, however, was made by Karl Pavlovich Bryullov, with his monumental painting “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1830–33; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg). A completely different trend appears in the work of Aleksandr Ivanov, the first Russian painter to express religious emotions in a western European manner. Other outstanding artists of that period were Aleksey Venetsianov and Pavel Fedotov, the forerunners of Realist painting in Russia.

The second half of the 19th century saw the maturing of Realism in Russia. A sympathetic attitude toward the hard life of the people is reflected in the works of most of the painters and sculptors of that time. The new trend in art had as its basis the populist revolutionary ferment prevalent toward the end of the 1850s and the beginning of the 1860s, much of it inspired by the writers Nikolay Dobrolyubov and Nikolay Chernyshevsky. Chernyshevsky's dissertation Esteticheskiye otnosheniya iskusstva k deystvitelnosti (1855; “The Aesthetic Relations of Art to Reality”), the main thesis of which was that art must not only reflect reality but also explain and judge it, provided a starting point for contemporary artists.

From the last third of the 19th century onward, the history of Russian art is the history of a series of school struggles: the Slavophiles against the Westerners; the Academy against the Peredvizhniki (“Wanderers”); and later the joint effort of the last two against a new movement, born in the 1890s and directed by the art review Mir Iskusstva (“The World of Art”).

The Peredvizhniki was a society formed in 1870 by a group of essentially Romantic artists who, however, regarded themselves as Realists. They seceded from the Academy in 1863 in protest against alien dogmatic formulas and the constricting programs of the Academy's annual competitions. Most prominent among the Peredvizhniki were Ivan Kramskoy, Ilya Repin, Vasily Ivanovich Surikov (see photograph), Vasily Perov, and Vasily Vereshchagin. The society attached far more importance to the moraland literary aspects of art than to aesthetics. Its artistic creed was realism, national feeling, and social consciousness. Art was to be placed at the service of humanitarian and social ideals; it was to be brought to the people. Accordingly the society organized mobile (peredvizheniye) exhibitions—hence the name. The influence of the Peredvizhniki spread throughout Russia and was dominant for nearly 30 years, but by the end of the century it had greatly declined.

Arthur Voyce

 
 
 

Antonio Canova. The Penitent Magdalene
 
 
 
Orientalism
 
Orientalism is a term used by art historians and literary and cultural studies scholars for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Middle Eastern and East Asian cultures (Eastern cultures) by writers, designers and artists from the West. In particular, Orientalist painting, depicting more specifically "the Middle East", was one of the many specialisms of 19th-century Academic art, and the literatures of European countries took a similar interest in Oriental themes.
Since the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978, much academic discourse has begun to use the term "Orientalism" to refer to a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies. In Said's analysis, the West essentializes these societies as static and undeveloped—thereby fabricating a view of Oriental culture that can be studied, depicted, and reproduced. Implicit in this fabrication, writes Said, is the idea that Western society is developed, rational, flexible, and superior.
 
 
Meaning of the term

"Orientalism" refers to the Orient or East, in contrast to the Occident or West, and often, as seen by the West. Orient came into English from Middle French orient (the root word is oriēns, L). Oriēns has related meanings: the eastern part of the world, the part of the sky in which the sun rises, the east, the rising sun, daybreak, and dawn. Together with the geographical concepts of different ages, its reference of "eastern part" has changed. For example, when Chaucer wrote "That they conquered many regnes grete / In the orient, with many a fair citee" in Monk's Tale (1375), the "orient" refers to countries lying immediately to the east of the Mediterranean or Southern Europe; while in Aneurin Bevan's In Place of Fear (1952) this geographical term had already expanded to East Asia — "the awakening of the Orient under the impact of Western ideas".
"Orientalism" is widely used in art to refer to the works of the many Western 19th-century artists, who specialized in "Oriental" subjects, often drawing on their travels to Western Asia. Artists as well as scholars were already described as "Orientalists" in the 19th century, especially in France, where the term, with a rather dismissive sense, was largely popularized by the critic Jules-Antoine Castagnary. Such disdain did not prevent the Société des Peintres Orientalistes ("Society of Orientalist Painters") being founded in 1893, with Jean-Léon Gérôme as honorary president; the word was less often used as a term for artists in 19th century England.
Since the 18th century, Orientalist has been the traditional term for a scholar of Oriental studies; however the use in English of Orientalism to describe the academic subject of "Oriental studies" is rare; the Oxford English Dictionary cites only one such usage, by Lord Byron in 1812. The academic discipline of Oriental studies is now more often called Asian studies.
In 1978, the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said published his influential and controversial book, Orientalism, which "would forever redefine" the word; he used the term to describe what he argued was a pervasive Western tradition, both academic and artistic, of prejudiced outsider interpretations of the East, shaped by the attitudes of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. Said was critical of this scholarly tradition and of some modern scholars, particularly Bernard Lewis. Said's Orientalism elaborates Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony and Michel Foucault's theorisation of discourse and relationship between knowledge and power. Said was mainly concerned with literature in the widest sense, especially French literature, and did not cover visual art and Orientalist painting. Others, notably Linda Nochlin, have tried to extend his analysis to art, "with uneven results". Said's work became one of the foundational texts of Postcolonialism or Postcolonial studies.



Orientalizing styles in Europe


The Moresque style of Renaissance ornament is a European adaptation of the Islamic arabesque that began in the late 15th century and was to be used in some types of work, such as bookbinding, until almost the present day. Early architectural use of motifs lifted from the Indian subcontinent has sometimes been called "Hindoo style". One of the earliest examples is the façade of Guildhall, London (1788–1789). The style gained momentum in the west with the publication of views of India by William Hodges, and William and Thomas Daniell from about 1795. Examples of "Hindoo" architecture are Sezincote House (c. 1805) in Gloucestershire, built for a nabob returned from Bengal, and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

Turquerie, which began as early as the late 15th century, continued until at least the 18th century, and included both the use of "Turkish" styles in the decorative arts, the adoption of Turkish costume at times, and interest in art depicting the Ottoman Empire itself. Venice, the traditional trading partner of the Ottomans, was the earliest centre, with France becoming more prominent in the 18th century.
Chinoiserie is the catch-all term for the fashion for Chinese themes in decoration in Western Europe, beginning in the late 17th century and peaking in waves, especially Rococo Chinoiserie, ca. 1740–1770. From the Renaissance to the 18th century, Western designers attempted to imitate the technical sophistication of Chinese ceramics with only partial success. Early hints of Chinoiserie appeared in the 17th century in nations with active East India companies: England (the British East India Company), Denmark (the Danish East India Company), the Netherlands (the Dutch East India Company) and France (the French East India Company). Tin-glazed pottery made at Delft and other Dutch towns adopted genuine blue-and-white Ming decoration from the early 17th century. Early ceramic wares made at Meissen and other centers of true porcelain imitated Chinese shapes for dishes, vases and teawares.

Pleasure pavilions in "Chinese taste" appeared in the formal parterres of late Baroque and Rococo German palaces, and in tile panels at Aranjuez near Madrid. Thomas Chippendale's mahogany tea tables and china cabinets, especially, were embellished with fretwork glazing and railings, ca 1753–70. Sober homages to early Xing scholars' furnishings were also naturalized, as the tang evolved into a mid-Georgian side table and squared slat-back armchairs that suited English gentlemen as well as Chinese scholars. Not every adaptation of Chinese design principles falls within mainstream "chinoiserie." Chinoiserie media included imitations of lacquer and painted tin (tôle) ware that imitated japanning, early painted wallpapers in sheets, and ceramic figurines and table ornaments. Small pagodas appeared on chimneypieces and full-sized ones in gardens. Kew has a magnificent garden pagoda designed by Sir William Chambers. The Wilhelma (1846) in Stuttgart is an example of Moorish Revival architecture. Leighton House, built for the artist Lord Leighton, has a conventional facade but elaborate Arab-style interiors, including original Islamic tiles and other elements as well as Victorian Orientalizing work.

After 1860, Japonisme, sparked by the importing of Japanese woodblock prints, became an important influence in the western arts. In particular, many modern French artists such as Monet and Degas were influenced by the Japanese style. Mary Cassatt, an American artist who worked in France, used elements of combined patterns, flat planes and shifting perspective of Japanese prints in her own images. The paintings of James McNeill Whistler and his "Peacock Room" demonstrated how he used aspects of Japanese tradition and are some of the finest works of the genre. California architects Greene and Greene were inspired by Japanese elements in their design of the Gamble House and other buildings.

In architecture, Egyptian revival architecture was popular mostly in the early and mid-19th century, and Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture or Moorish Revival architecture, covering a variety of general Islamic or Indian features, in the later part of the century; "Saracenic" referred to styles from Arabic-speaking areas. Both were sometimes used in the Orient itself by colonial governments.



Orientalist art

Pre-19th century

Depictions of Islamic "Moors" and "Turks" (imprecisely named Muslim groups of southern Europe, North Africa and West Asia) can be found in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art. In Biblical scenes in Early Netherlandish painting, secondary figures, especially Romans, were given exotic costumes that distantly reflected the clothes of the Near East. The Three Magi in Nativity scenes were an especial focus for this. In general art with Biblical settings would not be considered as Orientalist except where contemporary or historicist Middle Eastern detail or settings is a feature of works, as with some paintings by Gentile Bellini and others, and a number of 19th century works. Renaissance Venice had a phase of particular interest in depictions of the Ottoman Empire in painting and prints. Gentile Bellini, who travelled to Constantinople and painted the Sultan, and Vittore Carpaccio were the leading painters. By then the depictions were more accurate, with men typically dressed all in white. The depiction of Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting sometimes draws from Orientalist interest, but more often just reflects the prestige these expensive objects had in the period.

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702–1789) visited Istanbul and painted numerous pastels of Turkish domestic scenes; he also continued to wear Turkish dress for much of the time when back in Europe. The ambitious Scottish 18th-century artist Gavin Hamilton found a solution to the problem of using modern dress, considered unheroic and inelegant, in history painting by using Middle Eastern settings with Europeans wearing local costume, as travellers were advised to do. His huge James Dawkins and Robert Wood Discovering the Ruins of Palmyra (1758, now Edinburgh) elevates tourism to the heroic, with the two travellers wearing what look very like togas. Many travellers had themselves painted in exotic Eastern dress on their return, including Lord Byron, as did many who had never left Europe, including Madame de Pompadour. Byron's poetry was highly influential in introducing Europe to the heady cocktail of Romanticism in exotic Oriental settings which was to dominate 19th century Oriental art.


French Orientalism


French Orientalist painting was transformed by Napoleon's ultimately unsuccessful invasion of Egypt and Syria in 1798-1801, which stimulated great public interest in Egyptology, and was also recorded in subsequent years by Napoleon's court painters, especially Baron Gros, although the Middle Eastern campaign was not one on which he accompanied the army. Two of his most successful paintings, Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa (1804) and Battle of Abukir (1806) focus on the Emperor, as he was by then, but include many Egyptian figures, as does the less effective Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids (1810). Girodet's La Révolte du Caire (1810) was another large and prominent example. A well-illustrated Description de l’Égypte was published by the French Government in twenty volumes between 1809 and 1828, concentrating on antiquities.

Eugène Delacroix's first great success, The Massacre at Chios (1824) was painted before he visited the Greece or the East, and followed his friend Théodore Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa in showing a recent incident in distant parts that had aroused public opinion. Greece was still fighting for independence from the Ottomans, and was effectively as exotic as the more Near Eastern parts of the empire. Delacroix followed up with Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi (1827), commemorating a siege of the previous year, and the Death of Sardanapalus, inspired by Lord Byron, which although set in antiquity has been credited with beginning the mixture of sex, violence, lassitude and exoticism which runs through much French Orientalist painting. In 1832 Delacroix finally visited what is now Algeria, recently conquered by the French, and Morocco, as part of a diplomatic mission to the Sultan of Morocco. He was greatly struck by what he saw, comparing the North African way of life to that of the Ancient Romans, and continued to paint subjects from his trip on his return to France. Like many later Orientalist painters, he was frustrated by the difficulty of sketching women, and many of his scenes featured Jews or warriors on horses. However he was apparently able to get into the women's' quarters or harem of a house to sketch what became The Women of Algiers; few later harem scenes had this claim to authenticity.

When Ingres, the director of the French Académie de peinture, painted a highly colored vision of a Turkish bath, he made his eroticized Orient publicly acceptable by his diffuse generalizing of the female forms (who might all have been the same model). More open sensuality was seen as acceptable in the exotic Orient. This imagery persisted in art into the early 20th century, as evidenced in Matisse's orientalist semi-nudes from his Nice period, and his use of Oriental costumes and patterns. Ingres' pupil Théodore Chassériau (1819–1856) had already achieved success with his nude The Toilette of Esther (1841, Louvre) and equestrian portrait of Ali-Ben-Hamet, Caliph of Constantine and Chief of the Haractas, Followed by his Escort (1846) before he first visited the East, but in later decades the steamship made travel much easier and increasing numbers of artists traveled to the Middle East and beyond, painting a wide range of Oriental scenes.

In many of these works, they portrayed the Orient as exotic, colorful and sensual, not to say stereotyped. Such works typically concentrated on Oriental Islamic, Hebraic, and other Semitic cultures, as those were the ones visited by artists as France became more engaged in North Africa. French artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Léon Gérôme and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted many works depicting Islamic culture, often including lounging odalisques. They stressed both lassitude and visual spectacle. Other scenes, especially in genre painting, have been seen as either closely comparable to their equivalents set in modern-day or historical Europe, or as also reflecting an Orientalist mind-set in the Saidian sense of the term. Gérôme was the precursor, and often the master, of a number of French painters in the later part of the century whose works were often frankly salacious, frequently featuring scenes in harems, public baths and slave auctions (the last two also available with classical decor), and responsible, with others, for "the equation of Orientalism with the nude in pornographic mode"


British Orientalism

Though British political interest in the territories of the unravelling Ottoman Empire was as intense as in France, it was mostly more discreetly exercised. The origins of British Orientalist 19th-century painting owe more to religion than military conquest or the search for plausible locations for naked women. The leading British genre painter, Sir David Wilkie was 55 when he travelled to Istanbul and Jerusalem in 1840, dying off Gibraltar during the return voyage. Though not noted as a religious painter, Wilkie made the trip with a Protestant agenda to reform religious painting, as he believed that: "a Martin Luther in painting is as much called for as in theology, to sweep away the abuses by which our divine pursuit is encumbered", by which he meant traditional Christian iconography. He hoped to find more authentic settings and decor for Biblical subjects at their original location, though his death prevented more than studies being made. Other artists including the Pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt and David Roberts had similar motivations, giving an emphasis on realism in British Orientalist art from the start. The French artist James Tissot also used contemporary Middle Eastern landscape and decor for Biblical subjects, with little regard for historical costumes or other fittings.

William Holman Hunt produced a number of major paintings of Biblical subjects drawing on his Middle Eastern travels, improvising variants of contemporary Arab costume and furnishings to avoid specifically Islamic styles, and also some landscapes and genre subjects. The biblical subjects included The Scapegoat (1856), The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple (1860), and The Shadow of Death (1871). The Miracle of the Holy Fire (1899) was intended as a picturesque satire on the local Eastern Christians, of whom, like most English visitors, Hunt took a very dim view. His A Street Scene in Cairo; The Lantern-Maker's Courtship (1854–61) is a rare contemporary narrative scene, as the young man feels his fiancé's face, which he is not allowed to see, through her veil, as an Westerner in the background beats his way up the street with his stick. This a rare intrusion of a clearly contemporary figure into an Orientalist scene; mostly they claim the picturesqueness of the historical painting so popular at the time, without the trouble of researching authentic costumes and settings.

When Gérôme exhibited For Sale; Slaves at Cairo at the Royal Academy in London in 1871, it was "widely found offensive", perhaps partly because the British liked to think they had successfully suppressed the slave trade in Egypt, also for cruelty and "representing fleshiness for its own sake". But Rana Kabbani believes that "French Orientalist painting, as exemplified by the works of Gérôme, may appear more sensual, gaudy, gory and sexually explicit than its British counterpart, but this is a difference of style not substance ... Similar strains of fascination and repulsion convulsed their artists"[23] Nonetheless, nudity and violence are more evident in British paintings set in the ancient world, and "the iconography of the odalisque ... the Oriental sex slave whose image is offered up to the viewer as freely as she herself supposedly was to her master - is almost entirely French in origin", though taken up with enthusiasm by Italian and other painters.

John Frederick Lewis, who lived for several years in a traditional mansion in Cairo, painted highly detailed works showing both realistic genre scenes of Middle Eastern life and more idealized scenes in upper class Egyptian interiors with no traces of Western cultural influence yet apparent. His very careful and loving representation of Islamic architecture, furnishings, screens, and costumes set new standards of realism, which influenced other artists, including Gérôme in his later works. He "never painted a nude", and his wife modelled for several of his harem scenes, which, with the rare examples by the classicist painter Lord Leighton, imagine "the harem as a place of almost English domesticity, ... [where]... women's fully clothed respectability suggests a moral healthiness to go with their natural good looks".


Elsewhere

Russian Orientalist art was largely concerned with the areas of Central Asia that Russia was conquering during the century, and also in historical painting with the Mongols who had dominated Russia for much of the Middle Ages, who were rarely shown in a good light. Nationalist historical painting in Central Europe and the Balkans dwelt on Turkish oppression, with battle scenes and maidens about to be raped.
The Saidian analysis has not prevented a strong revival of interest in, and collecting of, 19th century Orientalist works since the 1970s, the latter in large part led by Middle Eastern buyers,
 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
see also:
 
Gustave Boulanger
Georges Clairin
Luis Ricardo Falero
Maria Fortuny
Eugene Fromentin
Jean-Leon Gerome
 
 
 
 
The Nazarenes

In 1809, the young German painters Franz Pforr  (1788-1812) and Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789-1869) founded the Brotherhood of St Luke in Vienna. They settled in Rome a year later, where they lived and worked with new recruits in the convent of Sant'Isidoro del Pincio. Because of their flowing hair and monk-like appearance, they were called the Nazarenes. Within the confines of the Brotherhood, their daily life was based on fraternity and ascetic poverty. As artists, the members set out to revive the art of painting by following an ideal of simplicity and sincerity, in conflict with the academic principles of their time. Their reworking of ancient sacred an was based on a sobriety of
colour and line that had many sources of inspiration, including Fra Angelico, the early works of Raphael, and older northern masters from van Eyck to Durer. For the Nazarenes, art was a divine mission, elevated to the level of true faith. The celestial origin of sacred art was celebrated by
Philipp Veit (1793-1877) in his frescos in the Villa Massimo of Rome (1819), where he represented the three great Italian poets - Dante, Ariosto, and Tasso -alongside the saints and fathers of the church. Between 1826 and 1839, Peter von Cornelius (1783-1867) gave artists sacred status in the loggias of the Munich Pinakothek (1826-30) and the Stadel Institute of Frankfurt with his Triumph of Religion in the Arts(1829). In portraits, there was a mood of contemplation. In the intimate portrayal of friends, pictures reveal subtle nuances of character, in a style far removed from the canons of official portraiture. The original spirit, derived from the masters of the 15th century that had brought the Nazarenes together, lasted only for a short time. The fresco cycles that decorated the home of the German consul Bartholdy (1816-17) and the Villa Massimo already showed affinities with the style of the Renaissance of the early 16th century. Pforr died before the age of 25 and Cornelius was summoned, together with Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Olivier (1785-1841) and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872), to Munich by Ludwig. The king encouraged a popular, educational style of painting and commissioned them to adorn the city's public buildings with patriotic, humanistic frescos. The art of the Nazarenes assumed an official role with Cornelius' paintings - which formed part of the Glyptothek (1819-30), the museum of ancient art designed in a Greek style by Leo von Klenze. Thanks, too, to Carolsfeld's cycle of the Nibelungen (1827) for the Konigsbau (the royal residence in Munich open to visitors), an artistic interpretation of national mythology assumed an educational function.

 
 

Nazarene, member of Lucas Brotherhood, or Brotherhood of Saint Luke, German Nazarener, or Lukasbund, one of an association formed by a number of young German painters in 1809 to return to the medieval spirit in art. Reacting particularly against 18th-century Neoclassicism, the brotherhood was the first effective antiacademic movement in European painting. The Nazarenes believed that all art should serve a moral or religious purpose; they admired painters of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance and rejected most subsequent painting (promulgated by the European academies), believing that it abandoned religious ideals in favour of artistic virtuosity. They also thought that the mechanical routine of the academy system could be avoided by a return to the more intimate teaching situation of the medieval workshop. For this reason, they worked and lived together in a semimonastic existence.

The brotherhood’s original members were six Vienna Academy students. Four of them, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Franz Pforr , Ludwig Vogel, and Johann Konrad Hottinger, moved in 1810 to Rome, where they occupied the abandoned monastery of Sant’Isidoro. There they were joined by Peter von Cornelius, Wilhelm von Schadow, and others who at various times were associated with the movement. They soon acquired the originally derisive nickname Nazarenes because of their affectation of biblical style of hair and dress. The major project of the Nazarenes was to revive the medieval art of fresco painting. They were fortunate in receiving two important commissions, the fresco decoration of the Casa Bartholdy (1816–17) and the Casino Massimo (1817–29) in Rome, which brought their work to international attention. By the time of the completion of the Casino Massimo frescoes, all except Overbeck had returned to Germany and the group had dissolved.

The art of the Nazarenes, consisting largely of religious subjects executed in a conventional naturalistic style, was, for the most part, unimpressive, characterized by overcrowded compositions, overattention to detail, and lack of colouristic or formal vitality. Nevertheless, their aim of honest expression of deeply felt ideals had an important influence on subsequent movements, particularly the English Pre-Raphaelites of the mid-19th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
see also:
 
Johann Friedrich Overbeck
Peter von Cornelius
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Paul Delaroche
Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin

Franz Pforr
Philipp Veit
Johann Heinrich Ferdinand Olivier

Johann Anton Ramboux
Josef Fuhrich
Carl Philipp Fohr 
Tommaso Minardi
Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow
Pietro Tenerani
 
 
 
 
Pre-Raphaelite
 
 
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, group of young British painters who banded together in 1848 in reaction against what they conceived to be the unimaginative and artificial historical painting of the Royal Academy and who purportedly sought to express a new moral seriousness and sincerity in their works. They were inspired by Italian art of the 14th and 15th centuries, and their adoption of the name Pre-Raphaelite expressed their admiration for what they saw as the direct and uncomplicated depiction of nature typical of Italian painting before the High Renaissance and, particularly, before the time of Raphael. Although the Brotherhood’s active life lasted not quite five years, its influence on painting in Britain, and ultimately on the decorative arts and interior design, was profound.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in 1848 by three Royal Academy students: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who was a gifted poet as well as a painter, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais, all under 25 years of age. The painter James Collinson, the painter and critic F.G. Stephens, the sculptor Thomas Woolner, and the critic William Michael Rossetti (Dante Gabriel’s brother) joined them by invitation. The painters William Dyce and Ford Madox Brown, who acted in part as mentors to the younger men, came to adapt their own work to the Pre-Raphaelite style.

The Brotherhood immediately began to produce highly convincing and significant works. Their pictures of religious and medieval subjects strove to revive the deep religious feeling and naive, unadorned directness of 15th-century Florentine and Sienese painting. The style that Hunt and Millais evolved featured sharp and brilliant lighting, a clear atmosphere, and a near-photographic reproduction of minute details. They also frequently introduced a private poetic symbolism into their representations of biblical subjects and medieval literary themes. Rossetti’s work differed from that of the others in its more arcane aesthetic and in the artist’s general lack of interest in copying the precise appearance of objects in nature. Vitality and freshness of vision are the most admirable qualities of these early Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Some of the founding members exhibited their first works anonymously, signing their paintings with the monogram PRB. When their identity and youth were discovered in 1850, their work was harshly criticized by the novelist Charles Dickens, among others, not only for its disregard of academic ideals of beauty but also for its apparent irreverence in treating religious themes with an uncompromising realism. Nevertheless, the leading art critic of the day, John Ruskin, stoutly defended Pre-Raphaelite art, and the members of the group were never without patrons.

By 1854 the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood had gone their individual ways, but their style had a wide influence and gained many followers during the 1850s and early ’60s. In the late 1850s Dante Gabriel Rossetti became associated with the younger painters Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris and moved closer to a sensual and almost mystical romanticism. Millais, the most technically gifted painter of the group, went on to become an academic success. Hunt alone pursued the same style throughout most of his career and remained true to Pre-Raphaelite principles. Pre-Raphaelitism in its later stage is epitomized by the paintings of Burne-Jones, characterized by a jewel-toned palette, elegantly attenuated figures, and highly imaginative subjects and settings.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 

Ford Madox Brown. The Last of England
 
 
see also:
 
Ford Madox Brown
Edward Burne-Jones
James Collinson
Walter Crane
William Frith
Thomas Cooper Gotch

Arthur Hughes
Edward Robert Hughes
William Holman Hunt
John Everett Millais
William Morris
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
John William Waterhouse
 
 
 

 
 
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