Introduction to Modern Art Basics

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Academic
Institutionalization of the "fine arts” and the nature of academic instruction * The academy set the standard for what was art.
* Very specific criteria
* Only allowed to do History Painting: an event out of history, the bible, or mythology * Other than history – portrait, still lives, genre painting * Subject matter: history/mythology/politics

* Studying in Rome was the high point of artistic development * Mengs, Parnassus, 1761
* Theme: the origin of poetry- the important foundations of poetry * Organization of composition:
* deliberate, triangular with the most important figure in the center. * “Balanced Composition”
* Clear contour lines
* Smooth polished surface (goal of this kind of art)
Eg. Ingres, Apotheosis of Homer
Composition balance, clear delineation of form, depiction of spatial relations, use of light to highlight homer e.g. Ingres, Portrait of the artist granet, 1807Brightly illuminated face Astute posture

Ornate background (open air of Rome)
Important subject matter (Granet)
Represents the Artist as a member of the dominate culture/community

David's model of civic virtue: Oath of the Horatii between the Hands of their Father, 1785 * In many respects this work corresponds to the standards – clear articulation of form and space, smooth surface, large scale, something like a compositional triangle, story of the Roman past where the three sons are pledging their allegiance to defend republic Rome to the death against tyranny. * Corresponds exactly to academic standards

* The idea of dedicating oneself to a higher cause during these emotional times * Defending a higher principle
* The struggle against tyranny
* Deliberately submitted this to the salon 1785 at the last minute and it created a huge outcry * What made this controversial?
* Lines on convergence come together at the most important point * Looking at the capital of the column you can see it turns inward, making it appear unnatural. * The figures in the composition are falling apart from each other instead of coming together * If the sons would put their arms down they would fall below their knees, a blatant misuse * Why did the critics from the emerging middle class say the mistakes are what made it great? * David was rebelling against the standards of the upper class (restrictions of the academy) * Critics saw this as a representations of their own rebellion against the upper class

Napoleon as emperor and the return of the Academy
Was closed during the French Revolution 1789
The institution persisted
* The growing impact of the middle class on the production of art * emergence of the "gallery-dealer" system
* The middle class has some money and would like to purchase art works. This creates a new system of marketing art emerging in the late 18th century. Artists are now producing art for people they do not know instead of known kings or aristocrats. They do not know who will purchase their art. * Artists began to:

* Start to innovate and do new things to attract attention * Important to the modern movement
* Socio-economics pushed the development of modern art
* tradition and the market value of innovation

e.g. Early 19th-century Romantic landscape painting in England * perception and imagination:
* Turner's Burning of the Houses of Parliament, 1834; Rain, Steam, and Speed--The Great Western Railway, 1844. * Break from reality
* Differences from the tradition:
* These paintings depict a contemporary event Turner observed * Pigment is applied in a sketchy/turbulent/textured way (Impasto) * More visionary and blended
* In the final product Turner has preserved his emotional response to what was unfolding in front of him * The sketchiness of brush...
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