Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Unit 10 - Reading and DVD - 18C Romanticism and Neo-Classicism

This unit moves away from Italy and Holland and focuses mainly on France.  Louis 14th's palace of Versaille, Rococo art in the first half of the century and then the French revolution from 1790 center this period onto France.  Reference is made to other countries as well but just not so much.

1700s time when industrialization, bureaucratized government and ideas of equality were taking over.  No longer thought that kings were God appointed.  Christianity maintained hold til end of century but the architecture and works of art for religious buildings were mainly imitative of previous centuries.

The Enlightenment - ideas taken from philosophers of 17th C (Descartes, John Locke)  Isaac Newton coming up with rational explanations regarding workings of the universe.  Empirical scientific thought and study. 

Gap between artist and craftsman widening.  Architects/Interior designers could now do all the design but not the actual work.  Another example Josiah Wedgwood could design pottery but craftsmen painted it. 

First half of century
Louis 14th built massive house and formal gardens at Versaille.  So big - over 120 windows per storey looking out over the lake!!!
Rococo art has curly shell like bits, soft mingling colours, lightly infringed rules of classical composition.  Rococo style comes about when Louis wanted paintings that were more light and youthful.  He transferred favour from artists sticking to ideas of The Academy to dissenters.  Academy - Pouissinists - importance of drawing, superior to colour as appeals to the intellect.  But the Rubenists say colour necessary for imitation of nature which is what art should strive to do and that art should be pure physical pleasure received through the senses which is how colour is seen.

Some Rococo symbolism!!!
ladies on swings - the inconsistent and teasing nature of women!
Dolphins pulling the water chariot of Venus, being driven by cupids - the impatient surge of love
Hats - to cover accidentally exposed male genitalia!
a girl's naked foot - lost virginity (previously a broken pitcher was used)

Then in 1750s reaction against the rococo set in almost simultaneously in France, Germany and England.  A call for morally instructive art.  Statues and paintings of those who have served the country - through fighting wars or their genius.  Demand for a new art - back to ancient Greece again - Neo-Classicism

Other countries

Britain - the landscaped park.  The rich building grand houses with grand gardens to match.  Match the style of ancient Rome - running brooks, lakes, groves of mixed trees, classical temples, grottos.  Look like paintings by Claude. The rich would have a nostalgia for their grand tour to Italy.
Foundation of Royal Academy in 1768.

America - Declaration of Independence.  Art starting to come out of America.

Germany and Italy - almost impossible to tell difference between baroque and rococo art.

18c artists (more info on artists post)
Watteau, Boucher, Chardin, Fragonard, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Kauffman, David

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