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Caspar David Friedrich, ‘The Wanderer above the sea of fog’, 1818. Romanticism: Art. “One of Romantic art’s distinctive features is the artist’s desire to express the ideal in terms of the real.” (Behrendt in Roe, p. 62).

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romanticism art

Caspar David Friedrich, ‘The Wanderer above the sea of fog’, 1818

Romanticism: Art

“One of Romantic art’s distinctive features is the artist’s desire to express the ideal in terms of the real.” (Behrendt in Roe, p. 62)

slide2
Pietro Antonio Martini (1739-1797) after Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763-1840) The Exhibition at the Royal Academy 1787, 1787
  • The Royal Academy was established in 1769. Whilst the Academy was an educational and exhibition facility, it also served to
    • Create authorities and therefore rules in art
    • Encouraged art appreciation amongst the broader population
    • Encouraged the rise of the art critic
  • The ‘grand style’ was encouraged, i.e. history painting of heroic figures from myth, history, the bible on large canvases – elitist and patrician
landscape painting
Landscape Painting
  • “the doubled representation of the rural as a space that was subtly infiltrated by modern commercial improvement and expansion, but one that was also an uncorrupted repository of morality, tradition and hierarchical social vales standing outside clogged, mixed and ever expanding metropolis” (Halle in McCalman)
jmw turner rain steam and speed the great western railway 1844
JMW Turner, ‘Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway’, 1844

There is meant to be a hare in this picture somewhere but I can’t find it. If you can –point it out to me. Here you get the clash of the mechanical and the rural.

james ward gordale scar 1811 1815
James Ward: ‘Gordale Scar’, 1811-1815

An example of the sublime. Note the enormity of the cliffs in comparison to the cattle below.

slide11
Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg, ‘Iron Works, Coalbrook Dale’, Etching, aquatint and colour washes, c. 1812

‘Coalbrookdale by Night’(1801), another of Loutherbourg’s works, interprets industrialisation as spectacular, alchemical theatre.

caspar david friedrich easter morning 1833
Caspar David Friedrich, ‘Easter morning’,  1833

Friedrich was interested in natural symbolism. The religious meaning of this painting is clear in its visual iconography: three women, one in mourning balanced by two younger women; the straight road leading to the cemetery; the veiling fog; the setting of morning, the fog ,the budding tress, suggest liminality; “Nature ushers them forward, and also pushes on with the cycle of life: rebirth after death and light after darkness.” (Dixon in Dixon, p. 118)

seascapes
Seascapes
  • Think of Frankenstein, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’
    • Exploration
    • Desolation
    • Man vs nature
    • The sublime
richard parkes bonington the coast of normandy 1823 1824
Richard Parkes Bonington, ‘The Coast of Normandy’, 1823-1824

The Romantics experimented with the representation of clouds a great deal, as can be seen in this picture. Clouds are both reflected and reflecting. They provide movement to an otherwise static landscapes, although there is some water here but it is not the focus. The sky takes up about three-quarters of the picture. Bonington, like a true Romantic, died of tuberculosis at 25.

william blake frontispiece to milton a poem 1804 1810
William Blake, frontispiece to ‘Milton: A Poem’, 1804-1810

The Romantic poets were extremely interested in the work of Milton (1608-74), admiring his republican (anti-monarchist) politics and claiming him as a particularly English writer. Milton was much admired for his poetic technique as well. “The promise ...that England could become a nation of prophets remained an inspiring force behind the millenarianism of Blake's poetry...” (McCalman p. 605).

william blake preface to milton 1804 1810
William Blake, ‘Preface to Milton’, 1804-1810

Jerusalem

  And did those feet in ancient time.Walk upon Englandsmountains green:And was the holy Lamb of God,On Englands pleasant pastures seen!And did the Countenance Divine,Shine forth upon our clouded hills?And was Jerusalem builded here,Among these dark Satanic Mills?Bring me my Bow of burning gold;Bring me my Arrows of desire:Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!Bring me my Chariot of fire!I will not cease from Mental Fight,Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:Till we have built Jerusalem,In Englandsgreen & pleasant Land

Thpoem Jerusalem (1804), by William Blake, is actually an excerpt from the preface to one of his "prophetic books", Milton.Jerusalem is here the symbolic residence of a humanity freed of the inter-related chains of commerce, British imperialism, and war. Blake's "mental fight" is directed against these chains.  In his Blake: Prophet Against Empire, David Erdman tells us that Blake's "dark, Satanic Mills" are "mills that produce dark metal,

iron and steel, for diabolic purposes . . . . London  . . . was a war arsenal and the hub of the machinery of war, and Blake uses the symbol in that sense."

Jerusalem was set to music quite movingly by composer Hubert Parry in 1916, and has since seen many variations, ranging from the magisterial to the rousing.  Our favorite is the version arranged by Emerson, Lake and Palmer.  A link may be visited here for a performance on the organ.

william blake preface to milton 1804 1810 p 2
William Blake, ‘Preface to Milton’, 1804-1810 p.2
  • The poem Jerusalem (1804), by William Blake, is actually an excerpt from the preface to one of his "prophetic books", Milton.Jerusalem is here the symbolic residence of a humanity freed of the inter-related chains of commerce, British imperialism, and war. Blake's "mental fight" is directed against these chains.  In his Blake: Prophet Against Empire, David Erdman tells us that Blake's "dark, Satanic Mills" are "mills that produce dark metal, iron and steel, for diabolic purposes . . . . London  . . . was a war arsenal and the hub of the machinery of war, and Blake uses the symbol in that sense."
  • Jerusalem was set to music quite movingly by composer Hubert Parry in 1916, and has since seen many variations, ranging from the magisterial to the rousing. 
  • http://www.progressiveliving.org/william_blake_poetry_jerusalem.htm
henry fuseli satan starting from the touch of ithuriel s spear 1779
Henry Fuseli, ‘Satan Starting from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear’, 1779

Fuseli opened a Milton Gallery in 1799. This painting depicts a section from Paradise Lost. Angels are defending the sleeping Adam and Eve from Satan.

slide24
Henry Fuseli, ‘Titania Awakes, Surrounded by Attendant Fairies, Clinging Rapturously to Bottom’, 1785-1790
  • See also http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/gothicnightmares/infocus/awakening.htm

“ Here, a grotesque protagonist , a miniaturised male nude, and an eroticised heroine intermingle promiscuously across the picture’s centre, looked at by a circle of fairies...Such paintings offered an eerie Gothic alternative to ... history painting...in which the masculine clamour of battle is replaced by an alternative, more fantastical form of patriotic symbolism, laden with the traces of a femininity both alluring and dangerous.” (Hallett in McCalman, p. 255)

benjamin robert haydon christ s entry into jerusalem 1814 1820
Benjamin Robert Haydon, ‘Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem’, 1814-1820

Keats

Wordsworth

gustave dore
Gustave Dore

Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849.The Raven; illustrated by GustaveDoré, title vignette by ElihuVedder. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884.

GustaveDoré (1832-1883) was one of the most prolific and successful book illustrators of the late nineteenth century. His dramatic woodcut designs reflected the romantic style of the French Academy. Employing a staff of over forty wood engravers, Doré produced more than ninety illustrated books, including, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.

francisco de goya the third of may 1808 1814
Francisco de Goya, ‘The Third of May, 1808’, 1814
  • See the following video lecture on this painting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8Rrxd8LpY
francis danby the upas tree or poison tree in the island of java 1820
Francis Danby ‘The Upas Tree, or Poison Tree, in the Island of Java’, 1820
  • Orientalist and radical themes
the pre raphaelites post date romanticism but began at about the time wuthering heights was written
The Pre-Raphaelites – Post date Romanticism but began at about the time Wuthering Heights was written
  • Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of Englishpainters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The three founders were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form a seven-member "brotherhood".
  • The group's intention was to reform art by rejecting what they considered to be the mechanistic approach first adopted by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo. They believed that the Classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael in particular had been a corrupting influence on the academic teaching of art. Hence the name "Pre-Raphaelite". In particular, they objected to the influence of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the founder of the English Royal Academy of Arts. They called him "Sir Sloshua", believing that his broad technique was a sloppy and formulaic form of academic Mannerism. In contrast, they wanted to return to the abundant detail, intense colours, and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art.
  • The Pre-Raphaelites have been considered the first avant-garde movement in art, though they have also been denied that status, because they continued to accept both the concepts of history painting and of mimesis, or imitation of nature, as central to the purpose of art. However, the Pre-Raphaelites undoubtedly defined themselves as a reform-movement, created a distinct name for their form of art, and published a periodical, The Germ, to promote their ideas. Their debates were recorded in the Pre-Raphaelite Journal.
john everett millais lorenzo and isabella 18491
John Everett Millais, ‘Lorenzo and Isabella’, 1849
  • Millais's first Pre-Raphaelite painting, was painted during 1848 when he was 19 years old. The subject is taken from Keats's poem 'Isabella' or 'The Pot of Basil'. The painting is also sometimes simply known as 'Isabella'. When exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849, the following quotation from the poem was included in the catalogue:
  • Fair Isabel, poor simple Isabel!Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love's eye!They could not in the self-same mansion dwellWithout some stir of heart, some malady;They could not sit at meals but feel how wellIt soothed each to be the other by.These brethren having found by many signsWhat love Lorenzo for their sister had,And how she lov'd him too, each unconfinesHis bitter thoughts to other, well nigh madThat he, the servant of their trade designsShould in their sister's love be blithe and gladWhen 'twas their plan to coax her by degreesTo some high noble and his olive trees.
  • Keats's source for this poem was a tale by the 14th century Italian author, Bocaccio, and the story is broadly as follows: Lorenzo and Isabella were deeply in love with each other. Isabella was the daughter of a rich and greedy Florentine merchant family to which Lorenzo was apprenticed. Discovering their sister's love for Lorenzo, Isabella's brothers plotted to kill Lorenzo. They lured him into a wood and there murdered him. Isabella pined for her love and in a vision saw the spot where he had been killed. She found his grave and dug up his body. Then cutting off Lorenzo's head and taking it home, she kept it hidden in a flowerpot in which she planted the sweet smelling herb, basil. Eventually her brothers discovered her macabre secret and stole the pot of basil, and full off guilt, they fled to Florence. Isabella grew weak through sorrow, and died.
  • Keats's poetry was a major preoccupation with the Brotherhood. Rossetti first read his poems in 1845 and thought him 'the greatest modern poet'. Hunt discovered Keats's work in 1848 and introduced Millais to his verse. Hunt and Millais planned to produce a series of etchings for book illustrations of Keats's 'Isabella'. Millais worked up his drawings into this large painting. Hunts work on the project did not get beyond the drawing stage.
  • Hunt later suggested that Keats's work played a major part in uniting the group. In 1848, Keats was little known outside of a small group of devotees. His work had remained unpublished after his death in 1821. The Pre- Raphaelites were particularly attracted to the medieval themes in Keats's poems rather than to his classical subjects and it was the moral intensity of both 'Isabella' and 'The Eve of St Agnes' that they felt made them suitable as subjects. Both had the 'high seriousness' which the Brotherhood wished to characterise their work.
  • http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/online/pre-raphaelites/lorenzo/