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The 19th Century: Birth of the


The 19th Century: Birth of the isms Neoclassic Art Romantic Art Realist Art – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The 19th Century: Birth of the

The 19th Century Birth of the isms
  • Neoclassic Art
  • Romantic Art
  • Realist Art

  • Instead of one style dominating for centuries, as
    in the Renaissance and Baroque, movements were
    quick to appear. What had been eras became
    isms, each representing a trend in art.
  • For most of the 19th Century, three major styles
    competed with one another
  • Neoclassicism 1750-1820
  • Romanticism 1790-1863
  • Realism 1830-1874

Neoclassic Art
  • Neoclassic means new Classic
  • Influenced by the discovery of ruins in the
    Pompeii, an ancient Italian town preserved under
    volcanic ash for centuries.
  • The revival of painting, sculpture, architecture
    and furniture from ancient Greece and Rome was a
    clear reaction against the ornate Rococo style.

How to recognize Neoclassical art
  • Brushwork Smooth so that the surface seemed
  • Compositions Simple in order to avoid Rococo
    melodrama. Backgrounds often included Roman
    touches like arches or columns
  • Subjects Greek and Roman history, mythology
  • Role of art Morally uplifting, inspirational

Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii, 1784
  • 3 sons swear to their father that they will
    defend Rome or die in attempt.
  • A typical Neoclassic painting it has a serious
    theme and its figures are posed stiffly in a
    formal composition and Classical setting

Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, 1768 - 1809
  • Exterior decoration recalls the frieze (a
    decorative horizontal band usually placed along
    the upper end of a wall) of the Parthenon
  • Columns recall the simplicity of Greek Doric
  • Arches and Dome reflect Roman designs

Romantic Art
  • Romantic art doesn't mean art that deals with
    love. Rather it means art that is imaginative,
    exciting, colourful, and filled with movement
    storm-tossed ships, exotic scenes and rearing
  • Romantic art dominated Europe and North America
    for much of the 19th C. It stood in contrast to
    the Neoclassic style which had little movement or
  • The artist should paint not only what he sees
    before him, but also what he sees in him.

How to recognize Romantic art
  • Inspiration Medieval and Baroque eras, Middle
    and Far East
  • Colour Unrestrained - deep, rich shades
  • Subjects Legends, exotica, nature, violence
  • Technique Quick brushstrokes, strong light and
    shade contrast

  • Romaticism was launched with this painting
  • Based on current events of that time period. The
    subject was a government ship, Medusa, carrying
    French colonists to Senegal that sank off the
    west coast of Africa due to the incompetence of
    the captain. The captain and crew were the first
    to evacuate. They towed a raft of 149 passengers
    and then cut them loose (12 days without food or
    water). Only 15 lived.
  • Dedication of the artist - interviewed
    survivors, built a lifesized model in his
    studio, visited the morgue, and even lashed
    himself to the mast of a small boat in a storm.

Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa,
Eugene Delacroix, Death of Sardanapalus, 1827, 12
ft 1 in x 16 ft 3 in.
  • based on a play by English romantic poet Lord
    Byron. It depicts the moment Sardanapalus ordered
    his possessions destroyed and concubines murdered
    before he sets himself on fire, once he learns
    that he is faced with military defeat.
  • Intense colours, vivid light/dark contrasts,
    brilliant red background

  • The Neoclassical style derived from the art and
    culture of ancient Greece and Rome and imitated
    this periods architecture and fascination for
    order and simplicity.
  • Romanticism emphasized the personal, emotional
    and dramatic aspects of exotic, literary and
    historical subject matter.

Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa,
Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii, 1784
Realism Art
  • Occurred during the second half of the 19th
    century (the Machine Age)
  • Neoclassic and Romantic painting continued
    through the period, but some European artists
    felt that neither showed life as it was really
  • Realist painters were interested not necessarily
    in painting realistically (which they did) but in
    realistic subject matter real life. Before this,
    artists had always idealized their subjects.
  • They made workers and the poor important enough
    for fine art.

How to recognize Realist art
  • Subject peasants and the urban working class
  • Composition precise imitation without alteration
  • Colour muted

Jean-Francois Millet, The Gleaners, 1857
  • Millet presented farm workers as dignified
  • The composition is devoted to the rigors of the
    working class. It depicts women stooping in the
    fields to glean the leftovers from the harvest.
    He does not glorify or unnecessarily embellish
    the women.
  • In the background we see the main harvesting

Honore Daumier, The Third Class Carriage, 1862
  • Daumier was known as Paris greatest social
    caricaturist (in newspaper). In his drawings he
    took pot shots at the Royalists, politicians,
    judges and lawyers and he was briefly imprisoned
    for his biting satire.
  • In this painting he deals with the public where
    he finds them in their urban environment. His
    subjects did not pose for him in his studio.
  • This painting depicsts working-class passengers
    as dignified, despite being crammed together.
  • Because he used thin washes of muted colour, the
    grid lines are often visible (he used grid lines
    to enlarge his smaller sketches onto canvas).

Gustave Courbet, Burial at Ornans, 1849
  • Courbet was the most effective spokesperson for
    Realism. He is quoted as saying, The art of
    painting should consist only in the
    representation of objects which the artist can
    see and touch. This was the credo of Realism.
  • Depicts a provincial funeral. The scene shows
    ordinary people doing ordinary things at a sad
  • Never before had a scene of plain folk been
    painted in the epic size (painting was 22 feet
    long) reserved for grandiose history paintings.
    Critics complained it was vulgar.
  • The mood is sombre and the colours and bleak.
  • At the 1855 Universal Exposition in Paris this
    work was rejected so Courbet built a special shed
    he called the Pavilion of Realism to show only
    his work. This became the first modern-day,
    one-artist exhibition.

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