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Chapter 17 Romantic Landscape Painting

Chapter 17 notes on Romantic Landcape Painting

Lora Davis

on 7 April 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 17 Romantic Landscape Painting

Art Appreciation Chapter 17
Romantic Landscape Painting and The Age of Enlightenment (1750-1850)

Romanticism describes not only a style but an attitude!

Romanticism was mainly concerned with imagination and emotion
Romanticism celebrated the individual
and some think it was a reaction against the Enlightenment
What is a style?
A style is a manner of representing, constructing or expressing that which is typical of an individual artist or a certain school or period.
The Enlightenment was a philosophic movement of the 18th century
marked by a rejection of social, religious and political ideas.
Emphasis was placed on RATIONALISM.
The belief was that human beings can arrive at truth by using reason rather than relying on the authority of past religious faith.
The word conveys ideas of sentimentality,
& an idealistic look at reality.
It denotes fantasy and fiction.
In fact, to speak of a Romantic era is to identify a period in which certain ideas and attitudes arose, gained popularity and in most areas of intellectual endeavor, became the dominant way of thinking.
Romanticism was not only the dominant way of thinking but the dominate mode of expression during the time.
Romanticism was the a new thought!
A critical idea!
A creative effort which was necessary!
Romanticism preferred the vast wildernesses of an indifferent and unpredictable nature
with it's endless forest's, towering clouds and deafening waterfalls from icy giant peaks.

The Naturalistic Style
Consisted of closely observed representations of a peaceful nature.
Communicated a respect and spiritual reverence for nature.
Meant to counter the negative effects of industrialization and urbanization.
John Constable
The White Horse
Oil on canvas
London in the early 1840s
What is the difference between these two images?
The Dramatic Style
Dramatic style emphasized turbulent or fantastic natural scenery which was often effected by natural disasters such as storms and avalanches.
The style was aimed to stir the viewer's emotions.

Francis Goya
Attack on a Coach
Joseph M.W. Turner
Snowstorm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps
Early Photography
The Camera Obscura (Latin for Dark room) was a dark box with a hole in one end.
If the hole was small enough, an inverted image would be seen on the opposite wall.
Such a principle was known by thinkers as early as Aristotle (c. 300 BC). In fact, the Arabian scholar, Hassan ibn Hassan, described what can be called a camera obscura in his writings in the 10th century.

Joseph Niepce created the first positive-image photographs around 1826.
Louise Daguerre (Da gear) created the daguerreotype (da gear o type). This process created a positive print made on a light-sensitized copper plate.

1850's Dagurreotype Camera
Dagurreotype photo of Paris taken by Louis Daguerre 1838-1839
William Henry Box Talbot, an English scientist published his results on work with a calotype. A calotype was the first photo process utilizing negatives and paper positives.
The benefit... a negative image from which an unlimited number of positives or prints could be made.
Where did we see this before?
Calotype Paper Negative
by J M Heathcote in England 1852
Whispering of the Muses
Julia Margaret Cameron
In 1851, Fredrick Scott Archer found that silver nitrate would adhere to glass when mixed with gun cotton, ether and alcohol...the result a glass negative.
But it took Julia Margaret Cameron to use photography as an art form.
Many great men of British Arts, Science and Letters were photographed by Cameron. The Formal Art Element of Light was a technique she used. By intentionally blurring the subjects attention focused on the light around her subjects and seemed to light them from within.
Portrait of Thomas Carlyle
Julia M. Cameron
Naturalism and Realism
in Europe
NOW, the bar had been raised.

Photography created an allegiance to factual accuracy.

(This influences our thoughts of art even today.)
Constable led the charge that art should faithfully record ordinary life.


Barbizon School

In France, the group of artists called the
Barbizon School
, emerged.
The Barbizon School was an 1830s collective group of naturalist painters whose approach to painting opened the door to Impressionism. Barbizon School painters were based in the village of Barbizon, France on the outskirts of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Most were landscape painters who expressed fascination with changing seasons, changing times of day and the effects of light on the landscape.


Barbizon artists had no agreed-upon style, but were revolutionary because of their commitment to portraying nature as a worthwhile subject in its own right rather than something that was so remote that it could only be expressed through romanticized and sublime images. In other words, nature was something that could be experienced personally and painted subjectively and not just romantically or philosophically.


Barbizon School painters often included toiling peasants in their landscapes---persons who had little time or inclination towards only the 'contemplation' of nature. Nature was something that peasants experienced daily through toll and labor not through thought and contemplation.
This approach was also revolutionary in prevailing approaches to fine art, which showed preferences for genteel subjects such as aristocrats basking in the beauty of their surroundings.


Barbizon artists are considered the first "plein-air" painters, those who painted directly in the outdoors rather than completing their scenes in studios from sketches.


Chief among the original French Barbizon painters were Francois Millet and Theodore Rousseau. American painters much influenced by the Barbizon School were George Inness and William Morris Hunt.
The Gleaners
The Gleaners was composed in 1857.
It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest.
The painting is famous for monumentalizing what were then the lowest ranks of rural society.
It may not be surprising that the painting was received poorly by the French upper class.
Rosa Bonheur was one of the most popular French painters to address the taste for rural scenes. She read zoology books and made detailed studies in the countryside and in slaughterhouses.
She is known as an animal painter.
Bonheur's unconventional lifestyle contributed to the myth that surrounded her during her lifetime. She smoked cigarettes in public, rode astride, and wore her hair short.
To study the anatomy of animals, Bonheur visited the slaughterhouse; for this work, she favored men's attire and was required to obtain an official authorization from the police to dress in trousers and a smock.
Her work was commissioned by the French Government and in 1865,
she received France's highest award...membership in the Legion of Honor.
She became the first women to be awarded its Grand Cross.
Where there women artists???
Rosa Bonheur
The Dressing of the Vines
Oil on Canvas
The American Artist
Many American's looked to Europe for inspiration.
Artist's tended to favor realism.
Americas foremost Romantic landscape painter was Thomas Cole.
Cole worked as an itinerant portrait painter but it was his landscapes which were breathtaking. He worked with (exhibited and socialized with) the Hudson River School painters.
The Oxbow is one of his best known works.
Others artists include George Caleb Bingham and Albert Bierstat
The Oxbow
Thomas Cole
The Hudson River School
The Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason
Cultural Historian's call the 18th century the Age of Enlightenment.
"Reason" became the touch tone of evaluating all civilized endeavors
including philosophy, art and politics.
As we have seen, scientific inquiry and the developments of
archaeological studies created a new awareness and understanding.
New discoveries... excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum helped lead to a style of art called Neoclassicism. Neoclassicism is characterized by subject matter borrowed from ancient Greece and Rome
Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatti, 1784-1785. Oil on canvas
For the first time, the growing middle class
had money to commission portraits and other types of
moralized genre painting.
As a matter of fact, reformers thought that art should promote and support public virtue and integrity.
British patrons ended to favor amusing and easily understandable satirical and moralizing scenes.
Following the discontinuation of government censorship in 1695, there emerged in Britain a flourishing culture of literary satire
which was directed at a variety of political and social targets.
William Hogarth, The Marriage Contract
From the Marriage a la Mode series
Angeica Kauffman
Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures
Neoclassical (the "new classical")
Architecture in North America

Romanticism originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe and was a reaction against Neoclassicism and the Industrial Revolution.

C o m p a r i s o n


Emotional Reasonable and Practical

Individualistic Public Responsibility

Revolutionary Conservative

Loves Solitude & Nature Loves Public, Urban Life

Fantasy/Introspection External Reality

Organic Mechanical

Creative Energy/Power Form

"Noble Savage"/Outcasts Bourgeois Family

If the imagination is shackled, and nothing is described but what we see, seldom will anything truly great be produced either in Painting or Poetry.”
Thomas Cole to Robert Gilmor, Jr., 25 December 1826.
Albert Bierstadt
The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak
Hans Gude
Winter Afternoon
Fredrick Church
Twilight in the Wilderness
Francis Goya
The Third of May
What can we tell about this painting?
Two Styles of Romanticism

What is Romanticism?
What type of perspective do we see here?
Joseph Wright
Cave at Evening
Phillip Loutherbrough
Industrial Revolution, Coal Brookdale at Night
Monticello...Home of Thomas Jefferson
Eugene Delacroix
Liberty Leading the People
as an aid to drawing and perspective.
At about the same period, Daniel Barbaro, a Venetian recommended the camera
The earliest record of the uses of a camera obscura can be found
in the writings of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Thank you for your attention!
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