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art history

ah2001 french art: neoclassicism ncea level 2

2012/1


art history ncea level 2

Expected time to complete work This work will take you about 12 hours to complete. You will work towards the following standards: Achievement Standard 91180 (Version 1) 2.1 Examine the effects of formal elements of art works Level 2, External 4 credits Achievement Standard 91181 (Version 1) 2.2 Examine the meanings conveyed by art works Level 2, External 4 credits Achievement Standard 91182 (Version 1) 2.3 Examine the influence of context(s) on art works Level 2, External 4 credits Achievement Standard 91185 (Version 1) 2.6 Communicate a considered personal response to art works Level 2, Internal 4 credits In this booklet you will focus on these learning outcomes: •• identifying the background to nineteenth century French art •• explaining the work of David and Ingres •• identifying the characteristics of Neoclassicism •• using the language of painting analysis. You will continue to work towards these standards in booklets AH2002–2005.

Copyright © 2012 Board of Trustees of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, Private Bag 39992, Wellington Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045, New Zealand. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu. © te ah o o te k u ra p ou n am u


contents 1

France, the background

2

The artistic background

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Baroque and Rococo art

4

Training and exhibiting

5

Pressures for change

6

Formal elements in art

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Jacques-Louis David

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The French Revolution and David’s later work

9 Ingres 10 Ingres’ later work 11 Answer guide

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how to do the work When you see:

1A

Complete the activity.

Your teacher will assess this work.

1

This symbol with a number inside, go to the list of websites for AH2001 on OTLE at the Te Kura website and click on the link assigned to that number. You can download the weblink list to keep on the computer you use day-to-day.

This is a key work that you should study in depth.

This is about the media, or type of paint and materials, used by an artist to achieve effects in the art work.

Check your answers.

Attach to your workbook.

Contact your teacher.

You will need: •• Internet access. The images for the course are accessed via the Internet. Some of these websites permit you to download the images for your private use – so you should be able to build up your own image collection of key works. If you are reading the booklet online, you can click on the painting title to make a direct link to the image.

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france, the background learning outcome

Identify the background to nineteenth century French art and society.

learning intention

In this lesson you will learn to: •• identify social and political contexts of nineteenth century French society.

introduction

The arts in France have flourished over the centuries, supported by the State and society in a way seldom seen in other countries. You will be studying French art in the nineteenth century (the 1800s). This is a fascinating period because a range of different styles developed over the century. These laid the foundations for even more diverse styles in the twentieth century and influenced artists in other countries as well. In this booklet, AH2001, you will examine the background to nineteenth century French society and art and the Neoclassical style of art that developed in the work of major artists, JacquesLouis David and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. (You only have to remember the surnames!)

political and social context

France was a dominant power in eighteenth century Europe. Culturally, economically and politically it had great influence over its neighbours. By the late eighteenth century (1700s) sweeping changes would take place which would revolutionise France’s political system – changes which would affect every man, woman and child in France. Many of these changes would be reflected by artists in their painting. You will study examples of this art in later periods and learn more about what France was like during these times. This background information adds to your understanding of their work and is called the paintings’ context. context = the circumstances that background a work of art. These may include social, political, geographic, historical, religious or artistic factors. Or, simply, where was the artist ‘coming from’ in creating a particular work of art? In the eighteenth century, the king was the supreme overlord, the most powerful landowner in the country. His allies were the great landowners who enjoyed a life of privilege and paid no taxes. However, the majority of France’s population were peasants who lived on the land and paid to do so. Not only did they pay the taille, a compulsory tax, they also paid dues and taxes to religious and lay landowners. The supremacy of the monarchy, clergy and nobility was deeply embedded in French society.

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france, the background

monarchy = the king and his family who ruled the country

clergy = those in religious orders, such as priests and bishops, nuns and monks

nobility = a socially and politically privileged group with titles granted by the king monarchy clergy nobility middle classes (bourgeoisie) The masses

working classes peasant serfs

The mass of the population, illiterate and imprisoned within the very narrowest kind of social life, had no opportunity to question the old beliefs and traditions which bound the social pyramid so firmly together. France was the most commercially successful country in Europe during this period. Trade brought wealth to some, such as the small educated middle class professions or bourgeoisie. Nobles who had made investments in trading companies and mercantile houses and had invested money from land revenues received generous returns. Towns grew and this new prosperity encouraged the growth of private enterprise. All this new urban wealth and the ambition of the bourgeoisie would be a direct threat to the monarchy and the old financial privileges of the landowners. They wanted relief from heavy taxation and more say in governing the country. bourgeoisie = middle classes The peasants bore the brunt of hardship and taxation, while the clergy and nobility protected their privileges and upheld the monarch who symbolised the ‘old order’. The peasants knew nothing of the fine houses, lands and glittering palaces in Paris and Versailles. Uneducated and poor, they scratched out a living, unable to escape the heavy taxes they were required to pay.

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france, the background

The scene is set. You now know a little about what France was like in the eighteenth century. During this period art was used to glorify the monarchy and the court and was used to reinforce the ideals of beauty and privilege. In the next lessons you will go back in time and look at the influences and artists from earlier in France’s artistic history. 1A

List the social and political features of the eighteenth century that were the background context to the art you will study. Check your answers.

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the artistic background learning outcome

Identify the background to nineteenth century French art.

learning intention

In this lesson you will learn to: •• recognise features of Renaissance art.

introduction

The artists of the French court continued the traditions established in Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Before you look at any more French art, you’ll go back and look at the art of the Italian Renaissance and the work of one influential seventeenth century French artist. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries there was a time of great artistic development in Italy known as the Renaissance. During this time Italian artists and scholars rediscovered the art of the ancient Greeks and Romans and based their own art on similar principles. The graceful, naturalistic forms and drapery of ancient Greek sculpture are echoed in Italian Renaissance artist Raphael’s painting School of Athens.

the italian high renaissance

The High Renaissance (1500–1520) was a period of time in which artists wished to create perfection in their illusions. They looked back to the art of ancient Greece and Rome as their model and their art was to influence the artists of the seventeenth and eighteenth century in France. 1

Raphael, School of Athens, 1509–10, fresco, Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican, Rome, www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/r/raphael/4stanze/1segnatu/1/index.html This work by Raphael shows all the main artistic developments of the Italian High Renaissance: •• references to Classical (ancient Greek and Roman) architecture and sculpture – seen in the archway, the ceiling and the marble sculptures of ancient Gods •• perspective used to create a convincing illusion of space •• a balanced, harmonious composition •• subtle use of light and shade to create a believable scene. perspective = the angles set up by the architecture all lead the viewer’s eye towards a central point, between the two main figures composition = the arrangement of figures, groupings and other elements of the painting Classical art = art, mostly sculpture and architecture, from Greek and Roman civilisations of about 2000 years ago

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the artistic background

tranz

Artists of the Renaissance period also learnt to create the illusion of realistic three-dimensional space on the flat picture surface by mathematical means. The system for doing this was called linear perspective. Look closely at how Raphael has used linear perspective to construct an architectural space for his figures in School of Athens. The viewer is taken inwards by the angled floor tiles and the stairs to the main groups of figures, while the succession of arches above, which get progressively smaller, also lead the viewer through the ‘space’ that has been created in the picture. All the architectural angles lead to a vanishing point between the two main figures. This imaginary space, created on a flat surface, is called pictorial space.

Raphael, School of Athens, linear perspective.

linear perspective = a mathematical system for creating a sense of depth on a flat surface. The lines of buildings and other objects are angled inwards and meet at a single point called the vanishing point Space could also be suggested by grouping figures together, one in front of another (overlapping) as seen by the figures on the stairs in School of Athens. Including a distant space beyond figures with a less distinct, blue background landscape fading towards a horizon was another method of suggesting space or depth. This is called aerial perspective. Note this in Poussin’s The Holy Family with the Infant St John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth. aerial perspective = distance is suggested by a less distinct, blue background landscape fading towards a horizon

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the artistic background

nicholas poussin 2

Nicholas Poussin, The Holy Family with the Infant St John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth, 1650–51, oil on canvas, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, USA, www.nortonsimon.org/ collections/browse_title.php?id=M.1981.6.P From the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century, artists continued to travel to Rome to study the great art of the past. One young French artist who went to Rome chose to stay there for 40 years. He was Nicholas Poussin. Poussin went to Rome in the 1620s, working and teaching there for 40 years. He studied the ancient remains of Greece and Rome and based his painting on the Classical art he saw. From Classical sculpture he learned how to idealise and improve on nature, creating perfect figure types rather than imperfect individuals. He also idealised his landscape and architectural settings. idealise = in painting this means to create a perfect type of figure or landscape rather than one copied directly from nature Even though he drew from nature he always refined his drawings according to strict logical rules. He felt that paintings must appeal to the mind as well as the eye. In The Holy Family painting by Poussin you can see his Classical style. The setting is an ideal landscape and the figures are formally grouped along strict horizontal and vertical lines. Poussin’s strict procedures became the model for art in seventeenth century France.

2A

The Holy Family Print out or photocopy a small black and white version of The Holy Family by Poussin. Label: 1. two Classical features 2. an example of how overlapping suggests space or depth in the painting 3. an example of how the artist has created a sense of balance in composing the painting 4. what you see as the central focus of the painting. Check your answers.

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baroque and rococo art learning outcome

Identify the background to nineteenth century French art and society.

learning intention

In this lesson you will learn to: •• recognise features of Baroque and Rococo art.

introduction

In this lesson you will see how skills learned from Italian Renaissance artists were used by artists in Italy and France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

baroque

Let’s look first at two examples of the Baroque style which followed the Renaissance in Italy. The Baroque style included architecture, sculpture and painting. The three were often combined to create dramatic and elaborate imaginary scenes. 3

Pietro da Cortona, The Triumph of Divine Providence, 1633–39, Fresco, Palazzo Barberini, Rome (click on ‘frescoes’), www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/p/pietro/cortona/index.html Imagine you are looking up at the Cortona fresco on the ceiling of a palace in Rome. Perhaps you can feel something of the overwhelming effect achieved by the clever use of perspective? The perspective of his painted architecture gives the feeling that the ceiling is open to the sky. Figures and clouds spill out of the sky to mix with figures and decorative details. Some figures are painted in colour, others in monotone to give the impression of marble sculptures. It is difficult to make out what is painted illusion and what is actually three-dimensional. This is typical of the kind of decorative painting carried out on interior walls and ceilings of large buildings in Rome in the early 1600s. fresco = a technique of painting on wet plaster so that the finished painting becomes part of the surface of the wall or ceiling it is painted on

rubens

Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist who worked in Rome in the early 1600s when the new Baroque style was developing. Rubens’ ability to show dynamic action influenced Italian artists such as Cortona. Rubens admired what he saw in the Italian Baroque paintings and was the first non-Italian to paint in full Baroque style. 4

Peter Paul Rubens, The Fall of Phaeton, c.1605, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/pinfo?Object=70144+0+none

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baroque and rococo art

In The Fall of Phaeton by Rubens you can see similarities with the work of Cortona. The strong movement of the figures and horses are thrust upwards on a diagonal. The twisted figures (Rubens used contrapposto) give the sense of action. The dramatic subjects and inclusion of animals meant that Rubens was a major influence on Romantic artists of the nineteenth century. Rubens received orders or commissions for work from patrons all over Europe and helped spread the Baroque style outside Italy. He took it to France when he was commissioned to decorate a series of rooms for the Queen Mother, Marie de Medici, in paintings showing important occasions in her life – like a diary. contrapposto = posing a figure so that the torso twists in a different direction to the legs, giving a sense of movement. It also recalls the twisted form of Christ on the Cross

rococo

Look now at a style which was partly adapted from the Baroque and partly a reaction against it. After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, court life at Versailles lost its attraction. The aristocracy had become bored with the formal way of life and the strict rules imposed on them by the king’s ministers. They moved to Paris and built elegant town houses and apartments where they could lead a life of leisure and self-indulgence. Paris became the new cultural centre. The new style of living required a different kind of art. Smaller rooms meant smaller paintings and a more informal way of life was portrayed in these paintings. This new style was known as Rococo. It was called Rococo after the shells and pebbles, rocailles, which were used to decorate both the interior and exterior of buildings.

watteau (1684–1721)

Jean Antoine Watteau was an eighteenth century French artist who painted in the Rococo style. Other French painters of the time continued to follow the Classical theories of painters like Poussin, but for Watteau, Rubens was a more important influence. He had seen Rubens’ paintings of Marie de Medici and was inspired by Rubens’ use of colour and his expressive brushwork. Watteau lightened Rubens’ forceful Baroque style into an atmospheric, more delicate Rococo style. French Rococo painting is characterised by the use of imaginary and ideal settings and subjects. It reflects the frivolity and privilege of court life, its luxury, elegance and gaiety. People were admitted to this kind of life through birth or wealth. Watteau shows the artificiality of this world in his paintings.

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baroque and rococo art

In Pilgrimage to Cythera you can see a movement away from Rubens’ drama. Instead, the figures are costumed for a party and set in the soft hazy atmosphere of summer – a scene of elegant entertainment. 5

Jean Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage to Cythera, 1717, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/w/watteau/antoine/1/index.html

boucher

Francois Boucher was another French artist of the same period as Watteau. He painted flattering portraits of his patrons in unreal and pretentious settings. His painting has harder edges than Watteau’s, giving his figures the pink and white prettiness of porcelain china. Here Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour, is portrayed as Venus, the Greek goddess of love. 6 3A

Francois Boucher, The Toilet of Venus, 1751, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/110000172 1. Briefly note four stylistic features for each of: a. Baroque art b. Rococo painting. Check your answers.

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training and exhibiting learning outcome

Identify the background to nineteenth century French art and society.

learning intention

In this lesson you will learn to: •• identify the role of institutions in French art.

introduction

In this lesson you will look at two major institutions for the training of artists and the exhibition of art in eighteenth and nineteenth century France – the Academy and the Salon.

the academy

The Academy was like an art school that imposed standards and principles on practising artists. There were certain categories of painting that artists had to specialise in such as history painting, landscape, portrait or still-life. Paintings showing scenes from history or mythology were regarded as the most important. Portraiture was less important while landscape and exotic themes were seen as minor areas of art. Louis XIII established the first French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1648. Its aims were: •• to draw up and to impose standards and principles in art affecting both artists and patrons •• to preserve what was considered to be of value from the past •• to use art as a national showpiece. Under this system: •• young painters received an excellent technical training in both theory and practice (i.e. painting, sculpture, history, anatomy) •• the king’s magnificent private art collection was open to them and they were able to view the work of Classical and Renaissance artists •• they were guaranteed work if they met the approval of the king, Chief Minister and Director of the Academy. The Academic system produced skilful painters, whose paintings were technically competent. But because they worked to certain rules and formulas they were also rather dull. This kind of work has been called an ‘academic machine’, a good label for a competent work without creativity or ideas. The Academy was full of artists who worked in this manner.

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training and exhibiting

The qualities of these ‘academic’ paintings included: •• lofty ideas •• accurate drawing skills •• balanced, symmetrical compositions •• ideal figures based on Greek/Roman models •• smooth, polished application of paint.

the salon

One of the Academy’s functions was to organise exhibitions so that approved artists could receive commissions and sell their paintings. The Salon was the official annual exhibition of painting and sculpture in Paris. Artists submitted work to the Salon jury. Their pictures received the stamp of approval or were otherwise stamped ‘R’ for ‘refuse’, meaning they would not be exhibited. Awards were made for outstanding works. These would be hung in the Salon at a good viewing level – not the case for all paintings as you can see in Heim’s painting of the 1824 Salon: 7

Francois Heim, Charles X Distributing Awards to Artists Exhibiting at the Salon of 1824 at the Louvre, 1827, Musée du Louvre, Paris, http://cgfa.acropolisinc.com/h/p-heim1.htm Obviously, artists relied upon the sale of their work for a living and had to paint the kind of picture that would please the jury. Artists having anything new to say were discouraged, including many artists of genius. By the end of the eighteenth century, and into the early nineteenth century, the Salon played an increasingly important part in influencing the direction of art in France. These annual exhibitions allowed the middle classes to see and purchase works of art. Before this, the monarchy and privileged aristocracy had been the artist’s public and patron. Together the Academy and the Salon formed the framework, or institutional context, in which the artists of the early nineteenth century worked. patron = someone who commissions an artist to make a work of art and/or the person who buys a work of art from an artist

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training and exhibiting

The Louvre Gallery, Paris.

Important paintings were often purchased by the State and were displayed in The Louvre gallery in Paris. You will look at many paintings that are still in this French gallery. Many have valuable comments accompanying the images. Put this website on your ‘Favourites’. 8 4A

www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home.jsp?bmLocale=en 1. What was the Academy? Explain its function. 2. What was the Salon? 3. What is an ‘academic machine’? 4. What happened to artists who did not conform to the Academic rules? Check your answers.

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pressures for change learning outcome

Summarise the contexts for change in French society and art.

learning intention

In this lesson you will learn to: •• recognise the ideas that encouraged change in French society and art.

introduction

The people you saw in the paintings of Watteau and Boucher were the lucky few who were born into wealthy families with land and titles. These people (the nobility) along with the clergy, paid no taxes so the burden of financing the state fell on the remaining bulk of the population. This included everyone from rich merchants and bankers down to the most wretched beggar in the Paris slums and rural peasants. The poorest were desperately poor and no one had any responsibility for their welfare. None of them had any say in the running of the country and this led to discontent, especially in times of financial crisis. In this lesson you will look at some of the ideas which brought about change in eighteenth century France and at the art which reflected these ideas.

the enlightenment – the philosophical context

In the second half of the eighteenth century, French writers and philosophers began speaking out against the injustices they saw in French society. They talked of justice, of an end to greed and self-interest and of freedom of thought and action. This period was known as the Enlightenment due to its ‘enlightened’ ideas. The French writers of the Enlightenment (Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot), were all influenced by the English scientist, Isaac Newton, and the English philosopher, John Locke. Newton based his scientific theories (e.g. theory of gravity) on observation and reason. John Locke also based his philosophy on reason – there should be religious tolerance, he maintained, and an education system based on reasoned principles and a government which had the consent of all people. Voltaire had lived in England, which seemed to have a model of good government compared to the tyranny and oppression in France. Rousseau appealed more to the emotions saying ‘man is born free but is everywhere in chains’. He was referring to the injustices he saw within French society, where people were oppressed and abused by those who held power. French writer Diderot, together with Jean d’Alembert, collated the literature and ideas in the arts, sciences and political philosophies of the period into the huge Encyclopédie. Diderot was a stern critic of the nobility and wanted a return to what he believed were the high ideals of the ancient Roman republic. He felt art had a responsibility to teach these high ideals to the people.

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pressures for change

importance of the classics

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Education in France, for those who were educated, emphasised Classical languages, history and literature. Rome was easily accessible and many young artists travelled there to study. In the mid-eighteenth century the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were excavated in Italy, causing an upturn in interest in Classical art and history. In 1764 the German scholar Winckelmann published an influential history of ancient art.

Hercules & Acheolus, The Louvre, Paris.

the american example

The American Revolution of 1776 offered inspiration to French people wanting an end to the tyranny of the king and his nobles. The French had sent troops to help the American colonies fight the English monarchy. Many idealistic young Frenchmen fought in the American wars of independence and so the French saw Enlightenment ideas become law in the American Declaration of Independence.

neoclassical painting: the contexts

Neoclassicism is the movement of French painting that emerged towards the end of the eighteenth century. It emphasised the use of Classical, historical stories that could have lessons for their present time. Paintings in Neoclassical style have figures with perfect anatomy (like Classical statues); clear outlines; settings that include Classical architecture; and smooth, polished, painted surfaces.

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pressures for change

So far in this booklet you have examined the contexts of Neoclassical painting. These include:

Social context – unequal society dominated by monarchy and nobility

Academy and Salon – strong institutions for training artists and selling art

The Enlightenment – philosophical ideas about equality, freedom and good government

American Revolution – declaration of Independence from old rulers inspired young Frenchmen

Classicism – interest in rediscovery of ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the Classical art found

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formal elements in art

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learning outcome

Use the language of painting analysis.

learning intentions

In this lesson you will learn to: •• use the language of painting analysis •• recognise formal elements in art.

introduction

In this lesson you will begin to look at the ‘art’ side of Art History. This lesson contains stylistic and technical information which you will need to refer back to throughout this course. Keep it handy.

analysing art works

One of the major functions of Art History is to study works of art to discover more about the work of art, the reasons why the artist created it, how it was created and the circumstances which enabled it to be created. This close study of art means a viewer can go beyond just reacting to or making a personal response to an art work. A personal response is important but a deeper appreciation can be gained with a reasoned approach. Two of the Achievement Standards you will do this year covers this close study of art works. •• Achievement Standard 91180 (Version 1) 2.1 Examine the effects of formal elements of art works (External) •• Achievement Standard 91185 (Version 1) 2.6 Communicate a considered personal response to art works (Internal) So how do you analyse an art work? Start by observing a painting – looking simply at its subject and what you see. The smarthistory video, the Skill of Describing, is useful viewing: 9

www.smarthistory.org/skill-of-describing.html Once you’ve observed the subject matter of the painting consider if there is any meaning in the subject. Then examine the work according to the methods the artist has used in creating it. These methods make up an artist’s particular style.

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formal elements in art

These include: Composition – the arrangement of the elements of an art work. A composition may be balanced, with the main focus placed in the centre and other objects or figures symmetrically positioned around it. A composition may be unbalanced or asymmetrical, with a focus of attention to one side, or have a strong diagonal movement. An artist will organise the composition of a painting to place the focus on something important and/or to create a particular mood. Setting – the background to the main action of a two-dimensional work of art. It could be an interior scene, a landscape, a cityscape. Line – a mark used in drawing. Line can have direction: vertical, horizontal, diagonal; it can be straight or curved, thick, thin, angular, broken. It can define an outline of a figure or object, create pattern or movement or contribute to the overall structure or composition.

Types of line: curilinear; angular.

You can look further at line as a formal element in art on the artsconnected website. Make your own linear art work! 10

www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/watch_types_line.cfm

Outline.

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formal elements in art

use of light and tone

Tonal modelling is the variation of light and dark across an object to give it shape. Colour – produced when light strikes an object and is reflected back to the eyes. It is essential to painting. An artist can use colour in many ways, perhaps to form visual links within a painting, to make a viewer focus on something in particular or even to structure a painting. Colour can have symbolic importance e.g. white representing innocence or red suggesting passion or drama. Rhythm – a regular repetition of elements of art (line, colour or forms) to produce a feeling of movement. Elements can be repeated to invite the viewer’s eye to move from one to the next.

Tonal modelling.

Figure treatment – expression, pose, gesture Facial expression can be used by an artist to convey information or a mood; pose by how the figure is positioned and gesture by body language, for example hands on hips or a pointing finger. Head thrust upwards, eyebrows up, and nose in air give haughty

line

expression

Shoulders down, head and body bent downwards emphasising sorrow

shoulders back, chest pushed outwards

Head down, leaning forward bearing mother’s weight

Sketch after Daumier’s It’s true you have lost your case. 20

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formal elements in art

This copy of Daumier’s lithograph, It’s true you have lost your case, but you should have got pleasure from hearing me plead, uses line to emphasise the gestures and expressions of the people. Note the contrast between the sweeping, confident lines that describe the lawyer, compared to the more interrupted lines that describe the woman who has lost her law case. The pose of each character helps to ‘tell’ the story here as well: the woman and her son bend downwards while the lawyer pushes his chest and head upwards – the picture of arrogance. The facial expression of the lawyer with nose and eyebrows raised, gives an impression of pride and haughtiness. Grief is suggested by the gesture of the woman in holding a handkerchief over her face.

treatment of space and perspective

Pictorial space – this is the imaginary space within the ‘world’ of a painting. Picture plane – imagine that a pane of glass separates you, the viewer, from the pictorial space of the painting. This imaginary window gives a point of reference for commenting on objects or figures within the painting’s space. So a figure might be placed close to, or distant from, the picture plane.

Methods to suggest space in a painting can include: Tonal modelling – as you can see from the diagram of tonally modelled shapes each appears solid, and therefore occupies ‘space’ within the picture. Overlapping – where one object in a painting appears to be placed in front of another, thus suggesting there is space behind the front object. (Again, look at the tonal modelling drawing).

Scaling of figures.

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Scale – objects in the foreground of a picture’s space appear to be larger than objects in the background.

The artsconnected website has a brief video on overlapping and scale (relative size): www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/watch_space_overlap.cfm Perspective is the creation of an illusion of depth on a flat surface. Linear perspective – a mathematical system for creating the illusion of depth on a flat surface.

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formal elements in art

The lines of buildings and other objects are angled inwards and meet at a single point called the vanishing point. Study The School of Athens sketch (image 2, pg 7) to see how the angles of the architecture lead your eye in towards the centre. Foreshortening – an object that has length appears shortened when it is turned towards the viewer. In figures this is seen in noses, chins, shoulders, arms and feet. This is also an effect of perspective.

Foreshortening.

Sketch after Mantegna’s Dead Christ.

Look at this copy of a famous fifteenth century painting. You see the body from end-on so all parts of the body appear foreshortened because of your viewpoint. Viewpoint refers to the angle from which a viewer ‘sees’ the subject in the painting. The viewer may feel they’re looking from above, or below or straight at the subject. You can also see from this sketch how outline has been used to define the body form, and how the main lines of the bed lead the eye to a vanishing point above Christ’s head. Aerial perspective – a sense of distance in landscape is achieved by distant objects having less definition and becoming bluer, with lighter tones. Look at how linear perspective and aerial perspective are demonstrated on the artsconnected website: 12

www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/watch_space_perspective.cfm

media and techniques

You also need to consider the medium (‘media’ is the plural) with which an artist creates an art work. Most of the artists you study in this course used oils on canvas. Daumier, a Realist artist (AH2003) was best known for his lithographs (prints) and Degas often used pastels. One of the aspects that often distinguish one artist’s style from another is how they applied their paint, used texture and finished their works. Different ways of applying paint can produce quite different effects. So you will also study the techniques an artist uses, that is, how the art work is physically made. Techniques can create particular effects desired by an artist.

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6A

Look at:

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Jacques-Louis David, Death of Socrates, 1787, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/31.45 This is an exercise in simply describing what you can see in a painting without having to consider its meaning. Imagine that you have just stepped through an imaginary glass window (the picture plane) and into the ‘space’ of this painting. As you move through to the background, describe what you see. Check your answers.

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jacques-louis david

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learning outcome

Explain the early paintings of Jacques-Louis David.

learning intention

In this lesson you will: •• describe the developing style of David, a major Neoclassical artist.

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David, Self portrait, 1794, (click on title), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:David_Self_ Portrait.jpg David (pronounced ‘da-veed’) was born into a middle class family in Paris. His father was killed when he was nine and he was then sent to live and work with two uncles who were architects. By 1765 he had decided to be a painter rather than an architect and on the recommendation of his distant cousin, the painter Boucher, he was sent to study under the painter Joseph Marie Vien. Vien was a Neoclassical painter in the manner of Poussin. He believed in the return to the styles and subject matter of ancient Greece and Rome. David followed his master’s advice and worked towards gaining the Academy’s yearly prize of sponsored study in Rome. This was called the Prix de Rome and was the aim of every aspiring artist. In 1771 he submitted Mars and Minerva as the entry for the competition.

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David, The Combat of Mars and Minerva, 1771, Oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david15.html This is much more elaborate and Baroque than Vien’s usual style, with a touch of Boucher’s sensual, decorative Rococo style in the floating goddess. The Classical theme is the triumph of wisdom (Minerva) over war (Mars). He failed to win the prize that year and the following year and became very depressed. He tried to commit suicide by starving himself to death, a choice that says much about his character of strong emotions controlled by strict self-discipline. He was saved when fellow students broke into his studio. Two years later David competed again for the Prix de Rome and won with the more restrained and formal Antiochus and Stratonice, 1774. The theme is again Classical, dealing this time with a young prince Antiochus who lies dying for the love of his father’s young wife, Stratonice.

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David, Antiochus and Stratonice, 1774, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david17.html

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Here David shows his skill as an academic painter. •• The setting shows his ability to draw architecture in traditional linear perspective giving an illusion of deep space. •• The reclining figure of Antiochus, on the left, shows David’s ability to draw human anatomy. •• The lavish drapery shows his skill in creating almost sculptural folds enhanced by the use of light and shade. •• He shows his mastery of the dramatic use of light and dark areas – a technique developed in the Renaissance and much used in Baroque art. This technique is known as chiaroscuro. chiaroscuro = revelation of form by heavy use of light and shade

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David and Vien both travelled to Rome in 1775. Vien was to take up his new position as Director of the French Academy in Rome. David had said before leaving that the ‘Antique will not seduce me’. He meant that direct experience of the remains of Classical art in Rome would not impress him; but they did. David was awed by newly discovered wall paintings from Pompeii, an ancient Roman city buried by volcanic ash. He was equally impressed by his first hand experience of the works of Renaissance masters like Raphael and he drew the ancient buildings and sculptures of Italy. These were to be referred to repeatedly in his later work.

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David returned to France in 1780 and the works he exhibited at the Salon were very well received. He took on students, married, and was considered the most progressive and influential painter at the time in Paris. His most dramatic early success, the huge painting The Oath of the Horatii, expressed all his new Neoclassical ideals. 17

David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david2.html or: www.louvre.fr/llv/oeuvres/detail_notice.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_ id=10134198673225718&CURRENT_LLV_NOTICE%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673225718&FO LDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en When it was exhibited in 1785 the subject matter of The Oath of the Horatii was seen to have political overtones.

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In this painting the ideas of Diderot have been put into visual form. Here David takes seriously his responsibility to teach the high ideals of the heroes of the Roman republic. In this scene from a Roman story, a Roman father Horatius is seen instructing his three sons to take their swords and fight for the honour of their family and Rome. They are to engage in a fight to the death with three warrior brothers from the opposing city of Alba to determine which city will rule the other. The situation is particularly tragic for the women depicted as one is the sister of the Roman brothers but betrothed to one of the Albans they are to fight. Another is the wife of one of the Roman brothers but sister of one of the Albans. So whoever wins, they lose. However, the emphasis is on the unflinching determination of the sons as they swear an oath to their father to win victory for Rome or die in the attempt. The painting sends a message about moral sternness and self-sacrifice in the service of a cause. Many people who saw the painting would have understood these to be the qualities required in the fight for equality, freedom, and liberty which was soon to follow in France. The style of The Oath of the Horatii itself represents a revolution. Contrast it with the works of Watteau and Boucher which you saw earlier. Look again at Poussin’s The Holy Family in lesson 2.

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It is clear that here David has rejected the light-hearted Rococo style in favour of the idealised classicism of Poussin, but has taken it a step further by hardening the outlines of the figures and strictly limiting effects of light and space. His paint surfaces are as smooth as a glossy photograph.

Perspective lines in The Oath of the Haratii.

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Look at the father, the central figure. You can see that the outside edges of his forearms, hands, facial profile, and even the folds and creases on his cloak are as hard and sharply defined as the curves and edges of the swords he holds. The hand clasping the swords is silhouetted against a plain, dark background, making the clearly modelled forms stand out for the viewer. David had studied Roman relief sculpture and based his composition on a similar horizontal row of figures in shallow depth. Finally compare the way David’s picture space ends abruptly in a wall whereas in the School of Athens (lesson 2), there is deep space. In both paintings the perspective lines focus us on the central figures. See how the angles of the floor tiles lead our eyes towards one central point where the swords and hand meet. This is the vanishing point. relief sculpture = where the three-dimensional elements of a sculpture are raised from a flat surface. A relief sculpture is usually mounted on a wall. David’s style amounted to a revolution against the old order. Not only did he reject Rococo art, he also brought a new force and discipline to composition in a new style which became known as Neoclassicism – new classicism. Further works by David in the 1780s followed up the theme of The Oath of the Horatii and stressed the ideals of sacrifice for a cause. One of these influential early works was The Death of Socrates. 13

David, The Death of Socrates, 1787, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum, New York, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/31.45 Look at The Death of Socrates in the light of what you now know about the period, the training and the ideas of David. The theme is from the history of ancient Greece as recorded in the writings of the philosopher Plato. It shows the death of Socrates, the philosopher, who tried to establish moral rules for human conduct based on reason. Socrates was sentenced by a court of law to death, supposedly for corrupting the youth of the country with his ideas. He could have defended himself but accepted the verdict of a legal court and chose to die by drinking poison. Here David illustrates the rule of law is to be put before any personal considerations. These high moral values were identified with by those seeking political change in France. Perhaps the most extreme of these ‘stoical’ pictures is his The Lictors Bringing Back to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons. This was completed and exhibited in 1789 at the time of the storming of the Bastille. stoic = someone who uncomplainingly puts up with whatever happens

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David, The Lictors Bringing Back to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons, 1789, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david4.html Here a Roman leader stoically controls his emotions as the bodies of his two sons, whom he himself condemned to death as traitors, are returned to him. David’s theatrical lighting goes against the rules of Neoclassical clarity but even David, like all great painters, was not strictly bound by hard and fast rules. In the next lesson you will see that David, although strict in laying down the law in theory, was more adaptable in practice.

7A

Examine The Oath of the Horatii. View the smarthistory vidlet on this painting.

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www.smarthistory.org/david-oath-of-the-horatii.html 1. What contexts – social, political and philosophical – would have influenced David in selecting this subject? 2. Describe the figures. What are they doing? How are they presented? 3. Describe the background setting. What is its effect? 4. What mood has David created in this painting? Your teacher will assess this work.

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the french revolution and david’s later work learning outcome

Explain the Neoclassical style of David’s painting.

learning intentions

in this lesson you will: •• make connections between political events and the art of the period •• investigate how David’s style reflected the Neoclassical movement.

introduction

Four years after The Oath of the Horatii was shown, the political situation in France reached a crisis.

the storming of the bastille

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Storming of the Bastille.

The economic crisis of 1789 occurred because the country was virtually bankrupt through the cost of unsuccessful foreign wars and the excesses of the ruling classes. The king, Louis XVI, was forced to call a meeting of representatives from each of the three social classes. When the king seemed reluctant to accept reform, the representatives of the people joined by a few liberal clergy and nobles formed a separate National Assembly. The people of Paris seized arms in support of them and the Assembly eventually declared the end of the Monarchy. The catchphrase of the French revolutionaries was ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ fraternity = brotherhood The Revolutionary period of 1789–1799 was a confused and violent time. Many people were executed as enemies of the people, including the king and queen. David, as a leading supporter of the revolution, became the most influential figure in French art after the revolution.

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David undertook many tasks for the new government including organising elaborate celebrations involving thousands of people in Paris. He designed costumes intended to be the official dress of the citizens of the new republic. He assisted in the transfer of the royal art collections to the Louvre to form a national collection of art for the people.

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The National Convention replaced the National Assembly as the governing body of France and David was elected as a delegate. He was a supporter of the extreme faction led by Robespierre which gained power in the early years of the republic.

David voted for the death of Louis XVI, his former patron (Louis had purchased David’s Brutus), and later had little hesitation in condemning many others to the guillotine during the period known as ‘The Terror’. One of those was Marie Antoinette, the former queen of France. One of the leading figures of the time was Jean-Paul Marat, a ‘doctor’ and writer who became a prolific journalist during the revolution. Through his paper L’Ami de Peuple (The Friend of the People), Marat attacked anyone he felt to be an enemy of the revolution. He was also a forceful public speaker and member of Robespierre’s faction in the National Convention. In 1793, Marat was murdered by a royalist sympathiser, Charlotte Corday. David, as a personal friend of Marat and official artist of the revolutionary government, was commissioned to paint a tribute to the martyred hero. martyr = someone who dies for a cause

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David, Death of Marat, oil on canvas, 1793, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david7.html David has chosen to focus on Marat alone and already dead rather than the dramatic events of his murder. Marat had a skin condition which made it necessary for him to soak in a medicated bath while he worked. The serenity of David’s painting gives a holy, almost mystical effect.

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contemporary = an event that occurred close to the time it was painted Although this is a contemporary rather than Classical subject, David’s depiction of Marat is Neoclassical in style: •• Appropriate subject matter. David shows the noble sacrifice of a patriot for his country. •• It is a clear and unambiguous statement. David has pared down the composition to the bare essentials needed to explain the event. He includes the knife at the bottom left and the letter in Marat’s hand which is from his murderer asking to see him: ‘My great unhappiness gives me a right to your kindness.’ This letter is harshly lit, emphasising Corday’s outrageous action. •• Emphasis is given to the message of nobility and sacrifice in the painting. There are no complicating figures, action, or detail. •• Ordered composition. Stable horizontal and vertical forms are mathematically positioned to give the composition a static, ordered state. The background is a bare wall, as in a Roman frieze. The sheets hang down and resemble the fluting of a column. The bath forms a horizontal rectangular form across the lower third of the painting. A box forms a third solid structure. The simple structure and shallow depth focus attention on the dead Marat. •• Control of emotion. David has chosen to portray Marat after the murder, rather than the murder itself. All expression of pain has gone from Marat’s face, which shows a noble calm. •• Idealised forms. David has idealised the eczema-plagued body of Marat. It shows him as a smooth-skinned, muscled Classical nude. Even the wound is not allowed to mar the torso unduly. The small cut recalls the cutting of Christ’s side after his death and suggests a connection between Marat and Christ. •• The slumped pose recalls that of traditional depictions of Christ after his death. •• Controlled use of light. The light emphasises the calm face and shoulders which are set against the darker part of the flat, graduated background. •• Restrained colour. The range of whites, cream, green and brown is typically Neoclassical as is the smooth paint finish. •• The tombstone-like box, bloodstained towel and tub were venerated as relics by the public after this event. David has taken a contemporary event and transformed it through the use of Neoclassical methods.

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david’s arrest

When Robespierre’s excesses during the period known as the ‘Reign of Terror’ led to his arrest and execution in 1795, David was also put on trial for his life. He insisted he had not really supported the thousands of executions carried out but had gone along with Robespierre only to protect the arts of France from destruction as well. He was imprisoned rather than sentenced to death. David, Intervention of the Sabine Women, 1799, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, (also called The Battle of the Romans and Sabines), www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david35.html or: www.louvre.fr/llv/oeuvres/detail_notice.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_ id=10134198673225717&CURRENT_LLV_NOTICE%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673225717&FO LDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en While imprisoned at a former royal palace he continued to work preparing the sketches for one of his most complex paintings, The Battle of the Romans and Sabines. This work showed David’s dedication to archaeological detail and mastery of nude and draped figures. He used the nude figures because he wanted to emulate the Greek artists of the Classical period who depicted warriors, gods and heroes nude. The stiff poses are derived from Classical friezes, although the central figure of Hersilia is in the pose of Christ on the Cross – indicating self-sacrifice. David has moved from the stark simplicity of The Oath of the Horatii to a more dramatic and theatrical scene involving many figures, with deep space behind, if only as a backdrop to the foreground stage. The theme too has changed from an uncompromising battle to the death, in The Oath of the Horatii, to a call for reconciliation between warring factions for the general good.

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The Phigaleian Frieze.

To get a deeper understanding of The Battle of the Romans and Sabines, read the text accompanying the image on the Louvre website.

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david and napoleon

When Napoleon came to power in 1799 David was released from prison in a general amnesty. Napoleon visited his studio and saw the completed The Battle of the Roman and the Sabines. He was so impressed that he made David his official artist and director of the arts. He saw David’s Classicism as the perfect style to support his grand image as a new Emperor in the tradition of ancient Rome.

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David depicted Napoleon in heroic form a number of times. In Bonaparte Crossing the St Bernard Pass, the billowing cloak is echoed in the mane and tail of the dramatically rearing horse, while Napoleon’s quality of leadership is suggested by the calm, idealised face and the forwards gesture of his hand. David, Napoleon crossing the St Bernard Pass, 1800, Musée National de Malmaison RueilMalmaison, France, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david43.html Napoleon in his Study shows the Emperor at the height of his power, with sword, papers and military decorations complementing his steady, authoritative gaze. 23

David, Napoleon in his Study, 1812, oil on canvas, National Gallery, Washington DC, www.nga.gov/fcgi-bin/tinfo_f?object=46114 Read the text beside this painting on the National Gallery website which explains the meanings of items in the painting. When you do the external standard: ‘Examine the meanings conveyed by art works’, knowing something about the symbols and clues in a painting will help you explain the meanings of the work. So here Napoleon’s uniform, the way he is dressed, the sword, the clock, the papers and the symbol of the fleur-de-lys all contribute to a particular image of Napoleon. In the huge painting Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I David has shown Napoleon as a Roman emperor wearing a laurel wreath – the symbol of victory. The sumptuous detail and composition of a large crowd scene indicate David’s technical skills.

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David, Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on 2 December 1804, 1808, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, France, http://musee.louvre.fr/zoom/index.html?culturename=en-US&artworkid=10 Napoleon called France an Empire and began a new calendar from the time he took power. One of his first major achievements in governing was his writing, in 1803, of the Napoleonic Code, which even now remains the basis of France’s legal system.

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Napoleon looked to the Roman Empire as the model for efficient government and successful expansionist policies. He was keen to expand his Empire beyond the borders of France. This policy led to the years of the Napoleonic Wars throughout Europe and eventually to his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

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David, Portrait of Mme Récamier, 1800, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david8.html or: www.louvre.fr/llv/oeuvres/detail_notice.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_ id=10134198673225719&CURRENT_LLV_NOTICE%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673225719&FO LDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en The fashionable young Parisian, Madame Récamier, was one of many who sought to have their portraits painted by David. Her husband was a financier who strongly supported Napoleon and they were leading socialites in the early years of Napoleon’s Empire. David’s artistic influence was so strong that furniture such as used here, designed for his studio, became the height of fashion. His Classically inspired garments for women also became the style of the Empire. The painting itself, though unfinished due to a dispute between the sitter and David, shows David’s ability as a portrait painter. David insisted here on his right to change the colour of the sitter’s hair to suit the Classical harmony of the painting, hence the dispute. Other portraits by David further show his skill at capturing the individual character of his sitters. In the Sériziat paintings the sitters were personal friends. This comes through in the sensitive and perceptive treatment they receive. Apart from the smooth finish and attention to precise drawing, there is little else to identify them as Neoclassical.

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David, Monsieur Sériziat, 1795, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david39.html

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David, Madame Sériziat, 1795, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david38.html

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David, Charlotte David, 1813, oil on canvas, The National Gallery, Washington DC, www.abcgallery.com/D/david/david46.html In the portrait of his wife we see an honest representation, her wistful expression slightly at odds with the fashionable, plumed headdress and richly-textured satin of the Empire-style dress. After Napoleon fell from power in 1815, the Monarchy was restored in France. David was exiled to Brussels until he died in 1825.

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8A

Death of Socrates: analysis If possible, print out or photocopy a small version of Death of Socrates (black and white is fine) and place in the centre of a page. Write notes around it on the following points: Subject matter and theme

Composition + effects

Use and effects of light

Use of picture space

Figures – poses, expressions + effects

Check your answers.

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ingres

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learning outcome

Explain the art of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

learning intention

In this lesson you will: •• interpret the art work of Ingres, the second major Neoclassical artist of nineteenth century France.

introduction

In this lesson and the next you will look at the work of David’s pupil, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Ingres (pronounced ‘arn-gra’) was responsible for the continuation of the Neoclassical influence well into the nineteenth century.

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Ingres was born in a small town not far from Toulouse, in the south-west of France. His father was a sculptor and decorative plaster-worker. He also painted miniature portraits. He passed on his skills to his son. The family moved to Toulouse in 1791 so that Ingres could attend the Academy there. He won prizes for drawing and six years later he was accepted into the studio of Jacques-Louis David in Paris. David was at this time the leading painter in France. He was also heavily involved in politics and state patronage of the arts. For a time Ingres was David’s favourite student. In 1801 Ingres’ outstanding talent was recognised when he won the Prix de Rome competition with a painting heavily influenced by David’s Classicism. This allowed him to study at the French Academy in Rome for four years. Look at Ingres’ self-portrait, painted when he was twenty-four and before he left Paris to study in Rome. It is like a photograph. Note the clarity of outline in the head and the clothes and the careful attention to every detail. 29

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Self-portrait, 1804, oil on canvas, Musee Condé, Chantilly, www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres1.html Ingres won the Prix de Rome with The Ambassadors of Agamemnon. The full title is The Ambassadors of Agamemnon, Sent to Achilles to Urge Him to Fight, Find Him in His Tent with Patroclus Singing of the Feats of Heroes. The story behind the painting is taken from ancient Classical history and is a fitting subject for an important history painting.

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Ingres, The Ambassadors of Agamemnon, 1801, oil on canvas, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, http://cgfa.acropolisinc.com/ingres/p-ingres2.htm Look at some of the similarities with David’s Neoclassical style in Ingres’ painting: •• ancient classical setting and costumes •• setting is limited, used only as a backdrop •• composition is carefully organised – there is balance and harmony •• figure outlines are sharp and clear •• perfect proportions of the figures and idealised features •• action and gestures appear stiff and frozen. There are some differences too. You will look for these later.

portraits

Ingres had won the Prix de Rome but he had to stay in Paris for the next six years. It was a time of unrest in France and the state could find no money to send him to Rome. He was given a studio and commissions, like this very formal portrait commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate his gift of money to the city of Liège. 31

Ingres, Bonaparte as First Consul, 1804, oil on canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Liège, www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres5.html You can see the Gothic spire of Liège Cathedral framed in the window behind Napoleon. Look at the material of Napoleon’s clothing, the curtains and cloth over the table. Ingres seems to take pleasure in showing us the soft richness of velvet and silk, the harsher feel of metallic embroidery and the way the fabrics drape. At this time Ingres was short of commissions for history paintings (which were considered by the Academy to be the most important kind of painting and, because of this, fetched more money). To help make a living he did some portraits and exhibited them in the Salon. In 1805 he painted portraits of the Rivière family. Mademoiselle Rivière, the daughter, died tragically at the age of fifteen in the same year that this was painted. It is one of Ingres’ most famous portraits.

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Ingres, Mlle Rivière, 1805, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres3.html Ingres makes this attractive subject even more so by idealising it in the style of Raphael, the Renaissance painter.

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ingres

Look at the perfect oval of the head and the Classical proportions of the features. The neck curves gracefully and the body is gently turned towards the viewer. The setting is an idealised landscape. You can see the Neoclassical influence here in the careful way that detail has been put together without seeming fussy or overdone and in the porcelain smooth technique. However, he has exaggerated aspects of her body to emphasise the idealisation. That neck is especially long and the curve of the eyebrows into the nose is more about stressing oval shapes than reality. But the warmth and gentleness in this portrait are not seen in any of Ingres’ history paintings – in comparison they seem cold and formal. Ingres, Madame Rivière, 1805, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres48.html or: http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_not_frame&langue=en&idNotice= 22517 Look at Ingres’ portrait of Madame Rivière, painted in the same year as he painted her daughter. The portrait has been described as a ‘masterpiece of linear design’, because of the pattern of line in the folds of the filmy scarf and flowing shawl. Look at these lines. Their rhythm and pattern seem to be more important than their use to describe the folds of material. Compare this with the carefully organised and simplified folds of drapery in David’s The Oath of the Horatii (lesson 7). Can you see a difference?

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Ingres, Madame Rivière, compositional lines.

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Ingres included these two portraits in the work he exhibited in the Salon of 1806. The exhibition opened just as he was leaving for Rome. In his absence his paintings were poorly hung and he received bad reviews from the critics. They called his work ‘Gothic, revolutionary and bizarre’. Gothic, when applied to art, meant primitive or barbarian. In Gothic painting and sculpture, drapery was treated in an elaborate and fussy way; the opposite to Classical control and simplification. The critics were angry, too, at Ingres’ distortion of the proportions of Madame Rivière’s arms. You can see that one is longer than it would be in life and the other, resting on the cushion, is shorter. This broke one of the Academy’s strict rules, that figures should have ideal, Classical proportions. Ingres was an outstanding draughtsman. He had won many prizes for drawing and so we know that these were not mistakes. The distortion happened while he concentrated on following the flowing lines of the clothing and arranged their movements and shapes in the painting. Ingres left for Rome, hurt and confused. He was to stay there for the next fourteen years. What can be learnt from this situation is that artists can’t always be pigeon-holed into one ‘style’ or ‘movement’. It’s easy to place David as a Neoclassical painter, and many of Ingres’ works also placed him in the same Neoclassical movement. But artists develop and change especially over a career as long as Ingres’. 9A

Ingres Choose two of Ingres’ works, one which shows the characteristics of Neoclassicism and one which has characteristics which show a break from the restrictions of Neoclassicism. Draw up a chart like the one below and fill in your ideas. Allow plenty of space for your answer. Neoclassical

Break from Neoclassicism

Title of Work Subject Matter

Use of formal elements

Check your answers.

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ingres’ later work

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learning outcome

Explain the developing style of Ingres.

learning intentions

In this lesson you will: •• recognise Ingres’ development of an individual style •• interpret the meanings of art works.

introduction

You have looked at some of Ingres’ early work. Now you will follow the development of his particular style of Neoclassicism and find out about his place in the history of art in France.

ingres’ later work

Ingres arrived at the French Academy in Rome towards the end of 1806. He spent four years studying and copying the work of the great Renaissance masters. He developed a special admiration for the work of Raphael. Ingres firmly believed that he was a true Classicist, obeying David’s rules. But he could not help treating his subject matter in a personal and imaginative way. 34

Ingres, The Valpincon Bather, 1808, oil on canvas, Musee du Louvre, Paris, www.louvre.fr/llv/oeuvres/detail_notice.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_ id=10134198673226356&CURRENT_LLV_NOTICE%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673226356&FO LDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en or: www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres13.html In The Valpincon Bather, Ingres is looking for ideal feminine grace and beauty. He copies the pose of the figure from Roman sculpture and applies paint smoothly. But instead of carefully modelling the details of the anatomy, Ingres uses unbroken flowing lines to describe the form. This simple treatment contrasts with the complicated rhythms of the drapery. There is nothing cold and severe about this figure. It looks relaxed and natural, with warmth and life.

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Ingres, La Grande Odalisque, 1814, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, http://smarthistory.org/grand-odalisque.html or: www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres56.html Watch the short video on smarthistory about this painting. In La Grande Odalisque, Ingres is looking for rhythms and curving shapes that take the work further than just being an accurate record of what he sees. He exaggerates the curve of the spine in the painting and makes the back longer than it could possibly be, (three vertebrae longer, in fact) to emphasise the curving rhythms. The features are idealised, like Greek sculpture. When the painting was shown at the Salon, Ingres was criticised for ‘crudity’ and ‘eccentricity’. Ingres preferred life in Rome so he stayed on there for fourteen years before visiting Paris again. He returned to Italy in 1820 for a further four years. This time he lived in Florence.

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From 1815 to 1820 Ingres made numerous pencil drawings of visitors to Rome. He disliked earning his living in this way. But the drawings are now seen to be outstanding masterpieces. Look at the delicacy and sureness of touch in the drawing of the Misses Montague. 36

Ingres, The Misses Montagu, pencil drawing, Private Collection, http://cgfa.acropolisinc.com/ingres/p-ingres10.htm Ingres won back the approval of the Academy and Salon in Paris with his painting of the Vow of Louis XIII which was exhibited in the 1824 Salon. The Classicists enthusiastically welcomed Ingres as their new leader. Ingres was delighted to return to Paris where he received one official award after another. He was made president of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which was the official school of the Academy. There, he conscientiously taught the rules and techniques of Classicism to his students. For a while he even managed to meet these strict requirements in his own work. The Apotheosis of Homer is like a show piece for Classical rules and regulations, a fine example for his students to follow.

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Ingres, The Apotheosis of Homer, 1827 oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, http://smarthistory.org/ingres.html or: www.abcgallery.com/I/ingres/ingres52.html Ingres copied and researched for paintings like this one. He wanted to find the perfect organisation and compositional balance of Raphael’s work. Ingres continued to accept commissions for portraits throughout his career. These show his outstanding ability as a draughtsman and his continuing interest in the textures of flesh and materials. Ingres’ technical handling of materials was delicate and deliberate. He started with a canvas primed with a pale ground and used chalk, fluid washes and very fine brushes to establish his figures. He built up his subtle tonal modelling with careful graduations of light and shade, smoothing out the flesh and blending tones with a soft fan brush while the paint was still wet. This helped achieve the porcelain-like smoothness of many of his figures. Once the oil paints were dry, the work would be completed with varnish to give a final polished effect. His paintings are usually more formal than his drawings. They fail to capture the personality of the sitter in the way that his drawings do. But the portrait of Louis-Francois Bertin is an exception.

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Ingres, Louis-Francois Bertin, 1832, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris, www.louvre.fr/llv/oeuvres/detail_notice.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_ id=10134198673226310&CURRENT_LLV_NOTICE%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673226310& FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en6310&FOLDER%3C%3Efold er_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en

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ingres’ later work

Ingres painted the director of the paper ‘Journal des Débats’ in a very real pose. Here is a man of wisdom and experience. Ingres has captured the tension and energy as Monsieur Bertin pauses for a moment while speaking. In spite of his success as leader of Classicism in Paris, Ingres found it increasingly difficult to work with the strict academic rules. Increasingly, his more personal and individual style showed itself and he often fell out with the Academy over criticism of particular paintings. Consider his work The Turkish Bath. How far has he moved from the Neoclassicism of David? 39

Ingres, The Turkish Bath, 1862, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris, www.louvre.fr/llv/oeuvres/detail_notice_popup.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_ id=10134198673226335&CURRENT_LLV_NOTICE%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673226335&FO LDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696500815&bmLocale=en In 1841, after a period as director of the French Academy in Rome, Ingres returned once again to Paris. Again he was welcomed with receptions and awards and had a gallery to himself at the Salon for a show which traced the development of his painting right through from his early work. Before Ingres died at 86, he had been recognised internationally with honorary membership of academies of other countries. He was still working a week before his death and had remained involved in academic arguments and debates as the leader of Neoclassicism.

9A

Examine the meanings conveyed by art works. Look at two paintings of Napoleon Bonaparte, one by David and one by Ingres. How does each artist convey the idea of Napoleon as a leader? You could examine: •• what Napoleon is doing •• his clothing •• how the figure is presented •• the meaning of objects around him •• setting. Write about one page. Your teacher will assess this work.

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answer guide

11

1. france: the background 1A

Social and political features of the eighteenth century – background context: •• Society dominated by king, clergy and nobility •• A small, educated middle-class (bourgeoisie) was becoming more wealthy and wanted more say in government •• Peasants were uneducated, poor and heavily taxed.

2. the artistic background 2A

The Holy Family, Poussin 1. Classical features – buildings in background; Classical style of robes; use of small naked boys resembles some ancient sculpture 2. Elizabeth is in front of Joseph, who is in front of a building – gives an effect of natural placement in space 3. Balance created by the pairing of the baby Jesus and the baby St John, each with their mothers supporting them. The solid grouping on the left is balanced by the idealised landscape receding on the right hand side of the painting 4. The actual centre of the painting is Mary, Jesus’ mother, but the positioning of the women and the gestures of the attendant boys, leads the eye just left of centre to the meeting of Jesus and St John.

3. baroque and rococo art 3A

1. a. Baroque style: extravagant compositions and settings; dramatic illusion; moving and twisting figures; unusual perspective. b. Rococo style: more delicate; idealised settings; reflects luxury of court life; soft sensuous figures.

4A

4. training and exhibiting 1. The Academy – an art school that imposed standards and expectations on what artists should paint. 2. The Salon was the annual exhibition of work by Academy artists. 3. An ‘academic machine’ was the term for a painting that was correct in all respects as far as Academy rules were concerned, but dull because it lacked new ideas and creativity. 4. Artists who didn’t conform to Academy rules could not exhibit or sell their works in the Salon. To be a successful, selling artist it was necessary to follow the rules.

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answer guide

6. formal elements in art 6A

The Death of Socrates – description: I see stone floors and walls and a deep archway leading through to another room. A young man in orange is hiding his face while holding a cup in his right hand. An old man with a strong torso is holding out his hand as if to take the cup, while gesturing upwards with his left hand. A group of people are clustered around the end of the bed he sits on, showing varying degrees of distress. An elderly man sits at the base of the bed, slumped in thought. At the end of the back room several figures are on a staircase.

8. the french revolution and david’s later work 8A

The Death of Socrates – analysis: •• Subject matter – death of the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, who was sentenced to exile but preferred to die by drinking poison. •• Theme – By choosing this subject David suggests that the rule of law, which Socrates stood for, must come before personal concerns. This was interpreted as supporting revolution. •• Composition – figures arranged in a narrow band across the picture space – centre point of the composition is the cup of poison that Socrates is about to accept. Effect – focus on the cup of poison that will kill Socrates •• Use of picture space – stone wall limits most action to the foreground. The perspective lines established by the lines on the floor lead to a vanishing point within the deeper space through the archway. Effect – attention concentrated on Socrates and the circle of people around him •• Use and effects of light – the darkness on the left, and the deep grey of the stone wall, make the strongly lit figures stand out clearly, especially Socrates’ head, body and pointing finger and his Classically-draped robes •• Treatment of figures – although old, Socrates has kept his figure! His torso is perfectly muscled and proportioned, similar to Classical sculpture, and the tension and firmness of his pose is in contrast to the grieving poses of those around him who are mourning before he’s dead.

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9. ingres 9A

Neoclassical

Break from Neoclassicism

Title of Work

The Ambassadors of Agamemnon

Madame Rivière

Subject Matter

From ancient Classical history, depicting an episode in Greek history – messengers from Agamemnon summon Achilles’ help in war.

Portrait commissioned by Rivière family.

Use of formal elements

Ancient Classical setting and costumes. Perfect proportions of figures (Classical nude). Idealised features. Frozen action. Contours of figures and setting clearly defined.

Line becomes rhythm and pattern – is not used solely to define contours but becomes an element in its own right. Elaborate drapery and detail – not simplified. Distortion in length of arms – not perfect in proportion

Carefully organised composition.

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acknowledgements Every effort has been made to acknowledge and contact copyright holders. Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu apologies for any omissions and welcomes more accurate information. Drawings, Š Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, Wellington, New Zealand

Bigstock (www.Bigstock.com) Photo: The Louvre, 15369035 Photo: Hercules & Acheolus, 5517239

iStock (www.iStockphoto.com) Cover: Illustration of Napoleon Bonaparte, 10679026 Photo: Storming of Bastille, 4416125 Photo: A guillotine, 7116217 Photo: Stamp image of Napoleon, 13000259

The British Museum Photo: The Phigaleian Frieze, AN905372001, reg no: 18160309

Tranz International Image Photo: The School of Athens, by Raphael, 42-18372037. Used by permission Photo: Oath of the Horatii, by Jacques-Louis David, 42-22036958. Used by permission. Photo: Madame Riviere, by J. A. D. Ingres, BAL_83816. Used by Permision.

Design layout: Designtalk, Wellington, New Zealand, 2012

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Identify the background to nineneeth century French art. Explain the work of David and Ingres. Identify the characteristics of Neoclassicism.

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