COMPARISON SHOPPING SEARCH ENGINE
| TOP 100 BEST BUY
Meta Search Engine
|Baby||Books||Camera & Photo||Classical Music||Computer & Video Games||Computers||DVD||Electronics|
|Kitchen & Housewares||Software||Magazines||Tools & Hardware||Outdoor Living||Popular Music||Toys & Games||Videos|
Fine Art Prints
Buy Modern Art Prints, Fine Art Prints, Framed Art Prints and Art Prints Posters.
|Americana Art Prints||Fashion Art Prints||Motivational Art Prints||Spiritual Art Prints|
|Animals Art Prints||Floral Art Prints||Music Art Prints||Sports Art Prints|
|Architecture Art Prints||Holiday Art Prints||Nature Art Prints||Still Life Art Prints|
|Cityscapes Art Prints||Humorous Art Prints||People Art Prints||Transportation Art Prints|
|Cuisine Art Prints||Kids Club Art Prints||Romantic Art Prints||Vintage Art Prints|
|Dance Art Prints||Landscape Art Prints||Seasons Art Prints||World Culture Art Prints|
|Fantasy Art Prints||Maps Art Prints||Ships & Shore Art Prints|
INTRODUCTION 1860 - 1870
The 1860s was a decade of dynamic change in painting,
a period in which tradition and innovation were fused in the work of major
independent, non-academic artists like Edouard Manet (1832-1883) and Edgar
Degas (1834- 1917), to produce a new style of painting which
The new face of Paris
The avant-garde Parisian artist was no longer the painter of agricultural life or peasants, but of modern city life — the sophisticated dandy's world of cafes, racetracks, parks, concerts, balls, the opera and the ballet. Back stage, behind Haussmann's elegant, pale stone facades, lay the demi-monde, the twilight world which serviced the sophisticated leisured pleasures which characterized the Second Empire's decadent opulence. These city workers — the street musicians, ragpickers, waiters, laun -dresses, milliners, barmaids, singers, shopgirls, dancers, courtesans, prostitutes in the maisons closes — began to dominate the subject matter of Manet and Degas from the early 1860s. But new subjects, a more direct representation of contemporary themes, demanded new techniques. During the 1860s Manet and Degas, among other artists, found alternatives to academic practice which were more suited to their aesthetic needs. The techniques they evolved look forward to Impressionist methods, which began to emerge in the latter part of the decade in the work of Monet, Renoir. Sisley. Pissarro and Cezanne.
Old versus new techniques
During the nineteenth century, two distinct methods had been widely established for the rendering of light, subtle halftones and shade in studio painting. The first technique, inspired by Flemish oil painters, dominated academic theory and practice in the first two-thirds of the century. It contrasted thin transparent shadows with opaque impasted lights in painting. As these effects became harder to achieve with modern, machine-ground colors, this method was gradually displaced by a more uniformly solid handling, based on Venetian techniques. In this method, both light and shade were rendered in opaque colors, applied with a loaded brush, while the shadows were deepened and enriched only in the final stages by the addition of transparent glazes. This latter method — minus the final glazing — gained wider popularity through Manet's novel approach in the 1860s and was to form the basis for the densely painted surfaces of Impressionist works in the 1870s.
There were clear-cut practical reasons for this change, determined both by developments in the artists' materials trade, and by artists' loss of traditional practical knowledge. Since at least the mid eighteenth century, artists had grown ever more aware that their technical expertise was inadequate to recreate a handling comparable to that of the Old Masters. Further, changes in modern paints due to mass-production made such emulation virtually impossible. In fact, the development of the Impressionists' loaded shadow technique was far from purely aesthetic in inspiration - the mechanical production of colors played a central role in this change from the use of transparent colors. Three factors were of particular importance — mechanical grinding, oil binders, and the additives used to keep paint homogeneous in the new tube containers.
Mechanical grinding was at first considered to produce paints too coarse for artists' colors, which were known as coulews fines to distinguish them from coach or house painting colors. The first color merchant to offer mechanically ground artists' colors was Blot, in the rue St. Honore, Paris, in 1836.
Although in the early days of mechanical grinding too
coarse a substance had been produced for use by artists, growing sophistication
soon solved this technical problem, but, instead, overgrinding became
a common practice. This meant that the subtle variations required in grinding
different pigments to bring out their individual characteristics, were
lost. These changes affected what artists could achieve with their colors,
making dark transparencies problematic, but encouraging thick opaque painting.
When properly ground, oil colors varied greatly in texture. Some tended
to be runny, like viridian, ultramarine and vermilion. Others —
especially the full-bodied earth colors - were naturally suffer in consistency
and had a coarser grain texture. Dyestuffs. like the red alizarin lakes,
may have no discernible particles. When ground correctly, these differences
should remain apparent. The distinction in feel of a pigment's qualities,
evident to an experienced hand-grinder, were hard to recapture in machine
grinding. This, combined with
Oil binders and additives
Artists' colors had traditionally been prepared only
as and when they were needed, thus long-term storage presented little
problem. However, the rapid expansion of commercial color grinding in
the nineteenth century gaverise to a pressing need for an extended shelf-life
for the product. There was little point in mass producing colors which
then spoiled during storage in the unpredictable time-lag between manufacture
and purchase. As ready ground colors tend to separate from their oil binder
when left to stand, and as old oil jellies in the tube, ways had to be
found to make sure that paints retained an even consistency, and that
the pigment stayed fully dispersed in the oil. Although collapsible tin
tubes were only invented in 1840, suitable containers for storing paint
had been sought long before then. Bladders for watercolors were in existence
Around 1 790, an Englishman called Blackman began marketing a new type of ready ground oil color in bladders, which were stiffer in consistency than normal oil colors. He said they were intended to make it easier for landscapists to undertake 'excursions into the country where it might be inconvenient to carry pigments of that kind in the state in which they were usually sold.' To achieve this stiffer paint texture, Blackman added sperm whale oil. or spermaceti - a brittle white fatty substance commonly used in ointments and candles. This addition also involved the inclusion of excesses of oil, for which his colors were soon criticized.
Beef and mutton tallow were other harmful stiffening additives often included in nineteenth century paint manufacture, and these were especially destructive as they never dried. They were thus advantageous only for the color manufacturers, who. as Vibert commented, 'are solely preoccupied with the commercial side of their trade. Their aim is to make colors which retain their freshness in tubes for the longest time possible, and in all climates.
Wax, especially paraffin wax. was another common additive used in oil colors. While a small proportion of wax — no more than 2 per cent — dissolved in oil of turpentine, improves the consistency of oil colors, and indeed reduces yellowing, excesses are damaging. During this period, up to 30 per cent of wax dissolved in fatty oils was often added, resulting in sticky, dark colors, prone to cracking. Excesses of wax and extra oil went hand in hand. To counteract the fluidity produced by increasing the oil content, which made grinding easier, manufacturers put in more wax to restore the paint's stiffer consistency. This. in turn, permitted them -to cut down the amount of pigment required to give a good paint texture. As the pigment was invariably the most costly item in paint manufacture, any reduction increased the color merchants' profits.
By the 1860s color merchants also justified the inclusion of excessive amounts of wax on the grounds that it made the colors more suitable for painting with a palette knife, which had been made popular by Courbet (1819-1877) in paintings like Deer Haven (1866). Manet also used knife application of color in the 1860s. particularly for broad background areas. The technique was exploited in this decade and the early 1870s. by some of the younger independent artists, especially Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) and Camille Pissarro (1830-1903). However, knife painting draws the oil binder to the paint surface, and thus aggravates the problem of the yellowing of oil by encouraging it to gather in a surface film. This drawback, together with the Impressionists' growing preference for uneven brush textured handling, resulted in their abandoning the technique in the later 1870s. It was never adopted by the other members of the Impressionist group, including the major Impressionists, Claude Monet (1840-1926), Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) or Alfred Sisley (1839-1899).
Unnecessarily large quantities of oil are dangerous, whether in the support priming or in the paints themselves. All oils darken and yellow with age, discoloring and distorting the original color balance and harmonies in a work. Thus. for artists in the 1860s. and particularly the Impressionists later, excessive oils in paints were a serious problem, as their painting required durable bright, light colors. Pale colors were obviously more vulnerable to yellowing and discoloration than dark ones, so, where a luminous effect and subtle color relations were the aim of a painter, special care had to be taken to protect these colors from destruction. Soaking out excess oil by placing colors on blotting paper prior to use, was one precaution adopted by many Impressionist painters.
Every individual pigment has its own optimum level of
oil absorption, which it is inadvisable to exceed. This level is the amount
of oil required in grinding to achieve both a thorough 'wetting' of each
pigment particle and also the complete dispersal of pigment particles
in the oil, to produce an ideal paint consistency. Like the oil absorption
level, this ideal consistency varies from pigment to pigment.Some colors,
such as raw sienna, naturally absorb high proportions of oil binder, while
others, like lead white, require very little oil in grinding. In the long
run, pigments which re-
The homogeneous consistency of modern commercial paints made it difficult for artists to vary their uniformly buttery paint quality - its relative opacity or transparency, stiffness or fluidity - without mixing the colors with harmful thinning vehicles or thickening unctions. Inevitably, any addition to the paint increased its chemical complexity, making its safe usage harder to predict or control. Experts maintained that if only colors were from the outset manufactured with varied viscosity, according to their inherent characteristics and their requisite function on the artist's palette, this further adulteration by the artist could be avoided.
Thus mechanical grinding, poppy oil binder, and waxy additives all combined as factors influencing the texture of mid nineteenth century paints. They no longer possessed the distinctions in texture, that had lent themselves so appropriately to the variations of thin transparency and raised opaques characteristic of Flemish methods, which so many artists continued to seek in their chiaroscuro handling. By the 1860s the gradual breakdown of this method, made even more difficult by artists' ignorance of traditional handling techniques, was well under way.
However, rendering the conventional deep, transparent
shadows was still a major preoccupation of many artists. For instance,
as late as 1867, Manet's teacher, the artist Thomas Couture (1815-1879),
described light as mat and shadow as transparent in nature, and noted
that the artist's palette was well stocked with sound opaque colors suitable
for rendering the lights, but that few good transparent colors were available.
Many sound bright transparent colors were on the market then, but traditionalists
considered these crass and vulgar, and therefore unsuitable for academic
painting. However, it was precisely these colors, usually with the addition
In the nineteenth century. Gericault (1791 - 1824) was the first independent artist to load his shadows, for example in his Raft of the Medusa (1819). However, he attempted to retain their transparency by using bitumen - the worst and most dangerous of the glazes, then disparagingly referred to as "brown sauces', against which painters of the 1860s reacted. When first applied, bitumen gives a seductive, warm transparent brown, apparently ideal for deep shadows. But bitumen is a tarry substance, akin to the asphalt used for surfacing roads today, and. consequently, it never dries completely. Its subsequent cracking and blistering in fluctuating environmental temperatures destroys the paint surface, while the color blackens, losing transparency as it ages. Gericault's example was followed by the young Delacroix (1 798-1863) in the Barque of Dante (1822). Such practices, and those of the Romantics, who adopted glutinous brown transparencies, were brought to artists' attention by writers like the famous aesthetician Charles Blanc in the 1860s, who warned of their dangers. Both Courbet and Millet (1814- 1875) — whose influence on the younger generation was crucial — also loaded their shadows, although Courbet was more guilty than Millet of the misuse of bitumen. It is sig nificant that all these precedents for richly loaded paint surfaces were among independent artists, painters who were all seeking alternatives to the academic tradition, and whose example was of particular relevance to the younger artists of the 1860s.
Only two artists of the older generation, who trained and worked in an essentially classical tradition, were to prove vital to the younger painters. These were Ingres (1780-1867) and the landscapist Corot (1796-1875), Ingres studiously avoided the use of bitumen in his work, adopting the thinly scumbled opaque shadows taught him by David (1748-1825), which resulted in a shallow pictorial space and a lightness of color which was not found in the work of his academic followers. Corot too, used lead white in his shadows, showing greater concern for depicting the real effects of outdoor light. As a result the overall effect in his landscapes is one of pale silvery luminosity, rather than the somber, toned-down conventional lights and darks of academic studio landscapes, or the heavy darks of Romantic landscapes.
One of the key reasons why Romantics and many Realist painters loaded their shadows, was because they mainly used supports primed with pale grounds, and these needed to be well covered if dark shadows were to be effective. A convincing recession, or turning away of form into shadow, was hard to create on pale grounds. Pale colors tend to advance visually and dark ones to recede, so dark grounds have an inherent sense of depth which pale grounds lack. In fact, pale grounds have an insistent flatness which resists the most determined efforts to create an illusion of depth on them. Courbet, attempting to persuade the youthful Monet to adopt dark grounds in the early 1860s, was well aware of their advantages when he commented that. on a brown ground 'you can dispose your lights, your colored masses; you immediately see your effect.'
As early as 1 750 artists had been aware that the technique of using transparent shadowsand thinly applied halftones was vulnerable to the ravages of time. Because the paint layer — the picture itself — becomes increasingly transparent with age, these subtle effects soon disappeared when painted over dark grounds. Even on pale grounds, the overall balance was soon lost. for, as the paint layer grew more transparent, the glazed shadows lost their depth of contrast with the impasted lights. In the long term, pale grounds were safest, as they maintained the overall luminosity of the painting, whereas dark grounds — which darkened further with age - 'rose up' and subdued the hues in the paint layer. It was precisely for these reasons that artists in the 1860s preferred pale grounds.
Isolated examples exist of early works by Cezanne, Monet
and Renoir from this decade, executed on dark grounds inspired by Courbet.
But, following the example of Manet, they soon
In view of the weight of contemporary evidence demonstrating the technical undesirability of chiaroscuresque methods — whether using transparent or loaded shadows — it may seem surprising that so many artists persisted in their use of them. However, not only did these methods have a long and distinguished history, but by the nineteenth century chiaroscuro had become more than just a technique.
In the seventeenth century chiaroscuro had simply meant
either the overall light effect in a composition, or the particular fall
of light and shade on each object to give it the necessary relief. By
the 1860s, the definition of chiaroscuro incorporated a crucial aesthetic
ideal too. Its aim, in the words of the important art theorist Charles
Blanc, was 'not simply to give relief to the forms, but to correspond
to the sentiment that the painter wishes to express, conforming to the
conventions of a moral beauty as much as to the laws of natural truth.'
Thus the original, practical role of chiaroscuro had become overlaid with
a new ideological meaning. Chiaroscuresque handling in painting had become
synonymous with the academic ideal of elevated moral truth and beauty.
Therefore, any rejection of chiaroscuro was associated in the minds of
the powerful con-
As a result, paintings which failed to exhibit the thin transparent shadows and impasted lights of the approved chiaroscuro tradition, were consistently criticized by conservatives for their lack of elevated moral tone. Such paintings were considered deficient in the spiritual, intellectual, refining side of art. which had, since Renaissance times, been thought crucial to the production of great art. A painting which lacked the rational pictorial conventions of chiaroscuro was dismissed as raw imitation of nature, banal and unimaginative.
This attitude echoed the traditional split between artist and artisan, between the intellectual and the purely manual in art. For this reason. Impressionist painting was characterized by its critics as exhibiting nothing but manual dexterity. It was even considered seditious. Especially following the Paris Commune of 1871. these artists were often dismissed as communists and anarchists for their flouting of traditional values in art.
The influence of photography
The lack of sensitivity of early photographic plates or films produced a number of distortions. which were noticed by contemporary critics. In particular, the subtleties of lighting considered so crucial to chiaroscuro effects — delicate reflected lights in shadows, and gradated halftones - were destroyed by photography. The resulting exaggeration of darks and lights gave dramatic, simplified areas of strong tonal contrast, which flattened three-dimensional forms into broad, uniform tonal shapes. Thus, artists like Manet, Degas and Fantin Latour (1836-1904). who studied photography in the 1860s, found in its stark contrasts a new way of depicting a simplified, more direct impression of the natural world. Artificial light- ing was used in photography from the mid 1850s, created either by electrical batteries or the powerful white flare produced by burning magnesium wire. This resulted in even more extreme oppositions of light and dark. A comparable effect is apparent in Manet's 1863 works Olympia and Luncheon on the Grass.
Studios and lighting
A cool northern studio light creates contrasting warm shadows. These were made darker by the restricted volume of light and by the subdued colors with which the walls were generally painted. Thus a tonal palette of somber warm earth colors was perfect for rendering these effects.
The studio environment was therefore constructed to give constant chiaroscuresque lights and shades. Although artists were working from 'nature', it was a nature determined bypreconceived ideas of painting, intended only to result in an end-product in which form was depicted through chiaroscuro. Multiple light sources and south-facing studios were occasionally recommended by writers criticizing the cool drabness of accepted northern lighting, but they were rarely adopted before the development of Impressionism in the 1870s.
However, the example of outdoor studies by Corot. with their gold or pale lighting and luminous shadows, provided an important alternative to younger independent painters in the 1860s. Increasingly, artists began to complete their paintings out of doors in order to retain the unity of natural light effects and the impact of the first impression. This renewed determination to capture the quality of light observed in situ brought a freeing of artistic vision, which stimulated painters to study brighter, lighter scenery in full daylight.
One of the major problems with studio- executed landscape paintings, especially those including figures, had always been the creation of a convincingly unified lighting. In such paintings, the background lighting was usually quite distinct from that on the figures, which were executed from models under the strictly controlled abrupt lights and darks of the studio. On figures under natural outdoor light, the gradations from light to shade are softer and the shadows more diffused and attenuated, filled with reflected light from the sky. Even in works like Manet's Luncheon on the Grass, in which a high academic studio lighting was abandoned, the stark tonal contrasts of interior light are still in evidence. Manet adopted a dramatic frontal light, falling directly onto his figures, which obliterates halftones and reduces shadow to little more than striking black contours. This flattening, full-face light familiar to the artists from contemporary photography, produces broad blocks of light and dark when used indoors. During the 1870s the same full face light was to be exploited by the Impressionists outdoors, where, by contrast, it suppresses tonal contrasts because shadows fall behind the objects depicted.
In Japanese prints, sensual line and blocks of vivid color weave patterns across the picture surface, causing the eye to wander undirected over it instead of forcing the eye to focus on a central point of interest. A comparable phenomenon resulted from the peculiarities of photography, and both proved a timely alternative to academic conventions. The photograph, although no more 'objective' in the strictest sense than the human eye, showed a different picture than that possible with human binocular vision. Within a given depth or field of focus, the camera's monocular lens records every object with equal force and clarity. Human vision is more selective, in that, out side a central focal area, all objects are more or less blurred. A new interest among artists in creating an overall focus of attention in their wor, was a natural outgrowth of the study of photographs. 'Snapshot' photography, which came in in the early 1860s, succeeded in freez- ing moving figures. This new vision of accidentally distributed passers-by became a feature of paintings at this time. in which apparently casually placed or cut-off figures gave an air of direct immediacy. The modern city life in Paris could thus be rendered with the sensation of a glimpse of the uninterrupted panorama of teeming activity, a slice of fleeting life. seen most typically in the work of Degas.
Thus, many artists began to avoid a central or single point of focus in their compositions, experimenting instead with designs that had no hierarchy of pictorial interest. This type of leveling process, which failed to direct the spectator's eye into a traditional self-contained, coherent pictorial space and toward a fixed point of interest, left public and critics bewildered. Few understood the aims of this style, and most critics exhorted the independent artists to return to the conventions of traditional academic chiaroscuro, which had imposed their own familiar aesthetic order on the painter's subject. The combination of an even, uniform focus, an overall loading of the paint surface, and a flattened pictorial space in the new painting gave no easy clues to the reading and understanding of the pictorial intention. Manet's Concert in the Tuileries (1862) and Degas' Chrysanthemums (1858-1865), are excellent examples of this.
In their pre-lmpressionist work of the 1 860s, artists like Monet and Renoir already gave hints of later developments. The shadows in Monet's Women in the Garden, like those in Renoir's Lise with a Parasol (1867) and The Pont des Arts (1867) were filled with reflected light and cool blue-violet hues picked up from the sky. con-trasting with the pervasive warmth of the sun-light. Monet's early experiences in outdoor work with his mentor Eugene Boudin (1 824-1898) along the Normandy coast, in the late 1 8 50s and early 1 860s. gave him an advantage over Renoir who only began painting outside in 1863. He did this at the instigation of his tutor Charles Gleyre (1806-1874). in whose sympathetic anti-academic teaching studio he had first met Monet. Sisley and Frederic Bazille (1841-1870) in the autumn of 1862. Since they all worked together regularly, both indoors and out in the 1860s and early 1870s, they were able to benefit from each other's growing expertise and competence.
When in Paris, they all joined Manet's gatherings of artistic and literary figures at the Cafe Guerbois, on one of the new boulevards now avenue de Clichy - in the Batignolles quarter on the fringe of Montmartre. These discussions often included writers and critics like Emile Zola. Edmond Duranty and Theodore Duret. Artists who joined them included Degas, Cezanne, Renoir. Fantin Latour and Pissarro. Monet later recalled that 'from them we emerged with a firmer will. with our thoughts clearer and more distinct.' As they only painted during daylight hours, in the evenings they were free to meet. argue and exchange the latest ideas. It was during this time that many of these artists began to formulate the project for independent group shows, which would provide an alternative venue to the official Salon exhibition. This idea finally came to fruition in 1874, the year of the first group exhibition, at which a critic coined the name 'Impressionism:
'I'he year 1 869 is now commonly seen as the turning point in the development of the Impressionist style. That summer, Monet and Renoir worked side by side along the banks of the river Seine at La Grenouillere. one of the new leisure spots just outside Paris. With their portable easels and traveling paintboxes, they painted rapid studies in free sketchy brushwork. attempting to capture the fleeting effects of sunlight on mobile water, to note down their impressions before the transitory scene. Although their methods and palette were to change considerably in the following decade, the basis for the new Impressionist techniquesI was already established.
Copyright 2006 © CitiMall Shopping Mall. All rights reserved. Entertainment Book - VIN Number - Free VIN Check - Kelley Blue Book - Car Insurance - Car Warranty - Used Car History - NADA - Legal
Shopping Mall : Art Gallery, Fine Art Collection, Art History, Art Supply & Art Print
ART Category: Art, Arts, Fantasy Art, Wildlife Art, Art Gallery, Fine Art, Art History, Art Print, Digital Art, Art Supply, African Art, 3d Art, Poster Art, Cartoon Art, Nude Art, Art Wall, Religious Art
Shopping Mall: Art Store offers Arts, Fantasy Art, Wildlife Art, Art Gallery, Fine Art, Art History, Art Print, Digital Art, Art Supply, African Art, 3d Art, Poster Art, Cartoon Art, Nude Art, Art Wall, Religious Art
ART Topics: Art, Arts, Fantasy Art, Wildlife Art, Art Gallery, Fine Art, Art History, Art Print, Digital Art, Art Supply, African Art, 3d Art, Poster Art, Cartoon Art, Nude Art, Art Wall, Religious Art