in the case of Impressionism, Modern Art History Question help
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Beginning: in the case of Impressionism, by location, we look firstly into Paris, France, and what were the industrial, scientific, or political influences during Impressionism, roughly late 1860-to the end of the nineteenth century, at which state this “modern way of painting” had spread through Europe to US, as well. Impressionism developed as a resistance against “only officially approved” mainstream, which the government-regulated Academy represented. The Academy approved art focused on historical, biblical, and mythology scenes, eventually causing among artists a counter-reaction towards realism, and further, impressionism. Development of photography from 1820’s daguerreotype, technological achievements like development of diesel engines and capability to mold steel (Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty were both finished late 1880s) (www.britannica.com), all had their influence in pushing the artists to capture, what was happening around them . – Impressionist painters depicted everyday life, working people, or basically mundane objects from a view of a feeling and how they interpreted what they saw: i.e. creating their impression of a moment in question.
Criticism. As described in the book of Gompertz: What are you looking at, critics mostly condemned the loose brushwork, light color palettes, and the effects of light describe with sometimes abstract color areas, depicted especially by Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, and Alfred Sisley, and impressions of both work life and human body by Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The criticism rose against unfinished look that soft, unclear, sometimes hinted lines created to the canvas, as well as in the case of Manet especially that he painted “real”, non-deity, nude women, breaking the familiar context with modern society. The condemning critics of for example the leading newspaper, Le Charivari had also resistance: art dealer Paul Ruand-Ruel quickly understood that the bourgeoisie social class, fruit born from the technological advances as well, was interested in seeing newly interpreted world. Fortunately, also writer and art critic Charles Baudelaire supported Impressionism, especially by supporting Gustave Courbert, one of the first Impressionists and a man who daringly painted cropped image of woman’s private parts, and who Baudelaire in his criticism baptized as
flaneur: passionate spectator and observer of the modern life.
Marcel Duchamp’s prank to introduce an upside down urinal into an art show and declare it as an art piece is today considered as an important corner stone with developed movements like Dadaism and as first indicators of Conceptualism, that bloomed as late as 1960s, but re-asserted Duchamp’s idea: artworks are essentially ideas rather than items. Basically his “Fountain” in 1917 set a concrete clause against academics and critics, declaring: it is artist’s place to define what is art (Gompertz). Additionally, he was known to have strong irony towards himself as well, and he strongly believed that artists should not be uplifted above other people: when he moved to USA in 1915 in the times of the WWI, he actually chose to make his living by giving French lessons instead of producing work to art galleries where he was wanted to join into (www.britannica.com). Other movements with Dadaism (that focused on absurd and irrational work, for example Man Ray), using readymade objects were Surrealism (Rene Magritte, Dali), Pop Art (everyone knows Warhol’s Campbell soup images), and Conceptualism (for example 1965 chair by Joseph Kosuth), (www.theartstory.com).
Years before the most famous French Impressionists, British artist William or JMW Turner (1775-1851) studied the changes of light, atmosphere, and used Victorian-era shocking color combinations from shimmering sun fireballs to blue shadows, similar that today is attached with a thought of typical Impressionist painting. During his lifetime, Turner’s paintings turned even closer to abstract, and some critics say that he should be considered as a forerunner of the modern art (bbc.com).