Movements in Late Nineteenth Century Art

Barbizon School

Name: Refers to the village of Barbizon on the edge of the Fountainebleau forest, 30 miles southeast of Paris.
Who: Camille Corot, Jean François Millet, and Théodore Rousseau.
When: 1830-1860.
Where: Barbizon village in France.
What: Group of French painters led by Théodore Rousseau. Barbizon School painters fled the hectic pace of Paris for the countryside.
Subject Matter: Mostly landscapes, some scenes of rural life with peasants; often shown in atmospheric, twilight scenes; usually romantic in outlook.
Style: Usually naturalistic; accurate (although romanticized) views of nature. Studies done out-of-doors, but finished canvases created in studio.
Janson Example: COROT, Morning: Dance of the Nymphs, 1850.
Influenced by: English landscape painters like John Constable, as well as 17th century Dutch painters.
Will influence: German and American landscape painters, and Impressionists.

Realism

Name: Term used to describe a certain type of art and literature in mid-19th century France.
Who: Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Rosa Bonheur, Gustave Caillebotte, Honoré Daumier, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer.
When: 1845-1880.
Where: Western Europe (primarily France) and the United States.
What: Movement in art and literature that rejected the subjective, emotional, exotic characteristics of Romanticism. Instead, artists and writers concentrated on observable, contemporary reality.
Subject Matter: Down-to-earth, everyday subjects: landscapes; peasants; ordinary, working-class people; observable, contemporary life. Only the visible world is shown; scenes centering on mythology, history or religion were avoided.
Style: Emphasis on naturalism, that is, the accurate depiction of nature without it being overly romanticized or sentimentalized. Ordinary people shown with same dignity previously bestowed on images of kings, saints and aristocrats. In a sense, Realist painters tried to do away with a personal, artistic "style" in order to make their paintings more "truthful."
Janson and Kissick Example: COURBET, The Stone Breakers, 1849.
Influenced by: Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Velázquez, Zurburan, Louis Le Nain, Charles Baudelaire (a 19th century writer who called for an art that would use the "heroism of modern life" as its subject), European revolutions of 1848, Socialism, and early photography.
Will influence: Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionism, and American Scene Painting.

 

Arts and Crafts Movement

Name: Name derives from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society founded in 1888, although the movement has its roots in the earlier writings of John Ruskin.
Who: William Morris, Walter Crane, Norman Shaw, and Philip Webb.
When: 1861-1914.
Where: Great Britain.
What: Movement whose artists were in reaction against the sub-standard quality of mass-produced goods of the Industrial Age. Instead, they advocated a return to the excellent craftsmanship that was characteristic of medieval guilds. The writer John Ruskin wrote about the detrimental effects (aesthetic and social) of industrialization, but it took William Morris to translate these ideas into practical activity. Items turned out were hand-printed, hand-woven, hand-dyed designs. The movement also included a very humane, inclusive view toward workers and labor. Morris' goal of art for the masses was unrealized due to the expensive nature of the process.
Subject Matter: Designs on textiles, books, wallpaper and stained-glass, as well as furniture.
Style: Hand-made quality that may be reflected in a kind of medieval, rough-hewn oak furniture, or finely crafted textile or wallpaper designs. Stylistically similar to medieval art: linear; opaque colors; angular, simplified quality; intricate, sometimes geometric, detail.
Janson Example: MORRIS, Green Dining Room, 1867.
Influenced by: Medieval art, and Pre-Raphaelites.
Will influence: Art Nouveau, and Bauhaus.

 

Impressionism

Name: The derogatory term was coined by critic Louis Leroy of the Parisian journal Le Charivari in response to the unfinished quality of Monet's Impression: Sunrise of 1872 (exhibited at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874). For Leroy, the work appeared more like an "impression" rather than a finished, factual painting. The artists came to like this term and adopt it for themselves.
Who: Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet (who never exhibited with the Impressionists), Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Rodin, and Alfred Sisley.
When: 1874-1886 (8 group exhibitions are held between these dates).
Where: France.
What: The Impressionists, who initially exhibited as the "Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers," formed in opposition to the government-sponsored Salon. Artists were concerned with the transient effects of light and atmosphere on natural or man-made objects. The fragmented, painterly brushwork of Impressionism makes it a forerunner of the modern notion that a painting is an art object not subject to the constraints of nature. The group's aims were best represented by painters, though some sculptors (Rodin, Degas, Renoir) did manage to employ their concerns with light and reflection onto media other than paint and canvas. Toward the end, many of the Impressionists pursued separate paths with respect to subject matter and style. Impressionism's "joy of life" attitude makes it one of the most loved and popular movements in modern art.
Subject Matter: Contemporary life: sunny landscapes (painted out-of-doors rather than in a studio), cityscapes, portraits, and leisure scenes (dance halls, opera, ballet, bars, picnics, etc.).
Style: Bright colors (in contrast to dark, muted tones of Academic paintings) applied in visible, sketchy strokes. These strokes were meant to merge in the viewer's eyes, not the artist's palette. Shadows were painted with color, not black as before. Glazes and heavy varnishes were hardly ever used.
Janson Example: RENOIR, Le Moulin de la Galette, 1876.
Kissick Example: MONET, Impression: Sunrise, 1872.
Influenced by: Delacroix, Barbizon School, Manet, Realism, photography, and Japanese prints.
Will influence: Post-Impressionists, Fauves, and to some extent most other late 19th century and early 20th century movements.

 

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Name: Name came from the group's desire to emulate painting styles that came before the illusionistic method perfected by the 16th century Italian Renaissance painter Raphael.
Who: William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James Collinson, William Michael Rossetti, Frederick G. Stephens, and Thomas Woolner.
When: 1848-1854.
Where: Great Britain.
What: Group of seven painters who formed a secret society in London. They believed that contemporary, academic painting had become decadent and debased. They sought to recapture the sincerity and simplicity of late medieval/early Renaissance art by imitating, to a certain extent, art that came "before Raphael." They also believed they could reform society through their art. The society signed many of their paintings "PRB," for Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They were defended by the critic John Ruskin.
Subject Matter: The Bible, everyday life, English and classical literature, allegories of romantic love and tragedy
Style: Naturalistic; meticulous detail; and sharp focus
Janson Example: HUNT, The Awakening Conscience, 1853.
Kissick Example: ROSSETTI, Ecce Ancilla Domini, 1850.
Influenced by: Nazarenes (early 19th cent. German painters in Rome with similar aims), Ford Madox Brown, poets John Keats and Alfred Lord Tennyson, and carefully observed nature.
Will influence: Edward Burne-Jones, Arts and Crafts Movement, and Symbolism.

 

Post-Impressionism

Name: Term, which refers to the period after Impressionism, was coined by the British art critic Roger Fry for his 1910 London exhibition "Manet and the Post-Impressionists." The term was invented after nearly all its practitioners had died.
Who: Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin.
When: 1880s through early 1890s.
Where: France.
What: Post-Impressionists weren't reacting against Impressionism, they were trying to take the ideas of Impressionism further. They also were not interested in the Impressionist's preoccupation with naturalism and momentary effects. Still, nearly all the Post-Impressionists passed through an Impressionist phase.
Subject Matter Landscapes, portraits, still lifes, exotic locations, interiors, etc.
Style: Since Post-Impressionism refers to a time (the period after Impressionism) and not a style, there are many styles occurring simultaneously. The styles of Post-Impressionists reflected the individual artists' personal emotions and world views, rather than a naturalistic approach to painting.
Janson Example: VAN GOGH, Wheat Field and Cypress Trees, 1889.
Kissick Example: GAUGUIN, The Vision After the Sermon, 1888.
Influenced by: Impressionism.
Will influence: Symbolism, Nabis, Art Nouveau, Fauvism, Cubism, and German Expressionism.

 

Symbolism

Name: Term first used in reference to French literature and poetry around 1886. In April of 1892, the term was applied to the visual arts by the critic G. Albert Aurier.
Who: Paul Gauguin, Edvard Munch, Gustave Moreau, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Aubrey Beardsley, Odilon Redon, James Ensor, Ferdinand Hodler, and Albert Pinkham Ryder.
When: 1880s through 1890s.
Where: Europe and the United States.
What: In 1886, the writer Jean Moréas wrote a Symbolist manifesto regarding music and literature, in which he rejected the everyday, contemporary world popular with Realists in favor of timeless myths. In 1892, the critic G. Albert Aurier applied the term to Paul Gauguin's work. The term has come to refer to subjective, anti-Realist tendencies in art and literature at the end of the 19th century.
Subject Matter: Symbolists were interested in exotic, erotic, spiritual, occult, and otherworldly subjects. Some Symbolist artists drew their subject matter from Symbolist poetry; thus, the femme fatale became a common theme, as did works dealing with death and sin.
Style: Not really a style as much as an approach, which was mostly manifested in a melancholy fin de siècle ("end of the century") attitude. Also, Symbolist poets believed there was a correspondence between the sound and rhythm of their words and the words' meaning. Symbolist painters picked up on this thought and believed that color and line could be expressive of ideas and emotions.
Janson Example: MUNCH, The Scream, 1893.
Influenced by: Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and Post-Impressionists.
Will influence: Surrealism.

 

Nabis

Name: The term "Nabis," which is Hebrew for "prophet," was coined in 1888 by the poet Henri Cazalis.
Who: Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Aristide Maillol, and Paul Sérusier.
When: 1890s.
Where: France.
What: The Nabis were young Parisian artists who were attracted to Paul Gauguin's paintings from Brittany. They were also part of the larger Symbolist movement. As their name suggests, they were interested in mysticism, Eastern faiths, and religion in general. Their group was actually a semi-secret society. In addition to painting, they were also involved in theater, poster, and stained-glass design.
Subject Matter: Landscapes, interiors, etc.
Style: The Nabis believed that, on a basic level, every painting is a collection of colors. They sought to organize those colors into beautiful, harmonious compositions which, often, have a decorative look through the use of non-naturalistic colors and flat shapes outlined in dark contours. They were against the naturalism of the Realists and, to a lesser extent, the Impressionists.
Janson Example: VUILLARD, Interior at l'Étang-la-Ville (The Suitor), 1893.
Influenced by: Gauguin, Symbolism, and Post-Impressionism.
Will influence: 20th century abstraction and expressionism.

 

Art Nouveau

Name: Name derives from Siegfried Bing's shop L'Art Nouveau ("the New Art") which opened in Paris in 1895. This shop sold new and original designs, as opposed to period pieces. The style itself originated more than a decade earlier. Art Nouveau had many other names in various countries: Jugendstil (Germany), Stile Liberty (Italy), Modernista (Spain), Modern Style (France) and Sezessionstil (Austria).
Who: Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, Antoní Gaudí, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Henry van de Velde, Walter Crane, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Gustave KLIMT, Alphonse Mucha, and Aubrey Beardsley.
When: 1880-1914.
Where: Europe and the United States.
What: A self-consciously new and modern style, as the name suggests. Art Nouveau refers mainly to architectural and design concerns, although the work of some visual artists, such as Gustave Klimt, Aubrey Beardsley, and Alphonse Mucha contain elements of Art Nouveau. The goal of Art Nouveau adherents was to raise the level of the crafts (furniture, design, textiles, glasswork, jewelry, etc.) to that of "fine arts." Architects and designers used such varied materials as stained-glass, mosaic, cast- and wrought-iron, wood, etc. Art Nouveau designers rejected the 19th century trend of drawing literally from classic, historical design sources ("revival styles" or "historicism").
Subject Matter: Usually organic imagery (leaves, stems, flowers, etc., but also such things as waves, fire, flowing hair of women) to non-objective design. Sometimes, particularly within the organic approach, there is an erotic undertone.
Style: Anything from sinuous, flowing, curvy, asymmetrical lines to the later, more geometrically abstract designs of buildings and furniture.
Janson Example: HORTA, Interior Stairwell, Tassel House, Brussels, 1892-93.
Influenced by: Arts and Crafts Movement, Symbolism, Vienna Secession, Japanese design, ancient Egyptian art, and 18th century Rococo.
Will influence: 20th century abstraction.

 

Secession

Name: During the last decade of the 19th century, progressive artists in Germany and Austria found themselves at odds with the official artists' organizations. They therefore "seceded," or "broke away," from the traditional groups. These break away groups were given the title "Secession," or "Sezession." The most important Secession groups were in Munich, Vienna, and Berlin.
Who: Vienna Secession: Gustave Klimt. Berlin Secession: Max Liebermann and Edvard Munch.
When: 1890s.
Where: Austria and Germany.
What: The first of the Secession organizations was founded in Munich in 1892. The Vienna Secession was founded next in 1897 by Gustave Klimt, whose Art Nouveau and Symbolist leanings determined the initial outlook of this group. Klimt was also the group's first president. Like Art Nouveau, members of the Vienna Secession wanted to raise the status of the arts and crafts to that of "fine art." In many ways, the Vienna Secession was the main conduit for the Art Nouveau style in Austria The Berlin Secession was officially formed in 1899, though one of the reasons for its founding dates back to 1892. In that year, Edvard Munch exhibited about 50 paintings at the Society of Berlin Artists. These paintings caused a furor at the Society. The radical wing of the Society, led by Max Liebermann, resigned from the organization and later formed the Berlin Secession. The group split in 1910 and the Neue Sezession was formed. Members of the Neue Sezession included Nolde, Pechstein, and other artists who would form Die Brücke, as well as Kandinsky and Jawlensky.
Subject Matter: Varied greatly, but always included recognizable subject matter.
Style: Also varied, but fell between the decorative qualities of Art Nouveau and the more agitated style of later expressionistic movements.
Janson Example: KLIMT (Vienna Secession), The Kiss, 1907-8.
Influenced by: Art Nouveau.
Will influence: Later forms of German Expressionism.

 

Pictorialism

Name: Derives from the English photographer Peter Henry Emerson's 1886 article in the Amateur Photographer entitled "Photography: A Pictorial Art."
Who: Edward Steichen, Henry Peach Robinson, Peter Henry Emerson, Oscar Rejlander, and Gertrude Käsebier.
When: 1886-1914.
Where: Europe and the United States.
What: During the 1850s photographers, especially in England, imitated subjects and compositions from paintings. In 1886, Peter Henry Emerson attacked the conventional division separating painting and photography ("art and science" respectively, to the 19th century critics). An international movement of art-minded photographers took the name Pictorialism from Emerson's writings and lectures. The link among these artists was the desire to have photography acknowledged as an art form and not just a recording device. Pictorialism initiated several other photographic groups, including the Linked Ring (London, 1893) and the Photo-Secession (New York, 1902). The Photo-Secessionists were also for photography as art, but they were anti-narrative and against composite printing, preferring to experiment with chemicals during the printing process for various effects. Pictorialism, with its desire to be equal to (and sometimes imitative of) painting, later gave way to Straight Photography (c. 1900), which demanded that a photograph look like camera work, not like painting.
Subject Matter: Varied greatly, but included nudes, clothed figures, portraits, landscapes, etc.
Style: Many of the photographers were after blurry, artistic effects (similar to Impressionism), accomplished through the use of softening procedures including platinum and gum printing, as well as scratching and drawing directly on the negative.
Janson Example: KÄSEBIER, The Magic Crystal, c. 1904.
Influenced by: Impressionism, and other painting styles.
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