Lecture 11, History at the Academy & the Salon: Jean-Léon Gérôme's Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutantApr 26, 2023
lecturewas on this astonishing image of the blasphemous King Belshazzar, whose imminent death and the fall of the Assyrian Empire were heralded in glowing letters, a warning against pride and abuse of power. It was one of the most famous images of his time. today we are going to look at another photo that became famous we are going to look at it from now on and i will be quiet for a moment while you look at it there is a great expanse of space a wall that curves from the high seats up to the right and down to the right the left where it is interrupted at the end by a portal at the top there is a colonnade the audience is partly shaded by a large canopy suspended by a network of ropes in which are the gladiators the arena some dead some alive the living in the exact center they're raising their arms in front of the man in red at the top and now and we have to imagine shouting the words of the title hail
caesarthose of us about to die salute you there's a lot to take in and although it's understood pretty quickly it's you need quite a bit of time to observe what the artist has put there, well, taking it from above, presiding over the gladiator games there is an emperor whose name we can read at the bottom Vitellius carved in stone the man the biographer Suetonius describes as a fat glutton and lazy there was a bust in the Louvre here thought to be Vitellius that Jerome used for the pudgy board a character who paints privileged women white here on the left are the six celebrated priestesses of Vesta the vestal virgins the gladiator band she is being presented to the emperor by the man on the right whose job it was to bring the best talent to the sponsor of the day's show he was some sort of producer there are eight men in this group each of the type most familiar to fans in the stands the murmillo and the reti arias these guys fought each other there are two simple melee in the front row on the right each one has a huge helmet a shield and a short sword the gladius the tool that gave the entire profession its name on the left holding a trident is a tattered aria that owes its name to his Ritter his net that is slung over his shoulder like a fisherman and with which he used to trip or even trap his opponents, then he would use the Trident against him as if he were a fish, the group whole saluting is obviously the next, but we can say that they are not the first to fight this afternoon in the arena there is blood. and rubble from the previous fight and to the left closest to us is a dead or dying retty aureus and lying next to him in the same pose as a twin lies a mere thousand under with his shield deadly entangled in the net of his enemy these two they have done each other in the back on the left there is a man spreading sand over the bloody stains and the light in the background falls on three men who are dragging more bodies of failed contestants each hooked by the ribcage like dead animals Taking them further back is a pair of ceremonial characters: a man with winged sandals and a caduceus is paid to play the part of Mercury who in Roman myths leads the souls of the dead to the underworld and a bearded man in a Greek tunic listens to an actor who Playing the role of Pluto, god of the underworld, Jerome did his homework from the moment the painting was first exhibited at the 1859
salon, critics and the public alike were amazed at how thoroughly the image seems to report the facts of the Colosseum in Rome, which wasn't actually started until 11 years after this Emperor Vitellius was in office.
Jerome shows the tremendous three-tiered Colosseum as it had been built on paper by French architects and archaeologists, including the velarium, the canopy that shaded the best seats. Jerome investigated. about gladiator costumes and weapons, and about the parts of the ritual that he paid for to satisfy the curiosity of antiquarians and make it look real here is a preliminary drawing here at Yale for the core group that is pretty accurate in the props and props dept. wardrobe and that He changed many details of the painting for the sake of variety and consistency. Well, in these
lectures he was particularly interested in narrative, so we might wonder if this is a true story from Roman
historyor from literature on Roman
More Interesting Facts About,
lecture 11 history at the academy the salon jean l on g r me s ave caesar morituri te salutant...
The answer turns out to be no, the action is actually generic and Jerome made it all up. He got his title Hail Caesar and so on from an episode in the life of Emperor Claudius of Suetonius. The sequence of events implicit in the image is one that we have to construct for ourselves. from the clues Jerome provides a dozen years later, when Yoram felt he could do even better, so he painted a sequel using another bit of gladiator lure, this time the question the winners were supposed to have asked the audience if I kill him or let him go?
It seems the net man in the arena who is begging for mercy has killed a mere short midfielder lying to his left but has been brought down interned by another lawman the victor who plants his foot on the losers neck and watches up to the vestal virgins boxes their verdict again the title of the picture is Puli savor so thumbs down Jerome puts the point of view much closer to the action and the focus is on the question and the answer both made by language corporeal as clearly as possible, the pious priestesses of Vesta, who were actually quite demure and the image of Yale, have become the jury of hell.
Jerome said that he had learned much more archaeology, which can be seen in the even greater accuracy of the fantastic helmet that he had actually studied and the colored marble front of the wall instead of showing the awning, it simply shows the rays of golden light that they seep through the gaps. Jerome was proud of this painting and, being a sculptor as well as a painter, he used the central pair for a piece to show at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris after his death, his son-in-law of the sculptor made a monument to Jerome showing the artist at work on the sculpture that was based on his painting this is a bit queasy but we have entered a seemingly endless age of reproduction that as you will see Jerome and his dealer helped create the images of gladiators that have contemporary political application and I will return to say something about the vices of the empire as seen in Jerome's time in the French Empire, but first I'll talk for a moment about the artist and his career as Roma was a great popular success from the time of his debut in 18- 49 and remained a celebrity for almost 50 years, then his reputation waned.
For a long time, when I was a student, Jerome was recognized as a skilled academic but completely irrelevant to our main concern in the 19th century, which was artistic progress, progress towards the triumphs of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. In fact, Jerome had the distinction of being the staunchest opponent of modern art in history from the period in which I was taught that he was the bad boy, but as contemporary art has taken so many different directions over the past 40 plus years or less, there are so many different ideas about what constitutes progress in art. Even if we can talk about progress throughout the 19th century, conservatives like Jerome have become much more interesting in the early 1840s.
Jerome studied history painting under Paul De La Roche with a large studio and many pupils. Having just finished a 90-foot-long painting for the hemicycle of the Ecole de Bazaar, the official art school, which is about as prestigious a commission as it gets, he revived Raphael's School of Athens to produce a group portrait of the 77 most important artists and architects of antiquity and modern times as images. recently restored and is eerily vivid and truly beautiful supper he earned his reputation by reconstructing unknown scenes from medieval and renaissance history and painting them in a rather theatrical left-handed style, this was the so-called Easter eek genre that Jerome would learn from de laqua de la Roche and and and stand out in the story here on the left is from Thomas More the two sons of Edward the fourth are in the Tower of London supposedly for their protection from their evil uncle who comes two steps closer that night to become Richard the third, their little boy dog here to the left alerts the children to the visitors outside the door and we in the audience know that they are the killers arriving for work.
Jerome also studied with Sheryl Blair, who taught him how to paint slightly erotic subjects of antiquity with brighter colors and a higher tone. Jerome's debut came in 18-49 at the annual
salon, the official juried art fair, where presented this scene from Greek life with no historical figures, no story, but a very strange imaginary composition of a teenage boy and girl and fighting chickens all painted very softly with Mediterranean vegetation and a bit of the Aegean sea in the background a hint of field of archeology short stories Gautier wrote great talent and resources are required to elevate such a small scene to the rank of a noble composition that no master without discernment of perverted undertones have been using the word sallow need to say a bit more about the salon and the academic term the salon was a major annual exhibition of contemporary art in paris sponsored by the
academyof fine arts began in the 18th century in the louvre's salon carré a, which gave the exhibition its nickname and later moved to a few larger quarters in the palace of Industry at the world's fairgrounds was the model for similar official exhibitions in most countries including England it was open to anyone but there was a jury of officials including artists and favoritism was not was exactly unknown.
Selection criteria were never specified and changed as taste evolved over the years. History painting was always the most prestigious category, but there were many works in the least. categories in the genre of landscape portraiture and still life getting a picture or pictures accepted was a huge business advantage for painters and getting one of the many prizes was even better as it drove up prices. low in good or bad light so being accepted didn't necessarily mean being B didn't necessarily mean being seen which is what adam lles artists are here at the top and the top left here complains that these shows they obviously became more commercial as the century wore on in paris in 1848 there were over 5,000 paintings and the number increased from there in the two weeks the salon was open there would eventually be half a million visitors the french
academysponsored the cells and the Academies did the same in other European countries, but had more important functions than academies did as a successor to a guild or trade organization.
The academies had become clubs with elected members and were still enforcers, we would say, of academic professional standards and lobbyists for government commissions. His exhibits were showcases for those. types of commissions were also schools for artists with curricula based primarily on drawing as a fundamental skill underlying every other form of art the academic training culminated in a competition in France it was the annual competition for the prize of Rome where you could win a five-year residence in the academies and Rome, which backbone the careers of many young history painters, one by one other countries established similar outposts in Rome and later in Athens, salon painting and academic painting are often used interchangeably and in Jerome's time the system was less rigid the academy had loosened its grip and in Jerome's training and de la Rocha's private studies and the dazzle were really decisive, still it was the hall where you made your reputation and indeed, where you made your money, I'll only show you a handful of photos of Jerome that relate in some way to the gladiator paintings we've seen, but they only began to suggest Jerome's staggering array of subject matter.
The way Jerome depicts the death of Julius Caesar is to show the aftermath of it, not the climax, we don't see what's in Shakespeare. play we do not see the conspiracy that impassioned the speeches or the assassination we see a Great Hall the Curia of the Pompeii theater where the Senate kills we see it empty after the fact the body is there on the floor and in the extreme right there is an old senator sleeping in his seat if this were an opera the orchestra would be winding down to a long diminuendo as everyone leaves the stage except the old senator who would then wake up and sing about the fickle fortunes of Julius Caesar and his enemy in war Civil Pompey the great who built this building Caesar actually lies at the foot of Pompey's statue and near him his golden throne has been overturned the throne is empty Sue dull says Caesar should never have accepted when it was offered as it suggested the royalty and Rome had fought to free itself from kings centuries before to become a republic and some of you heard metalk about this Gavin Hamilton image of the sacrifice and oath that led to the establishment of the Roman Republic by Rome Alton The theme here is the sacred origin of the Republic.
Jerome is the murderous origin of the Emperor Empire, since you are a supporter of Rome. Gucci wrote that this way of presenting the subject has been criticized, but deserves the highest praise. The terrible summary is enough. we all know enough Roman history to imagine what remains unsaid the disorder that preceded and the tumult that followed the tumult of course was more the civil war the prescription of political enemies judicial assassination and the final extinction of the Republic and its high ideals by the elevation of augustus to the almighty emperor who had declared himself god this leads me to talk a bit more about the roman empire as seen by french liberals the most famous image of the time was this huge 1847 painting by thomas cutter called the romans during the decline and inspired by two lines from the Roman poet Juvenal Crueler than war Vice fell upon Rome and avenged the conquered world That was a familiar theme Gibbon had elaborated that Rome collapsed in part because its population had become self-indulgent, weak and vulnerable to the aggressors who were tougher and more disciplined than they were here cooter tells it in a drunken spree in a vast Palace the golden youth of enjoying squandering watched over by white marble statues that indeed the shadows of their ancestors recall the virtues of the Republic who had forsaken two men on the right came from elsewhere and there is also a melancholy young poet on the far left and substitutes for us, one might say, and they witness all this vice and learn from him gute ear he was a radical republican himself and the image was painted at a time of political turmoil and frustration with Louie Philippe and the scandals of the upper classes who dominated the weak government.
Critics saw this image for what was an indictment of the decline of France in a sense the images of gladiators from Rome by che Rome were a kind of guilty pleasure entertaining images of Romans being entertained, but they were more than that to French audiences: the sins of the imperial Romans were there to make them think of official barbarism. and parallels in his own time, it was even more horrible entertainment in the In the Circus Maximus there, under the Emperor Nero, Christian martyrs could be seen crucified and burned or torn to pieces by wild animals. Scenes like this had already been described in literature, such as Chateaubriand's novel The Martyrs, where the converted Christian hero is fed. an arena for a tiger and a crocodile we are still watching these scenes for entertainment of course on tv there is Spartacus blood and sand based on the 1960 Stanley Kubrick film a few years later in the lower gladiator with Russell Crowe and before Demetrius and the gladiators and others going back to the first film of the right-wing type the silent film made in 1912 by Enrico Watson Oh from the novel Quo Vadis and all three of you can see where Watson got his ideas for scenery and costumes and even the staging of key scenes all it needed was a few pictures of 0em paintings which were cheap and easy to come by the whole genre if movies are called swords and sandals in the movie trade the french call it peplum should its decor and costumes and some of his action to yale painting and some others with his painting and the enormously popular print made after it jerem launched into the age of mechanical reproduction the name given to our time by the german critic walter benjamin made a deal with his father-in-law law the publisher of goopy here in the middle at the bottom whose company was publishing photo prints of some 3,000 paintings, including very popular images by Ari Shaffir the man we've already met in this series and paul de la roche Jerome GU Peale's teacher had a large factory with up-to-date photo printers and engraving presses he also had the bright idea of buying original paintings direct from the artists they were buying options to buy them in the salon or in advance so he profited from the resale of the paintings to wealthy collectors and from selling the reproductions and from selling the reproduction rights to other publishers, as Jerome's Goo Peel dealer eventually sold 337 of his paintings and thousands of his reproductions and several hundred sizes. twenty two different Jerome issues ranging from playing card size photographs 450 sawn equipment to large prints made from photographs for 25 francs and there were also some authentic albums with complete collections of images goo peel license copyright to publishers books and even gift shop creators merchandise calendars candy boxes ashtrays everything but fridge magnets and mouse pads sepia photographs engravings color engravings of Jerome's paintings traveled the world by the thousands where they were framed and hung in the houses of people who would never see a painting in the original never mind for one some people worried that this business model was good for trade but not so good for painting in 1891 the great critic Emile Zola put his finger on it and he said that Monsieur Jerome works for Maison goo peel and therefore he makes a painting so that the painting can be reproduced by photography and engraving and thus sold in thousands of copies here the theme is all the painting nothing the reproduction is worth more than the work another of Jerome's best sellers this was the most famous of his paintings one reproduction or another of this found its way into countless middle class homes the dual after the bowl shows a very recent history painted shortly after the event not a major event that will rock the world but only two well-known Parisians who fought in a masquerade and met at dawn in the Bois de Boulogne the eventual loser came dressed as the clown Pierrot the clown The winner who walked away presented himself as an American Indian judge in the gladiator of Yale The Picture Clues The Action Is Scattered All Over Feathers Blood Cloak Sword So You Can Reconstruct What Happened Jerome had a kind of free-range imagination when it came to historical subjects.
Great great moment in the life of Free Nough, the most celebrated Greek courtesan who is supposed to have been a model for Italian ease and practicality, according to one version. Farina was charged with a capital offense and brought to trial in the Areopagus era in Athens the Supreme After her lawyer, who was also one of her clients, gave an eloquent speech in her defense, he realized that the verdict was probably it would be against him, so he took off her robe. The beauty of her struck the judges, she said she was almost divine, and they acquitted her.
Reproductions of gu peels made this one of Jerome's most popular works, it was so well known even in the United States that political cartoonists could use it to lampoon Republican presidential candidate James G Blaine, who was revealed to be covered in tattoos referring to bribery and all the other scandals he was involved in is, let's face it, a kind of pornography for respectable French men to roll their eyes over a photo of a luscious professional pretending to be modest so they can watch the music show of venerable judges being treated equally and unable to hide their lewd reactions, Jerome's admirers would say, but it's all part of ancient Greek history, so how could you call it lewd?
Two years later the men showed this photo of a young woman posing as a sort of modern Farina called her Olympia but she's not Greek she's life size the woman is a well known artist model the setting is contemporary and one of her friends he sent her flowers she posed as several old master Venuses but that provided no cover, so to speak, as far as the salon jury was concerned and was turned down on the subject of ISM cable erotica and it's skinny costumes. I should add that J ROM produced a lot of images of harems and slave markets which pushed quite profitably on the fringes of decency the disguises here are pseudo ethnology and archeology and for the audience I think the experience was like the one I had as a child passing the National Geographic pages looking for bare breasts the place in the image on the left is probably Cairo where Jerome visited and which like the rest of the Middle East was for French writers at this time a place of beauty misery sensuality and brutality here a man displays his wares on the street attractive women of different types different ethnicities everything as Jerome says in the title Avant for sale something for everyone or at the right distance for the time that fits the general theme of the depravity of the ancients romans this auction of a girl who appears to be the eldest daughter of a mother to the right who has other children perhaps forthcoming Lots again no narrative just the material for an audience to devise one when Edward's influential study came to light about Middle Eastern stereotypes in the West, their publisher chose Jerome's painting for the cover and when the Metropolitan Museum wanted to cover their new guide recently something eye-catching and beautiful and I assume appeals to people of all colors, they chose this page from Jerome which I find quite surprising as it shows ABBA Sheba Zook, one of those mercenaries who fought for the Turks and raped and looted on the side and whose lack of discipline and fearless brutality impressed the Europeans as colourful, so Jerome has officially re-emerged as a major figure, even if the Met hasn't fully emerged from its Orientalist phase.
Jerem painted more than 300 pictures and continued until the mid-1890s. Exhibiting in salons and at the Royal Academy in London, selling at high prices to Americans in particular and winning every possible honor, he became increasingly intolerant. with modern art and his particular objective was MANET. Jerome was against holding an exhibition of Manet's paintings at the Ecole a bazaar saying that Manet has been an apostle of decadent fashion. Jerome's intransigence reflects the reality that his highly polished academic style and historical themes had now lost importance. here you see Daumier mocking the pretensions of history painting other ideas were driving him to the margins do me i gave him those ideas the simplest expression he said for an artist you need to be of your own time you step on him this ancient tone at this point i am I am going to distance from Jerome the artists for whom being of the time meant representing contemporary people and real events, not those of antiquity or the Middle Ages, and doing so without the traditional disguises of allegory or rhetoric.
We have seen that change coming in this series. Trumbull had painted the Battle of Bunker Hill as a moral victory for the colonists who were ill-equipped but willing to make any sacrifice to win freedom for others, on the other hand, the image of Ari Shaffir here in the background of Napoleon's land army freezing and starving in russia during the terrible winter of 1812 shows there is no heroism it is all suffering napoleon got them into this mess and he is safe in paris the closest thing to a hero is this man marshal nie who ends up shot as a traitor, this is a bleak view of the world and by mid-century it had become. much more common in France younger artists felt more and more free to look skeptically at the ideals of the State ancient ideals of heroism civilization Empire loyalty sacrifice and also to doubt the Catholic Church's claim to moral authority war came to seem increasingly The most incompetent or repressive painters of the Second Empire viewed the failure of the 1848 Revolution with increasing pessimism and artists, notably Jean-François Mea, sent paintings like this to salons depicting the brutalized peasantry. at work.
The most explicit challenge to history painting came from Gustave Courbet. In the 1850s, Corday said that I consider the artists of a century to be basically incapable of producing the look of a past or future century I deny the possibility of historical art applied to the past Historical artists by their contemporary nature Every age must have its artists to express it and produce it for the future, so Kübra saw himself writing history for the future by painting what he could see for himself in the present and only in the salon of 1850 Courbet offered a life-size alternative to the heroes of the past story, for example, the labors of Hercules are two anonymous men the older one breaks rocks the younger one takes him away no narration no event only work we don't see the purpose of the work we don't even see outside of its immediate surroundings we do not see exhaustion we only see the simplest and lowest type of daily work that these men are forced into in the here and now as a permanent condition of their lives. a subject whose time had come a few years after the stonecutters the English painter Ford Madox Brown exhibited a kind of modern allegory of the work life-size almost hyper-real in its color and itsSharp outlines show street workers at center a woman handing out temperance flyers at top left at top a HUD carrier swinging beer a flower seller at left and a harassed babysitter at foreground right and much more - looking from the very mature edge here are the socialists are actually - intellectuals also at work thinking about the church socialists FD Morris, who advocated higher education for all, and the Thomas Carlyle type of famous scholar who wrote a man perfects himself by working even in the lowest types of work, even in the lowest types of work of the whole soul of man. it is composed in a kind of royal harmony Ford's painting exalts work as a source of health and moral improvement in Germany under Bismarck the images were less gay and idealistic this is the famous painting of a nine foot high iron rolling mill wide by the brilliant Berlin painter a dauphin Menzel portrays the editions of the place the full sensory experience the heat the concentration the teamwork the tremendous complexity and urgency of the work on the factory floor where rails were made for the expanding German railways the image was state-bought purchased for the new National Gallery because it fit exactly what the government wanted to tell its citizens about the true strength of the nation.
I cannot resist showing this, how should we say, the pre-industrial image of the same tapes of the time, the unforgettable image of Russian labor that I think is not a boast about solidarity or a protest about brutalization, but I think it is what seems the eternal fact of serfdom and a kind of fatalistic admission of it among the painters of the impressionist generation led by the search for subjects of their own time. painters to humble labor in the city women ironers in the case of Duga obviously attracted to contrasting and expressive poses and in the case of khai purchased here to the right of the workers whose distinctive poses convey aestheticizing by the silvery light reflecting off the floor again to curb such a subversive as the stonecutters was this painting calling for what he called the debut of my principles showed the burial of an ordinary citizen of the curvy hometown in rural eastern France, far removed from cosmopolitan Paris. , in every possible way, the painting is 22 feet wide, a size fit for heroics, well not only is there not much here, not even a glimpse of heaven or a show of grief at this funeral, but just you see the clergy, city officials, and citizens, all with extremely ordinary faces. event that briefly brings the townspeople together in active service and reminds them of their own mortality each one is thickly painted in a somber tonality as heavy and dull as the leaden atmosphere traditionalist Gustav Jeff Foie wrote for a man's funeral peasant is no less moving to us than the convoy of picky eaters oh, i was talking here about the picture in the louvre of Pusa, the greatest French history painter, showing the corpse of a virtuous Athenian being carried across the landscape that it gives the event a deeper more general meaning but jeff hall went on to set conditions he said the important thing is to avoid locating the issue in a major issue emphasize the interesting parts of such a scene this is exactly what coordinates corbeil other critics like would not do Louis not to reveal his social prejudices called the tone people in the common mayonnaise image trivial and grotesque way of being of his own time was not to dismiss history painting but, one might say, to co-opt it to adapt its form to contemporary themes such as his Olympia that we saw previously, this image was rejected by the jury of the salon in 1863 because it showed a model of contemporary artists having a picnic with two fully clothed men, this offended good morals despite the fact that the juries knew perfectly well that several large and famous painters of centuries before had done exactly that, like Giorgione in the painting. in the Louvre plus mayonnaise the trio of figures was a paraphrase of Raphael, the greatest saint of academic heaven, but there was a cheekiness about this nude that was made worse by the way the men painted her without much modeling and shading with thick strokes and fluid which by academic standards of technique were expected in a preliminary sketch, but not in a finished image where they seemed incomprehensible to some, to others like shoddy workmanship.
It's easy to imagine Jerome looking at this image and feeling repelled by the technique and the lush scene. Manet's only performance. as a history painter he was inspired by outrage after one of the most astonishing imperialist adventures of the century: France's invasion of Mexico a few years before the liberal government of Benito Juárez upset Europe by refusing to pay its flat foreign debts the Emperor Napoleon the Third saw an opportunity backed by Spain and England. He sent an army across the country and sent Juárez and the government to retreat. Conservative Mexicans set up a puppet state, and to run it Napoleon the Third produced Maximilian of Austria and the underemployed Archduke Hobbsburg, who was crowned emperor.
Don Maximiliano de México and moved into a recently completed castle that can still be visited in Mexico City after two years of counterinsurgency by Juárez and with pressure from the United States Napoleon withdrew his army and left Don Maximiliano unprotected Juárez returned to power and Maximilian was tried with his two generals and shot Maximillian's betrayal was an international scandal that MANET and his liberal imperialist and anti-imperialist friends felt deeply about MANET made a series of paintings and a lithograph based on newspaper reports of the execution but he was prevented from publishing prints and advised not to present the painting to the jury of the salon as they would reject it which is striking here I think that the painting does not seem like a protest on the other hand the painting of gorillas of Bonaparte's troops shooting at the patriots Spaniards is a true mayonnaise outrage seems somewhat more factual with none of Gore's passion and terror none of his rhetoric of despair victims endure their stoic Lee while soldiers shoot the first general some onlookers watch all is well a soldier he loads his rifle with the kind of chilling detachment that says something about the sangfroid of the Emperor's betrayal of Maximilian in the same year 1868 and in the same spirit as a room he painted the most astonishing of all his pictures the execution of marshal ney fifty years before the victim here had been one of the bravest hearts, the most loyal general, but after Waterloo he was convicted of treason by the new government and hastily shot by a firing squad in a seedy corner of power that Jerome painted as if would have made Caesar when the death squad leaves the scene.
Ney was a martyr. In the minds of the French who still had hopes of restoring a republic, many show the result of the madness and infidelity of Napoleon Third in his rule. Mans's purpose was actually close to that of Jerome. Most of them wanted to remind the French audience on imperial treason starkly presenting the historical truth as they conceived it and both agitated men to knew that there could actually be poetry deception even mystery actually painted a bar view in book stark naked sharing looking closely looking at the still life of bottles and oranges and flowers and the fantastic crowd of people in the audience behind it, it shows a waitress named Susan who worked in the completely empty part and who was famous in part for her staff of attractive young women and easy.
Near Sue there is a large mirror that fills the image and reflects the bar and the girl and the male customer to make all possible men have moved our point of view a bit to the right so that the customer is actually standing right out of the picture to our left that little change and the little turn of the model makes us think that she is looking directly at us so we must be the client what is shown directly not reflected that is what is shown directly it's the waitress and what she has to offer, which may include herself, everything else is a reflection literally mirror image and the implication is that I think the world we see, the world we live in, is not just fleeting, cannot be trusted outside of reality, many build a kind of visual wonderland that makes us aware of the complexities of our vision and the power of the artist over our minds scents at the height of his popularity when he painted this painting and it he saw dangerous he was right to feel threatened Manet's focus on perception represents a modernity far beyond the realism of Corbeil and Zola leaves history and narrative behind.
I have been talking about the forces that pushed history painting off its pedestal in the late 19th century. . The growing belief that the gods, saints and heroes of the past should give way to the people, places and situations of the present and to new ways of seeing and representing today's photography only twenty years after its invention documented events very well. such as the construction of the largest ship ever built on the left or Lincoln's meeting at Antietam now showing them with disturbing precision even some photographers were encroaching on the creative territory of history paintings like Rylander as in this astonishing painting of a moral allegory the photography relieved painters of the burden of clarifying visual facts and left them freer anyway to interpret the visual world to convey their subjective experience of what we saw Men explore the poetry of distortion, which is at least as interesting for him as the theme itself. its importance the surface of the paint is something new, it doesn't look like kirby's or mayonnaise at all, it's a pattern of parallel hatches that doesn't conform to the shapes and leaves the canvas visible in some places, in other words the manipulations of painters are not disguised, they are meant to be seen as an artifice in their landscapes, often you cannot enter the image space through the trees and branches, you are not sure what those floating planes of green and yellow to Cezanne was interfering with the interior convention of the Renaissance who has an apparent to look through a window frame to an exterior view, he wants to make a view more real by creating some visual confusion and letting you see that he is making up a code and letting this is revealed points to even more arbitrary ways of constructing views where the viewer has to actively work to reassemble them.
Almost every painter of the Post-Impressionist generation made some kind of major statement about their art in some kind of very large room size: a picture. For Seurat, life in the material of serious art that appearances could be scientifically reproduced, this meant a systematic new technique for exploiting the interplay of colors in order to produce a surface glare and brilliance that corresponds to what our eyes and minds experience in nature. that meant simple shapes and clear outlines all this imposes an arbitrary natural order on nature and produces an extreme effect of strangeness the belgian painter James Ensor embraced strangeness the society in which he lived was already so strange the crowd was so stupid and gullible he thought in the officials so hypocritical that he needed a great subject and a great canvas, he would paint a picture of history, but for the first time he would show an event that had not yet occurred, he imagined that if Christ instead of riding a donkey in Jerusalem If the Next year in Brussels everything horrible and ridiculous in Belgian society would be revealed, politicians and churchmen would co-opt Christ and there would be a parade with bands and banners, meaningless slogans and stupid speeches and everyone would unite in embodying all this. in crude caricatures roughly painted exuberant grotesque and strikingly modern looking 1888 this painting stayed at home and ensor himself was hardly going anywhere the story of paul gauguin is different in middle age he left france with his wife and five children to search for the realization of new subjects and artistic success and he sailed to the remote French island two colonies finally tete to Tahiti where he found what he wanted there were hospitable women life of primitive comfort and subjects to paint which he thought were more vital and authentic than the worn worn out ones. from europe this is a twelve foot wide painting with the grandiose title where we came from who we are where we are going is gogan's main statement a kind of personal story painting embodies a mix of polynesian myths and printed photographs of various asian deities arranged in a stylized fantasy landscape, whimsy and strangeness was the craft of gustave moreau and a few other contemporaries who chose to be both history painters and members of the avant-garde to achieve what they needed to stretch the idea of a modern sensibility moreBeyond the mere fact of being grumpy at the time, Oedipus and the Sphinx to the Left had an enthusiastic reception at the Salon of 1864, especially by critics who were not committed to the realism of Corbeil and MANET but who sought life in tradition. academic everyone could see the allegory Odysseus is any man gripped by an enigma the Sphinx whose seductive beauty but is a Killer of men who grabs you with his claws look at the dead feet in the background the question will you be firm passes so fast and solves the riddle the riddle of life grim symbolism both strange and seemingly profound breathed new life into classical themes for those who cared to exercise their imaginations or made a name for themselves exhibiting portraits and flower pieces with the Impressionists, but had a late fling with specially drawn historical themes of the Wagner operas that he loved and went for roit to see for himself these are based on the written work the operas are based on recent literature after all these are librettos by vogner himself and in that sense reflect modern thought yes not everyday life the pictures have a wonderful fireplace and film a translucent quality which is exactly what this subject needs the scene at the beginning of Das Rheingold where the Rhine maidens swim and sing the historical painting continued in full force in many European countries outside of france in vienna for example the jerk hunt the art worked on a large scale painting stories of victories and history of the Habsburgs and a composite style of Varanasi and Rubens, he lived and worked downstairs in this sumptuous studio filled with images and artifacts eye-catching around the world and was such a charismatic personality that he organized and designed fashion shows. entertainments and directed them personally his name is still associated with a form of artistic extravagance the viennese still call it muck arch - here's another kind of baroque eugen asaba is a great temptation saint anthony in the desert the old church father escaped into egyptian desert is requested by beautiful women and presented with a banquet and wine and untold riches and is praying at the altar for help held by angels, so he said that they treat the image not as a representation of an imaginary event with humans and angels, but as a kind of mystical vision in itself these artists McCartan said I was extravagant a traditionalist and they had their place but history painting was kept alive by something else for something more modern in appearance and spirit had to be reproduced realistically and also with impressionism to produce interesting hybrids a couple of examples here is another version of the temptation of st.
Antonio by the Neapolitan Domenico plus Le the Saint sits in a shallow cave high up in the desert so pushed to the edge by his fear of the girls who snuggle under his mat and won't give up on him, it's as if Morley was wondering what it would really be like to be Saint Anthony, what it would really be like if you were in the desert, the famous Creme Scoy image to the left of Christ shows him in the desert without any attributes, without signs of divine powers, without angels, without Halo, with no vision of his coming death, appears purely human and despondent. sunken eyes there is no story there is no explanation this is an imaginary aspect of Christ in spiritual anguish we could say psychological anguish that is the invention of painters and tastes like cramps the cow's friend Dostoevsky is as meticulous as Jerome but life size and utterly enigmatic Jerome's son-mother-in-law, ma Moro, painted the Good Samaritan using models of ordinary affairs and no historical support for an event that might be occurring today.
The message seems to be that compassion is timeless. The parable of the fathers comes directly through her. in this genre is a once popular image The flight of Luke Olivier Marcel to Egypt through the hole and by the Holy Family imagined by the artist not only on the spot but with a great accessory also a vast moonlit desert, so often the theme includes angels looking after the family, but here is the proverbially enigmatic sphinx who, for all her hospitality, adds mystery and uncertainty to her plight. I promised a hybrid impressionist historical image and I just have to remind you of this one on the Ostia Lapage map showing Joan of Arc. home in his village to hear the voices of the ghostly floating figures finds himself in a landscape full of new tricks, particularly the broken green and blue traces of leaves and grass and, in general, the hierarchy he derived from the landscapes of Monet and Pizarro of the 1870s finally another novelty and history painters brought to the salons and the Royal Academy and helped to hold the audience's attention and depicted even earlier periods of history than before.
This amazing image by Holman Hunt shows an imaginary scene from early Britain when Christian missionaries were working there, a family of converts is hiding a priest in their bush house while a crowd of angry pagan Britons can be seen in the background and his druids have caught another priest and are carrying him away in the distance the standing stones of the Stonehenge range all this is pure invention with no text and the story more or less tells itself from the body language of the actors and the many vividly painted clues. I'll end with these that go back even further than prehistoric Britain.
It was from paleontology when Darwin's ideas about human ancestors had reinforced the evidence coming from European caves and an image of hunter-gatherers and cave dwellers was emerging. The sallow of various salons in the 1880s had a number of images like these of prehistoric events. The left cut here imagines that the children of Adam and Eve once they left Eden must have lived as nomads. His brother's killer staff is forced to move on and we see the staff tribe in Hormone March showing him as an old man. man leading his people carrying everything with him, including the old and the young, as well as their provisions of fresh meat and pieces of léo ferré grape on the right imagine a fight at the mouth of a cave where a woman and a child are cowers is it is not clear which man belongs to the cave and which is the intruder but it looks like the younger one is going to win, in fact he is some kind of Hercules with fur but some 10,000 years earlier and he seems to be using the older weapon Primitive of all its However, the novelty of the teeth was not enough to keep the painting history in the 20th century, but the novelty helped to prolong its life.
You will see next week that history painting could be revived in the 20th century when it was needed and that it mutates again. and again ceding its narrative function to other media, but which in other ways, such as in the works of Anselm Kiefer, still has the power to remind us of our history and ask us to consider our moral dilemmas. Hope to see you then, thank you.
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