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Impressionism Vs. Out-of-Doors UrbanPlease respond to the following discussion topic and submit it to the discussion forum. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length
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Video Lectures
Click on the links provided below, and take notes to aid you in your assignment and our discussion this
week:
1. Read: “Impressionism” at: http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/impressionism-france.html
2. Watch the videos:
o
“Monet’s Gare St. Lazare” at: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-arthistory/later-europe-and-americas/modernity-ap/a/monet-gare-saint-lazare
o
“Renoir’s Moulin de la Galette” at: http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/renoirmoulin.html
o
“Post-Impressionism – Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte – 1884”
at:http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/post-impressionism.html
o
“van Gogh’s The Bedroom” at: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/becomingmodern/avant-garde-france/post-impressionism/v/vincent-van-gogh-the-bedroom1889
Glossary Terms
The following are glossary terms with which you need to become familiar and to utilize within your work
this week. You do not need to utilize them all; however, you need to utilize at least three of these terms
per assignment response. Please note that some terms are carried over from previous weeks as they
apply. Still, you should review all terms each week.

Art Nouveau
o

Color
o

The value or tonality of a color is the degree of its lightness or darkness. The intensity or
saturation of a color is its purity, its brightness or dullness. See also primary, secondary,
and complementary colors.
Complementary colors
o

French, “new art.” A late-19th- and early-20th-century art movement whose proponents
tried to synthesize all the arts in an effort to create art based on natural forms that
could be mass produced by technologies of the industrial age. The movement had other
names in other countries: Jugendstil in Austria and Germany, Modernism in Spain, and
Floreale in Italy.
Those pairs of colors, such as red and green that together embrace the entire spectrum.
The complement of one of the three primary colors is a mixture of the other two.
Divisionism
o

Impressionism
o

A system of painting devised by the 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat. The
artist separates color into its component parts and then applies the component colors
to the canvas in tiny dots (points). The image becomes comprehensible only from a
distance, when the viewer’s eyes optically blend the pigment dots. Sometimes referred
to as divisionism.
Post-Impressionism
o

An approach to painting much popular among the Impressionists, in which an artist
sketches outdoors to achieve a quick impression of light, air, and color. The artist then
takes the sketches to the studio for reworking into more finished works of art.
Pointillism
o

The visual effect of juxtaposed complementary colors.
Plein air
o

A movement in Western art that developed in the second half of the 19th century and
sought to capture the images and sensibilities of the age. Modernist art goes beyond
simply dealing with the present and involves the artist’s critical examination of the
premises of art itself.
Optical mixture
o

The French fascination with all things Japanese. Japonisme emerged in the second half
of the 19th century.
Modernism
o

A late-19th-century art movement that sought to capture a fleeting moment, thereby
conveying the illusiveness and impermanence of images and conditions.
Japonisme
o

A system of painting devised by the 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat. The
artist separates color into its component parts and then applies the component colors
to the canvas in tiny dots (points). The image becomes comprehensible only from a
distance, when the viewer’s eyes optically blend the pigment dots. Sometimes referred
to as divisionism.
The term used to describe the stylistically heterogeneous work of the group of late19th-century painters in France, including van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Cézanne, who
more systematically examined the properties and expressive qualities of line, pattern,
form, and color than the Impressionists did.
Primary colors
o
Red, yellow, and blue the colors from which all other colors may be derived.

Simultaneous contrasts
o

Successive contrasts
o

The phenomenon of colored afterimages. When a person looks intently at a color
(green, for example) and then shifts to a white area, the fatigued eye momentarily
perceives the complementary color (red). See also simultaneous contrasts.
Symbolism
o

The phenomenon that juxtaposed colors affect the eye’s reception of each, as when a
painter places dark green next to light green, making the former appear even darker and
the latter even lighter. See also successive contrasts.
A late-19th-century movement based on the idea that the artist was not an imitator of
nature but a creator who transformed the facts of nature into a symbol of the inner
experience of that fact.
Value
o
The value or tonality of a color is the degree of its lightness or darkness. The intensity or
saturation of a color is its purity, its brightness or dullness. See also primary, secondary,
and complementary colors. 28-1Marxism, Darwinism, Modernism
o
Chapter 28 of
Kleiner, F. S. (2016). Gardner’s art through the age: A global history. (15th ed.)
o
The momentous developments of the early 19th century in Europe—urbanization,
industrialization, and increased economic and political interaction worldwide—matured
during the latter half of the century. The Industrial Revolution that began in England
spread so rapidly to the Continent and the United States that historians often refer to
the third quarter of the 19th century as the second Industrial Revolution. Whereas the
first Industrial Revolution centered on textiles, steam, and iron, the second focused on
steel, electricity, chemicals, and oil. The discoveries in these fields provided the
foundation for developments in plastics, machinery, building construction, and
automobile manufacturing and paved the way for the invention of the radio, telephone,
electric lightbulb, and electric streetcar.
o
Expanding industrialization was closely tied to rapid urbanization. The number and size
of European cities grew dramatically during the latter part of the 19th century, largely
due to migration from the countryside. Farmers in large numbers relocated to urban
centers because expanded agricultural enterprises squeezed smaller property owners
from their land. The widely available work opportunities in the cities, especially in the
factories, were also a major factor in this population shift. Improving health and living
conditions in the cities further contributed to their explosive growth.
o
Marxism and Darwinism The rise of the urban working class was fundamental to the
ideas of Karl Marx (1818–1883), one of the era’s dominant figures. Born in Trier,
Germany, Marx received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Berlin. After
moving to Paris, he met fellow German Friedrich Engels (1820–1895), who became his
lifelong collaborator. Together they wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848), which
called for the working class to overthrow the capitalist system. Marx believed that in all
societies, those who controlled the means of production conflicted with those whose
labor they exploited for their own enrichment—a dynamic he called “dialectical
materialism.” Marx advocated the creation of a socialist state in which the working class
seized power and destroyed capitalism. This new political, social, and economic
system—Marxism—held great appeal for the working poor as well as for many
intellectuals.
o
Equally influential was the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882), who
postulated the theory of natural selection. Darwin and his compatriot Alfred Russel
Wallace (1823–1913), working independently, proposed a rational model for the
process of evolution, rather than attributing evolution to random chance or God’s plan.
They argued that evolution was the natural result of a competitive system in which only
the fittest survived. Darwin’s controversial ideas, as presented in On the Origin of
Species by Means of Natural Selection(1859), contradicted the biblical narrative of
creation and were greeted with hostility by many people.
o
Modernism Marx’s emphasis on social conflict and Darwin’s ideas about evolution were
consistent with the growing sense of the world’s impermanence and of a constantly
shifting reality, which Baudelaire insisted was the essential characteristic of the modern
world and the proper subject of a modernist painter (see Modernism at the FoliesBergère). Modernismin art, however, transcends the simple depiction of the
contemporary world—the goal of Realism. Modernists also critically examine the
premises of art itself, as Manet did in his groundbreaking 1863 painting Le Déjeuner sur
l’Herbe (Fig. 27-32) and carried further in his 1882 A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Fig. 28-1).
Modernism thus implies certain concerns about art and aesthetics internal to art
production, regardless of whether the artist is portraying modern life.
o
In an important 1965 article, Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), an influential American
art critic who wrote about the revolutionary art movements of the decades following
World War II (see “Greenbergian Formalism”), explained modernism as follows:
o
The essence of Modernism lies … in the use of the characteristic methods of a discipline
to criticize the discipline itself—not in order to subvert it, but to entrench it more firmly
in its area of competence…. [T]he unique and proper area of competence of each art
coincide[s] with all that [is] unique to the nature of its medium…. Realistic, illusionist art
had dissembled the medium, using art to conceal art. Modernism used art to call
attention to art. The limitations that constitute the medium of painting—the flat surface,
the shape of the support, the properties of pigment—were treated by the Old Masters as
negative factors that could be acknowledged only implicitly or indirectly. Modernist
painting has come to regard these same limitations as positive factors that are to be
acknowledged openly. Manet’s paintings became the first Modernist ones by virtue of
the frankness with which they declared the surfaces on which they were painted. The
Impressionists, in Manet’s wake, abjured underpainting and glazing, to leave the eye
under no doubt as to the fact that the colors used were made of real paint that came
from pots or tubes.
o
Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism: Europe and America, 1870 to 1900
o
1870–1880
o
Claude Monet and the Impressionists mount their first independent exhibition in Paris
o
The Impressionists paint subjects that capture the transitory nature of modern life in
urbanized Paris and its suburbs
o
European artists begin to collect Japanese prints and emulate Japanese compositions
o
Gustave Moreau explores eroticism and fantasy in Symbolist paintings
o
1880–1890
o
Édouard Manet completes his career with paintings in the Impressionist mode
o
Georges Seurat investigates color theory and develops pointillism
o
Vincent van Gogh moves to France and explores the expressive power of color
o
Auguste Rodin receives the commission for Gates of Hell
o
Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel builds the Eiffel Tower in Paris
o
1890–1900
o
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec pioneers the art of the poster
o
Paul Cézanne seeks “to do Poussin over entirely from nature”
o
The Art Nouveau movement emerges in architecture and the decorative arts
o
Gustav Klimt’s paintings epitomize fin-de-siècle culture in Austria
o
Louis Sullivan builds steel, glass, and stone skyscrapers in America
Chapter Introduction
Framing the Era
Modernism at the Folies-Bergère
Between 1800 and 1900, the population of Europe’s major cities exploded. In
Paris, for example, the number of residents expanded from 500,000 to 2,700,000.
It was there that the art movement called Impressionism was born, an aesthetic
by-product of the sometimes brutal and chaotic transformation of French life,
which made the world seem unstable and insubstantial. As the poet and critic
Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) observed in his 1860 essay The Painter of
Modern Life: “[Modernity is] the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half
of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable.” Accordingly,
Impressionist painters built on the innovations of the Realists in turning away
from traditional mythological and religious themes in favor of the daily life of the
newly industrialized French capital and its suburbs along the Seine. But, in
contrast to the Realists, the Impressionists sought to convey the elusiveness and
impermanence of the subjects they portrayed.
One of the most popular Impressionist subjects was Paris’s vibrant nightlife. The
immensely versatile Édouard Manet (Figs. 27-32 and 27-33), whose career
bridged Realism and Impressionism, painted his last great work—A Bar at the
Folies-Bergère (Fig. 28-1)—under the influence of the younger Impressionists.
The Folies-Bergère was a popular café with music-hall performances, one of
Paris’s most fashionable gathering places. At the center of Manet’s FoliesBergère is a barmaid, who looks out from the canvas but seems disinterested or
lost in thought, divorced from her patrons as well as from the viewer. In front of
her, Manet painted a marvelous still life of bottles, flowers, and fruit—all for sale
to the bar’s customers. In the mirror is the reflection of a gentleman wearing a
dapper top hat and carrying an elegant walking stick. He has approached the
barmaid, perhaps to order a drink, but more likely to ask the price of her
company after the bar closes. Also visible in the mirror, at the upper left corner
of the canvas, are the lower legs of a trapeze artist and a woman in the
nightclub’s balcony watching some other performance through opera glasses.
Figure 28-1ÉDOUARD MANET, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,
1882. Oil on canvas, . Courtauld Gallery, London.
A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, 1881–82 (oil on canvas), Manet, Edouard (1832–83)/© Samuel
Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London, UK/The Bridgeman Art Library
Figure 28-1A
The Folies-Bergère was a popular café and music hall where Parisians
enjoyed their leisure—a characteristic Impressionist subject that broke
sharply with tradition, as did Manet’s sketchy application of paint.
Figure 28-1B
The central figure in A Bar at the Folies-Bergère is a young barmaid who
looks out from the canvas but seems detached both from the viewer and
the gentleman in a top hat who may be propositioning her.
Figure 28-1C
In accord with modernist principles, Manet called attention to the canvas
surface by creating spatial inconsistencies, such as the relationship
between the barmaid and her apparent reflection in the mirror.
What seems at first to be a straightforward representation of the bar, barmaid,
and customers quickly fades as visual discrepancies immediately emerge. For
example, is the reflection of the woman on the right the barmaid’s? If both figures
are the same person, it is impossible to reconcile the spatial relationship among
the gentleman, the bar, the barmaid, and her seemingly displaced reflection.
These visual contradictions complement Manet’s blurred brushstrokes and
rough application of paint. Together, they draw attention to the tactile surface of
the canvas, consistent with late-19th-century artists’ emerging insistence on
underscoring the artifice of the act of painting, one of the central principles
ofmodernist art.
Impressionism
A hostile critic applied the term Impressionism in response
to Impression: Sunrise (Fig. 28-2), one of the paintings exhibited in the
first Impressionist show in 1874 (see “Academic Salons and
Independent Art Exhibitions”). Although the critic intended the label to
be derogatory, by the third Impressionist show in 1878, the artists had
embraced it and were calling themselves Impressionists. Both artists
and critics had used the term before, but only in relation to sketches.
Impressionist paintings do incorporate the qualities of sketches—
abbreviation, speed, and spontaneity—but the artists considered their
sketchlike works to be finished paintings, a radically modernist idea at
the time.
Art and Society
Academic Salons and Independent Art Exhibitions
For both artists and art historians, modernist art stands in marked contrast to, indeed in
forceful opposition to, academic art—that is, to the art promoted by the established art
schools such as the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in France (founded in 1648)
and the Royal Academy of Arts in Britain (founded in 1768). These academies provided
instruction for art students and sponsored exhibitions, exerting tight control over the art
scene. The annual exhibitions, called “Salons” in France, were highly competitive, as was
membership in these academies. Subsidized by the government, the French Royal Academy
supported a limited range of artistic expression, focusing on traditional subjects and highly
polished technique. Because of the challenges that modernist art presented to established
artistic conventions, the juries for the Salons and other exhibitions routinely rejected the
works that more adventurous artists wished to display, thereby preventing the public from
viewing any art other than the officially sanctioned forms of expression. When, however,
the 1855 jury rejected some of Gustave Courbet’s paintings, the artist reacted by setting up
his own Pavilion of Realism (see “Courbet on Realism”). Years later, he wrote:
[I]t is high time that someone have the courage to be an honest man and that he
say that the Academy is a harmful, all-consuming institution, incapable of fulfilling
the goal of its so-called mission.
Growing dissatisfaction with the decisions of the French Academy’s jurors prompted
Napoleon III (r. 1852–1870) in 1863 to establish the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the
Rejected) to show all of the works not accepted for exhibition in the regular Salon. Édouard
Manet’sLe Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (Fig. 27-32) was among them. The public greeted it and the
entire exhibition with contempt. One reviewer of the rejected works summed up the
prevailing attitude:
This exhibition, at once sad and grotesque, … offers abundant proof … that the jury
always displays an unbelievable leniency. Save for one or two questionable
exceptions there is not a painting which deserves the honor of the official galleries
… There is even something cruel about this exhibition; people laugh as they do at a
farce.
In 1867, after further rejections, Manet, following Courbet, mounted a private exhibition of
50 of his paintings outside the Paris World’s Fair. Six years later, Claude Monet (Figs. 282,28-3, 28-4) and the other Impressionists formed their own society—essentially a
painters’ union modeled on other workers’ unions of the era—and began mounting shows
of their works in Paris. This action provided the Impressionists with great freedom because
they did not have to contend with the Royal Academy’s authoritative and confining
viewpoint, which condemned not only the Impressionists’ techniques but their modernist
subject matter as well. Salon jurors regarded landscapes and cityscapes and the leisure
pursuits of the middle class as unworthy themes for important artworks. The Impressionist
exhibitions took place at one- or two-year intervals from 1874 until 1886. The
Impressionists also displayed their work in private venues, such as the Parisian gallery
owned by Paul Durand-Ruel (1831–1922), who was one of the first to recognize the
important innovations of the Impressionists and who regularly exhibited their paintings.
Another group of artists unhappy with the official Salon’s conservative nature adopted the
same renegade idea. In 1884, …
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