“ Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”
The Writing of Cubism posits that when the art critical writings on Cubism are re-read within their original intellectual and political context, it becomes clear that the historical coincidence of the conception of Cubism on the eve of the Great War had an impact upon the verbal configuration of this new movement that was equal to, if not outweighing, the stylistic innovations and artistic experiments of the artists.
This book examines the possibilities of theorizing the Web, takes up current debates on digital discourse, and presents the work of the leading scholars of the Internet working in the current field of content production in Cyberspace.
After Postmodernism, it is now time to return to an abandoned territory in search of our own blindness. What did we not see during the age of theorizing, to what were we blind? In three substantial case studies this volume, the first of three books on Postmodernism, the author closely examines some of the remains of a lost era.
Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette – 3/12/19
Dr. Jeanne Willette unfortunately passed away in early 2019. She supported thousands of students in their exploration of art history during her career and was a valued colleague. This site, Art History Unstuffed, was one of her major contributions to those studying this field. Without Dr. Willette this site is not being updated with new content. While her web master, with support from her two sons, continues to maintain the site for the time being, a new generation of Art Historians is needed to carry the site into the future. If you are interested in participating or have other suggestions for this site, please click here to leave a note.
THE NEOCLASSICISM OF JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID (1748-1825)
Jacques-Louis David, the most prominent Neoclassical painter in France, shifted his artistic allegiances from a king to a revolution against that king to an emperor. Was the artist a man without principles or was he a man of his own time, caught up in the tides of history, taking opportunity as he found it? The major works of art by David will be discussed within the context of his turbulent historical times. David developed a heroic and masculine style of Neoclassicism that proved to be well-suited to an era of war and revolution. Through his sheer talent (or effrontery) David managed to move with adroitness through political waters but with the fall of his final master, Napoléon, the luck of the painter ran out and he died in exile in Belgium.
THE RISE OF NEOCLASSICISM
The origins of Neoclassicism in art, architecture and interior décor was the excavation of long buried Roman cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum in the mid-eighteenth century. A popular correction of the late Baroque style and the ornamental Rococo style, Neoclassicism became an international style. As the name indicates, this “new” “classicism” was based upon the art of the early Roman empire. Classical art had long been available but what was notable about this particular iteration of classicism is the discovery of painting – murals on the walls – in the resort towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Authentic classical painting now joined authentic classical sculpture as an inspiration for an important shift in European academic styles.
For the second half of the eighteenth century, the Neoclassical reform of Baroque art brought a new seriousness to academic art and impacted architectural styles, particularly in England. Despite its antique sources, this style proved to be surprisingly versatile, suiting the needs of English aristocracy and American revolutionaries and French aristocracy and French revolutionaries. An imperial style from the past was appropriated for a variety of purposes from political messages to decorative needs.
“Modern” is a Western and European concept and is, in effect, Eurocentric, impacting a limited part of the world. But these changes were profound and shaped the rest of the globe. Driven by technological innovations, the economy evolved from a agricultural feudal structure into a free-wheeling laisse-faire capitalism that altered the social system and rewrote philosophy. The political consequences would be profound.
What were the social, political, economic and philosophical conditions that made the “Modern” possible? The podcast discusses the four revolutions of the eighteenth century that brought about unprecedented change to the Western world: the Industrial Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, the Social Revolution, the Political Revolution. Each revolution impacted the artists and redesigned the world of art making, resulting in a kind of art called “modern.” The result was Modern Art and the Modern Artist.
Also read: “What is Modern?” and “The Enlightenment: Introduction” and “The Enlightenment and Reason” and “The Enlightenment and Society” and “The Enlightenment and the Art Public” and “The Political Revolution in America” and “The Enlightenment and Artistic Styles”