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  1. Delacroix and Ingres—The Great Dialectic

    Delacroix and Ingres—The Great Dialectic

    The art of the late 18th century and early 19th century was dominated by one great artist and his students, an artist whose sensibility, in fact, transformed itself to include the extraordinary transformations in French society, French art, and French politics. I n this lecture, we will look at the most important paintings in the Louvre by the two artists who defined French art in the first half of the 19th century, Eugène Delacroix and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The extreme contrast in their styles, imagery, and artistic aims demonstrates the dialectical structure of French society in the generations after the French Revolution. This lecture reads their art in both sociopolitical and aesthetic terms and considers it in the context of the painting of Théodore Géricault, the greatest precursor of Delacroix. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Born in provincial Montaubon in the south of France, Ingres received his early training under Jacques-Louis David, while he served stints in Rome bo

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  2. Jacques-Louis David and his School

    Jacques-Louis David and his School

    In France, there was one painter who actually lived through all of that time, embodied its values, and notions, and questions in countless masterpieces, and who is probably the most important pictorial recorder of political upheaval, political regeneration, moral questioning about the rights of citizens and the rights of the individual of any painter in human history. I n this lecture, we concentrate on the definitive collection of paintings in the Louvre by the greatest French painter from 1780–1820, JacquesLouis David. A brilliant success as a student, an academician in Rome, a star in the Salons of the Ancien Regime, a member of the revolutionary government, director of the Louvre, Napoleon’s “court painter,” and finally, an exile from post-Napoleonic France in Belgium, David was the dominant painter of his generation in Europe and one of the greatest teachers in the history of art.

    Jacques-Louis David Born in 1748 and raised in Paris, David learned to paint under the wat

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  3. Watteau and Chardin

    Watteau and Chardin

    Following the death of Claude and Poussin in the last decades of the 17th century is that the capital of French art really did move from Rome to Paris. The Academy became stronger, and bigger, and more important. This lecture, too, is structured as a kind of dialogue between two artists; in this case, two artists who didn’t work at the same time, but in succeeding generations. These are two of the greatest French artists from the first half of the 18th century in Paris. This lecture discusses the period in the history of French art was dominated by one highly original but equally highly idiosyncratic artist, Antoine Watteau. We place Watteau’s oeuvre, of which the Louvre possesses a virtually collection, in the context of “public” artists of his generation. The lecture concludes with a discussion of the greatest 18th-century French artist in the minor genres of painting—still lifes and scenes of daily urban life.

    Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was 15 years younger than Watteau bu

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  4. Claude and Poussin—French Painters in Rome

    It was also the century that produced two major French artists who paradoxically, and completely unlike Georges de la Tour and the Le Nain brothers, spent all of their working professional life outside of France—not just outside of Paris, but outside of France. This lecture deals with the two artists who were, without question, the most important figures in French painting of Le Grand Siecle (“The Great Century”). Both of them lived relatively long and productive lives by 17th-century standards, and although each of them exerted a profound effect on painting in his native France, each spent essentially his entire working life in Rome. Beyond that geographical fact, the two were startlingly different. Nicolas Poussin was a major intellectual and spent his career among the greatest Roman patrons, poets, painters, and philosophers of his age.

    By contrast, Claude Lorrain was a socially simpler man, who specialized in landscape painting and who, though much admired as an artist, lacke

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  5. Utagawa Hiroshige: the last great master of Ukiyo-e

    Spring Rain at Tsuchiyama, from the series Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō 1834–35 Utagawa Hiroshige

    Considered the last great master of the ukiyo-e ("floating world") genre, Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) was an extremely influential figure, not only in his country but also in Western painting. Towards the end of the 19th century, as part of the trend towards "Japonism", European artists such as Monet, Whistler and Cézanne turned to Hiroshige's work for inspiration and a certain Vincent van Gogh was known. to paint copies prints. Hiroshige was born in 1797 into a family of samurai in Edo (modern Tokyo). After the death of his parents, around the age of fourteen, Hiroshige began to engage in painting and studied for several years with the artist Toyohiro. During this period he produced many works reflecting traditional ukiyo-e themes such as women and actors, but upon Toyohiro's death in 1828 he underwent a pronounced shift towards the landscapes for which he is most famous today, as well as images of birds and flowers. His most famous series include Famous Views of th

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  6. The Art of Dream

    Woman with a Parrot 1866 Gustave Courbet

    Dreams have long proven to be fertile ground for creativity and human expression, and no less than in the visual arts, giving rise to some of his most striking images. In addition to the many and varied dreams so important to religion and myth, an exploration of the more personal dream world has emerged in recent centuries since the birth of Romanticism. Indeed, with its link with the unconscious, form may have proved to be the perfect vehicle for those artists who seek to surface what is overwhelmed - desire, guilt, fear, ambition - to bring the truth to light. that the waking spirit keeps hidden. It is also no fact that artists have been drawn to the challenge of shaping something as visually intangible as a dream, a challenge faced in many ways over the centuries. Most often there is the sleeping body itself, with the dream element incorporated in different ways. It is common for the dream sequence to appear in a totally separate part of the image, as if projected onto the walls of

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  7. Danse and Egg, Politics Caricatural

    Danse and Egg, Politics Caricatural

    Egg dancing was a traditional Easter game of laying eggs on the ground and dancing among them while trying to break as little as possible. Another variation (shown in many of the images shown here) was to tip an egg into a bowl and then try to flip the bowl over on top, all using only its feet and staying in a chalk circle. drawn on the floor. Although, like the number of its artistic representations, the hobby is associated with the peasant villages of the 16th and 17th centuries, one of the earliest references to the egg dance concerns the marriage of Marguerite of Austria and Philibert of Savoy Easter Monday. in 1498 This blindfolded version of the egg dance appears in Goethe's novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (1795). Wilhelm buys Mignon from a group of traveling artists after seeing her beaten for refusing to do the egg dance, and to thank him for saving her from captivity, she performs her egg dance for him (a scene shown in John Collier's painting shown below). According

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  8. The Beast of Gévaudan (1764–1767)

    Two Beasts and a Human Mask within a Circle 1727 Gaetano Piccini

    In the 1760s, nearly three hundred people were killed in a remote region of south-central France called Gévaudan (now part of the Lozère department). The killer was thought to be a huge animal, known simply as "the beast"; but while the creature's name was kept simple, its reputation quickly grew extremely complex. Not only was it said that the Beast of Gévaudan preferred to attack women and children (and especially little girls), but according to first-hand accounts published in the press, she "often removed the head of the victim and drank all his blood. », Leaving nothing but a pile of bones. The unleashing of the Beast of Gévaudan was one of the first international reports. The first breakthrough in the neighboring Courrier d'Avignon, it was quickly picked up by the Paris newspapers and from there spread abroad. A German engraving from September 1764 shows the Beast, looking more like a quadrupedal kangaroo than a wolf or hyena, attacking an improbably well-dressed man in a rath

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  9. RECOGNIZE A MECHANICAL REPRODUCTION

    A mechanical reproduction, resulting from an industrial printing is a sign of a great production. For this reason, these productions are only valuable for their decorative qualities. Take out the magnifiers! You must first visualize the print screen, measure the absence of depth of material. To do this, the composition and with a magnifying glass look for the grain of the impression. However, beware of more elaborate reproductions which, by different processes, give the illusion of being original compositions. A deceptive movie Indeed some reproductions are covered with a plastic film giving the illusion, sometimes truly deceptive, of an oil painting. Start by checking that the relief given by this film and imitating the brushstrokes matches the pattern. Observe the depth of the material, indeed, the film dissociates the relief and the pictorial matter. Under the highlights, the frame Some reproductions are enhanced with paint, oil or gouache. To spot them, you need to

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  10. RECOGNIZE A PRINT

    There are many methods including chisel engraving, etching and lithography. Identifying these methods is an important step. The intaglio Is an intaglio engraving process of a pattern of a die. It is divided into two categories: direct when the artist directly engraves a metal plate or indirect when an acid is used to hollow out the metal. Chisel engraving The matrix is ​​a plate of copper or steel carved with a chisel by the artist. The engraver transfers painted compositions to engraving. We recognize these engravings thanks to the regularity of the charges made on the copper plate by the engraver's chisel. Etching The copper plate is coated with bitumen using a stylus, the pattern he wants to achieve by ensuring that the passage of the stylus removes part of it. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath. The latter attacks it in previously bare spots and thus creates the pattern desired by the artist. This technique allows for a freer stroke, more than one, easily varying in

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