The Romantic period occurred between circa 1750-1850 and was described by the German philosopher, poet, and literary critic Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) as imaginative and emotional depictions in art and poetry that fuse inspiration and criticism. An alternate theory describing the Romantic was posited by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), who thought that the duality of the opposing good and darker side of human nature and the notion of the nature of beauty initiated by the Enlightenment could also be attributed to concepts of Romantic art (Vaughan 1978, 29). Also in 1757, Edmund Burke (1927-1979) wrote in his description of the nature of the sublime that it implied terror, pain, or obscurity and vastness, which may be closer to describing the paintings of Romantic artists. These emotional contrivances were used by Romantic artists to communicate their thoughts and feelings rather than the prioritising of duty, sacrifice and classical myth typical of Neoclassical art. Romantic artists like Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (1775-1851) and Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) were also seeking creative freedom and autarchy from traditional patronage from the aristocracy and churches as their primary sources of income. In England, Turner became a dominant force in Romantic art combining aspects of the Industrial Revolution and contemporary issues with dominant dramatic atmospheric effects. In contrast, his French contemporary Eugene Delacroix used colour and action to create allegorical scenes moved by poetry and a humanist interpretation of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire. This article will examine and compare Turner and Delacroix’s interpretations of the Burke’s notions of the sublime and the terrifying in Romantic painting, and the impact of contemporary issues on their paintings during the years circa 1824-1850. By comparing what each artist chose as their main focus of interest, and how it was composed, it will elucidate how each artist responded to social and historic events.
Archive for the ‘Bachelor of Fine art and Visual Culture’ Category
Paul Poiret (1879-1944) was a leading fashion designer during the late 19th and early 20th century. He was significantly influenced by Orientalism, which became evident in his designs in the period prior to World War 1. To understand Orientalism and how it applied it to his designs the definition of Orientalism needs to be addressed. What was Orientalism? It could be argued that it was merely an art movement of the 18th and 19th centuries, confined to mostly France and Britain. Its influence, on the contrary, was far broader, reaching across Europe to as far as the United States and Australia. It also incorporated more than painting, sculpting, or architecture. In light of this how did Orientalism affect the designs of Poiret? Are there similarities in the work of any Orientalist artists evident in Poiret’s designs? In addition to these questions, Haute Couture also needs to be defined. What was it and how does it delineate Poiret’s fashions? This essay will illustrate various artworks, and compare aspects that Orientalist artists have utilised to the designs for the Haute Couture fashions of Paul Poiret. A brief description of Orientalism will be included, as well as an elucidation of Haute Couture and Belle Epoche. These accounts will reinforce the various influences on the innovative designs of Paul Poiret in contrast to contemporary Western styles in the years leading up to World War 1.
The premise of this essay is to review Orientalism and the concept of ‘other’ by examining three specific paintings completed during the 19th century, in order to distinguish political from artistic, or commercial, intent. In order to discuss the subject, the definition of Orientalism needs to be considered; according to the Oxford Dictionary the broad definition of Orientalism is a method of representing Asian cultures and peoples in a stereotypical manner distorted by colonial attitudes and interpretation (Orientalism 2015). Edward Said describes Orientalism as a vision of reality distorted by the difference between the familiar (the West) and the ‘other’ (the unfamiliar East) (Said 1978). The concept of ‘other’ created a division between the West, which was perceived as developed and civilized, in contrast to the East, which was seen as as inferior or degraded (Shahinaj 2015). Orientalism, colonialism, the spread of ‘empire’, and the concept of ‘other’, are contemporaneous with the European Age of Enlightenment, scientific and archaeological discoveries, spread of literature, and the Grand Tour (Said 1978). This essay by analysing works by Ingres (1780-1867), Gérome (1824-1904), and Delacroix (1798-1863), in regard to their representation of the East regarding women in particular will demonstrate their Eurocentric depiction of ‘other’, and Orientalism. Although aesthetically attractive, these paintings reflected an attitude of ‘other’ by altering the subjects to create a distorted or Euro centrically derived reality that misrepresented the East as an amoral or undeveloped culture.