The Movements: Rococo Through Surrealism Essay

1546 words - 7 pages


The Movements:
Rococo through Surrealism
Hum 100 Final

At the end of the Baroque period the neo-classical style Rococo emerge in France. It dealt with elaborate ornamentation. The essence of Romanticism is particularly difficult to describe because it heavily focuses on emotion so you have to see, or hear it to understand it. Art in the modern era from 1860-1914 consists of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Expressionism. These movements are closely related to each other, instead of being a carful rendering like in Realism art was freer flowing and had looser lines. Between the world wars art took on new roles these movements ...view middle of the document...

A perfect example of strong emotion is The Nightmare, by Henri Fuseli painted in 1781. On canvas the painting portrays a sleeping woman and her nightmare simultaneously. This painting can be seen as sexual in nature, in the manner in which she is strewn over the bed. The dramatic contrast between light and dark is indicative of Romantic style paintings. The woman in the painting is in a white gown and in the incubus that is perched on her chest and the horse peering from behind the heavily painted red velvet curtains is painted darker. Henri Fuseli painted three versions of The Nightmare due to its wide popularity and fame.

Impressionism began in Paris in the 19th century. The movements mane actually came from Claude Monet’s painting Impression Sunrise. Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include: small but visible paint strokes, emphasis on light, unusual visual angles and ordinary subject matter such has a boat in the water or a mother and her son walking on a hill. Monet’s, Woman with a Parasol, 1875 is actually a painting of Madame Monet and their son Jean. Light, color, and movement are the focus of this painting. She is standing on a hill with her son at her side, and the wind is gently blowing through her hair and whipping her voluminous skirt around her legs. Shades of violet and brown lurk in the shadows that the two figures cast in the lush green grass.

Post-Impressionist extended from Impressionism. Post-Impressionist painters continued to use vivid color, a thick application of paint, and real-life subject matter. Painters in this movement focused more on geometric forms and used unnatural color choices for things like skin and skies. Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night painted in 1889 is an accurate representation of geometric form and unnatural color. This painting is the night view from his sanatorium room, but was painted completely from memory during the day. Off to the right in the painting is the village Saint-Remy under a swirling sky which creates a sense of rushing speed. In real life unfortunately the sky does not look like that beautiful nor are the stars that large. His color choice for the moon and the stars give contrast and depth between the large cypress trees in the foreground and the small village. In a letter Van Gogh did admit that he was unhappy with the way the painting, saying that it did not speak to him.

Fauvism in French translates to “wild Beast.” Fauve painters broke violently with tradition in their use of color and form. Characteristics of Fauvism are the use of wild brush strokes, exaggerated colors, and their subjects are very simplistic. Henri Matisse is one of the most famous Fauvist artists. His pochoir Icarus, 1947 is of a bold and playful image of a man. It is one of twenty plates Matisse created to illustrate his book Jazz. The figure is presented in a simple almost “cut-out” like form against a blue night sky adorned with bright multi-pointed yellow start bursts’. What really...

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