John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent was an American expatriate artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury. He created 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings, his oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, the Middle East, Montana and Florida. He was born in Florence to American parents, trained in Paris before moving to London, living most of his life in Europe, he enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation. From the beginning his work is characterized by remarkable technical facility in his ability to draw with a brush, which in years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality, his commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air.
Art historians ignored "society" artists such as Sargent until the late 20th century. Sargent is a descendant of a colonial military leader and jurist. Before John Singer Sargent's birth, his father, FitzWilliam, was an eye surgeon at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia 1844–1854. After John's older sister died at the age of two, his mother, Mary Newbold Singer, suffered a breakdown, the couple decided to go abroad to recover, they remained nomadic expatriates for the rest of their lives. Although based in Paris, Sargent's parents moved with the seasons to the sea and the mountain resorts in France, Germany and Switzerland. While Mary was pregnant, they stopped in Florence, because of a cholera epidemic. Sargent was born there in 1856. A year his sister Mary was born. After her birth, FitzWilliam reluctantly resigned his post in Philadelphia and accepted his wife's request to remain abroad, they lived modestly on savings, living a quiet life with their children. They avoided society and other Americans except for friends in the art world.
Four more children were born abroad, of. Although his father was a patient teacher of basic subjects, young Sargent was a rambunctious child, more interested in outdoor activities than his studies; as his father wrote home, "He is quite a close observer of animated nature." His mother was convinced that traveling around Europe, visiting museums and churches, would give young Sargent a satisfactory education. Several attempts to have him formally schooled failed, owing to their itinerant life, his mother was a capable amateur artist and his father was a skilled medical illustrator. Early on, she gave him encouraged drawing excursions. Sargent worked on his drawings, he enthusiastically copied images from The Illustrated London News of ships and made detailed sketches of landscapes. FitzWilliam had hoped that his son's interest in ships and the sea might lead him toward a naval career. At thirteen, his mother reported that John "sketches quite nicely, & has a remarkably quick and correct eye. If we could afford to give him good lessons, he would soon be quite a little artist."
At the age of thirteen, he received some watercolor lessons from Carl Welsch, a German landscape painter. Although his education was far from complete, Sargent grew up to be a literate and cosmopolitan young man, accomplished in art and literature, he was fluent in English, French and German. At seventeen, Sargent was described as "willful, curious and strong" yet shy and modest, he was well-acquainted with many of the great masters from first hand observation, as he wrote in 1874, "I have learned in Venice to admire Tintoretto immensely and to consider him second only to Michelangelo and Titian." An attempt to study at the Academy of Florence failed. After returning to Paris from Florence Sargent began his art studies with the young French portraitist Carolus-Duran. Following a meteoric rise, the artist was noted for his bold technique and modern teaching methods. In 1874 Sargent passed on his first attempt the rigorous exam required to gain admission to the École des Beaux-Arts, the premier art school in France.
He took drawing classes, which included anatomy and perspective, gained a silver prize. He spent much time in self-study, drawing in museums and painting in a studio he shared with James Carroll Beckwith, he became both Sargent's primary connection with the American artists abroad. Sargent took some lessons from Léon Bonnat. Carolus-Duran's atelier was progressive, dispensing with the traditional academic approach, which required careful drawing and underpainting, in favor of the alla prima method of working directly on the canvas with a loaded brush, derived from Diego Velázquez, it was an approach. This approach permitted spontaneous flourishes of color not bound to an under-drawing, it was markedly different from the traditional atelier of Jean-Léon Gérôme, where Americans Thomas Eakins and Julian Alden Weir had studied. Sargent was the star student in shor
Academic art, or academicism or academism, is a style of painting and architecture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism, the art that followed these two movements in the attempt to synthesize both of their styles, and, best reflected by the paintings of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Thomas Couture, Hans Makart. In this context it is called "academism", "academicism", "art pompier", "eclecticism", sometimes linked with "historicism" and "syncretism"; the first academy of art was founded in Florence in Italy by Cosimo I de' Medici, on 13 January 1563, under the influence of the architect Giorgio Vasari who called it the Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno as it was divided in two different operative branches. While the Company was a kind of corporation which every working artist in Tuscany could join, the Academy comprised only the most eminent artistic personalities of Cosimo's court, had the task of supervising the whole artistic production of the Medicean state.
In this Medicean institution students learned the "arti del disegno" and heard lectures on anatomy and geometry. Another academy, the Accademia di San Luca, was founded about a decade in Rome; the Accademia di San Luca served an educational function and was more concerned with art theory than the Florentine one. In 1582 Annibale Carracci opened his influential Academy of Desiderosi in Bologna without official support. Accademia di San Luca served as the model for the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture founded in France in 1648, which became the Académie des beaux-arts; the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture was founded in an effort to distinguish artists "who were gentlemen practicing a liberal art" from craftsmen, who were engaged in manual labor. This emphasis on the intellectual component of artmaking had a considerable impact on the subjects and styles of academic art. After the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture was reorganized in 1661 by Louis XIV whose aim was to control all the artistic activity in France, a controversy occurred among the members that dominated artistic attitudes for the rest of the century.
This "battle of styles" was a conflict over whether Peter Paul Rubens or Nicolas Poussin was a suitable model to follow. Followers of Poussin, called "poussinistes", argued that line should dominate art, because of its appeal to the intellect, while followers of Rubens, called "rubenistes", argued that color should dominate art, because of its appeal to emotion; the debate was revived in the early 19th century, under the movements of Neoclassicism typified by the artwork of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Romanticism typified by the artwork of Eugène Delacroix. Debates occurred over whether it was better to learn art by looking at nature, or to learn by looking at the artistic masters of the past. Academies using the French model formed throughout Europe, imitated the teachings and styles of the French Académie. In England, this was the Royal Academy; the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts founded in 1754, may be taken as a successful example in a smaller country, which achieved its aim of producing a national school and reducing the reliance on imported artists.
The painters of the Danish Golden Age of 1800-1850 were nearly all trained there, many returned to teach and the history of the art of Denmark is much less marked by tension between academic art and other styles than is the case in other countries. One effect of the move to academies was to make training more difficult for women artists, who were excluded from most academies until the last half of the 19th century; this was because of concerns over the impropriety presented by nudity. Special arrangements were made for female students until the 20th century. Since the onset of the Poussiniste-Rubeniste debate, many artists worked between the two styles. In the 19th century, in the revived form of the debate, the attention and the aims of the art world became to synthesize the line of Neoclassicism with the color of Romanticism. One artist after another was claimed by critics to have achieved the synthesis, among them Théodore Chassériau, Ary Scheffer, Francesco Hayez, Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, Thomas Couture.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, a academic artist, commented that the trick to being a good painter is seeing "color and line as the same thing". Thomas Couture promoted the same idea in a book he authored on art method — arguing that whenever one said a painting had better color or better line it was nonsense, because whenever color appeared brilliant it depended on line to convey it, vice versa. Another development during this period included adopting historical styles in order to show the era in history that the painting depicted, called historicism; this is best seen in the work of Baron Jan August Hendrik Leys, a influence on James Tissot. It's seen in the development of the Neo-Grec style. Historicism is meant to refer to the belief and practice associated with academic art that one should incorporate and conciliate the innovations of different traditions of art from the past; the art world grew to give increasing focus on allegory in art. Theories
Salon des Refusés
The Salon des Refusés, French for "exhibition of rejects", is an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon, but the term is most famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863. Today by extension, salon des refusés refers to any exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show; the Paris Salon, sponsored by the French government and the Academy of Fine Arts, took place annually, was a showcase of the best academic art. A medal from the Salon was assurance of a successful artistic career. Since the 18th century, the paintings were classified following a specific hierarchy; the jury, headed by the Comte de Nieuwerkerke, the head of the Academy of Fine Arts, was conservative. Much intrigue went on to get acceptance, to be given a good place in the galleries. In 1851, Gustave Courbet managed to get one painting into the Salon, Enterrement á Ornans, in 1852 his Baigneuses was accepted, scandalizing critics and the public, who expected romanticized nudes in classical settings, but in 1855 the Salon refused all of Courbet's paintings.
As early as the 1830s, Paris art galleries mounted small-scale, private exhibitions of works rejected by the Salon jurors. Courbet was obliged to organize his own exhibit, called Le Realism, at a private gallery. Private exhibits attracted far less attention from the press and patrons, limited the access of the artists to a small public. In 1863 the Salon jury refused two thirds of the paintings presented, including the works of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro and Johan Jongkind; the rejected artists and their friends protested, the protests reached Emperor Napoleon III. The Emperor's tastes in art were traditional, his office issued a statement: "Numerous complaints have come to the Emperor on the subject of the works of art which were refused by the jury of the Exposition. His Majesty, wishing to let the public judge the legitimacy of these complaints, has decided that the works of art which were refused should be displayed in another part of the Palace of Industry."More than a thousand visitors a day visited the Salon des Refusés.
The journalist Émile Zola reported that visitors pushed to get into the crowded galleries where the refused paintings were hung, the rooms were full of the laughter of the spectators. Critics and the public ridiculed the refusés, which included such now-famous paintings as Édouard Manet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe and James McNeill Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl. But the critical attention legitimized the emerging avant-garde in painting; the Impressionists exhibited their works outside the traditional Salon beginning in 1874. Subsequent Salons des Refusés were mounted in Paris in 1874, 1875, 1886, by which time the popularity of the Paris Salon had declined for those who were more interested in Impressionism. Rejected by the Salon jury of 1863, Manet seized the opportunity to exhibit Déjeuner sur l'herbe and two other paintings in the 1863 Salon des Refusés. Déjeuner sur l'herbe depicts the juxtaposition of a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather in the background, on a picnic with two dressed men in a rural setting.
The painting sparked public notoriety and stirred up controversy and has remained controversial to this day. Odilon Redon, for example, did not like it. There is a discussion of it, from this point in Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. One interpretation of the work is that it depicts the rampant prostitution in the Bois de Boulogne, a large park at the western outskirts of Paris, at the time; this prostitution was common knowledge in Paris, but was considered a taboo subject unsuitable for a painting. Indeed, the Bois de Boulogne is to this day known as a pick-up place for prostitutes and illicit sexual activity after dark, just as it had been in the 19th century. Émile Zola comments about Déjeuner sur l'herbe: The Luncheon on the Grass is the greatest work of Édouard Manet, one in which he realizes the dream of all painters: to place figures of natural grandeur in a landscape. We know the power. There are some leaves, some tree trunks, and, in the background, a river in which a chemise-wearing woman bathes.
This nude woman has scandalized the public. My God! What indecency: a woman without the slightest covering between two clothed men! That has never been seen, and this belief is a gross error, for in the Louvre there are more than fifty paintings in which are found mixes of persons clothed and nude. But no one goes to the Louvre to be scandalized; the crowd has kept itself moreover from judging The Luncheon on the Grass like a veritable work of art should be judged. Painters Édouard Manet, an analytic painter, do not have this preoccupation with the subject which torments the crowd above all.
École des Beaux-Arts
An École des Beaux-Arts is one of a number of influential art schools in France. The most famous is the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, now located on the left bank in Paris, across the Seine from the Louvre, at 14 rue Bonaparte; the school has a history spanning more than 350 years, training many of the great artists in Europe. Beaux Arts style was modeled on classical "antiquities", preserving these idealized forms and passing the style on to future generations; the origins of the school go back to 1648 when the Académie des Beaux-Arts was founded by Cardinal Mazarin to educate the most talented students in drawing, sculpture, engraving and other media. Louis XIV was known to select graduates from the school to decorate the royal apartments at Versailles, in 1863 Napoleon III granted the school independence from the government, changing the name to "L'École des Beaux-Arts". Women were admitted beginning in 1897; the curriculum was divided into the "Academy of Painting and Sculpture" and the "Academy of Architecture".
Both programs focused on classical arts and architecture from Ancient Roman culture. All students were required to prove their skills with basic drawing tasks before advancing to figure drawing and painting; this culminated in a competition for the Grand Prix de Rome, awarding a full scholarship to study in Rome. The three trials to obtain the prize lasted for nearly three months. Many of the most famous artists in Europe were trained here, including Géricault, Delacroix, Ingres, Renoir, Seurat and Sisley. Rodin however, applied on three occasions but was refused entry; the buildings of the school are the creation of French architect Félix Duban, commissioned for the main building in 1830. His work realigned the campus, continued through 1861, completing an architectural program out towards the Quai Malaquais; the Paris school is the namesake and founding location of the Beaux Arts architectural movement in the early twentieth century. Known for demanding classwork and setting the highest standards for education, the École attracted students from around the world—including the United States, where students returned to design buildings that would influence the history of architecture in America, including the Boston Public Library, 1888–1895 and the New York Public Library, 1897–1911.
Architectural graduates in France, are granted the title élève. The architecture department was separated from the École after the May 1968 student strikes at the Sorbonne; the name was changed to École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Today, over 500 students make use of an extensive collection of classical art coupled with modern additions to the curriculum, including photography and hypermedia. ENSA École nationale des beaux arts de Dijon ENSA École nationale des beaux arts de Bourges ENSBA École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts Lyon European Academy of Art in Lorient, Rennes and Brest ESADMM École supérieure d'art et de design Marseille-Méditerranée ENSA École nationale des beaux arts de Nancy École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris ESAD École supérieure d'art et design de Valence, Valence Académie des Beaux-Arts Architecture of Paris Beaux-Arts architecture Comité des Étudiants Américains de l'École des Beaux-Arts Paris Paris Salon The Ecole des Beaux-Arts – Historical essay École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts – Official website École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts – History
The avant-garde are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society. It may be characterized by nontraditional, aesthetic innovation and initial unacceptability, it may offer a critique of the relationship between producer and consumer; the avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo in the cultural realm. The avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism. Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets around 1981; the avant-garde promotes radical social reforms. It was this meaning, evoked by the Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay "L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel", which contains the first recorded use of "avant-garde" in its now customary sense: there, Rodrigues calls on artists to "serve as avant-garde", insisting that "the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way" to social and economic reform.
Several writers have attempted to map the parameters of avant-garde activity. The Italian essayist Renato Poggioli provides one of the earliest analyses of vanguardism as a cultural phenomenon in his 1962 book Teoria dell'arte d'avanguardia. Surveying the historical, social and philosophical aspects of vanguardism, Poggioli reaches beyond individual instances of art and music to show that vanguardists may share certain ideals or values which manifest themselves in the non-conformist lifestyles they adopt: He sees vanguard culture as a variety or subcategory of Bohemianism. Other authors have attempted both to extend Poggioli's study; the German literary critic Peter Bürger's Theory of the Avant-Garde looks at the Establishment's embrace of critical works of art and suggests that in complicity with capitalism, "art as an institution neutralizes the political content of the individual work". Bürger's essay greatly influenced the work of contemporary American art-historians such as the German Benjamin H. D. Buchloh.
Buchloh, in the collection of essays Neo-avantgarde and Culture Industry critically argues for a dialectical approach to these positions. Subsequent criticism theorized the limitations of these approaches, noting their circumscribed areas of analysis, including Eurocentric and genre-specific definitions; the concept of avant-garde refers to artists, writers and thinkers whose work is opposed to mainstream cultural values and has a trenchant social or political edge. Many writers and theorists made assertions about vanguard culture during the formative years of modernism, although the initial definitive statement on the avant-garde was the essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch by New York art critic Clement Greenberg, published in Partisan Review in 1939. Greenberg argued that vanguard culture has been opposed to "high" or "mainstream" culture, that it has rejected the artificially synthesized mass culture, produced by industrialization; each of these media is a direct product of Capitalism—they are all now substantial industries—and as such they are driven by the same profit-fixated motives of other sectors of manufacturing, not the ideals of true art.
For Greenberg, these forms were therefore kitsch: phony, faked or mechanical culture, which pretended to be more than they were by using formal devices stolen from vanguard culture. For instance, during the 1930s the advertising industry was quick to take visual mannerisms from surrealism, but this does not mean that 1930s advertising photographs are surreal. Various members of the Frankfurt School argued similar views: thus Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer in their essay The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass-Deception, Walter Benjamin in his influential "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". Where Greenberg used the German word kitsch to describe the antithesis of avant-garde culture, members of the Frankfurt School coined the term "mass culture" to indicate that this bogus culture is being manufactured by a newly emerged culture industry, they pointed out that the rise of this industry meant that artistic excellence was displaced by sales figures as a measure of worth: a novel, for example, was judged meritorious on whether it became a best-seller, music succumbed to ratings charts and to the blunt commercial logic of the Gold disc.
In this way the autonomous artistic merit so dear to the vanguardist was abandoned and sales became the measure, justification, of everything. Consumer culture now ruled; the avant-garde's co-option by the global capitalist market, by neoliberal economies, by what Guy Debord called The Society of the Spectacle, have made contemporary critics speculate on the possibility of a meaningful avant-garde today. Paul Mann's Theory-Death of the Avant-Garde demonstrates how the avant-garde is embedded within institutional structures today, a thought pursued by Richard Schechner in his analyses of avant-garde performance. Despite the central arguments of Greenberg and others, various sectors of the mainstream culture industry have co-opted and misapplied the term "avant-garde" since the 1960s, chiefly as a marketing tool to publicise popular music and commercial
Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, a book of lyric poetry titled Les Fleurs du mal, expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the mid-19th century. Baudelaire's original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé, among many others, he is credited with coining the term "modernity" to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, the responsibility of artistic expression to capture that experience. Baudelaire was born in Paris, France, on April 9, 1821, baptized two months at Saint-Sulpice Roman Catholic Church, his father, Joseph-François Baudelaire, a senior civil servant and amateur artist, was 34 years older than Baudelaire's mother, Caroline. François died during Baudelaire's childhood, at rue Hautefeuille, Paris, on February 10, 1827.
The following year, Caroline married Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Aupick, who became a French ambassador to various noble courts. Baudelaire's biographers have seen this as a crucial moment, considering that finding himself no longer the sole focus of his mother's affection left him with a trauma, which goes some way to explaining the excesses apparent in his life, he stated in a letter to her that, "There was in my childhood a period of passionate love for you." Baudelaire begged his mother for money throughout his career promising that a lucrative publishing contract or journalistic commission was just around the corner. Baudelaire was educated in Lyon. At fourteen he was described by a classmate as "much more refined and distinguished than any of our fellow pupils... we are bound to one another... by shared tastes and sympathies, the precocious love of fine works of literature." Baudelaire was erratic in his studies, at times diligent, at other times prone to "idleness". He attended the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris, studying law, a popular course for those not yet decided on any particular career.
He may have contracted gonorrhea and syphilis during this period. He began to run up debts for clothes. Upon gaining his degree in 1839, he told his brother "I don't feel I have a vocation for anything." His stepfather had in mind a career in law or diplomacy, but instead Baudelaire decided to embark upon a literary career. His mother recalled: "Oh, what grief! If Charles had let himself be guided by his stepfather, his career would have been different.... He would not have left a name in literature, it is true, but we should have been happier, all three of us." His stepfather sent him on a voyage to Calcutta, India, in 1841 in the hope of ending his dissolute habits. The trip provided strong impressions of the sea and exotic ports, that he employed in his poetry. On returning to the taverns of Paris, he began to compose some of the poems of "Les Fleurs du Mal". At 21, he squandered much of it within a few years, his family obtained a decree to place his property in trust, which he resented bitterly, at one point arguing that allowing him to fail financially would have been the one sure way of teaching him to keep his finances in order.
Baudelaire became known in artistic circles as a dandy and free-spender, going through much of his inheritance and allowance in a short period of time. During this time, Jeanne Duval became his mistress, she was rejected by his family. His mother thought Duval a "Black Venus" who "tortured him in every way" and drained him of money at every opportunity. Baudelaire made a suicide attempt during this period, he wrote for a revolutionary newspaper. However, his interest in politics was passing, as he was to note in his journals. In the early 1850s, Baudelaire struggled with poor health, pressing debts, irregular literary output, he moved from one lodging to another to escape creditors. He undertook many projects that he was unable to complete, though he did finish translations of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Upon the death of his stepfather in 1857, Baudelaire received no mention in the will but he was heartened nonetheless that the division with his mother might now be mended. At 36 he wrote her: "believe that I belong to you and that I belong only to you."
His mother died on August 16, 1871, outliving her son by four years. His first published work, under the pseudonym Baudelaire Dufaÿs, was his art review "Salon of 1845", which attracted immediate attention for its boldness. Many of his critical opinions were novel in their time, including his championing of Delacroix, some of his views seem remarkably in tune with the future theories of the Impressionist painters. In 1846, Baudelaire wrote his second Salon review, gaining additional credibility as an advocate and critic of Romanticism, his continued support of Delacroix as the foremost Romantic artist gained widespread notice. The following year Baudelaire's novella La Fanfarlo was published. Baudelaire was a slow and attentive worker; however he was sidetracked by indolence, emotional distress and illness, it was not until 1857 that he published his first and most famous volume of poems, Les Fleurs du mal. Some of these poems had appeared in the Revue des deux mondes (Review of Two