- Neoclassicism was still popular
- Challenging calm & order with drama & emotion
- Romanticists felt confined by Neoclassicism
- Rebelled against established rules of painting in their search for more artistic freedom
- New Importance to:
- Sentimentality about the past
- Reflecting on the wonder of nature
- Using the imagination gained new importance
- New Subjects:
- Exotic, faraway places
- Primitive societies
- Medieval superstitions
John Constable (1776–1837)
- English painter
- Fascinated by nature (clouds)
- Landscape painter
- Wanted to capture look and feel of being outdoors
- Drew in sketchbooks how changes in sunlight affect the way we see landscapes
- Used his sketches to paint landscapes that showed the movement of clouds and rain
- Painted the warm light and cool shadows as sunlight streamed across the landscape
- He believed in painting landscapes en plein air, (outdoors in the natural light)
- Working with oil paint outdoors was difficult
- Watercolor not yet invented
- Father was a miller just like Rembrandt’s father
- Grew up in the countryside
- Loved the beauty he saw in nature
- Dabbled in painting as a child and young man
- Art School (1799), father agreed to let him attend in London
- Studied anatomy
- Learned to copy works of masters
- Was determined to develop his own style of painting and to focus on landscape painting
- Wealthy landowners wanted paintings of their land; found (unsteady) work painting landscapes (not that popular)
- Gained recognition in France before he did in England
- Idealistic and inflexible:
- painting landscapes how he wanted to
- remaining true to nature
- rather than painting in a profitable style
- Increased size of landscapes (previously done only for historical scenes)
- Most common subjects: landscapes personal to him, places he knew and grew up in as a child
The Hay Wain (1821)
- Central feature: pair of horses pulling hay wain (farm cart) across a river.
- Things to consider:
- What time of year is it?
- What’s going on in the weather?
- What do you think of his use of light?
- See the photo of Flatford Mill for more info.
The Cornfield (1826)
- trees on either side in the foreground
- road curving to an open field in the center distance
- Light fills middle ground and background
- Small tree centered in the middle ground, framed by two larger trees in the foreground
- church off to the right in the background
- Used atmospheric perspective to capture how we see landscapes in the distance, lightening and blurring objects in the background
Francisco Goya (1746–1828)
- Spanish court painter
- Would become recognized for paintings and prints of political events and fantastical images of dreams and superstitions.
- Training: Saragossa and Madrid, then Rome
- Returned to Spain, started his own workshop in Saragossa
- 1774: married, moved to Madrid to design tapestries for royalty
- Paintings turned into weaving patterns to make the tapestries
- 1781: finally gained the recognition and position he wanted: painting portraits commissioned by royalty and aristocrats.
- Appointed official court painter, created portraits of King Charles III and his successor, King Charles IV
- The Family of Charles IV painting not necessarily flattering
- King, queen dull and oafish
- Royals were apparently not offended; they accepted the painting without complaint
- Spent a lot of time with royals and aristocrats
- Infatuated with the Duchess of Alba — painted several portraits of her, one that he kept for himself.
Serious Change in Style
- Became seriously ill, almost died
- Recovered, left totally deaf except for some sort of noise or ringing that bothered him the rest of his life
- Work began a dramatic change:
- Bizarre and frightening images began showing up in several series of prints
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters:
- “Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels.”
- Not just bleak and foreboding of doom
- Demonstrate the artist’s sharp satirical wit, sense of humor
- Dealt with vices and superstitions of people and the corruption in government and the Church.
The Disasters of War
- Shows the horrors of war.
- For the first time, war was portrayed as horrible and cruel rather than something noble or exciting.
With or Without Reason
- The Third of May (1808)
- portrayed Spanish revolt against Napoleon’s French invasion
- shows horrific slaughter of innocent citizens rounded up by the French military for execution
- used chiaroscuro (shades of light and dark) to highlight central figure on his knees with upraised arms in a crucifixion pose
- bright white and yellow of his clothes stand out against the surrounding muted browns and blacks
- rifles of the French soldiers standing in a diagonal line point toward their next victims and the central figure
- bloody, dead bodies are piled around fearful, defenseless people soon awaiting their own horrible deaths
- Most victims have faces, French soldiers do not (making them appear impersonal and cold-blooded)
[wpfilebase tag=file id=11 /]