The Industrial Age: The Spirit of Materialism

The Industrial Age: The Spirit
of Materialism
The belief that science, technology and
industry can know all truth, solve all
problems and create human happiness
The Industrial Age: 1850-1910
Great economic boom fueled by science and
Railroads: symbol of progress
French Revolution of 1848 (third)
Realism: sober detachment and practicality;
truthful and objective representation of the social
world without embellishments
Aim: depict society as it was
Realism in Pictorial Art
Courbet: enraged Parisians with his
portrayal of provincial life
Ordinary lives and routine events
Burial at Ornans: caused a scandal
Rosa Bonheur: The Horse Fair less
threatening and political
Photography and print-making
Honore Daumier: sufferings of poor and
caricatured the powerful
Matthew Brady in the US photographed
the cruelty of the Civil War
Gaspard-Felix Tournachon, aka Nadar,
made first aerial photographs
Winslow Homer (children and drama at
sea) and Thomas Eakins (influenced by
Manet, painted rowing, sailors,
swimmers): American practicality with
realist technique
The Realist Novel
Description of industrial society: novel
(dominant literary form of 19th century)
Dickens: protest vs. cruelty to children
David Copperfield, Oliver Twist
Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary, naïve
woman overwhelmed by modern world
Other works deal with illusion and
The Spirit of Progress
Material and scientific progress
Victorians: optimistic about science but
doubtful about the injustices brought about
by their imperialism
Voices of a New Age
Charles Darwin: nature obeyed laws of
progress; survival of fittest resulted from
‘natural selection’; Origin of the Species
Social Darwinism used to justify colonial
exploitation of Africa and Asia
Walt Whitman celebrated the diversity of
modern human life: Leaves of Grass
Monuments of Progress
Many architectural styles: Neoclassic,
Gothic and Renaissance revivals
New: The Crystal Palace, of iron and
glass, built for the Great Exhibition in
London, 1851 (Joseph Paxton)
Iron used in bridges, industry
Eiffel Tower in Paris: tallest building of
world for forty years
The Modern City
Cities built from scratch: Washington D.C, St.
Petersburg in Russia, influenced by Versailles’
rational plan and neoclassical style
Paris’ challenge: Haussmann, appointed by
Napoleon III to convert Paris into an imperial
Broad boulevards and plazas, trees,
Architect Louis Sullivan, after Great
Chicago Fire
Designed the modern skyscraper
Made possible by the elevator
Steel-cage frame
Floral decoration in cast iron from Art
Music and Modernity
Opera house in Paris was the centerpiece
of the city
Verdi and Wagner – operatic geniuses
Verdi’s Operas
Giuseppe Verdi: National hero of Italian
Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Traviata
Aida: opening of the Suez Canal
Used Shakespearean characters, intense
emotions, and comic genius. Otello,
Emphasized action
Wagner’s Musical Revolution
Richard Wagner: Flamboyant, arrogant musical
Ludwig II: built his dream opera house in
Had love affairs with wives and daughters of
patrons and colleagues
Extravagant ideas: opera as the synthesis of
myth, music, poetry, drama and painting
Used Germanic myths and legends
a.orchestra over singing
b.Leitmotif (distinct melody associated with
character or object) as unifying element
c. chromatic harmonies: used all twelve of
the tones in a scale; dissolved traditional
tonality and made his music emotional
The Ring of the Niebelung: four operas (16
hours) that tell the Nordic gods’ tales
Late Romantic Music and
Brahms: Disciple of Beethoven; last
“great” composer
Smetana: The Moldau
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Swan Lake,
Sleeping Beauty
Marius Petipa-- first great choreographer
for classical ballet
The process by which the new, up-to-date,
and the contemporary replace the
outmoded and traditional.
Artists turned against modernity
Baudelaire and Marllame(French poets)
Dostoyevsky (Russian novelist)
The Last Romantics
Anticipated the coming artistic techniques:
Poetry: enigmatic symbolism
Visual Arts: plants and designs of Art
Music: Debussy
Sculpture: Rodin’s figures
Symbolism and Art for Art’s
Baudelaire: his poetry explored
connections between sordid and sublime;
Rejected values of industrial society
L’art pour l’art art parallel to the world in a
separate universe
Art Nouveau
Style of decorative art and architecture
that used floral motifs and stressed unity
of materials and form
Tiffany’s colored glass
Antonio Gaudi: Buildings, churches and
parks in Barcelona
Debussy’s Musical Impressions
His works explored new harmonies
Evoke dream-like moods and impressions
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Discarded conventional harmony
Broke with the commemorative public
sculpture: Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty
The Gates of Hell: from Dante’s Inferno
Tortured figures
The Thinker: Dante
Balzac was rejected
Art was private and subjective
Impressionism and Beyond
Artists wanted to paint modern life
Impressions of the moment
Defined new techniques of light, color and
visual form
Precursor : Manet Luncheon on the
Violated painterly tradition
Bar at the Folies-Bergere
Monet and the Impressionists
Paintings rejected by official Salon
1874: own exhibition
Impression: Sunrise, St. Lazare Train Station
Use of light, color, spontaneous technique,
detachment and innovative design
Renoir, Morisot, Degas, Pissarro, Cassatt
View of Paris from the Trocadero
Discarded conventional subject
Light and motion
Open air
Did not mix paints before applying them
No didactic purpose
More poetic/emotional than Monet
Informal mood of city life
Le Moulin de la Galette
Accidental pattern of yellow straw hats and
prints of women’s dresses
Influenced by Michelangelo in his later
Arbitrary framing of his subjects
The Dancer in Green, ballet scene
Influenced by Japanese prints
Friends with the American Mary Cassatt
Flattened perspective
The Boating Party
Post-Impressionism: Seurat
Post-Impressionists extended impressionist
techniques in different directions
Seurat: closest to Monet’s pure impressionism
Urban life, unmixed colors directly applied
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande
Jatte pointillism
Mont Saint-Victoire, in the Mediterranean
Explored the essence of reality
Reduced objects to their basic geometric
Precursor to modern painting, abstract and
cubist art: Picasso
Wanted to express human feeling, to enter “the
mysterious center of thought.”
Primitives of Brittany, northwest France
Sought unique and picturesque
Unnatural colors, heavy lines and flattened
shapes: precursor to surrealism, Dali
The Vision after the Sermon, Self-Portrait with
Van Gogh
Early: sympathy for the plight of peasants
Influenced by impressionists
Uses colors to convey strong emotions
Starry Night: swirling lines convey violent
Vivid colors, paint applied thickly, with knife.
Influenced by Japanese art
Precursor to abstract expressionism
The Dark Side of Progress
Colonial oppression in Asia and Africa
Chekhov and Ibsen explored realms of
psychology and symbolism
Dostoyevsky: conflicts between belief and
Nietzsche: elite race of supermen to rule
mass society
The Realist Theater
Chekhov: The Three Sisters; The Cherry
Ibsen: The Wild Duck; Hedda Gabler; A
Doll’s House
The Novel and Modern Philosophy
Late 19th century novel focused on inner
Henry James
Edith Wharton
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and
Punishment; The Brothers Karamazov;
The Idiot
Nietzsche: Thus Spake Zarathustra
Anticipated the theories of Freud