FAS-202: Module 4 Short Discussion Post and Peer Replies

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Choose an Impressionist work of art that illustrates a significant cultural influence on its creation and discuss its historical context. How did the culture in which the work was created influence the work? (What particular ideologies played a role in its creation and where do you see this influence reflected in the work you chose?) Make sure to point to specific examples of the influence of the culture on the work. Use details in your explanation.

Then you will need to reply to the two peer posts below as if you were speaking to the writer directly. The peer responses will be due in 2 days. You will need to address the following:

In response to peers’ posts, discuss some of the differences you notice between Impressionism and Romanticism based on each classmate’s example and the historical context in which they describe it (e.g., even though loose brushstrokes are characteristic of both Impressionist and Romantic paintings, the meaning conveyed in each style is different and reflects their respective historical/social contexts).

1) Nanette Pitts

Artist: Edouard Manet

Title: Le Dejeuner Sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass)

Year: 1862-1863

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Dimensions: 208cm x 264.5cm (81.9in x 104.1in)

Location: Musee d’Orsay in Paris

Exhibited: Salon des Refuses in 1863

Originally titled Le Bain (The Bath) this impressionist work depicts a naked female setting at a picnic luncheon with two rather fully dressed men while another scantily dressed female emerges from the pond behind them. The two men appear to be chatting to themselves ignoring the naked woman sitting amongst them. She is either challenging the viewer, or inviting them in. She doesn’t show any emotion though she is being depicted in the nude, and the lack of interaction given to her. Manet broke the “classical view” mold with this painting. He was one of a few that set on to the impressionist work of the 19th Century. The art of the time being so classical and romantic, was clearly disobeyed in this painting. Some may have considered this to be a departure point for Modern Art, such as the modernist reinvention of pictorial space that had begun. The painting was the center point at the Salon des Refuses which was opened by Napoleon III for the rejected works of art during that time. This painting was meant to break rules. The composition by Raphael and the subject by Giorgione was borrowed and seen in the them through this piece by Manet.

The woman is so matter of fact the way she looks out at the viewer. Her flesh is highlighted, yet the darkness surrounds her with the clothes of the men, and the landscape. This painting shows all the beginnings of impressionism. Looking at the loss of perspective and meshing of forms and colors. These are clear ideals of impressionism. Now, the woman is referred to as naked, because the nude women depicted in classical paintings/sculptures resonated beauty. While this woman is merely naked with these men. This is a fraction of a second in time captured as is impressionism. If the scene were to continue, the woman emerging from the pond would continue and perhaps walk over to the group and grab a drink and possibly a piece of fruit. The men may continue conversation and look at the woman as she strolls by to sit with them. The naked woman may hold the viewers gaze for a moment longer, but then make a gesture to her female companion to take a seat next to her.





2) Marniee Swanson

Maternal Caress by Mary Cassatt

In the work by Mary Cassatt titled, Maternal Caress (1890-1891), there is clear evidence of the influence Japanese art had on the impressionist movement. The spread of Japanese art work to the west started to occur around 1850’s when Japan rejoined international trade. Evident in the works of Japanese art was some stylistic qualities adopted by Cassatt such as; flattened forms, unusual angles, and close-up views for effect. Many of the impressionist of the time admired the ease and delicate beauty of Japanese art, after attending an exhibition which featured works from Japanese artists, Vincent van Gogh stated, “as simple as breathing; they draw a figure with a couple of strikes with such an unfailing easiness as if it were as easy as buttoning one’s waistcoat (Rideal 196). In this print by we can see the influence the subject is depicted in a zoomed in perspective. In addition, there are large areas of flat color and bold design. The flat colors areas create a layered or cut out feel. The pattern on the chair and the wall leans towards a more eastern design. The woman also has a noticeable Japanese aspect. The fact that it was a print was nod to the beautiful wood block prints of the ukiyo-e. In researching a place to obtain the image link for Cassatt print, I ran across this work, by Kitagawa Utamaro, striking similarities right down to the subjects and color palette (Anderson).

Midnight the hours by Utamaro Impressionists above all else were a diverse group of rebels, willing to create and explore different styles of art from that of the academic art accepted by the Salon. When their art was rejected time and time again they held their own exhibitions (Hodge). Mary Cassatt embraced this sentiment and assisted in making impressionism widely popular in America.

Works Cited

Anderson, Lidya. whitecube diaries: the art of motherhood. 5 May 2015. web. 26 March 2017.

Hodge, A. N. The Story of Art. London: Arcturus, 2015. book.

Maternal Caress. 29 Spetember 2013. web. 26 March 2017.

Rideal, Liz. How to Read Art. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2015. book.

wikiarts.org. Maternal Caress 1890-91. 2015. website. 15 March 2017.

*** Be sure to cite all sources in MLA format. ***


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