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ARTH 205 Lecture Notes - Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Pompeo Batoni, Clement Greenberg

Art History
Course Code
ARTH 205
Samantha Burton

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Art History:
Translating what you see to verbal terms:
Stylistic choices always help to construct meaning with subject :
Stylistic Elements: medium/size, light/shadow, colour, composition, space/depth, line;
Be as specific as possible! Say why! Support your statements with evidence from the
Never call things masterpiece or beautiful in this class.
Ex. Renoir:
- high contrast (yellow and black) but not well defined (brining attention to focal point?)
- busy, confusing
- depth, exposing large space,
- use of almost 1/3 rule
- focal point, woman and child creates symmetry deciding the space
- medium is recognizable
-action is portrayed, active
- there is no consensus
- it incapsulates a huge and varied set of art and artists
- generally an innovative, self conscious acknowledgment that it is different from
what has come before it.
- rejecting the previous and some contemporary work!
- it is always shifting, different
- only certain artworks were absorbed into the modern art movement
- not just about a specific time period (mid 19th to today)
- there were particular set of aspects and attitudes about that particular time
- Key figure: Charles Baudelair - (writer)
- art should be concerned with present day subjects, concerns, everyday life,
everyday people!
- Not what was traditionally painted.
- new subjects needed new styles!

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- What was important
- the ephemeral (lasting a short time, transitory) , the contingent, ….
- movement, the fleeting
- aka a trend in art history writing, focusing on the stylistic elements, antagonistic
to tradition
- Key Figure: Clement Greenberg
- subject doesn't matter, sociopolitical doesn't matter, the style itself is the
subject of the work!
Problems with Modern Art and Cannon:
- were produced in a particular time, in a particular sociopolitical context, by particular
- BUT what does this cannon leave out? Women, Non white etc
- leaves out all who are not inclusive of narrowly defined group
- elitist, who is determining the aesthetic values? How can you give value? (choose
- focusing on the first person to produce, leaves out others that follow.
- greenberg is looking back in history and creating a narrative where he choses the
- where does this narrative leave other works like duchamp and other non aesthetic
works - that challenge the idea about what art objects are!
- Social art history, New Art history: new way of writing art history, taking into account
the types of things that art and artists can tell us about socio political, or individual
things (i.e. class, race, gender, etc)
- takes into account how visual function to shape the world around us.
Feb 9th What was modernism positioning itself against: What institutions were
inlace for the artists to position themselves against?
Start of Modern Period: late 17th Cent early 18th Cent
late 18th Cent a time of great change
- feudalism is disappearing capitalism is growing
- industrial revolution
- urbanization people are moving from rural to city to look for work, cities are
exploding (double triple in size)
- these things changed the relationships between people (classes)
- growth of merchant (middle class) who had money to spend
- power shifts from aristocracy to middle class
- lowest class sees poorer working conditions
- middle and low class are looking for more power
- for fronted by growing ideas about liberty and equality and other

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thoughts - french revolution, american revolution
- Haiti 1791
- revolutions continued through 18th century
- changing economic structure had affect on art world
- prior art and artists were linked to institutions (church etc)
- patron would commission art for a specific place(church, palace, dinning room)
- along side rise of capitalism, and fall of church, artist became much freer to
create work of their own choosing and sell them on the market
- paintings to hang on the walls of middle-class art (different interests of what
to hang) - artists painting for a diff market
- prior to shift was NEO-CLASSICISM
- Jaques- Louis David
- vs Recoco Art (over the top, very decretive, very detailed art) Ex. Jean- Honore
Fragonard or Francois Bourcher
- playful, erotic, superficial
- move to neo-classicism was a movement to seriousness, harkening back to
classic subjects and classical styles \ - antiquity is reaching a new level of
popularity. - city of Pompeii was being revealed (in Italy) roman town that was covered in
volcanic ash and well preserved perfectly during the irruption of Mount Vasouveous
- people got to see what a real roman town and life was like
- ex. frescos
- photography promotes the effects of finding this city everywhere
-- A Grand Tour : wealthy englishmen, make there way through france, towards
italy and through rome
- seen as a finishing school, polishing ones character, becoming a true
gentleman- in rome study classical art, literature etc
- get a portrait down to commemorate the trip (Pompeo Batoni A night in
Rome: Charles Cecil Roberts, 1778)
- commission artists to paint famous sites with the traveler in the picture
(very popular) to show upon return I went there…
- Classical art pieces gaining popularity (venus DeMailo) sculptures being brought
back to be seen and copied
- Johann Joachim Winkelmann - writer popularizing athens, and the bringing of art
(marbles) back to england
- considered the first Art Historian
- Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums
- credited with making a scholarly discipline out of Art History
- well known, with lots of connections
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