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FAH245H1 (2)

Painting History, Past and Present

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Jordan Bear

ModernismOctober 12 2011Painting History Past and Presentpapers will be returned one week from todaymost prestigious and prized more than landscape History painting implies hierarchyone of the very few ways to gain recognition especially in countries with strong catholic churches Rubens Arrival of Marie de Medici at Marseilles 16225spells out important features of history paintingsspecic moment of a nobel featuresurrounded with allegorical nymphs and a gure of bearded allegorical gurestypical of paintings that would have been encourageddirectly below history painting in the hierarchy would be portraiture then animal paintings then landscape then still life General rankingBenjamin West Death of General Wolfe 1771Now at the National Gallery of Canada OttawaWest is unusualhe was a royal painter by birth an american abandons his work in the US to go to London UKDemise of James Wolfe mortally wounded by French army now what is outside of QuebecNot a story from the bible not ancient history not from literature eitherthis is different from most historical paintings Wearing contemporary clothes appropriate for 1771 Actions that are taking place are not allegorical but they are triggered by an eventrecognizable gures portraitsnot an allegory of heroism or of civic responsibility so radical that the king benjamin was court painter He refused to pay for the painting It was declared to be a total failureben west says the same truth that guides the pen of the historian should govern the pencil of the artistretorting that his objective is to translate the events that he has seen in a realistic mannerthe position of the body of general wolfe is a recycled motif from religious iconographymuch like the lamentation more interestingradical ishe ignores the academys advice ignores his patron in doing this he is creating a new function of history painting rep of important contemporary events in their own pictorial termsused the nal painting as the base for a series of mass produced engravings20 to 30 thousand were made
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