INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH PAINTING

DR RUTH FLEISCHMANN SUMMER 2007


Programme (revised)

Preparations


Mediaeval art: Illuminated books

Preparation for 20.4.07

Your research:

(a) Please work out what sort of knowledge we need about the historical epochs to understand the context of the paintings we will be studying. Make a list of questions you would like to be able to answer about the historical periods. Try and answer them for the period of the Middle Ages in England.

(b) In class we will try to characterise the epoch in broad outline.
Find out who commissioned works of art during the Middle Ages, what sort of works were commissioned, what the social standing of artists was.

(c) Study the following three pictures, all from illuminated books, and make sure you have the vocabulary to describe what you see. Try to find out something about St Luke.


The Book of Kells (AD 800)

Book of Kells: Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists

Matthew (man), Mark (lion),
Luke (bull), John (eagle)

illuminated manuscript, Trinity College Library, Dublin






The Ellesmere Manuscript of the Canterbury Tales (ca 1410)

Canterbury Tales: Beginning of the Knight's Tale

The beginning of Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale"

illuminated manuscript, Huntington Library, San Marino (California)






The Rosenwald Manuscript (1533)

Rosenwald Manuscript: St Luke painting St Mary

St Luke painting the Holy Virgin

from a handwritten Latin Hour Book, Library of Congress, Washington DC

How do we know that it is St Luke and not an ordinary painter?




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Preparation for 27.4.07

Tudor painting: Holbein and miniatures

1. Your research:

(a) The period: Get an overview of Tudor England. What had changed from the Middle Ages regarding government, agriculture and trade. How did people of the different classes live (health, education, literature and language)?
(b) The painters: Read the text on Hilliard by John Murdoch.

2. For discussion in class:

(a) Hans Holbein (painter at the Court of Henry VIII): Portrait of Henry VIII
(b) Nicholas Hilliard (painter at the Court of Elizabeth I): Three miniatures

3. Written assignments:

(a) Translate any five of the 13 "Grundfragen zur Betrachtung eines Bildes".
(b) Comment on one of the mediaeval pictures you studied for the last session: describe the picture and try to analyse it in the context of the period.


Hans Holbein (1497-1534)

Holbein, Henry VIII

Portrait of Henry VIII

c 1536, Oil on oak
27.5 x 17.5 cm

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid

 

Describe this portrait. What conclusions can we draw about the purpose of such a painting?


Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)

Hilliard,A Youth

 

A Youth Leaning Against a Tree Among Roses

c. 1588, Watercolor on vellum

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Describe this miniature: the young man's pose, clothes, gesture, the background. What conclusions can we draw about the "message" of the picture?

 


Nicholas Hilliard

Hilliard, George Clifford

Portrait of George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland

c. 1590, Mixed media on parchment,
25,7 x 17,8 cm

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Compare this portrait with that of the young man among the roses.

 


Nicholas Hilliard

Hilliard, Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait

1577

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Compare this portrait with that of Henry VIII by Holbein.

 


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Preparation for 11.5.07

Baroque Art: Van Dyck, Lely, Kneller

1. The period - 17th century England

Please read up the essentials on the conflict between the Stuart kings, James and Charles I, and parliament, why there was a civil war 1742-51, and what the 'Glorious Revolution' was.

Who were the major figures in science and philosophy?


2. Painters of the period

 

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)

van Dyck, Charles I

Charles I of England

c. 1635, Oil on canvas

266 x 207 cm

Musée du Louvre, Paris

 

Sketch the biography of Van Dyck.

Comment on the picture: note the manner in which the subject is presented, the composition, the background.

 


Anthony van Dyck

van Dyck, Charles I triple portrait

Charles I, King of England, from Three Angles

1636, Oil on canvas

Windsor Castle, Royal Collection

 

Describe the painting.

Compare it with the Holbein portrait of Henry VIII.


Anthony van Dyck

van Dyck, Self-Portrait

Self-Portrait with a Sunflower

1633, Oil on canvas

58 x 73 cm

Collection of the Duke of Westminster

 

Compare this self-portrait with that of Hilliard.

 


Peter Lely (1618-1680)

Lely, Margaret Hughes

Margaret Hughes

c.1870, Oil on canvas

Tate Gallery, London

 

Sketch the biography of Peter Lely.

Margaret Hughes was the mistress of a wealthy aristocrat, who was a patron of the arts. She is holding a jar of ointment, one of the attributes of Mary Magdalen, the friend of Jesus who is said to have had a colourful past.

Describe and comment on the painting.

 


Godfrey Kneller (1664-1723)

Kneller, Newton

Sir Isaac Newton

1702

National Portrait Gallery, London

 

Outline Godfrey Kneller's biography.

Outline the significance of Isaac Newton.

Describe the picture.

Compare the portrait with Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII.


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25.5.07

Enlightenment: Hogarth

1. The period: Sketch the central features of pre-industrial 18th century England.

2. The artists: what do we need to remember about Hogarth's life?

What do we mean by "Enlightenment"? Could you outline the ideas of any writer of the German Enlightenment?


William Hogarth (1697-1764)

Hogarth, The Shrimp Girl

The Shrimp Girl

1745

National Gallery, London

 

In how far does this portrait resemble those you have seen of the previous century?

In how far is it different?

 

 


William Hogarth

Hogarth, The Bench

The Bench

c.1758, Oil on canvas

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

 

"The Bench" is the term used for a panel of judges.

Comment on the message of the picture. Do you know any comparable caricaturists?

 


William Hogarth

Hogarth, Self-portrait

Self-portrait

1748-49, Oil on canvas

Copyright: Tate Gallery, London

 

The three books in the foreground are by Shakespeare, Milton and Swift.

Why do you think Hogarth chose these writers?

Comment on the portrayal of the painter.

What does the dog add to the picture?

 

 


 

William Hogarth: Additional Material.

The picture series A Harlot's Progress is discussed by David Dabydeen cf. Reader p. 23-26.


Hogarth, A Harlot's Progress 1 Hogarth, A Harlot's Progress 2 Hogarth, A Harlot's Progress 3 Hogarth, A Harlot's Progress 4 Hogarth, A Harlot's Progress 5 Hogarth, A Harlot's Progress 6

William Hogarth: A Harlot's Progress

Etching and Engraving, 1732

Six plates, c. 12 ins x 15 ins.

Picture Titles:

1. Ensnared by a Procuress     2. Quarrels with her Jew Protector

3. Apprehended by a Magistrate     4. Scene in Bridewell

5. She Expires while the Doctors are disputing     6. The Funeral

George Vertue, a contemporary of Hogarth, engraver and antiquary, wrote about this series:

"The most remarkable Subject of painting that captivated the Minds of most persons of all ranks and conditions from the greatest Quality to the meanest was the Story painted and designed by Mr.Hogarth of the Harlots Progress and the prints engravd by him and publishd.

He began a small picture of a common harlot supposed to dwell in drewry lane just riseing about noon out of bed and at breadfast with a bunter waiting on her. This whore's desabille was careless and she had a pretty Countenance and air. This thought pleasd many; some advisd him to make another to it as a pair which he did. Then other thoughts encres'd and multiplyd by his fruitfull invention till he made six different subjects which he painted so naturally that it drew every body to see them. He proposed to Engrave in six plates and to print them at one guinea each sett. He had daily Subscriptions in fifty of a hundred pounds in a Week, there being no day but persons of fashion and Artists came to see these pictures, the story of them being related about how this Girl came to Town, how Mother Needham and Col. Charteris first deluded her, how a Jew kept her, how she lived in Drury lane, when she was sent to bridewell by Sr. John Gonson, a Justice, and her salvation and death.

Before a twelve month came about whilst these plates were engraving, he had in his Subscription between 14 or fifteen hundred (by the printer I have been assured 1240 setts were printed) Subscribers. He publickly advertized that those that did not come in before a certain day should be excluded which he did, and all this without Courting or soliciting subscriptions, all comeing to a dwelling in common Garden where he livd with his father in Law Sr James Thornhill. And it is probable he might have had more. No Soonner were they publisht but several Copies were made by other hands and dispersd all over the Countries."


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Preparation for 01.6.07

The great 18th century portrait painters: Reynolds and Gainsborough

 

 

The epochs:

List essential features of "baroque" art.

What is different about works of the "rococo" style?

What do we mean by "classicism"?

 


Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)

Reynolds, Captain Orme

Captain Robert Orme

1756, Oil on canvas
240 x 147 cm

National Gallery, London

 

Describe the composition of the painting.

How does it contribute to the portrait of the sitter?


Joshua Reynolds

Reynolds, Nelly O'Brien

Miss Nelly O'Brien

1762-64, Canvas, relined
126 x 110 cm

National Gallery, London

 

Nelly O'Brien was a courtesan.

What impression of her character is conveyed through the painting?

 


Joshua Reynolds

Reynolds, General Tarleton

General Sir Banastre Tarleton

1782, Oil on canvas
236 x 145 cm

National Gallery, London

 

Study the composition of the painting.

How is this army officer characterised? Compare the portrait with that of Captain Orme.

 


Joshua Reynolds

Reynolds, The Clive Family

George Clive and his Family with an Indian Maid.

1765, Oil on canvas
140 x 171 cm

Staatliche Museen, Berlin

 

George Clive was an official of the British East India Company. His brother, Robert Clive, became governor of Bengal, having conquered the province.

Comment on the relationship between the figures portrayed.

 


Joshua Reynolds

Reynolds, Mrs Siddons

Mrs Siddons as the Tragic Muse

1789, Oil on canvas
239 x 147 cm

Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino

 

Sarah Kemble (1755-1831) married William Siddons. After a triumphant success at Drury Lane she became the leading tragic actress in the country. Mrs Siddons is represented as the Tragic Muse (Melpomene), whose attributes of a dagger and cup are held by allegorical figures of Pity and Terror. The treatment was possibly suggested by W. Russell's poem of 1783. The pose, which according to the actress's own account she struck spontaneously, appears to be based on Domenichino's Saint John the Evangelist.

Describe the portrait.

See below: also Mrs Sarah Siddons, portrayed by Gainsborough off-stage.

 


Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

Gainsborough, Mrs Siddons

Mrs Sarah Siddons

1785, Oil on canvas
126 x 99 cm

National Gallery, London

 

Can you find "dramatic qualities" in this portrait?

 


Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough, The Morning Walk

Mr and Mrs William Hallett

('The Morning Walk')

1785, Oil on canvas
236 x 179 cm

National Gallery, London

 

What does the painter show us about the relationship between the couple?

How does the background fit in?

 


Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough, Countess Howe

Mary, Countess of Howe

1764, Oil on canvas
244 x 152 cm

Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood House, London

 

Can you identify rococo elements of the portrait?

Comment on the background in relation to the portrait of the Countess of Howe.


 

Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough, Self-portrait

Self-portrait

1787, Oil on canvas

Royal Academy of Arts, London

 

Describe the portrait.

Compare it with the self-portrait of van Dyck.

 


Thomas Gainsborough

Gainsborough, Mr and Mrs Andrews

Mr and Mrs Andrews

1748-49, Oil on canvas
70 x 119 cm

National Gallery, London

 

What is the social status of the couple portrayed?

Comment on the presentation of the landscape.

Note: This painting is so well-known that it can serve contemporary caricaturists:

 

The Economist, Caricature

Environment: How green is our Tony?

Parody of Gainsborough's 'Mr and Mrs Andrews'

The Economist, 7.9.2005.

 

 


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Additional Material: Children and Animals
by Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

 

 

Gainsborough, The Marsham Children

The Marsham Children

1787, Oil on canvas
243 x 182 cm

Staatliche Museen, Berlin

 

 


Gainsborough, The Artist's Deughters (1)

The Artist's Daughters chasing a Butterfly

c. 1755, Oil on canvas

National Gallery, London

 

 


Gainsborough, The Artist's Daughters (2)

The Artist's Daughters with a Cat

1759-61, Oil on canvas
75 x 63 cm

National Gallery, London

 

 


Gainsborough, Studies of a Cat

Six studies of a cat

1765-70, Chalk on paper
310 x 447 mm

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

 

 


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Preparation for 8.6.07

Art in the Industrial Revolution: Joseph Wright of Derby

What were the decisive changes caused by the Industrial Revolution?

What made it possible?

 

 


Joseph Wright of Derby (1734 - 97)

Wright of Derby, Experiment on a Bird

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

1768, Oil on canvas

London, Tate Gallery

The creation of a vacuum is demonstrated by the death of the bird in the glass.

Study the composition of the painting and the use of light and colour. Comment on the reactions of the men, the woman, the boy and girls. Compare the scientist in this picture with Kneller's portrait of Newton.

 

 


Joseph Wright of Derby

Wright of Derby, Ironforge

Iron Forge

1772 Oil on canvas


 

This is a workshop of the traditional kind. How is the technology pictured? Why do you think the artist included four non-workers in the painting? Study the composition and use of light.

 

 


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Preparation for 15.6.07

Pre-Romantics: Fuseli and Blake

 

 


John Henry Fuseli (1741 - 1825)

Fuseli, The Nightmare

The Nightmare

1781, Oil on canvas

102 x 127 cm

Frankfurt am Main,

Goethe Museum

 

 

The great Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) had a copy of this painting over his desk. Can you explain why?

 

 


John Henry Fuseli

Fuseli, Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth Sleepwalking

(Shakespeare, Macbeth V, 1)

1784, Oil on canvas

221 x 160 cm

Musée du Louvre, Paris

 

In this tragedy, Lady Macbeth and her husband have murdered their rivals for the throne of Scotland; Lady Macbeth walks in her sleep, haunted by guilt. In the background we see her doctor and a lady-in-waiting. She says: "Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand."

 

 


John Henry Fuseli

Fuseli, Titania and Bottom

Titania Embracing Bottom

(Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream IV,1)

1792-93, Oil on canvas

169 x 135 cm

Kunsthaus Zürich

 

This play is a comedy. Titania, queen of the fairies, has had magic ointment put on her eyelids while she sleeps; this makes her fall in love with the first person she sees on awakening. That person happens to be a human being, Bottom. He is a weaver who has gone into the wood with his friends to rehearse a play in which he wears an ass's head.


 

 

William Blake (1757-1827)

Blake, Oberon, Titania, Elves

Oberon and Titania with their Train

(Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream V)

c. 1785, Pencil and water colour on paper

47,5 x 67,5 cm

Tate Gallery, London

 

Fuseli's subjects - folk mythology and the Shakespearian world - are  Blake's subjects, too.  But Blake was also a poet inspired by biblical narratives and by a mythological world of his own creation.

 

 

 


William Blake

Blake, Newton

 

Newton [as a Divine Geometer]

1795, Colour print finished in ink and watercolour

46 x 60 cm

Tate Gallery, London

 

In ancient Greek mythology and philosophy, the creation of the world was carried out by a number of gods: the earth, the seas, the heavens were understood to be the work of different deities. Newton is portrayed here as such a demiurge or divine craftsman.

 

 


William Blake

Blake, Elohim Creating Adam

Elohim Creating Adam

1795, Colour print finished in ink and watercolour

43 x 53,5 cm

Tate Gallery, London

 

(Elohim = Hebrew name for God). The serpent has entwined itself around Adam; the human condition is subject to death - to the frailty of the body and to time.

 

 


William Blake

Blake, Job

Satan Inflicting Boils on Job

1825, Colour print finished in ink and watercolour

46 x 60 cm

Tate Gallery, London

 

This is one of twenty-one prints illustrating the Old Testament Book of Job ( = Hiob), which Blake published in 1826. Blake saw Job's trials and eventual spiritual rebirth as parallels to the creative struggles of the artist. Under this image there is a quotation stressing Job's submission to his trials.

 

 


Thomas Phillips

Phillips, William Blake

William Blake

1807, Oil on canvas

69 x 89 cm

National Portrait Gallery, London

 

Thomas Phillips greatly admired Blake's paintings and his writings. In how far is this reflected in the portrait?

 

 


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Preparation for 22.6.07

Romantic Realists: Constable, Turner

John Constable: The Man and His Work

John Constable is today recognised as the major English landscape painter of the 19th century, matched only by his contemporary, J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). But he was not particularly successful during his lifetime.

Born in East Bergholt, Sussex, on 11th June 1776, he was the second son of the six children of Golding Constable (a miller) and Ann Watts. He was educated at a private school in Lavenham and at the grammar school in Dedham. He was taught the technique of painting by John Dunthorne, a local plumber and glazier who was an amateur painter. Then in 1796, while staying with relatives at Edmonton, he met John Cranch (a mediocre artist whose style he emulated) and John Thomas Smith, an antiquarian draftsman, with whom he made drawings of picturesque cottages.

His family had hoped that young Constable would follow in his father's footsteps, but the art patron Sir George Beaumont (1753-1827) persuaded them to allow their son to join the Royal Academy Schools in London. Here he was encouraged by Benjamin West (1738-1820), the history and portrait painter, and began to study nature, devoting himself almost exclusively to painting landscapes. He also exhibited his first picture there in 1802.

In 1809 he met and fell in love with Maria Bicknell, but was unable to marry her until 1816, owing to the hostility of Maria's grandfather. Following the marriage the couple lived in London. The marriage, which was the prelude to Constable's finest work, was an intensely happy one, and produced seven children, to whom he was completely devoted. Maria was never particularly healthy and died in 1828. Constable never fully recovered from the shock.

Initially, Constable worked in the manner of Gainsborough (1727-88) but gradually developed his own unique style of painting humble subjects and nature without pretention or what he was fond of calling "fal-de-lal" or "fiddle-de-dee". Although this gained him little recognition in England, the French were impressed with his work and his reputation grew rapidly in the Paris salons. Indeed, one of his most famous paintings, The Hay Wain (1821), had an enormous influence on the modern school of landscape painters and he was admired by Delacroix and Bonington among others. In spite of this, Constable never ventured abroad, producing his finest works in the places he knew best.

After his marriage he returned to Suffolk less often, but became more familiar with the south of England, visiting Salisbury, Brighton, Arundel, and Petworth on numerous occasions between 1824 and 1835. When his father-in-law died in 1828, Constable inherited £20,000 (a considerable sum in those days), which allowed him to devote himself entirely to his work. From then on he was able to fully express his intense love for the countryside and experiment with changing light and the movement of clouds across the sky.

Although his latter years were dogged by bereavements, poor health and depression, he continued to work steadily - even though his landscapes were often unsold - and was finally elected a full member of the Royal Academy in 1829.

He died in Hampstead on 31 March 1837. Today many of his finest landscapes, such as The Valley Farm and The Hay Wain, hang in London's National Gallery, while others can be viewed in the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum.The Stour valley in his native Sussex is now known as 'Constable Country'.


You will find a short text by Constable in the Reader p 49 - a letter about his work to the archdeacon of Salisbury Cathedral.

 

 


John Constable (1776-1837)

Constable, Parham Mill

Parham Mill at Gillingham

1826, Oil on canvas

Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven

 

By 1826, water mills were giving way to the sort of 'mill' painted by de Loutherburg in Coalbrookdale at Night, to the factories with their steam-driven machinery.

Comment on the impression created of English rural life.

 

 


John Constable

Constable, Sailsbury

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows

1831, Oil on canvas

National Gallery, London

 

Cathedrals are urban centres of ecclesiastical power. Study how the church is presented in this rural scene.

 

 


John Constable

Constable, The Glebe Farm

The Glebe Farm

1835, Oil on canvas

Tate Gallery, London

 

This is the term for land provided by the church for the use of its clergy. You see the church in the background behind the parson's house.

Note the manner in which the foliage is painted. How does the perspective of the painting help to convey a sense of harmony and peace?

 

 


John Constable

Constable, Stonehenge

Stonehenge

1836, Watercolour

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

The huge structure near Salisbury (unrestored in Constable's time) was built about five thousand years ago : it was a temple of the sun and the moon. The designers were excellent astronomers and ingenious organisers and builders.

Comment on the skyscape, and on the composition of the painting. Compare it with the picture of Salisbury Cathedral.

 

 


You will find an account of Turner's life and work in the Reader pp 50-5

 

J.M.W. Turner (1775 - 1851)

Turner, Conflagration

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons

1834, Watercolour

Cleveland Museum of Art

 

Turner painted this scene as the buildings were burning.

 

 


J.M.W. Turner

Turner, The Fighting Temeraire

The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to her last Berth to be Broken up

1838, Oil on canvas
91 x 122 cm

National Gallery, London

 

The Temeraire was Admiral Nelson's flagship in the famous battle of Trafalgar of 1805, which was fought against the French and Spanish fleets. Nelson won the battle but lost his life.

Comment on the emotional qualities of the painting.

 

 


J.M.W. Turner

Turner, Venice

The Grand Canal, Venice

1840, Watercolour

Henry Vaughan Bequest
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

 

Turner was greatly admired by the French impressionists. Compare this painting with The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons.

 

 


J.M.W. Turner

Turner: Rain, Steam, and Speed

Rain, Steam, and Speed. The Great Western Railway

1844, Oil on canvas
91 x 122 cm

Turner Bequest
National Gallery, London

 

The 1840s was the age of railway construction in England. Can you find similarities between the presentation of steam here and in The Fighting Temeraire?

 

 


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(Originally planned for 22.6.07)

Pre-Raphaelites: Hunt, Rossetti, Millais, Burne-Jones

You will find an article on the Pre-Raphaelite painters in the Reader pp 56-62.

In the writings of Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin and William Morris you will find the theoretical background.

 

 


William Holman Hunt (1827-1910)

Hunt,The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott

c. 1860, Oil on canvas

Tate Gallery, London

 

The picture illustrates a scene from a ballad by the romantic poet Alfred Lord Tennyson The Lady of Shalott

This lady lives near King Arthur's court; she is under a curse and must weave a tapestry of the view from her castle window which she is only allowed to look at through her mirror. When the handsome knight Sir Lancelot passes by, she looks at him directly: the curse descends on her. She dies in a boat which takes her body to Camelot.

The topic and the execution of the painting are typical of the Pre-Raphaelite painters with their interest in the mediaeval period, which they perceived as a better one than their own, and their scrupulous attention to detail.

 

 


Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Rossetti; Lady Lilith

Lady Lilith

1868, Oil on canvas

Delaware Art Museum

 

Lilith is a demon associated with the night. She is said to have been Adam's first wife, whom he left for Eve. In another painting, Rossetti shows her vengeance on Adam and Eve.

 

 


John Everett Millais (1829-1896)

Millais, Ophelia

Ophelia

1851, Oil on canvas
76 x 111 cm

Tate Gallery, London

 

This is an illustration of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet: Hamlet loves Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, but treats her harshly in his distress caused by the murder of his father and the treachery of his mother. He kills her father; unable to bear the double loss, she becomes insane and drowns herself.

If you know the play, do you recognise Ophelia in this painting?

 

 


Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

Burne-Jones, Pan and Psyche

Pan and Psyche

1872-74, Oil on canvas

Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University

 

The Pre-Raphaelite painters were interested in mythology: Pan was the Greek god of shepherds and huntsmen; he had horns and the legs of a goat. He invented the flute.  Cupid, the god of love, is charmed by Psyche, a king's daughter; he visits her secretly at night but forbids her to look at him. She does so, however, whereupon he leaves her. She wanders the earth in search of him, subjected to much suffering by Venus until Jupiter takes pity on her and reunites her with Cupid.

 

 


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Preparation for 29.6.07

Expressionist War Painters: Lewis, Gertler
Expressionist Sculptors: Epstein, Moore

During the first decade of the 20th century, we find art taking a radically new direction - in literature, in the visual arts, in music.

What had happened in the world (in politics, in science, in technology) to make such changes necessary?

Try to relate your findings to the works depicted on this page.

 


Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

Lewis, Blast

Titlepage of "Blast"

War Edition

July 1915

In 1912 Lewis became the founder of Vorticism, a literary and artistic movement. In his journal, Blast (1914-15), Lewis attacked the sentimentality of 19th century art and emphasized the value of violence, energy and the machine. In the visual arts Vorticism was expressed in abstract compositions of bold lines, sharp angles and planes.

 

 


Percy Wyndham Lewis

Lewis, Battery

A Battery Shelled

1916, Oil on canvas

Private collection

From 1916 to 1918 Lewis served on the Western Front as a battery officer. After the war he developed right-wing views and was sympathetic to German Nazism and Italian fascism.

 

 


Mark Gertler (1891-1939)

Gertler, Merry-Go-round

Merry-Go-round

1916, Oil on canvas

Private collection

 

Merry-Go-round was painted after the Battle of the Somme. It shows a group of military and civilian figures caught on the vicious circle of the roundabout. One gallery refused to show the painting because Gertler was a conscientious objector.

 


Jacob Epstein (1880-1959)

Epstein, St Michaels Victory

St Michaels Victory over the Devil

1952, Bronze

Outside wall of Coventry Cathedral

 

Revolting against ornate, pretty art, Epstein made bold, often harsh and massive forms of bronze or stone. His sculpture is distinguished by its vigorous rough-hewn realism. Avant-garde in concept and style, his works often shocked the general public. He used expressively distorted figures, drawing more on non-Western art than the classical ideal.

 


Henry Moore (1898-1986)

xxx

Family Group

1950, Design for a Sculpture

Moore's first large scale public bronze, Stevenage

 

In the 1950s Moore began to receive increasingly significant commissions, including one for the UNESCO building in Paris 1957. With many more public works of art, the scale of Moore's sculptures grew and he started to employ a number of assistants to work with him.

 

 


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Preparation for 6.7.07

Modern English Painters: Bacon, Freud


You will find an article on modern art in the Reader p 63, one on Stanley Spencer on p 79, two articles on Francis Bacon pp 81 and 86, and two on Lucian Freud on pp 88 and 92.

 

 

Francis Bacon (1909-1992)

Bacon, Self-portrait

Self-portrait

1969, Oil on canvas,
30 x 35cm

Private collection

There is a photograph of Bacon in the Reader p 81. Compare the two pictures.

 


Francis Bacon

Bacon, Portrait of Lucian Freud

Portrait of Lucian Freud on Orange Couch

1965, Oil on canvas

Private collection

 


Comment on the composition, use of colour and representation of the artist.

 


Lucian Freud (born 1922)

Freud, Portrait of Francis Bacon

Portrait of Francis Bacon

1952, Oil on canvas

Private collection

 

Compare this with Bacon's self-portrait.

 


Lucian Freud

Freud, Self-portrait

Reflection (Self-portrait)

1985, Oil on canvas

51 x 56 cm

Private collection

Compare Freud's self-portrait with that of van Dyck.


 

Lucian Freud

Freud, Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II (Detail)

2001, Oil on canvas
15 x 23 cm

Royal private collection

 

 

This miniature portrait made headlines in the British press. An art critic claimed it was the most significant royal portrait since Goya; the "quality newspapers" found it impressive, whereas the "Sun" proposed that the painter be thrown into the Tower. The Queen did not comment.

 


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Text for translation:

Grundfragen zur Betrachtung eines Bildes



1. Welches sind die äußeren Daten und Werkangaben?

2. Welche Gegenstände aus der Natur und der sichtbaren Wirklichkeit sind mühelos auf dem Bilde zu erkennen?

3. Welche Entdeckungen werden beim Erkunden des malerischen Geländes gemacht?

4. Wie wird der Blick im Bilde eingefangen und durch das Werk hindurchgeführt?

5. Welche Rolle spielen Linien, Richtungen und Punkte im Bildgeschehen?

6. Wie bestimmte der Maler durch die Form der einzelenen Flächen, durch ihre Maßverhältnisse und die Art ihrer Anordnung die Wirkung des Bildes?

7. Wie sind die Helligkeiten und Dunkelheiten sinnvoll im Bild verteilt?

8. Wie wird die Wirkung des Bildes durch die Farben bestimmt?

9. Wie trägt das verwendete Material und die Art der Maltechnik zur Wirkung des Bildes bei?

10. Warum wurde der flächenhafte Charakter des ‚gemalten' Bildes ins Plastisch-Räumliche und Bewegte erweitert?

11. Wie fügen sich alle Teile zum sinnvollen Ganzen? (Komposition)

12. Welche Beweggründe, welche Absicht waren Anlaß für das Werk?

13. Welche Bedeutung hat das Werk?

(Johannes Mangels, 100 Fragen zum Betrachtung eines Bildes, 1980)

 


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Reader, Table of Contents



R. Myers: Art in late mediaeval England  4

John Murdoch: From Manuscript to Miniature, on Hilliard   5b,c,d

Kenneth Clarke: 17th century art and science   6

Oliver Miller: Baroque art: van Dyck   10

Ellis Waterhouse on William Hogarth   16

David Dabydeen on Hogarth   22

Giuseppe Gatt on Thomas Gainsborough   28

Ellis Waterhouse on Joshua Reynolds   36

David Piper on William Blake   44

Tate Millenium Blake exhibition  47

John Constable on painting   49

William Gaunt on William Turner   50

William Gaunt on the Pre-Raffaelite painters   56

Jerrold Morris: On the Enjoyment of Modern Art   63

Brian Fallon on Stanley Spencer   79

Aidan Dunne on Francis Bacon   81

Bacon in Paris   86

Aidan Dunne on Lucian Freud   88

Peter Fuller: The Visual Arts   93

 

 


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Bibliography: Books on the Reserved Reading Shelf

ACTON, MARY: Learning to Look at Paintings, 1997, Routledge

BRYANT, MARK & HENEAGE, SIMON: Dictionary of British Cartoonists and Caricaturists 1730-1980, 1994

CHADWICK, WHITNEY: Women, Art and Society, 1990, Thames and Hudson

CHADWICK, WHITNEY: Women artists and the Surrealist Movement, 1985

COMPTON, SUSAN: British Art in the 20th Century, Royal Academy of Art, 1987

CONSTABLE: World of Art, 1987, Thames and Hudson

DUBY, G.: Power and Beauty, 1992

GAUNT, WILLIAM: English Painting, A Concise History, London, 1983

GEORGE, MARY DOROTHY: Hogarth to Cruikshank, 1968

GORDON, CATHERINE: British Paintings: Hogarth to Turner, 1981

HASKELL, FRANCIS: History and its Images, Yale, 1993

HASKELL, FRANCIS: Patrons and Painters, 1980

HERRMANN, LUKE: British Landscape Paintings in the 18th Century, London, 1973

HOBSBAWM, ERIC, Industry and Empire, 1999

HOGARTH, WILLIAM: Hogarth, the Complete Engravings, 1974

JANSON, H.W. & ANTON: History of Art for Young People, Abrams, 1997

JARRETT, DEREK: England in the Age of Hogarth, 1974

LICHTENBERG, GEORG CHRISTOPH: Ausführliche Erklärung der Hogarthischen Kupferstiche, 1782/1999

LEVITT, MORTON P.: The Modernist Masters, 2002

MORTON, A. L.: A People's History of England, 1938/1976

MURDOCH, JOHN: The English Miniature, Yale, 1981

OAKES, C.: The Mediaeval Artist and his World, 1986

THE OXFORD HISTORY OF ENGLISH ART

PAULSON, RONALD: The Art of Hogarth, 1975

PEVSNER, NIKOLAUS: The Englishness of English Art, 1976

READ, HERBERT, A Concise History of Modern Painting, London, 1988

ROTHENSTEIN, JOHN: An Introduction to English Painting, 2002, Tauris Parke

STRONG, ROY: Art and Power 1984

STRONG, ROY: The Cult of Elizabeth, 1977

STRONG, ROY: Van Dyck, 1972

UGLOW, JENNY: Hogarth - A Life and a World, 1997, Faber and Faber

 

 


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