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66 Cards in this Set

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Théordore Géricault,

TheRaft of the Medusa,

1818-19 [Romanticism]

- it is a large, multi figured composition that represents an event in history

- The hero of this painting is not an emperor or a king, nor even an intellectual, but Jean Charles, a black man from French Senegal who showed endurance and emotional fortitude in the face of extreme peril

- By placing Jean Charles at the top of the pyramid of survivors and giving him the power to save his comrades by signaling to the rescue ship, Gericault suggests metaphorically that freedom is often dependent on the most oppressed members of society

J.M.W. Turner,

TheBurning of the House of Lords

and Commons,

1834 [Romanticism]

- a work based on a tragic fire that severely damaged London's historic Parliament building

- The painting's true theme is the brilliant light and color that spirals across the canvas in the explosive energy of loose brushwork

- Turner was called "the painter of light"


- The Romantics saw nature as ever-changing, unpredictable, and uncontrollable, and they saw in it an analogy to equally unpredictable and changeable human moods and emotions

- They found nature awesome, fascinating, powerful, domestic, and delightful, and landscape painting became an important visual theme in Romantic art


- A concept defined by philosopher Edmund Burke that when we witness something that instills fascination mixed with fear, or when we stand in the presence of something far larger than ourselves, our feelings transcend those we encounter in normal life

Caspar David Friedrich,

Abbeyin an Oak Forrest,

1809 [Romanticism]

- conceived landscape as a vehicle through which to achieve spiritual revelation

- He sketched from nature but painted in the studio, synthesizing his sketches with his memories of and feelings about nature

- a funeral procession of monks in the lower foreground is barely visible through the gloom that seems to be settling heavily down on the snow-covered world of human habitation

- Most prominent are the boldly silhouetted trunks and bare branches of a grove of oak trees, and nestled among them the ruin of a Gothic wall, a formal juxtaposition that creates a natural cathedral from this cold and mysterious landscape

Gustave Courbet,

TheStone Breakers,

1849 [Realism]

- First artist to be considered avant garde

- Avant-garde artists saw themselves as working in advance of an increasingly bourgeois society

- Stone breakers represent the disenfranchised peasants on whose backs modern life was being built

- The younger figure strains to lift a large basket of rocks to the side of the road, dressed in a tattered shirt and trousers, but wearing modern work boots

- In academic art, monumental canvases were reserved for heroic subjects, but Courbet asserts that peasant laborers should be venerated as heroes


Is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements.

Gustave Courbet,

Burialat Ornans,

1849 [Realism]

- This is a vast painting, depicting a rural burial life-size

- The gravedigger kneels over the gaping hole in the ground, placed front and center, and flanked by a bored altar boy and a distracted dog

- While to the right, the huddle of rural mourners - Courbet's heroes of modern life - weep in genuine grief

- Courbet wanted to challenge the prescribed subjects, style, and finish of academic painting, to establish his position in the avant-garde, and to create controversy

Édouard Manet,

TheLuncheon on the Grass,

1863 [Realism / Impressionism]

- Along with the concept of the avant-garde, the idea of "modernity" also shaped art in France at this time

- The experience of modern life - of constant change and renewal - was linked to the dynamic nature of the city

- Themes of the modern city and of political engagement with modern life in the industrialized world

- Manet's modern interpretation of the scene, however, combined with his modern style, was intentionally provocative

- Presenting the seamier side of city life under a flimsy guise of Classical art only underlined Manet's subversiveness

Édouard Manet,


1863 [Realism / Impressionism]

- its title alluding to a socially ambitious prostitute of the same name in a novel and play

- Manet's Olympia was based on Titian's Venus of Urbino, which Manet had earlier copied in Florence

- In reversing the Titian, Manet overturns the entire tradition of the accommodating female nude

Édouard Manet,

A Barat the Folies-Bergère,

1881-82 [Realism / Impressionism]

-Night time entertainment is becoming all the rage

- Upper class vs. lower class in the city, however you can change your class while in the bar

- Everything is for sale, that is a huge part of impressionism

Gustave Caillebotte,

ParisStreet, Rainy Day,

1877 [Realism / Impressionism]

- There is a sense of impressionism but with more detailed brushwork

- Upper class vs. middle class crossed on the streets in the city

Claude Monet,


1872 [Impressionism]

- a view of the un rising in the morning fog over the harbor at his home town of Le Havre

- The painting is rendered almost entirely of strokes of color

- Monet registers the intensity and shifting forms of a first sketch and presents it as the final work of art

- He records the ephemeral play of reflected light and color and its effect on the eye, rather than describing the physical substance of forms and the spatial volumes they occupy

Claude Monet,


1894 [Impressionism]

- He painted the cathedral not as an expression of personal religious conviction, but because of his fascination with the way light played across its undulating stone surface, changing its appearance constantly as the lighting changed throughout the day

- He painted more than 30 canvases of the Rouen facade, begun from direct observation of the cathedral from a second-story window across the street and finished later in his studio at nearby Giverny

Berthe Morisot,


1879 [Impressionism]

- As a respectable bourgeois, Berthe Morisot was not free to prowl the city looking for modern subject, so she concentrated on deficients women's lives, a subject she knew well

- She painted in an increasingly fluid and painterly style, flattening her picture plane and making her brushwork more prominent

- First shown in the fifth Impressionist exhibition in 1880, the painting exemplifies the emphasis on formal features in Impressionist painting - the brushstrokes and the colors are as much its subject as the figures themselves


Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.

Georges Seurat,

ASunday Afternoon on the

Island of La Grande Jatte,


- Georges Seurat sought to correct Impressionism, which he fount too intellectually shallow and too improvisational

- He preferred the clarity of structure he saw in Classical relief sculpture, and the seemingly systematic but actually quite emotive use of color suggested by optics and color theory

- The theme of weekend leisure is typically Impressionist, but the rigorous technique, the stiff formality of the figures, and the highly calculated geometry of the composition produce a solemn effect quite at odds with the casual naturalism of Impressionism

- By painting the island the way he did, Seurat may have intended to represent an ideal image of working class and middle class life and leisure, in a harmonious blending of the classes

Vincent van Gogh,


1889 [Post-Impressionism]

- Van Gogh adopted Seurat's Pointillism by applying brilliantly colored paint in multi-directional strokes of impasto (thick application of paint) to give his pictures a turbulent emotional energy and palpable surface texture

- The painting is a riot of brushwork, as rail-like strokes of intense color writhe across its surface

- Van Gogh's brushwork is immediate, expressive, and intense, clearly more a record to what he felt than what he saw

Paul Cézanne,


1885-87 [Post-Impressionism]

- He adopted a bright palette and broken brush work, and began painting landscapes

- He dedicated himself to the study of what he called the sensations of nature

- Unlike the Impressionists, however, he did not seek to capture transitory effects of light and atmosphere; instead, he created highly structured paintings through a methodical application of color that merged drawing and modeling into a single process

- The even light, still atmosphere, and absence of human activity create the sensation of timeless stillness

- The surface vies with the pictorial effect of receding space, generation tension between the illusion of three dimensions within the picture and the physical reality of its two-D surface


Post-Impressionists extended Impressionism while rejecting its limitations:

- they continued using vivid colours, often thick application of paint, and real-life subject matter,

- but were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, distort form for expressive effect, and use unnatural or arbitrary colour.

André Derain,

Mountainsat Collioure,

1905 [Fauvism]

- he used short, broad strokes of pure pigment, juxtaposing the complementary colors of blue and orange together - as in the mountain range - or red and green together - as in the trees - to intensify the hue of each

- He chose a range of semi naturalistic colors - the grass and the trees are green, the trunks are close to brown

- The uniform brightness of the colors undermines any effect of atmospheric perspective

- As a consequence, viewers remain aware that they are looking at a flat canvas covered with paint, not an illusionistic rendering of the natural world

Henry Matisse,

The Joyof Life,

1905-06 [Fauvism]

- The Joy of Life is academic in scale and theme, but avant-garde in most other respects - notably in the way the figures appear 'flattened' and in the distortion of the spatial relations between them

- Matisse emphasized expressive color, drawing on folk-art traditions in his use of unmodeled forms and bold outlines

Vassily Kandinsky,


1912 [Expressionism]

- Kandinsky may have been a synesthete - someone who 'hears' colors and 'sees' sound

- Kandinsky wondered, if music can exist without a tonal center, can painting exist without subject matter?

- Kandinsky was thus one of the first artists to investigate the theoretical possibility of purely abstract painting

- He aspired to make paintings that responded to his own inner state and would be entirely autonomous, making no reference to the visible world

- He saw art's traditional focus on accurate rendering of the physical world as a misguided materialistic quest, and he hoped that his paintings would lead humanity toward a deeper awareness of spirituality and the inner world


Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas

Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality

Georges Braque,

Violinand Palette,

1909-10 [Cubism]

- enthusiastically embraced Picasso's radical ideas, and saw les demoiselles d'Avignon as a potential for new visual experiments

- Together, they developed Picasso's formal innovations by flattening pictorial space, by incorporating multiple perspectives within a single picture

- The still-life items here are not arranged in a measured progression from foreground to background depth, but push close to the picture plane, confined to a shallow space

Pablo Picasso,

LesDemoiselles d’Avignon,

1907 [Cubism]

- Western artists exploited the visual cultures of 'primitive' nations merely to amplify ideas about themselves

- There is a common interpretation that these women work in the red light district, however, these figures could be young ladies of the court. Picasso was not clear

- Picasso revives and renegotiates the ideas of large-scale academic history painting, making use of traditional subject of nude women shown in an interior space

- The women, Picasso suggests, are not the gentle and passive creatures that men would like them to be

Pablo Picasso,

Glassand Bottle of Suze,

1912 [Cubism]

- Braque and Picasso pulled back their abstraction, and began to create works that suggested more clearly discernible subjects

- At the center, assembled newsprint and construction paper suggest a tray or round table supporting a glass and a bottle of liquor with an actual label

- The elements together evoke not only a place- a bar- but also an activity - the viewer alone with a newspaper, enjoying a quiet drink

Gino Severini,

ArmoredTrain in Action,

1915 [Futurism]

- In Italy, Cubism developed into Futurism, with its emphasis on portraying technology and a sense of speed

- Severini uses the jagged forms and splintered overlapping surfaces of Cubism to describe a tumultuous scene of smoke, violence, and cannon blasts issuing from the speeding train as seen from a dizzying and disorienting viewpoint

- Severini embraced the concept of war as a social cleansing agent

Umberto Boccioni,

UniqueForms of Continuity in Space,

1913 [Futurism]

- Bocioni argued for a Futurist 'sculpture of environment' in which form should explode in a violent burst of motion from the closed and solid mass into the surrounding space

- Bocionni portrays a figure striding powerfully through space, with muscular forms like wings flying out energetically behind it

- Many of Boccioni's sculptures made use of unconventional materials; this sculpture was actually made of plaster and only cast in bronze after the artist's death

Hugo Ball reciting the sound poem "Karawane,"photographed at the Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich, 1916 [Dada]


- Dada was a transitional movement that questioned the concept of art itself

- Witnessing how thoughtlessly life was discarded in the trenches, Dada mocked the senselessness of rational thought and even the foundations of modern society

- Dada artists annihilated the conventional understanding of art as something precious, replacing it with a strange and irrational art about ideas and actions rather than about objects

Marcel Duchamp,


1917 [Dada]

- He devised the Dada genre that he termed the readymade, in which he transformed ordinary, often manufactured objects into works of art

- It incites laughter, anger, embarrassment, and disgust, by openly referring to private bathroom activities, to human carnality and vulnerability

- How much can be stripped away before the essence of art disappears?

- In a clever twist of logic, Duchamp simultaneously creates a commentary on consumption and on the irrationality of the modern age by arguing that the readymade work of art, as a manufactured object, simply bypasses the craft tradition, qualifying as a work of art through human conceptualization rather than by human facture

Marcel Duchamp,


1919 [Dada]

- In his work, Duchamp chose to comment on the nature of fame and on the degraded image of the Mona Lisa by purchasing a cheap postcard reproduction and drawing a mustache and beard on her famously enigmatic face

- In doing so, he turned a sacred cultural artifact into an object of crude ridicule

- Like Fountain, this work challenges preconceived notions about what constitutes art and introduces ridicule and crude bodily functions as viable artistic content


- In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context


- A part referring to the whole

- Boots for soldiers, suits for businessmen etc....

Analytical Cubism

- Where natural forms are reduced into basic geometric parts on two-dimensional planes

- Pablo and Braque were very abstract, leaving only a hint of the real world

Synthetic Cubism

- Introduced different textures, surfaces, and collage elements

- Collage was very important in the fine art work, which included elements of including everyday material


Semiotics is the study of works of art signs and symbols, either individually or grouped in sign systems that can give us more insight from the work source and meaning


It emphasized speed, technology, youth and violence

Very radical

The Richard Mutt Case

Duchamp submitted the piece of art because he changed the functions of the object by flipping it upside down

Now instead of being a urinal, it is just another object

Meret Oppenheim,

Object(Luncheon in Fur),

1936 [Surrealism]

- Surrealists argued that by juxtaposing several disparate ordinary objects in strange new contexts artists could create uncanny surrealities

- Oppenheim was one of the few women invited to participate in the Surrealist movement

- Surrealists generally treated women as their muses or as objects of study, but not as their equals

- Object transposes two objects (a tea setting and gazelle fur) from their ordinary reality, recontextualizes them in an irrational new surreality, and transforms them into an uncanny object that is simultaneously desirable and deeply disturbing

Max Ernst,

The Horde,

1927 [Surrealism]

- shows a nightmarish scene of monsters advancing against an unseen force

- the hours of WWI that Ernst had experienced firsthand in the German army lie behind such frightening images

- Surrealist artists employed a variety of techniques, including automatism - releasing the subconscious to create the work of art without rational intervention in order to produce surprising new juxtapositions of imagery and forms

Salvador Dalí,

TheBirth of Liquid Desires,

1931-32 [Surrealism]

- Dali's contribution to Surrealist theory was the "paranoid-critical method" in which he cultivated the paranoid's ability to misread, mangle, and misconstrue ordinary appearances, thus liberating himself from the shackles of conventional thought.

- Then he painted what he imagined

- Dali claimed that he simply painted what his paranoid-critical mind had conjured up in his nightmares

- Dali's images defy rational interpretation although they trigger fear, anxiety, and even regression in our empathetic minds


Artists that painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself

- resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality


a set of psychological and psychotherapeutic theories and associated techniques

The Unconscious

Consists of the processes in the mind that occur automatically and are not available to introspection, and include thought processes, memory, affect, and motivation

Paranoid-critical method

The technique consists of the artist invoking a paranoid state (fear that the self is being manipulated, targeted or controlled by others).

The result is a deconstruction of the psychological concept of identity, such that subjectivity becomes the primary aspect of the artwork.

Jackson Pollock,

AutumnRhythm (Number 30),

1950 [Abstract Expressionism]

- Pollock broke all of the rules

- He was influenced by surrealism and the mental aspects of painting (turning on subconscious), especially the process of painting

- He wanted to express his feelings rather than illustrate them

- He believed that by creating a 3-D painting, you are deceiving the audience, and should instead regard the painting as what it is, a flat object

Willem de Kooning,


1950-52 [Abstract Expressionism]

- She's really ugly looking, and people interpret the painting as mysoginist

- Emphasis on her breasts, mouth, legs

- It has a bit of an aggressive feel, and utilizes action painting

- de Kooning used the same canvas multiple times when preparing drafts, and often used that same canvas for his final draft

Abstract Expressionism

Had an emphasis on spontaneous, automatic, or subconscious creation

'action painting'

Richard Hamilton,

Justwhat is it today that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?,

1955[Pop Art]

- argued that modern mass visual culture was fast replacing traditional art for the general public, that movies, television, and advertising, not high art, defined standards of beauty

- Society's idols were no longer politicians or military heroes but international movies stars; social status was increasingly measured by the number of one's possessions

- Hamilton critiques marketing strategies by imitating them

- The title itself is a parody on advertising slogan, while the collage itself shows two figures named Adam and Eve in a domestic setting

- Like the biblical forebears, these figures are almost naked, but the "temptations" to which they have succumbed are those of consumer culture

- In an attempt to recreate their lost Garden of Eden, the first couple has filled their home with all the best new products

Pop Art

- Pop artists critiqued the superficiality of popular culture's fiction of the perfect home and perfect person

- This was during a time when individual and mass identity was increasingly determined by how people looked and dressed, as well as by what they displayed and consumed

- Americans developed a slicker style using silkscreen


- This is a technique in which a fine mesh silk screen is used as a printing stencil

Andy Warhol,


1962 [Pop Art]

- has deep religious connotations (Altars and Altarpieces)

- Perhaps implying that Monroe was a martyred saint or goddess in the pantheon of departed movie stars

- Additionally, the flat and undifferentiated Monroes on the colored left side of the diptych contrasts with those in black and white on the right side,

- Which fade progressively as they are printed and reprinted without reining the screen until all that remains of the original portrait is the ghostly image of a disappearing person

Roy Lichtenstein,

“Oh,Jeff…I love you, too…but…”,

1964 [Pop Art]

- also investigated the various ways that popular imagery resonated with high art, imitating the format of comic books in his critique of mass-market visual culture

- He tightened and clarified the source images to focus on significant emotions or actions, simultaneously representing and parodying the flat, superficial ways in which a comic book communicates with its readers

- Lichtenstein plays ironic games by pitting illusion against reality; we know that comic books are unrealistically melodramatic, yet he presents this overblown episode vividly, almost reverently, enshrined in a work of high art

Roy Lichtenstein,


1965 [Pop Art]

Donald Judd,

untitled, 1967


He argued that the strict geometry of pieces like Untitled did not render them coldly mathematical or devoid of meaning, but rather focused attention on the materials themselves

- His end goal was to remove all signs of the artist from the work, by employing such a strict formula and having it painstakingly crafted in an industrial shop, allowing the viewer to focus on the clean, sharp forms

- Judd and Morris wanted art to be nothing but the simplistic nature of rectangles or boxes

- The opposite of something that would require prolonged attention

- Nothing to be analyzed, simply their own objects and nothing more

Robert Morris,

untitled (Mirror Cube),

1965-71 [Minimalism]

- He typically arranged these into ‘situations’ where ‘one is aware of one’s own body at the same time that one is aware of the piece’

- As the viewer walks around the four cubes, their mirrored surfaces produce complex and shifting interactions between gallery and spectator

Joseph Kosuth,

One andThree Chairs,

1965 [Conceptual Art]

- Kosuth represents one chair three ways: as a manufactured chair, as a photograph, and as a copy of a dictionary entry for the word “chair.”

- The installation is thus composed of an object, an image, and words.

- Fundamental to this idea of art is the understanding of the linguistic nature of all art propositions, be they past or present, and regardless of the elements used in their construction

Robert Smithson,


1969-70 [Earth Art]

- By visually disorienting the viewer, Smithson is able to negate a time and place for the materiality of the artwork or create what he calls a "cosmic rupture

- Through this state, the viewer is meant to be unable to categorize or classify the site, and will be left in a state free from the dialect of history.

Richard Serra,


1981-89 [Post-Modernism]

- The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes.

- Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer's movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes.


- The term "minimalist" often colloquially refers to anything that is spare or stripped to its essentials

Conceptual Art

- Is art for which the idea (or concept) behind the artwork, and the way it is made are more important than the finished work itself

Earth Art

- Earth art is an art movement in which landscape and the work of art are inextricably linked

- Sculptures are not placed in the landscape, rather, the landscape is the means of their creation

Harold Rosenberg

- Coined the term 'action painting'

- Painting should be something done in the moment

Clement Rosenberg

- Flatness, two-dimensionality, was the only condition painting shared with no other art, and so Modern painting oriented itself to flatness as it did to nothing else