Year One - Art History

Week 7 Reading

Text 1: Baudelaire

What does he mean by a genius of which no aspect has become stale, like a child?

‘Need I add that today that child is a well-known painter? … To complete your idea, consider him also as a man-child, as a man who is never for a moment without the genius of childhood – a genius for which no aspect of life has become stale.

The quote that begin “The Crowd is his element” explain what you think the author is describing, what kind of person is this?

‘The crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy.’

Enjoying the freedom of the city in contrast to a small

What is it that Monsieur G wants to see, or marvel at: describe a list of things on page 3?

‘Beauty, fashions, morals and emotions’ the city is a place for observation which becomes

Consider the sentence beginning with “He is looking for the quality” page 12, what is modernity?

‘He is looking for that quality which you must allow me to call ‘modesty’; for I know of no better word to express the idea I have in mind. He makes it his business to extract from fashion whatever element it may contain of poetry within history, to distil the eternal from the transitory.’

Modernity means a way of the world, finding beauty and hope for inventions to improve the world. People began to paint stream trains as a symbol of hope and innovation.

Why is studying the masters a waste of labour?

Because the ages where different and they used what was around them to produce art. He used the vibrance and life of the city, referring to mythology and paid homage to historical artists. Resulting in work that was not contemporary, meaning it was a waste of labour.

Test Two

Text 2: 

What is Japanese Manga? (look this up, specifically Hokusai)

‘Manga is an umbrella term for a wide variety of comic books and graphic novels originally produced and published in Japan. Unlike American comic books, which are usually printed in full color, Japanese manga is almost always black and white. Full-color prints are often only used for special releases.’

Hokusai Manga Book

‘Hokusai Manga is one of the masterpieces by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), a master of Ukiyo-e art, depicting ordinary people’s lives, animals, plants, landscapes and human figures, historical and supernatural, even demons and monsters, as if it were a visual encyclopedia, amounting to fifteen volumes.’

Why might European artists not want Japanese art to become too popular?

It was an unusual art form which has a completely different view of the world and people didn’t like change.

What is the relationship between Japanese art and art nouveau?

‘Art Nouveau was an iconic design art movement from approximately 1890 to 1910 in Europe and North America known for featuring decorative vine like tendrils. This movement was heavily influenced by the ukiyo-e movement in Japan because of increased communication between Asia and Europe. Japanese ukiyo-e was the elaborate process of creating woodblock prints. The use of space, color, and decorative patterns greatly inspired the same elements in Art Nouveau (Meggs 196-202).’

Colour lithography was introduce, Art Nouveau glorified mundane subject matters. Art Nouveau is very decorative and stylised, very much inspired by Japanese art.

How did the Edo school change the course of western art?

‘The school simultaneously developed a brightly coloured and firmly outlined style for large panels, which reflected distinctively Japanese traditions.’

What is “the floating world” and how does it relate to impressionism?

‘Foreign imports … woodcut prints … transformed Impressionist … demonstrating that simple, transitory, everyday subjects from “the floating world” could be presented in appealingly decorative ways.’

The floating world is a culture of beauty and control. The Geisha being a sign of this. Artists of the floating world show control and beauty.


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