Year One - Art History


Destino Animation

“Destino is an animated short film released in 2003 by The Walt Disney Company. Destino is unique in that its production originally began in 1945, 58 years before its eventual completion.The project was a collaboration between American animator Walt Disney and Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, and features music written by Mexican songwriter Armando Dominguez and performed by Dora Luz.[1] It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2003.”

Video Description

I find this animation interesting because it is so bazaar but very connected to a dream like story that people can relate to due to its obscurity reflected in a dream like state. Yet not necessary relate to the context within it. Reflecting the visual creations ideologies formed through this movement.

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.

Year One - Art History

Giorgio Vasari’s Text on Leonardo da Vinci

What was the impact of this text?

Personally, I think the purpose of this text was to share Vasari’s views on Leonardo da Vinci’s work within the context of the historical time in which he lived. As well as showing how valued Leonardo’s work was and still is to people. The text expresses this by focusing on how sought after his work was by very influential people of the time. I believe this was due to the perfectionism within his work and how brilliant his realistic representations were. Many people viewed his work as very intelligent, reflecting on the intellect of the man himself and how he represented this in his works. Bartolommeo, Leonardo’s brother quoted, “he used often to tell his wife of the great genius of his brother Leonardo, and to pray God to make her worthy to bring forth another Leonardo.”, which Vasari featured in this text. Showing overall how amazing Leonardo de Vinci’s work was/is, reflecting the arts impact from family members, ordinary people to valued members of society. 

Year One - Art History

Leonardo de Vinci

Featuring some of his artworks, in chronological order.

Year One - Art History

Art History Timeline

Year One - Art History

Gustave Courbet by Fried


Questions on Pages

Reading Pages

Q & A ‘S

Courbet’s Life

Gustave Courbet

“Courbet apprenticed himself to the old masters, in particular to Rembrandt and the seventeenth-century Spaniards, and by the second half of the decade, to judge from self-portraits.”

Who did Courbet apprentice himself to?

“Courbet produced a series of monumental, realistic canvases, notably An After Dinner at Ornans (1848-49), the Stonebreakers (1849) and A Burial at Ornans (1849-50)”

What are the names of Courbet’s ‘monumental’ works?

Courbet’s Impact

“The notorious Burial at Ornans, with its enormous dimensions, deadpan portraits of local notables, flouting of traditional compositional principles, and brutally physical application of paint, epitomises that affront, which is largely why it created a scandal when it was exhibited in the long-delayed Salon of 1850-51.”

Why did the Burial at Ornans cause a scandal at the Salon?

“An account of Claude-Joseph Vernet’s contributions to the Salon of 1767, withholding until near the end of his commentary the information that the peopled landscapes he was enthusiastically describing were painted rather than real.”

Why did the Burial at Ornans cause a scandal at the Salon?

“T. J.Clark among them, believe that Courbet’s art declined markedly after the mid-1850s, becoming relatively undistinguished well before his establishment of a workshop for producing mediocre landscapes.”

What are the criticisms of Courbet’s work? (nb look at T.J Clark and Baudelaire?

“Courbet’s painting ceased to be a source of innovation within the French avant-garde and partly for that reason was sometimes described by contemporary critics as having lost its edge.”

What are the criticisms of Courbet’s work? (nb look at T.J Clark and Baudelaire?

Realistic Paintings

“A realist painting’s representation of a given scene was to all intents and purposes determined by the “actual” scene itself.”

What is the problem with conceiving of realist paintings as only a depiction of ‘what is there’?

“By the middle of the 1850s Baudelaire had turned against Courbet’s painting because realism as such seemed to him to leave no place for the exercise of the imagination.”

What is the problem with conceiving of realist paintings as only a depiction of ‘what is there’?
Charles Baudelaire

“Baudelaire’s attacks on realism in the name of the imagination terms of criticism that bear an altogether different relation to Courbet’s art than Baudelaire intended.”

What is the problem with conceiving of realist paintings as only a depiction of ‘what is there’?

“Painting have at their core a demand for the achievement of a new and paradoxical relationship between the work of art and its audience.”

What is the problem with conceiving of realist paintings as only a depiction of ‘what is there’?

“Painting successfully to persuade its audience of the truthfulness of its representations.”

What is the problem with conceiving of realist paintings as only a depiction of ‘what is there’?

The Theatre

“Painting as a whole, far from projecting a convincing image of the world, became what Diderot deprecatingly called a theatre.”

Why might both Fried and Diderot not like the theatre?

“Simultaneously, the death of theatre as Diderot knew it and the birth of something else.”

Why might both Fried and Diderot not like the theatre?

“Diderot’s conception of painting is profoundly dramatic.”

Why might both Fried and Diderot not like the theatre?

“Diderot maintained that it was necessary for the painting as a whole actively to “forget” the beholder, to neutralize his presence, to establish positively insofar.”

Why might both Fried and Diderot not like the theatre?

“The canvas encloses all the space, and there is no one beyond it,” Diderot wrote in his Pensées détachées sur la peinture (1776-81)

In this sense his conception of painting rested ultimately on the metaphysical fiction that the beholder did not exist.

Why might both Fried and Diderot not like the theatre?

“Diderot and his contemporaries regarded as the experiential test of completely successful painting”

Why might both Fried and Diderot not like the theatre?

Realistic & Imaginative?

“A painting, could be both realistic in effect and imaginative or metaphorical in its relation to its materials.”

Can a painting be both realistic and imaginative?

“The intimate connection between Diderot’s antitheatrical views and the painting of his time can best be brought out by looking briefly at representative works by two painters belonging to distinct artistic generations, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779) and Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805).”

Can a painting be both realistic and imaginative?

‘Can a painting be both realistic and imaginative? Do you agree with Fried?’

Personally, I do agree with Fried in the sense that a painting can be realistic in effect and imaginative in materials. For instance portraying objects from observation realistically yet using unconventional materials when doing so. Yet I also think that paintings can also be realistic when portraying the subject matter but placed in an alternate composition like the art movement surrealism which remonstrates this well.

Rene Magritte. The Son of Man (1946)

For instance, how the elements of the painting above represents all elements realistically yet in an imaginative composition.

‘Look at the two paintings: Burial and Artists Studio. Discuss their differences and explain why the artist studio might be the key to Fried point that art can be both realistic and imaginative?’

Courbet. The Artist’s Studio

This painting is very realistic in the portrayal of objects and figures. Yet I would suggest imaginative in the scene depicted. Like how the artists studio would not have looked this way necessarily but may be a construct of the thoughts and processes which are created within the studio.

Burial at Ornans

I would suggest, that this painting is very realistic in its betrayal of objects and figures also. However, I don’t believe that the scene depicts anything imaginative in its composition or construction.


Fried, M., In Absorption and theatricality: painting and beholder in the age of Diderot. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, pp. 1–8.
Year One - Art History

Representation and Modern Art (1999)


a creation that is a visual or tangible rendering of someone or something

Representation Lecture – Powerpoint

Painting was about representation in, ’18th century in the West, painting was marking surfaces to represent visible things, the imitation of nature.’

J.Bell, What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art (1999) Chapter 1.

Graven Images

Bell references images being forbidden ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water notions of ‘art itself, and the relation of these notions to the rise and fall under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. of ‘abstraction’. Subsequently meaning, ‘They have the power to imitate nature and trick and manipulate the audience, or that it was not good enough to imitate it.’

Ten Commandments


‘Aaron, Moses’ brother made a Canaanite idol when Moses went to climb Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.’ meaning he made false idols.

Icons were said to be made without hands due to, ‘Acheiropoieta. They have come into existence miraculously, not created by humans, would be receptacles for divine content.’

Acheiropoieta Icons

‘Images can consist of one imitation of visible nature stitched with another imitation of a different visible nature.’ Hence why we should be sceptical when trusting the reliability of these images.

Plato vs Aristotle


Plato stated in regards to art and pictures; ‘Painters distract our attention with the likeness of way that things look, the way that things look are a poor likeness of its true nature, truth is in the idea. By copying appearances, the painter knows nothing worth mentioning about the subject. Art is a form of play and should not be taken seriously. Images are created because people want to indulge in their vain desires.’


Aristotle’s ideology in contrast to Plato, ‘Valued mimeses, believed it was a natural human activity, children must learn through imitation. Bad examples would teach people how not to behave. Images can consist of one imitation of visible nature stitched with another imitation of a different visible nature.’

Copying Art

Mimetic – Mona Lisa

What is mimeses? ‘Poetic mimeses (eg. Painting) is an imitation of appearance alone, is not truthful, believed to corrupt the soul by Plato. A noun formation from the verb mimeisthai, ‘To Mime’, a bodily performance in which you tell a story, or bring someone’s presence to mind without speaking.’


J.Bell, What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art (1999) Chapter 1.