The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art



With His Extraordinary Knowledge, Clarity And Style Kenneth Clark Discusses Thirteen Important Artists Representing One Of The Greatest Periods In The History Of Art The Second Half Of The Eighteenth Century To The Middle Of The Nineteenth CenturyDuring The Second Half Of The Eighteenth Century, When The Spirit Of Revolution Was Rising Through Europe, A Division Appeared In All The Arts, Deeper And Radical Than Any That Had Preceded It Rivalry Arose Between Two Schools Of Painting, The Romantic And The Classic The Doctrine Of Classic Art Aspired To The Ideal Found In Greco Roman Antiquities Subjects Were Drawn From Episodes In Antique History Or Poetry That Pointed A Moral Acts Of Self Sacrifice Or Patriotism Romantic Art Appealed To The Emotions, In Particular The Fear And Exhilaration Aroused By Storm, Bloodshed And Ferocity, So Prevalent At The Time The Emotional Effect Of A Picture Was Heightened By Color, Violent Light And Shade And Exaggerated Movement, Made Shockingly Natural Far Removed From The Tranquility And Sculptural Forms Of Classicism In Practice, However, The Two Schools Overlapped Both Attached Importance To Subject Matter And Looked To The Past For It Every Great Classical Artist Was A Romantic At Heart And Vice Versa The Distinction Between Them Is Convenient Than Real, Writes Kenneth ClarkTo Trace This Rebellion Kenneth Clark Brings Into Focus The Artistic Creativity Of Thirteen Artists David, Goya, Piranesi, Fuseli, Blake, Ingres, Gericault, Delacroix, Turner, Constable, Millet, Degas And Rodin All But One Successful And Influential, All Part Of The European MovementThe Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art

There isthan one author with this nameKenneth McKenzie Clark, Baron Clark, OM, CH, KCB, FBA was a British author, museum director, broadcaster, and one of the best known art historians of his generation In 1969, he achieved an international popular presence as the writer, producer, and presenter of the BBC Television series, Civilisation.

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  • Hardcover
  • 366 pages
  • The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art
  • Kenneth Clark
  • English
  • 08 July 2019
  • 0060108029

10 thoughts on “The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic versus Classic Art

  1. says:

    Clark s essays on thirteen artists who forged a separate path from their classic forefathers were adapted from television scripts, which in turn had been adapted from lectures given at Oxford University or the Phillips Gallery in Washington As such, they are the pan drippings of a great educator and an exemplary mind,flitting than thorough, unthreateningly erudite Clark, like his counterpart in the arena of classical music, Leonard Bernstein, had the gift of delivering the profundities o Clark s essays on thirteen artists who forged a separate path from their classic forefathers were adapted from television scripts, which in turn had been adapted from lectures given at Oxford University or the Phillips Gallery in Washington As such, they are the pan drippings of a great educator and an exemplary mind,flitting than thorough, unthreateningly erudite Clark, like his counterpart in the arena of classical music, Leonard Bernstein, had the gift of delivering the profundities of culture to a mass audience with ease and familiarity.He dispenses value judgments plenteously Fuseli s The Nightmare is a ridiculous work Edmund Burke s Inquiry into the Origins of the Sublime is original, intelligent and extremely boring Rodin could be very good or very bad and if he is to take his proper place as one of the greatest artists of the nineteenth century, and perhaps the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo, one must make an effort to discriminate between the genuine and the counterfeit in his work Rodin s drawings are the most untrammelled and revolutionary of all his works But in the end, how monotonous they become There are said to be over four thousand in the Musee Rodin alone, and I must confess that even after a hundred or so this endless belt of sprawling women has a depressing rather than an exhilarating effect on me, and seems to reveal a kind of promiscuity which is foreign to the concentrated passions of the greatest artists But his Balzacis a work of genius and to my mind the finest thing Rodin ever did After all his adventures in other styles he has achieved something which is entirely his own and yet seems to spring from the heart of a universal tradition of sculpture At the same time it is the most modern of Rodin s works, in the sense that the imitation of appearances is entirely subordinate to a sculptural idea In the gardens of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which contains the masterpieces of the 20th century sculpture, by far the oldest work is Rodin s Balzac There they all are Matisse, Laurens, Gargallo, Zadkine, Henry Moore, Giacometti and the Balzac seems to meet them on their own terms and to dominate them You are always going to learn some fascinating historical titbit Since Van Dyck we have grown accustomed to the idea that portrait painters must be flatterers, but in the seventeenth and eighteen centuries great people were so sure of their status that they did not really mind what they were made to look like as individuals In their portraits the later Medici look like criminal lunatics they did not care they were the Medici fashionable people used to visit madhouses for amusement, just as people today go to horror films the sensuous disorder of real flowers, which delighted Courbet, Manet and, of course, Renoir, disturbed Degas Later in life when he went out to dinner he used to ask for them to be removed from the table At most he would admit an aspidistra Clark confesses that in certain moods he finds Ingres Bain Turc a slightly comic picture No wonder that it was made into a greetings card, with the caption The whole gang misses you Ingres, The Turkish Bath, 1862 63, The Louvre.By Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres C2RMF Galerie de tableaux en tr s haute d finition image page, Public Domain, interesting that Delacroix and Ingres were such polar opposites in terms of intelligence Clark notes that Delacroix s father had been deemed medically incapable of having children the year before his birth, and Delacroix was almost certainly the son of the brilliant statesman Talleyrand wikipedia throws doubt on this, but there is an uncanny resemblance Delacroix was one of the most completely intelligent men of his century, but the very range and responsiveness of his mind made it almost impossible for him to be a painter He could not abandon himself to his perceptions Ingres had left school at the age of eleven, was not terribly bright, and partly owing to his impulsive, emotional character, he was incapable of reason This was a surprise to me, as Ingres style has such a cool, pristine virtuosity that you almost imagine his paintings emanate directly from his brain Ingres, Monsieur Granet, 1807, Mus e Granet, Aix en Provence.Ingres, Portrait of Louis Fran ois Bertin, 1832, The Louvre.By Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres Public Domain, a discussion of J.M.W Turner, Clark discusses color and the notion of the painter as a colorist Fine colour does not mean bright colour or brilliant colouroften than not it means the reverse Fine colour implies a unified relationship, in which each part is subordinate to the whole, and the transitions between them are felt to be as precious and beautiful as the colors themselves He cites Rembrandt and Watteau as among the greatest colorists in many of their works there are very few identifiable colours Watteau s Enseigne de Gersaint is almost a monochrome, in which colours are gradated and subdued in such a way as to achieve magical transitions Watteau is not a subject of the book, but Turner often referred to his debt to Watteau.Antoine Watteau, L Enseigne de Gersaint, 1720 21, Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin.By Antoine Watteau Own work, Public Domain, the essays Clark has been noting the irresolution that exists between the ideas of romantic and classic art Like so many distinctions, it is to some degree a fiction in that there is a substantial amount of overlap between the two schools and neverso than in the work of Jean Fran ois Millet The subjects of many of his works are romantic, but his treatment of the human figure is classical.Jean Fran ois Millet, Nude, 1850, The Louvre.In passages like this you really get your money s worth Clark writes of Millet and later, similarly, on Degas that he was one of those artists on whom a few formal ideas make so deep an impression that they feel compelled to spend the whole of their lives in trying to lever them out Perhaps this is the chief distinguishing mark of the classical artist certainly it is what distinguishes his use of subject matter from that of the illustrator The illustrator is essentially a reporter, his subjects come to him from outside, lit by a flash A subject comes to the classic artist from inside, and when he discovers confirmation of it in the outside world he feels that it has been there all the time He must give to his subjects an air of unchangeable inevitability, and this becomes a problem of formal completeness That is why the classic artists, Degas no less than Poussin, return to the same motives again and again, hoping each time to mould the subject closer to the idea For Millet one of these motives was gleaners in a field For Degas, it was horse racing and the ballet

  2. says:

    This is, simply, a wonderful book I am not sure how someone really informed about 19th century art would rate this, but for me it was a perfect fit I found the earlier sections the best especially on David, Pirenesi, Ingres, Goya, Turner, Gericault, Delacroix.I also cannot say that I now know what Romantic means in fact, Clark s thesis is that in every romantic , there resides a classicst and vice versa.But none of that matters for the ranking of this excellent book.

  3. says:

    Clark uses romantic Romanticist and classic classical without definition and skates the problem as a vulgar one He hates Mengs who, apparently, is insipid and so can be Ingres, who is also commonplace Some figures painted by Turner are dismissed as boring That s about the typical level of Clark s criticism His taste is narrow, restricted to realistic nature scenes, sensuous bodies, psychologically expressive faces, and dramatic postures or hand gestures In short, he likes thei Clark uses romantic Romanticist and classic classical without definition and skates the problem as a vulgar one He hates Mengs who, apparently, is insipid and so can be Ingres, who is also commonplace Some figures painted by Turner are dismissed as boring That s about the typical level of Clark s criticism His taste is narrow, restricted to realistic nature scenes, sensuous bodies, psychologically expressive faces, and dramatic postures or hand gestures In short, he likes their literary aspects Someone like this is not equipped to appreciate what Berenson called the ineloquent in art the bland and neutral expressions you find so often in Piero della Francesca or Poussin A few things struck me as culturally off about Clark he says romanticism began with Candide after suggesting Horace Walpole as its entry into England and he calls all totalitarian art inherently classic Romanticism was a German movement most would suggest Werther as a useful beginning And I can think of no examples of classic totalitarian art maybe Le Corbusier or Albert Speer would fit how Clark sees it, but the most well known fascist artists have been romantics or modernists

  4. says:

    This is a beautiful book with beautiful writing Clark is one of the leading art historians and it is clear that he knows what he is talking about in this book I picked up The Romantic Rebellion to just casually peruse and fell in love with art history Definitely worth reading

  5. says:

    Lord Clark knocks us dead with his keen and penetrating mind as he describes the emergence of aEmotional Art quite apart from the colder,historically remote aims of the Classicists.

  6. says:

    Disappointed with all the art shown in the book in black and white Thorough and researched material on the artists Focused on Degas.

  7. says:

    Great overview of Romantic artists with paintings great for romantic history or art history

  8. says:

    A coworker slipped this sucker to me one day and it s just a lovely book Plus I learned about some romantic artists I d never heard of before and then the very next day went to an art museum and saw some of their sketches It was a perfect coincidence.

  9. says:

    nice one.

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