Essay about 19th Century Art

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19th Century Art During the 19th century, a great number of revolutionary changes altered forever the face of art and those that produced it. Compared to earlier artistic periods, the art produced in the 19th century was a mixture of restlessness, obsession with progress and novelty, and a ceaseless questioning, testing and challenging of all authority. Old certainties about art gave way to new ones and all traditional values, systems and institutions were subjected to relentless critical analysis. At the same time, discovery and invention proceeded at an astonishing rate and made the once-impossible both possible and actual. But most importantly, old ideas rapidly became obsolete which created an entirely new artistic world…show more content…
For Ingres, painting encompassed flat and linear figures, a manner that was severely criticized as being “primitive” and Gothic. However, Ingres soon became the leader of the academic forces in their battle against Delacroix and his contemporaries. Ingres’ best-known work, Grande Odalisque (1814, oil on canvas) illustrates his rather strange mixture of artistic allegiances. His subject, a reclining nude figure, is traditional, but by converting her into an odalisque, a woman of a Turkish harem, Ingres made a strong concession to the contemporary Romantic taste for the exotic. Another artistic development was occurring in England, especially in relation to landscape painting by such men as J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) and John Constable (1776-1837). These two artists were highly influenced by the Romantic Movement, best symbolized by the poetry of Byron, Shelley and Keats. As Elizabeth G. Holt points out, “Turner and Constable emotionalized in both its grand and minute manifestations, lives in the canvases of the English school and created the breadth and scope of nature intermixed with the pathos of time, change, distance and the past” (221). He also made it clear

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