Book Hill Talks - France Alive: A History Told Through Great Works of Art

Georgetown Library

Book Hill Talks - France Alive: A History Told Through Great Works of Art

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, 7 p.m.

Lecture N° 3 19th Century. Paintings Part One: Realism: Representing the Real World, in Fragments or Totality. 
Guest Speaker - Vanessa Badré'
 

In the great Renaissance work, De pictura (1435), the famous Italian art theoretician Leon Battista Alberti instructed painters to consider the frame of the painting as an open window on the world. The rectangle of the canvas has the rectangular shape of the window and it shows a fragment of reality. This approach was still true for French artists of the 19th century who paid tribute to the Renaissance. If we look at paintings  through the painter's eye, we discover that images are still framed as a window opened on the world. However, it is now done in a very unusual way : space, people, architecture, and perspective are not represented as a whole but are purposely fragmented. However, artists also wanted also to show the real world as a whole.  How to deal with this dilemma? Should they represent the fragment or the whole?  

Artists also wanted to represent modern life and modernity. They were interested in new topics, and thus they chose new subjects and new compositions. Standing before each canvas they now had to ask themselves, what piece of the world did they want to represent and how did they paint it?  And with the rise of photography, what could painting offer that was unique to art and to the world?  Fragmentation was part of the answer.  It became not only a way to work on composition, it also became a new way to use paint with loose brushwork even before Impressionism. Time as well as space was confronted with fragmentation: artists were more than ever interested in rendering an instant of movement, people in motion, changing weather, light reflection on water.  In doing so, they challenged us to reframe how we would see the world. 


 

Add to Calendar 18-01-2017 19:00:00 18-01-2017 20:00:00 Book Hill Talks - France Alive: A History Told Through Great Works of Art Lecture N° 3 19th Century. Paintings Part One: Realism: Representing the Real World, in Fragments or Totality.  Guest Speaker - Vanessa Badré'   In the great Renaissance work, De pictura (1435), the famous Italian art theoretician Leon Battista Alberti instructed painters to consider the frame of the painting as an open window on the world. The rectangle of the canvas has the rectangular shape of the window and it shows a fragment of reality. This approach was still true for French artists of the 19th century who paid tribute to the Renaissance. If we look at paintings  through the painter's eye, we discover that images are still framed as a window opened on the world. However, it is now done in a very unusual way : space, people, architecture, and perspective are not represented as a whole but are purposely fragmented. However, artists also wanted also to show the real world as a whole.  How to deal with this dilemma? Should they represent the fragment or the whole?   Artists also wanted to represent modern life and modernity. They were interested in new topics, and thus they chose new subjects and new compositions. Standing before each canvas they now had to ask themselves, what piece of the world did they want to represent and how did they paint it?  And with the rise of photography, what could painting offer that was unique to art and to the world?  Fragmentation was part of the answer.  It became not only a way to work on composition, it also became a new way to use paint with loose brushwork even before Impressionism. Time as well as space was confronted with fragmentation: artists were more than ever interested in rendering an instant of movement, people in motion, changing weather, light reflection on water.  In doing so, they challenged us to reframe how we would see the world.    false DD/MM/YYYY