Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art / Edition 1 by Jonah Siegel | 9780691049144 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art / Edition 1

Desire and Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art / Edition 1

by Jonah Siegel
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691049149

ISBN-13: 9780691049144

Pub. Date: 07/31/2000

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In this fascinating look at the creative power of institutions, Jonah Siegel explores the rise of the modern idea of the artist in the nineteenth century, a period that also witnessed the emergence of the museum and the professional critic. Treating these developments as interrelated, he analyzes both visual material and literary texts to portray a culture in which

Overview

In this fascinating look at the creative power of institutions, Jonah Siegel explores the rise of the modern idea of the artist in the nineteenth century, a period that also witnessed the emergence of the museum and the professional critic. Treating these developments as interrelated, he analyzes both visual material and literary texts to portray a culture in which art came to be thought of in powerful new ways. Ultimately, Siegel shows that artistic controversies commonly associated with the self-consciously radical movements of modernism and postmodernism have their roots in a dynamic era unfairly characterized as staid, self-satisfied, and stable.

The nineteenth century has been called the Age of the Museum, and yet critics, art theorists, and poets during this period grappled with the question of whether the proliferation of museums might lead to the death of Art itself. Did the assembly and display of works of art help the viewer to understand them or did it numb the senses? How was the contemporary artist to respond to the vast storehouses of art from disparate nations and periods that came to proliferate in this era?

Siegel presents a lively discussion of the shock experienced by neoclassical artists troubled by remains of antiquity that were trivial or even obscene, as well as the anxious aesthetic reveries of nineteenth-century art lovers overwhelmed by the quantity of objects quickly crowding museums and exhibition halls. In so doing, he illuminates the fruitful crises provoked when the longing for admired art is suddenly satisfied. Drawing upon neoclassical art and theory, biographies of early nineteenth-century writers including Keats and Scott, and the writings of art critics such as Hazlitt, Ruskin, and Wilde, this book reproduces a cultural matrix that brings to life the artistic passions and anxieties of an entire era.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691049144
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.17(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES vii
ACKNOWLEDGMENT xi
PREFACE: The Apparent Permanence of the Museum as Against Its Actual Permanence: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art xv
INTRODUCTION: The Museum as Mortuary 3
PART ONE: ART IN THE MUSEUM: ARTIST AND FRAGMENT AT THE TURN OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 15
CHAPTER ONE: David and Fuseli: The Artist in the Museum, the Museum in tHe Work of Art 17
David: The Oaths 18
Fuseli: Before Ruins 28
CHAPTER TWO: "Monuments of Pure Antiquity": The Challenge of the Object in Neoclassical Theory and Pedagogy 40
The Statue and the Penis 47
The Penis and the Statue 64
CHAPTER THREE: "United, Completer Knowledge": Barry, Blake, and the Search for the Artist 73
Alternative Origins 73
Yoseph of Arimathea: Blake and the Work of Art 76
The Laocoun: Stupendous Originals 80
PART TWO: THE AUTHOR AS WORK OF ART: ACCUMULATION, DISPLAY, AND DEATH IN LITERARY BIOGRAPHY 91
CHAPTER FOUR: Hazlitt, Scott, Lockhart: Intimacy, Anonymity, and Excess 93
"That Which is Unseen ": The Life of Genius 93
Talking in a Tempest: Hazlitt on Contemporary Life 102
A Writing Hand: The Life of Scott 113
CHAPTER FIVE: Keats: In the Library, in the Museum 130
The Museum: Accommodating Art. 133
"A Perfect Treasure House": The Museum of the Mind 150
PART THREE: ABSENCE AND EXCESS: THE PRESENCE OF THE OBJECT 165
CHAPTER SIX: Outline, Collection, City: Hazlitt, Ruskin, and the Encounter with Art 167
"Asking for the Old Pictures": Hazlitt's Dream of the Louvre 168
Ruskin in the Presence of Art: Art, Treasure, Exhihition 180
Learned Outlines: Hazlitt and Ruskin on Flaxman 189
CHAPTER SEVEN: Vast Knowledge/Narrow Space: The Stones of Venice 197
Travel and Organization 197
The Natures of Gothic 209
PART FOUR: THE DEATHS OF THE CRITICS 225
CHAPTER EIGHT: Modernity as Resurrection in Pater and Wilde 227
Filling in the Outline, or "What Is Really New" 227
"A Pomegranate Cut with a Knife of Ivory" 251
AFTERWORD: Las Meninas as Cover: Foucault, Velazquez, and the Reflection of the Museum 263
NOTES 279
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 337
INDEX 339

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