An Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Art

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Using the tools of the "new" art history (feminism, Marxism, social context, etc.) An Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Art offers a richly textured, yet clear and logical, introduction to nineteenth-century art and culture. This textbook will provide readers with a basic historical framework of the period and the critical tools for interpreting and situating new and unfamiliar works of art. Michelle Facos goes beyond existing histories of nineteenth-century art, which often focus solely on France, Britain, and the United States, to incorporate artists and artworks from Scandinavia, Germany, and Eastern Europe. The book expertly balances its coverage of trends and individual artworks: where the salient trends are clear, trend-setting works are highlighted, and the complexity of the period is respected by situating all works in their proper social and historical context. In this way, the student reader achieves a more nuanced understanding of the way in which the story of nineteenth-century art is the story of the ways in which artists and society grappled with the problem of modernity. Key pedagogical features include: - Data boxes provide statistics, timelines, charts, and historical information about the period to further situate artworks. - Text boxes highlight extracts from original sources, citing the ideas of artists and their contemporaries, including historians, philosophers, critics, and theorists, to place artists and works in the broader context of aesthetic, cultural, intellectual, social, and political conditions in which artists were working. - Beautifully illustrated with over 250 color images. - Margin notes and glossary definitions. - Online resources at with access to a wealth of information, including original documents pertaining to artworks discussed in the textbook, contemporary criticism, timelines and maps to enrich your understanding of the period and allow for further

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415780728
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 877,472
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Facos teaches art history at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her research explores the changing relationship between artists and society since the Enlightenment and issues of identity. Prior publications include Nationalism and the Nordic Imagination: Swedish Painting of the 1890s (1998), Art, Culture and National Identity in Fin-de-Siècle Europe, co-edited with Sharon Hirsh (2003), and Symbolist Art in Context (2009).

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Table of Contents




Chapter 1: A Time of Transition

Social Critique

Moral Reform

Monarch as Model

Era of Change

Age of Discovery

Grand Tour

Antiquity Becomes Fashionable

Neoclassical Style

Calm Grandeur in Dante


Chapter 2: Classical Influences and Radical Transformations

Neoclassicm in Britain

Neoclassicism Becomes Popular

The Elgin Marbles

Homer Illustrations

Political Instability in France

D’Angiviller’s Reform Program

Roman Virtue

Neoclassical Eroticism

Neoclassical Sculpture

Neoclassicism in Denmark and the German States


Chapter 3: Re-presenting Contemporary History

Legitimizing Contemporary History

Painting of Contemporary History in France

Political Instability

New Hero for a New Republic

Equestrian Portraits: Rulers on Horseback

Neoclassicism made Ridiculous

Legitimizing Bonaparte

Transgressive History Painting

Representing Republican Values

Establishing Museums


Chapter 4: Romanticism

Origins and Characteristics

Burke’s Sublime

Blake and the Imagination

Nature Mysticism

Goya: Ambiguity and Modernism

Abnormal Mental States


Escape to the National Past: England

Medievalism in France: Troubadour Style

Medievalism in the German States

The Nazarenes


Chapter 5: Shifting Focus: Art and the Natural World

New Attitudes Toward Nature

Academic Landscape Tradition

Nature and the Sublime

The Picturesque

Turner: From Convention to Innovation

Constable: Conservative Nostalgia

Naturalism and Tourism

Friedrich: Patriotism and Spirituality

Feminization of Nature

Hudson River School

American West


Chapter 6: Colonialism, Imperialism, Orientalism

Documenting Distant Lands and People

Colonial Citizens

Picturing Slavery

Native Americans: Ideal or Foe?

Orientalism Emerges

Orient Imagined

Delacroix’s Orientalism

Orientalist Sculpture

International Exhibitions


Chapter 7: New Audiences, New Approaches

Modernism, Urbanization, Instability

Bourgeois Morality and the Separation of Spheres

Biedermeier and the Emergence of Middle Class Culture

Biedermeier Portraiture

Biedermeier Cityscapes

Biedermeier Peasant Painting

Biedermeier Landscape

Biedermeier History Painting

Golden Age in Denmark

Biedermeier in Russia

Mid-Century America

Victorian Painting

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Municipal Art Associations


Chapter 8: Photography as Fact and Fine Art

"Invention" of Photography

Documenting Current Events

Social Reform

Photography and Science




Photography as a Fine Art

Pictorialism and New Technologies


Chapter 9: Realism and the Urban Poor

Contrasting Responses to 1848

Urban Migration

Social Unrest


Female Suicide

Middle Class Working Women

Poor Working Women


Documenting Work

Idealized Labor

Oppressed Workers

Reforming the Poor


Chapter 10: Imagined Communities: Views of Peasant Life

Peasant Identity

Peasant Imagery Before 1848

Courbet’s Burial: More than Just a Funeral

Academically Acceptable Peasant Images

Powerful Peasants: Heroic or Threatening?

Pitiable Peasants

Idealized Peasants

Grim Realities


Chapter 11: Crisis in the Academy

The Importance of Titles

History Painting and Autobiography: Courbet

The Situation of Women Artists

Salon of 1863 and Salon des Refuses

Salon of 1865

Sculpture and Politics

Foreign Artists in Paris

Art Academies in Austria and the German States

Menzel and Academic Realism

World’s Fairs


Chapter 12: Impressionism



New Paris

Flâneurs and Boulevardiers


Old Paris

Bourgeois Leisure

Café Society

Suburban Industry

Suburban Leisure

Natural and Acquired Identities

Gare Saint Lazare

Seaside Resorts

Beaches, Bathing, and Hygiene

Cézanne and Postimpressionism

The Macchiaioli


Chapter 13: Symbolism

Symbolist Precursors

Animate Nature


Music and Genius

Rodin: Abstract Ideas in Human Form

Pessimistic Withdrawal

Women: Angels or Whores?

Imagination Out of Control

Virgin Mothers

Social Pessimism

Memory and Degeneration

Gauguin: Seeking But Never Finding

Van Gogh: Expressing Nature

Genius and Creativity

Beyond the Five Senses


Chapter 14: Individualism and Collectivism

Artists’ Colonies

Pont Aven



Artist Organizations

Society of Independent Artists

The Nabis

Rose + Croix

Les XX

National Identity

France : Monet’s Cathedrals







Epilogue: Looking Toward the Twentieth Century




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