Art in History

Art in History

by Larry Silver

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ISBN-13: 9780130523334
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 01/28/1993
Pages: 496

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Preface

Any book should state its purposes and should limit its liabilities at the outset, the more so if it purports to introduce its readers to the entire history of art. As a single volume, Art in History has, of course, its limits of scale. Nonetheless, it was written with a specific goal in mind: to present works of art with a greater depth of treatment and a more historical and contextual view of their audiences and cultures than most survey volumes. As a result, discussion of the artists mentioned is more elaborate than the paragraph or two that most surveys--by necessity--provide, although the overall total of artists may be fewer. This book will offer multiple works by individual artists or multiple views and aspects of ensemble monuments, such as the presentation of Chartres cathedral through its architecture, portal sculpture, and stained glass.

While the need for selectivity imposes restraints on the quantity of works and artists considered in the pages that follow, that selectivity has been relaxed somewhat in the pages on more recent art, particularly the segments on the twentieth century. There the account will more closely resemble other standard introductions, with more artists discussed in terms of fewer works--in part because the sheer number of familiar artists seems to require greater attention. This viewpoint seems to accord metaphorically with actual practice in paintings: the convention of atmospheric perspective, which embodies the premise that the greatest number of details and most vivid distinctions can be made in the area closest to the viewer. Moreover, this approach signals the (at times bewildering) diversity of artworks and movements fromthe past three decades and indicates that the roster of major monuments has by no means distilled itself out from a general welter.

Nor should the smaller roster of artists in the earlier chapters be taken to indicate that the author is wedded to a "canon" of what used to be called "key monuments in the history of art." Quite the contrary. But textbooks do need to introduce prevailing traditions, and this one has chosen to concentrate on major political and economic centers from ancient Egypt to modern New York. Power attracts artists and in turn promotes the artists who succeed within that power structure. The cliche tells us that there is a reason why tourist attractions get to be tourist attractions; in similar fashion, canonical Western artists got their omnipresence and cultural status for a reason, although here such a reason will more often be tied to considerations of their patrons and their audiences at centers of power. (This is not a book that will ever couch such a canon in terms of "quality" or universal appeal.)

There have been some conscious omissions and deletions--and some deliberate substitutions. For example, the soft-ground etchings of Mary Cassatt appear here as surrogates for a larger field of later nineteenth-century experimental prints, including the etchings of Degas and the lithographs of Toulouse-Lautrec. Space would not permit more than one of these talented printmakers, and Cassatt was both a technical innovator and a sensitive representative of the Japoniste influences important to so many artists of her time. Furthermore, as a woman artist her prints have been unjustly neglected. For such substitutions, one makes no apology.

Further remarks on the organizing principles of this book need to be made. Quite consciously, this book is addressed to a contemporary audience in America and Europe. Hence, it centers on Europe, like most books of its type, because the artistic tradition that dominates even American museums and American art production stems in general from Europe. However, it is equally conscious that this modern world is a global village and that the remarkable diversity of American (and, increasingly, European) citizens comes from a variety of traditions and artistic cultures. Hence, there are deliberate interruptions in the smooth-flowing narrative to historicize and discuss some major moments of cultures outside the "mainstream" of Europe that dominates art history in museums and academies today.

These "Views from Outside" do not purport to be comprehensive. It is insulting and token to find single chapters on "Far Eastern Art" or "Primitive Alternatives" inserted into most survey volumes, as if those cultures could still be covered comprehensively in a single chapter, even in a similar volume that lumped them all together like those chapters. Here the solution to this impossible problem derives from the same principles as the text on European art: to concentrate on a more limited historical moment important to the overall tradition, but not to claim inclusiveness. Just as this book as a whole hopes to undermine any illusion of comprehensiveness through its lengthier expositions and more limited examples, so do its "case studies" from other cultural traditions (including Soviet Russia and America as well as Africa, Asia, and Central America) attempt to provide a strong period flavor. They also invite any cross-cultural comparisons as well as contrasts that the reader might deem to be appropriate. These "non-Western" case studies remain quite specific. By limiting the focus, the few pages that are reserved for each account of non-European art can go into greater depth on their objects of study than any other conventional survey text. For example, the Renaissance era turns its attention to Aztec Mexico and to ancient Nigeria, Ife and Benin. Those two accounts in particular will be picked up again in the twentieth-century period, because the more recent tradition of Mexican muralists and Yoruba carvers has had an appreciable cultural effect, not only in its own region, but also in modern America (the United States as part of the larger Americas, Hispanic as well as Creole).

Whereas the author has striven to incorporate decorative (or applied) arts (still pejorative-sounding terms but better than the former derisive phrase "minor arts") as well as printmaking and photography within the overall narrative, current museum bias in favor of easel painting and sculpture has nonetheless dictated the predominance of those two media throughout this text. There have been modifications according to specific cultures, however, especially older ones. In this text, architecture often appears in its encompassing role as a comprehensive cultural program, as in the case of the Acropolis in Athens or Chartres cathedral or St. Peter's in Rome--or Todai-ji in Nara.

This text will focus on centers of power and wealth. Hence important artists in provincial regions relative to political power may not always receive attention proportional to their merits, because at this point the narrative attends to London and Paris (and to a lesser extent Berlin) during the modern era, or Florence and Rome (and to a lesser extent Venice) during the Italian Renaissance. Kings and popes as well as the great urban centers inevitably loom large in a book devoted to a contextual study of public art. (This does not mean that important regional or pre-urban cultures do not deserve study. The glories of prehistoric caves or Scythian gold or Hiberno-Saxon manuscripts immediately evoke justified attention, but they do not figure here.)

Attentive readers of this book will perhaps note a disproportionate number of objects from the Art Institute of Chicago. The reasons are simple. The author lives and works in Chicago, and the Art Institute is a great museum, particularly for works after 1800. Such familiar and local works form the backbone of any author's experience of the history of art, and it is to be hoped that an instructor using this text to teach will also localize some of its Chicago-based observations with examples available to students on a first-hand basis. There can be no substitute for the actual experience of the size, the texture, the very materiality of an artwork; no slides or reproductions in this book (or even digitized simulacra) should obscure that basic fact. So the Art Institute and all other institutions and collections that own these objects should be thanked, not only for permission to reproduce them, but also for their custodianship, and their permission to readers to visit and view. A conscious effort has been made by the author to support such public institutions by choosing works from their collection rather than objects in private hands.

Writing such a book, especially with an interest in culture and context rather than formal description, is a demanding task; it has been instructive in its own right. As one learns when attempting to practice an art rather than analyzing and criticizing it, doing something yourself is much tougher than kibbitzing about it. Thus chastened, the author now has much greater respect for all of his predecessors in this endeavour than he did before attempting to improve on their precedents. That admiration is all the greater for the finest practitioners of this difficult, often thankless task. Like classics of other kinds, even artworks, classic introductions to art history like those of Janson and Gombrich have become classics for a reason, and the recent achievements of authors such as Hartt, Honour and Fleming, and Wilkins and Schultz provide worthy competition to them.

This volume aims to provide an introduction to the means by which art functions in and for its culture, while providing a visual primer of images saturated in the significance of their distinctive epochs. It also aims to retain a balance between the Eurocentric heritage of the modern art world, while acknowledging the power and the inherent interest of other contributors to that heritage--from Africa, from Mexico, and from Asia. Even the small section on Islamic Asia is offered in the hope of understanding--instead of the traditional, unfamiliar, demonic adversary usually offered, from the Crusades to Desert Storm. But every project has its limits, and this Preface should observe some limits, too.

Table of Contents

Preface 11(14)
Map
14(3)
Introduction: The Roles of the Artist
17(16)
Status of the Artist: Craftsman or Gentleman?
21(3)
The Art of Painting
24(2)
The Artist as Critic
26(1)
The Independent Artist
27(3)
Earliest Artists
30(3)
Ancient Ancestors
33(50)
View from Outside
Egypt and Assyria
34(6)
Ancient Egypt
34(1)
The Pyramids
34(1)
Egyptian Sculpture
35(1)
The New Kingdom
36(1)
Tut-Ankh-Amen
37(1)
Assyria
38(1)
Ishtar Gate, Babylon
39(1)
Grecian Glories
40(16)
The Greek Temple
41(1)
Doric Temples: Olympia and Delphi
42(1)
Olympia
42(3)
The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi
45(2)
Greek Painting
47(1)
Polygnotus
48(1)
Greek Sculpture and Architecture
49(1)
Polykleitos of Argos
49(1)
The Acropolis
50(1)
The Parthenon
50(2)
The Parthenon Frieze
52(2)
The Erechtheion
54(2)
Hellenism
56(9)
Skopas of Paros
56(1)
Praxiteles
57(1)
Art for Alexander
58(1)
Lysippos
58(2)
Battle of Issus
60(1)
Pergamon: The Legacy of Alexander
61(1)
Altar of Zeus
62(2)
Laocoon
64(1)
Rome: From Republic to Empire
65(18)
Greek and Etruscan Sources
66(1)
Temple of Fortuna Virilis
66(1)
Roman Republican Portraits
67(2)
The Empire of Augustus
69(1)
ARA Pacis
69(4)
Roman Domestic Art
73(1)
Imperial Grandeur
73(1)
The Colosseum
73(2)
The Arch of Titus
75(1)
Trajan's Column
75(1)
The Pantheon
76(2)
The Statue of Marcus Aurelius
78(1)
The Empire in Decline
79(4)
Christian Culture
83(42)
Christian Empires
84(14)
Rome: The Western Tradition
84(1)
Internal Decoration
85(2)
Funerary Monuments
87(1)
Ravenna
88(2)
Constantinople: The Eastern Tradition
90(1)
Hagia Sophia
90(4)
San Marco
94(1)
St. Savior in Chora
95(3)
Charlemagne and the Carolingians
98(4)
Illuminated Manuscripts
100(2)
Pilgrims and Power
102(13)
Churches of the Pilgrimage Routes
103(1)
St. Sernin
103(1)
Ste. Madeleine at Vezelay
104(2)
Royal Monastic Foundations
106(1)
St. Etienne
106(1)
St. Denis
107(1)
The Gothic Style: Chartres
107(5)
Stained Glass
112(3)
View from Outside
Nara, Medieval Japan
115(4)
The Kei School
117(2)
View from Outside
Song (Sung) China
119(6)
The Art of Landscape
120(2)
The Chan Artists
122(3)
Early Renaissance
125(60)
Northern Europe
125(31)
Claus Sluter
126(1)
Art of the Court
127(1)
The Limbourg Brothers
127(5)
Jan Van Eyck
132(2)
Art of Salvation
134(1)
Rogier Van Der Weyden
134(2)
Flanders: Sacred and Secular
136(1)
The Ghent Altarpiece
136(4)
The Art of Dying Well
140(1)
Hieronymus Bosch
140(3)
Mathis Neithart
143(4)
Art and the Reformation: Nuremburg and Durer
147(1)
Albrecht Durer
148(2)
Early Printmaking
150(3)
Holbein and the English Court
153(3)
Central Italy: Siena and Florence
156(29)
Siena
156(1)
Palazzo Pubblico
157(2)
Florence: Cathedral Projects
159(1)
The Baptistery Doors
160(2)
Lorenzo Ghiberti
162(1)
Brunelleschi's Dome
162(1)
Sculpture in Florence
163(1)
The or San Michele
163(1)
Donatello
164(2)
The Medici and San Lorenzo
166(2)
Civic Religious Narrative
168(1)
Masaccio
168(2)
The Gates of Paradise
170(3)
The Tomb of Leonardo Bruni
173(1)
Medici Dominance
173(2)
Sandro Botticelli
175(2)
Mantua and the Gonzagas
177(1)
Andrea Mantegna
178(3)
Papal Court in Rome
181(4)
Later Renaissance in Italy
185(48)
Rome Revived and Florence
186(23)
Michelangelo: David
186(1)
Leonardo da vinci
187(2)
"Renaissance Man"
189(1)
Raphael: The Florentine Influence
189(1)
The New St. Peter's
190(1)
Bramante
191(3)
Raphael at the Vatican
194(1)
The School of Athens
194(1)
The Parnassus
195(1)
The Disputa
196(2)
Michelangelo: The Sistine Chapel
198(2)
Michelangelo: The Julius Tomb
200(2)
The Last Judgment and the New Spirituality
202(2)
The Medici Tombs
204(2)
Cellini and Virtuoso Artistry
206(2)
Portraiture
208(1)
Venetian Variations
209(16)
Durer
209(1)
Giovanni Bellini
210(2)
Titian: Narrative and Color
212(1)
Mythology and Landscape
213(1)
Titian: Mythologies for Ferrara
214(2)
Titian: Imperial Patronage
216(1)
Philip II of Spain
217(1)
Palladian Villas
218(1)
Paolo Veronese
219(4)
Palladio's "Christian Temple"
223(1)
Jacopo Tintoretto
224(1)
View from Outside
Aztecs, Ancient Mexico
225(3)
The Temple Stone
226(1)
Teotihuacan
227(1)
View from Outside
IFE and Benin, Ancient West Africa
228(5)
Brass Heads
229(1)
The Art of Benin
229(1)
Bronze Plaques
229(1)
Bronze Heads
230(1)
The Palace at Benin
231(2)
Age of Absolutism
233(56)
Catholic Europe
233(27)
Caravaggio and Carracci
233(2)
The Cerasi Chapel
235(2)
Religious Heroism: Gentileschi
237(1)
Rubens
238(3)
Spanish Opperssion
241(1)
A Royal Commission
242(1)
Van Dyck
243(1)
Church Militant: Bernini
244(3)
St. Peter's
247(2)
Bernini and the Sun King
249(1)
French Classicism
250(1)
Poussin
250(2)
The Palace of Versailles
252(3)
Painted Magnificence: Wurzburg
255(1)
Neumann
255(1)
Tiepolo
256(4)
Capitalism and Calvinism: Holland
260(19)
Bruegel
260(4)
Civic Portraiture: Rembrandt
264(2)
Self-Portraits
266(1)
Rembrandt and Religion
267(2)
Church Interiors
269(2)
Scenic Vistas
271(1)
Van Ruisdael
271(2)
Vermeer
273(1)
Domestic Scenes
274(2)
Steen
276(1)
Emmanuel De Witte
277(1)
Still-life Painting
278(1)
View From Outside
Imperial Islam-Isfahan and India
279(10)
Islamic Architecture in Persia
279(2)
Illuminated Manuscripts in Persia
281(2)
Persian Miniatures
283(1)
Mughal Art and Architecture
283(1)
Fatehpur Sikri
284(5)
Dawn of the Modern Era
289(36)
Age of Enlightenment
289(17)
Hogarth
289(2)
Portraiture and Landscape
291(2)
The Classical Heritage
293(1)
Syon House
293(3)
The Royal Academy
296(1)
Joshua Reynolds
296(1)
Angelica Kauffmann
296(1)
Benjamin West
297(2)
Art and Revolution
299(1)
Houdon
299(1)
Thomas Jefferson and The Architecture of the New Nation
300(2)
Neoclassicism in France
302(1)
Canova
302(1)
David and History Painting
303(1)
Images of Napoleon
304(2)
Rebellion and History
306(19)
Goya
306(1)
Goya and the Disasters of War
307(2)
Turner: Nature's Grandeur and Empire's Demise
309(4)
Turner and Modernity
313(1)
Constable and Rural England
314(2)
The Romantic Landscape in Germany: Friedrich
316(1)
The Gothic Revival and Other Historicisms
317(1)
Schinkel
317(4)
Pugin
321(1)
Orientalism in France
321(1)
Eugene Delacroix
322(3)
Nature and Novelty
325(44)
Paris: Modern City
326(16)
Paris Opera
326(2)
Iron Architecture
328(2)
Daumier
330(1)
Rural Realism: Courbet
331(2)
"The Painter of Modern Life": Manet
333(3)
Capturing the Impression: Monet
336(2)
Morisot
338(1)
Impressionists At Argenteuil
338(1)
City Boulevards
339(1)
Photography: Pencil of Nature
340(2)
View from Outside
Chicago, America, and Americans Abroad
342(10)
Landscape
342(1)
Bierstadt
342(1)
American Photographers
343(2)
Americans in Europe
345(1)
Whistler
345(1)
Japonisme
346(1)
Cassatt
347(1)
Rebuilding Chicago
347(1)
The Marshall Field Store
348(1)
Sullivan
348(2)
Domestic Architecture: Wright
350(2)
Sense and Sensibilities
352(17)
Seurat
352(1)
Cezanne
352(3)
Emotion Through From: Van Gogh
355(2)
Escape to the Primitive: Gauguin
357(3)
The Sculpture of Rodin
360(2)
The Balzac Monument
362(1)
Edward Steichen
362(3)
Art Nouveau
365(1)
Victor Horta
365(1)
Josef Hoffmann: The Palais Stoclet
365(4)
In Search of Modernity
369(60)
Endless Experiment-Paris
369(15)
Cubism
372(1)
Collage
373(2)
"Luxury, Calm, and Voluptuousness": Matisse
375(4)
Sculpture as Form: Brancusi
379(1)
The Search for a Pure Geometry
380(1)
Mondrian
381(1)
Le Corbusier
382(1)
The Villa Savoye
382(2)
View from Outside
Modernizing America - New York Circles
384(6)
Steiglitz and Gallery '291'
384(1)
Marsden Hartley
385(1)
Georgia O'Keeffe
385(2)
Edward Weston
387(3)
Critique of Unreason: Germany and World War I
390(11)
Expressionism
390(1)
Munch
390(1)
Schiele
391(1)
Kandinsky and the "Blue Rider"
392(3)
The Impact of War: Beckmann
395(2)
Art and Anti-Art: Dadaism
397(1)
The Bauhaus
398(1)
Mies Van Der Rohe
399(1)
Paul Klee
399(2)
View from Outside
Revolutionary Russia, 1917
401(3)
Art as "Agitprop"
401(1)
El Lissitzky
401(1)
Liubov Popova
402(2)
Problems in Paris
404(10)
De Chirico
404(1)
Duchamp
404(2)
Duchamp's Large Glass
406(1)
Surrealist Art
406(1)
Joan Miro
407(1)
Alexander Calder
408(3)
Picasso: Variations
411(1)
Minotauromachy
411(1)
Picasso: Guernica
412(1)
Expressionist Imagery
413(1)
View from Outside
Modern Mexico
414(8)
Jose Clemente Orozco
414(1)
Diego Rivera
414(3)
The History and Future of Mexico
417(2)
Frida Kahlo
419(3)
View from Outside
Modern Nigeria (Yoruba), West Africa
422(7)
The Doorpost
422(3)
Yoruba Community Life
425(4)
World War II to Present
429(45)
Sublime and Secular: New York
429(19)
The New York School
430(1)
Barnett Newman
430(1)
Mark Rothko
431(1)
Arshile Gorky
432(1)
Jackson Pollock
433(1)
Drip Paintings
434(2)
The "Rothko Chapel"
436(2)
The Abstract in Sculpture
438(1)
Seymour Lipton
438(1)
Purity in Architecture: Mies van der Rhoe
439(2)
"Post-Painterly Abstraction"
441(1)
Frank Stella
441(2)
Analytical Paradoxes: Jasper Johns
443(1)
Robert Rauschenberg
444(1)
Pop Art
445(1)
Roy Lichtenstein
445(1)
Claes Oldenburg
446(1)
Andy Warhol
446(2)
After Modernism
448(26)
Art in Action: Beuys
448(2)
EVA Hesse
450(1)
Environmental Art
451(2)
Edward Kienholz
453(1)
African - American Art works
454(2)
Political Art
456(1)
Anselm Kiefer
456(2)
Hans Haacke
458(1)
Feminist Art
459(1)
Barbara Kruger
460(1)
Audrey Flack
460(1)
Return to Representation
461(1)
David Hockney
461(1)
Jennifer Bartlett
462(1)
American Archetype: Guston
463(3)
New Directions
466(1)
Monumental Art
466(2)
Modern to Postmodern in Architecture: The New Museum
468(1)
The Pompidou center
468(1)
The Kimbell Museum
469(2)
Stuttgart Staatsgalerie
471(1)
Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery
472(1)
Postmodernism
472(2)
Glossary 474(8)
Bibliography 482(5)
Index 487

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