Realism In The Age Of Impressionism: Painting And The Politics Of Time by Marnin Young

6856946f6c1e848.jpg Author Marnin Young
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Realism in the Age of Impressionism Realism in the Age of Impressionism Painting and the Politics of Time Marnin Young Yale University Press New Haven and London Publication of this book has been aided by a grant from the Millard Meiss Publication Fund of the College Art Association. Copyright © 2015 by Marnin Young. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers. Designed by Leslie Fitch Printed in China by Regent Publishing Services Limited Library of Congress Control Number: 2014943612 isbn 978-0-300-208320 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. This paper meets the requirements of ansi/niso z39.48–1992 (Permanence of Paper). 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Jacket illustrations: (front) JeanFrançois Raffaëlli, The Absinthe Drinkers (Les Déclassés), 1881 (detail of fig. 81); (back) Jules BastienLepage, October (Saison d’octobre, récolte des pommes de terre), 1878 (detail of fig. 30). Frontispiece: Gustave Caillebotte, Interior, Woman at the Window (Intérieur, femme à la fenêtre), 1880 (detail of fig. 123). For Gabrielle This page intentionally left blank contents Acknowledgments viii Introduction 1 1 1878 / The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Haymaking 15 2 1879 / The Impressionist Moment: Gustave Caillebotte, Decorative Triptych 53 3 1880 / The Politics of Time: Alfred-Philippe Roll, The Strike of the Miners 91 4 1881 / Heroic Indolence: Jean-François Raffaëlli, The Absinthe Drinkers 127 5 1882 / The Revolutionary Foyer: James Ensor, Russian Music 165 Conclusion 205 Notes 215 Index 255 Illustration Credits 259 acknowledgments The origins of this book can be traced to a question posed one day long ago at the University of California, Berkeley. “Why,” one of my professors asked, “doesn’t anyone write about Realism anymore?” My name quickly appeared to fill the gap, and a thesis gradually followed. From start to finish, Tim Clark unstintingly supported my work, and I doubt anyone will be surprised to hear the depth of his engagement as a supervisor. The page after page of handwritten commentary on my dissertation, for example, would constitute an independent article. The substance of his response to my argument has guided my research and writing ever since, and his own work continues to serve as a model of art historical scholarship. In the writing of any book, debts accumulate, and this one is no exception. Thanks are owed, most notably, to all those generous enough to offer help along the way. Ann Banfield and Anne Wagner both read my dissertation with seriousness and attention. They pushed me to refine both my logic and my rhetoric. Many other friends and colleagues from Berkeley—Jennifer Bethke, J. P. Daughton, Whitney Davis, André Dombrowski, Strefan Fauble, Amy Freund, Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Sabine Kriebel, Katherine Kuenzli, Amy Lyford, Heather MacDonald, Jessica May, Mark Rosen, Michael Schreyach, and Josh Shannon, among others—have given feedback, support, and advice. Elsewhere, Sarah Betzer, Bonnie Blackwell, Jane Block, Babette Bohn, Michel Draguet, Jeffrey Freedman, Anne Frey, André Gunthert, Robert Hoozee, John House, Sura Levine, Seamus O’Malley, Charles Palermo, Mark Thistlethwaite, Martha Ward, Malcolm Warner, Gabriel Weisberg, and Jacob Wisse have all taken an interest in my work and assisted in various ways. At Yeshiva University, I would like to thank Dean Karen Bacon, who provided funds to aid with the acquisition of reproductions. A generous grant from the Millard Meiss Publication Fund made it possible to obtain the remaining images. Elements of this book have been presented publicly, and I should thank all those who listened and responded to my work at the College Art Association, the Getty Research Institute, the Midwest Art History Society, the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Annual Colloquium, and the Nineteenth Century Studies Conference. A shorter version of chapter 1 appeared under the title “The Motionless Look of a Painting: Jules Bastien-Lepage, Les Foins, and the End of Realism” in Art History 37, no. 1 (February 2014): 38–67; chapter 4 was published in slightly different form as “Heroic Indolence: Realism and the Politics of Time in Raffaëlli’s Absinthe Drinkers” in The Art Bulletin 90, no. 2 (June 2008): 235–59. The readers for both journals provided insightful commentary that greatly improved my analysis. Likewise the peer review at Yale University Press helped enormously with a later stage of revision. In particular, Michael Fried gave detailed and very encouraging commentary on the entire manuscript. All the way through, as this book no doubt shows, Fried’s command of period-specific art criticism and his account of the historical genesis of Modernism have informed my thinking and writing about nineteenth-century Realist painting. I owe several of my colleagues a special debt of gratitude. Kevin Chua and Todd Cronan have been my key interlocutors during the genesis and realization of this book, and both of them have offered bountiful friendship and intellectual camaraderie. Kevin and I published reviews of Fredric Jameson’s Antinomies of Realism at 11 (14 March 2014), and I would like to thank Todd for organizing the “Tank” on this subject and for facilitating Jameson’s response. The opportunity helped me refine some thoughts about Realism and time, and elements of my review consequently reappear in the introduction of this book. Very generously, Bridget Alsdorf took time to read the entire manuscript at a late stage and gave extremely productive and insightful remarks when it mattered most. Her subtlety of thought and keen eyes have made me look afresh at each of the paintings I treat in this book. At Yale University Press, Katherine Boller has been especially supportive since we first discussed the possibility of this book. Since then, Amy Canonico, Heidi Downey, Mary Mayer, and Tamara Schechter have offered vital assistance with its production. The attentive copyediting of Linda Truilo has made the text much clearer. Finally, the contributions of my family have proved to be foundational and enduring. My grandmother, Frances Young, read parts of the text and provided essential support. My parents, Kristin Wilson and Frank Young, took me to museums before I could walk, and we continue the art historical conversation today. In the past few years, my own children have provided delight and distraction in equal share. Last, but not least, my wife, Gabrielle Larocque, has given unending help in the realization of this project. This book is for her. ix acknowledgments Introduction Le Réalisme, c’était Courbet . . . —Charles Timbal, “Gustave Courbet et le Réalisme,” 1878 Detail of Figure 1 At the Exposition Universelle of 1878, a single painting by Gustave Courbet hung in the officially sanctioned Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris (fig. 1). The Wave, as it was then called, had first appeared before the public at the Salon of 1870, but the French state purchased it— for 20,000 francs from the dealer Étienne-François Haro—only two months before the fair opened in May.1 To the numerous fairgoers who stopped in front of the canvas over the next half year, the painter’s representation of a wave cresting before a pebbly beach and a pair of fishing boats on the blustery Norman coast must have seemed all but inexplicable amid the drove of slick, academic productions signed William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gérôme.2 Viewers could only have turned away in puzzlement. What kind of painting was this? And what kind of tribute did it offer to the recently deceased Realist, the “Master of Ornans,” the infamous painter of The Stonebreakers? Almost nothing in the art galleries seemed to explain or contextualize, let alone commemorate, an artist whose death some months before had made international news.3 Small wonder, then, that foreign visitors expressed astonishment upon learning that the painter once occupied an elevated place in French art.4 The absence of Courbet’s earlier works was felt in 1878. For Émile Zola, it was nothing less than scandalous. “They should have given Courbet an entire room at the Exposition Universelle,” he wrote in his review of the fair, “as they did for Delacroix and Ingres at the Exposition in 1855.”5 To show only The Wave, a work that did no justice at all to the full range of the artist’s accomplishment and his place in the history of French art, served as a backhanded compliment at best, as if they wished “to bury him under a fistful of dirt.”6 For Zola, the rationale of the attempted exclusion was clear-cut, and it had almost nothing to do with the art: “we know very well what it goes back to: Courbet participated in the Commune of 1871.”7 Although the man was dead, his art still stood for the radical politics of the Paris Commune, the three-month working-class revolution in which the painter served as an elected official.8 The reactionary right-wing coalition that had ruled France since the brutal suppression of the Commune was on its way out—the conservative de Broglie FIGURE 1 Gustave Courbet, The Wave (La Vague), 1870. Oil on canvas, 46 × 631/4 in. (117 × 160.5 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris. ministry had given way to Dufaure’s moderates in December 1877—but the president of the Third Republic, Patrice de MacMahon, was still a monarchist, and a “zone of silence” reigned over the Exposition Universelle.9 A limited amnesty of former Communards did not emerge on the political horizon until well after the fair had closed, and no painting whose content or history breathed even a whiff of political controversy would have been allowed on the Champ de Mars. A Courbet retrospective would have to wait until 1882.10 In the absence of any further knowledge of Realism and its political associations, a sophisticated fairgoer might well have assimilated her viewing of Courbet to other, more topical frames of reference. “Clouds zoom by rapidly in the evening sky: in a few minutes, color and form will change. Three or four brushstrokes must suffice to fix the fugitive image”—this is Paul Mantz seeking to define Impressionism in 1877, but it might just as well describe The Wave.11 Clouds do indeed zoom by in the upper-half of the canvas. The storm passes, driven up the English Channel by cold westerly winds; the sea surges and pounds onto the coast at Étretat. Dark cumulus rain clouds scuttle on the horizon, lightening and breaking up in the stratosphere. The sky clears in the west. Two fishing boats sit precariously on the rocky beach. A frothy undertow whips back toward the cresting waves, battling and suspending their force, if only momentarily. A small reddish sail peeks above the whitecaps: a boat tacking against the wind or pulling hard for Fécamp. Brushstrokes alone do not quite convey the mix of pounding surf and whipping wind in this “fugitive image,” but Courbet’s palette knife, laden with white oil, unhesitatingly smeared across the middle ground of the canvas, serves to indicate the passing moment. And though it only incidentally concerns the “rapid phenomena of light, so difficult to 2 introduction grasp in their incessant movement,” the painting could be said to meet Charles Ephrussi’s contemporaneous demand that to “best render these instantaneous impressions so dear to the new school, one needs procedures less summary than they use, a more dependable hand, a more knowing execution, a more conscientious work.”12 When The Wave had first been shown, however, the one consistent criticism leveled at it was that it precisely did not capture the movement of waves, but rather, as Paul de SaintVictor put it, had a “petrified” appearance.13 Part of this critique at the time had to do with the artist’s paint handling: the heavy impasto and the palette-knife encrustation of the surface. The work itself had a solidity that stood at odds with the liquidity of its depicted subject. The Belgian critic Camille Lemonnier sought to defend the painting’s luminous effects, but even he was forced to admit its sedimentation and crystallization: “Do not think that seascapes resembling incrustations of marble and metal end up crushed under their own opacity,” he declared. “Nothing is as exquisite as the delicacy spread throughout and the transparencies which bathe the ground plane. The sky has fluidity and freshness like the clearest crystal, and the tips of the wave in their stalactite-like facets become iridescent with a heavenly light where the face of the Napaeae show themselves at a glimpse.”14 Although less inclined to such poetic flights, critics in 1870 typically agreed that Realism simply could not render such a fugitive and ephemeral subject. Even Edmond Duranty, arguably the greatest defender of the style at the time, had only one real insight about The Wave in his Salon review of 1870, but it was cutting. “The best piece at the Salon,” he wrote of Courbet’s painting, “it is only a piece, a fragment [morceau]. The thing is restrained and does not lend itself to long contemplation.”15 When Duranty returned to The Wave in 1878, he opted to do so through a review of Lemonnier’s newly published book on Courbet, and half the article is simply a quote of the section on the painting then hanging at the Exposition Universelle. “At certain times,” Lemonnier conceded, “these splendid seascapes admittedly resemble incrustations of marble and metal, the waves rearing up like horses, and the froth that flattens at their peaks crumbles like shards of marble sculpted by the blows of a mallet. But the sky still has an admirable fluidity and the tips of the wave, no bigger than fingernails, contain a heavenly light in their crystalclear facets.”16 An obvious revision of his earlier Salon criticism, Lemonnier’s second reading of The Wave more crisply divides the canvas between its “frozen” and “fluid” elements, that is, between a Realism incapable of capturing continuous motion and a more nimble painting of light, but it also transmutes the “petrified” forms into rearing, flattening, shattering movement. Responding in turn to Lemonnier’s book, Mantz likewise admitted, in an extended treatment of Courbet in the Gazette des beaux-arts, that The Wave ultimately took on the appearance of “basalt.” The significance of the painting nonetheless lay in Courbet’s imaginative attempt to “fix on canvas the moving image” and to “render such moving spectacles, so fugitive in their insistently changed shape.”17 In other words, “the fugitive image” of Impressionism can be traced to Courbet’s failed representation of an ever-changing and fluid seascape—an instant rendered as if in extended time. Whether or not this artistic ambition originated in Courbet’s appreciation of photographs such as those of Gustave 3 introduction Le Gray—from Walter Benjamin to Dominique de Font-Réaulx this has been presumed to be the case—the logic of the painting’s temporality became more and more inextricably tied to photographic image-making.18 For Mantz in 1878, anyway, the contradiction in the Realist project lay precisely in the incompatibility of the “strict truth of photography” and the “subjective ideal” necessary to realize the “synthesis of a wave.”19 Adherence to the former is Realism’s defining characteristic and weakness, but the latter can surely be found to best advantage in the work of the Impressionists who, following the well-known definition of Jules-Antoine Castagnary, “leave reality and enter into full idealism.”20 ••• Even as The Wave was revealed to the public at the opening of the Exposition Universelle, a very different painting by Courbet could be found, not three miles away. The Stream (Le Ruisseau du Puits-Noirs; vallée de la Loue), 1855, then hung on the walls of a mansion on the avenue de Madrid in Neuilly (fig. 2). In the run-up to the auction of the Laurent-Richard collection—an impressive array of works by Eugène Delacroix, Jean-François Millet, and others—the entire household had been opened to the public. On 24 May, at the Hôtel Drouot, the painting sold for 13,100 francs to none other than Haro, the very dealer who had sold The Wave to the French state earlier in the year.21 The rationale for the substitution of one for the other seems to have been clear enough to Haro, and for any viewer who might have strolled from the Champ de Mars across the 16th arrondissement and the Bois de Boulogne to see the Laurent-Richard painting, two opposing conceptions of the viewing of art, of Courbet, and of Realism might very well have emerged. The critic Alfred de Lostalot almost certainly saw both paintings, and his reading of The Stream proves instructive. Also writing in the Gazette des beaux-arts, he argued that to see a real painting (tableau) when looking at Courbet’s landscape, it was necessary “to take time, to make a choice, to pinpoint attention.”22 In fact, Lostalot worried that in Courbet’s case it was the viewer more than the painter who ended up taking the time, but either way he insisted on the necessity of extended time for viewing and for producing landscape painting. That the critic came to this conclusion upon seeing The Stream is revelatory. As much as The Wave might suggest a passing instant—the wave held in suspension, its imminent crash held for a brief second—The Stream suggests time slowed: the almost imperceptible movement of water in the stream, the shadows of the leafy trees obscuring and screening the shifting position of the sun and passing clouds, the blue sky only peeking in at top, the rocks themselves even unfolding the very magnitude of sedimentary time. As Thomas Galifot has argued, this landscape can be understood as a “counterpoint” to The Wave, “a veritable laboratory for his research into the art of the Realist, anti-illusionist, and atemporal landscape.”23 At bare minimum it presents a remarkably and identifiably slow painting. In Michael Fried’s assessment the painting is, in fact, exceptionally slow. “There may be,” he claims, “no slower painting in all Western art.”24 Such “slow” temporality has, according to Fried, formed an integral part of the entire realist tradition. “Pictorial realism in the West,” he writes, “has often involved a 4 introduction FIGURE 2 Gustave Courbet, The Stream (Le Ruisseau du Puits-Noirs; vallée de la Loue), 1855. Oil on canvas, 41 × 54 in. (104 × 137 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. P.H.B. Frelinghuysen in memory of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer (1943.15.2). tacit or implicit illusion of the passage of time, of sheer duration.”25 This tendency has followed one of two means of representing time in painting: that which is “keyed to the persistence, essentially unchanged over time, of easel paintings as material objects.”26 From Jean-Baptiste Greuze in the 1750s to Millet in the 1850s, painters had regularly sought to represent men and women so absorbed in their activities or otherwise so distracted or inattentive that they effectively deny the beholder’s presence in front of the canvas. Absorption helped produce the powerful fiction that the representation had not been staged—nor made “theatrical” in Fried’s terms—and existed in and for itself.27 In the nineteenth century, the artistic drive to compel conviction—to make paintings that appear uncontrived, natural, real—led to more and more extreme forms of absorption and duration over the course of the century, culminating ultimately with the “reversing or liquidating” of this tradition in the art of Édouard Manet.28 With this turn, Fried argues, a second pictorial temporality came to dominate: “instantaneousness.” What he also has called “presentness” flows from the perception that the surface of a canvas can be “taken in all at once, ‘as a whole,’ in a single immeasurably brief coup d’oeil.”29 The latter mode has tended to dominate in Modernist aesthetics, but the interrelation of the two has long been understood as complex.30 Even Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, whose 1766 Laocoön canonized the conventional notion of such temporal limitations—“the single moment in time to which art must confine itself”—was concerned to underline that artworks are “created not merely to be given a glance but to be contemplated—contemplated repeatedly and at length.”31 As Peter Geimer usefully summarizes the analysis, “Lessing’s Laocoon deals with two different 5 introduction modes of temporality in pictorial art: the frozen time of a painting or sculpture and the continuous time of its beholder, the instantaneousness of a depicted scene and the unlimitedness of its contemplation.”32 Following Aristotelian theories of unity, however, academic theory in the mid-nineteenth century came to insist that “in painting, the setting is immutable, the time indivisible, and the action instantaneous.”33 As avant-garde painters sought to evade the limitations of such narrative confines, pictorial duration and instantaneousness were, in turn, increasingly intensified. For their part, Realist painters of the 1840s and 1850s endeavored to sustain their representational fictions by harnessing a durational temporality in both form and content. Paradigmatically, the After Dinner at Ornans showcases Courbet’s “consistent eschewal of instantaneousness in favor of effects of duration, of slow or repetitive or continuous actions, the very perception of which is felt by the viewer to take place over time” (fig. 3).34 Here the continuous violin playing of Courbet’s friend Alphonse Promayet on the right buoys the subdued but persistent absorption of Adolphe Marlet, lighting a pipe with his back to the viewer; Urbain Cuenot on the far side of the table; and the painter’s father on the left of the canvas. A dog lies curled beneath Marlet’s chair, asleep, unmoving. For many long minutes, the beholder must imagine, the scene has endured exactly like this; nothing indicates it will change anytime soon. The painting calls up “an almost palpable temporal duration.”35 In the decades that followed, however, the Modernist painting that emerged in the work of Manet, with its “strikingness” and emphatic foregrounding of the flatness of the painted surface, saw a pendulum swing in pictorial temporality. A canvas such as The Execution of Maximilian—however much it suggests a contradictory and narrow “temporal extension”—can be said to function within “the framework of a thematics of instantaneousness, keyed to the flame and smoke issuing from the muskets” (fig. 4).36 In terms that implicitly contrast the painting with Courbet’s Stream, Fried summarizes the extraordinary temporal self-consciousness of the production: “It’s hard to think of another picture in all Western art that so determinedly draws attention to the inevitably aporetic nature of the fiction of instantaneousness even as it appeals to that fiction for its basic structure.”37 That Impressionism could be understood only a few years later to represent “movement’s elusive, fugitive, instantaneous quality” or “the impression of the first coup d’oeil” flows directly from Manet’s innovations.38 By the late 1870s, when The Execution of Maximilian was finally shown in public, the motif, the rendering, and the experience of avant-garde painting all suggested not duration but what was then called, for the first time, “instantaneity.”39 The Wave moved to center stage, and The Stream moved to the wings. ••• The emergence of instantaneity as a norm for the making and viewing of late-nineteenthcentury European painting coincided with a larger cultural shift in the conception of temporality. The coordination and synchronization of time in Western Europe has long been understood to reach a turning point in the early 1880s. Most decisively, the 1884 Prime 6 introduction FIGURE 3 Gustave Courbet, After Dinner at Ornans (Une après-dînée à Ornans), 1848–49. Oil on canvas, 763/4 × 1011/4 in. (195 × 257 cm). Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille. FIGURE 4 Édouard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian (L’Exécution de Maximilien), 1868–69. Oil on canvas, 8 ft. 31/4 in. × 9 ft. 107/8 in. (252 × 302 cm). Staedtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim. 7 introduction Meridian Conference established the division of world-time into twenty-four zones and facilitated the displacement of local time based on the passage of the sun by railroad-time coordinated to the clock. By 1891 this universal clock time took legal form throughout France. Historical accounts of this shift—be they economic, technological, or scientific—have consistently assumed the conclusiveness of this restructuring of temporal self-consciousness over the course of the nineteenth century.40 Time in 1900 was, everyone seems to agree, more disciplined and measured than could have been imagined a hundred years earlier. Following Arno Mayer’s broad reconsideration of European culture before World War I, Fredric Jameson has on the contrary pointed to the radically “uneven development” of such temporal ordering.41 In the late nineteenth century, only a small percentage of Europeans felt the rigors of measured time decisively undoing an older, natural view of time. In the provinces of France, for instance, work in both the office and fields continued to operate under what Guy Thuillier has called the “ancien régime du temps.”42 For reasons that remain fully to be explained, Modernism came to embrace the forms of temporality most closely associated with a still-emergent modernity—in the visual arts, instantaneity most obviously—much in advance of society as a whole. The new artistic production of the late nineteenth century thus emerged from a visceral and ongoing cultural tension between older and newer temporalities. As Jameson puts it, “The protagonists of those aesthetic and philosophical revolutions were people who still lived in two distinct worlds simultaneously; born in those agricultural villages we still sometimes characterize as medieval or premodern, they developed their vocations in the new urban agglomerations with their radically distinct and ‘modern’ spaces and temporalities. The sensitivity to deep time in the moderns then registers this comparatist perception of the two socioeconomic temporalities, which the first modernists had to negotiate in their own lived experience.”43 Within such a revisionist account, the equally evident history of resistance to the new temporalities—be it rural opposition to railroads or industrial strikes in response to work-time discipline—likewise becomes clear.44 Something like a temporal bilingualism—experienced time persisting side-by-side with measured time—characterizes the cultural ground from which such artistic forms as Impressionism emerged. In the public exhibitions of the 1870s and 1880s, the “fugitive image” or pictorial “instantaneity,” as Claude Monet himself later called it, would have been understood only against the slower time of rural and premodern life.45 Far from a passive reflection of new temporal modes, Impressionism offered something like a model for future ones. The persistence of the style as the emblem of an art built on the truth of precognitive, saccadic perception only confirms this conjecture. This is one way of restating what was avant-garde about Impressionism; it is also a way of situating the emergence of new aesthetic forms in dialectical relation to the visuality that made them artistically possible and legible to their intended audiences. The concept here of “visuality,” as Whitney Davis articulates it, proves useful for an understanding of artistic temporality within a larger visual culture. “When we speak of visuality,” Davis explains, “rather than simply vision or visual perception, we address the difference introduced into human seeing by 8 introduction traditional cultural meaning consolidated and reconfigured in images.”46 The depiction of instantaneity in Impressionism could thus have been seen—it could have entered the perceptual horizon of a historical beholder—only in as much as it was comprehended in distinction from the duration and slowness found not only in earlier paintings, such as those of the Realist generation that preceded, but also within the broader economic and social structures that lagged behind or resisted the larger capitalist reorganization of time. ••• This book is about Realist painting in the late 1870s and early 1880s and its place within this broader restructuring and regimentation of time. To present the topic in this way is, of course, to assert two potentially separate problems of historical interpretation. First, the chapters that follow offer an account of the end of a style of painting—and, in turn, an account of what was distinctive about that style. Modernist histories have typically failed to treat the persistence of Realism as dialectically related to Impressionism in the 1870s and 1880s. As an avant-garde endeavor it would seem to tail off in the 1850s or 1860s, returning only later under the false consciousness of Naturalism. The visual and archival evidence confirms, however, that a “later Realism” sat side by side with these styles, offering a mirror reflection of the cultural transformations in the perception of temporality.47 In no small part, this book offers an attempt to clarify the differences between these stylistic terms. As Richard Thomson has demonstrated, the emergence of Naturalism in the 1880s was understood as continuous with the tradition of Courbet and Manet, but its distinctive concern with the natural sciences and the bourgeois ideology of Third Republic France also marked something of a rupture.48 Perhaps more usefully for what follows, Realism, Impressionism, and Naturalism can be defined, for heuristic purposes, according to their differing pictorial temporalities. In an important and largely overlooked essay, Étienne Souriau convincingly divides “time in the visual arts” between the time of the beholder’s contemplation and what he calls the “intrinsic time” of the work of art.49 The time of the action depicted in Courbet’s After Dinner at Ornans and that in Manet’s Execution of Maximilian stand apart, regardless of how long any viewer actually looks at either picture. The time represented in one is extended and slow, in the other contracted and fast. For their intended audiences, however, the time of looking was meant to approach the time of the representation. Realist paintings consistently matched depictions of temporally enduring subjects—dozing peasants or repetitive labor—with a rendering designed to sustain looking over time. Impressionism, by contrast, sought to represent the “fugitive image” of street-life or steam with the artistic “instantaneity” of the broken brush mark and striking coloration. Naturalism, in turn, can be understood to combine the representation of instantaneous moments with a rendering even more detailed and finished than its Realist precedents. This is the basis, in large part, of the consistent critical yoking together of Naturalism and instantaneous photography. For a critic like Félix Fénéon, Salon-oriented painters of the 1880s simply failed to see the “absurdity of permanently freezing an anecdotal scene and 9 introduction

Author Marnin Young Isbn 9780300208320 File size 14.9 MB Year 2015 Pages 272 Language English File format PDF Category Design Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare This illuminating volume offers the first critical examination of the later Realist painters, who advocated slowness in practice, subject matter, and beholding that opposed the hallmarks of Impressionism and the measured time of modernity.       Download (14.9 MB) Children’s Emotions in Policy and Practice Abstract Painting For You: The Complete Guide Painter 12 for Photographers The Landscape Painter’s Essential Handbook Advanced Painter Techniques Load more posts

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