Art History (Week 5 Discussion)

Question 1: The Painting of Modern Life

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The late nineteenth century is often cited as a critical point in the development of a “modern” art. Impressionists and Post-Impressionists turned to the contemporary world as primary subject matter, and depicted elements of that world using an innovative style.

Carefully examine the following paintings:

  • Monet, Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (In Sun), 1894
  • Manet, Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1881-82
  • Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, c. 1884-86

In 3 well-developed paragraphs, address the following questions:

  1. How is the subject of each painting representative of Impressionism or Post-Impressionism?
  2. How are the style and visual characteristics of each painting representative of Impressionism or Post-Impressionism? Be sure to discuss specific elements such as brushwork/application of paint, use of color and light, and composition, in your response.
  3. Describe the specific ways that each painting shows tension between its inherent two-dimensionality and any illusion of three-dimensionality created by the artist.

Question 2:

Modern and Contemporary Art may seem alien to many people— seemingly without content, message, or purpose. But it can be argued that Modern and Contemporary Art visually reflect the complex and abstract ideas that we experience every day. Although not for everyone, art of the 20th and 21st centuries is often a key part of the collection in many art museums. As you consider the wide range of modern and contemporary art types that we studied this week, think of yourself actually visiting a modern art museum. In 2 well-developed paragraphs discuss:

  1. While you are visiting, what type of Modern or Contemporary art will you most want to see and why? Be sure to name the specific style (e.g., Analytic Cubism, Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism)
  2. What type will you put last on your list of “things to look for?”
  3. Why do you feel that way?

Be sure to explain your ideas clearly and support them by discussing specific works of art that you have read about this week, talking about how they illustrate and support your ideas. Include the images of these specific works of art in your response.

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