Рефераты. British painting in the 17-18th centuries (Британская живопись 17-18 вв.)

British painting in the 17-18th centuries (Британская живопись 17-18 вв.)

1) Some Famous Illuminated Manuscripts.

It is usual to regard English painting as beginning with the Tudor

period and for this are several reasons. Yet the fact remains that

painting was practised in England for many hundred years before the first

Tudors came to the throne.

The development of the linear design in which English artists have

always excelled can be traced back to the earliest illuminations

brilliantly evolved in irish monastic centres and brought to Northumbria in

the seventh century. Its principal feature is that wonderful elaboration

of interlaced ornament derived from the patterns of metal-work in the

Celtic Iron Age, which is to be found in the Book of Kells and Lindesfarne

Gospel, its Northumbrian equivalent.

The greatest achievement in Irish manuscript illumination, the Book

of Kells is now generally assigned to the late eighth or early ninth

century. The Book of Kells is a manuscrept of the gospes of rather large

size(33*24 cm)written on thick glazed vellum. Its pages were originally

still larger; but a binder, a century or so ago, clipped away their

margins, cutting even into edges of the illuminations. Otherwise the

manuscript is in relatively good condition, in spite of another earlier

misadventure. The great gospel, on account of its wrought shrine, was

wickedly stolen in the night from the sacresty of the church and was found

a few months later stripped of its gold, under a sod. Finally the

manuscript passed to trinity college, where it is today.

No manuscript approaches the book of kells for elaborate

ornamentation. A continuous chain of ornamentation runs through the text.

The capitals at the beginning of each paragraph--two, three, cour to a page-

-are made of brightly coloured entwinements of birds, snakes, destorted men

and quadrupeds, fighting or performing all sorts of acrebatic feats. Other

animals wander about the pages between the lines or on top of them.

The thirteenth century had been the century of the great cathedrals,

in which nearly all branches of art had their share. Work on these immense

enterprises contunued into the fourteenth century and even beyond, but they

were no longer the main focus of art. We must remember that the world had

changed a great deal during that peiod. In the middle of the twelfth

century Europe was still a thinly populated continent of peasants with

moasteries and baron's castles as the main centres of power and learning.

But a hundred and fifty years later towns had grown into centres of trade

whose burghers felt increasingly independent of the poweof the Church and

the fuedal lords. Even the nobles no longer lived a life of grim seclusion

in their fortified manors, but moved to the cities with their comfort and

fashionable luxury there to display their wealth at the courts of the

mighty. We can get a very vivid idea of what life in the fourteenth

century was like if we remember the works of Chaucer, with his knights and

squires, friars and artisans.

The love of fourteenth-century painters for graceful and delicate

details is seen in such famous illustrated manuscripts as the English

Psalter known as Queen Mary's Psalter(about 1310). One of the pages shows

Christ in the temple, conversing with the learned scribes. They have put

him on a high chair, and he is seen explaining some point of doctrine with

the characteristic gesture used by medieval artists when they wanted to

draw a teacher. The scribes raise their hands in attitude of awe and

astonishment, and so do Christ's parents, who are just coming on to the

scene, looking at each other wonderingly. The method of telling the story

is still rather unreal. The artist has evidently not yet heard of Giotto's

discovery of the way in which to stage a scene so as to give it life.

Christ is minute in comparison with the grown-ups, and there is no attempt

on the part of the artist to give us any idea of the space between the

fugures. Moreover we can see that all the faces are more of less drawn

according to one simple formula, with the curved eyebrows, the mouth drawn

downwards and the curly hair and beard. It is all the more surprising to

look down the same page and to see that another scene has been added, which

has nothing to do with the sacred text. It is a theme from the daily life

of the time, the hunting of ducks with a hawk. Much to the delight of the

man and woman on horseback, and of the boy in front of them, the hawk has

just got hold of a duck, while tow others are flying away. The artist may

not have looked at real boys when he painted the scene above, but he had

undoubtedly looked at real hawks and ducks when he painted the scene below.

Perhaps he had too much reverence for the biblical narrative to bring his

observationn of actual life into it. He preferred to keep the two things

apart: the clear symbolic way of telling a story with easily readable

gestures and no distracting details, and on the margin of the page, the

piece from real life, which reminds us once more that this is Chaucer's

century. It was only in the cours of the fourteenth century that the two

elements of this art, the graceful narrative and the faithful observation,

were gradually fused. Perhaps this would not have happened so soon without

the influence of Italian art.

2) 16th and 17th Centuries.

When Henry VII abolished Papal authority in England in 1534 and

ordered the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 he automatically brought

to an end the tradition of religious art as it had been practised in the

middle ages and in monastic centres. The break was so complete that

painting before and after seem entirely different thing, in subject, style

and medium. The local centres of culture having vanished, the tendency of

painting to be centralized in London and in the service of the court was

affirmed. Secular patronage now insisted on portraiture, and the habit

grew up of useng foreign painters--an artificial replacement of the old,

international interchange of artists and craftsmen. Yet the sixteenth

century was the age of Humanism which had created a new interest in the

human personality.

3) Painting In The 16th --17th Centuries.

In the sixteenth century Holbein came to England, bringing with him a

much more highly developed pictorial tradition with a much fuller sense of

plastic relief. Holbein himself was a supreme master of linear design; he

could draw patterns for embroidery and jewellery as no one else, but he

never entirely sacrificed the plastic feeling for form to that, and in his

early work he modelled in full light and shade. Still, it was not

difficult for him to adapt himself somewhat to the English fondness for

flat linear pattern. Particularly in hes royal portraits, e.g. the

portrait of Henry VIII, we find and insistence on the details of the

embroidered patterns of the clothes and the jewellery, which is out of key

with the careful modelling of hands and face.

Finally, by Elizabeth's reign almost all trace of Holbein's plastic

feeling was swept away and the English instinct for linear description had

triumphed completely.

But the English were not left long in peace with their linear style.

Charles I, who had travelled abroad was bound to see that Rubens

represented a much higher conception of art than anything England

possessed, and invited him over. He was followed by Van Dyck, who came to

stay. And although he too could not help feeling the influence of the bias

of English taste and learned to make his images more flatly decorative and

less powerfully modelled, than had been his wont, none the less, he set a

new standard of plastic design, and this was carried on by Lely. Lely was

not a great artist, but he was thoroughly imbued with the principles of

three demensional plastic design. Though his portraits lack psychological

subtlety, and fail to reveal clearly the sitter's individuality, they are

firmly and consistently constructed.

Kneller of the next generation caried on the same tradition.

What of native English talent? The approach of the Civil war stripped

away the polish and brought out a sterner strain of character no less in

the aristocratic opponents. In the realism with which he depicted the

militant Cavalier, William Dobson(1610-46) marks a breakaway from Van

Dyckian elegance. Born in London, Dobson comes suddenly into prominence in

royalist Oxford after the Civil War had broken out.

The painting of Endymion Porter, thefriend and agent of Charles I in

the purchase of works of art, is generally accounted Dobson's masterpiece.

The most striking aspect of the work is its realism. Though Endymion

Porter is portrayed as a sportsman who has just shot a hare, there is a

stern look about his features which seems to convey that this is wartime.

The solemnity of the times is also reflected in the portraiture

produced during the Commonwealth period and one would naturally expect an

even greater refection of elegance than that of Dobson during the Puritan

dominance. Indeed a prospect of unsparing realism is set out in Cromwell's

admonition--to "remark all these ruffness, pimples, warts" and paint "

everything as you see in me".

The corresponding painter to Dobson on the Parliamentary side,

however, Robert Walker, was a much less original artist and still closely

imitated Van Dyck's graceful style.

A number of other portrait painters are of interest by reason of

their subjects. John Greenhill (c. 1644--76) is of some note as one of the

first artists to depict English actors in costume. John Riley (1646--91)

was an artist whose work is distinguished by a grave reticence. In

succession to Lely he painted many eminent people, including Dryden, and

some minor folk, as for example the aged housemaid Bridget Holmes. He was

described by Horace Walpole as "one of the best native painters who have

flourished in England".

4) Painting In The 18th Century.

The eighteenth century was the great age of British painting. It was

in this period that British art attained a distinct national character.

In the seventeenth century, art in Britain had been dominated largely by

the Flemish artist, Anthony van Dyck. In the early eighteenth century,

although influenced by Continental movements, particularly by French

rococo, British art began to develop nindependently. William Hogarth, born

just before the turn of the century, was the first major aritst to reject

foreign influence and establish a kind of art whose themes and subjects

were thoroughly British. His penetrating, witty portrayal of the

contemporary scene, his protest against social injustice and his attack on

the vulgtarities of fashianable society make him one of the most original

and significant of British artists.

Hogarth was followed by a row of illustrious painters: Thomas

Cainsborough, with his lyrical landscapes, "fancy pictures" and portraits;

the intellectual Sir Joshua Reynolds, who painted charming society

portraits and became the first president of the Royal Academy; and George

Stubbs, who is only now being recognized as an artist of the greatest

visual perception and sensitivity. There are many others, including Wright

of Derby, Wilson, Lawrence, Ramsay, Raeburn, Romney, Wheatley, and the

young Turner.

5) Satirical Genre Painting

5.1) William Hogarth(1697--1764)

William Hogarth was unquestionably one of the greatest of English

artists and a man of remarkably individual character and thought. It was

his achievement to give a comprehensive view of social life within the

framework of moralistic and dramatic narrative. He produced portraits

which brought a fresh vitality and truth into the jaded profession of what

he called "phizmongering". He observed both high life and low with a keen

and critical eye and his range of observation was accompanied by an

exceptional capacity for dramatic composition, and in painting by a

technical quality which adds beauty to pictures containing an element of

satire of caricature.

A small stocky man with blunt pugnacious features and alert blue

eyes, he had all the sharp-wittedness of the born Cockney and an insular

pride which led to his vigorous attacks on the exaggerated respect for

fereign artists and the taste of would-be connoisseurs who brought over (as

he said) "shiploads of dead Christs, Madonnas and Holy Families" by

inferior hands. Thereis no reason to suppose he had anything but respect

for the great Italian masters, though he deliberately took a provocative

attitude. What he objected to as much as anything was the absurd

veneration of the darkness produced by time and varnish as well as the

assumption that English painters were necessarily inferior to others. A

forthrightness of statement may perhaps be related to hes North-country

inheritance, for his father came to London from West-morland, but was in

any case the expression of a democratic outlook and unswervingly honest


The fact that he was apprenticed as a boy to a silver-plate engraver

has a considerable bearing on Hogarth's development. It instilled a

decorative sense which is never absent from his most realistic productions.

It introduced him to the world of prints, after famous masters or by the

satirical commentators of an earlier day. It is the engraver's sense of

line coupled with a regard for the value of Rococo curvature which governs

his essay on aesthetics, The Analysis of Beauty.

As a painter Hogarth may be assumed to have learned the craft in

Thornhill's "academy", though his freshness of colour and feeling for the

creamy substance of oil paint suggest more acquaintance than he admitted to

with the technique of his French contemporaries. His first success as a

painter was in the "conversation pieces" in which his bent as an artist

found a logical beginning. These informal groups of family and friends

surrounded by the customary necessariesof their day-to-day life were

congenial in permitting him to treat a pictureas astage. He was not the

inventor of the genre, which can be traced back to Dutch and Flemish art of

the seventeenth century and in which he had contemporary rivals. Many were

produced when he was about thirty and soon after he made his clandestine

match with Thornhill's daughter in 1729, when extraefforts to gain a

livelihood became necessary. With many felicities of detail and

arrangement they show Hogarth still in a restrained and decorous mood. A

step nearer to the comprehensive view of life was the picture of an actual

stage, the scene from The Beggar's Opera with which he scored a great

success about 1730, making sveral versions of the painting. Two prospects

must have been revealed to him as a result, the idea of constructing his

own pictorial drama comprising various scenes of social life, and that of

reaching a wider public through the means of engraving. The first

successful siries: "The Harlot's Progress, " of which only the engraving

now exist, was immediately followed by the tremendous verve and riot of

"The Rake's Progress", c. 1732; the masterpiece of the story series the

"Marriage а la Mode" followed after an interval of twelve years.

As a painter of social life, Hogarth shows the benefit of the system

of memory training which he made a self-discipine. London was his universe

and he displayed his mastery in painting every aspect of its people and

architecture, from the mansion in Arlington Street, the interior of which

provided the setting for the disillusioned couple in the second scene of

the "Marriage а la Mode", to the dreadful aspect of Bedlam. Yet he was not

content with one line of development only and the work of his mature years

takes a varied course. He could not resist the temptation to attempt a

revalry with the history painters, though with little successs. The

Biblical compositions for St. Bartholomew's Hospital on which he embarked

after "The Rake's Progress" were not of a kind to convey his real genius.

He is sometimes satirical as in "The March of the Guards towards Scotland",

and the "Oh the Roast Beef of Old England!(Calais Gate)", which was a

product of his single expeditionabroad with its John Bull comment on the

condition of France, and also the "Election"series of 1755 with its

richness of comedy. In portraiture he displays a great variety. The charm

of childhood, the ability to compose a vivid group, a delightful delicacy

of colour appear in the "Graham Children" of 1742. The portrait heads of

his servants are penetrating studies of character. The painting of Captain

Coram, the philanthropic sea captain who took a leading part in the

foundation of the Foundling Hospital, adapts the formality of the

ceremonial portrait to a democratic level with a singularlyengaging

effects. The quality of Hogarth as an artist is seen to advantage in his

sketches and one sketch in particular, the famous "Shrimp Girl" quickly

executed with a limited range of colour, stands alone in his work, taking

its place among the masterpieces of the world in its harmonyof form and

content, its freshness and vitality.

The genius of Hogarth is such that he is often regarded as a solitary

rebel against a decaying artificiality, and yet though he had no pupils, he

had contemporaries who, while of lesser stature in one way and another,

tended in the same direction.

William Hogarth expressed in his art the new mood of national

elation, the critical spirit of the self-confident bourgeoisie and the

liberal humanitarianism of his age. He was the first native-born English

painter to become a hero of the Enlightenment. One reason for his

popularity was that the genius of the age found its highest expression in

Страницы: 1, 2

2012 © Все права защищены
При использовании материалов активная ссылка на источник обязательна.