Реферат: 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 intelligence.

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

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