Modernism by: Joshua Soriano

The 1800’s was a time of advancement in human society as it enters Modernism. It started with Romanticism where people wanted to remember the “good old times” when urbanization and industrialism didn’t ruin the beauty of nature. Then came realism and materialism which focused on scientific evidence to create theories of unknown information at the time and put an emphasis on education to everyone. Realism also put emphasis on individual characteristics and the depiction of normal people in everyday life. Near the end came Impressionism where artists used abstract and expressive paintings to depict the beauty and peacefulness in life. Many of the ideas that came out of the 1800’s became a foundation of the modern world we know today.

Romanticism

Stormy Coast Scene after a Shipwreck by French painter, Horace Vernet

Romanticism is the idea of keeping traditional ideas in favor of new innovative ideas. During the 1800’s, the Industrial Revolution had just begun. Romanticist ideas, such as nature versus urbanization began to develop, and could be seen portrayed in new art.

Romantic Artist

The Fighting Temeraire, artist: J.M.W. Turner

This J.M.W. Turner painting, called The Fighting Temeraire, is a Romantic painting that depicts a new steam powered ship tugging back an old sailboat. The steam boat portrays the end of the old sailboat’s generation as it is being brought back to the dock and replaced by the dark, sinister looking steamboat.

Romantic composer

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven, a musical composer, is remembered as a great Romantic composers to break away from the traditional songs, in which a person follows the beat of a song, to music that unfolded a story. Romantic composers focused on more emotional songs that anyone could feel and connect to.

Romantic writer

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo, a Romantic writer, wrote amazing works such as “The Hunchback” and “Les Misérables” that talked about social injustice. He sensed danger as Louis Napoleon launched the coup d’état, and fled the country in order to write about its social injustice as it was a quick takeover of a government.

Realist scientist

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin and his research on Natural Selection that led to Darwinism, gave answers to origins and the evolution of humans that the church could not answer or refuted text from the bible. This led to people turning astray from the church and taking in this new scientific, logical information being discovered.

Realist artist

The Gleaners, artist: Jean-François Millet

Different from Romantic art, Jean-François Millet, in his painting “The Gleaners”, depicts poor women working in the fields for food. This is an example of realist art as it shows ordinary people naturally working and individualism as opposed to romantic art where people are depicted in a happier state.

Emile Zola

Emile Zola realist novelist and believed that naturalism was an extension of realism. He believed art should be a close representation of real life without adding the romantic idea of being in a perfect environment. He also believed that an artist can portray his values through exact details and will show more truthfulness in one’s ideals.

Science advancement

Sir Isaac Newton

Through Isaac Newton’s discoveries and theories, advanced the idea of the scientific method. This led to the foundation of the Industrial Revolution and promoted mechanical learning and self-governance. Social criticism arose and resulted the defense of economic forces and the defense of natural rights by revolution.

Modern Art: Impressionism

The Argenteuil Bridge, artist: Claude Monet

Claude Monet and his painting, “The Argenteuil Bridge”, focuses on the activity and beauty of that place where people would go to escape the busy, urban life. It didn’t focus on the realistic ideals of having identifiable objects and on nature, but it focused on the landscape as a whole using different colors and blends during the high point of Impressionism.

Post-Impressionism

The Bedroom, artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh and his painting,”The Bedroom”, uses the blend of colors and strokes of the brush to portray the peacefulness in life. His paintings are inviting people into a peaceful life almost like a utopian world, without using objects but by shapes and colors during the Post-Impressionism era.

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