1870-1914 Realistic period

Historical Context-

  • 1871- Unification of German states by Bismarck: Whereas Camillo di Cavour directed Italian unification, a Junker (the Prussian name for an aristocratic landowner from old Prussia in the east) named Otto von Bismarck pushed German unification through "blood and iron" and skillful understanding of realpolitik. As the map of central Europe stood in 1850, Prussia competed with Austria for dominance over a series of small principalities fiercely keen on maintaining their independence and distinctive characteristics. Prussia proper stretched from modern-day Lithuania to central Germany. Prussia also controlled the German lands around the Rhine River in the west. In between, from Denmark to Switzerland, lay small provinces that Bismarck needed to incorporate under the Prussian crown to create a viable Germa
  • 1870-1871- Franco Prussian war, Germany wins: war in which a coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France. The war marked the end of French hegemony in continental Europe and resulted in creation of a unified Germany.
  • 1875- "war insight"
  • 1880- imperialism: From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, Western Europe pursued a policy of imperialism that became known as New Imperialism. This New Imperialist Age gained its impetus from economic, military, political, humanitar- ian, and religious reasons, as well as from the development and acceptance of a new theory—Social Darwinism— and advances in technology.
  • 1879- dual alliance: act between Austria-Hungary and the German Empire in which the two powers promised each other support in case of attack by Russia, and neutrality in case of aggression by any other power. Germany’s Otto von Bismarck saw the alliance as a way to prevent the isolation of Germany and to preserve peace, as Russia would not wage war against both empires. The addition of Italy in 1882 made it the Triple Alliance. The agreement remained an important element of both German and Austro-Hungarian foreign policy until 1918.

Values and Beliefs-

  • Brought liberal progress in England
  • Social welfare In Germany
  • Imperial expansion through out the world
  • Spread of European civilization

Genre and Style-

  • 1885-1910- symbolism: Symbolism began as a reaction to the literal representation of subjects preferring to create more suggestive and evocative works. It had its roots in literature with poets such as Baudelaire believing ideas and emotions could be conveyed not only through the meaning of words but also in their sound and rhythm.
  • 1885-1905- post imperialism: India's Renaissance, struggle for freedom
  • 1890-1910- art nouveau: Art Nouveau was a style that took Europe by storm. Generating enthusiasts in the decorative and graphic arts and architecture throughout Europe and beyond, Art Nouveau appeared in a wide variety of strands, and, consequently, it is known by various names, such as the Glasgow Style, or, in the German-speaking world, Jugendstil. Art Nouveau was aimed at modernizing design, seeking to escape the eclectic historical styles that had previously been popular. Artists drew inspiration from both organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant designs that united flowing, natural forms resembling the stems and blossoms of plants. The emphasis on linear contours took precedence over color, which was usually represented with hues such as muted greens, browns, yellows, and blues. The movement was committed to abolishing the traditional hierarchy of the arts, which viewed the so-called liberal arts, such as painting and sculpture, as superior to craft-based decorative arts, and ultimately it had far more influence on the latter. The style went out of fashion for the most part long before the First World War, paving the way for the development of what we now know as Art Deco in the 1920s, but it experienced a popular revival in the 1960s, and it is now seen as an important predecessor - if not an integral component - of modernism.
  • 1900-1907- fauvism: Fauvism is the style of les Fauves (French for "the wild beasts"), a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. While Fauvism as a style began around 1900 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1904–1908, and had three exhibitions. The leaders of the movement were Henri Matisse and André Derain.
  • 1905- expressionism: Expressionism emerged simultaneously in various cities across Germany as a response to a widespread anxiety about humanity's increasingly discordant relationship with the world and accompanying lost feelings of authenticity and spirituality. In part a reaction against Impressionism and academic art, Expressionism was inspired most heavily by the Symbolist currents in late nineteenth-century art. Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, and James Ensor proved particularly influential to the Expressionists, encouraging the distortion of form and the deployment of strong colors to convey a variety of anxieties and yearnings. The classic phase of the Expressionist movement lasted from approximately 1905 to 1920 and spread throughout Europe. Its example would later inform Abstract Expressionism, and its influence would be felt throughout the remainder of the century in German art. It was also a critical precursor to the Neo-Expressionist artists of the 1980s.
  • 1908-1914- cubism: The Cubist art movement began in Paris around 1907. Led by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, the Cubists broke from centuries of tradition in their painting by rejecting the single viewpoint. Instead they used an analytical system in which three-dimensional subjects were fragmented and redefined from several different points of view simultaneously.
  • 1905- futurism: The most important Italian avant-garde art movement of the 20th century, Futurism celebrated advanced technology and urban modernity. Committed to the new, its members wished to destroy older forms of culture and to demonstrate the beauty of modern life - the beauty of the machine, speed, violence and change. Although the movement did foster some architecture, most of its adherents were artists who worked in traditional media such as painting and sculpture, and in an eclectic range of styles inspired by Post-Impressionism. Nevertheless, they were interested in embracing popular media and new technologies to communicate their ideas. Their enthusiasm for modernity and the machine ultimately led them to celebrate the arrival of the First World War. By its end the group was largely spent as an important avant-garde, though it continued through the 1920s, and, during that time several of its members went on to embrace Fascism, making Futurism the only twentieth century avant-garde to have embraced far right politics.

Significant Authors and Works-

  • 1874- saki (H.H. Munro) wrote birds on the western fence
  • James Joyce wrote Araby
  • 1882- Virginia Woolf wrote the lady in the looking glass: a reflection
  • 1904- Pablo Neruda wrote Sonnet 89
  • 1914- Dylan Thomas- do not go gentle into good night and fern hill

Highlighted passage-

"There they lay on the marble-topped table, all dripping with light and colour at first and crude and unabsorbed. And then it was strange to see how they were drawn in and arranged and composed and made part of the picture and granted that stillness and immortality which the looking-glass conferred. They lay there invested with a new reality and significance and with a greater heaviness, too, as if it would have needed a chisel to dislodge them from the table. And, whether it was fancy or not, they seemed to have become not merely a handful of casual letters but to be tablets graven with eternal truth - if one could read them, one would know everything there was to be known about Isabella, yes, and about life, too. The pages inside those marble-looking envelopes must be cut deep and scored thick with meaning. Isabella would come in, and take them, one by one, very slowly, and open them, and read them carefully word by word, and then with a profound sigh of comprehension, as if she had seen to the bottom of everything, she would tear the envelopes to little bits and tie the letters together and lock the cabinet drawer in her determination to conceal what she did not wish to be known." Virginia Woolf, the lady in the looking glass: a reflection.

Resources-

  • Isedphistory.wordpress.com
  • Sparknotes.com
  • Jmhosting.space
  • Timetoast.com
  • English.upenn.edu

By: Rhian Holifield

Credits:

Created with images by Fæ - "Nippon Yusen Kaisha = Japan Mail Steamship Co. (Steamship) (rbm-coll3020-01-05)" • atelier de betty - "Virginia"

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