Loading...

ARTH209: 20th Century Art

Unit 1: The Roots of 20th-Century Modernist Art: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Rodin   This unit presents a brief summary of major developments that occurred during the last three decades of the 19th century and paved the way for 20th-century modernist art. Art historians argue about how far back in history we see the origins of 20th-century art. Some suggest going as far back as the French Revolution of 1789; others view the 1855 Paris exhibition as the pivotal turn to modern themes; and still others consider the 1863 Salon des Refuses to be the beginning of the major changes associated with modernism. However, it is undisputable that the year 1874 marked one of the most decisive turns in the history of Western art with the emergence of the Impressionist movement, which we will adapt as a starting point in our discussion of modern art in this course.

The Impressionists are considered modern partly because they consciously reacted against prior artistic styles and traditions. They rejected the ideal and supposedly eternal subject matter preferred by the Salon in France and the Royal Academy in England in favor of more contemporary subjects. They also challenged the authority of these institutions by organizing their own, nonjuried art exhibitions. The composition, color, and brushwork they used in their paintings seemed radically different from that of their famous predecessors. We then explorePost-Impressionism and Art Nouveau, two other modernist trends that emerged in the last decades of the 19th century and built on the Impressionists’ innovations in style and content. Last, we consider the work of the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, and the elements that mark his sculptures as distinctly modern.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 11.5 hours.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 4.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.6: 2.5 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - describe and identify characteristics and technical principles of Impressionist painting; - explain the differences between Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting; - distinguish various Fin-de-Siècle styles; - demonstrate knowledge of main contributors to the development of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the Art Nouveau; - describe the influence of Japonisme on Western art; and - distinguish between the traditional and modernist elements in the sculptures of Auguste Rodin.

1.1 Modernism and Its Definition   1.1.1 What Is Modernism?   - Reading: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Parme Giuntini’s “Becoming Modern” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Parme Giuntini’s “Becoming Modern” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this page as an introduction to the meanings
that the word *modern* has for art and culture. Note the changes in
the 18<sup>th</sup> and 19<sup>th</sup> centuries (political,
social, economic, scientific, and moral) that helped shape the
modern world.  

 Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/). It
is attributed to Khan Academy. 
  • Web Media: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Podcast Episode 1: What Is ‘Modern’?” Link: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Podcast Episode 1: What Is ‘Modern’?” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Click on the red play button and listen to the entire podcast. Dr. Willette discusses the meanings that the word modern had for art and culture as well as the 18th- and 19th-century changes in social conditions that shaped the modern world.

    Listening to this podcast should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.2 What Is Artistic Modernism?   - Reading: Minnesota State University Moorehead: Professor Theodore Gracyk’s “Artistic Modernism: Central Themes (1860–1970)” Link: Minnesota State University Moorehead: Professor Theodore Gracyk’s “Artistic Modernism: Central Themes (1860–1970)” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this brief list of some of modernism’s key
themes.  

 Reading this list should take approximately 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.2 Impressionism   - Reading: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Beth Gersh-Nesic’s “Impressionism” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Beth Gersh-Nesic’s “Impressionism” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this brief essay as an introduction to
Impressionism.  

 Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/). It
is attributed to Khan Academy. 
  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Jason Rosenfeld’s “The Salon and the Royal Academy” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Jason Rosenfeld’s “The Salon and the Royal Academy” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the first paragraph of this essay. Many of the images at the top of the page provide excellent examples of the styles and subject matter favored by the Salon and the Royal Academy. Then click on the following images to view them in more detail: Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates (1787); William Bouguereau, Breton Brother and Sister (1871); and Jules Bastien-Lepage, Joan of Arc (1879).

    Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Margaret Samu’s “Impressionism: Art and Modernity” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Margaret Samu’s “Impressionism: Art and Modernity” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this essay for additional information about artists of the Impressionist movement. Then click on each of the images at the top of the page to read more about the individual works of art.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: Art History in a Hurry: “Monet” Link: YouTube: Art History in a Hurry: “Monet” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this short film on Claude Monet.

    Watching this film should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Charles Baudelaire, Author of Modernism” Link: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Charles Baudelaire, Author of Modernism (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this essay on Charles Baudelaire, one of the earliest and most important critics of modern art and modern, urban society. Dr. Willette notes some contradictions in Baudelaire’s ideas. Try to identify what Baudelaire celebrates in modern life and what he rejects.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Renoir’s ‘Moulin de la Galette’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Renoir’s ‘Moulin de la Galette’” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this video on Renoir’s “Moulin de la Galette.” Pay particular attention to the way that Dr. Harris and Dr. Zucker link Renoir’s style and painting techniques to contemporary social conditions. After watching this video about Renoir and Art History in a Hurry’s video “Monet” (above), take another look at the images in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, “The Salon and the Royal Academy.” Think about what sets Monet’s and Renoir’s work apart from the academic examples.

    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

1.3 Post-Impressionism   - Reading: The Art Story: “Post-Impressionism” Link: The Art Story: “Post-Impressionism” (HTML)

 Instructions: First, read over the entire page as an introduction
to Post-Impressionism. Then click on each of the images under
“Groundbreaking Works” at the top of the page and read the
accompanying texts. Finally, click on “Detail View” under Paul
Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin on the right side of the
page and read about each of these preeminent Post-Impressionist
painters.  

 Reading these essays should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: James Voorhies’ “Post-Impressionism” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: James Voorhies’ “Post-Impressionism” (HTML)

    Instructions: Click on the images at the top of the page to see examples of important Post-Impressionist works of art. Reading the essay is optional; the time to do so is not included in the time advisory for this unit.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group: “Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884” Link: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group: “Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the essay and think about how each of the writers address different aspects of this painting—such as color, brushwork, composition, and subject matter—in order to understand the meanings the painting had for its contemporary audience.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Post-Impressionism: Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte–1884’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Post-Impressionism: Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte–1884’” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this video. Dr. Harris and Dr. Zucker compare Seurat’s style, subject matter, and technique to those of earlier, classical artists and the Impressionists. As you watch the video, think about Seurat’s similarity to and difference from Impressionist examples of landscape and figure paintings.

    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Cezanne’s ‘The Large Bathers’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Cezanne’s ‘The Large Bathers’” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this video. Note that the painting contains both traditional and modernist elements.

    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Reading: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Cezanne’s ‘Turning Road at Montgeroult’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Cezanne’s ‘Turning Road at Montgeroult’” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this brief essay, which explains how Cezanne used color to simultaneously assert and subvert the illusion of three-dimensional space.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Gauguin’s ‘Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Gauguin’s ‘Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel’” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this video. Note the attraction that supposedly premodern people, such as European peasants and non-Western people, had for modern artists. Think about how color and brushwork function for the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists you’ve studied so far.

    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Cora Michael’s “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Cora Michael’s “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this essay and click on the thumbnail images at the top of the page to see larger images and brief descriptions.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 45 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Podcast 36 Painting 2: Manet to Post-Impressionism” Link: arthistoryunstuffed.com: Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette’s “Podcast 36 Painting 2: Manet to Post-Impressionism” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Click on the red play button and listen to this podcast. It discusses the changes in painting technique from Manet to the Post-Impressionists due to many factors. These include advances in pigment production, changes in the artistic tastes of the late 19th-century European public, and transformations in the artist-dealer relationship. To appreciate this podcast to the fullest, please first review the other materials in this subunit. As you listen to the podcast, you may find it helpful to look again at the images found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Margaret Samu’s “Impressionism: Art and Modernity”(HTML) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History’s “Post-Impressionism.”

    Listening to the podcast should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.4 Art Nouveau   - Reading: The Art Story: “Art Nouveau”

Link: The Art Story: [“Art
Nouveau”](http://www.theartstory.org/movement-art-nouveau.htm) (HTML)  

 Instructions: First, read over this page as an introduction to Art
Nouveau. Click on “More” after the section “Beginnings” to read the
full essay. Then click on each of the images under “Analysis of Art
Nouveau’s Art Works” at the top of the page and read the
accompanying texts. How does the Art Nouveau artists’ approach to
modern art differ from those of the Impressionists and
Post-Impressionists? Finally, click on “Gustav Klimt Page” from the
right side of the page to learn about this artist. Remember to click
on “More” after the Gustav Klimt Biography section.  

 Reading these essays should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.5 Japonisme   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Colta Ives’ “Japonisme” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Colta Ives’ “Japonisme” (HTML)

 Instructions: As you read this essay, think about how Japanese
paintings and prints contributed to modern European artists’ ability
to break with traditional Western artistic conventions.  

 Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.6 Auguste Rodin   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: *Auguste Rodin, The Burghers of Calais: A Resource for Educators* Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Auguste Rodin, The Burghers of Calais: A Resource for Educators (HTML)

 Instructions: Click on “Read Online” or “Download PDF.” Read pages
11 through 27 of this book. The first 11 pages provide background
information and a formal analysis of *The Burghers of Calais*, one
of Rodin’s most important commissions. The remaining pages examine
Rodin’s innovations and their importance within the history of
modern art.  

 Reading this essay should take approximately 1 hour and 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Web Media: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Rodin’s ‘The Gates of Hell’” Link: Khan Academy’s SmartHistory: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Stephen Zucker’s “Rodin’s ‘The Gates of Hell’” (Flash)

    Instructions: Watch this video, which examines both the traditional elements (subject matter and material) and the modernist innovations (fragmentation and repetition) in one of Rodin’s most famous sculptures.

    Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareALike 3.0 United States License. It is attributed to Khan Academy. 

  • Reading: Rodin Museum: “The Gates of Hell” Link: Rodin Museum: “The Gates of Hell” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the brief description of Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, then click on the individual images at the bottom of the page to see larger views of each of the sculpture’s elements.

    Reading this essay should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 1 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ARTH209 Unit 1 Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Complete this assessment to gauge your understanding of the topics covered in this unit. Note that you must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this quiz. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link. The correct answers will be displayed when you click the “Submit” button.
     
    Completing the quiz and reviewing, if needed, should take approximately 15 minutes.