Introduction to Impressionism
The Impressionist movement started in the late 1860’s in France. A group of artists decided to leave their studio started paint in the open air (en plain air). This was easier now as oil colours were now produced in metal tubes therefore the artist did not have to mix the paint himself. These artists included Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and Degas. The first exhibition gave these artists their name after Louis Leroy said that Monet’s painting was not a finalised painting but an “impression”.
The impressionists did not rely on realism. They tried to work as quickly as possible to capture the atmosphere and mood of the moment. they mostly did away with painting life around them. Monet showed how colour was affected by light, by drawing the same subject during different times of day. This artist drew the Rouen Cathedral several times in different times of the day.
Claude Monet painted 'Gare St. Lazare' in Paris in 1877. one can nowadays appreciate this work of art in the muse d'Orsay in Paris. He made several paintings of train stations because he rented a room next to a train station and made it his studio. This was a change for Monet as he usually painted rural landscape not urban landscape. One can say that this painting has a gritty emotion because of all the steam of the engines in the painting. the theme of the paints is, the modern and industrial. The most radical thing in the painting the coal burning steam that covers the foreground of the picture. In the previous city that he lived in he used to include modern scenery like chimneys and modern bridges in the background but in this picture the emphasis is on modern society. The painting is very flat, despite the diagonals. We can see the qualities of an impressionist as Monet is more interested in light properties and not techniques such as foreshortening or perspective.
Claude Monet | The Gare St-Lazare | NG6479 | The National Gallery, London. 2015. Claude Monet | The Gare St-Lazare | NG6479 | The National Gallery, London. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/claude-monet-the-gare-st-lazare. [Accessed 09 December 2015].
Introduction to Cubism
In the early twentieth century Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque invented cubism together. In cubist works the figures and objects were cut up into small geometrical shapes mostly quads. These quads were then rearranged to form the same object or figure. They wanted the viewers to rethink how they viewed their work. Cubism went against the concept that art should copy nature and that they had to conform to techniques like perspective and realistic figure drawing which were traditional techniques from preceding eras. The term Cubism was made up after louis Vauxcelles, a French art Critic, saw some landscapes Braque had painted in 1908 at L’Estaque. The critic interpreted the paintings as simply “cubes”.
Picasso Les Demoiselles d’Avignion
Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignion, was one of the works which gave an indication that the early cubist painting took inspiration from African tribal art and primitivism. In les demoiselles d'Avignion there five "deformed" women who are said to be prostitutes. the figures are like shattered pieces of glass, sharp and angulated. there are two women on the right side of the painting that have a face which looks like a tribal African masks. this painting is so large the figures appear to be life sized. also in this picture depth and space are absent.
Braque's Still Life with Tenora
Braque's Still Life with Tenora, is an interesting cubist work. This is because he introduced real materialls and textures into his art work. He uses cut-and-pasted printed and painted paper, charcoal, chalk, and pencil on gessoed canvas. The technique of pasting pieces paper (newspaper, wallpaper, wood-grained paper, .etc) on canvas is called papier collé. Brauqe fragments the objects in the still life just like Picasso did with his figures in the previously discussed work, the difference is that he uses the paper to do so.
Cubism Movement, Artists and Major Works | The Art Story. 2015. Cubism Movement, Artists and Major Works | The Art Story. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-cubism.htm. [Accessed 11 December 2015].
Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Paris, June-July 1907 | MoMA. 2015. Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Paris, June-July 1907 | MoMA. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.moma.org/collection/works/79766. [Accessed 11 December 2015].
Georges Braque. Still Life with Tenora. (summer or fall 1913) | MoMA. 2015. Georges Braque. Still Life with Tenora. (summer or fall 1913) | MoMA. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.moma.org/collection/works/38330. [Accessed 11 December 2015].
The works of Goshe were oil on canvas and she uses palette knives. In her works, Vania likes to capture and portray the beauty of nature by using bright colours. She told me that she wants her client to wake up in the morning, look at her painting and experience a sense of positive energy. Her work is abstract yet one can make out what the objects in the painting are. In fact, she calls her work abstract realism. “The Grand Harbour”, “Gardjola”, “Beautiful Malta”, “Senglea” and “Luzzu at Marsaxlokk” are all artworks that show Vania's technique of creating a unique sky, in that she meticulously blends the blue of the sky with light shades of pink, orange, red and yellow. What I also liked from Goshe's works are her flower paintings which are filled with very bright colours and she applies thick paint, which in my opinion really stands out. I really got inspired by Vania's work as I like to escape reality in my art too. In the future, I would like to do something like this.
This was a very rewarding experience as I enjoyed talking with the artists about their work and about art in general.