19th-Century Art: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
Laurie Schneider Adams
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bridge that once spanned a river. The moon’s reflection implies that with night comes the end of civilization. A single Corinthian column stands alone, no longer the supporting element of a temple dedicated to a pagan god; now its only function is to house a nest of birds. Fragments of broken marble moldings, the remnants of its former glory, are strewn on the ground. Cole’s Desolation is thus a poetic allegory: its message is that moral corruption destroys humanity. Nature, on the other hand,
city of Pompeii, although the presence of an old city there had been known of since the end of the sixteenth century. That same year witnessed the beginning of excavations of the ruins of the nearby Roman town of Herculaneum. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE had buried both cities under layers of volcanic ash, making them time capsules that preserved a view of life in the ancient world. By 1748, excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum were well underway, sparking a new interest in
transitory time, defined with visible brushstrokes, and social change – would become characteristic of Impressionism. Formally as well as contextually Impressionism is a style of contrast and juxtaposition, as we saw in Caillebotte’s Rue de Paris. In Impression, Sunrise Monet juxtaposes the bright red-orange sun, a solid enclosed circle in the sky, with its component colors – red, orange, and yellow – which are “broken” into horizontals that convey the effect of fluid motion in the water below.
period. He made a painting of his bedroom in the Yellow House, which is devoid of people but filled with light and prismatic color (figure 54). Two doors and the back wall are painted in a darker blue than the wall beside the orange bed. Two portraits and two etchings hang on that wall. The bed is covered with a bright red blanket and two pillows; blue work clothes and an orange hat hang on the wall at the head of the bed; two chairs and a small desk echo the color of the bed and occupy the other
implications of the woman. The lush vegetation and the serpentine form coiled around the tree imply that the figure was associated in the artist’s mind with Eve. The modest gesture, based on Western prototypes, and the erotic elements in the iconography further suggest that this represents Eve after the Fall. In a series of notes, which have been dated to anywhere from 1884 to 1890, Gauguin comments on the use of color and proposes a theory based on his observations of nature: We are criticized