19th Century Art History


In the second half of the 19th century, modern art has shaped a new revolutionary development in visual arts and Western painting. It squeezes with an extensive variety of theories, movements, attitudes, and contemporary styles that exist in a common tendency to reject precedent and conventions of old days in the subject matter. The wave also reshaped all existing modes of depiction as well as painting techniques alike. But not all painting of this period has conveyed such a disappearance. Representational works in correlation with official exhibiting societies have sustained to appear the idea of some existing types of painting are further properly of their time than others. Thus more interesting or important applies the philosophy that is reflecting the 19th century was that of Realism and one should paint what one sees with their own eyes rather than mythological and dramatic content.


The study of Art History has brought about a radical change over the last two decades. The study of art history made a potential field from the traditional core of Western Europe and re-examine its objects in light of new vital frameworks. Art History promotes a plurality of approaches in order to study art by encouraging majors to chalk out a program. The requirements for the major art history depend upon a simplified chronological framework. It is not connected directly to the time periods usually employed in the description of events in the history of Europe. The necessities for the major in Art History induce students to introduce the general methods of the field Foundation. It will help them become familiar with a broad cross-section of its contents and encourage them to concentrate on the domain where they develop efficiency.

Painting in the Age of Revolution

The painting aesthetic in Europe within the context of the French revolution showed the traditions of representation with respect to shifting social formations. The genesis, development, and triumph of naturalist painting launched in the era of naturalism, ca 1830 to 1874 in Europe. It underscored the creative tensions between the traditional ambitions of painting and the challenge of new “modern” subjects for aesthetic painting.

Art has basic characteristics that are considered to have an aesthetic sense, which lead to classify them as artistic painting. Likewise, these visions are greatly depending on the cultural renaissance at the time. The artistic community feels no one difference determines a successful painting. Unity plays a vital role in producing a painting that is appealing to the general public. The visions of renaissance artists are devoted to the glory of God and fostering secular ideology. The artists now not only paint Biblical scenes but also depict Greek and Roman history and mythology. After the renaissance, artists were painting genre scenes of contemporary affairs.

The art painting, sculpture, architecture were produced in Europe in the historical period that was dubbed the renaissance. In this perspective, a system in which all objects in a painting and sculpture both have nexus proportionally and rationally. The painted surface was eventually considered as a window on the natural world. Therefore, it became the task of painters to illustrate this world in their own art. Likewise, painters began to devote themselves to the depiction of trees, flowers, plants, distant mountains, and firmament. In such a perception, the painter could depict men, women, and children in a full range of postures.

French Painting of the 19th Century

The academic aesthetic favored by the official Salon to the success of artists and public taste. The painting was dominated by Delacroix in the first of the nineteenth century. The first neoclassical tradition in Delacroxin emphasis linear purity and the second championing is the romantic use of color as opposed to the line. Delacroix wielded influenced a new generation of painters who sought to communicate their own personal responses to the political cataclysm of his epoch.

The official exhibition had fostered the French national artistic tradition for two hundred years. But by the middle of the nineteenth century, the academic system had degenerated. The artists who later became known as the impressionists during the 1860s and 1870s, the idealized presentation of academic art was formulaic and artificial.. They were innovative in their subject matter that did not teach or preach, such as landscape or ordinary activities of daily life. Delacroix thought that if the work was exhibited fairly, it would gain acceptance. He realized favorable viewing conditions such as good lighting and ample space between paintings. He also wanted to exhibit more works than the two allowed by Salon rules. These painters were also to a certain degree in a dialogue with another discovery of the 19th century:

Highlights from the 19th Century

There were three fundamental principles that pervaded throughout the 19th century. Neo-Classicism was led by Jacques Louis David that was a reaction to the frivolous style of the French Rococo. He and his adherents fostered the ideals of the French Revolution. They expected an art form that was dignified and reflected their serious concerns. Opposing the decorative compositions of Rococo, their work emphasized rationality and clearly delineated the composition. Ingres was one of David’s followers and has the coherently delineated forms of the classical style of David.

The other approach of the 19th century is known as romanticism. Those who followed this tendency realized that the portrayal of emotion was more vital than rationality. They often preferred a more dramatic and painterly approach. Delacroix symbolizes the clash with an allegorical figure of victory launching the revolutionaries through the battleground. Landscape painting is very popular during the 19th century. There are small schools of painters who work in specific regions. The Hudson River Painters are a group who concentrated on painting scenes west of the Hudson River. These are generally performed on mammoth canvases. The realistic in one sense, they have a grandiose impact, and they preferred dramatic lighting environment.

Painting and Sculpture in the First Half of 19th Century

There was a lack of appropriate training for some painters until the 19th century. Károly Kisfaludy (1788-1830) was unique with respect to talent and passionate portrayal. His career as a painter lasted only a few years. His gloomy panel pictures that depicted devastation by the sea in moonshine were different from the style of painting in Hungary.

Miklós Barabás was the first Hungarian painter who was popular from 1810 to 1896.. He was the first painter who managed to live on painting in different genres and to apply various techniques. After his studies in Vienna, he went to Italy where he met an English watercolor painter. Likewise, he learned how to improve his style in it. He settled down in Pest in 1835 where he lived and worked the rest of his life. Sándor Kozina (1808-1873), a prominent master of his time, was greatly appreciated for his pictures in the court of the Russian tsar.

József Borsos depicted portrait and genre painters from 1821s to 1883s. His art was characteristic of impressive details, great artistic skills which he learned at the Vienna Academy. It was Borsos who established genre pictures of an intimate and sentimental nature best suiting demands of the time. Károly Brocky painted genre pictures and portraits from 1807s to 1856s in Hungary where he could not earn his livelihood. Subsequently, he settles down in England to stay there for the rest of his life. His pictures characteristic of freshness and airiness recall memories and the choice of his subjects appear to be rather decorative.

Painting and Sculpture in the Second Half of 19th Century

Miklós Izsó was the most peculiar personality during the time from 1831 to 1875. He was the first and the only artist for a long time that raised Hungarian sculpture with a strong popular-national approach to the level of Hungarian art. It can be related to that of Petőfi and Arany in literature. His art was not appreciated and he died of tuberculosis at an early age. However, he was accorded recognition as a significant artist of the late 19th century.

Delécluze’s contribution to History Painting

Etienne-Jean Delécluze (1781-1863), a former painter who had studied in David’s workshop. Delécluze stands as a learned, highly respected but also highly conservative critic. He was remembered for his unwavering defense of David as the greatest contemporary French artist. The sarcastic comment on Delécluze can be read in a letter from the landscapist Paul Huet to the critic that was written in 1862.

Delécluze’s criticism of French history painting was a phenomenon. Delécluze is seen as a conservative critic by historians of nineteenth-century art. Delécluze’s chief objection to academic history painting was that it served only the perfection of art itself and the artists’ need to stand out from the crowd. According to Delecluze, the great paintings sprang from the artists’ need to express ideal ethics that is shared with the public. French artists for what he believed to be their systematic, insincere, and self-indulgent need to draw attention to themselves. Delécluze depicts David as a highly talented artist who had met with almost insurmountable barriers to his career in contemporary France.

Although Delécluze does not dwell on this in Louis David, he had to face the fact that, having refused to serve the Napoleonic propaganda machine, he was unable to survive as an independent artist Delécluze paintings with Classical subjects, which he exhibited at the Salon between 1808 and 1814, won him the admiration of critics.

Delécluze holds the view that the French government’s attempts at protecting the arts during the eighteenth century had had a devastating impact. Delécluze overlooked the belief held by Marigny and d’Angiviller who was his successor. History paintings and sculptures were depicting the great deeds of Classical and French heroes. Delécluze pointed out that Marigny’s measures caused a multiplication of works of art and of artists who were dependent on the government’s decision.

Jacques-Louis David’s role for Art Work

Delécluze indicates that David’s first successful history painting, The Oath of the Horatii (Salon of 1785) (fig. 2) was also a commission from d’Angiviller. Because the painting’s size was voluminous than prescribed, d’Angiviller saw a need to criticize David. Delécluze regarded this criticism as completely absurd. What was the use of prescribing a certain size for a work of art without a destination? Delécluze believed that he lived in a historical period and country without a real purpose for art, because a higher principle, that could have created a natural tie between artists, the nation, and the people, was missing.. Delécluze assumed that art could reach perfection only in a simple, unified society. Artists of the Italian Renaissance had drawn from a rather small range of subjects of a predominantly religious character and were guided by a deep and simple faith, which inspired love for their subjects.

Delécluze leaves us to conclude that it was the lack of unity in his country and French culture, as well as the lack of shared faith, that made David, who was not born a rebel, follow one regime after another, once the Ancient Régime was over. Had David lived at the beginning of the sixteenth century, he would have been spared the predicament of having to search for a destination for his art. He would have been a far greater artist and would not have had to suffer the consequences of his political choices. Although he does not say so, Delécluze probably believed that he himself would have become the painter of religious subjects he wished to be, had he lived in Raphael’s time. His fantasies about the integrity, faith, and love of the beauty of those times, were doubtlessly an antidote against painful childhood memories.

Jacques-Louis David, 1799-1815. Oil on canvas. Paris

David’s successful works were launched under eighteenth-century history paintings. In this clarification of David’s changing interests, Delécluze overcame an insurmountable barrier between true understanding of Raphael and Classical art. Delécluze expressed the opinion that David’s still existing republican sympathies constituted a pseudo-religion.

According to the opinion of Delécluze, David’s bold measure with the principles of modern history painting did not lead to a satisfactory expression of the great idea of patriotism.. Delécluze described in detail the experience by David when working on this painting. It was noted that David found it impossible to find the right attitude and facial expression. The painting was left unfinished in David’s workshop when the painter suddenly exchanged his republicanism for monarchism.

Modern Art of 19th century

Sarah Newmeyer accelerated the development of modern art through its various schools in the early 19th century. It is obvious that brief biographies of the great artists of the past hundred years, sand in 80 reproductions of their work. She illustrated her spirited and sensible comments on art, its methods, and technique.

Daumier, Honoré was a French caricaturist, painter, and sculptor from the 1808s to 1879s. He was known as a political and social satirist. His masterpiece accorded recognition of his qualities as a painter. Daumier’s paintings were probably done for the most part fairly late in his career. He was accepted four times by the Salon. He never exhibited his paintings otherwise and they remained practically unknown up to the time of an exhibition held at Durand-Ruel’s gallery in 1878, the year of his death. The paintings are in the main documentation of contemporary life and manners with satirical posture. Honore Daumier was a French artist who was interested in people, especially the underprivileged. The painting is done with simple power and economy of line. These are not portraits of particular people but of mankind.

Daumier’s interests shifted to painting toward the end of 1840, though he continued to issue many lithographs. His paintings differ from his graphic works not only by techniques and artistic media but also by different subjects. His lithographic works embrace many themes. The different paintings by Daumier have subjects more characteristic of Romanticism. Daumier worked on more than 4000 works of graphics, 300 paintings, 800 drawings, 1000 woodcuts, and sculptures. Daumier’s paintings are closer to the art of the 20th century than to his own: Daumier’s posthumous exhibition the world discovered this name for itself in 1901.


It had traversed a long way since the first paintings on the cave walls at Lascaux by the middle of the 19th century It was the 19th century that began with very realistic art. The movement was launched that will change art’s direction entirely in the late 1860s. Despite being extremely precise in their use of color, movement, and light, the works of those like Monet, which use solid lines and the conventional definition of figures. Many prototypes of French advertisements from the turn of the century are done in this style. During the post-impressionist period, Symbolism is emerging as an ideological movement across Europe. It was not specifically an artistic movement; it has a great influence on two of our next important styles. The third principle that is reflecting the 19th century was that of Realism. The realists were opposed to the often mythological character of many Neoclassical and Romantic artworks. Their basic philosophy is that one should paint what one sees with their own eyes, and leave any mythological and dramatic content out of the picture.. There is no specific approach between the three styles, and many artists of the century are difficult to categorize into one specific style.


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