aesthetic theories of french artists

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THE AESTHETIC THEORIES OF FRENCH ARTISTSFROM REALISM TO SURREALISMBYCHARLES EDWARD GAUSSIncluding the ex!nent" !# $e%li"&' i&$e""i!ni"&' ne!i&$e""i!ni"&' cu(i"&' "u$$e%li"&' %nd "uch %$ti"t" %" Ren!i$' Ce)%nne' G%uguin' %nd M%ti""e' the %uth!$ $e"ent" the %e"thetic the!$ie" !# the $inci%l F$ench %$ti"t" "ince *+,,-.The (!!/ i" excellentl0 !$g%ni)ed %nd c%$e#ull0 indexed- It i" #illed 1ith 1ell2t$%n"l%ted 3u!t%ti!n" #$!& the &!"t i&!$t%nt 1$iting" !# le%ding %$ti"t" !# the e$i!d- It h%" % l%$ge %nd excellent (i(li!g$%h0 !# ite&" indi"en"%(le #!$ %n0!ne 1h! 1i"he" t! unde$"t%nd l%te nineteenth %nd t1entieth centu$0 de4el!&ent" in %$t- F!$ the"e $e%"!n"' i# #!$ n! !the$"' the (!!/ 1ill (e !# 4%lue t! e4e$0!ne inte$e"ted in e"thetic" %" $!!unded (0 %$ti"t"/1College Art JournalB!!/" !n %$t "uch %" 5$!#e""!$ G%u""6" %$e i&!$t%nt (ec%u"e the0 ($e%/ d!1n the (%$$ie$" 1hich "eci%li)%ti!n h%" (uilt u (et1een the "cience"/1Times Literary SupplementThe d!u(le %i& !# thi" (!!/ "ee&" % #%"cin%ting !ne7 t! "tud0 the hi"t!$0 !# ide%" c!nce$ning %$t #$!& *+,, t! the $e"ent in the 1$iting !# F$ench %$ti"t"' %nd t! indic%te $!!t" !$ %$%llel" #!$ the"e ide%" in the c!nte&!$%$0 hil!"!hie"869 Magazine of ArtCHARLES EDWARD GAUSS 1%" Elt!n 5$!#e""!$ !# 5hil!"!h0 %t Ge!$ge W%"hingt!n Uni4e$"it0 %nd %""i"t%nt t! the $e"ident %t N!4% Uni4e$"it0 !# Ad4%nced Techn!l!g:6' F!$t L%ude$d%le' Fl!$id%- He i" n!1 $eti$ed-Originally published, 1949T! MY 5ARENTS AND MY WIFEwho encouraged and aided my education and were patient through the long processThi" "tud0 i" % &!de"t %tte&t t! t$%ce "!&e !# the c!nnecti!n" (et1een %$t %nd !the$($%nche" !# hu&%n ende%4!$ %nd cultu$e in the hi"t!$0 !# ide%"- It" the"i" i" th%t !ne "h!uld ex%&ine the hi"t!$0 !# ide%" %" it i" &%ni#e"ted in %$t-I h%4e included in &0 di"cu""i!n !nl0 th!"e %$ti"t" %nd th!"e 1$iting" 1hich I dee&ed"u##icient t! t$%ce the c!u$"e I 1i"hed t! !utline- I# the "tud0 i" !# %n0 4%lue !the$" (ette$ e3uied th%n I &%0 #ill in the !utline"-In $ende$ing the F$ench 3u!t%ti!n" in Engli"h I h%4e &%de &0 !1n t$%n"l%ti!n"' th!ugh !#ten (ette$ !ne" %$e %4%il%(le' in !$de$ th%t %n0 $e"!n"i(ilit0 #!$ &i"unde$"t%nding &%0 (e l%id !nl0 t! &e-I 1i"h %$ticul%$l0 t! th%n/ D$- Ge!$ge B!%" %nd D$- Li!nell! ;entu$i #!$ thei$ /ind %id %nd inte$e"t in the $e"ent unde$t%/ing- I %& %l"! g$%te#ul t! the& %nd t! D$- 5ed$! S%lin%" %nd Mi"" Ett% C!ne #!$ h%4ing &%de %4%il%(le t! &e &%te$i%l" #$!& thei$ li($%$ie" 1hich it 1!uld h%4e (een !the$1i"e di##icult !$ i&!""i(le t! !(t%in-Ac/n!1ledg&ent i" &%de t! The Journal of Aesthetics #!$ g$%nting &e e$&i""i!n t! inc!$!$%te he$e &%te$i%l" u(li"hed in th%t M- Hen$i M%ti""e' 1h!"e %$ticle' ? N!te" d6un eint$e @ %e%$ed in the #rande shado#s@ &ollo#ing the la#s o& $ontrast, diinution, and irradiation" The &rae is in harony o((osed to that o& the tones, $olors, and lines o& the (i$ture"2Th!ugh Seu$%t c%ll" % 1!$/ !# %$t % "0nthe"i"' it "ee&" %%$ent #$!& 1h%t he h%" 1$itten th%t it i" % "u&- T! unde$"t%nd it !ne i"!l%te" the ele&ent" !# 1hich it i" c!&!"ed' &uch %" % che&i"t 1!uld "et t! 1!$/- F!$ the 1!$/ !# %$t the"e ele&ent" %$e c!nc$ete' 4i"i(leexi"tent"' c!l!$' line"' light %nd "h%de- One d!e" n!t $%te %(!ut (e%ut0 !$ "u(li&it0 %" the ide%li"t" d!' #!$ the"e %$e &et%h0"ic%l e""ence" 1hich the "cienti#ic %e"thetici%n c%nn!t #ind-T%/e the ele&ent" 1hich %n%l0"i" 0ield"' "tud0 the&' le%$n h!1 t! &%niul%te the& in i"!l%ti!n %nd in c!&(in%ti!n %nd 0!u h%4e the #!$&ul% #!$ the c$e%ti!n !# % 1!$/ !# %$t- I# C!u$(et h%d %d!ted the !int !# 4ie1 !# !"iti4i"&' Seu$%t h%" %d!ted it" &eth!d-5%ul Sign%c in hi" (!!/' 19ugene 1elacroi. au neo5 impressionnisme6 de#ine" the ne!2i&$e""i!ni"t %inte$" %" ? th!"e 1h! h%4e $e4i4ed %nd "ince *++I de4el!ed the techni3ue c%lled di4i"i!ni"& in e&l!0ing the !tic &ixtu$e !# t!ne" %nd c!l!$" %" % &%nne$ !# ex$e""i!n-@ *E The"e %inte$" h%4e (een d$%1n t! thi" &%nne$ !# %inting (ec%u"e th$!ughit the0 c%n !(t%in g$e%te$ lu&in!"it0 th%n (0 %n0 !the$ &e%n"- On thi" "u!"iti!n the (!!/ i"%n ex!"iti!n !# %inting %" % "cienti#ic techni3ue- Sign%c i" c!nce$ned t! "h!1 th%t the &eth!d !# the ne!2i&$e""i!ni"t" i" % $e%li)%ti!n !# the the!$ie" !# Del%c$!ix %nd the i&$e""i!ni"t"-The ne!2i&$e""i!ni"t" d! n!t %int in d!t"' the0 " d! n!t M !intille N (ut di4ide'@ e&l!0ing the techni3ue !# little d%u(" !# c!l!$ (ec%u"e !# the nece""it0 !# d!ing "! #$!& "cienti#ic $incile"- Di4i"i!ni"& %""u$e" the& lu&in!u"' c!l!$#ul' h%$&!ni!u" e##ect" th$!ugh* The o(ti$ i'ture o& (igents """"B The se(aration o& diverse eleents, $olor, &or, light, and their rea$tions """"H The e)uili!riu o& these eleents and their (ro(ortion >a$$ording to the la#s o& $ontrast, diinution, and irradiation@"F The $hoi$e o& tou$h (ro(ortional to the diensions o& the (i$ture"11Sign%c d!e" n!t li/e the 1!$d !intilli"&- It d!e" n!t h%4e the !4e$t!ne !# c!$$ect &e%ning- Di4i"i!ni"&' he thin/"' h%"' &e%ning ? % c!&lex "0"te& !# h%$&!n0' %n %e"thetic &!$e th%n % techni3ue'@ #!$ ? the (%"i" !# di4i"i!n i" c!nt$%"t' %nd i" n!t c!nt$%"t %$t it"el#L @ *BWith the th$ill !# the %$ti"t 1h! #ind" le%"u$e in hi" %$ti"t$0 he tell" u" in !ne (e%uti#ul %""%ge th%t the %inte$ t%/e" h0d$!gen %nd !x0gen %$e n!t 1et' %nd the !ne i" nece""%$0' the !the$ %n %id t! c!&(u"ti!n- The "itu%ti!n i" "i&il%$ 1hen 1e tu$n t! &e%ning2"itu%ti!n"- A "entence i" the "u& !# the 1!$d" th%t &%/e it u' h0"ic%ll0 "e%/ing' (ut the &e%ning !# the "entence i" n!t the "u& !# the &e%ning !# e%ch 1!$d- The "entence h%" it" !1n &e%ning- And #$e3uentl0' t!!' the &e%ning !# % c!ntext 1ill ch%nge !$ %lte$ the &e%ning" !# 1!$d" 1ithin it- A 1!$/ !# %$t %l"! 1ith it" ele&ent" i" in %n %n%l!g!u" "itu%ti!n 1ith $e#e$ence t! e&!ti!n%l $e"!n"e"- But in the nineteenth centu$0 %n%l0"i" 1%" the $ec!gni)ed &eth!d !# "cience' %nd the &eth!d !# "cience h%d (!$ne #$uit 1he$e4e$ it h%d (een %lied- It 1%" $e%"!n%(le t! exect it 1!uld d! "! #!$ inten"i4e 3u%litie" %" 1ell' %nd the ne1 %e"thetic %n%l0"i" 1%" diligentl0 u$"ued (0 Seu$%t %nd th!"e 1h! #!ll!1ed the ne!2i&$e""i!ni"t (elie#"-With the ne!2i&$e""i!ni"t" %e"thetic" i" "ul%nted (0 the "cience !# %$t- Ae"thetic" h%d %$!%ched %$t th$!ugh "ecul%ti!n !n the n%tu$e !# the (e%uti#ul- The "cience !# %$t ex%&ine" the !(1:71512B,@, Aeri$an (hysi$ist, ade e'tensive studies on the )uantitative analysis o& $olor $ontrasts" His (rin$i(al #or% is .odern Chro#atics, 1::1"K Given in Eenturi, op cit, vol" 00, (" ,="+ Ro!ert de la Eilleherve in the 'avre81clair, Se(t" ,3, 12B=6 in Eenturi, op cit, vol" 0, (" 1B1"* R" Rey, $a renaissance du senti#ent classi3ue, re(rodu$tion &a$ing ((" 17,51776 also in G" Co)uiot, "es peintres #audits, ((" 17,517= #ith inor e'$e(tions" C&" Rey, op cit, L" Cousturier, Seurat, and ." Re#ald, Seurat, &or SeuratCs ani&esto"*E /" Signa$, op cit, (" 1"***bid, ((" =53"*B *bid, (" ?2"1: *bid, (" :,"1= *bid, (" :?"1< *bid, (" ::"*I *bid, ((" 1B< and 1B?"*K *bid, ((" :75:="*+ 2ide, e" g", N" Hevner, 8 E'(eriental Studies o& the A&&e$tive Ealue o& Colors and Lines,; 4ournal of Applied Psychology, Aug" 1273, ((" 7:3572:"*A Iet in the theory o& HelholtL nature does so (resent itsel& to us" He distinguishes three %inds o& nerve &i!res, ea$h res(onding to one o& the (ure $olors, red, green, and violet" The sensation o& a $olor, there&ore, de(ends u(on the $hanges o$$asioned in these &i!res !y the e'ternal stiulus"BE " C !ich, Seurat and the 1volution of < $a -rande 4atte,= p 10CHA/TER F-URTHE GREAT INDE5ENDENTS7 RENOIR AND CERANNEAINTING 1%" n!t t! #!ll!1 the 1%0" !# "cienti#ic $e%li"& 1ith!ut % 4ig!$!u" deni%l #$!& "!&e %$ti"t"- Thi" deni%l c!uld t%/e t1! #!$&"- In the #i$"t l%ce' !ne c!uld $eudi%te %n0 c!nnecti!n (et1een "cience %nd %$t %nd di"$eg%$d the $!(le& !# the $el%ti!n !# the 1!$/ !# %$t t! the n%tu$%l !( In"i$ed (0 the c$%#t" &!4e&ent!# Willi%& M!$$i" in Engl%nd 1h! $e4!lted %g%in"t the !!$ t%"te !# hi" d%0' the %$t" !# de"ign exe$ienced % &in!$ $en%i""%nce- The$e 1%" % $e4i4ed inte$e"t in g!!d c$%#t"&%n"hi th%t i" (e%$ing %d&i$%(le #$uit t!d%0- G!ing t! n%tu$e #!$ thei$ &!del" the %$ti"t" !# 0art nou!eau e&l!0ed g$%ce#ul cu$4e"' "1i$ling "i$%l"' l%nt %nd %ni&%l #!$&" 1ith "u!"ed i&%gin%ti4e #$eed!& in #u$nitu$e' &et%l1!$/' C Thi" $e#%ce h%" (een c%lled ? Ren!i$6" te"t%&ent @ 1hich %##i$&" ? !n e%ch %ge hi" #%ith in the cl%""ic t$%diti!n'@ I % "t%te&ent th%t i" ce$t%inl0 ex%gge$%ti!n-We %$e li%(le t! #!$get the %"t' Ren!i$ tell" u"' (ec%u"e "! &%n0 $ecent &%$4el!u" e4ent" %nd di"c!4e$ie" tu$n !u$ e0e" #$!& 1h%t h%ened $i!$ t! the&- But % gl%nce (%c/ %t thi" %"t i" n!t % u"ele"" $!cedu$e #!$ u" t!d%0' %nd in % &%n li/e Cennini 1e %$e %&l0 $e1%$ded- Be"ide" (eing % technic%l &%nu%l' the t$e%ti"e !# Cennini i" % hi"t!$0 #$!& 1hich 1e c%n le%$n &uch %(!ut %$t- The %$ti"tic g$e%tne"" !# % n%ti!n i" n!t &e%"u$ed (0 the #e1 1!$/" !# % &%n !# geniu" (ut (0 %ll the 1!$/" !# %ll it" %$ti"t"- It 1%" t! %ll %$ti"t" !# hi" ti&e th%t Cennini "!/e' hi" u$!"e t! &%/e g!!d %$ti"%n"-KRen!i$ $eite$%te" the $!!"iti!n !# the $e%li"t"7 ? One 1!uld n!t /n!1 h!1 t! li4e !ut"ide !# hi" ti&e- - - +The ti&e" !# Cennini %nd !u$ !1n' Ren!i$ "%0"' di##e$ in t1! i&!$t%nt $e"ect" 1hich &%/e !u$ !1n %$ti"tic%ll0 in#e$i!$- 5%inte$" c!uld then eng%ge in c!llecti4i"tic %cti4itie"' th%t i"' "e4e$%l &ight dec!$%te !ne chu$ch %nd 0et %&!ng thei$