Outline of the Gilded Age

Some call it Early Modernism. The British call it the Late Victorian and Edwardian Ages. Whatever the labels, this post covers history, philosophy and religion, literature, and art and architecture and goes from 1871 to 1914. Genealogical tables are included, to help sort out national rivalries.

Gilded means “gold covered.” But all that glitters is not gold.

If you’re in a hurry, use the ctrl-f search to find your key term.

Please click on the corresponding post the Timeline of the Gilded Age for additional and reorganized information.

Let’s get started.


I. Introduction

A. Timeframe:

1. 1871: End of Franco-Prussian War

2. 1914: Outbreak of WWI

B.  Population in Europe

1.  20 percent of world ca. 1900

C.  Migration

1.  1846-1932

a. 50 million leave homeland

2.  Mid-century

a. Most were from GB, esp. Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia

3.  After 1885

a. Southern and eastern Europe

4.  Beneficiaries

a. America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and Argentina

II. Second Industrial Revolution

A. First Revolution

1. Area of revolution

a. Associated with textile, steam and iron

B. Second Revolution

1. Area of revolution

a. Associated with steel, electricity, chemicals and oil

2. Examples

a. In 1860 GB, Belgium, Fr. and Germany produce 125k tons of steel, by 1913, 32 million tons

b. Electricity, first major power plant built in GB in 1881

c. Internal combustion engine invented in 1886 by Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) and put on four wheels, obtained patent in 1887, and automobile was born

C. Migration to Cities

1. France (1850-1911)

a. Urban from 25 to 44 percent

2. Germany (1850-1911)

a. From 30 to 60 percent

3. Other nations

a. Same

D. Difficulties

1. Urban squalor

a. Sanitation must be improved

b. New water and sewer systems

c. Expanded gov’t involvement in public health

2. Middle-class bifurcation

a. Of Haves and Have-nots

III. Imperialism

A. Definition

1. Policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations (American Heritage Dictionary, 1969, p. 660 and in Western Heritage)

B. Motives

1. Economics

a. Mixed results

b. Not a safe place to invest

c. Not all countries yielded profitable results

d. India for Britain is an exception

e. However, most nations wished for free trade and would impose it, if necessary

2. Cultural, social, or religious?

a. Not enough missionaries to establish dominance over other nations

b. Migration to new colonies was minimal because people would move to North or South America or Australia

c. European arrogance plays a part, but not enough to incur expense

3. Strategic and political

a. Britain wishes to protect Suez canal (built in 1869), a quick trade route to India

b. Political status equated with colonies

c. Monroe Doctrine of 1823 makes Western Hemisphere an American protectorate

4. Irrational element

a. Reward was power or the sense of power

C. Outcome

1. Third world nations were poor, so European powers put more money in than they got out.

Genealogical Tables

Sources for tables: John Fabb, European Royalty of the Victorian and Edwardian Era (London: B. A. Seaby, 1986)

IV. Otto von Bismarck

A. Policies

B. Some Conditions for War (the Great War, WWI)

V. Great Britain

A. Second Reform Act (1867)

1. Problem

a. Prosperity, expansion, respectability of working class

b. Voting franchise must be expanded

2. First defeat

a. First attempt thwarted by coalition of traditional conservatives and anti-democratic liberals

3. Victory

a. Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), a conservative, introduces his own Reform bill and allows amendments to be added

b. He thought it best that conservatives should receive credit for inevitable

c. Calculated that growing suburban middle class would become more conservative

d. Conservative party has dominated politics in twentieth century

4. Number of Voters

a. Rises from 1.43 million to 2.47 million

b. Includes large numbers of males from working class

B. Education Act of 1870

1. Problem

a. Education of children relegated to denominations

2. Solution

a. Gov’t assumes responsibility for educating children

b. First time in British history

c. Establish and run elementary schools

C. Trade Unions and Fabianism

1. Name and Foundation

a. Founded in 1884, name comes from Q. Fabius Maximus, Roman general whose tactics against Hannibal involved avoiding direct conflict that might lead to defeat

b. In 1901 Labour Party founded by unions

2. Strategy

a. Strikes of workers

1)  In 1911 and 1912 strikes involve railways, docks, and mines

b. Elect members to Parliament

1)  In 1906 29 members sent to Parliament

VI. France

A. Paris Commune (Mar.-May 1871)

1. Monarchists

a. Dominate National Assembly

b. Sit at Versailles

2. Republican Reactions in Paris

a. They elect a commune designed to govern Paris separately from France

b. Leaders are petty bourgeois who wanted localized enclaves of democracies

3. Royalist reaction

a. Troops surround Paris in early April

b. Bombard Paris on May 8

c. Break through defenses on May 21

d. For 7 days, troops restore order, killing 20k

e. Represents preservation of centralized gov’t

C. Third Republic

1. House divided

a. Monarchists still control National Assembly

b. Half support Bourbons, the other half the Orléans

c. Bickering produces strange results

2. Decisions in 1875

a. Chamber of Deputies elected by universal suffrage for men

b. Senate chosen indirectly

c. President chosen by two legislative houses

3. Socialist Party (1904)

a. Variety of groups form a single party in 1904

b. By 1914 Second largest group in Chamber of Deputies

The Church in the Nineteenth Century (The Great Christian Century)

I. Catholics and Protestants

A. Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-1878)

1. Revolution of 1848

a. Stripped Papal state from Vatican, but Italians allowed Vatican City, so Gonzalez says this marks end of Papal authority in worldly matters.

2. Immaculate Conception (1854)

a. Mary kept pure from original sin

3. Syllabus of Errors (1864)

a. Condemns major tenets of political liberalism and modern thought

4. Vatican Council (1869-1870)

a. Infallibility of pope speaking ex cathedra

B. Pope Leo XIII (r. 1878-1903)

1. Faith and Reason and Thomas Aquinas

a. Thomist approach approved

b. Catholics may participate in politics of a liberal state

C. Pope Pius X (r. 1903-1914)

1. Rerum Novarum (1891)

a. Defends private property, control over education and marriage laws, and condemns Socialism and Marxism

b. Employers should treat workers fairly, pay them justly, and permit labor unions

D. Missions

1. William Carey (1761-1834)

a. Father of Modern Missions

b. English missionary to India

E. Liberalism

1. Ferdinand Christian Baur (1762-1860)

a. Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ (1845)

2. David Friedrich Strauss (1808-1874)

a. Life of Jesus Critically Examined (1835-36)

3. Albrecht Ritschl (1822-1889)

a. The Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation (1870-84)

b. Theology and Metaphysics (1881)

4. Joseph Ernest Renan (1823-1892)

a. The Life of Jesus (1863)

5. Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918)

a. History of Israel (1878)

6. Albert Schweitzer (1879-1963)

a. The Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906)

7. Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (1908)

a. National Council of Churches of Christ (1950)

F. Reactions

1. Evangelical Alliance (1848)

2. Their Five Fundamentals

a. Inerrancy of the Bible

b. Divinity of Jesus

c. Virgin birth

d. Jesus’ death on the cross as substitute for sin

e. Jesus’ physical resurrection and return

3. Lyman Stewart, Moody Church, R.A. Torrey, and The Fundamentals (1909)

G. Some Protestant Leaders and Workers

1. Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845)

a. Prison Reformer

2. Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847)

a. Advocate for the Poor

3. Lyman Beecher (1775-1863)

a. Revivalist and Abolitionist

4. Alexander Campbell (1788-1866)

a. Founder of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

5. David Livingstone (1813-1873)

a. Missionary Explorer to Africa

6. Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874)

a. Mother of Holiness Movement

7. Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875)

a. Father of American Revivalism

8. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)

a. Founder of Dispensationalism

9. Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

a. Abolitionist and Women’s Rights Activist

10. Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

a. Prince of Preachers

11. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

a. Abolitionist and Novelist

12. Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)

a. Revivalist

13. J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

a. Missionary to China

14. William and Catherine Booth (1829-1912; 1829-1890)

a. Founders of Salvation Army

15. Harriet Tubman (1820-1913)

a. The “Moses” of Her People

16. Fanny Crosby (1820-1915)

a. Blind composer of hymns

17. Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

a. Christ’s School of Prayer

E. Pentecostalism (1906)

1. Azusa Street Mission and Topeka, KS

2. Assemblies of God (1914)

Philosophy and Psychology

I. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

A. Life

1. Born in Roecken, Saxony

2. Son of Lutheran pastor

3. Studies classics at universities of Bonn and Leipzig

4. Appointed professor at University of Basel (1869) when he was twenty-four and had not yet written his dissertation

5. Resigns from university in 1879, citing poor health, and receives a pension

6. Lives a reclusive life in Switzerland in Summer and Italy in Winter

7. In 1889 admitted into insane asylum

8. Insanity possibly comes from Syphillus contracted during a war in which he served as a medic

B. Works (some) (Please click on the corresponding post the Timeline of the Gilded Age for additional and reorganized information.)

1. Birth of Tragedy (1872)

2. Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1872)

3. Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

4. Genealogy of Morals (1887)

5. Twilight of Idols (1889)

6. Antichrist (1889)

7. Ecce Homo (1889)

C. Main Tenets

1. God is dead

a. Existence of God is untenable

b. Christian morality impairs and weakens humanity

c. Devalues naturalistic values

d. Rejects all other metaphysical systems or higher “being”

2. Nihilism

a. Literally means nothingness

b. No justification for values and for morality

c. This scares Nietzsche, who seeks to build a new value based on naturalist assumptions

d. N insists upon social arrangements and interactions in development of human forms of awareness and activity

3. Uebermensch

a. Overman, exceptional human being

b. Capable of independence and creativity elevating them beyond the level of the general human rule

c. Overman can overcome the all-too-human, or lower behavior and choices that the “herd” makes

4. Will to power

a. Every act is ultimately aimed at superiority over people, but especially over one’s own standard

b. The Overman overcomes the all-too-human

c. The reaching forth towards excellence

See Nietzsche’s Madman and the Death of God.

II. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) (Could be placed in Outline of Age of Populism)

A. Life

1. B. in Freiberg, Moravia

2. Parents are middle class

3. Parents move to Vienna (1859)

4. Attends University of Vienna, where he is a brilliant student in classics, English, and French

5. Interests are Shakespeare, Goethe, Leonardo Da Vinci

6. Receives M.D. in 1881

7. Free association is developed (1892-95)

8. Psychoanalysis (1895-1900)

9. Professor at University of Vienna

10. Self-analysis reveals importance of dreams and he which elicits antagonism and misunderstanding

11. In 1938 he is forced to move to London because of Nazis

B. Publications (some)

1. Studies of Hysteria with Josef Breuer (1886)

2. The Interpretation of Dreams

3. Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex (1905)

4. Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1919)

5. The Ego and the Id (1923)

C. Main Tenets (Please click on the corresponding post the Timeline of the Gilded Age for additional and reorganized information.)

1. Psychoanalysis

a. To probe the unconscious

b. Free association is discussing anything that “pops” into one’s mind, without worrying about what another will think

c. Dreams reveal unconscious

d. Slips of the tongue (“I’d like to kill you” instead of “I’d like to kiss you” may reveal true meaning

2. Id

a. Desire

b. Reservoir of all human energies

c. Primitive, innate urges

d. Operates in accordance to pleasure principle, the desire for immediate, total gratification

3. Ego

a. Its task is to hold in check the id

b. Operates in accordance with reality principle

c. It takes account of the external world and directs behavior

d. On a conscious level and preconscious (subconscious) level

e. Shaped and developed by superego

4. Superego

a. Controls satisfaction of id

b. Concerned with morality, in contrast to ego

c. Permits gratification of id impulses only when morally correct to do so

d. On a conscious, preconscious and unconscious level

5. Materialist

a. No soul or God or supernatural world

Literature: Early Modernism

I.  Historical Background

A.  Politics and Society

1.  Industrial Revolution

2.  Bourgeoisie

3.  Imperialism

a.  Gaining in power of bourgeoisie

4.  Precipitation towards WWI

B.  Science and Humanity

1.  Darwinism

a.  This leads to biological determinism and competitive jungle

2.  Determinism

a.  Scientific determinism views life as mechanistic and subject to laws

b.  Human are animals responding to environmental forces and internal stresses and drives

c.  Humans cannot control or understand forces or drives

3.  Psychoanalysis

a.  Freud lays bare phantasms in human unconscious

b.  This connects with Expressionism

II. Naturalism

A. Timeframe

1. 1870s to early 1900s

a. Before WWI

B. Description

1. Laboratory

a. Of human situations

b. Naturalist can put theories to test

c. Frank depiction of humans driven by basic urges, fear, hunger, sex, and survival or preservation

2. Determinism

a. Biological or socioeconomic determinism

3. Objectivity

a. Like Realism

b. Amoral view of the struggle in which human animals find themselves

c. Neither condemning or praising humans for actions beyond their control

4. Pessimism

a. About human (in)capabilities

b. Life is a vicious trap

C. France

1. Emile Zola (1840-1902)

a. Life

1) B. in Paris, but spent youth in Aix-en-Provence, where he formed close friendship with Cézanne; father a civil engineer of Italian stock, who died in 1847

2) Moves back to Paris with mom to finish his educ., but failed his baccalaureate; got a modest position with publisher Hachette and publ. a collection of tales Contes à Ninon (1864) and his first novel La Confession de Claude (1864); early work rec’d little critical attention

3) As a journalist he defends Manet; he converts to realism in art and lit

4) On fall of Empire he embarks on his Rougon-Macquart series (1871) and would take him until 1893 to complete, of 20 vols.

5) Roman experimental (experiential or empirical) a lit. crit. theory (1880)

6) He purchases house with proceeds from L’Assommoir; leader of group of lits., who produced one and only collective Les Soirées de Médan

7) Famous, but never admitted to Académie française

8) Dies of carbon-monoxide poisoning from blocked chimney in house

b.  Nana (1880)

1) Brothel woman who dances and exhibits

2) Men are attracted to her as if they cannot control themselves; trapped by her

3) She dies of disease caused by her lifestyle; the last scene of her is repulsive

D. Scandinavia

1. Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

a. Life

1) B. in Skien in Norway, to a businessman who went bankrupt (1836); became pharmacist’s assistant at 16 in impoverished shop; studied briefly at Christiana (now Oslo) Univ. briefly; had an affair with servant girl ten yrs. older, and had child

2) Joined a more prosperous shop and wrote first play in 1849 Catiline; publ.

3) He renounced medicine in favor of philosophy and lit; concerned with Revs. in 1848 and Danish independence to Prussian rule and with trade-unionism

4) Married Susannah Thoreson (1858, having one son; financial worry and public indifference led to 27-yr. exile (1864-91), mainly in Rome, Dresden, and Munich

5) Two Romantic dramatic poems Brand (1866) and Peer Gynt (1867); but strong critique of society; otherwise works attack society’s hypocrisy

6) Dies after yrs of failing health

b. A Doll’s House (1879)

1) This is a woman’s revolt against an older man’s control over her

E. Russia

1. Anton Pavlovich Chekov

a. Life

1) B. in Taganrog; educ. at classical gymnasium and at Moscow Univ. School of Medicine

2) At nineteen writes humorous stories for newspapers and magazines, many while still in med. school (The Fairly Tales of Melpomene) in 1884, the same yr. he takes degree

3) Motley Tales in 1886 and becomes exponent of realism with Gorki

4) Travels in S. Russian and journeyed across Russia to penal colony on Sakhalin Is. (1887), where he studied conditions; published finding in 1891

5) Tuberculosis forces him to stay in southern resort Yalta and influenced by Tolstoy

6) During last decade he publ. his masterpieces

7) Marries Olga Knipper, an actress

8) He dies of bad health in German resort Badenweiler

b. Three Sisters (1901)

F. America

1. Kate Chopin (née Catherine O’Flaherty) (1851-1904)

a. Life

1) B. in St. Louis; father died in an inaugural train ride when a bridge collapsed

2) She attends St. Louis Academy of Sacred Heart

3) Marries Oscar Chopin in 1870 and have six children; they move to New Orleans, LA on a cotton plantation; he seems to have a liberal bent since his father was oppressive; he was sympathetic to his wife’s need of independence

4) Couple honeymoons in Europe; she begins writing career at return

5) His plantation fails due to bad crop, so they move and run store

6) He dies of Swamp fever in 1882, and she moves back to St. Louis, where she supports herself, six children, and mother

7) She writes The Awakening (1899), causing storm of protest that ended her literary career because of shock

8) Dies in St. Louis, shunned and forgotten

b. “Story of an Hour” (1894)

1) A heart weakness begins the story

2) She hears that her husband was killed, so she makes plans for her personal liberation

3) When it turns out he is not dead, her heart gives up, and she dies

III. Decadents

A. Time

1. Late 19th to early 20th centuries

B. Description

1. Art over Nature

a. Art is superior to nature

2. Society

a. In their lives and art (writings and paintings) they attack moral and social standards

3. Feminism

a. But the Oxford Companion to French Literature says it’s conservative except against feminism and socialism

b. Woman is the villainess

C. France

1. Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907)

a. Life

1) B. in Paris; real name is Charles-Marie-Georges; from Dutch painters; educ. at Lycée St. Louis;

2) Held position in gov’t welfare office for 30 yrs

3) He writes Naturalist novels Marthe (1876), based on first love affair and Les Soeurs Vatard (1879)

4) Helps Impressionist cause with his articles in Le Voltaire (1879), La Réforme (1880), and L’Art Moderne (1883)

5) Decadent novel A Rebours (1884)

6) Occultism in Là-Bas (1891); neurotic antagonism against society

7) Converts to traditional Catholicism (1892)

8) Resigns fr. bureaucratic position in 1898, he becomes oblate at Benedictine Monastery of St. Martin Légugé; Monastery closes; returns to Paris, writes L’Oblat (1903)

9) Dies of Cancer, having been made officer in Legion of Honor

b. A Rebours (Against Nature) (1884)

1) Jean Des Esseintes, a prototype of fin-de-siècle decadent; from lower-level aristocracy, but enough money to live comfortably w/o working

2) He is bored with life, going from one party to the next, from one relationship to the next

3) He is sickly and sick and tired; he wants faith but can’t find it

4) The story ends w/o a real conclusion like death or happiness: he is sick, but he looks forward to going to Paris

D. England

1. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

a. Life

1) B. in Dublin; real name is Fingal O’Flahertie Wills; father eminent surgeon and mother a minor Irish poet

2) Attends Trinity College, Dublin, won scholarship at Magdalan College, Oxford; gains reputation for wit and studied aestheticism

3) Wins Newdigate poetry prize with Ravenna (1878)

4) A minor celebrity when he settles in London (1879); lecture tour in America (1882)

5) Marries wealthy Constance Lloyd (1884); they have two sons

6) Famous novel Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

7) Earns reputation for plays

8) Sues Marquis of Queensbury for libel; loses suit; then convicted on charge of homosexuality; two yrs hard labor at Reading Gaol; writes confessional De Profundis (1905; full 1950)

9) Loses marriage; moves to Berneval, France;

10) Broken man, he led a pathetic and dissipated life; dies in Paris

b. The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)

c. Portrait [or Picture] of Dorian Gray (1890-91)

III. Expressionism

A. Time

1.  Strongest in 1920s

B. Description

1. Revolt against Realism

a. Symbolic devices, such as characters named father, daughter

b. Unreal atmosphere, nightmarish action, distortion and oversimplification, de-emphasis of individual

c. Dislocation of time sequence and spatial logic

2. German-Speakers

a. Confined mostly to German speakers

C. Scandinavia

1. Johan August Strindberg (1849-1912)

a. Life

1) B. in Stockholm; son of banker aristocrat and maidservant who went bankrupt; grows up in a poor, unhappy home

2) Studied Medicine intermittently at Univ. of Upsala (1867), leaving w/o degree (1869)

3) 1869-72, fails in theatre, with one modest success

4) 1872-82, Journalist and librarian in Stockholm

5) 1877, Married Finish actress

6) 1879 Establishes himself as actress in autobio novel The Red Room

7) 1880-82, Writes The New State, provocative, venomously attacked

8) 1883, Leaves Sweden partly bec. of attacks; spends six yrs. abroad in France, Germany, Denmark

9) 1884, Writes short stories, Marriage; prosecuted for blasphemy; returns to Sweden to face trial; acquitted

10) 1889, Begins own experimental theatre in Denmark; theatre goes bankrupt

11) 1891, Divorces Siri

12) 1893-97, writes pseudo-scientific articles for alchemistical journals, in French

13) 1894-96, Poor and alone in Paris; dabbles in alchemy; Inferno crisis; on brink of insanity

14) 1896, emerges from crisis and returns to Sweden

15) 1897, Writes Inferno in French, account of near-madness

16) Next eleven yrs spent writing 35 plays, pamphlets on politics, sociology, and philosophy; popularity in decline

17) 1900, Meets Harriet Bosse, Norwegian actress, marries her; she leaves shortly afterwards

18) Dies in Stockholm of stomach cancer, aged 63

b. A Dream Play (1902)

C. Czechoslovakia

1. Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

a. Life

1) B. in Prague, son of Hermann, affluent tradesman and Julie Löwy, whose forebears are learned rabbis

2) 1889-92, birth of three sisters; all three killed by Nazis

3) Attends elementary school at Fleischmarkt in Prague

4) 1893-1901, Old Town Gymnasium, middle-class Jewish school

5) 1901-06, Law at German Univ. in Prague, along with German lit. courses; grads with doctor’s degree in law; internships at penal court, then civil court

6) 1905, Vacation in Zuckmantel; first love affair

7) 1908, Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute; promoted to authority until pensioned in 1922

8) 1912, Meets future fiancée Felice Bauer; writes Metamorphosis

9) Formal engagement to Felice; but broken off in July

10) 1915, Publication of Meta.

11) 1916, With Felice in Marienbad

12) 1917, Engagement broken off in December

13) 1918-19, Engagement to Julie Wohryzek

14) 1920, Broken off

15) 1923, Meets Dora Diamant, his last consort

16) 1924, Dies of Tuberculosis

b.  Metamorphosis (1915)

1) A man wakes up as a bug and is eventually rejected by his family and swept into garbage.

Art and Architecture

I. Impressionism

A. Painting

1. Introduction

a. Avant-garde is cutting edge, but they had to be good

b. Name is derogatory; first by a critic who labeled Monet’s Impression: Sunrise as impressionist

c. Abandon the studio and go outside

1) cheap rail travel

d. Tubes help paint and colors improved with chemistry

e. Depicts what they see in nature, but transient moments, due to fast pace in modern world

f. Play of light over objects, people, and nature

g. Vivid contrasts btwn colors in light and shade

h. Broken brush technique (broken color)

2. Claude Monet (1840-1926)

a. Red Boats at Argenteuil (streaks of broken color simulate dancing light)

b. Water Lilies (streaks of broken color depict light

3. Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

a. He does not remain faithful to Impressionism; shifts from soft-focus image to a focus on form

b. The Luncheon of the Boating Party (it does not abandon Impressionism entirely, but focuses on form—the figures in the boat)

4. Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

a. member of upper middle class; her wealth and connections means she has leisure time

b. Girl in a Boat with Geese (Impressionism; focuses on atmosphere and play of light; flatness of plane; in contrast to three-dimensionality of Renoir’s Boating Party

5.  Mary Cassatt (1845-1926)

a. American, with good connection from Philadelphia; her social ties makes Impress. acceptable to Americans; she is not tied down to Impress., for she is interested in nonwestern art

b. The Bath (ukiyo-e print; simple design and flatness of space)

II. Post-Impressionism (1886-1900)

A. Painting

1. Introduction

a. Extends the boundaries of Impressionism

b. Pointillism or little points or divisionism

c. Primitivism; West’s fascination with non-Western culture

2. Georges Seurat (1859-1891)

a. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (pointillism)

3. Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

a. Precursor of abstract art and Cubism

b. Mont Sainte-Victoire (not entirely abandoning figures, it still is flat and geometric)

4. Paul Gaugin (1848-1903)

a. Abandons marriage and middle class life and lives in Tahiti

b. The Spirit of the Dead Watching (primitivism; creates uproar in Paris bec. of dark-skinned nude and her not reclining)

5. Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

a. Rough life

b. Sometimes applies raw pigments with palette knife or fingers instead of with brush

c. Self-Portrait with a Gray Hat (aggressive brush strokes and pattern of energy lines)

d. The Starry Night

III. Fauvism, Cubism, and Expressionism

A. Fauvism

1. Introduction

a. Name comes fr. French for “wild beasts,” names detractors gave them

b. Color is overriding concern

c. Follows Van Gogh

2. Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

a. The Open Window, Collioure (colors are “arbitrary” in that they stray from direct observation, and instead forms color harmonies)

3. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

a. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (on his street in Barcelona; still life in foreground and five figures, so still conventional composition; redirected objective art beyond abstraction and into nonobjective art; overturns standard set by Renaissance)

B. Cubism

1. Introduction

a. Fragments three-dimensional objects and reassembles them in patterns that stress geometric shape

b. Gives up on Renaissance space and represents the subject from diff. angles

c. Collage: flat plane of painting’s surface was now simply a two-dimensional showcase for objects, nudging cubism closer to Abstraction; bits and pieces of other objects applied to canvas

2. Pablo Picasso

a. A Man with a Hat (some say it is Georges Braque [1882-1963], tho’ Braque denies it)

C. Expressionism

1. Introduction

a. Denies representation of objects

b. Concentrates on colors and lines, which were meant to express inner feelings

c. Defies sense of reality or connection to nature, but is “largely unconscious, spontaneous expressions of inner character, nonmaterial in nature” (Kadinsky)

2. Wassily Kadinsky (1866-1944)

a. Russian exile to Munich (Der Blaue Reiter or The Blue Rider)

b. Improvisation 33 for “Orient” (see intro to Expressionism)

IV. Sculpture and Architecture

A. Sculpture

1. Auguste Rodin (1940-1917)

a. Rejects static Classicism; blends Romantic subject matter; Renaissance simplicity, and Gothic angularity

b. Eve (rough Gothic effect; torturing surface; Impressionistic with play of light on surface; Expressionistic with traces of fingers on bronze medium)

B. Architecture

1. Louis Sullivan (1856-1924)

a. Chicago School:  “Form follows function”

b. Guaranty Bldg, Buffalo

2. Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959)

a. Uses organic material for houses: local woods and stone, thereby harmonizing with physical environment

b. W. W. Willits House


Western world, you’re asleep! Wake up and reclaim your good heritage, like your true biblical Christian faith, rather than religion, and forget the bad.

Modernism begins at this time. It broke down barriers. Even though the art may look wacky, it still has the right to exist. It expresses human freedom. Don’t let communism or socialism or Islamism to erode liberty.

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