Monday, November 17, 2008

The New Role for Artists

During the 19th century there came a greater quest for knowledge and advances in technology. Darwin's theories of evolution evoked a consciousness that there was a rapid change in reality. Things were changing very fast and society was different from what it was in the past. This change caused people to begin to explore modernity, which led to the creation of what we know now as modernism. Modernism was developed in the second half of the 19th century. Modernism not only involves the present, but also investigates the building blocks of art, which happens to be very internal. The "master" role for artists, in previous times, treated limitations of a piece of artwork very differently from a modernist. For example a flat surface of a painting was considered a negative factor for a master, where as the modernist sees it as a positive factor. The two main movements in this century were called Realism and Impressionism. Art was created very openly and freey, artists began to go outside the box. Gustave Courbet was one of the figureheads of the Realism movement. Realists thought that fiction and things in historical content was not real, but the things in everyday life were real at the time. Courbet painted "The Stone Breakers", which is a work that depicts the reality of a person who makes a living off of breaking stones. It is real, not fantasy. Impressionism is more detailed than the Realism movement. Impressionism focuses on a single moment in time. An artist during this movement was Claude Monet, with his painting "Impression: Sunrise". This painting is of a sunrise, taken at a specific moment in time as sunrises do not last long. Sunrises come and then they fade fast. 

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