Figurative art

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Eismann, Johann Anton - Ein Meerhafen.jpg
Ein Meerhafen ("A Seaport"), a figurative landscape by the Austrian artist Johann Anton Eismann (1604–1698), which depicts buildings, people, ships, and other features that can be distinguished individually; by contrast, the abstract landscape below suggests its subject matter without directly representing it
Abstract scene, by Jay Meuser.jpg
Untitled abstract expressionist landscape by the American artist Jay Meuser (1911–1963)

Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork (particularly paintings and sculptures) that is clearly derived from real object sources and so is, by definition, representational. The term is often in contrast to abstract art:

Contents

Since the arrival of abstract art the term figurative has been used to refer to any form of modern art that retains strong references to the real world. [1]

Painting and sculpture can therefore be divided into the categories of figurative, representational and abstract, although, strictly speaking, abstract art is derived (or abstracted) from a figurative or other natural source. However, "abstract" is sometimes used as a synonym for non-representational art and non-objective art, i.e. art which has no derivation from figures or objects.

Figurative art is not synonymous with figure painting (art that represents the human figure), although human and animal figures are frequent subjects.

Formal elements

The formal elements, those aesthetic effects created by design, upon which figurative art is dependent, include line, shape, color, light and dark, mass, volume, texture, and perspective, [2] although these elements of design could also play a role in creating other types of imagery—for instance abstract, or non-representational or non-objective two-dimensional artwork. The difference is that in figurative art these elements are deployed to create an impression or illusion of form and space, and, usually, to create emphasis in the narrative portrayed.

Sleeping Venus
(a.k.a. Dresden Venus)
Giorgione - Sleeping Venus - Google Art Project 2.jpg
First known reclining nude in Western Art. Introduced the female nude as subject.
Artist Giorgione
Yearc. 1510
Dimensions108.5×175 cm (42.7×69 in)

Evolution

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Le Bain Turc (The Turkish bath), 1862, oil on canvas, 108 x 110 cm, Louvre, Paris Le Bain Turc, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, from C2RMF retouched.jpg
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Le Bain Turc (The Turkish bath) , 1862, oil on canvas, 108 × 110 cm, Louvre, Paris

Figurative art is itself based upon a tacit understanding of abstracted shapes: the figure sculpture of Greek antiquity was not naturalistic, for its forms were idealized and geometric. [3] Ernst Gombrich referred to the strictures of this schematic imagery, the adherence to that which was already known, rather than that which is seen, as the "Egyptian method", an allusion to the memory-based clarity of imagery in Egyptian art. [4] Eventually idealization gave way to observation, and a figurative art which balanced ideal geometry with greater realism was seen in Classical sculpture by 480 B.C. [3] The Greeks referred to the reliance on visual observation as mimesis. Until the time of the Impressionists, figurative art was characterized by attempts to reconcile these opposing principles. [4]

From the early Renaissance, Mannerism and the Baroque through 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century painting Figurative art has steadily broadened its parameters. An important landmark in the evolution of figurative art is the first known reclining nude in Western painting in Sleeping Venus (1510) by Giorgione. [5] It introduced the female nude as subject and started a long line of famous paintings.

Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665), a French painter in the classical style whose work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color, served as an alternative to the more narrative Baroque style of the 17th century. He was a major inspiration for such classically oriented artists as Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Paul Cézanne. The rise of the Neoclassical art of Jacques-Louis David ultimately engendered the realistic reactions of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet leading to the multi-faceted figurative art of the 20th century.

In November, 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 (perhaps as old as 52,000) years old, of an unknown animal, in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh on the Indonesian island of Borneo. [6] [7]

Architecture, townscape

History painting

Human forms

Landscape, seascape

Still life

Cave painting

See also

Notes and references

  1. Tate. "Glossary:Figurative". Archived from the original on 3 February 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. Adams, Laurie Schneider, The Methodologies of Art, pages 17-19. Westview Press, 1996,
  3. 1 2 Clark, Kenneth, The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, pages 31-2. Princeton University Press, 1990.
  4. 1 2 The Gombrich Archive: Press statement on The Story of Art Archived October 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. Reclining Nude. Ferrara, Lidia G. (Di 1 ban ed.). London: Thames & Hudson. 2002. ISBN   978-0500237977. OCLC   966186187.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. Zimmer, Carl (7 November 2018). "In Cave in Borneo Jungle, Scientists Find Oldest Figurative Painting in the World - A cave drawing in Borneo is at least 40,000 years old, raising intriguing questions about creativity in ancient societies". The New York Times . Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  7. Aubert, M.; et al. (7 November 2018). "Palaeolithic cave art in Borneo". Nature . 564 (7735): 254–257. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0679-9. PMID   30405242. S2CID   53208538 . Retrieved 8 November 2018.

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Portrait Artistic representation of one or more persons

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Academic art Style of painting and sculpture

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Proto-Cubism Phase in art history

Proto-Cubism is an intermediary transition phase in the history of art chronologically extending from 1906 to 1910. Evidence suggests that the production of proto-Cubist paintings resulted from a wide-ranging series of experiments, circumstances, influences and conditions, rather than from one isolated static event, trajectory, artist or discourse. With its roots stemming from at least the late 19th century this period can be characterized by a move towards the radical geometrization of form and a reduction or limitation of the color palette. It is essentially the first experimental and exploratory phase of an art movement that would become altogether more extreme, known from the spring of 1911 as Cubism.

<i>Groupe de femmes</i>

Groupe de femmes, also called Groupe de trois femmes, or Groupe de trois personnages, is an early Cubist sculpture created circa 1911 by the Hungarian avant-garde, sculptor, and graphic artist Joseph Csaky (1888–1971). This sculpture formerly known from a black and white photograph had been erroneously entitled Deux Femmes , as the image captured on an angle showed only two figures. An additional photograph found in the Csaky family archives shows a frontal view of the work, revealing three figures rather than two. Csaky's sculpture was exhibited at the 1912 Salon d'Automne, and the 1913 Salon des Indépendants, Paris. A photograph taken of Salle XI in sitiu at the 1912 Salon d'Automne and published in L'Illustration, 12 October 1912, p. 47, shows Groupe de femmes exhibited alongside the works of Jean Metzinger, František Kupka, Francis Picabia, Amedeo Modigliani and Henri Le Fauconnier.