Fifty key art terms are discussed through a rich diversity of attitudes. The emphasis is on French art, but to a lesser degree British, European and North American art is also discussed. Each art term is explored through its changing meanings over the years and range from academy and atelier to composition, étude, landscape, modernity, plein-air, sublime and urban life. Unusual, and of great interest to any art lover.
In "Keywords of Nineteenth-Century Art", Christine Lindey offers a fresh approach to the study of the theory and practice of the century's fine art. Fifty key art terms provide a context for copious contemporary quotations from those with direct experience of the creative process: artists, critics, writers and thinkers. The book thus avoids the hackneyed definition of major movements and artists' groups, and instead discusses these through a rich diversity of attitudes to each keyword; those, for example, of the Romantic, Barbizon and Symbolist artists and their publics to issues such as art institutions, exhibitions, landscape, drawing and the pervasive influence of the antique. The quotations are drawn from a wide range of sources. Chosen to exemplify particular historical, geographical, socio-political and aesthetic tendencies, these provide familiar pivotal figures to help guide the reader through a highly populated and fast-changing art world. The emphasis is on French and, to a lesser degree, British art but a range of European and North American art is also discussed. Academic art and the views of its conservative champions are set alongside those of avant-garde artists to convey the major aesthetic debates and public tastes of the century. The struggle of women artists to overcome social and professional exclusion is discussed in relation to male-dominated norms. Associated ideas are appended to each term, guiding the reader towards further readings so that the book provides quick reference, a rich source of quotations and an overall insight into the major preoccupations of nineteenth-century art and artists.