The dominant style stifled innovation in 19th century seascapes
For a long time in the 19th century, seascapes were considered an expression of patriotism. Artists who painted in a 17th century style were more popular. This tradition has stifled innovation in the genre, concluded Cécile Bosman. She will support her doctorate. thesis on October 13.
Think of seascapes and you’ll likely conjure up images of historic sailing ships bravely battling choppy waves against a backdrop of thundering black clouds. And this is not surprising since for a long time many seascapes were painted according to particular traditions. The genre flourished in the 17th century and returned to the 19th century. As curator of maritime art at the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, external doctoral student. candidate Cécile Bosman realized that the genre deserved further research. “I wondered how maritime art was viewed in the 19th century, but no study had been published on how the paintings were exactly their time.” Bosman studied the perspective of maritime painters and other painters in the profession. She also studied how art critics and art theorists viewed the genre.
Representative of national pride
In the art world of the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century, the prevailing view was that maritime art was “representative of national pride”. had its roots in the navigation of the time. In the 18th and 19th centuries this prosperous history was glorified and used as an example. “Maritime art as an expression of patriotism was uniquely Dutch,” says Bosman. It was mainly history painting – paintings of historical scenes – that was used to raise awareness of a nation’s own history.
Traditional style criteria
Bosman identified 110 specialist maritime artists who were active between 1800 and 1900. Many drew inspiration from the Dutch masters of the 17th century seascape such as Ludolf Bakhuizen and Willem van de Velde. Art critics used traditional style criteria to judge their work until at least the mid-19th century, concludes Bosman. They mainly looked at the resemblance to 17th century art in the treatment of the elements: the transparency of the water surface, the colors of the sky and clouds, and the shape of the waves. Bosman: “In many ways the 17th century was never far away. What was typical of this era was that for a long time art criticism ignored contemporary modern steamboats in paintings.
Emergence of realism and impressionism
This artistic tradition was the origin of expert paintings, but it was also stifling. “This has resulted in a form of inability to cope with innovations in painting.” From the middle of the 19th century, it started to get angry more and more. The artistic tradition of 17th-century Dutch painting was considered outdated by many artists and art critics, and it began to give way to realism and impressionism. Here there was no room for precisely painted ships and people lost interest in specialized maritime art. Bosman: “Maritime painters missed the boat at the turn of the century, both literally and figuratively.
Use mathematics to study paintings to learn more about the evolution of art history
Provided by the University of Leiden
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