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English art of the 18 century
Лекция по страноведению
Автор: Хаджаева Ф.А.
Учитель английского языка
Unlike the 17 century the 18 century put forward painters of the European scale in English art. England appreciated psychology, character , and story in the art. But in general English graphic didn’t follow the way of narration. The painting improved its own faculties in genre of portrait. Portrait was cultivated in England earlier and took its origin from Holbein and Van Dyck. The interest to psychology fixed by literature supported this tradition. The Pleiad of portraitists of the second part of the 18 century is the pride of English Art. It’s enough to mention such famous painters as Gainsborough and Reynolds.
The two great painters were the two great antipodes. Sir Joshua Reynolds was a pattern of English gentleman. He played an important role in politics and belonged to London jet set. He was erudite and theoretician of art. Reynolds used his great artistic talent as an experienced master his instrument, directed it deliberately. He calculated the artistic effect beforehand and reached it after careful consideration.
Thomas Gainsborough as a portraitist was very popular too and sometimes they both had the same customers. But Gainsborough disliked ladies and gentlemen from the high society. Life in London was painful for Gainsborough. Nature and silence attracted him.
Reynolds strictly followed his own theories in practice. Gainsborough never tried to do it. He worked by intuition just studied nature. He never fought against his customers tastes but in their limits he was quite original and exceptionally attractive artist. He was fond of music that’s why his works are musical by the expression , by rhythm and colours musically elusive.
Unlike Gainsborough Reynolds employed many pupils and assistants and his work also differs from Gainsborough’s in being frequently badly preserved on account of his bad technical procedures.
Gainsborough became famous by his series of he so called blue portraits. The portrait of Sarah Siddons belonged to it. At the time the portrait was painted Sarah Siddons became the most famous actress in Drury Lane in London. Gainsborough painted the actress in a quiet pose without any attributes of her profession .And one can see a beautiful, elegant, calm lady. The chord of blue, white and black tones sounds wonderfully on the deep-red background of the portrait. By this blue range Gainsborough polemized in some way with Reynolds , who was convinced that cold tines are impossible as the dominant in picture.
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)
Gainsborough was born in the small market town of Sudbury in Suffolk in 1727. His father was a prosperous cloth merchant. Gainsborough went to Sudbery Grammar School. At the age of 13 he persuaded his parents to let him go up to London to study art. Hupert Gravelot a French draughtsman , living in London, took on Gainsborough as a pupil. At the age of 18 when he established his own studio he seems to have left the world o Gravelot.
Nevertheless Gainsborough visited his native Suffolk in summer. Innumerable landscapes, sketches bear the witness that “Nature was his teacher and the woods of Suffolk his academy” . In 1748 his father died and he decided to return to Sudbery. One of his first pictures painted in Suffolk is among his masterpieces – the double portrait of Mr. and Mrs.Andrews( London , National Gallery). Here was an opportunity to Gainsborough to display his power as a landscape painter.
Sociable and kindhearted Gainsborough was much liked as a person. Many houses were open to him. But in spite of his popularity and local prominence, work was not easy to come by- demand was limited in most provincial centers and he was often in financial difficulties. In 1759 moved to Bath. Now he had an opportunity to see the outstanding collections of old masters. Rubens and Van Dyck had the main influence on his style. For the first Academy exhibition, in summer 1769 , Gainsborough painted one of his masterpieces , the full-length portrait of a young and newly married Lady Molineux ( Liverpool Walker Art Gallery) with aristocratic Van Dyck pose and exquisite softness of modeling.
But Gainsborough was never happy in with “impudent style” needed because of the competitiveness of public exhibitions. In 1774 Gainsborough left Bath for London. He was already well known to the “Great world” and had a great success there. In 1777 he received the first of many following commissions from the Royal Family.
In 1788 Gainsborough died at the age of 61 and was buried in Kew Churchyard nextto the grave of his old Suffolk friend Jushua Kirby.
As far as for me I like the portrait of Jonathan Battol most of all his pictures . “Boy in blue” – “the most real of all fairy princes and the most fairy of all real boy.”
Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
Joshua Reynolds is the most important person in British Art from the historic poin of view. He was born in 1723 at Plimpton St. Maurice in Devonshire. His father was a headmaster of Grammar School. He was brauhgt up in an educated family at a time when most English painters were hardly more educated than a salesman. So Reynolds did more to raise the status of the artist in England through his learning and personal example than by his actual quality as an artist.
The fundamental basis of his art is the deliberate use of allusion of the old masters or antique sculpture.in 1749 he went to Italy where he studied the intellectual system of Italian art. Several years later he et up in London and started to” make a name” So in 1768 when the Royal academy was founded it was obvious that Raynolds was the only possible candida as the president. He was knighted in 1769 and made Doctor of Civil Law at Oxford and mayor of his native Plimpton. The works of years following 1768 show him as the most classical and the most determined to use the Academy as an instrument to force a British school of History to the painters. During these years Reynolds exhibited at the academy exhibitions and usually showed a skillful blend of large portraits treated in a historical manner , such as “Three Ladies Adoring The term Of Hymen”( London, National Gallery).The painting shows three daughters of the Scottish member of Parliament Sir William Montgomery about to drape a garland of flowers on a bust of Hymen, the Greek God of marriage .There is something wonderful about the picture and also something ridiculous. As he was trying to do the impossible ^ to paint a picture of classical theme in the grand manner and confirm the convention of his own time.
In 1784 Reynolds became the court painter of King George III, but they never supported close relationships because Reynolds belonged to the Wigs Party and had different political views.
Unfortunately three years before his death he became blind and had to stop painting.He died in 1792 and was buried in St. Paul Cathedral with honors as a person of British national fame . His bronze statue was set in the yard in front of the Royal Academy.
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