Courses

THE ART OF THE 19th CENTURY, THE USE OF MYTH


Teaching Staff: Martini Aitolia - Aikaterini
Course Code: ΑΙΤ602
Course Type: Seminar
Course Level: Undergraduate
Course Language: Greek
Semester: 8th
ECTS: 5

Short Description:

Despite its popular and impressive presence, mythological art was not as plentiful between 1400 and 1800 as we tend to believe. Some masters with a heightened sensitivity towards the diachronic worth of the classical tradition (eg. Poussin, Rubens, Boucher) became reference points for the nextd generations, especially since the end of the 18th century. New discoveries in archaeology, tours in southern Europe and the series of illustrated publications that arose from them brought about a turn towards classical art as such and a period of unusual bloom in the art category in question. Starting from newly-cultivated artistic interest in Homeric epos (and in particular the violent and ethically unstable narratives of Iliad), this course will concentrate on the re-discovery pf mythological art in France, Britain and the German-speaking countries. More than half of the lectures will be dedicated to case studies associated with the last four decades of the 19th century and related to phenomena such as the crisis of history painting, the rise of esoteric movements and practices, criticism against the bourgeoisie, materialism and imperialism as well as the urge for women’s emancipation.


Objectives - Learning Outcomes:

The aim is to consolidate the students’ familiarity with myth, classical literature and their variable modes of reception during the period in question. At the same, they come across some less-known and sometimes misunderstood trends or ideas, resulting to a more objective overview of fin-de-siècle culture.


Syllabus:

Week One: Introduction-Overview of mythological art between 1400 and 1800.

Week Two: Artistic recreation of the Homeric epos (1760-1900).

Week Three:  a. Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) and his circle: mythology as counterbalance to the propaganda of modern history painting. b. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) and his followers: new, media via mythological art.  

Week Four: Romantic painters with a strong classical background: H. Fuseli (1741-1825), J.A. Gros (1771-1835), W. Turner (1775-1851).

Week Five: a. French adherents of Romanticism focusing on the instinctive and metaphysical side of the myth: Theodore Géricault (1791-1824), Eugène Delacroix (1791-1863) b.Special cases of Romantic mythology in art: Francisco Goya (1746-1828), William Blake (1757-1829).

Week Six: a. Realism and mythology-Unexpected cases of convergence: Camille Corot (1796-1873), Gustave Courbet (1819-1871). B. From history painting to Decadent mythical symbols: Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), Gustave Doré (1832-1883).

Week Seven: The esoteric mythologists of Symbolism: Odilon Redon (1840-1917), Salon de la Rose+Croix, Nabis.

Week Eight: Alternative mythologies in classicist British art: William Etty (1787-1849), G. Watts (1817-1904), W. Waterhouse (1849-1917), H. Draper (1863-1920).

Week Nine: Second generation Pre-Raphaelites and their passage to Aestheticism: D. G. Rossetti (1828-1882), F. Sandys (1829-1904), S. Solomon (1840-1905).

Week Ten: Symbolism and mythical narrative: the Morris circle and the female presence. Εdward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), Evelyn de Morgan (1855-1920), Henrietta  Rae (1859-1928).

Week Eleven: Τhe German painters in Rome and their appeal: A. Feuerbach (1829-1880), A. Böcklin (1827-1903), H. von Marées (1837-1887), H. Thoma (1839-1920).

Week Twelve: Mythological art in the Sezession generation: F. von Stuck (1863-1928), Ν. Gysis (1842-1903), G. Κlimt (1842-1904)

Week Thirteen: Classical myth in the art of the 1900-1960 (closing synopsis).


Suggested Bibliography:
  • Ε. Βecker, Franz von Stuck, 1863-1928. Eros and Pathos. Μόναχο, 1996.
  • Τ. Crow, Emulation. David, Drouais and Girodet in the Art of Revolutionary France. Νιου Χέιβεν, 1995
  • Ι. Εhrhard-S.Reynolds (επιμ.), Κingdom of the Soul. Symbolist Art in Germany, 1870-1900. Mόναχο, 2000.
  • J. Marsh, Pre-Raphaelite Sisters. Λονδίνο, 2019.
  • Ε. Martinis, The Sphinx in Symbolist Art. An Intertextual Reading (ανεκδ. Διατριβή). Εσσεξ, 2007
  • Α. Μαρτίνη, «Ο Ιngres, η κλασική παράδοση και η κρίση στο εργαστήριο του David: η περίπτωση των Πρεσβευτών του Αγαμέμνονα» σε A. Σαραφιανός-Π. Ιωάννου (επιμ.), Ερευνητικά ζητήματα στην Ιστορία της Τέχνης. Αθήνα, 2016, σελ. 141-153.
  • Α. Μαρτίνη, Η Γενιά της Εκάτης. Κίρκη, Μήδεια και Αριάδνη στην Βικτωριανή Τέχνη. Αθήνα, 2019 (υπό έκδοση).
  • S. Partsch, G. Klimt: Painter of Women. Μόναχο, 2012.
  • Ε. Prettejohn, Art for Art’s Sake. Aestheticism in Victorian Painting. Νιου Χέιβεν, 2007.
  • Ε. Prettejohn, The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture. Λονδίνο, 2012.
  • D. Wiebenson, “Subjects from Homer’s Iliad in Neoclassical Art”, The Art Bulletin 46 (1964), σελ. 23-37.

Teaching Methods:

Lectures, museum visits, presentations, analysis and debate writing pieces. 


Evaluation Methods:

Contribution to the above (10%), main essay (60%), three smaller critical pieces (30%).


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