Continuing our tour of the Cleveland Museum of Art, we come to 19th century Europe. Besides Impressionism, which has a gallery of its own, there were two movements of art which arose in that century... Romanticism and Realism.
Romanticism was a reaction to the orderly and restrained Neoclassicism of the 1700s. It was emotional, moody, and imaginative. It dealt with exotic and even supernatural themes or the wildness of nature. Realism dealt with people and settings from real life, and did not idealize its themes. As I viewed the paintings I found it at times difficult to classify an artist as belonging to one school of art or another. Some seemed to have characteristics of both movements, and there were some artists whose work evolved over the years.
Here are a few of the paintings in the museum's collection...
"View of the Gulf of Pozzuoli" 1803
by Philipp Hackert
The exotic vistas of Italy appealed to many romantic painters, including Hackert, a leading German landscape painter.
"La Cervera, the Roman Campagna" 1830
by Camille Corot
Another painter who was attracted to Italy was the Frenchman Corot. He lived for several years in Rome and painted landscapes of the countryside around the city. Corot however also used Neoclassical principals in his work (although I have to admit I don't see much difference in the styles of these two paintings by Hackert and Corot).
"Portrait of Mlle. Alexandrine-Julie de la Boutraye" about 1832
by Eugene Delacroix
Delacroix was the leader of the French Romantic School.
"Ruin by the Sea" 1881
by Arnold Bocklin
This Swiss painter came much after the height of the Romantic movement, but his ominous, dreamlike images are strongly influenced by the German Romantics of the first half of the century.
"The Young Eastern Woman" 1838
by Friedrich Amerling
Although the model is clearly European, her Turkish attire reflects the Romantic fascination of the exotic. The Austrian painter went on to become the court painter in Vienna.
"The Eunuch's Dream" 1874
by Jean Lecomte du Nouy
This French painter is classified as a member of the Realist School. Although this work is done with painstaking, realistic detail, the theme of the Middle Eastern eunuch dreaming of a beautiful harem slave after smoking opium fits in with what one would expect from the Romantic School.
"Feige Waterfall" 1848
by Johan Christian Clausen Dahl
This Norwegian artist was considered one of the leading Romantic landscape painters. The landscapes of his native country fostered a sense of national identity among the Norwegian people who, at that time, were still ruled by Sweden.
by William Adolphe Bouguereau
The French painter Bouguereau was in his day one of the world's most popular artists. He is a member of the Realist School, although with its sweet sentimentality, and the depiction of Italian peasants, to my way of thinking there is a streak of Romanticism in it.
"Madame LeRolle and Her Daughter Yvonne" 1880
by Albert Besnard
The French painter Besnard was a realist who portrayed his figures in the natural setting of the world in which they lived. The subject was the wife of a fellow painter, Henry LeRolle. She and her daughter are pictured in her husband's studio.
"Madame LeRolle" 1882
by Henri Fantin LaTour
Two years later, Fantin LaTour did a portrait, in a more formal pose, of the same woman. LaTour was known for his portraits of Parisian artists and writers.
"Portrait of Marie-Yolande de Fitz-James" 1867
by Henri Fantin LaTour
Another portrait by Fantin LaTour. Although he was friends with a number of Impressionists, he always maintained the traditional method of painting portraits inside his studio.
by Jacques-Joseph Tissot
This is one of a series by the French painter which represent the months of the year. The beach in the background suggests a summer vacation by the sea. Tissot lived several years in England, and the model was his British mistress.
"The Boatyard" 1875
by Jean Charles Cazin
This French painter was clearly a member of the Realist School at the beginning of his career. This painting portrays the boatyard in his hometown of Boulogne. Later Cazin became an Impressionist.
"The Farm at the Entrance to the Wood" between 1860 and 1880
by Rosa Bonheur
Bonheur was the most famous woman painter of the 19th century, and she was the first woman to receive the French Legion of Honor award.
"Portrait of Mrs. George Waugh" 1868
by William Holman Hunt
Hunt was the founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English painters and poets who looked to 16th century Italy for their inspiration.
"The Pond at Ville-d'Avray" late 1860s
by Camille Corot
Earlier in this post I showed a landscape done by Corot in 1830. Later in his career his landscapes took on a soft, hazy quality, in contrast to the sharp, precise images in his early works. These later paintings had an influence on the next big school of art to emerge in the second half of the century... Impressionism.