Karen Chou
Culture of Modernity

  • Naturalism: accepted material world, realistic, pessimistic realism
    • Zola: Rougon-Macquart: alcoholism and different environments affected people’s lives, series of novels on “natural and social history of family
    • Tolstoy- War and Peace, fatalistic view of history that proved irrelevant in the face of life’s enduring values of human love and trust
    • Dostoevsky- Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, failure to incorporate spirit would result in tyranny, suffering and faith could the human soul be purified
    • Symbolists: against Realism, objective of knowledge of the world was impossible; art should function for its own sake of serving, criticizing, and understand society
    • W.B. Yeats and Rilke: poetry ceased to be a part of popular culture, only understand if one had knowledge of poet’s personal language
Visual Arts
  • Impressionism: paint nature directly
    • Pissarro: Impressionism founder, changing effects of light on objects in nature
    • Monet: interplay of light, water, and atmosphere; Impression, Sunrise;
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    • Morisot: woman professional painter, more delicate, Young Girl by the Windo
  • Post-Impressionism: revolutionized light and color by paying more attention to structure and form
    • Cezanne: Woman with Coffee Pot, geometric shapes, express underlying structure and form of everything he painted
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    • Van Gogh: spiritual experience, color could act as its own form of language, paint what they feel, Starry Night
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    • Eastman: first Kodak camera
    • Picasso: extremely flexible styles, Cubism: geometric designs to recreate reality in the viewers mind, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (first cubist painting)
  • Abstract Expressionism: avoid representation
    • Kandinsky: founders of Abstract Expressionism, Painting with White Border, art should speak directly to the soul, concentrate on color
Music: folk music, nationalistic spirit
  • Nationalist
    • Grieg-simple melodies, better suited to smaller compositional forms, Peer Gynt Suite, national music style in Norway
  • Impressionist: elusive moods, haunting sensations
    • Debussy- close association between painters and musicians; Sketches, Images, and Prints; based off a poem: Prelude to the Afternoon Faun didn’t tell a story, overall feeling of the poem,
    • Stravinsky-primitive forms, more genuine feelings, Ballet Russe, The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, unusual dancing, irrational forces in his music