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3.9 Delacroix’s early career – exercise

Exercise 3

In order to sum up your work on this section, jot down some notes on how Delacroix's early career might be seen as moving away from a respect for the classical tradition and for the reason and order demanded of classical com
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should:

  • have some understanding of developments in Goya's career as an artist;

  • begin to understand Enlightenment aspects of his work and the ways in which these were later challenged by a more Romantic approach charaterised by a uniqueness of vision and a focus on darker forces;

  • understand some of the ways in which the impact of the Napoleonic invasion of Spain found artistic expression.


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Acknowledgements

This unit was written by Dr Emma Barker

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Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce
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2.3 The military leader

Let us now consider another relatively early portrait, David's Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, in which the then First Consul is shown at the Great Saint Bernard at the start of the campaign which led to the defeat of the Austrians at Marengo in June 1800 (see Plate 10). In fact, Bonaparte had actually crossed the Alps on a humble
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6.1 The rise of the itinerant photographer

Happily, not all early family photographs were taken inside conventional studios. Sitters were frequently photographed in the open air or in temporary, makeshift studios. Portraits were taken in the street, at the fairground, at the seaside, at local beauty spots and in the parks and commons where town dwellers went for relaxation and entertainment on Sundays and holidays. Itinerant photographers who worked these venues would set up shop for the day, the week or longer, depending on situation
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Death

The final rite of passage, death itself, permeates the Victorian family album. Throughout the 19th century it was common practice, following the death of a relative, to commission memorial photographs. The overwhelming majority of these memorial photographs feature the person as living, not dead.

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5.5.4 Confirmation

Image 53 Photographer/Painter: Henry Knight, St Leonards on Sea. Subject: F.E. and Amynora Field, 1877.

You may find it difficult to read the ver
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5.5.2 Skirts and breeching

Look carefully at Images 46, 47 and 48.

Image 46 Photographer/Painter: Hills & Saunders, Eton. Subject: Michael Cahne Seymour, 1871.

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4.9.2 Idealisation

Early photographers were adept at using natural lighting to idealise the sitter. Manuals of good practice were full of advice on adapting the lighting to soften wrinkles and wreathe blemishes in shadow.

For ladies of a certain age, who often give the photographer a deal of trouble, it is advisable to employ a very soft light falling in front, which softens the wrinkles and protuberances of the face, and obliterates
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3.4 Characterisation and sexual stereotyping

In attempting to characterise their sitters, 19th-century commercial photographers did not intend or attempt any serious psychoanalytical exploration of individual character such as we perceive it today in our post-Freudian world. They sought instead to stereotype by age and sex within a narrow range of positive virtues, which had previously been approved, within the conventions of painting: modesty, simplicity and chastity for women; dignity, strength and nobility for men.


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Activity 2

Click on 'View document' below to open and read the remainder of Audrey Linkman's article on 'Photography and art theory', then answer the questions.

3.3 Limited positive characterization

The painted portrait was, however, perceived to be more than a mere ‘map of the face’. It was also meant to reveal aspects of the inner as well as the outer being.

Figure 10
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Activity 1

Click on 'View document' below to open and read part of Audrey Linkman's article on 'Photography and art theory', then answer the questions.

3.2 Idealisation

There were fundamental principles of painted portraiture that affected every element of the portrait, from expression and pose to background and lighting. The first imperative was the need to idealize the sitter.


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2.2 Photographs as primary sources

As a primary source of historical evidence the still photograph remains largely unexamined and unexplored. Many academic historians remain wedded to the written word and are often mistrustful or dismissive of the still image. Photographs continue to be used merely to prettify or to provide necessary breathing space in dense texts. In fact, the task of finding ‘illustrations’ is often only considered after a book is written. What could indicate more clearly that the photograph has n
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2.1.1 Card mounted photographs 1860–c.1914

Figure 3
Image 3 Photographer/Painter: Anon.
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1 How to avoid damage when handling photographs

Remember to treat your photographs with the consideration demanded by their age and fragility. Careless handling and storage will cause damage.

  • Handle photographs at the edges: the skin carries chemicals which cause deterioration (professional archivists wear cotton gloves).

  • Hold a photograph in both hands or support an unmounted print with a piece of cardboard to avoid unnecessary handling.

  • Never write on a photograp
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should:

  • be aware that photographs are shaped by a set of conventions based on ideas and practices which are not immediately apparent;

  • be aware that photographs, like other documentary records, are partial and biased;

  • be aware that photographs, like other documentary records, require critical analysis and careful interpretation;

  • be aware of the importance of contextualisation in analysing photographs.


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References

Amis, Martin (1989) London Fields, Penguin.
Austen, Jane (1818) Northanger Abbey, Penguin.
Austen, Jane (1813) Pride and Prejudice, Oxford World's Classics.
Baldick, Chris (1990) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, Oxford University Press.
Beckson, K
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3 Conclusion

In this unit you have been introduced to the main components of prose fiction and have been given the opportunity to develop and practise your critical and analytical skills. These are essential skills you will need to continue your stufdies in this area.


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