Il modernismo e le arti
• “Three years ago in Paris I got out of a ‘metro’ train at La Concorde,
and saw suddenly a beautiful face, and then another and another,
and then a beautiful child’s face, and then another beautiful
woman, and I tried all that day to find words for what this had
meant to me, and I could not find any words that seemed to me
worthy, or as lovely as that sudden emotion. And that evening, as I
went home along the Rue Raynourd, I was still trying and I found,
suddenly, the expression. I do not mean that I found words, but
there came an equation … not in speech, but in little splotches of
colour. It was just that – a ‘pattern’, or hardly a pattern, if by
‘pattern’ you mean something you ‘repeat’in it. But it was a word,
the beginning for me of a language in colour.” Ezra Pound,
“Vorticism”, Fortnightly Review, 1 Sept. 1914
• The apparition of these faces in the crowd;/Petals on a wet, black
bough. Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro
Monet, Impression. Sunrise
• 1874: Monet, Impression. Sunrise
• Main representatives: Manet, Monet, Degas,
Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro
• 1874-1886: Eight Exhibitions
• Transcription of visual reality as it affected the
retina of the painter within a discrete, short
period of time
• To capture the effect of light and colour in an
instant of time
• Connection with contemporary writing and
thinking about photography
• Connection with Naturalism
• Recognition of the subjectivity of the act of
representational transcription
• Impressionism fetishized the role of the
subjective perception in the act of representation
• This aesthetic decision was to revolutionize, and
define modern art
Impressionism – techniques
Short thick strokes of paint
Colours applied side-by-side
Colours mix in the eye of the viewer
Emphasis on the play of natural light
Painting en plein air
Monet, Haystacks
Monet, Haystacks
Impressionism in England
• Paul Durand-Ruel: French art dealer. He
organized exhibitions of Impressionism in
• London: 11 exhibitions between 1870 and
• 1882 – Exhibition at the Downdeswell
• 1905- Exhibition at the Grafton Galleries
Neo-impressionismo or Scientific
• Georges Seurat
• Painting based on the conscious and rigorous
application of contemporary scientific theories
on light and human perception
• Painting reduced to its smallest elements –
the molecule or dot
• Works composed of discrete dots or points of
colour hence the name of pointillisme or
Georges Seurat, A Summer Sunday at the Grande Jatte, 1884
• Term coined by Roger Fry in 1906
• Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat, and Van Gogh
a conscious departure from what these artists
considered the narrowly optical art of
Pablo Picasso, Les Damoiselles d’Avignon, 1907
• Founders: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Georges
Braque (1882-1963)
• Break with the principle of one point
• Attempt to render the three-dimensionality of
an object in the two dimensions of the canvas
• No fixed, single perspective
• Collage technique
Cubism 2
• Main phases
• 1909-12 Analytical Cubism: objects reduced to
their geometrical structures, monochromatic
paintings in order to capture the “essential
qualities” of the pictured object
• 1912 onwards Synthetic Cubism: practice of
collage, elements of popular culture (wallpaper, posters, theatre tickets etc.), emphasis
on the artificiality of the image
Pablo Picasso, Ritratto di Ambroise
Giacomo Balla, Volo di una rondine
Giacomo Balla, Volo di rondini
• Marinetti published Il Manifesto del
Futurismo – Le Figaro 20 February 1909
• Manifesto dei Pittori Futuristi - 11 February
1910 (Boccioni, Balla, Carrà, Russolo, Severini)
• Manifesto Tecnico della Pittura Futurista - 11
April 1910 (Boccioni, Balla, Carrà, Russolo,
Futurism 2
Enthusiasm for modernity
Beauty of the machine
Giacomo Balla, Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio
Umberto Boccioni, La città sale

Impressionism - Learning Literature