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Archive for April, 2010
by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 When we think about famous women aviatrix, the name that usually comes to mind is Amelia Earhart. However, a fisty young lady in 1903 became a journalist in New York City and created the photographs that went with her articles. A little later, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to earn her pilot’s wings. In 1912, on the day after the Titanic sinking in the North Atlantic, she became the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. After her one hour flight in a new plane and using a compass in the fog, her landing was met with great acclaim.

But her feat was overshadowed in the news reports by the sinking and loss of life in the Titanic disaster. Still, Ms. Quimby was a pioneer in many ways and deserves the recognition for her great accomplishments.  GLB

    

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
— Amelia Earhart

“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.”
— Amelia Earhart

“Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.”
— Amelia Earhart

“Flying might not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.”
— Amelia Earhart

“In soloing – as in other activities – it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.”
— Amelia Earhart

“Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do.”
— Amelia Earhart

“Obviously I faced the possibility of not returning when first I considered going. Once faced and settled there really wasn’t any good reason to refer to it.”
— Amelia Earhart

“Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.”
— Amelia Earhart

America’s First Lady of the Air: Harriet Quimby

Harriet.quimby Harriet Quimby (1875 – 1912) was an early American aviator and a movie screenwriter. In 1911 she was awarded a U.S. pilot’s certificate by the Aero Club of America, becoming the first woman to gain a pilot’s license in the United States. Less than a year later she became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. Although Quimby lived only to the age of thirty-seven, she had a major influence upon the role of women in aviation.

A historical marker has been erected near the remains of the farmhouse in Arcadia, Michigan where Quimby was born. After her family moved to San Francisco, California in the early 1900s, she became a journalist. She moved to New York City in 1903 to work as a theatre critic for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly and more than 250 of her articles were published over a nine-year period.

Harriet_Quimby_2 Harriet Quimby with the
Moisant monoplane in which
she learned to fly

She became interested in aviation in 1910, when she attended the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament on Long Island, New York and met Matilde Moisant and her brother John, a well-known American aviator and operator of a flight school.

On August 1, 1911, Quimby took her pilot’s test and became the first U.S. woman to earn a pilot’s certificate. Matilde Moisant soon followed and became the nation’s second certified female pilot.

New York

The Aeoronautics AllStar Network at FIU provided the following insights into Quimby’s experiences as a New York journalist. [Check out the full article via the link in the Reference section below.]

A single woman in New York embarking on a career in 1903 needed courage, determination, and talent. Harriet captured the attention of Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly and began appearing regularly in their newspaper as a contributing journalist, ultimately becoming a member of the staff. Her articles ranged in scope from household tips (“Home and the Household”) to advise for women on how to find a job, budget their income, live prudently on a modest income in a safe apartment and how to repair their own automobiles. She wrote articles for other magazines while contributing to Leslie’s, using both male and female pen names. She became well known in New York for her features as a photo-journalist traveling in Cuba, Europe, Egypt, Iceland and Mexico. She was perhaps best known as a drama critic writing Reviews of the stage for Leslie’s. Her stories of acrobats, divas and comedians were down-to-earth interviews. During her career with Leslie’s she wrote over 250 articles using her own name. In 1906, while on assignment at the Vanderbilt race track, Harriet was taken for a high-speed automobile ride which became the subject an article revealing her zest for speedy machines. Harriet purchased her own car, and advised others to maintain them properly. By the time she was 36, Harriet had conquered New York by living independently, traveling, helping to support her parents, and continually stretching her interests.

Picture-Quimby Harriet Quimby in her
purple aviation outfit

Hollywood

In 1911 Quimby authored five screenplays that were made into silent film shorts by Biograph Studios. All five of the romance films were directed by director D. W. Griffith. Stars in her films included Florence La Badie, Wilfred Lucas, and Blanche Sweet. Quimby had a small acting role in one movie.

Vin Fiz

The Vin Fiz Company, a division of Armour Meat Packing Plant of Chicago, recruited Harriet as the spokesperson for the new grape soda, Vin Fiz, after the death of Calbraith Perry Rodgers in April 1912. Her distinctive purple aviatrix uniform and image graced many of the advertising pieces of the day.

English Channel

On April 16, 1912, Quimby took off from Dover, England, en route to Calais, France and made the flight in 59 minutes, landing about 25 miles (40 km) from Calais on a beach in Hardelot-Plage, Pas-de-Calais. She had become the first woman to fly the English Channel.

Her accomplishment received little media attention, however, as the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15 (the day before) consumed the interest of the public and filled newspapers.

On the PBS “Chasing the Sun” web site, Harriet Quimby’s solo crossing of the English channel is described in more detail in the following statement. [Check out the link in the Reference section for the full article.]

Although her career as a pilot lasted a mere 11 months, Harriet Quimby left an indelible mark on aviation history as both the first American woman to become a licensed pilot and the first woman to cross the English Channel.

A gifted journalist with a deep love of the theatre, Harriet Quimby first made a name for herself as a writer at Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. Primarily a writer of feature articles and stage reviews, Quimby also took photos for the publication of her many journeys around the world. Quimby even found success in the world of cinema. Quimby’s old theater friend, D. W. Griffith, made several of her scripts into films, making Quimby one of the first female screenwriters.

inno_quimby_51 Quimby was a successful writer at
“Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly”
when she learned to fly.

In October of 1910, Quimby met Matilde and John Moisant at an aviation exhibition at the Belmont Park International Aviation Tournament. John and his brother, Alfred, ran an aviation school. Since the Wright Brothers did not teach women, Quimby convinced Alfred to teach her and his sister, Matilde, how to fly. Harriet quickly excelled in her new ambition, becoming the first licensed female pilot in the U. S. With her friend, Matilde Moisant, Quimby began touring with the Moisant International Aviators and performing at flying exhibitions. Understanding the power of drama, Quimby created a look for herself which became her trademark – a purple satin flying suit with a hood. With her tall, elegant looks, she instantly caught the public’s imagination. Harriet chronicled her adventures in articles for Leslie’s Weekly, sharing with the public the exhilaration of flying.

Ever seeking new adventures, Quimby set out to become the first woman to cross the English Channel. In March of 1912, Quimby set sail for England with a letter of introduction to Louis Blériot. Quimby managed to convince Blériot to lend her a 50-horsepower monoplane for her attempt. While Blériot agreed to the arrangement, most everyone around her was convinced she would fail. Even her friend and instructor, Gustav Hamel, offered to disguise himself in her purple suit, fly the plane in her place, and then secretly switch places with her on the French shores. But Quimby refused.

inno_quimby_52 Quimby’s flair for the theatrical
led her to design her trademark
purple flying suit.

On April 16 she departed for France in a plane she had never flown before and a compass she had just learned how to use. Despite poor visibility and fog, Quimby landed 59 minutes later near Hardelot, France. Upon landing, Quimby was greeted with shouts of adulation by a cheering crowd and was hoisted upon the shoulders of local residents. Quimby, however, would not receive the same worldwide acclaim as her male counterpart, Louis Blériot. The Titanic had sunk just days earlier, casting a large shadow over Quimby’s achievement.

Quimby’s notoriety did draw large crowds at public flying exhibitions. On July 16th, 1912 she flew at the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet near Quincy, Massachusetts for the hefty sum of $100,000. In her gleaming new Blériot monoplane, Quimby flew out over Dorchester Bay with the event’s organizer, William A. P. Willard. As they were returning, the plane violently pitched forward, Harriet lost control, and Willard was ejected from his seat. Seconds later, Harriet was also thrown out. Both fell to their deaths in front of the entire crowd. Quimby, who had written about safety precautions in flying, was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the accident.

Harriet left behind a legacy, not just as a pilot, but as a woman ahead of her time. Even though she was not a self-proclaimed suffragette, her independence and sense of adventure inspired many women, and helped to pave the way for other female pilots.

Death

Quimby-Harriet_23 The wreck of Quimby’s plane
after her fatal accident

On July 1, 1912 Quimby flew in the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet at Squantum, Massachusetts. William Willard, the organizer of the event, was a passenger in her brand-new two-seat Bleriot monoplane. At an altitude of 1500 feet the aircraft unexpectedly pitched forward for reasons still unknown. Both Willard and Quimby were ejected from their seats and fell to their deaths, while the plane “glided down and lodged itself in the mud.”

The Aeronautics AllStar Network described her final Air Meet in Massachusetts as follows:

Once back in New York, Harriet and her manager, A. Leo Stevens charted her next aviation exhibition for July. Negotiating a fee reported to have been at $100,000, Harriet signed on to appear at the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet at Squantum, near Quincy, Massachusetts. During the week-long event, she was to fly her new two-seater Bleriot monoplane recently shipped from France.

When Harriet arrived on July 1, 1912, William Willard, the event organizer, and his son, Charles, tossed a coin to see who would win the privilege of a flight with Harriet. Willard Senior won the toss and climbed into the passenger seat, casually appointing Earle Ovington as Manger of the meet in case he met with an accident. After a routine flight out to the Boston Light, Harriet circled over the Neponset River and Dorchester Bay as thousands of spectators watched.

While at an altitude of approximately 1500 feet, the plane suddenly pitched forward and Willard was thrown from his seat. Harriet appeared to temporarily gain control of the monoplane, but was thrown out seconds later. Both Harriet and Willard fell to their deaths in the tidal mud flats of the Bay. Just why the plane pitched forward continues to be analyzed and debated to this day. The 1912 Boston Globe suggested lack of seat belts, while Earle Ovington claimed cables from the aircraft tangled the steering mechanisms. Others speculated that Willard, a heavy and excitable man, suddenly leaned forward to speak with Harriet, and was tossed out. Once he was ejected, the empty passenger seat made it impossible for Harriet to regain balance of her machine. When flying her two-seater aircraft alone, Harriet “balanced” the weight with sand bags in the passenger’s seat. Although her Bleriot was now empty, it glided downward, until it was overturned in the shallow muddy water. Reports that her plane landed unbroken have been exaggerated through the years, and in fact it was badly damaged.

Harriet Quimby was a superstitious woman who wore lucky jewelry and made it a point never to fly on Sundays. She was independent and visionary, but apparently not actively involved in the movement for women’s rights championed by the Suffragettes. In her articles she chose instead to write strongly against child neglect, over-hunting of endangered species such as the egret, and corrupt politics. Her beauty and sense of style made her an attractive public figure, yet she was a private person who left no record of a marriage or children.

Upon Harriet’s death, America lost a strong advocate of aviation, believing that the United States was falling behind other nations such as England and France in the development of aircraft, pilot safety, and commercial as well as humanitarian applications. Her pioneering achievements pointed the way for future female pilots many years later such as Amelia Earhart.

Harriet Quimby was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York on July 4, 1912. A year later her remains were moved to her permanent burial site at Kenisco Cemetery at Valhalla, New York. Ironically, Matilde Moisant, her flying exhibition companion, and class-mate at the Moisant school, is buried at Valhalla Cemetery in North Hollywood, California close to a fountain named for Harriet Quimby, America’s first licensed female pilot.

Legacy

Harriet_quimby in plane Harriet Quimby in her
Blériot XI monoplane

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome’s restored and flyable Anzani-powered Blériot XI, which bears the Blériot factory’s serial number 56, and the still-current registration number N60094, could be the aircraft that Quimby was flying in 1912 during the Boston Aviation Meet.

The previously wrecked aircraft that now is flown at Old Rhinebeck was found stored in a barn in Laconia, New Hampshire in the 1960s and fully restored to flying condition, most likely by Cole Palen, ORA’s founder.

A 1991 United States airmail postage stamp featured Quimby. She is memorialized in two official Michigan historical markers, one in Coldwater, and one at her birthplace in Manistee County, Michigan.

References

Other Events on this Day:

  • In 1789…
    President-elect George Washington leaves Mount Vernon for his inauguration in New York City.
  • In 1862…
    Abraham Lincoln signs a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.
  • In 1912…
    Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel
    .
  • In 1947…
    Much of Texas City, Texas, is destroyed when a ship carrying fertilizer blows up in its harbor, killing nearly 600 people.
  • In 1963…
    Martin Luther King, Jr., writes his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while incarcerated for protesting against segregation.
  • In 2007…
    The deadliest school shooting in U.S. history leaves 33 dead at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Harriet Quimby… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Quimby

PBS “Chasing the Sun”: Pilots — Harriet Quimby… 
http://www.pbs.org/kcet/chasingthesun/innovators/hquimby.html

Aeronautics AllStar Network: Harriet Quimby… 
http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aero/quimby.htm

Brainy Quotes: Amelia Earhart Quotes… 
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/amelia_earhart.html

by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 Following the very formal, stylized art styles of the Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classicism, and Romanticism period of art, a group of “rebels” broke onto the scene during the latter part of the 19th century — the Impressionists. These artists were locked out of the traditional Paris Salon exhibitions because they were interested in recording life as it was “en plein aire”, in the out-of-doors rather than in the studio. They went into the fields and caught the scenery as it appeared; they became masters of capturing the lighting effects of the sun at different times of the day. In all, they provided us with a view of the period that was not available from the more traditional artists.  GLB

    

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
— Paul Gauguin

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
— Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
— Henri Matisse

“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.”
— Eugene Delacroix

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”
— Claude Monet

“While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality… true art lies in a reality that is felt.”
— Odilon Redon

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
— Marc Chagall

“What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”
— Eugene Delacroix

  

Note:
This posting is intended for the educational use of photographers and photography students and complies with the “educational fair use” provisions of copyright law. For readers who might wish to reuse some of these images should check out their compliance with copyright limitations that might apply to that use.

GLB

  

Artistic Style: Impressionism

Claude_Monet,_Impression,_soleil_levant,_1872 Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence in the 1870s and 1880s. The name of the movement is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari.

Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. The emergence of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous movements in other media which became known as Impressionist music and Impressionist literature.

Impressionism also describes art created in this style, but outside of the late 19th century time period.

The leading Barbizon School painter Camille Corot painted in both a romantic and a realistic vein; his work prefigures Impressionism, as does the paintings of Eugène Boudin who was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was also an important influence on the young Claude Monet, whom in 1857 he introduced to Plein air painting. A major force in the turn towards Realism at mid-century was Gustave Courbet. In the latter third of the century Impressionists like Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Edgar Degas worked in a more direct approach than had previously been exhibited publicly. They eschewed allegory and narrative in favor of individualized responses to the modern world, sometimes painted with little or no preparatory study, relying on deftness of drawing and a highly chromatic pallette.

Manet, Degas, Renoir, Morisot, and Cassatt concentrated primarily on the human subject. Both Manet and Degas reinterpreted classical figurative canons within contemporary situations; in Manet’s case the re-imaginings met with hostile public reception. Renoir, Morisot, and Cassatt turned to domestic life for inspiration, with Renoir focusing on the female nude. Monet, Pissarro, and Sisley used the landscape as their primary motif, the transience of light and weather playing a major role in their work. While Sisley most closely adhered to the original principals of the Impressionist perception of the landscape, Monet sought challenges in increasingly chromatic and changeable conditions, culminating in series of monumental works.

Overview

Sisley-Bridge_at_Villeneuve-la-Garenne Alfred Sisley, Bridge at
Villeneuve-la-Garenne, 1872,
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Radicals in their time, early Impressionists broke the rules of academic painting. They began by giving colours, freely brushed, primacy over line, drawing inspiration from the work of painters such as Eugène Delacroix. They also took the act of painting out of the studio and into the modern world. Previously, still lifes and portraits as well as landscapes had usually been painted indoors. The Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting en plein air. Painting realistic scenes of modern life, they portrayed overall visual effects instead of details. They used short "broken" brush strokes of mixed and pure unmixed colour, not smoothly blended or shaded, as was customary, in order to achieve the effect of intense colour vibration.

Although the rise of Impressionism in France happened at a time when a number of other painters, including the Italian artists known as the Macchiaioli, and Winslow Homer in the United States, were also exploring plein-air painting, the Impressionists developed new techniques that were specific to the movement. Encompassing what its adherents argued was a different way of seeing, it was an art of immediacy and movement, of candid poses and compositions, of the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of colour.

The public, at first hostile, gradually came to believe that the Impressionists had captured a fresh and original vision, even if it did not receive the approval of the art critics and establishment.

By re-creating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than recreating the subject, and by creating a welter of techniques and forms, Impressionism became a precursor seminal to various movements in painting which would follow, including Neo-Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism.

Beginnings

Pierre-Auguste_Renoir,_Le_Moulin_de_la_Galette Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance at
Le Moulin de la Galette
(Bal du moulin de la Galette),
1876

In an atmosphere of change as Emperor Napoleon III rebuilt Paris and waged war, the Académie des Beaux-Arts dominated the French art scene in the middle of the 19th century. The Académie was the upholder of traditional standards for French painting, both in content and style. Historical subjects, religious themes, and portraits were valued (landscape and still life were not), and the Académie preferred carefully finished images which mirrored reality when examined closely. Colour was somber and conservative, and the traces of brush strokes were suppressed, concealing the artist’s personality, emotions, and working techniques.

Girl_with_a_hoop Pierre-Auguste Renoir,
Girl with a Hoop, 1885

The Académie held an annual, juried art show, the Salon de Paris, and artists whose work displayed in the show won prizes, garnered commissions, and enhanced their prestige. The standards of the juries reflected the values of the Académie, represented by the highly polished works of such artists as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Alexandre Cabanel. Some younger artists painted in a lighter and brighter manner than painters of the preceding generation, extending further the realism of Gustave Courbet and the Barbizon school. They were more interested in painting landscape and contemporary life than in recreating scenes from history. Each year, they submitted their art to the Salon, only to see the juries reject their best efforts in favour of trivial works by artists working in the approved style. A core group of young realists, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille, who had studied under Charles Gleyre, became friends and often painted together. They soon were joined by Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and Armand Guillaumin.

Claude_Monet_011 Claude Monet, Woman with a Parasol,
(Camille and Jean Monet), 1875,
National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C.

In 1863, the jury rejected The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) by Édouard Manet primarily because it depicted a nude woman with two clothed men at a picnic. While nudes were routinely accepted by the Salon when featured in historical and allegorical paintings, the jury condemned Manet for placing a realistic nude in a contemporary setting. The jury’s sharply worded rejection of Manet’s painting, as well as the unusually large number of rejected works that year, set off a firestorm among French artists. Manet was admired by Monet and his friends, and led the discussions at Café Guerbois where the group of artists frequently met.

After seeing the rejected works in 1863, Emperor Napoleon III decreed that the public be allowed to judge the work themselves, and the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Refused) was organized. While many viewers came only to laugh, the Salon des Refusés drew attention to the existence of a new tendency in art and attracted more visitors than the regular Salon.

Artists’ petitions requesting a new Salon des Refusés in 1867, and again in 1872, were denied. In the latter part of 1873, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley organized the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs ("Cooperative and Anonymous Association of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers") for the purpose of exhibiting their artworks independently. Members of the association, which soon included Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, and Edgar Degas, were expected to forswear participation in the Salon. The organizers invited a number of other progressive artists to join them in their inaugural exhibition, including the older Eugène Boudin, whose example had first persuaded Monet to take up plein air painting years before. Another painter who greatly influenced Monet and his friends, Johan Jongkind, declined to participate, as did Manet. In total, thirty artists participated in their first exhibition, held in April 1874 at the studio of the photographer Nadar.

Claude_Monet_The_Cliffs_at_Etretat Claude Monet,
The Cliff at Étretat after the Storm,
1885, Clark Art Institute,
Williamstown, Massachusetts

The critical response was mixed, with Monet and Cézanne bearing the harshest attacks. Critic and humorist Louis Leroy wrote a scathing review in the Le Charivari newspaper in which, making wordplay with the title of Claude Monet’s Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), he gave the artists the name by which they would become known. Derisively titling his article The Exhibition of the Impressionists, Leroy declared that Monet’s painting was at most, a sketch, and could hardly be termed a finished work.

He wrote, in the form of a dialog between viewers,

Impression—I was certain of it. I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it … and what freedom, what ease of workmanship! Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished than that seascape.

Claude_Monet_-_Graystaks_I Claude Monet, Haystacks, (sunset),
1890–1891,
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The term "Impressionists" quickly gained favour with the public. It was also accepted by the artists themselves, even though they were a diverse group in style and temperament, unified primarily by their spirit of independence and rebellion. They exhibited together—albeit with shifting membership—eight times between 1874 and 1886.

Monet, Sisley, Morisot, and Pissarro may be considered the "purest" Impressionists, in their consistent pursuit of an art of spontaneity, sunlight, and colour. Degas rejected much of this, as he believed in the primacy of drawing over colour and belittled the practice of painting outdoors. Renoir turned against Impressionism for a time in the 1880s, and never entirely regained his commitment to its ideas. Édouard Manet, despite his role as a leader to the group, never abandoned his liberal use of black as a colour, and never participated in the Impressionist exhibitions. He continued to submit his works to the Salon, where his Spanish Singer had won a 2nd class medal in 1861, and he urged the others to do likewise, arguing that "the Salon is the real field of battle" where a reputation could be made.

Camille_Pissarro_007 Camille Pissarro,
Boulevard Montmartre, 1897,
the Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Among the artists of the core group (minus Bazille, who had died in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870), defections occurred as Cézanne, followed later by Renoir, Sisley, and Monet, abstained from the group exhibitions in order to submit their works to the Salon. Disagreements arose from issues such as Guillaumin’s membership in the group, championed by Pissarro and Cézanne against opposition from Monet and Degas, who thought him unworthy. Degas invited Mary Cassatt to display her work in the 1879 exhibition, but he also caused dissension by insisting on the inclusion of Jean-François Raffaëlli, Ludovic Lepic, and other realists who did not represent Impressionist practices, leading Monet in 1880 to accuse the Impressionists of "opening doors to first-come daubers". The group divided over the invitation of Signac and Seurat to exhibit with them in 1886. Pissarro was the only artist to show at all eight Impressionist exhibitions.

The individual artists saw few financial rewards from the Impressionist exhibitions, but their art gradually won a degree of public acceptance and support. Their dealer, Durand-Ruel, played a major role in this as he kept their work before the public and arranged shows for them in London and New York. Although Sisley would die in poverty in 1899, Renoir had a great Salon success in 1879. Financial security came to Monet in the early 1880s and to Pissarro by the early 1890s. By this time the methods of Impressionist painting, in a diluted form, had become commonplace in Salon art.

Impressionist Techniques

Berthe_Morisot,_Le_berceau_(The_Cradle),_1872 Berthe Morisot,
The Cradle, 1872,
Musée d’Orsay

  • Short, thick strokes of paint are used to quickly capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details. The paint is often applied impasto.
  • Colours are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible, creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colours occurs in the eye of the viewer.
  • Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complementary colours. In pure Impressionism the use of black paint is avoided.
  • Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and an intermingling of colour.
  • Painting in the evening to get effets de soir – the shadowy effects of the light in the evening or twilight.
  • Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of thin paint films (glazes) which earlier artists built up carefully to produce effects. The surface of an Impressionist painting is typically opaque.
  • The play of natural light is emphasized. Close attention is paid to the reflection of colours from object to object.
  • In paintings made en plein air (outdoors), shadows are boldly painted with the blue of the sky as it is reflected onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness and openness that was not captured in painting previously. (Blue shadows on snow inspired the technique.)

Cassatt_Mary_Lydia_Leaning_on_Her_Arms_1879 Mary Cassatt,
Lydia Leaning on Her Arms
(in a theatre box), 1879

Painters throughout history had occasionally used these methods, but Impressionists were the first to use all of them together, and with such boldness. Earlier artists whose works display these techniques include Frans Hals, Diego Velázquez, Peter Paul Rubens, John Constable, and J. M. W. Turner.

French painters who prepared the way for Impressionism include the Romantic colourist Eugène Delacroix, the leader of the realists Gustave Courbet, and painters of the Barbizon school such as Théodore Rousseau. The Impressionists learned much from the work of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin, who painted from nature in a style that was close to Impressionism, and who befriended and advised the younger artists.

Impressionists took advantage of the mid-century introduction of premixed paints in lead tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes) which allowed artists to work more spontaneously, both outdoors and indoors. Previously, painters made their own paints individually, by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil, which were then stored in animal bladders.

Content and Composition

Hay_Harvest_at_Éragny_by_Camille_Pissarro_1901 Camille Pissarro,
Hay Harvest at Éragny, 1901,
National Gallery of Canada,
Ottawa, Ontario

Prior to the Impressionists, other painters, notably such 17th-century Dutch painters as Jan Steen, had focused on common subjects, but their approaches to composition were traditional. They arranged their compositions in such a way that the main subject commanded the viewer’s attention. The Impressionists relaxed the boundary between subject and background so that the effect of an Impressionist painting often resembles a snapshot, a part of a larger reality captured as if by chance. Photography was gaining popularity, and as cameras became more portable, photographs became more candid. Photography inspired Impressionists to capture the moment, not only in the fleeting lights of a landscape, but in the day-to-day lives of people.

Berthe_Morisot_Reading Berthe Morisot,
Reading, 1873,
Cleveland Museum of Art

The rise of the impressionist movement can be seen in part as a reaction by artists to the newly established medium of photography. The taking of fixed or still images challenged painters by providing a new medium with which to capture reality. Initially photography’s presence seemed to undermine the artist’s depiction of nature and their ability to mirror reality. Both portrait and landscape paintings were deemed somewhat deficient and lacking in truth as photography "produced lifelike images much more efficiently and reliably".

Alfred_Sisley_001 Alfred Sisley,
View of the Saint-Martin Canal, Paris,
1870, Musée d’Orsay

In spite of this, photography actually inspired artists to pursue other means of artistic expression, and rather than competing with photography to emulate reality, artists focused "on the one thing they could inevitably do better than the photograph – by further developing into an art form its very subjectivity in the conception of the image, the very subjectivity that photography eliminated". The Impressionists sought to express their perceptions of nature, rather than create exacting reflections or mirror images of the world. This allowed artists to subjectively depict what they saw with their "tacit imperatives of taste and conscience". Photography encouraged painters to exploit aspects of the painting medium, like colour, which photography then lacked; "the Impressionists were the first to consciously offer a subjective alternative to the photograph".

Another major influence was Japanese art prints (Japonism), which had originally come into France as wrapping paper for imported goods. The art of these prints contributed significantly to the "snapshot" angles and unconventional compositions which would become characteristic of the movement.

Edgar Degas was both an avid photographer and a collector of Japanese prints. His The Dance Class (La classe de danse) of 1874 shows both influences in its asymmetrical composition. The dancers are seemingly caught off guard in various awkward poses, leaving an expanse of empty floor space in the lower right quadrant.

Sculpture, Photography and Film

The sculptor Auguste Rodin is sometimes called an Impressionist for the way he used roughly modeled surfaces to suggest transient light effects.

Pictorialist photographers whose work is characterized by soft focus and atmospheric effects have also been called Impressionists.

French Impressionist Cinema is a term applied to a loosely defined group of films and filmmakers in France from 1919-1929, although these years are debatable. French Impressionist filmmakers include Abel Gance, Jean Epstein, Germaine Dulac, Marcel L’Herbier, Louis Delluc, and Dmitry Kirsanoff.

Music and Literature

Monet_Water_Lilies_1916 Claude Monet,
Water Lilies, 1916,
The National Museum of Western Art,
Tokyo

Musical Impressionism is the name given to a movement in European classical music that arose in the late 19th century and continued into the middle of the 20th century. Originating in France, musical Impressionism is characterized by suggestion and atmosphere, and eschews the emotional excesses of the Romantic era. Impressionist composers favoured short forms such as the nocturne, arabesque, and prelude, and often explored uncommon scales such as the whole tone scale. Perhaps the most notable innovations used by Impressionist composers were the first uses of major 7th chords and the extension of chord structures in 3rds to five and six part harmonies.

The influence of visual Impressionism on its musical counterpart is debatable. Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel are generally considered the greatest Impressionist composers, but Debussy disavowed the term, calling it the invention of critics. Erik Satie was also considered to be in this category although his approach was considered to be less serious, more of musical novelty in nature. Paul Dukas is another French composer sometimes considered to be an Impressionist but his style is perhaps more closely aligned to the late Romanticists. Musical Impressionism beyond France includes the work of such composers as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ottorino Respighi.

The term Impressionism has also been used to describe works of literature in which a few select details suffice to convey the sensory impressions of an incident or scene. Impressionist literature is closely related to Symbolism, with its major exemplars being Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and Verlaine. Authors such as Virginia Woolf and Joseph Conrad have written works which are Impressionistic in the way that they describe, rather than interpret, the impressions, sensations and emotions that constitute a character’s mental life.

      

References

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Impressionism… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism

Wikipedia: History of Painting… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_painting#Western_painting

Web Sites and Blogs:

Think Exist: Famous French Painter Quotes
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/top/nationality/french/occupation/painter/

by Gerald Boerner

 

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 When the World Wide Web was first introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, it was text only. In the early years of the 1990s it was expanded to allow the display of a limited type of graphics through the use of “helper” apps. At that point in time, web pages were static and created as if they were a page of a document. To update content, the entire page needed to be edited and the new content inserted.

Then, came the second phase of the web where dynamic elements were built into the web pages. Flash, animated GIF images, and other technologies were being combined with dynamic content being accessed from data bases through “back end” programming. This was better, but still required a traditional web browser and PC/Laptop. Each time we wanted to obtain updated information, we would need to re-access the entire page from our web server.

When smartphones began to appear, they were not able to access most web content. Their real diversity would require the implementation of Web 2.0 that not only could bring in content without reloading the entire page, but we could display that content on different devices. The content could be displayed “on the fly” to the display device without special programming!

That is what Web 2.0 can do for us! And, to add to that, Web 2.0/3.0 supports the social media that has become so popular these days.  GLB

    

“The Mobile Web Initiative is important — information must be made seamlessly available on any device.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“Whatever the device you use for getting your information out, it should be the same information.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“We shouldn’t build a technology to colour, or grey out, what people say. The media in general is balanced, although there are a lot of issues to be addressed that the media rightly pick up on.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“The most important thing that was new was the idea of URI-or URL, that any piece of information anywhere should have an identifier, which will allow you to get hold of it.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“We could say we want the Web to reflect a vision of the world where everything is done democratically. To do that, we get computers to talk with each other in such a way as to promote that ideal.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

“What is a Web year now, about three months? And when people can browse around, discover new things, and download them fast, when we all have agents – then Web years could slip by before human beings can notice.”
— Tim Berners-Lee

History of Hand-Held Computers: Web 2.0

Web_2.0_Map.svg The term “Web 2.0” (2004–present) is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them.

The term is closely associated with Tim O’Reilly because of the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to cumulative changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the Web. Whether Web 2.0 is qualitatively different from prior web technologies has been challenged by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, who called the term a “piece of jargon” — precisely because he specifically intended the Web to embody these values in the first place.

History: From Web 1.0 to 2.0

The term “Web 2.0″ was coined in 1999 by Darcy DiNucci. In her article, “Fragmented Future,” DiNucci writes:

The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfulls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfulls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. It will [...] appear on your computer screen, [...] on your TV set [...] your car dashboard [...] your cell phone [...] hand-held game machines [...] maybe even your microwave oven.

Her use of the term deals mainly with Web design and aesthetics; she argues that the Web is “fragmenting” due to the widespread use of portable Web-ready devices. Her article is aimed at designers, reminding them to code for an ever-increasing variety of hardware. As such, her use of the term hints at – but does not directly relate to – the current uses of the term.

The term did not resurface until 2003. These authors focus on the concepts currently associated with the term where, as Scott Dietzen puts it, “the Web becomes a universal, standards-based integration platform”.

In 2004, the term began its rise in popularity when O’Reilly Media and MediaLive hosted the first Web 2.0 conference. In their opening remarks, John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly outlined their definition of the “Web as Platform”, where software applications are built upon the Web as opposed to upon the desktop. The unique aspect of this migration, they argued, is that “customers are building your business for you”.[10] They argued that the activities of users generating content (in the form of ideas, text, videos, or pictures) could be “harnessed” to create value.

O’Reilly et al. contrasted Web 2.0 with what they called “Web 1.0″. They associated Web 1.0 with the business models of Netscape and the Encyclopedia Britannica Online. For example,

Netscape framed “the web as platform” in terms of the old software paradigm: their flagship product was the web browser, a desktop application, and their strategy was to use their dominance in the browser market to establish a market for high-priced server products. Control over standards for displaying content and applications in the browser would, in theory, give Netscape the kind of market power enjoyed by Microsoft in the PC market. Much like the “horseless carriage” framed the automobile as an extension of the familiar, Netscape promoted a “webtop” to replace the desktop, and planned to populate that webtop with information updates and applets pushed to the webtop by information providers who would purchase Netscape servers.

In short, Netscape focused on creating software, updating it on occasion, and distributing it to the end users. O’Reilly contrasted this with Google, a company which did not at the time focus on producing software, such as a browser, but instead focused on providing a service based on data. The data being the links Web page authors make between sites. Google exploits this user-generated content to offer Web search based on reputation through its “page rank” algorithm. Unlike software, which undergoes scheduled releases, such services are constantly updated, a process called “the perpetual beta”.

A similar difference can be seen between the Encyclopedia Britannica Online and Wikipedia: while the Britannica relies upon experts to create articles and releases them periodically in publications, Wikipedia relies on trust in anonymous users to constantly and quickly build content. Wikipedia is not based on expertise but rather an adaptation of the open source software adage “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”, and it produces and updates articles constantly.

O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 conferences have been held every year since 2004, attracting entrepreneurs, large companies, and technology reporters. In terms of the lay public, the term Web 2.0 was largely championed by bloggers and by technology journalists, culminating in the 2006 TIME magazine Person of The Year – “You”. That is, TIME selected the masses of users who were participating in content creation on social networks, blogs, wikis, and media sharing sites. The cover story author Lev Grossman explains:

It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.

Since that time, Web 2.0 has found a place in the lexicon; the Global Language Monitor recently declared it to be the one-millionth English word.

Characteristics

Flickr-screenshot Flickr, a Web 2.0 web site that allows its users to upload
and share photos

Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. They can build on the interactive facilities of “Web 1.0″ to provide “Network as platform” computing, allowing users to run software-applications entirely through a browser. Users can own the data on a Web 2.0 site and exercise control over that data. These sites may have an “Architecture of participation” that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it.

The concept of Web-as-participation-platform captures many of these characteristics. Bart Decrem, a founder and former CEO of Flock, calls Web 2.0 the “participatory Web” and regards the Web-as-information-source as Web 1.0.

The impossibility of excluding group-members who don’t contribute to the provision of goods from sharing profits gives rise to the possibility that rational members will prefer to withhold their contribution of effort and free-ride on the contribution of others. This requires what is sometimes called Radical Trust by the management of the website. According to Best, the characteristics of Web 2.0 are: rich user experience, user participation, dynamic content, metadata, web standards and scalability. Further characteristics, such as openness, freedom and collective intelligence[19] by way of user participation, can also be viewed as essential attributes of Web 2.0.

Technology Overview

Web 2.0 draws together the capabilities of client- and server-side software, content syndication and the use of network protocols. Standards-oriented web browsers may use plug-ins and software extensions to handle the content and the user interactions. Web 2.0 sites provide users with information storage, creation, and dissemination capabilities that were not possible in the environment now known as “Web 1.0″.

Web 2.0 websites typically include some of the following features and techniques. Andrew McAfee used the acronym SLATES to refer to them:

  • Search…
    Finding information through keyword search.
  • Links…
    Connects information together into a meaningful information ecosystem using the model of the Web, and provides low-barrier social tools.
  • Authoring…
    The ability to create and update content leads to the collaborative work of many rather than just a few web authors. In wikis, users may extend, undo and redo each other’s work. In blogs, posts and the comments of individuals build up over time.
  • Tags…
    Categorization of content by users adding “tags” – short, usually one-word descriptions = to facilitate searching, without dependence on pre-made categories. Collections of tags created by many users within a single system may be referred to as “folksonomies” (i.e., folk taxonomies).
  • Extensions…
    Software that makes the Web an application platform as well as a document server.
  • Signals…
    The use of syndication technology such as RSS to notify users of content changes.

While SLATES forms the basic framework of Enterprise 2.0, it does not contradict all of the higher level Web 2.0 design patterns and business models. And in this way, the new Web 2.0 report from O’Reilly is quite effective and diligent in interweaving the story of Web 2.0 with the specific aspects of Enterprise 2.0. It includes discussions of self-service IT, the long tail of enterprise IT demand, and many other consequences of the Web 2.0 era in the enterprise. The report also makes many sensible recommendations around starting small with pilot projects and measuring results, among a fairly long list.

How It Works

The client-side/web browser technologies typically used in Web 2.0 development are Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax), Adobe Flash and the Adobe Flex framework, and JavaScript/Ajax frameworks such as Yahoo! UI Library, Dojo Toolkit, MooTools, and jQuery. Ajax programming uses JavaScript to upload and download new data from the web server without undergoing a full page reload.

To permit the user to continue to interact with the page, communications such as data requests going to the server are separated from data coming back to the page (asynchronously). Otherwise, the user would have to routinely wait for the data to come back before they can do anything else on that page, just as a user has to wait for a page to complete the reload. This also increases overall performance of the site, as the sending of requests can complete quicker independent of blocking and queueing required to send data back to the client.

The data fetched by an Ajax request is typically formatted in XML or JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format, two widely used structured data formats. Since both of these formats are natively understood by JavaScript, a programmer can easily use them to transmit structured data in their web application. When this data is received via Ajax, the JavaScript program then uses the Document Object Model (DOM) to dynamically update the web page based on the new data, allowing for a rapid and interactive user experience. In short, using these techniques, Web designers can make their pages function like desktop applications. For example, Google Docs uses this technique to create a Web-based word processor.

Adobe Flex is another technology often used in Web 2.0 applications. Compared to JavaScript libraries like jQuery, Flex makes it easier for programmers to populate large data grids, charts, and other heavy user interactions. Applications programmed in Flex, are compiled and displayed as Flash within the browser. As a widely available plugin independent of W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, the governing body of web standards and protocols), standards, Flash is capable of doing many things which are not currently possible in HTML, the language used to construct web pages. Of Flash’s many capabilities, the most commonly used in Web 2.0 is its ability to play audio and video files. This has allowed for the creation of Web 2.0 sites where video media is seamlessly integrated with standard HTML.

In addition to Flash and Ajax, JavaScript/Ajax frameworks have recently become a very popular means of creating Web 2.0 sites. At their core, these frameworks do not use technology any different from JavaScript, Ajax, and the DOM. What frameworks do is smooth over inconsistencies between web browsers and extend the functionality available to developers. Many of them also come with customizable, prefabricated ‘widgets’ that accomplish such common tasks as picking a date from a calendar, displaying a data chart, or making a tabbed panel.

On the server side, Web 2.0 uses many of the same technologies as Web 1.0. Languages such as PHP, Ruby, ColdFusion, Perl, Python, JSP and ASP are used by developers to dynamically output data using information from files and databases. What has begun to change in Web 2.0 is the way this data is formatted. In the early days of the Internet, there was little need for different websites to communicate with each other and share data. In the new “participatory web”, however, sharing data between sites has become an essential capability. To share its data with other sites, a web site must be able to generate output in machine-readable formats such as XML, RSS, and JSON. When a site’s data is available in one of these formats, another website can use it to integrate a portion of that site’s functionality into itself, linking the two together. When this design pattern is implemented, it ultimately leads to data that is both easier to find and more thoroughly categorized, a hallmark of the philosophy behind the Web 2.0 movement.

Usage

The popularity of the term Web 2.0, along with the increasing use of blogs, wikis, and social networking technologies, has led many in academia and business to coin a flurry of 2.0s, including Library 2.0, Social Work 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, PR 2.0, Classroom 2.0, Publishing 2.0, Medicine 2.0, Telco 2.0, Travel 2.0, Government 2.0, and even Porn 2.0. Many of these 2.0s refer to Web 2.0 technologies as the source of the new version in their respective disciplines and areas. For example, in the Talis white paper “Library 2.0: The Challenge of Disruptive Innovation”, Paul Miller argues

Blogs, wikis and RSS are often held up as exemplary manifestations of Web 2.0. A reader of a blog or a wiki is provided with tools to add a comment or even, in the case of the wiki, to edit the content. This is what we call the Read/Write web.Talis believes that Library 2.0 means harnessing this type of participation so that libraries can benefit from increasingly rich collaborative cataloguing efforts, such as including contributions from partner libraries as well as adding rich enhancements, such as book jackets or movie files, to records from publishers and others.

Here, Miller links Web 2.0 technologies and the culture of participation that they engender to the field of library science, supporting his claim that there is now a “Library 2.0″. Many of the other proponents of new 2.0s mentioned here use similar methods.

Web 3.0

Not much time passed before “Web 3.0″ was coined. Definitions of Web 3.0 vary greatly. Amit Agarwal states that Web 3.0 is, among other things, about the Semantic Web and personalization. Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, considers the Semantic Web an “unrealisable abstraction” and sees Web 3.0 as the return of experts and authorities to the Web. For example, he points to Bertelsman’s deal with the German Wikipedia to produce an edited print version of that encyclopedia. Others still such as Manoj Sharma, an organization strategist, in the keynote “A Brave New World Of Web 3.0″ proposes that Web 3.0 will be a “Totally Integrated World” – cradle-to-grave experience of being always plugged onto the net. CNN Money’s Jessi Hempel expects Web 3.0 to emerge from new and innovative Web 2.0 services with a profitable business model. Conrad Wolfram has argued that Web 3.0 is where “the computer is generating new information”, rather than humans.

Criticism

Critics of the term claim that “Web 2.0″ does not represent a new version of the World Wide Web at all, but merely continues to use so-called “Web 1.0″ technologies and concepts. First, techniques such as AJAX do not replace underlying protocols like HTTP, but add an additional layer of abstraction on top of them. Second, many of the ideas of Web 2.0 had already been featured in implementations on networked systems well before the term “Web 2.0″ emerged. Amazon.com, for instance, has allowed users to write reviews and consumer guides since its launch in 1995, in a form of self-publishing. Amazon also opened its API to outside developers in 2002. Previous developments also came from research in computer-supported collaborative learning and computer-supported cooperative work and from established products like Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino, all phenomena which precede Web 2.0.

But perhaps the most common criticism is that the term is unclear or simply a buzzword. For example, in a podcast interview, Tim Berners-Lee described the term “Web 2.0″ as a “piece of jargon”:

“Nobody really knows what it means…If Web 2.0 for you is blogs and wikis, then that is people to people. But that was what the Web was supposed to be all along.”

Other critics labeled Web 2.0 “a second bubble” (referring to the Dot-com bubble of circa 1995–2001), suggesting that too many Web 2.0 companies attempt to develop the same product with a lack of business models. For example, The Economist has dubbed the mid- to late-2000s focus on Web companies “Bubble 2.0″. Venture capitalist Josh Kopelman noted that Web 2.0 had excited only 53,651 people (the number of subscribers at that time to TechCrunch, a Weblog covering Web 2.0 startups and technology news), too few users to make them an economically viable target for consumer applications. Although Bruce Sterling reports he’s a fan of Web 2.0, he thinks it is now dead as a rallying concept.

Critics have cited the language used to describe the hype cycle of Web 2.0 as an example of Techno-utopianist rhetoric.

In terms of Web 2.0′s social impact, critics such as Andrew Keen argue that Web 2.0 has created a cult of digital narcissism and amateurism, which undermines the notion of expertise by allowing anybody, anywhere to share – and place undue value upon – their own opinions about any subject and post any kind of content regardless of their particular talents, knowledgeability, credentials, biases or possible hidden agendas. He states that the core assumption of Web 2.0, that all opinions and user-generated content are equally valuable and relevant, is misguided and is instead “creating an endless digital forest of mediocrity: uninformed political commentary, unseemly home videos, embarrassingly amateurish music, unreadable poems, essays and novels”, also stating that Wikipedia is full of “mistakes, half truths and misunderstandings”.

References

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Web 2.0… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

Brainy Quote: Tim Berners-Lee Quotes…
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/tim_bernerslee.html

by Gerald Boerner

  

Income Tax Day…

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 Theodore Roosevelt is remembered for many different contributions to our country. As a soldier, he is remembered for his leadership in the charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba and his gunboat diplomacy. As president, he is remember as the “Trust Buster” and protector of the environment, especially in the creation of a number of National Parks. Following his presidency, he gave a number of speeches that are still remembered to this day. Today, we focus on one of these speeches.  GLB

    

“The government is us; we are the government, you and I.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The human body has two ends on it: one to create with and one to sit on. Sometimes people get their ends reversed. When this happens they need a kick in the seat of the pants.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

The Global Village: Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore_Roosevelt-Pach TheodoreTeddyRoosevelt (1858 – 1919) was the 26th President of the United States. He is well remembered for his energetic personality, range of interests and achievements, leadership of the Progressive Movement, model of masculinity, and his “cowboy” image. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party of 1912. Before becoming President (1901–1909) he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt’s achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.

Born to a wealthy family, Roosevelt was an unhealthy child suffering from asthma who stayed at home studying natural history. In response to his physical weakness, he embraced a strenuous life. He attended Harvard, where he boxed and developed an interest in naval affairs. A year out of Harvard, in 1881 he ran for a seat in the state legislature. His first historical book, The Naval War of 1812, published in 1882, established his reputation as a serious historian. After a few years of living in the Badlands, Roosevelt returned to New York City, where he gained fame for fighting police corruption. He was effectively running the US Department of the Navy when the Spanish American War broke out; he resigned and led a small regiment in Cuba known as the Rough Riders, earning himself a nomination for the Medal of Honor. After the war, he returned to New York and was elected Governor; two years later he was nominated for and elected Vice President of the United States.

In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated, and Roosevelt became president at the age of 42, taking office at the youngest age of any U.S. President in history. Roosevelt attempted to move the Republican Party in the direction of Progressivism, including trust busting and increased regulation of businesses. Roosevelt coined the phrase “Square Deal” to describe his domestic agenda, emphasizing that the average citizen would get a fair shake under his policies. As an outdoorsman and naturalist, he promoted the conservation movement. On the world stage, Roosevelt’s policies were characterized by his slogan, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. Roosevelt was the force behind the completion of the Panama Canal; he sent out the Great White Fleet to display American power, and he negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Roosevelt is the first American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Roosevelt declined to run for re-election in 1908. After leaving office, he embarked on a safari to Africa and a trip to Europe. On his return to the US, a rift developed between Roosevelt and his anointed successor as President, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt attempted in 1912 to wrest the Republican nomination from Taft, and when he failed, he launched the Bull Moose Party. In the election, Roosevelt became the only third party candidate to come in second place, beating Taft but losing to Woodrow Wilson. After the election, Roosevelt embarked on a major expedition to South America; the river on which he traveled now bears his name. He contracted malaria on the trip, which damaged his health, and he died a few years later, at the age of 60. Roosevelt has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

Political Positions and Speeches

Immigration

In an 1894 article on immigration, Roosevelt said, “We must Americanize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at relations between church and state. We welcome the German and the Irishman who becomes an American. We have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such… He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second.”

Square Deal Speech

Theodore Roosevelt introduced the phrase “Square Deal” to describe his progressive views in a speech delivered after leaving the office of the Presidency in August 1910. In his broad outline, he stressed equality of opportunity for all citizens and emphasized the importance of fair government regulations of corporate ‘special interests’.

Conservationist Speech and Legacy

Roosevelt was one of the first Presidents to make conservation a national issue. In a speech that Roosevelt gave at Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he outlined his views on conservation of the lands of the United States. He favored the use of America’s natural resources, but not the misuse of them through wasteful consumption.

One of his most lasting legacies was his significant role in the creation of 150 National Forests, 5 national parks, and 18 national monuments, among other works of conservation. In total, TR was instrumental in the conservation of approximately 230 million acres of American soil among various parks and other federal projects.

Speech for Federal Control of Monopolies

In the Eighth Annual Message to Congress (1908), TR mentioned the need for federal government to regulate interstate corporations using the Interstate Commerce Clause, also mentioning how these corporations fought federal control by appealing to states’ rights.

“Global Village” Speech

In April, 1910 Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in Paris in which he reflected on patriotism in a world that was just beginning to resemble what we today might call a “global village.” A century later, his words are worth pondering.

I believe that a man must be a good patriot before he can be, and as the only possible way of being, a good citizen of the world. Experience teaches us that the average man who protests that his international feeling swamps his national feeling, that he does not care for his country because he cares so much for mankind, in actual practice proves himself the foe of mankind; that the man who says that he does not care to be a citizen of any one country, because he is a citizen of the world, is in very fact usually an exceedingly undesirable citizen of whatever corner of the world he happens at the moment to be in… [I]f a man can view his own country and all other couontries from the same level with tepid indifference, it is wise to distrust him, just as it is wise to distrust the man who can take the same dispassionate view of his wife and his mother. However broad and deep a man’s sympathies, however intense his activities, he need have no fear that they will be cramped by love of his native land.

Now, this does not mean in the least that a man should not wish to do good outside of his native land. On the contrary, just as I think that the man who loves his family is more apt to be a good neighbor that the man who does not, so I think that the most useful member of the family of nations is normally a strong patriotic nation.

Legacy

MtRushmore_TR_close Roosevelt’s face on Mount Rushmore

For his gallantry at San Juan Hill, Roosevelt’s commanders recommended him for the Medal of Honor, but his subsequent telegrams to the War Department complaining about the delays in returning American troops from Cuba doomed his chances. In the late 1990s, Roosevelt’s supporters again took up the flag for him and overcame opposition from elements within the U.S. Army and the National Archives. On January 16, 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded Theodore Roosevelt the Medal of Honor posthumously for his charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt’s eldest son, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., received the Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The Roosevelts thus became one of only two father-son pairs to receive this honor.

Roosevelt’s legacy includes several other important commemorations. Roosevelt was included with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at the Mount Rushmore Memorial, designed in 1927. The United States Navy named two ships for Roosevelt: the USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600), a submarine that was in commission from 1961 to 1982; and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), an aircraft carrier that has been on active duty in the Atlantic Fleet since 1986.

ROLES2

1910 cartoon shows Roosevelt’s multiple roles
from 1899 to 1910

The Roosevelt Memorial Association (later the Theodore Roosevelt Association) or “TRA”, was founded in 1920 to preserve Roosevelt’s legacy. The Association preserved TR’s birthplace, “Sagamore Hill” home, papers, and video film.

Among the schools, neighborhoods, and streets named in Roosevelt’s honor are Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, the surrounding Roosevelt neighborhood, the district’s main arterial, Roosevelt Way N.E., and Roosevelt Middle School in Eugene, Oregon.

Overall, historians credit Roosevelt for changing the nation’s political system by permanently placing the presidency at center stage and making character as important as the issues. His notable accomplishments include trust-busting and conservationism. However, he has been criticized for his interventionist and imperialist approach to nations he considered “uncivilized”. Even so, history and legend have been kind to him. His friend, historian Henry Adams, proclaimed, “Roosevelt, more than any other living man ….showed the singular primitive quality that belongs to ultimate matter – the quality that mediaeval theology assigned to God – he was pure act.” Historians typically rank Roosevelt among the top five presidents.[94][95]

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles is named after him as well as the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

References

Other Events on this Day:

  • In 1850…
    The city of San Francisco is incorporated by California’s legislature.
  • In 1865…
    Andrew Johnson takes the oarth as the seventeenth U.S. president a few hours after Abraham Lincoln dies.
  • In 1892…
    The British liner Titanic sinks en route from Southampton, England, to New York City, killing approximately 1,500 people.
  • In 1955…
    Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Theodore Roosevelt… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt

Brainy Quote: Theodore Roosevelt Quotes… 
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/theodore_roosevelt_4.html

by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 The Romanticism period of art and literature focused upon the changes in society brought about by the Industrial Revolution as well as the quest of artists to record real life in brilliantly painted landscapes and real-life scenes. It also worked itself out in the modern novel and in political activism, including revolutions.

Romanticism prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution laid the background from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged.  GLB

    

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
— Paul Gauguin

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
— Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
— Henri Matisse

“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.”
— Eugene Delacroix

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”
— Claude Monet

“While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality… true art lies in a reality that is felt.”
— Odilon Redon

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
— Marc Chagall

“What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”
— Eugene Delacroix

  

Note:
This posting is intended for the educational use of photographers and photography students and complies with the “educational fair use” provisions of copyright law. For readers who might wish to reuse some of these images should check out their compliance with copyright limitations that might apply to that use.

GLB

  

Artistic Style: Romanticism

Cole_Thomas_The_Voyage_of_Life_Childhood_1842  By the mid-19th century painters became liberated from the demands of their patronage to only depict scenes from religion, mythology, portraiture or history. The idea "art for art’s sake" began to find expression in the work of painters like Francisco de Goya, John Constable, and J.M.W. Turner. Romantic painters turned landscape painting into a major genre, considered until then as a minor genre or as a decorative background for figure compositions.

Some of the major painters of this period are Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Géricault, J. M. W. Turner, Caspar David Friedrich and John Constable. Francisco de Goya’s late work demonstrates the Romantic interest in the irrational, while the work of Arnold Böcklin evokes mystery and the paintings of Aesthetic movement artist James McNeill Whistler evoke both sophistication and decadence. In the United States the Romantic tradition of landscape painting was known as the Hudson River School: exponents include Thomas Cole, Frederic Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and John Frederick Kensett. Luminism was a movement in American landscape painting related to the Hudson River School.

Romanticism

Caspar_David_Friedrich_032 Romanticism is a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature, and was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education and natural history.

The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe—especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, made of spontaneity a desirable character (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage.

Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval, in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar, and distant in modes more authentic than Rococo chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape.

The modern sense of a romantic character may be expressed in Byronic ideals of a gifted, perhaps misunderstood loner, creatively following the dictates of his inspiration rather than the mores of contemporary society.

Although the movement is rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution laid the background from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged. The confines of the Industrial Revolution also had their influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities; indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, "Realism" was offered as a polarized opposite to Romanticism. Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas.

Characteristics

In a basic sense, the term "Romanticism" has been used to refer to certain artists, poets, writers, musicians, as well as political, philosophical and social thinkers of the late 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. It has equally been used to refer to various artistic, intellectual, and social trends of that era. Despite this general usage of the term, a precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism have been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history and literary history throughout the twentieth century, without any great measure of consensus emerging.

Arthur Lovejoy attempted to demonstrate the difficulty of this problem in his seminal article "On The Discrimination of Romanticisms" in his Essays in the History of Ideas (1948); some scholars see romanticism as essentially continuous with the present, some see in it the inaugural moment of modernity, some see it as the beginning of a tradition of resistance to Enlightenment rationalism—a Counter-Enlightenment—and still others place it firmly in the direct aftermath of the French Revolution. An earlier definition comes from Charles Baudelaire: "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling."

Many intellectual historians have seen Romanticism as a key movement in the Counter-Enlightenment, a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. Whereas the thinkers of the Enlightenment emphasized the primacy of deductive reason, Romanticism emphasized intuition, imagination, and feeling, to a point that has led to some Romantic thinkers being accused of irrationalism.

Romantic Literature

Francisco_de_Goya_y_Lucientes_023 Francisco Goya,
The Third of May 1808,
1814

In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation or criticism of the past, the cult of "sensibility" with its emphasis on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, and respect for a new, wilder, untrammeled and "pure" nature. Furthermore, several romantic authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, based their writings on the supernatural/occult and human psychology. Romanticism also helped in the emergence of new ideas and in the process led to the emergence of positive voices that were beneficial for the marginalized sections of the society.

The Scottish poet James Macpherson influenced the early development of Romanticism with the international success of his Ossian cycle of poems published in 1762, inspiring both Goethe and the young Walter Scott.

An early German influence came from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose 1774 novel The Sorrows of Young Werther had young men throughout Europe emulating its protagonist, a young artist with a very sensitive and passionate temperament. At that time Germany was a multitude of small separate states, and Goethe’s works would have a seminal influence in developing a unifying sense of nationalism. Another philosophic influence came from the German idealism of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schelling, making Jena (where Fichte lived, as well as Schelling, Hegel, Schiller and the brothers Schlegel) a center for early German romanticism ("Jenaer Romantik"). Important writers were Ludwig Tieck, Novalis (Heinrich von Ofterdingen, 1799), Heinrich von Kleist and Friedrich Hoelderlin. Heidelberg later became a center of German romanticism, where writers and poets such as Clemens Brentano, Achim von Arnim, and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff met regularly in literary circles. Important motifs in German Romanticism are travelling, nature, and ancient myths. The later German Romanticism of, for example, E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann (The Sandman), 1817, and Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff’s Das Marmorbild (The Marble Statue), 1819, was darker in its motifs and has gothic elements.

Turner,_J._M._W._-_The_Fighting_Téméraire_tugged_to_her_last_Berth_to_be_broken J.M.W. Turner,
The Fighting Téméraire tugged
to her last Berth to be broken up,
1839

Romanticism in British literature developed in a different form slightly later, mostly associated with the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose co-authored book Lyrical Ballads (1798) sought to reject Augustan poetry in favour of more direct speech derived from folk traditions. Both poets were also involved in utopian social thought in the wake of the French Revolution. The poet and painter William Blake is the most extreme example of the Romantic sensibility in Britain, epitomised by his claim “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” Blake’s artistic work is also strongly influenced by Medieval illuminated books. The painters J. M. W. Turner and John Constable are also generally associated with Romanticism. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain.

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple Eugène Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People 1830

In predominantly Roman Catholic countries Romanticism was less pronounced than in Germany and Britain, and tended to develop later, after the rise of Napoleon. François-René de Chateaubriand is often called the "Father of French Romanticism". In France, the movement is associated with the nineteenth century, particularly in the paintings of Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix, the plays, poems and novels of Victor Hugo (such as Les Misérables and Ninety-Three), and the novels of Stendhal.

In Russia, the principal exponent of Romanticism is Alexander Pushkin. Mikhail Lermontov attempted to analyse and bring to light the deepest reasons for the Romantic idea of metaphysical discontent with society and self, and was much influenced by Lord Byron. The poet Fyodor Tyutchev was also an important figure of the movement in Russia, and was heavily influenced by the German Romantics.

Theodore_Gericault_Raft_of_the_Medusa-1 Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1819.

In the United States, romantic Gothic literature made an early appearance with Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) and Rip Van Winkle (1819), followed from 1823 onwards by the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper, with their emphasis on heroic simplicity and their fervent landscape descriptions of an already-exotic mythicized frontier peopled by "noble savages", similar to the philosophical theory of Rousseau, exemplified by Uncas, from The Last of the Mohicans. There are picturesque "local color" elements in Washington Irving’s essays and especially his travel books.

Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of the macabre and his balladic poetry were more influential in France than at home, but the romantic American novel developed fully in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s atmosphere and melodrama. Later Transcendentalist writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson still show elements of its influence and imagination, as does the romantic realism of Walt Whitman. But by the 1880s, psychological and social realism was competing with romanticism in the novel. The poetry of Emily Dickinson—nearly unread in her own time—and Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick can be taken as epitomes of American Romantic literature.

Influence of European Romanticism on American Writers

The European Romantic movement reached America in the early nineteenth century. American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe.

…Romantics frequently shared certain general characteristics: moral enthusiasm, faith in the value of individualism and intuitive perception, and a presumption that the natural world is a source of goodness and human society a source of corruption.

Romanticism became popular in American politics, philosophy and art. The movement appealed to the revolutionary spirit of America as well as to those longing to break free of the strict religious traditions of early settlement. The Romantics rejected rationalism and religious intellect. It appealed to those in opposition of Calvinism, which involved the belief that the universe and all the events within it are subject to the power of God. The Romantic movement gave rise to New England Transcendentalism which portrayed a less restrictive relationship between God and Universe. The new religion presented the individual with a more personal relationship with God. Transcendentalism and Romanticism appealed to Americans in a similar fashion.

As a moral philosophy, transcendentalism was neither logical nor systemized. It exalted feeling over reason, individual expression over the restraints of law and custom. It appealed to those who disdained the harsh God of their Puritan ancestors, and it appealed to those who scorned the pale deity of New England Unitarianism… …They spoke for cultural rejuvenation and against the materialism of American society. They believed in the transcendence of the "Oversoul", an all-pervading power for goodness from which all things come and of which all things are parts.

American Romance embraced the individual and rebelled against the confinement of neoclassicism and religious tradition. The Romantic movement in America created a new literary genre that continues to influence modern writers. Novels, short stories, and poems began to take the place of the sermons and manifestos that were associated with the early American literary principals. Romantic literature was personal, intense, and portrayed more emotion than ever seen in neoclassical literature. America’s preoccupation with freedom became a great source of motivation for Romantic writers as many were delighted in free expression and emotion without so much fear of ridicule and controversy. They also put more effort into the psychological development of their characters. "Heroes and heroines exhibited extremes of sensitivity and excitement".

Romantic Visual Arts

In European painting, led by a new generation of the French school, the Romantic sensibility contrasted with the neoclassicism being taught in the academies. In a revived clash between color and design, the expressiveness and mood of color, as in works of J.M.W. Turner, Francisco Goya, Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix, emphasized in the new prominence of the brushstroke and impasto the artist’s free handling of paint, which tended to be repressed in neoclassicism under a self-effacing finish. As in England with J.M.W. Turner and Samuel Palmer, Germany with Caspar David Friedrich, Norway with J.C. Dahl and Hans Gude, Spain with Francisco Goya, and France with Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, Théodore Chassériau, and others; literary Romanticism had its counterpart in the American visual arts, most especially in the exaltation of an untamed American landscape found in the paintings of the Hudson River School.

Painters like Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church and others often expressed Romantic themes in their paintings. They sometimes depicted ancient ruins of the old world, such as in Fredric Edwin Church’s piece Sunrise in Syria. These works reflected the Gothic feelings of death and decay. They also show the Romantic ideal that Nature is powerful and will eventually overcome the transient creations of men. More often, they worked to distinguish themselves from their European counterparts by depicting uniquely American scenes and landscapes. This idea of an American identity in the art world is reflected in W. C. Bryant’s poem, To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe, where Bryant encourages Cole to remember the powerful scenes that can only be found in America. This poem also shows the tight connection that existed between the literary and visual artists of the Romantic Era.

Some American paintings promote the literary idea of the “noble savage” (Such as Albert Bierstadt’s The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak) by portraying idealized Native Americans living in harmony with the natural world.

Thomas Cole’s paintings feature strong narratives as in The Voyage of Life series painted in the early 1840s that depict man trying to survive amidst an awesome and immense nature, from the cradle to the grave (see below).

Romantic Nationalism

Wappers_belgian_revolution Egide Charles Gustave Wappers,
Episode of the Belgian Revolution
of 1830, 1834, Musée d’Art Ancien,
Brussels a romantic vision by a
Belgian painter.

One of Romanticism’s key ideas and most enduring legacies is the assertion of nationalism, which became a central theme of Romantic art and political philosophy. From the earliest parts of the movement, with their focus on development of national languages and folklore, and the importance of local customs and traditions, to the movements which would redraw the map of Europe and lead to calls for self-determination of nationalities, nationalism was one of the key vehicles of Romanticism, its role, expression and meaning.

Early Romantic nationalism was strongly inspired by Rousseau, and by the ideas of Johann Gottfried von Herder, who in 1784 argued that the geography formed the natural economy of a people, and shaped their customs and society.

The nature of nationalism changed dramatically, however, after the French Revolution with the rise of Napoleon, and the reactions in other nations. Napoleonic nationalism and republicanism were, at first, inspirational to movements in other nations: self-determination and a consciousness of national unity were held to be two of the reasons why France was able to defeat other countries in battle. But as the French Republic became Napoleon’s Empire, Napoleon became not the inspiration for nationalism, but the object of its struggle. In Prussia, the development of spiritual renewal as a means to engage in the struggle against Napoleon was argued by, among others, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a disciple of Kant. The word Volkstum, or nationality, was coined in German as part of this resistance to the now conquering emperor. Fichte expressed the unity of language and nation in his address "To the German Nation" in 1806:

Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole. …Only when each people, left to itself, develops and forms itself in accordance with its own peculiar quality, and only when in every people each individual develops himself in accordance with that common quality, as well as in accordance with his own peculiar quality—then, and then only, does the manifestation of divinity appear in its true mirror as it ought to be.

Gallen_Kallela_The_Forging_of_the_Sampo Akseli Gallen-Kallela, The Forging
of the Sampo, 1893. An artist
from Finland deriving inspiration
from the compilation the Kalevala.

This view of nationalism inspired the collection of folklore by such people as the Brothers Grimm, the revival of old epics as national, and the construction of new epics as if they were old, as in the Kalevala, compiled from Finnish tales and folklore, or Ossian, where the claimed ancient roots were invented. The view that fairy tales, unless contaminated from outside literary sources, were preserved in the same form over thousands of years, was not exclusive to Romantic Nationalists, but fit in well with their views that such tales expressed the primordial nature of a people. For instance, the Brothers Grimm rejected many tales they collected because of their similarity to tales by Charles Perrault, which they thought proved they were not truly German tales; Sleeping Beauty survived in their collection because the tale of Brynhildr convinced them that the figure of the sleeping princess was authentically German.

             

References:

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Romanticism…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism

Wikipedia: History of Painting…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_painting#Western_painting

Web Sites and Blogs:

Think Exist: Famous French Painter Quotes
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/top/nationality/french/occupation/painter/

by Gerald Boerner

 

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 We have been considering a variety of hand-held PDAs that have been introduced over the past 25 years. In the last couple of posts we have examined what might be called second generation of PDAs that have included advanced features, including cell phone access and more computer-like functionality. Today, we will move into a more specific consideration of the broad category of hand-held devices: the Smartphone. These devices include a standard cellular telephone AND applications generally associated with a PDA.

Tomorrow, we will consider the enabling technology behind much of this trend towards smartphones, Web 2.0 technology. We will then take a look at the major smartphone OSs and the phones that use these OSs.  GLB

    

“You’d be surprised how difficult it is relinquish a cell phone.”
— Adrien Brody

“To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane. Then you’re truly wireless.”
— Ted Turner

“The Three Stooges theme song is programmed into my cell phone when he calls, if that tells you anything.”
— Mark Richardson

“I had my house phone always forwarding to my cell phone, anyway, … I thought: Eliminate the middle man, which is my house phone.”
— Aaron Brooks

“A lot of people think that the new economy is all about the internet. I think that it’s being fueled by the internet – as well as by cell phones, digital assistants, and the like – but that it’s really about customers.”
— Patricia Seybold

“Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing… you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn’t affect two-thirds of the people of the world.”
— Jimmy Carter

“It’s so funny. Every time I sit down in the classroom, my book bag rings and it’s my cell phone, and it’s Joel (Schumacher) or Clint (Eastwood) going, ‘Do you want to do this movie? – and I can’t turn an opportunity like that down.”
— Emily Rossum

“Only five or six years ago, it would really take until the Wednesday after opening to sense what word-of-mouth was, … Now, with cell phones and instant messaging, they tell each other immediately. In a time of extraordinary noise, when there are so many different messages being sent to you, vying for your attention, nothing is more important than one person you know saying, ‘I saw a movie and it’s fantastic.”
— Walter Parkes

History of Hand-Held Computers: Smart Phones

smartphones_front A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, often with PC-like functionality (PC-mobile handset convergence). There is no industry standard definition of a smartphone. For some, a smartphone is a phone that runs complete operating system software providing a standardized interface and platform for application developers. For others, a smartphone is simply a phone with features considered advanced at the time of its release – e.g., in the early 2000s this was features such as e-mail and Internet, but now these are commonplace on non-smartphones. Other definitions might include features such as e-book reader capabilities, Wi-Fi, and/or a built-in full keyboard or external USB keyboard and VGA connector. In other words, it is a miniature computer that has phone capability.

Growth in demand for advanced mobile devices boasting powerful processors, abundant memory, larger screens and open operating systems has outpaced the rest of the mobile phone market for several years. According to a study by ComScore, in 2010, over 45.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones and it is the fastest growing segment of the mobile phone market, which comprised of 234 million subscribers in the United States.

History

The first smartphone was called Simon; it was designed by IBM in 1992 and shown as a concept product that year at COMDEX, the computer industry trade show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was released to the public in 1993 and sold by BellSouth. Besides being a mobile phone, it also contained a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail, send and receive fax, and games. It had no physical buttons to dial with. Instead customers used a touch-screen to select phone numbers with a finger or create facsimiles and memos with an optional stylus. Text was entered with a unique on-screen “predictive” keyboard. By today’s standards, the Simon would be a fairly low-end product; however, its feature set at the time was incredibly advanced.

Menu_du_Nokia_5800_XpressMusic The Nokia Communicator line was the first of Nokia’s smartphones starting with the Nokia 9000, released in 1996. This distinctive palmtop computer style smartphone was the result of a collaborative effort of an early successful and expensive Personal digital assistant (PDA) by Hewlett Packard combined with Nokia’s bestselling phone around that time and early prototype models had the two devices fixed via a hinge; the Nokia 9210 as the first color screen Communicator model which was the first true smartphone with an open operating system; the 9500 Communicator that was also Nokia’s first cameraphone Communicator and Nokia’s first WiFi phone; the 9300 Communicator was the third dimensional shift into a smaller form factor; and the latest E90 Communicator includes GPS. The Nokia Communicator model is remarkable also having been the most expensive phone model sold by a major brand for almost the full lifespan of the model series, easily 20% and sometimes 40% more expensive than the next most expensive smartphone by any major manufacturer.

The Ericsson R380, released in 2000, was the first phone sold as a ‘smartphone’. The R380 had the usual PDA functions and the large touch screen was combined with an innovative flip so it could also be used as a normal phone. It was the first commercially available Symbian OS phone, however it could not run native third-party applications. Although the Nokia 9210 was arguably the first true smartphone with an open operating system, Nokia continued to refer to it and the following models as Communicator; only Ericsson referred to its product as ‘smartphone’ at this time.

Treo_300 In early 2002 Handspring released the Palm OS Treo smartphone, utilizing a full keyboard that combined wireless web browsing, email, calendar and contact organizer, with mobile third-party applications that could be downloaded or synced with a computer.

In 2002 the new joint venture Sony Ericsson released the P800 smartphone, originally developed by Ericsson. It was based on Symbian OS and had full PDA functionality plus a range of features not commonly seen in mobile phones at that time: color touch screen, camera, polyphonic ring tones, email attachment viewers, video playback and an MP3 player with a standard 2.5 mm headset jack.

Blackberry7250 In 2002 RIM released the first BlackBerry which was the first smartphone optimized for wireless email use and has achieved a total customer base of 32 million subscribers by December 2009.

Although the Nokia 7650, announced in 2001, was referred to as a ‘smart phone’ in the media, and is now called a ‘smartphone’ on the Nokia support site, the press release referred to it as an ‘imaging phone’. Handspring delivered the first widely popular smartphone devices in the US market by marrying its Palm OS based Visor PDA together with a piggybacked GSM phone module, the VisorPhone. By 2002, Handspring was marketing an integrated smartphone called the Treo; the company subsequently merged with Palm primarily because the PDA market was dying but the Treo smartphone was quickly becoming popular as a phone with extended PDA organizer features. That same year, Microsoft announced its Windows CE Pocket PC OS would be offered as “Microsoft Windows Powered Smartphone 2002″. Microsoft originally defined its Windows Smartphone products as lacking a touchscreen and offering a lower screen resolution compared to its sibling Pocket PC devices. Palm then introduced a few Windows Mobile smartphones alongside the existing Palm OS smartphones, and has now abandoned both platforms in favor of its new Palm webOS.

In 2005 Nokia launched its N-Series of 3G smartphones which Nokia started to market not as mobile phones but as multimedia computers.

Out of 1 billion camera phones to be shipped in 2008, smartphones, the higher end of the market with full email support, will represent about 10% of the market or about 100 million units.

The Smartphone Summit semi-annual conference details smartphone industry market data, trends, and updates among smartphone related hardware, software, and accessories.

IPhone_3GS_with_home_screen In 2007, Apple Inc. introduced their first iPhone, the first successful all-touchscreen smartphone.

Android, a cross platform OS for smartphones was released in 2008. Android is an Open Source platform backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers (such as Intel, HTC, ARM, Motorola and eBay, to name a few), that form the Open Handset Alliance.

The first phone to use the Android OS was the HTC Dream, branded for distribution by T-Mobile as the G1. The phone features a full, capacitive touch screen, a flip out QWERTY keyboard, and a track ball for navigating web pages. The software suite included on the phone consists of integration with Google’s proprietary applications, such as Maps, Calendar, and Gmail, as well as Google’s Chrome Lite full HTML web browser. Third party apps are available via the Android Market, including both free and paid apps.

In July 2008 Apple introduced its App Store with both free and paid applications. The app store can deliver smartphone applications developed by third parties directly to the iPhone or iPod Touch over wifi or cellular network without using a PC to download. The App Store has been a huge success for Apple and by March 2010 hosted more than 170,000 applications. The app store hit three billion application downloads in early January 2010.

Other platforms are able to download apps from any website, rather than only from a single app store, however other companies have more recently lauched their own app stores. RIM launched its app store, BlackBerry App World, in April 2009. Nokia launched its Ovi Store in May 2009. Palm launced its Palm App Catalog in June 2009. Microsoft lauched its Windows Marketplace for Mobile in October 2009.

In January 2010, Google launches Nexus One using its Android OS. Although Android OS has a multi-touch capabilities, Google initially removed that feature from Nexus One, but it was added though a firmware update on February 2, 2010.

As of March 2010, Nokia’s leading smartphone is the N900. This includes an 800×480 pixel touch screen, supports full multi-tasking (its OS is a version of Linux), has a 5Mpixel camera capable of full frame rate high resolution video, and comes with a wide range of modern smartphone features including GPS, multiple network access (including WiFI and 3.5G), and has 32GB on board memory.

Operating Systems

Palm_webOS_Launcher Operating systems that can be found on smartphones include Symbian OS, iPhone OS, Palm WebOS, BlackBerry OS, Samsung bada, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless, Windows Mobile, Android and Maemo. WebOS, Android and Maemo are built on top of Linux, and the iPhone OS is derived from the BSD and NeXTSTEP operating systems, which all are related to Unix.

The most common operating systems (OS) used in smartphones by Q2 2009 sales are:

  • Symbian OS from the Symbian Foundation (50.3% Market Share Sales Q2 2009)…
    Symbian has the largest share in most markets worldwide, but lags behind other companies in the relatively small but highly visible North American market. This matches the success of its largest shareholder and customer, Nokia, in all markets except Japan. Nokia itself enjoys 52.9% of the smartphone market. In Japan Symbian is strong due to a relationship with NTT DoCoMo, with only one of the 44 Symbian handsets released in Japan coming from Nokia. It has been used by many major handset manufacturers, including BenQ, Fujitsu, LG, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson. Current Symbian-based devices are being made by Fujitsu, Nokia, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson. Prior to 2009 Symbian supported multiple user interfaces, i.e. UIQ from UIQ Technologies, S60 from Nokia, and MOAP from NTT DOCOMO. As part of the formation of the Symbian platform in 2009 these three UIs were merged into a single platform which is now fully open source. It has received some adverse press attention due to virus threats (namely trojan horses).
  • RIM BlackBerry OS (20.9% Market Share Sales Q2 2009)…
    This OS is focused on easy operation and was originally designed for business. Recently it has seen a surge in third-party applications and has been improved to offer full multimedia support.
  • iPhone OS from Apple Inc. (13.7% Market Share Sales Q2 2009)…
    The iPhone uses an operating system called iPhone OS, which is derived from Mac OS X. Third party applications were not officially supported until the release of iPhone OS 2.0 on July 11th 2008. Before this, “jailbreaking” allowed third party applications to be installed, and this method is still available.
  • Windows Phone from Microsoft (9% Market Share Sales Q2 2009)…
    The Windows CE operating system and Windows Mobile middleware are widely spread in Asia. The two improved variants of this operating system, Windows Mobile 6 Professional (for touch screen devices) and Windows Mobile 6 Standard, were unveiled in February 2007. It has been criticized for having a user interface which is not optimized for touch input by fingers; instead, it is more usable with a stylus. However, unlike iPhone OS, it does support both touch screen and physical keyboard configurations.

    On February 15th, 2010 Microsoft unveiled it’s next-generation mobile OS, Windows Phone 7. The new mobile OS includes a completely new over-hauled UI called “Metro”. It includes full integration of Microsoft services such as Zune, Xbox Live and Bing. The new OS platform has recieced very positive reception from the technology press.

  • Android from Google Inc. (2.8% Market Share Sales Q2 2009)…
    Android was developed by Google Inc.. Android is an Open Source, Linux-derived platform backed by Google, along with major hardware and software developers (such as Intel, HTC, ARM, and eBay, to name a few), that form the Open Handset Alliance. This OS, though very new, already has a cult following among programmers eager to develop apps for its flexible, Open Source, back end. Android promises to give developers access to every aspect of the phone’s operation. This lends many to foresee the promise of further growth for the Android platform.
  • Linux operating system…
    Linux is strongest in China where it is used by Motorola, and in Japan, used by DoCoMo. Rather than being a platform in its own right, Linux is used as a basis for a number of different platforms developed by several vendors, including Android, LiMo, Maemo, Openmoko and Qt Extended, which are mostly incompatible. PalmSource (now Access) is moving towards an interface running on Linux. Another platform based on Linux is being developed by Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung, and Vodafone.
  • Palm webOS from Palm Inc. and Palm OS/Garnet OS from Access Co… 
    Palm webOS is Palm’s next generation operating system. PalmSource traditionally used its own platform developed by Palm Inc. Access Linux Platform (ALP) is an improvement that was planned to be launched in the first half of 2007. It will use technical specifications from the Linux Phone Standards Forum. The Access Linux Platform will include an emulation layer to support applications developed for Palm-based devices.
  • bada from Samsung Electronics
    The bada mobile phone operating system is still in development, and Samsung expects handsets to be available in the second half of 2010. The first device to run Bada is called ‘Wave’ and was unveiled to the public at Mobile World Congress 2010, Wave is a fully touchscreen phone running the new mobile operating system.
  • Maemo from Nokia
    Maemo is a software platform developed by Nokia for smartphones and Internet Tablets. It is based on the Debian operating system.

    Maemo is mostly based on open source code, and has been developed by Maemo Devices within Nokia in collaboration with many open source projects such as the Linux kernel, Debian and GNOME.

    Maemo is based on Debian GNU/Linux and draws much of its GUI, frameworks and libraries from the GNOME project. It uses the Matchbox window manager and the GTK-based Hildon as its GUI and application framework.

Smartbook

Wistron_Pursebook A smartbook is a concept of a mobile device that falls between smartphones and netbooks, delivering features typically found in smartphones (always on, all-day battery life, 3G connectivity, GPS) in a slightly larger device with a full keyboard. Smartbooks will tend to be designed to work with online applications. Smartbooks are likely to be sold initially through mobile network operators, like mobile phones are today, along with a wireless data plan.

Smartbooks are powered by ARM processors, which are more energy-efficient than traditional x86 processors that are typically found in desktop and laptop computers. Smartbooks use variants of the Linux operating system, such as Google’s Android or Chrome OS among others, rather than Microsoft Windows (which currently requires an x86 processor). By using ARM and Linux smartbooks expel the traditional Wintel platform. The ARM processor used in the Smartbook allows it to achieve its longer battery life.

Smartbooks tend to be designed more for entertainment purposes than for productivity purposes and typically are targeted to work with online applications and may be also sold subsidized through mobile network operators, like mobile phones, along with a wireless data plan. Nokia’s touchscreen enabled N900 has many of the features of smartbooks. The concept of smartbooks was firstly published by Qualcomm in the first half of 2009 and devices were expected to hit market as early as in the last quarter of the year, but due to difficulties in adapting some key software (most likely Adobe’s proprietary Adobe Flash Player) to ARM platform a delay occurred. About 20 devices are expected to roll out in the first quarter of 2010.

References:

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Smartphone… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphones

Wikipedia: Mobile Operating System… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_operating_systemThink Exist: Cell Phones…
http://thinkexist.com/search/searchquotation.asp?search=cell+phones

by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 The Marines are known for their teamwork, hard training, battle skills, and willingness to meet all challenges in a war zone. Many have paid the ultimate price for their country in wars since the founding of our country. We hear of their heroics in the Pacific during World War II, in Korea, in Vietnam, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, however, we acknowledge the sacrifice one Marine, Corporal Jason Dunham, made on that day in Iraq that saved the lives of several of his companions by placing his helmet and body on a live grenade; it exploded and mortally wounded him. For his bravery, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor, the first one given since Vietnam..  GLB

    

“The only way the French are going in is if we tell them we found truffles in Iraq.”
— Dennis Miller

“Had the decision belonged to Senator Kerry, Saddam hussein would still be in power today in Iraq. In fact, Saddam Hussein would almost certainly still be in control of Kuwait.”
— Dick Cheney

“I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history and find their own way.”
— George W. Bush

“There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”
— Barack Obama

“Cliches about supporting the troops are designed to distract from failed policies, policies promoted by powerful special interests that benefit from war, anything to steer the discussion away from the real reasons the war in Iraq will not end anytime soon.”
— Ron Paul

“The president led us into the Iraq war on the basis of unproven assertions without evidence; he embraced a radical doctrine of pre-emptive war unprecedented in our history; and he failed to build a true international coalition.”
— Nancy Pelosi

“Iraq now says that it will, after all, destroy its missiles. President Bush said, ‘Please, I used to pull the same trick. There’d be an intervention, I’d make a big show of pouring out the liquor and then there was a case under the floorboards’.”
— Bill Maher

“The Canadian government continues to say they will not help us if we go to war with Iraq. However, the prime minister of Canada said he’d like to help, but he’s pretty sure that last time he checked, Canada had no army.”
— Conan O’Brien

Self-Sacrifice on the Field of Battle: Jason Dunham

JasonDunham Jason Dunham (1981 – 2004) was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps who served with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While fighting with his unit in Karabilah, Iraq, an enemy soldier threw a grenade that landed next to him. Rather than allow the grenade to explode and kill or injure not only himself but several other Marines in the area he sacrificed himself and dove on top of the grenade. When it exploded Dunham was seriously injured and died eight days later.

On November 10, 2006, at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, President George W. Bush announced that Dunham would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 14, 2004 near Husaybah, Iraq. Dunham became the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq, and the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

Jason Dunham was born November 10, 1981 in Scio, New York and lived his entire life in Scio, graduating from Scio High school in 2000. While attending Scio high school Dunham played basketball for his high school team.

Military Service

Dunham joined the Marine Corps in 2000 after graduating high school and after completing recruit training, he served as a Security Force sentry at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

In early 2004, he was serving with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. On April 14, 2004, Corporal Dunham was leading a Marine patrol near Husaybah, Iraq, investigating an attack on a Marine convoy. His patrol intercepted a number of cars spotted near the scene of the attack. An individual in one of the vehicles attacked Dunham. During the fighting, the individual dropped a live Mills bomb-type hand grenade. Dunham, to save the rest of his men, threw himself on the grenade, attempting to use his helmet to shield himself and others from the explosion.

Corporal Dunham was severely wounded as a result of the grenade blast and was taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He died eight days later, on April 22, 2004. Shortly beforehand, Marine Corps Commandant Michael Hagee presented Dunham with the Purple Heart. Dunham died on April 22, 2004 at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland where he was being treated for his injuries. General Hagee, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps John L. Estrada and Dunham’s parents were at his bedside when he died. He was buried in Fairlawn Cemetery, Scio New York.

Medal of Honor

P011107PM-0228.JPG President George W. Bush presents the Medal of Honor
to the family of Jason Dunham during a ceremony
in the East Room — Thursday, January 11, 2007.

Shortly after his death, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lopez, commander of 3/7, along with others in Dunham’s chain of command, began the process of nominating the corporal for the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest award for valor in combat. On November 10, 2006, at the dedication of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, President George W. Bush announced that Corporal Dunham would receive the Medal of Honor, making him the second recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first Marine Corps recipient for actions in Iraq.

In 2004, Michael M. Phillips, staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article summarizing Dunham’s actions that appeared on page A1, column 1 of the May 25 Journal. In 2005, Phillips published, through Broadway Books, The Gift of Valor: A War Story, which told Dunham’s life story.

President Bush presented Cpl. Dunham’s family with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on January 11, 2007.

Citation

“The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

CORPORAL
JASON L. DUNHAM
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

For service as set forth in the following CITATION:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah.

As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham.

Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines.

By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service”.

Talking Proud!

Editor’s note: Corporal Jason Dunham will receive the Medal of Honor (Posthumous). President Bush announced the decision during the official opening of the National Museum of the Marine Corps at the 231st anniversary of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, November 10, 2006. Dunham will be the first Marine to receive the medal since Vietnam.

President Bush said this:

“Corporal Dunham’s mom and dad are with us today on what would have been this brave young man’s 25th birthday. We remember that the Marine who so freely gave his life was your beloved son. We ask a loving God to comfort you for a loss that can never be replaced. And on this special birthday, in the company of his fellow Marines, I’m proud to announce that our nation will recognize Corporal Jason Dunham’s action with America’s highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor. As long as we have Marines like Corporal Dunham. America will never fear for her liberty. And as long as we have this fine museum, America will never forget their sacrifice.”

      

References

Other Events on this Day:

  • In 1828…
    The first edition of Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language is published.
  • In 1865…
    John Wilkes Booth assassinates Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
  • In 1939…
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is published.
  • In 1956…
    The first commercial videotape recorder is demonstrated simultaneously in Redwood City, California, and Chicago.
  • In 1981…
    America’s first operational space shuttle, Columbia, completes its first flight.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Jason Dunham… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Dunham

Talking Proud: “Marines keep me safe”… 
http://www.talkingproud.us/Military061704.html

Brainy Quote: Iraq Quotes… 
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/iraq.html

by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 The Rococo period in art, as we saw in yesterday’s post, was an attempt to keep the people in line by giving them more entertainment and style. The Neo-Classicism period, during the mid-1880s, attempted to regain the art of ancient Rome and Greece. It was an attempt to return to the purity of art of ancient times.

Neo-classical paintings are devoid of pastel colors and haziness; instead, they have sharp colors with Chiaroscuro (the emphasis on light and shadows). A good example of this style is found in the use of the style to advocate the virtues of the French Revolution of the late 1780s.  GLB

    

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
— Paul Gauguin

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
— Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
— Henri Matisse

“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.”
— Eugene Delacroix

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”
— Claude Monet

“While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality… true art lies in a reality that is felt.”
— Odilon Redon

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
— Marc Chagall

“What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”
— Eugene Delacroix

  

Note:
This posting is intended for the educational use of photographers and photography students and complies with the “educational fair use” provisions of copyright law. For readers who might wish to reuse some of these images should check out their compliance with copyright limitations that might apply to that use.

GLB

  

Artistic Style: Neo-classicism

Eugène_Delacroix_-_La_liberté_guidant_le_peuple After Rococo there arose in the late 18th century, in architecture, and then in painting severe neo-classicism, best represented by such artists as David and his heir Ingres. Ingres’ work already contains much of the sensuality, but none of the spontaneity, that was to characterize Romanticism. This movement turned its attention toward landscape and nature as well as the human figure and the supremacy of natural order above mankind’s will. There is a pantheist philosophy (see Spinoza and Hegel) within this conception that opposes Enlightenment ideals by seeing mankind’s destiny in a more tragic or pessimistic light. The idea that human beings are not above the forces of Nature is in contradiction to Ancient Greek and Renaissance ideals where mankind was above all things and owned his fate. This thinking led romantic artists to depict the sublime, ruined churches, shipwrecks, massacres and madness.

Neo-Classicism

Ваза._1830-ые. Neoclassicism is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw upon Western classical art and culture (usually that of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome). These movements were dominant during the mid 18th to the end of the 19th century. This article addresses what these "neoclassicisms" have in common.

What any "neo"-classicism depends on most fundamentally is a consensus about a body of work that has achieved canonic status. These are the "classics." Ideally—and neoclassicism is essentially an art of an ideal—an artist, well schooled and comfortably familiar with the canon, does not repeat it in lifeless reproductions, but synthesizes the tradition anew in each work. This sets a high standard, clearly; but though a neoclassical artist who fails to achieve it may create works that are inane, vacuous or even mediocre, gaffes of taste and failures of craftsmanship are not commonly neoclassical failings. Novelty, improvisation, self-expression, and blinding inspiration are not neoclassical virtues. "Make it new" was the modernist credo of the poet Ezra Pound; contrarily, neoclassicism does not seek to re-create art forms from the ground up with each new project. It instead exhibits perfect control of an idiom.

Speaking and thinking in English, "neoclassicism" in each art implies a particular canon of "classic" models. Virgil, Raphael, Nicolas Poussin, Haydn. Other cultures have other canons of classics, however, and a recurring strain of neoclassicism appears to be a natural expression of a culture at a certain moment in its career, a culture that is highly self-aware, that is also confident of its own high mainstream tradition, but at the same time feels the need to regain something that has slipped away: Apollonius of Rhodes is a neoclassic writer; Ming ceramics pay homage to Sung celadon porcelains; Italian 15th century humanists learn to write a "Roman" hand we call italic (based on the Carolingian); Neo-Babylonian culture is a neoclassical revival, and in Persia the "classic" religion of Zoroaster, Zoroastrianism, is revived after centuries, to "re-Persianize" a culture that had fallen away from its own classic Achaemenean past.

Athens_academy

The Academy, designed by Theophil Freiherr von Hansen
and completed in 1885, in Athens, Greece

Within the direct Western tradition, the earliest movement motivated by a neoclassical inspiration is a Roman style that was first distinguished by the German art historian Friedrich Hauser (Die Neuattische Reliefs Stuttgart 1889), who identified the style-category he called "Neo-Attic" among sculpture produced in later Hellenistic circles during the last century or so BCE and in Imperial Rome; the corpus that Hauser called "Neo-Attic" consists of bas reliefs molded on decorative vessels and plaques, employing a figural and drapery style that looked for its canon of "classic" models to late 5th and early 4th century Athens and Attica.

Neoclassicism in Architecture and in the Decorative & Visual Arts

Psyche_revived_Louvre_MR1777 Antonio Canova’s
Psyche Revived by Love’s Kiss

In the visual arts the European movement called "neoclassicism" began after A.D. 1765, as a reaction against both the surviving Baroque and Rococo styles, and as a desire to return to the perceived "purity" of the arts of Rome, the more vague perception ("ideal") of Ancient Greek arts, and, to a lesser extent, 16th century Renaissance Classicism.

Contrasting with the Baroque and the Rococo, Neo-classical paintings are devoid of pastel colors and haziness; instead, they have sharp colors with Chiaroscuro. In the case of Neo-classicism in France, a prime example is Jacques Louis David whose paintings often use Roman and Greek elements to extol the French Revolution’s virtues (state before family).

FuseliArtistMovedtoDespair Henry Fuseli, The artist moved
to despair at the grandeur of
antique fragments, 1778–79

Each "neo"- classicism selects some models among the range of possible classics that are available to it, and ignores others. The neoclassical writers and talkers, patrons and collectors, artists and sculptors of 1765–1830 paid homage to an idea of the generation of Pheidias, but the sculpture examples they actually embraced were more likely to be Roman copies of Hellenistic sculptures. They ignored both Archaic Greek art and the works of Late Antiquity. The Rococo art of ancient Palmyra came as a revelation, through engravings in Wood’s The Ruins of Palmyra. Even Greece was all-but-unvisited, a rough backwater of the Ottoman Empire, dangerous to explore, so neoclassicists’ appreciation of Greek architecture was mediated through drawings and engravings, which subtly smoothed and regularized, "corrected’ and "restored" the monuments of Greece, not always consciously. As for painting, Greek painting was utterly lost: neoclassicist painters imaginatively revived it, partly through bas-relief friezes, mosaics, and pottery painting and partly through the examples of painting and decoration of the High Renaissance of Raphael’s generation, frescos in Nero’s Domus Aurea, Pompeii and Herculaneum and through renewed admiration of Nicholas Poussin. Much "neoclassical" painting is more classicizing in subject matter than in anything else.

Mramorny Façade of the Larger Marble Palace
built by Luigi Vanvitelli’s pupil
Antonio Rinaldi.

There is an anti-Rococo strain that can be detected in some European architecture of the earlier 18th century, most vividly represented in the Palladian architecture of Georgian Britain and Ireland, but also recognizable in a classicizing vein of architecture in Berlin. It is a robust architecture of self-restraint, academically selective now of "the best" Roman models.

Neoclassicism first gained influence in England and France, through a generation of French art students trained in Rome and influenced by the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, and it was quickly adopted by progressive circles in Sweden. At first, classicizing decor was grafted onto familiar European forms, as in the interiors for Catherine II’s lover Count Orlov, designed by an Italian architect with a team of Italian stuccadori: only the isolated oval medallions like cameos and the bas-relief overdoors hint of neoclassicism; the furnishings are fully Italian Rococo (illustration, left).

PiranesiVasiCippi G.B. Piranesi’s design for a vase
on stand, Rome ca 1780, appealed
more to his English and French
patrons. Similar gilt-bronze vases
were made in London and Paris,
from ca. 1768 onwards.

But a second neoclassic wave, more severe, more studied (through the medium of engravings) and more consciously archaeological, is associated with the height of the Napoleonic Empire. In France, the first phase of neoclassicism is expressed in the "Louis XVI style", the second phase in the styles we call "Directoire" or Empire. Italy clung to Rococo until the Napoleonic regimes brought the new archaeological classicism, which was embraced as a political statement by young, progressive, urban Italians with republican leanings.

The high tide of neoclassicism in painting is exemplified in early paintings by Jacques-Louis David (illustration, left) and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ entire career. David’s Oath of the Horatii was painted in Rome and made a splash at the Paris Salon of 1785. Its central perspective is perpendicular to the picture plane, made more emphatic by the dim arcade behind, against which the heroic figures are disposed as in a frieze, with a hint of the artificial lighting and staging of opera, and the classical coloring of Nicholas Poussin. In sculpture, the most familiar representatives are the Italian Antonio Canova, the Englishman John Flaxman and the Dane Bertel Thorvaldsen. The European neoclassical manner also took hold in the United States, where its prominence peaked somewhat later and is exemplified in the sculptures of William Henry Rinehart (1825–1874).

In the decorative arts, neoclassicism is exemplified in Empire furniture made in Paris, London, New York, Berlin; in Biedermeier furniture made in Austria; in Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s museums in Berlin, Sir John Soane’s Bank of England in London and the newly built "capitol" in Washington, DC; and in Wedgwood’s bas reliefs and "black basaltes" vases. The Scots architect Charles Cameron created palatial Italianate interiors for the German-born Catherine II the Great in Russian St. Petersburg: the style was international.

Wfm_rsa_building At the Royal Scottish Academy,
Edinburgh,
William Henry Playfair
employs a
Greek Doric
octastyle portico.

Indoors, neoclassicism made a discovery of the genuine classic interior, inspired by the rediscoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum, which had started in the late 1740s, but only achieved a wide audience in the 1760s, with the first luxurious volumes of tightly controlled distribution of Le Antichità di Ercolano. The antiquities of Herculaneum showed that even the most classicizing interiors of the Baroque, or the most "Roman" rooms of William Kent were based on basilica and temple exterior architecture, turned outside in: pedimented window frames turned into gilded mirrors, fireplaces topped with temple fronts, now all looking quite bombastic and absurd. The new interiors sought to recreate an authentically Roman and genuinely interior vocabulary, employing flatter, lighter motifs, sculpted in low frieze-like relief or painted in monotones en camaïeu ("like cameos"), isolated medallions or vases or busts or bucrania or other motifs, suspended on swags of laurel or ribbon, with slender arabesques against backgrounds, perhaps, of "Pompeiian red" or pale tints, or stone colors. The style in France was initially a Parisian style, the Goût grec, not a court style. Only when the plump, young king acceded to the throne in 1774 did his fashion-loving Queen bring the "Louis XVI" style to court.

From about 1800 a fresh influx of Greek architectural examples, seen through the medium of etchings and engravings, gave a new impetus to neoclassicism that is called the Greek Revival.

Neoclassicism continued to be a major force in academic art through the 19th century and beyond—a constant antithesis to Romanticism or Gothic revivals— although from the late 19th century on it had often been considered anti-modern, or even reactionary, in influential critical circles. By the mid-19th century, several European cities—notably St Petersburg and Munich—were transformed into veritable museums of Neoclassical architecture.

In American architecture, neoclassicism was one expression of the American Renaissance movement, ca 1890–1917; its last manifestation was in Beaux-Arts architecture, and its very last, large public projects were the Lincoln Memorial (highly criticized at the time), The National Gallery in Washington, DC (also heavily criticized by the architectural community as being backward thinking and old fashioned in its design), and the American Museum of Natural History’s Roosevelt Memorial. These were white elephants when they were built. In the British Raj, Sir Edwin Lutyens’ monumental city planning for New Delhi marks the glorious sunset of neoclassicism. World War II was to shatter most longing for – and imitation of – mythical, heroic times.

Covert Neoclassicism in Modern Styles

Meanwhile, conservative modernist architects like Charles Perret in France kept the rhythms and spacing of columnar architecture even in factory buildings. Where a colonnade would have been decried as "reactionary," a building’s pilaster-like fluted panels under a repeating frieze looked "progressive." Pablo Picasso experimented with classicizing motifs in the years immediately following World War I, and the Art Deco style that peaked in the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs often drew on neoclassical motifs without expressing them overtly: severe, blocky commodes by E. J. Ruhlmann or Sue et Mare; crisp, extremely low-relief friezes of damsels and gazelles in every medium; fashionable dresses that were draped or cut on the bias to recreate Grecian lines; the art dance of Isadora Duncan; the Streamline Moderne styling of US post offices and county court buildings built as late as 1950; and the Roosevelt dime. Neoclassic themes can even be detected in the Smith Tower, Seattle.

Neoclassicism in the 21st Century

Schermerhorn Schermerhorn Symphony Center

After a lull during the period of modern architectural dominance (roughly post-WWII until the mid 1980s), neoclassicism has seen somewhat of a resurgence. In the United States some public buildings are built in the neoclassical style as of at least 2006, with the completion of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

In Britain a number of architects are active in the neoclassical style. Examples of their work include two university Libraries: Quinlan Terry’s Maitland Robinson Library at Downing College and Robert Adam Architects’ Sackler Library. The majority of new neoclassical buildings in Britain are private houses.

As of the 2000s, neoclassical architecture is usually classed under the umbrella term of "traditional architecture". Also, a number of pieces of postmodern architecture draw inspiration from and include explicit references to neoclassicism, the National Theatre of Catalonia in Barcelona among them.

     

References:

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Neo-Classicism…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoclassicism

Wikipedia: History of Painting…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_painting#Western_painting

Web Sites and Blogs:

Think Exist: Famous French Painter Quotes
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/top/nationality/french/occupation/painter/

by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 One of the great leaders and statesmen among the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson stands out like few others. He takes his rightful place with George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln as the founders and guides of this small, independent country that declared its freedom from the British. We needed leaders in warfare, diplomacy, statesmanship, and healing that these great men have provided.

We are especially thankful to Jefferson for his work on the Declaration of Independence and his statesmanship in dealing with the Europeans, especially the French, during the birth of this nation. Jefferson also expanded the land holdings of the new country to the Pacific Coast through the Louisiana Purchase. He instilled in this country his republicanism [not the party] views of democracy and helped define a country that is a leader of the world of nations.  GLB

    

“Washington, not Jefferson, freed his slaves upon his death.”
— Stephen Ambrose

“Washington and Jefferson were both rich Virginia planters, but they were never friends.”
— Stephen Ambrose

“We stand in the shadow of Jefferson who believed that a society founded upon the rule of law and liberty was dependent upon public education and the diffusion of knowledge.”
— Matt Blunt

“Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”
— Ronald Reagan

“The myth that John Locke was the philosopher behind the American Republic, is easily refuted by examining how Locke’s philosophy steered Thomas Jefferson, for example.”
— Robert Trout

“We went on stage with the Jefferson Airplane, Jim started singing with Grace Slick and hugging her. Then he danced off the stage, went back into the dressing room and passed out cold.”
— Ray Manzarek

“The platform we had in Dallas, the 1984 Republican platform, all the ideas we supported there – from tax policy, to foreign policy; from individual rights, to neighborhood security – are things that Jefferson Davis and his people believed in.”
— Trent Lott

“Well, you know, Thomas Jefferson, who was the author of the Declaration of Independence said he wouldn’t have any atheists in his cabinet because atheists wouldn’t swear an oath to God. That was Jefferson and we have never had any Muslims in the cabinet.”
— Pat Robertson

Thomas Jefferson Remembered…

Gilbert_Stuart_Thomas_Jeffersen Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and—for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States—one of the most influential Founding Fathers. Jefferson envisioned America as the force behind a great “Empire of Liberty” that would promote republicanism and counter the imperialism of the British Empire.

Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806), as well as escalating tensions with both Britain and France that led to war with Britain in 1812, after he left office.

As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the cofounder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for 25 years. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793), and second Vice President (1797–1801).

A polymath, Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, political leader, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” To date, Jefferson is the only president to serve two full terms in office without vetoing a single bill of Congress. Jefferson has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest of U.S. presidents.

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 into a family closely related to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia, the third of ten children. Two died in childhood. His mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph, a ship’s captain and sometime planter, first cousin to Peyton Randolph, and granddaughter of wealthy English gentry. Jefferson’s father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia.) He was of probable Welsh descent. When Colonel William Randolph, an old friend of Peter Jefferson, died in 1745, Peter assumed executorship and personal charge of William Randolph’s estate in Tuckahoe as well as his infant son, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr. That year the Jeffersons relocated to Tuckahoe where they would remain for the next seven years before returning to their home in Albemarle. Peter Jefferson was then appointed to the Colonelcy of the county, an important position at the time.

Education

In 1752, Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish minister. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French. In 1757, when he was 14 years old, his father died. Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves. He built his home there, which eventually became known as Monticello.

After his father’s death, he was taught at the school of the learned minister James Maury from 1758 to 1760. The school was in Fredericksville Parish near Gordonsville, Virginia, twelve miles (19 km) from Shadwell, and Jefferson boarded with Maury’s family. There he received a classical education and studied history and science.

In 1760 Jefferson entered the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg at the age of 16; he studied there for two years, graduating with highest honors in 1762. At William & Mary, he enrolled in the philosophy school and studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton (Jefferson called them the “three greatest men the world had ever produced”). He also perfected his French, carried his Greek grammar book wherever he went, practiced the violin, and read Tacitus and Homer. A keen and diligent student, Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields and, according to the family tradition, frequently studied fifteen hours a day. His closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Jefferson “could tear himself away from his dearest friends to fly to his studies.”

While in college, Jefferson was a member of a secret organization called the F.H.C. Society. He lodged and boarded at the College in the building known today as the Sir Christopher Wren Building, attending communal meals in the Great Hall, and morning and evening prayers in the Wren Chapel. Jefferson often attended the lavish parties of royal governor Francis Fauquier, where he played his violin and developed an early love for wines. After graduating in 1762 with highest honors, he read law with George Wythe and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.

After college

On October 1, 1765, Jefferson’s oldest sister Jane died at the age of 25. Jefferson fell into a period of deep mourning, as he was already saddened by the absence of his sisters Mary, who had been married several years to Thomas Bolling, and Martha, who had wed earlier in July to Dabney Carr. Both had moved to their husbands’ residences, leaving younger siblings Elizabeth, Lucy, and the two toddlers as his companions. Jefferson was not comforted by the presence of Elizabeth or Lucy as they did not provide him with the same intellectual stimulation as his older siblings had.

Jefferson would go on to handle many cases as a lawyer in colonial Virginia, managing more than a hundred cases each year between 1768 and 1773 in General Court alone, while acting as counsel in hundreds of cases. Jefferson’s client list included members of the Virginia’s elite families, including members of his mother’s family, the Randolphs.

Monticello

Monticello Monticello

In 1768 Thomas Jefferson started the construction of Monticello, a neoclassical mansion. Starting in childhood, Jefferson had always wanted to build a beautiful mountaintop home within site of Shadwell Jefferson went greatly in debt on Monticello by spending lavishly to create a neoclassical environment, based on his study of the architect Andrea Palladio and The Orders.

Monticello was also Thomas Jefferson’s slave plantation. Throughout a period lasting seventy years, Thomas Jefferson owned over 600 slaves. Many of the slaves at the Monticello plantation intermarried amongst each other and produced children. Jefferson only paid a few of his trusted slaves in important positions for work done or for performing difficult tasks like cleaning chimneys or privies. Although there are no direct workday references, Jefferson’s slaves probably worked from dawn to dusk, with shorter or longer days according to the season. Fragmentary records indicate a rich spiritual life at Monticello slave quarters, incorporating both Christian and African traditions. Although there is no record that Jefferson instructed slaves in grammar education, several enslaved men at Monticello could read and write.

The Jefferson Memorial

jefferson-memorial-picture The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third president of the United States. The neoclassical building was designed by John Russell Pope. It was built by Philadelphia contractor Tyler Nichols. Construction began in 1939, the building was completed in 1943, and the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947. When completed, the memorial occupied one of the last significant sites left in the city.

The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

Conception

The current site of the Memorial was originally created using landfill dredged from the Potomac River in the late 1800s. It became a popular bathing beach for Washingtonians and other locals.

It became apparent that the site was well suited for another high-profile memorial since it sat directly south of the White House. By 1901 the Senate Park Commission, better known as the McMillan Commission, had proposed placing a pantheon-like structure on the site hosting “the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future”; no action was ever taken by Congress on this issue.

A design competition was held for a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt in 1925. The winning design was submitted by John Russell Pope and consisted of a half-circle memorial situated next to a circular basin. The plan was never funded by Congress and was not built.

The Memorial’s chance came in 1934 when President Franklin Roosevelt, an admirer of Jefferson himself, asked the Commission of Fine Arts about the possibility of erecting a memorial to Jefferson, including it in the plans for the Federal Triangle project, which was under construction at the time. Later the same year, Congressman John J. Boylan jumped off FDR’s starting point and urged Congress to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission. Boylan was appointed the Commission’s first chairman. Congress eventually appropriated $3 million for a memorial to Jefferson.

The Commission chose John Russell Pope as the architect in 1935. Pope was also the architect of the National Archives Building and original (west) building of the National Gallery of Art. He prepared four different plans for the project, each on a different site. One was on the Anacostia River at the end of East Capitol Street; one at Lincoln Park; one on the south side of the National Mall across from the National Archives; and one situated on the Tidal Basin, directly south of the White House. The Commission preferred the site on the Tidal Basin mainly because it was the most prominent site and because it completed the four-point plan called for by the McMillan Commission (Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol; White House to the Tidal Basin site). Pope designed a very large pantheon-like structure, to sit on a square platform, and to be flanked by two smaller, rectangular, colonnaded buildings.

The interior

Jefferson_Memorial_with_Declaration_preamble Rudulph Evans’s statue of
Thomas Jefferson with excerpts
from the Declaration of Independence
to the right

The interior of the memorial has a 19-foot (5.8 m) tall, 10,000 lb (4336 kg) bronze statue of Jefferson by sculptor Rudulph Evans, which was added four years after the dedication. The interior walls are engraved with passages from Jefferson’s writings. Most prominent are the words which are inscribed in a frieze below the dome: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” This sentence is taken from a September 23, 1800, letter by Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush wherein he defends the constitutional refusal to recognize a state religion.

On the panel of the southwest interior wall are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, written in 1776:

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We…solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states…And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.

The excerpts chosen from the Declaration have been criticized because the first half alters Jefferson’s prose (for the sake of saving space) and eliminates the right of revolution passage that Jefferson believed was the point of the Declaration, while much of the second half (from “solemnly publish” to “divine providence”) was not written by Jefferson. Note also that it writes “inalienable”, as in Jefferson’s draft, rather than “unalienable”, as in the published Declaration.

On the panel of the northwest interior wall is an excerpt from “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1777″, except for the last sentence, which is taken from a letter of August 28, 1789, to James Madison:

Almighty God hath created the mind free…All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.

Jefferson_statue detail of statue

The quotes from the panel of the northeast interior wall are from multiple sources. The first sentence, beginning “God who gave…”, is from “A Summary View of the Rights of British America”. The second, third and fourth sentences are from Notes on the State of Virginia. The fifth sentence, beginning “Nothing is more…”, is from Jefferson’s autobiography. Historian Garry Wills has said that this excerpt is “misleadingly truncated”, because Jefferson’s original sentence continued with the argument that free blacks and whites “cannot live in the same government.” The sixth sentence, beginning “Establish the law…”, is from an August 13, 1790, letter to George Wythe. The final sentence is from a letter of January 4, 1786, to George Washington:

God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.

The inscription on the panel of the southeast interior wall is redacted and excerpted from a letter July 12, 1816, to Samuel Kercheval:

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Death

Thomas_Jefferson's_Grave_Site Jefferson’s gravesite

Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. He died a few hours before John Adams, his compatriot in their quest for independence, then great political rival, and later friend and correspondent. Adams is often rumored to have referenced Jefferson in his last words, unaware of his passing.

Although he was born into one of the wealthiest families in North America, Thomas Jefferson was deeply in debt when he died.

Jefferson’s trouble began when his father-in-law died, and he and his brothers-in-law quickly divided the estate before its debts were settled. It made each of them liable for the whole amount due – which turned out to be more than they expected.

Jefferson sold land before the American Revolution to pay off the debts, but by the time he received payment, the paper money was worthless amid the skyrocketing inflation of the war years. Cornwallis ravaged Jefferson’s plantation during the war, and British creditors resumed their collection efforts when the conflict ended. Jefferson suffered another financial setback when he cosigned notes for a relative who reneged on debts in the financial Panic of 1819. Only Jefferson’s public stature prevented creditors from seizing Monticello and selling it out from under him during his lifetime.

After his death, his possessions were sold at auction. In 1831, Jefferson’s 552 acres (223 hectares) were sold to James T. Barclay for $7,000, equivalent to $143 thousand today. Thomas Jefferson is buried on his Monticello estate, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his will, he left Monticello to the United States to be used as a school for orphans of navy officers. His epitaph, written by him with an insistence that only his words and “not a word more” be inscribed (notably omitting his service as Governor of Virginia, Vice-President and President), reads:

“HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.”

     

References:

Other Events on this Day:

  • In 1743…
    Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president, is born in Albemarle County, Virginia
    .
  • In 1830…
    In Washington, President Andrew Jackson gives a famous toast during a time of sectional strife: “Our Federal Union: It must be preserved.
  • In 1861…
    After 33 hours of bombardment, Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, surrenders to Confederate forces.
  • In 1970…
    The moon-bound Apollo 13 spacecraft is crippled when an oxygen tank explodes.
  • In 1997…
    Tiger Woods, age twenty-one, becomes the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Thomas Jefferson… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson

Wikipedia: Jefferson Memorial… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Memorial

Brainy Quote: Jefferson Quotes… 
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/jefferson_2.html

by Gerald Boerner

  

JerryPhoto_8x8_P1010031 If Baroque art was associated with the Catholic Stylistic art and the efforts of the absolute monarchs like Louis XIV of France to maintain a high style to keep the people in line, then the Rococo period was an attempt to keep the people in line by giving them more entertainment and style. The Church labeled Rococo as being too superfluous and not appropriate for worship. But it was a style that Louis XV and Louis XVI loved and expressed their quest for “elegance” in architecture, furnishings and paintings.

Rococo was expressed by curves, contrasts of light and especially in the use of gold trims and mirrors to reflect the candlelight. Rooms came alive and were brighter than during previous eras. This style flourished during the middle of the 18th century.  GLB

    

“I shut my eyes in order to see.”
— Paul Gauguin

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
— Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
— Henri Matisse

“The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.”
— Eugene Delacroix

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it’s simply necessary to love.”
— Claude Monet

“While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality… true art lies in a reality that is felt.”
— Odilon Redon

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
— Marc Chagall

“What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”
— Eugene Delacroix

  

Note:
This posting is intended for the educational use of photographers and photography students and complies with the “educational fair use” provisions of copyright law. For readers who might wish to reuse some of these images should check out their compliance with copyright limitations that might apply to that use.

GLB

  

Artistic Style: Rococo

Queluz_Palace_fountains Rococo also referred to as "Late Baroque" is an 18th century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly more ornate, florid, and playful. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. It was largely supplanted by the Neoclassic style. In 1835 the Dictionary of the French Academy stated that the word Rococo "usually covers the kind of ornament, style and design associated with Louis XV’s reign and the beginning of that of Louis XVI". It includes therefore,all types of art produced around the middle of the 18th century in France.

The word Rococo is seen as a combination of the French rocaille, meaning stone, and coquilles, meaning shell, due to reliance on these objects as motifs of decoration. It may also be related to the Portuguese barocco (which refers to an irregularly shaped pearl), or Baroque style. Owing to Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts, some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely modish; when the term was first used in English in about 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned". However, since the mid 19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style to art in general, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.

Transition from Baroque to Rococo

During the 18th century, Rococo followed as a lighter extension of Baroque, often frivolous and erotic. Rococo developed first in the decorative arts and interior design in France. Louis XV’s succession brought a change in the court artists and general artistic fashion. The 1730s represented the height of Rococo development in France exemplified by the works of Antoine Watteau and François Boucher. Rococo still maintained the Baroque taste for complex forms and intricate patterns, but by this point, it had begun to integrate a variety of diverse characteristics, including a taste for Oriental designs and asymmetric compositions.

CatherinePalaceNorthSide North side of the Catherine Palace
in Tsarskoye Selo – carriage courtyard:
all the stucco details sparkled with
gold until 1773, when Catherine II
had gilding replaced with
olive drab paint.

The Rococo style spread with French artists and engraved publications. It was readily received in the Catholic parts of Germany, Bohemia, and Austria, where it was merged with the lively German Baroque traditions. German Rococo was applied with enthusiasm to churches and palaces, particularly in the south, while Frederician Rococo developed in the Kingdom of Prussia.

The French masters Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard represent the style, as do Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin who was considered by some as the best French painter of the 18th century – the Anti-Rococo. Portraiture was an important component of painting in all countries, but especially in England, where the leaders were William Hogarth, in a blunt realist style, and Francis Hayman, Angelica Kauffman (who was Swiss), Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds in more flattering styles influenced by Antony Van Dyck. While in France during the Rococo era Jean-Baptiste Greuze (the favorite painter of Denis Diderot), Maurice Quentin de La Tour, and Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun were highly accomplished Portrait painters and History painters.

OttobeurenAbbey-basilika The Rococo Basilica at Ottobeuren (Bavaria): architectural spaces flow together
and swarm with life

William Hogarth helped develop a theoretical foundation for Rococo beauty. Though not intentionally referencing the movement, he argued in his Analysis of Beauty (1753) that the undulating lines and S-curves prominent in Rococo were the basis for grace and beauty in art or nature (unlike the straight line or the circle in Classicism). The beginning of the end for Rococo came in the early 1760s as figures like Voltaire and Jacques-François Blondel began to voice their criticism of the superficiality and degeneracy of the art. Blondel decried the "ridiculous jumble of shells, dragons, reeds, palm-trees and plants" in contemporary interiors. By 1785, Rococo had passed out of fashion in France, replaced by the order and seriousness of Neoclassical artists like Jacques Louis David.

Historical development

Rococo developed first in the decorative arts and interior design. Louis XIV’s succession brought a change in the court artists and general artistic fashion. By the end of the old king’s reign, rich Baroque designs were giving way to lighter elements with more curves and natural patterns. These elements are obvious in the architectural designs of Nicolas Pineau. During the Régence, court life moved away from Versailles and this artistic change became well established, first in the royal palace and then throughout French high society. The delicacy and playfulness of Rococo designs is often seen as perfectly in tune with the excesses of Louis XV’s reign.

The 1730s represented the height of Rococo development in France. The style had spread beyond architecture and furniture to painting and sculpture, exemplified by the works of Antoine Watteau and François Boucher. Rococo still maintained the Baroque taste for complex forms and intricate patterns, but by this point, it had begun to integrate a variety of diverse characteristics, including a taste for Oriental designs and asymmetric compositions.

The Rococo style spread with French artists and engraved publications. It was readily received in the Catholic parts of Germany, Bohemia, and Austria, where it was merged with the lively German Baroque traditions. German Rococo was applied with enthusiasm to churches and palaces, particularly in the south, while Frederician Rococo developed in the Kingdom of Prussia. Architects often draped their interiors in clouds of fluffy white stucco. In Italy, the late Baroque styles of Borromini and Guarini set the tone for Rococo in Turin, Venice, Naples and Sicily, while the arts in Tuscany and Rome remained more wedded to Baroque.

François_Boucher_002 François Boucher, Le Déjeuner,
(1739, Louvre), shows a rocaille
interior of a French bourgeois family
in the 18th century.

The porcelain statuette and vase
add a touch of chinoiserie.

In Great Britain Rococo was always thought of as the "French taste" and was never widely adopted as an architectural style, although its influence was strongly felt in such areas as silverwork, porcelain, and silks, and Thomas Chippendale transformed British furniture design through his adaptation and refinement of the style. William Hogarth helped develop a theoretical foundation for Rococo beauty. Though not intentionally referencing the movement, he argued in his Analysis of Beauty (1753) that the undulating lines and S-curves prominent in Rococo were the basis for grace and beauty in art or nature (unlike the straight line or the circle in Classicism). The development of Rococo in Great Britain is considered to have been connected with the revival of interest in Gothic architecture early in the 18th century.

The beginning of the end for Rococo came in the early 1760s as figures like Voltaire and Jacques-François Blondel began to voice their criticism of the superficiality and degeneracy of the art. Blondel decried the "ridiculous jumble of shells, dragons, reeds, palm-trees and plants" in contemporary interiors. By 1785, Rococo had passed out of fashion in France, replaced by the order and seriousness of Neoclassical artists like Jacques Louis David. In Germany, late 18th century Rococo was riduculed as Zopf und Perücke ("pigtail and periwig"), and this phase is sometimes referred to as Zopfstil. Rococo remained popular in the provinces and in Italy, until the second phase of neoclassicism, "Empire style," arrived with Napoleonic governments and swept Rococo away.

There was a renewed interest in the Rococo style between 1820 and 1870. The British were among the first to revive the "Louis XIV style" as it was miscalled at first, and paid inflated prices for second-hand Rococo luxury goods that could scarcely be sold in Paris. But prominent artists like Delacroix and patrons like Empress Eugénie also rediscovered the value of grace and playfulness in art and design.

Rococo in Different Artistic Modes

Furniture and Decorative Objects

Photograph_of_a_Rococo_Revival_Parlor_in_the_Metropolitan A Rococo Revival Parlor in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The lighthearted themes and intricate designs of Rococo presented themselves best at a smaller scale than the imposing Baroque architecture and sculpture. It is not surprising, then, that French Rococo art was at home indoors. Metalwork, porcelain figures,frills and especially furniture rose to new pre-eminence as the French upper classes sought to outfit their homes in the now fashionable style.

Rococo style took pleasure in asymmetry, a taste that was new to European style. This practice of leaving elements unbalanced for effect is called contraste.

During the Rococo period, furniture was lighthearted, physically and visually. The idea of furniture had evolved to a symbol of status and took on a role in comfort and versatility. Furniture could be easily moved around for gatherings, and many specialized forms came to be such as the fauteuil chair, the voyeuse chair, and the berger en gondola. Changes in design of these chairs ranges from cushioned detached arms, lengthening of the cushioned back (also known as "hammerhead") and a loose seat cushion. Furniture was also freestanding, instead of being anchored by the wall, to accentuate the lighthearted atmosphere and versatility of each piece. Mahogany was widely used in furniture construction due to its strength, resulting in the absence of the stretcher as seen on many chairs of the time. Also, the use of mirrors hung above mantels became ever more popular in light of the development of unblemished glass.

In a full-blown Rococo design, like the Table d’appartement (ca. 1730), by German designer J. A. Meissonnier, working in Paris (illustration, below), any reference to tectonic form is gone: even the marble slab top is shaped. Apron, legs, stretcher have all been seamlessly integrated into a flow of opposed c-scrolls and "rocaille." The knot (noeud) of the stretcher shows the asymmetrical "contraste" that was a Rococo innovation.

JAMeissonnierTable Design for a table by
Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier,
Paris ca 1730

Most widely admired and displayed in the "minor" and decorative arts its detractors claimed that its tendency to depart from or obscure traditionally recognised forms and structures rendered it unsuitable for larger scale projects and disqualified it as a fully architectural style.

Dynasties of Parisian ébénistes, some of them German-born, developed a style of surfaces curved in three dimensions (bombé), where matched veneers (marquetry temporarily being in eclipse) or vernis martin japanning was effortlessly complemented by gilt-bronze ("ormolu") mounts: Antoine Gaudreau, Charles Cressent, Jean-Pierre Latz, François Oeben, Bernard II van Risenbergh are the outstanding names.

Tettnang_Neues_Schloss_Treppenhaus_Stuck_3 Abstract and asymmetrical Rococo
decoration: ceiling stucco at the
Neues Schloss, Tettnang

French designers like François de Cuvilliés, Nicholas Pineau and Bartolomeo Rastrelli exported Parisian styles in person to Munich and Saint Petersburg, while the German Juste-Aurèle Meissonier found his career at Paris. The guiding spirits of the Parisian rococo were a small group of marchands-merciers, the forerunners of modern decorators, led by Simon-Philippenis Poirier.

In France the style remained somewhat more reserved, since the ornaments were mostly of wood, or, after the fashion of wood-carving, less robust and naturalistic and less exuberant in the mixture of natural with artificial forms of all kinds (e.g. plant motives, stalactitic representations, grotesques, masks, implements of various professions, badges, paintings, precious stones).

British Rococo tended to be more restrained. Thomas Chippendale’s furniture designs kept the curves and feel, but stopped short of the French heights of whimsy. The most successful exponent of British Rococo was probably Thomas Johnson, a gifted carver and furniture designer working in London in the mid 1700s.

Interior Design

Gau1878 A Rococo interior in Gatchina.

Solitude Palace in Stuttgart and Chinese Palace in Oranienbaum, the Bavarian church of Wies and Sanssouci in Potsdam are examples of how Rococo made its way into European architecture.

In those Continental contexts where Rococo is fully in control, sportive, fantastic, and sculptured forms are expressed with abstract ornament using flaming, leafy or shell-like textures in asymmetrical sweeps and flourishes and broken curves; intimate Rococo interiors suppress architectonic divisions of architrave, frieze and cornice for the picturesque, the curious, and the whimsical, expressed in plastic materials like carved wood and above all stucco (as in the work of the Wessobrunner School). Walls, ceiling, furniture, and works of metal and porcelain present a unified ensemble. The Rococo palette is softer and paler than the rich primary colors and dark tonalities favored in Baroque tastes.

A few anti-architectural hints rapidly evolved into full-blown Rococo at the end of the 1720s and began to affect interiors and decorative arts throughout Europe. The richest forms of German Rococo are in Catholic Germany (illustration, above).

Mafra1-IPPAR The Rococco library in the
Mafra National Palace,
Portugal.

Rococo plasterwork by immigrant Italian-Swiss artists like Bagutti and Artari is a feature of houses by James Gibbs, and the Franchini brothers working in Ireland equalled anything that was attempted in Great Britain.

Inaugurated in some rooms in Versailles, it unfolds its magnificence in several Parisian buildings (especially the Hôtel Soubise). In Germany, French and German artists (Cuvilliés, Neumann, Knobelsdorff, etc.) effected the dignified equipment of the Amalienburg near Munich, and the castles of Würzburg, Potsdam, Charlottenburg, Brühl, Bruchsal, Solitude (Stuttgart), and Schönbrunn.

In Great Britain, one of Hogarth’s set of paintings forming a melodramatic morality tale titled Marriage à la Mode, engraved in 1745, shows the parade rooms of a stylish London house, in which the only rococo is in plasterwork of the salon’s ceiling. Palladian architecture is in control. Here, on the Kentian mantel, the crowd of Chinese vases and mandarins are satirically rendered as hideous little monstrosities, and the Rococo wall clock is a jumble of leafy branches.

In general, Rococo is an entirely interior style, because the wealthy and aristocratic moved back to Paris from Versailles. Paris was already built up and so rather than engaging in major architectural additions, they simply renovated the interiors of the existing buildings.

Painting

The_Embarktion_for_Cythera Antoine Watteau, Pilgrimage on the Isle of Cythera (1717, Louvre)
captures the frivolity and sensuousness of Rococo painting.

Though Rococo originated in the purely decorative arts, the style showed clearly in painting. These painters used delicate colors and curving forms, decorating their canvases with cherubs and myths of love. Portraiture was also popular among Rococo painters. Some works show a sort of naughtiness or impurity in the behavior of their subjects, showing the historical trend of departing away from the Baroque’s church/state orientation. Landscapes were pastoral and often depicted the leisurely outings of aristocratic couples.

Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) is generally considered the first great Rococo painter. He had a great influence on later painters, including François Boucher (1703–1770) and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), two masters of the late period. Even Thomas Gainsborough’s (1727–1788) delicate touch and sensitivity are reflective of the Rococo spirit. Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun’s (1755–1842) style also shows a great deal of Rococo influence, particularly in her portraits of Marie Antoinette. Other Rococo painters include: Jean François de Troy (1679–1752), Jean-Baptiste van Loo (1685–1745), his two sons Louis-Michel van Loo (1707–1771) and Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo (1719–1795), his younger brother Charles-André van Loo (1705–1765), Nicolas Lancret (1690–1743), and both Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) and Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805), who were important French painters of the Rococo era who are considered Anti-Rococo.

During the Rococo era Portraiture was an important component of painting in all countries, but especially in Great Britain, where the leaders were William Hogarth (1697–1764), in a blunt realist style, and Francis Hayman (1708–1776), Angelica Kauffman who was Swiss, (1741–1807), Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), in more flattering styles influenced by Antony Van Dyck (1599–1641). While in France during the Rococo era Jean-Baptiste Greuze who was the favorite painter of Denis Diderot (1713–1785), [3] Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704–1788), and Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun were highly accomplished Portrait painters and History painters.

Sculpture

Franz_Anton_Bustelli_Liebesgruppe_1756-4 Pair of lovers group of
Nymphenburg porcelain,
modelled by Franz Anton Bustelli,
c. 1760

Sculpture was another area where the Rococo was widely adopted. Étienne-Maurice Falconet (1716–1791) is widely considered one of the best representatives of French Rococo. In general, this style was best expressed through delicate porcelain sculpture rather than imposing marble statues. Falconet himself was director of a famous porcelain factory at Sèvres. The themes of love and gaiety were reflected in sculpture, as were elements of nature, curving lines and asymmetry.

The sculptor Bouchardon represented Cupid engaged in carving his darts of love from the club of Hercules; this serves as an excellent symbol of the Rococo style—the demigod is transformed into the soft child, the bone-shattering club becomes the heart-scathing arrows, just as marble is so freely replaced by stucco. In this connection, the French sculptors, Robert Le Lorrain, Michel Clodion, and Pigalle may be mentioned in passing.

Rococo "Worldliness" and the Roman Catholic Church

An interesting illustration of the hostility sometimes aroused by this style (similar to that of early Modernists to High Victorian style) can be found in the critical view of Rococo taken by the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, especially on the unsuitable nature of Rococo for ecclesiastical contexts.

     

References:

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Wikipedia: Rococo… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rococo

Wikipedia: History of Painting… 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_painting#Western_painting

Web Sites and Blogs:

Think Exist: Famous French Painter Quotes
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/top/nationality/french/occupation/painter/