Monday, March 21, 2011

Patriotic Sacrifice

Malasaña and his Daughtery (1890) by the Spanish painter Eugenio Álvarez Dumont (1864-1927).

Eugenio Álvarez Dumont was a very popular painter in his time. Here he presents he scenery from the uprising in Madrid in May 1808 against the Napoleonic occupation, with is better known by the paintings by Goya.
Here the butchered daughter lies on the street like a martyr, while her father tries to avenge her death against a much better but yet scared French cuirassier.
Despite it’s a very well done painting it indicates also already the decline of history-painting, because it’s too well done, too constructed. At the end of the century people didn’t believe much longer in this kind of art.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Patriotic Self-Sacrifice

The Oath of the Horatii (1784) by the French painter Jacques-Louis David (1748- 1825).

David was probably the most influential French painter in the Neoclassical style and started a kind of new era in history painting. His art is mere political propaganda. A reduction of forms and space to the essential. His Oath of the Horatii is an appeal to masculine self-sacrifice for one's country and patriotism.
Disgusting from a modern point of view!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Modern Roman

A Roman officer by the Peruvian American artist Boris Vallejo (born in 1941).

Despite the nearly photorealistic setting it’s all but historic. The women with their eighties tangas, their metal bikinis and their contemporary hairstyle. So it doesn’t matter that the model for the Roman was Vallejo himself.
History has lost all it’s only a exotic decoration for fantasy.