American Painting - From its beginnings to the Armory Show - download pdf or read online

By Jules David Prown, John Walker, Alexis Gregory

The tale of yank portray starts within the Colonial interval, within the 17th century. «The most blatant truth approximately early American painting,» writes Jules David Prown, «is that there has been so little of it. whilst ecu colonists started to determine everlasting settlements at the japanese flank of North the USA, that they had different issues on their minds than the portray of images. confronted with a urgent necessity to meet their fundamental existence needs—food, preserve, clothing—they followed a lifestyle and a view of the area that was once inevitably pragmatic. For them the humanities appeared dangerously inappropriate, a distraction from the intense initiatives handy. That pragmatic perspective has characterised American tradition from its inception to the current day, and has profoundly affected the trajectory of yank art.»

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Although his success was guaranteed by technical competence alone, his real secret lay in his knowledge of his sitters and their requirements. Copley understood that what New Englanders valued in a portrait above all else was a good likeness. This was a pragmatic society, wedded to the facts of life, more concerned with the material realities of this world than the spiritual potentialities of the next. For this society portraiture was the one acceptable art form because it had a practical social application.

36x5014") York. Gift of Samuel P. Avery, 1897. the friends who London for the who remained to become one of escorted her to wedding was a young Philadelphia artist, Matthew Pratt, West's first American pupils. West's studio rapidly became an important training center for American artists, a fact celebrated in Pratt's memorable The American School, a view of the studio in 1765. Most of the figures, other than West standing at the left, are unidentified, although one, probably the artist at the easel, is Pratt himself and another may be the New York artist, Abraham Delanoy, also one of West's early pupils.

Through such writings as Gedanken Uber die Nachahmung der griechischen Werke in der Malerei und Bildhauerkunst (1755), translated into English by Fuseli in 1765, and Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums (1764), and through his artistic protege, Anton Raphael Mengs, he exercised enormous influence. And there in Italy from 1760 to 1763, right in the midst of this exciting rediscovery of the past, was Benjamin West, an alert and receptive young provincial from Philadelphia. A few years later West began to weave these new ideas and discoveries into the fabric of his art.

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