Storms in Watteau and Delacroix Essay

September 11, 2017 History

In the passage from Neoclassicism to Romanticism the development of art is clearly seeable. The attachment to the ideals of Greek and Roman art led Neoclassic painters to a simplistic but besides distinct word picture of their capable affair. In resistance to the classical influence. the Romantics returned to the value of emotion and nature environing them. The two painters. Louis-Joseph Watteau and Eugene Delacroix. realized the subject ‘nature’ in a distinguishable manner: Watteau painted The Storm in line with the Neoclassical positions on art while Delacroix in his picture Jesus at the Sea of Galilee followed Romanticism.

Watteau’s picture shows a rural landscape at harvest clip. A late summer storm pulls up. a immature tree is shaken by the air current. a shepherd is about blown off and every provincial is eager to acquire their work done before the destructive forces of rain and hail come down. Obvious in this picture is the simpleness with which Watteau designed non merely the people but besides the landscape. Particularly the peasant’s anxiousness to acquire place before the storm enfolds its power is non every bit dramatic as one would anticipate.

This simpleness. together with an accent on additive constructions over colour. ambiance and light organize the basic rules of Neoclassicist painting. Additionally. creative persons tried to be as historically accurate as possible in the word picture of puting and costumes. However. due to the instead archetypal portraiture of the individuals this scene besides additions timelessness. Furthermore. the subject of Watteau’s painting already bespeaks the turning influence of Romanticism: peculiarly towards the terminal of the Neoclassical period. both genres coexisted and besides intermingled.

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In contrast to the instead quiet storm of Watteau’s picture. Delacroix depicts a storm in its raging might. The sea is billowing. the little boat about capsizes. the canvas interruptions free and the mariners are despairing to maintain the boat afloat. Merely proceedingss subsequently. though. Christ will quiet the racing storm. This nevertheless is unbeknownst to his comrades. so there is apparently no hope for them to hedge the storm but in its rage they good face decease. Here. Delacroix managed to recognize one of the chief rules of the Romantic motion: profound interior emotion as incitation of creativeness.

Pure angst and desperation dominate the scene. Still. within this calamity another characteristic evolves: the beauty of nature. the vivacity and colorfulness a storm can make in its awfulness. Comparing both storms ( and go forthing aside their different phases of ramping ) . they exhibit distinguishable features of the two periods concerned. Watteau’s storm is instead unagitated and tame. the ambiance is non inexorable and the consequence of visible radiation is non really refined. This storm is clear and stereotyped in its signifier. simplified in its presentation and austere in its bearing.

Delacroix’s storm nevertheless. is a powerful show of forces. Not merely does it environ the mariners in the pictural composing. it besides attacks them violently. The drama of visible radiation and darkness. the ocular effects of the different sunglassess of bluish. grey and black create an about sacral fear of nature. Though approximately covering the same clip span. Neoclassicism and Romanticism stand opposite to each other in respect to theme. attitude toward painting and doctrine of life.

While Neoclassicists. in opposition to the deluxe Rococo manner. postulated images stripped of individualistic characteristics to achieve a cosmopolitan significance. Sentimentalists emphasized the single and emotional facets in their pictures. This basic resistance can be extended to the really beginnings of the painters’ inspiration: as the term Neoclassicism implies. Grecian and Roman art from classical antiquity served as a function theoretical account in contrast to the Romanticists who derived one of their chief stimulations from the really nature environing them.

Still. both pictures focal point on the same subject: nature around us and more specifically. the destructive forces nature can convey Forth.


A World History of Art. ( 2005. September 14 ) . Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Retrieved April 25. 2007. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. all-art. org/history356. html Wellington. Hubert. ( 1995 ) . Journal of Delacroix. London: Phaidon. ( 5th edition. ) Wright. Beth S. . Ed. . ( 2001 ) . The Cambridge Companion to Delacroix. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.


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