- First, clearly state your central argument: For example: “In this essay, I shall argue that Manet’s “Olympia” of 1863 rejects the classical aesthetic of idealization”.
In this essay, I shall argue that Edouard Manet’s “The Balcony” of 1868 rejects the classic aesthetic of idealization.
- Second, clearly define idealization in its historical sense (as used in classical art), referring to the points which I have made in class and on Moodle.
Moodle: Idealization involves the representation of perfect, pure forms and normative proportions. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the aesthetic of idealization was summed up in the formula: “Represent the subject not as it is, but as it ought to be.” In other words, idealization involves the elimination of any perceived blemishes, imperfections, ugliness, and disorder and their replacement by perfect, pure forms and proportions according to norms established by classical art. According to this perspective, the artist should not depict the flawed subject seen in reality by the physical eye, but rather represent an ideal model that erases all faults and blemishes.
Idealization states “represent the subject not as it is, but as it ought to be”, which the idealized artworks always depict a human ideal. It is an art style that aims for perfection, pure forms and normative proportions. In other words, idealization involves the elimination of any perceived blemishes, imperfections, ugliness, and disorder and their replacement by perfect, pure forms and proportions according to norms established by classical art. For example, in an idealized painting of woman, she must be having a perfect body shape and a beautiful face.
- Third, refer specifically to at least one of your three required scholarly sources. For example: “In his book of 1985, T.J Clark argues that “Olympia” challenged prevailing views on the correct representation of the female body”.
- Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe sièclein 1878 has stated: “This painting is one of those who contributed to form this reputation for eccentricity realistic, this reputation of bad taste that was attached to Mr. Manet.”
In the Great Universal Dictionary of the 19th Century, Manet’s “The Balcony” is described as an artwork that contributed to form this reputation for eccentricity realistic.
- An article from http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/paintings-analysis/balcony-manet.htm states that Berthe Morisot to write: “Poor Manet is sad. His exhibits are, as usual, not to the taste of the public – a perpetual source of surprise to him.”
4) Fourth, take a clear position on that source’s arguments and give a rationale for your position. For example: “Clark presents an analysis of the work that is highly convincing for the the following reasons.” Then discuss those reasons. Alternatively, you may argue against your source’s arguments.
5) Fifth, develop your initial thesis concerning idealization in the work through an analysis of the work and its historical context. Any major assertion on your part should be supported by demonstrable evidence.
6) Finally, conclude by restating your initial thesis and by summarizing the evidence which you have used to support its claim.
In this essay, I shall argue that Edouard Manet’s “The Balcony” rejects the classic aesthetic of idealization. Idealization states “represent the subject not as it is, but as it ought to be”, which the idealized artworks always depict a human ideal. It is an art style that aims for perfection, pure forms and normative proportions. In other words, idealization involves the elimination of any perceived blemishes, imperfections, ugliness, and disorder and their replacement by perfect, pure forms and proportions according to norms established by classical art. For example, in an idealized painting of woman, she must be having a perfect body shape and a beautiful face.
As a realistic artist, Edouard Manet painted subjects depend on how the subjects actually look like. Therefore, everything were not idealized in “The Balcony”. The painting shows four people. The woman who is sitting on a stool on the left of the picture is the Impressionist painter – Berthe Morisot, she later married Manet’s brother, Eugene. The man who is standing in the middle is the landscape painter and Jury member of the Salon des Artistes – Francais Jean Baptiste Antoine Guillemet. The girl on the right is the concert violinist – Fanny Claus, she was the closest friend of Manet’s wife. Lastly, the man in the shadows at the back carrying a dish filled with food, was believed to be Leon-Edouard Leenhoff, the son of Manet and his Dutch wife, Suzanne. Leon was a regular subject in his father’s paintings, appearing in some seventeen compositions. On the floor, behind the railings, there is a hydrangea flower and a dog with a ball.
The purpose for the creation of “The Balcony” was simply Manet wanted to record the lovely family time by painting people on the balcony from the view of outside. It was Manet staying with his families and friends in Boulogne, France. The contract among the dark room, people’s white dresses, and the green balcony caught Manet’s attention, so the he decided to paint a picture of this monument. Manet didn’t add the aesthetics of idealization into the painting, as he didn’t avoid the blemishes of character’s looks and body shape. And the macroscopic features of different people can be seen visibly, as the two women in the painting have the different types of looks. The two men in the background also reject the idealization. As the man in suit wasn’t given a ideal body shape, even through his body is covered by the clothes, but people still can tell the imperfection of his body shape. Another man who is carrying dishes is putted in the dark background, and he is not even be given a detail depiction by Manet. All the characters were depicted completely depend on how they look like in the reality, none of them reflect the aesthetics of idealization art style.
- The contract of color?
- What’s the use of color in an idealization artwork?
- “The Balcony (1868-9).” The Balcony, Edouard Manet: Analysis, Interpretation, visual-arts-cork.com/paintings-analysis/balcony-manet.htm.
- Khan Academy. (2017). Manet, The Balcony. [online] Available at: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/becoming-modern/avant-garde-france/realism/v/manet-the-balcony-1868-69 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
- Musee-orsay.fr. (2017). Musée d’Orsay: Edouard Manet The Balcony. [online] Available at: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/works-in-focus/painting/commentaire_id/the-balcony-7199.html?tx_commentaire_pi1%5Bfrom%5D=841&tx_commentaire_pi1%5BpidLi%5D=509&cHash=ed0bf50b6e [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
- Help, H. (2017). Idealized Art. [online] eNotes. Available at: https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-idealized-style-210567 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
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