1. Painters and their craft: Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds–their place in the history of English art (genre peculiarities, style, pictures)
Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, in 1727. His father was a cloth merchant. Thomas soon evinced a marked inclination for drawing and in 1740 his father John Gainsborough sent him to London to study art. He stayed in London for eight years, working under the rococo portrait-engraver Gravelot. He also became familiar with the Flamish tradition of painting which was highly prized by London art dealers at that time. “Road through Wood, with Boy Resting and Dog”, 1747 was a typical “genre painting”, obviously influenced by Ruisdael. In 1750 he moved to Ipswich where his professional career began in earnest. He executed a great many small-sized portraits as well as landscapes of a decorative nature. In 1759 he moved to Bath. There he became a much sought-after and fashionable artist, portraying the aristocracy. In the manner of Van Duck, he turned to full-length, life-size portraits. Gainsborough is famous for the elegance of his portraits and his pictures of women in particular have an extreme delicacy and refinement. His best works are painted in clear and transparent tone, in a colour scheme where blue and green predominate.
Sir Joshua Reynolds was an influential 18th century English painter, specializing the “frand style” in painting which depend on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first president of fine Royal Academy. King George 3 appreciate his merits and knighted him in 1769. Reynolds worked for some time as a portrait-painter in Plymonth Dock. He said that a relish of a higher excellencies of art is an acquired taste, which no man ever possessed without long cultivation, and great labour and attention. Nor does the painting in this respect differ from other arts. A just poetical taste, and the acquisition of a nice discriminative musical ear, are equally the work of time. Even the eye is often unable to distinguish between brilliancy of two diamonds.
2. Painters and their craft: Constable and Turner (genre peculiarities, style ; pictures)
John Constable and I.M.W. Turner were the major English landscape painters of the 19th century. There two artists mark the boundaries between classicism and photography in landscape and more forward romanticism. Constable’s deep love for the countryside is evident in all his work. Unlike Turner he rarely travelled and than only within the British Isles. The work of Constable and Turner marks an important shift in the tradition of British landscape art. Although very different in style and content the paintings of Constable and Turner developed freedom of paint handing that was to have a profound effect on landscape art. Constable preoccupation remained with physical actuality whilst Turner strove for the atmospheric together however, they invented and explored the new language that French painters took up in the Barbizon School and then in Impressionism. The mood of nature from the still range of greens in Constable? I meadows under windy, rain tossed skies to the
3. Is the appreciation of art a special quality which only a few can possess? How can one acquire good taste?
4. Speak about your favourite British artist/s/ of the 18th-20th cc. (artistic career, major works, ehxibitions; analyse pictures).
5. What service does the artist perform for society? Speak about the place and functions of art in modern society.
6. Cubism and abstract expressionism: the quintessence of the trends and their impact on successive 20th century art styles.
7. Describe four major types of temperament. Speak about your own mode of emotional response.
8. Impressionism and Symbolism: sources, novelty and place in the history of the fine arts.
9. What did the Proust Questionnaire tell you about your friend? What can it tell one about you?
10. What are you like in a relationship (аre you a B. Jones, a Mark Darcy or a D. Cleaver)?
11. Speak about the conventional and contradictory aspects of the English race and popular stereotypes of Englishness.
12. Talk about major trends, periods and schools of European painting.
13. Give a character sketch of yourself (virtuous and evil characteristics, temperament, ambitions, ideals, etc).
14. Feelings are the instruments of rationality, not alternatives to it.
15. An essential conflict in Anna Brangwen’s character. Was she a “problem” teenager?
16. What do you have in common with Anna Brangwen? What is the role of family, friends and school in moulding one’s personality?