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Leaving L'Estaque: Cézanne's Imagery of Provence in the 1880s

Jonathan Kear
Department of History and Theory of Art
Rutherford College, University of Kent, CT2 7EN, England

Keywords: Cezanne, L'Estaque, nineteenth-century French painting, Provence, Montagne Sainte-Victoire, landscape painting


Traditionally, Cézanne's landscape painting has been accounted for exclusively in terms of the evolution of the painter's technique. His pictures of L'Estaque have been regarded as preparing the way for his mature style of painting that culminates in the pictures of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire. This article argues for an alternative approach to Cézanne's landscapes which points to crucial shifts in his selection of motifs, shifts that divide his earlier and later painting. Focusing on the different types of landscape subject Cézanne painted it demonstrates how his choice of motif was reworked in relation to different traditions and conceptions of landscape painting associated with his native Provence. Rather than seeing the L'Estaque pictures as a prelude to his subsequent paintings of Provence, it suggests they represent a short-lived moment when Cézanne overtly engaged with modern motifs in a fast developing industrial region. His later paintings of Provence mark a decisive break with this modernity and the cultivation of a more traditional and nostalgic vision of the region.



ref: 2003/1 (2)

Finding Ovid through Raphael in the Schools of the Tombs

Ben Thomas
School of Drama, Film and Visual Arts, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NX

Keywords: Raphael, Nicolas Poussin, Ovid, Giovan Pietro Bellori, Pietro Santi Bartoli, mural painting, tomb painting, Schools of the Tombs


In 1674 a tomb decorated with murals was discovered on the Via Flaminia in Rome, which on the basis of inscriptions was wrongly identified as Ovid's tomb. Pietro Santi Bartoli, an ardent frequenter of the 'schools of the tombs', preserved the mural designs in prints published in 1680 as Le pitture antiche del sepolcro de' Nasoni. These prints form part of Bartoli's dual project to record the vestiges of Roman art and to recover the parergonal elements of Raphael's works; a dialogue between ancient and modern in which differences of historical context and artistic accomplishment were effaced by the bland reproductive style of the etchings. Bartoli's prints of the tomb paintings were accompanied by a remarkable iconographical exegesis by Giovanni Pietro Bellori, in which he identified Ovid's portrait and elucidated the pictorial cycle's concern with the soul's journey after death. The similarities with Bellori's readings of picture cycles by Raphael, Annibale Carracci and Nicolas Poussin are discussed here, together with the theme of the tomb in his writings.


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Modern muses: representing the life model in fin de siecle France

Claire O'Mahony
Department of the History of Art, University of Bristol, 43 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UU

Keywords: Jean Léon Gérôme, Henri Fantin-Latour, Georges Seurat, artist's model, artist's studio, nineteenth-century French painting


Artistic inspiration has often been represented by the allegorical figure of a muse. Painters and critics of the 1860s who embraced the 'painting of modern life' seemed to have been dissatisfied with the archaism of a muse of truth, yet to be equally wary of depicting the life model as the representative of inspiration. This unease was renegotiated in the pocket books, novels and Salon paintings of the 1880s and 1890s. In these works, distancing structures of ethnicity and objectification served to neutralise the uncomfortable implications of representing the artist/model relationship. The space of the studio was demarcated as the irreproachable workplace of the artist in which the artist's gaze, and that of the implicit viewer, was granted a certain impunity. The studio scene with a nude female model in its midst appeared frequently in the Salons of the 1880s and 90s. This legitimisation of the gaze allowed these works to create a new form of high art erotica. Like Bacchante and seraglio scenes, the fantasy world of the studio allowed erotic visual imagery, even including the taboo juxtaposition of the clothed and the naked, to pass, though perhaps anxiously, on to the walls of the Salon. The 'modern' nudes of Seurat's Les Poseuses in their self-proclaimed art poses undermined the easy voyeurism these images had allowed. However, by thus invoking the model as a modern muse, this work nonetheless foregrounds the artist's solipsism rather than the life model as a social, creative being.


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Local defence volunteer: the painting and criticism of Edward Baird 1939-1945

Jonathan Blackwood
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Glamorgan,
Pontypridd, CF37 1DL, Wales

Keywords: Edward Baird, Scottish art, art of the Second World War, Scottish Renaissance, Montrose, Committee for the Encouragement of Music and Art (CEMA), nationalist, war, identity


The paper outlines the circumstances of Edward Baird's career and focuses in particular on his work completed in Montrose during the Second World War.

Three paintings in particular are analysed closely. In LDV, Montrose from Ferryden, and Unidentified Aircraft, we see the emergence of an aesthetic that can be considered as part of a 'British' artistic response to the war. However, the works are double coded. We can also analyse them in terms of their reflections on contemporary Scottish identity, and of the urban and rural working classes who shouldered the burden of the war effort.

It is suggested in conclusion that these paintings, seen together, provide a discrete Scottish contribution to the British war effort, emblematic of an outlook that anticipated re-engagement with the European mainstream, in Scottish terms, in the post war period.