Art in Revolution

Works that demonstrate artists breaking the conventional forms of academic art and paving the way for new artistic licence for future artists

Jacques-Louis David’s Oath of the Horatti, is an example of Neo-Classicism style and an example of a style of art that follows the rules of the Academy. The subject matter of the painting “was inspired by an early event in early Roman history that recount[s]” a dispute between neighbouring kingdoms. This work is significant in the portrayal of the theme of “Art in Revolution” for this work will allow the viewers to visually contrast how artists have changed their work based on this example of what was viewed as high art by the Academy and how high the standards were held at his time. David’s Oath of the Horatti is the epitome of academic art and what was expected of artists based on the Academy’s standards.
.M.W. Turner’s paintings are subtle in their historical references and follow many of the academic conventions of paints through the use of historical or biblical subject matter and moralizing context of his work. However Turner wanted to make landscape painting at par with history painting and did so by combining history painting with landscape and made the landscape the foreground of the work rather than the background. The Fifth Plague of Egypt he depicts the disease of the Egyptians livestock described in the Psalm and uses a sublime landscape of dark tones and tiny humans to demonstrate natures threat against man. Turner’s work depicts nature’s significance through its overpowering of man and through the focus on the “cataclysmic sky,...shattered trees...[and] enormous storm.” This painting is significant to the theme of Art in Revolution because it demonstrates the beginning of artists transitioning away from the conventions of the Academy and even though Turner does this in such a small way by shifting landscape to meet the status of historical painting it’s nonetheless a beginning to the greater motions that occur at this time period.
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