SHOWS OF LONDON: SPRING 2014 Aesthetics: The Painting of Modern Life

Wednesday 12th February

Research Forum South, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN. 

Continuing on the theme of nineteenth-century aesthetics, in this session we move on from the eclectic lithography and caricature of Daumier to look at the Impressionist movement. We respond to T.J. Clark’s The Painting of Modern Life, which takes up the argument that the ‘form of the new art is inseparable from its content – “those forms of objective bourgeois recreations in the 1860s and 1870s”‘. We will also read a selection of criticism from Michael Fried on Matisse and the relationship between Impressionism, Theatricality, and Modernity.

The following reading is available at

T.J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and his Followers, (1984): Introduction *, and Chapter Four Part One and Part Two.

Michael Fried:
Absorption and Theatricality, (1976): Introduction*, and Chapter One, Part One and Part Two
Manet’s Modernism, (1996): Introduction*

*Denotes primary text

Wine and snacks will be provided. Please contact with any inquiries.

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