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arts

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
European Art: Eighteenth Century  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  

Romanticism

Eighteenth-century art finally gave way to Romanticism, which is usually dated as encompassing the period 1785 to 1825.

While eighteenth-century neoclassicism valued generalities and public expression, Romantics prized the particular and the private. Yet these interests sometimes fused, as in the extremely pared-down linear drawings of Homeric subjects by John Flaxman.

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Flaxman's drawings were reproduced in his book illustrations and on Wedgwood pottery. He paralleled the work of French painter Jacques Louis David and helped embody the homosocial ideals given new impetus by the French Revolution.

Romanticism's cult of the bizarre found expression not only in such literary movements as Gothicism, but also in art. Henry Fuseli, a Swiss artist, thought by some to have homosexual leanings--he was known to depict lesbian scenes and females seducing men--believed that his friend William Blake, "was damned good to steal from." Blake however rejected Academic art in favor of a private mysticism.

Horace Walpole called Fuseli's work "Shockingly mad," with the emphasis on the mad, a characteristic that may be said to apply to Blake's work also. The appreciation of the weird, the sublime, and the picturesque became a cornerstone of Romantic individualism.

Kieron Devlin

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   Related Entries
  
arts >> Overview:  Classical Art

Ancient Greek and Roman art represents a variety of homoerotic experience in several different ways.

literature >> Overview:  English Literature: Restoration and Eighteenth Century

Throughout the Restoration and eighteenth century, sodomitical characters were both presented and pilloried in literature.

literature >> Overview:  English Literature: Romanticism

Since homosexuality was severely persecuted during the Romantic period, writers who treated the subject more or less positively were forced to encode it or leave it unpublished and were themselves frequently forced into exile.

arts >> Overview:  European Art: Baroque

From about 1590 through the first decades of the eighteenth century, Baroque artists challenged the decorum of Renaissance art; but the period was also a time of intolerance and persecution.

arts >> Overview:  European Art: Neoclassicism

Homoeroticism is a prominent presence in neoclassicism, an artistic movement noted for its masculine style, its appreciation of male beauty, and its privileging of ancient Greece and Rome as civilizations to be emulated.

literature >> Overview:  Gothicism

The Gothic has always offered writers and readers the chance to experience the excitement of transgressive sexuality of various kinds, including male and female homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Subjects of the Visual Arts: Nude Females

While nude depictions of women appear in most cultures, on both sides of the equator, and in rich variety, lesbian artists have been particularly resourceful in their use of the female nude.

arts >> Overview:  Subjects of the Visual Arts: Nude Males

Throughout much of history, the nude male figure was virtually the only subject that could be used to articulate homoerotic desire in publicly displayed works of art, as well as those works of art intended for private "consumption."

arts >> Overview:  Symbolists

The symbolist movement in painting and literature, which flourished in Europe from 1886 to 1905, was the first self-consciously queer movement in Western art history.

literature >> Auden, W. H.

One of the most accomplished poets of the twentieth century, W. H. Auden found that his gayness led him to new insights into the universal impulse to love and enlarged his understanding of all kinds of relationships.

literature >> Beckford, William

Extremely wealthy and connected to the aristocracy, British author and connoisseur William Beckford was ostracized by English society for the last sixty years of his life because of his homosexuality.

literature >> Byron, George Gordon, Lord

The bisexual Lord Byron treated many of his homosexual love affairs in his poetry, encoding them by the use of classical references or by purporting that they were affairs with women.

arts >> Dutch Friendship Glasses

Dutch friendship glasses, which were made on order to celebrate friendship in the eighteenth century, may also have covertly celebrated same-sex sexual desire; one surviving friendship glass celebrates sodomitical pleasure.

arts >> Findlater, James Ogilvy, Earl of

James Ogilvy, the 7th Earl of Findlater and 4th Earl of Seafield, was an accomplished amateur landscape architect and philanthropist; after his death, scandal erupted when he was outed by his own relatives in Scotland.

social sciences >> Frederick the Great

The homosexuality of Frederick the Great of Prussia was an open secret during his reign, yet some historians have attempted to deny it or to diminish its significance.

arts >> Fuseli, Henry

Swiss-born Henry Fuseli spent most of his life in England, where he established a reputation as an artist of great originality and where he painted pictures of both heterosexual and homosexual subjects.

literature >> Gray, Thomas

Thomas Gray, the best-loved English poet of the eighteenth century, wrote several poems that express the love he felt for other men.

social sciences >> Hadrian

The love of the second-century Roman emperor Hadrian for the beautiful youth Antinous was exceptional not because the lovers were male, but because of its intensity.

arts >> Hockney, David

One of the liveliest and most versatile visual artists of his generation, David Hockney not only has helped break down resistance to the erotic gaze directed at the male body but also has presented gay male couples in domestic--rather than sensational or sexual--images.

literature >> Pater, Walter

The aesthetic of the important and influential Victorian critic Walter Pater reflected a homosexual sensibility.

literature >> Walpole, Horace

Throughout his life, Horace Walpole was devoted to other men, and his exploration of dysfunctional families in The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother probably stems from his own experience with a destructive father.

literature >> Winckelmann, Johann Joachim

The art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the first German to have been publicly acknowledged as a homosexual, developed an aesthetic deeply rooted in his homosexuality.


    Bibliography
   

Bleiler. E.F., ed. The Castle of Otranto, Vathek, The Vampyre: Three Gothic Novels, New York: Dover Publications, 1966.

Boyd, Alexander. England's Wealthiest Son: A Study of William Beckford. London: Centaur Press, 1962.

Eitner, Lorenz, compiler. Romanticism and Classicism, 1750-1850: Sources and Documents. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

Lepmann, Wolfgang. Winckelmann, New York: Knopf, 1970.

Levey, Michael. From Giotto to Cezanne: A Concise History of Painting. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985.

Park, William. The Idea of Rococo. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1992.

Potts, Alex. Flesh and the Ideal: Winckelmann and the Origins of Art History. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1994.

Rosenblum, Robert. Transformations in Late Eighteenth Century Art. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1967.

Saslow, James M. Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts. New York: Viking, 1999.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Devlin, Kieron  
    Entry Title: European Art: Eighteenth Century  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated September 13, 2006  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/eur_art2_18c.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
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    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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