Title

The Exhibition of the Anti-hero

Format

Event

Faculty Mentor Name

Merrill Schleier

Abstract/Artist Statement

The mock exhibition catalogue I am working on will display the art of the Romantic period in Europe, from 1810 to 1840. I am focusing on the theme of the anti-hero in relation to the current events of the time, such as the French Revolution of 1789, and the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1814). The anti-hero is a figure who is surrounded by death and suffering, and represents the belief that failure is inevitable and that people are weak in the face of insurmountable forces. The artists included in this exhibition are J.M.W. Turner, Francisco de Goya, Eugene Delacroix, and Theodore Gericault. I selected these artists because of the pessimistic tone in their work, and because they clearly depict the negative emotions concerning the political and social unrest in France, Britain, and Spain. In this catalogue, I discuss the events that took place in this period, and how they not only affected the creation of each artwork, but can be seen reflected in the depiction of the anti-hero. For example, Turner’s Hannibal Crossing the Alps (1812) reflects the Napoleonic wars, and the human struggle against nature; and Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus (1827) conveys the idea that heroism and sacrifice is replaced by greed, and indifference to the suffering of others. Various messages within each painting are discussed, as well as information concerning the lives of the artists, and how their individual experiences had an impact on their art. Both a formal and an iconographic analysis of each work is given to provide a better understanding how the artists communicate the theme of the antihero.

Location

Reynolds Gallery

Start Date

17-4-2013 6:00 PM

End Date

17-4-2013 8:00 PM

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Apr 17th, 6:00 PM Apr 17th, 8:00 PM

The Exhibition of the Anti-hero

Reynolds Gallery

The mock exhibition catalogue I am working on will display the art of the Romantic period in Europe, from 1810 to 1840. I am focusing on the theme of the anti-hero in relation to the current events of the time, such as the French Revolution of 1789, and the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1814). The anti-hero is a figure who is surrounded by death and suffering, and represents the belief that failure is inevitable and that people are weak in the face of insurmountable forces. The artists included in this exhibition are J.M.W. Turner, Francisco de Goya, Eugene Delacroix, and Theodore Gericault. I selected these artists because of the pessimistic tone in their work, and because they clearly depict the negative emotions concerning the political and social unrest in France, Britain, and Spain. In this catalogue, I discuss the events that took place in this period, and how they not only affected the creation of each artwork, but can be seen reflected in the depiction of the anti-hero. For example, Turner’s Hannibal Crossing the Alps (1812) reflects the Napoleonic wars, and the human struggle against nature; and Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus (1827) conveys the idea that heroism and sacrifice is replaced by greed, and indifference to the suffering of others. Various messages within each painting are discussed, as well as information concerning the lives of the artists, and how their individual experiences had an impact on their art. Both a formal and an iconographic analysis of each work is given to provide a better understanding how the artists communicate the theme of the antihero.