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The Influence of Impressionism within the Textile Arts - Coursework Example

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This study is a review of the literature on the History of Impressionism. The popularity of eighteenth-century Japanese ukiyo-e prints ‘discovered’ by nineteenth-century artists constituted the first definitive non-European influence in continental painterly composition. …
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The Influence of Impressionism within the Textile Arts
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The Influence of Impressionism within the Textile Arts

Download file to see previous pages... The paper "The Influence of Impressionism within the Textile Arts" explores Impressionism in the context of textile arts. The familiarity of domestic intimacies within Japanese pictorial content, and flat, un-modeled color areas offered much in terms of broad perspective; something that Europeans were greatly attracted to as interests in abstracted intellectual pursuits such as science and philosophy came into vogue as leisure activities for an emergent industrial class of bourgeois. Demand for art in all realms of life, prompted a new market of decorative arts and fashion once reserved only for the elite. Translation of impressionist art into everyday objects was perhaps most readily achieved through the industrial manufacture of textiles and secondary products, in the fashion and domestic design industries. The world of spontaneous ‘now’ within the presence of impressionistic painting became even more precise in the post impressionist period, ‘in favor of a measured painting technique grounded in science and the study of optics’. The transition from pre impressionism to post impressionism was relatively brief yet lasting, both in terms of aesthetic break with the rationale of modern realist of thought, and retention of class interests in the area of decorative arts. Everyday luxuries from exotic locales in the marketplace obtained through longstanding trade with Asia and elsewhere, provided a dense resource for reiterations of aesthetic beauty now transferred to mass production through factory fabrication.

Situated in the context of Karl Marx's industrial England, contemporaneous socialist thinkers contributed to the field of philosophical proscription through alternative responses to capitalization of the national economy, and the attendant shifts within social life associated with the development of the industrial complex. In his book Utopia, Sir. Thomas More (1893) crafted one such response in direct confrontation with what he perceived to be the harshness of industrialism, and solution in the pastoral vision of a future gone back to nature. Following the utopian socialist work of Marx and More, William Morris (1890) News From Nowhere substantiates the ideological tenets of his political thought, and influence on the Arts & Crafts movement in the decorative arts through his portfolio of design and textile applications to book covers, furniture and wallpapers.

It is in this landscape of popular thought that the Asian silk motif is put into new relation with European decorative arts. With the advent of optical technologies in the textile manufacturing industry, incorporation of painterly concepts from the burgeoning Impressionist School enabled textile manufacturers to replicate Japanese style and other related content derived from the School's tenets; an aesthetic of elegance for the masses.

Query into the relationship between art and mass production is perhaps most noted in Walter Benjamin's (1992) incursions on the topic in his work, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Here, Art is work, Art is Ideologue, and Art is replication of self and society for mass consumption. In the industrial age, through public art, and more specifically the architecture of the World Exhibition, fin-de-secle capitalism implodes into a third formation whereby base meets superstructure as utopian dream space. Prompted by use of steel and industrial ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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