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Vanessa Bell, Studland Beach - Essay Example

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The essay "Vanessa Bell, Studland Beach " explore what extent is the image provided a modernist work of art. Studland Beach currently is part of the Tate Collection and is an oil on canvas that measures 898 by 1153 mm. The location of the painting is in Studland Beach, which is a quiet bay in Dorset. …
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Vanessa Bell, Studland Beach
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Vanessa Bell, Studland Beach

Download file to see previous pages... Vanessa Bell was writer Virginia Woolf’s sister, her place within the Bloomsbury Group helping to define her position in British art history. She was born Vanessa Stephen, but married Clive Bell in 1907. Their marriage represented some of the new aesthetics that was a result of cultural re-envisioning that was taking place during this time period as they conducted an open marriage. Her third child was openly that of a lover who raised that child as his own (Rowley). The new avenues of thought that were appearing during this time period allowed for an expansion of the ideas of art, just as the ideas of sexuality, social convention, and science were being tested at this time. Secularism had freed the artists from solely addressing religious themes, thus social, sexual, and cultural themes could be explored for the meanings that could be defined from them which began to become expressions of artistic meanings that were outside of any context provided by the subject matter. It is probable that the distaste for the materialism, the bourgeois concepts of capitalism and the consumer aesthetics inspired artists away from the importance of subject matter, the nature of art becoming focused on meaning through colour, shape, and the defining of space (Cottington 32). Bell’s work can be seen as influenced by both Matisse and Cezanne, the work developed through the concept of shape as it defines the subject, colour as it defines the space. The nature of the work not about the scene it represents....
The new avenues of thought that were appearing during this time period allowed for an expansion of the ideas of art, just as the ideas of sexuality, social convention, and science were being tested at this time. Secularism had freed the artists from solely addressing religious themes, thus social, sexual, and cultural themes could be explored for the meanings that could be defined from them which began to become expressions of artistic meanings that were outside of any context provided by the subject matter. It is probable that the distaste for the materialism, the bourgeois concepts of capitalism and the consumer aesthetics inspired artists away from the importance of subject matter, the nature of art becoming focused on meaning through colour, shape, and the defining of space (Cottington 32). Bell’s work can be seen as influenced by both Matisse and Cezanne, the work developed through the concept of shape as it defines the subject, colour as it defines the space. The nature of the work not about the scene it represents, but about the artistic meanings that are present. According to Rowley, Richard Shone described Bell’s work Studland Beach, (1912) as “in its move towards abstraction…one of the most radical works of the time in England” (31). Vanessa’s husband, Clive Bell, had termed the concept of shape and form over subject as ‘significant form’, the piece representing “an aesthetic purged of narrative sentiment or circumstantial detail” (Rowley 31). However, despite the idea that narrative sentiment and circumstantial detail are missing, like Virginia Wolfe’s fictional work, To the Lighthouse, Bell’s work is filled with the ‘hauntings’ of Julia Stephens, their mother. Even in trying to search for form over meaning, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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