Impressionism vs.. Mexican Muralist As we all know, cultures and events shaped the world were being mirrored in the world of art. From Impressionism to Mexican Muralist, art has experienced lots of movements and it is easy to get confused regarding the similarities and difference between Impressionism and Mexican Muralist. In this essay, I will clear those things from two paintings: Camille Pissarro Boulevard Montmartre (Afternoon, Sunshine) and Diego River’s A Dream off Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park.
The two images above are excellent examples of different styles of the Impressionism and Mexican Muralist. While the content is relatively similar, such as natural background, bright color, and even both of them depicted a scene happened in the afternoon, the feeling of the two paintings is remarkably diverse. The painting Boulevard Montmartre has a much softer edges and low-tone feel too it, compared to the stark contrast of A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park with its clear boundaries and striking use of color.
Actually, besides the optical effect, Mexican muralist also aimed at conveying social and political messages to the public. Impressionism which can be noninsured as the first obviously modern movement in the art occurred from 1860 to 1890 in France, and its effects have spread well beyond Europe and eventually the United States. Its sponsors who against Academic des Beaux-Arts, which predominated the French art scene at that time, were accordingly rejected to exhibit their art works in Salon des Paris, such as works from Meant, Monet and so forth(Lana Barras Hill 119).
Instead of portray likenesses that mirrored a subject in as much as detail as possible, Impressionism artists focus on natural light and intend to capture the fleeting movement in an instant time. In order to perform this effect vividly, they moved from the studio to outdoors. One of the representative works which can reflected this style is Boulevard Montmartre, a series paintings drawn by Camille Pissarro in early 1897. “Pissarro was looked upon as the father of the impressionism group, and he was the only painter to exhibit at every one of the eight Impressionist exhibitions” (Ian Barras Hill 135).
Pissarro was inspired to paint outdoors. As a freer handling of brighter colors, he always applied colors softly and his talent clearly lay in the reality of nature in landscapes with figures. After spending six years painting for rural setting, he returned to Paris and rented a room at the Grand Hotel De Russia in Paris in order to have a perfect view and unusual angle of the intersection of the Montmartre Boulevard” (Anne Gray 16).
Boulevard Montmartre, afternoon, sunshine is an extraordinarily energetic painting of the fourteen painting series, which displays a fasting moving and dynamic urban life in Paris during the working hours of the day. Since he is looking out the left of his bedroom window, his eyesight was falling and the vanishing point is higher. As a exult, the strong central shape of the receding boulevard, flanked by rows of trees, street-level shops and impressive apartments, dictates the open, powerful composition and high perspective.
Rapid, thick brush strokes used on the sky and road draw the eye down this thoroughfare, which has crowds and heavy traffic. Like the blurred photos, figures, commissaries and omnibuses in this painting hold no discernible details. Pissarro captures a bustling movement in an instant time and just rough sketches of them. Of course, a broad pointillism is also used in many places, such on a road surface. In addition, the scene is presented with a palette of great subtlety and colors are applied side-by-side with mixing creating a vibrant atmosphere: grey, browns and whites accented with red and tiny amounts of green.
Certainly, softly edges between pedestrians and background produced by Pissarro makes the color much more natural. Abbreviation depicted the subject matter imply that the Impressionism artist emphasizes on capturing the essence of the subject. Besides, Pissarro still focus on the changing natural light and weather effects, and the figures under the sunlight which contrasts the shadow, dark Cambridge and looting convey the rich atmosphere effect. Nevertheless, Mexican Muralist which prevails specifically during the ass’s and ass’s is extremely different from Impressionism.
The three main and most important artists during this movement were Jose Clement Rocco, Diego Riviera, and David Alfalfa Queries, and the muralists in Mexico were interested in Aztec and Amman cultures, depicted some Mexican people and their heroes’ live and work. During the early years of the twentieth century, those three representative muralists who were influenced by the European modernist art returned to Mexico and began to paint and teach. Dorothy Chaplin 26).
In contrast to Impressionism, Mexican Muralist movement is not only an artistic movement but also a social and political movement. In fact, the mural styles by Mexican Muralist artists were regarded as a teaching method, aimed at convey social and political messages to the public regardless of race and social class. Among the three Mexican muralists, Diego Riviera who were good at large wall works in fresco is the most prominent and controversial artist in Mexico. Riviera developed his own native painting style that was also social realism. Under the influence form
Aztec, he was skilled in applying bold and vivid colors to paint Mexican peasant or large simplified figures. (Ivory Davies 38). River’s mural A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park which is a fifty foot fresco takes the viewer on a Sunday walk through Alameda Park. It was painted on a wall of the Hotel Paradox in 1947. Minion, an earthquake destroyed hotel, but the mural, perhaps the best known of River’s works was relocated to a new museum across the street (Renee Pamela 8). ” The painter presents people and events in Mexican history from cotes, the emperor
Macmillan, the revolutionaries Million Capita and Francisco Madder, to his own day’ (R Hagen 101). Portrayed in the mural are numerous historical figures, more or less from left to right, but not in chronological order. Specifically, Diego Riviera in this mural depicted as a child holding the hand of a fashionably dressed skeleton figure, the omnipresence of death in the everyday life of Mexico. The figure standing maternally beside him is his wife, who is a self- portrait artist and feminist icon in Mexico and parade around them is impervious rich and unrequited poor.
Unlike the repose for capturing the transient quality of life in impressionism, River’s painting intends to present a universal political dream in Mexico and covey some social and political message to the public. As in the Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, this is no class martyrdom and colonial tragedy. The message of Dream of Sunday is accusation of the tension of the violent matter. Besides, he also combined historical and allegorical imagery. Actually, balloons on the background represent the strife for Mexican Liberty.
As previous stated, there are more than a hundred satirical figures in this mural. Unlike pedestrians with rough sketches in the Boulevard Montmartre, Riviera cataloged social types from ruler to the bottom of the society, costumes, adornments artifacts, animals, and plant. This mural is a descriptive and documentary painting, which carried to utmost limits of crowded detail and illustrative functionalism (Gilbert Chase 11). In turning away from softly edges and rough sketches which impressionism artists of their day aspired, Riviera chose a realism to convey that subject matter through this fresco. What’s more,
Riviera was mastery of sense of composition, space and striking use of color. Instead of dark clothes and commissaries in Boulevard Montmartre, people from different classes wear brightly colorful costumes. Furthermore, the bright yellow and purple applied in the tree or sky stands in sharp contrast to the grey and brown sky in Boulevard Montmartre. In conclusion, River’s artistic masterpieces were a collection of many European styles. Although Mexico Muralist inspired by the painting technique of impressionism, artists during Mexican Muralist began to realize all this innovation ad little to do with real life.
As a result, in order to convey political and social messages to the vast number of uneducated people, Riviera chose a traditional art form and style to present the new subject matter (Gilbert Chase 12). Got away from focusing solely on optical painting in Impressionism, Mexican Muralist artists who began to carry a clearly discernible social and political comment in their artworks creates a new era in the human art treasure. Works Cited Anne Gray. Incubi: last impressions 1907-17: National Gallery of Australia. Seep. 2009. Print. Dorothy Chaplin.