as it is in Manet's whimsical single stalk of asparagus, his lone rose, his
centralized pickle jar: it is not the result of the observation of a specific
social situation, it is an artful and pathetic statement of how it is to be an
artist, how it is simply to be in the world at all.
This vision of isolation receives its apotheosis in A Bar at the Folies-
Bergère , perhaps the most poignant image of alienation ever painted, a
deadly serious spoof of Watteau Gilles in completely modern "naturalist" terms, the anonymous yet concrete figure trapped between the world
of tangible things and that of impalpable reflections, existing only as a way
station between life and art. It is upon just such bad faith and alienation
and the marvelously inventive, destructive, and self-destructive ways of
making art about them that the modern avant-garde has built ever since.
This is far indeed from Courbet's unified and unselfconscious vision of art
and society--and his own direct and unambiguous relation to both-in
the 1855 The Painter's Studio: A Real Allegory of Seven Years of My Life as
Henri de Saint-Simon, Opinions littéraires, philosophiques et industrielles ( Paris, 1825),
Donald D. Egbert, "The Idea of 'Avant-garde' in Art and Politics", The
American Historical Review 73, no. 2 ( December 1967): 343.
Cited by Renato Poggioli, The Theory of the Avant-garde, trans.
( Cambridge, Mass., 1968), p. 9.
Cited by Peter Collins, Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture: 1750-1950 ( London, 1965), pp. 261-62.
"Pierre Dupont," originally published 1851,
Baudelaire, Oeuvres complètes, ed.
Y.-G. Le Dantec
C. Pichois ( Paris, 1961), pp. 605, 612, 614.
Poggioli, op. cit., p. 10.
See, for example, his deliberately provocative behavior toward the Comte de Nieuwerkerke, Director-General of the Imperial Museums, and his activities related to the
Vendôme column incident during the Commune.
Collected Works, ed.
E. T. Cook and
A. Wedderburn ( London, 1902-12), XIV, p. 60.
The painting is now in the Tate Gallery.
See Pierre Gaudibert's extremely interesting analysis of
Delacroix essential conservatism, "Eugène Delacroix et le romantisme révolutionnaire: A Propos de La
Liberté sur les barricades", Europe 41 ( April 1963): 4-21. For Guérin's influence on the Liberty, see Sixten Ringbom, "Guérin, Delacroix and 'The Liberty", Burlington
Magazine 110 ( 1968): 270-74.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Politics of Vision:Essays on Nineteenth-Century Art and Society.
Contributors: Linda Nochlin - Author.
Publisher: Harper & Row.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1989.
Page number: 17.
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