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The body in pieces : the fragment as a metaphor of modernity

Author: Linda Nochlin
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Thames and Hudson, 1995.
Series: Walter Neurath memorial lectures, 26th.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
By the end of the eighteenth century a sense of anxiety and crisis began to preoccupy European writers and artists in their relationship to the heroic past, from antiquity on. The grandness of that intellectual tradition could no longer fit into the framework of the present, and artists felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of past heroic accomplishment. Beginning with artists such as Fuseli, this was soon reflected in  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Linda Nochlin
ISBN: 0500550271 9780500550274
OCLC Number: 32223641
Description: 64 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Series Title: Walter Neurath memorial lectures, 26th.
Responsibility: Linda Nochlin.

Abstract:

By the end of the eighteenth century a sense of anxiety and crisis began to preoccupy European writers and artists in their relationship to the heroic past, from antiquity on. The grandness of that intellectual tradition could no longer fit into the framework of the present, and artists felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of past heroic accomplishment. Beginning with artists such as Fuseli, this was soon reflected in artistic representation. The partial image, the "crop," fragmentation, ruin and mutilation - all expressed nostalgia and grief for the loss of a vanished totality, a utopian wholeness. Often, such feelings were expressed in deliberate destructiveness and this became the new way of seeing: the notion of the modern. The "crop" constituted a distinctively modern view of the world, the essence of modernity itself. The French Revolution was not only an historical event that instituted and canonized deliberate fragmentation, but also in some cases the reverse: Jacques-Louis David and other Neo-classical artists tried, at least allegorically and metaphorically, to repair the broken link with the perceived wholeness of the past. In The Body in Pieces, Linda Nochlin traces these developments as they have been expressed in representations of the human figure - fragmented, mutilated and fetishistic - by looking at work produced by artists from Neo-classicism and Romanticism to the Impressionists, the Post-Impressionists, the Surrealists and beyond.

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