Art and the Higher Life: Painting and Evolutionary Thought by Kathleen Pyne

By Kathleen Pyne

Late within the 19th century, many americans have been bothered through the theories of Charles Darwin, which contradicted either conventional Christian teachings and the assumption of human supremacy over nature, and via an inflow of international immigrants, who challenged the supremacy of the outdated Anglo-Saxon elite. In reaction, many folks drew convenience from the theories of thinker Herbert Spencer, who held that human society unavoidably develops in the direction of larger and extra religious forms.

In this illuminating examine, Kathleen Pyne explores how Spencer's theories prompted a iteration of yank artists. She indicates how the painters of the Eighties and Eighteen Nineties, really John los angeles Farge, James McNeill Whistler, Thomas Dewing and the Boston university, and the impressionist painters of the 10, constructed an artwork devoted to social refinement and non secular beliefs and to protecting the Anglo-Saxon elite of which they have been individuals. This linking of visible tradition to the troublesome stipulations of yankee lifestyles substantially reinterprets an important tendencies in overdue nineteenth-century American painting.

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