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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cezanne as a "decorative" painter Freeman, Dana Alexandra 1982

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CEZANNE AS A "DECORATIVE" PAINTER by DANA ALEXANDRA FREEMAN The  Diploma i n A r t H i s t o r y , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  1977  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f F i n e A r t s )  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA November 19 8 2  (c) Dana A l e x a n d r a F r e e m a n , 19 8 2  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  the  requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  and  for extensive  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  study.  I further  copying of t h i s t h e s i s  be granted by the head of  department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  my  It i s  understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my permission.  /  Department o f  Fine Arts  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  DE-6  (3/81)  18 Oct.  1982  written  i i-  -r  ABSTRACT  The t h e s i s focuses on a s i g n i f i c a n t , but n e g l e c t e d  aspect  of Cezanne's oeuvre: the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Cezanne's p a i n t i n g s and the d e c o r a t i v e a e s t h e t i c of the 1890s. Since the meaning of the term " d e c o r a t i v e " underwent s i g n i f i c a n t changes d u r i n g the l a s t q u a r t e r of the 19th  century  and the f i r s t decade of the 20th century, p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d to problems of d e f i n i t i o n i n Chapter I, P a r t 1. T h i s s e c t i o n shows t h a t the d e f i n i t i o n of what was and the i n c r e a s i n g emphasis  "true" decoration,  on d e c o r a t i o n , were r e l a t e d to the  process of r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of the i n d u s t r i a l and d e c o r a t i v e a r t s i n France. Chapter I, P a r t 2 e s t a b l i s h e s t h a t the g e n e r a l  tendency  of the avant-garde p a i n t i n g i n the decade 1890-1900 was "decorative." trend was  to be  The most i n n o v a t i v e m a n i f e s t a t i o n of t h i s  the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the a e s t h e t i c s of " d e c o r a t i o n "  into easel painting.  The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of p a i n t i n g from  t a b l e a u i n t o " d e c o r a t i o n " was ist, anti-positivist  a r e f l e c t i o n of an a n t i - N a t u r a l -  trend.  The second chapter of the t h e s i s i s devoted to Cezanne's p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s the " d e c o r a t i v e t r e n d . " analyses  Chapter I I , P a r t 1  the c r i t i c i s m o f Cezanne's contemporaries.  Special  a t t e n t i o n i s g i v e n to the w r i t e r ' s p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n s on a e s t h e t i c s , philosophy,  religion, politics  (whenever p o s s i b l e ) ,  as w e l l as to changes i n these p o s i t i o n s . Chapter I I , P a r t 2  analyses Cezanne's l e t t e r s  as the only a u t h e n t i c source of t r u e q u o t a t i o n s  (considered  from the  artist)  and p a i n t i n g s . The  c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t Cezanne not only belongs to the  g e n e r a l tendency toward the " d e c o r a t i v e , " but t h a t he can considered  among i t s i n i t i a t o r s .  proposes t h a t C§zanne was  Moreover, the present  p a r t of the movement t h a t  the a e s t h e t i c of " d e c o r a t i o n " i n t o e a s e l p a i n t i n g . such as the i n t e r p l a y between two-dimensionality, d i m e n s i o n a l i t y , the accent on contours, b a s - r e l i e f , or even of t a p e s t r y  and  author  introduced Qualities three-  the g e n e r a l aspect  of  ( o f t e n n o t i c e d by h i s contem-  p o r a r i e s , as w e l l as by l a t e r c r i t i c s ) , can be e x p l a i n e d Cezanne's i n t e n t i o n to apply to h i s p a i n t i n g s a paradigm."  be  by  "decoration  S p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n i s p l a c e d on the method of  " c o l o u r modulation" and  i t s p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n to s i m i l a r meth-  ods used i n 18th century French t a p e s t r i e s , or those recommended f o r t a p e s t r i e s i n t h e o r e t i c a l works by 19th French reformers  of the d e c o r a t i v e  arts.  century  -iv -  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i i  LIST OF FIGURES  .  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  ix  INTRODUCTION  .1  I  THE CONCEPT OF DECORATION IN LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY ART AND THE NEW TENDENCIES IN THE PAINTING OF THE 1890s  .  8  Introduction  . .  8  P a r t 1: The R e v i t a l i z a t i o n o f the I n d u s t r i a l A r t s i n France and i t s Role i n R e d i f i n i n g the Concept of D e c o r a t i o n . .  .,,10  P a r t 2: The "New Tendencies" i n the P a i n t i n g o f the 1890s  51  Introduction A.  51  The new " d e c o r a t i v e " tendency i n the French avant-garde  painting  of the 1880s and e a r l y 1890s and the " I d e a l i s t Renaissance.". B.  The new " d e c o r a t i v e "  52  tendency as  d e f i n e d by c r i t i c s i n the e a r l y 1890s: A u r i e r versus Lecomte C.  ,60  The a r t i s t s who a p p l i e d d e c o r a t i v e  -  V  -  v  a r t s p r i n c i p l e s to e a s e l p a i n t i n g by the e a r l y 1890s.......  71  The mid and l a t e 1890s  76  CEZANNE AND THE "DECORATIVE" TREND.....  90  D. II  P a r t 1: Cezanne Seen by H i s Contemporaries as a "Decorative"  Painter.....  90  . Introduction;;•.. . . . . P a r t 2:  90  Cezanne and the "Decoration Paradigm":. 142 Introduction A.  ..  Did Cezanne f u l f i l  142 the c o n d i t i o n s  t h a t l e d e a s e l p a i n t e r s toward painting-decoration? . B.  V 144  Do Cezanne's p a i n t i n g s f i t the "Decoration Paradigm"?.  Conclusions  180  NOTES  18 4  Introduction Chapter I, I n t r o d u c t i o n  164  184 •  186  Chapter I, P a r t 1.  186  Chapter I, P a r t 2  201  Chapter I I , P a r t 1  241  Chapter I I , P a r t 2  274  BIBLIOGRAPHY  293  LIST OF FIGURES  P. Cezanne: Ouverture t o Tannhauser. Moscow - Museum o f Modern Western A r t . 1869-71, V.90, 57x92 cm. (Source: L. Brion-Guerry, P a r i s , 19 66.) E. Bernard. P o r t r a i t o f the A r t i s t ' s Grandmother. Rijksmuseum V i n c e n t van Gogh, Amsterdam. 1887, 53x64 cm. (Source: B. Welsh-Ovcharov, A r t G a l l , of O n t a r i o , 19 81.) E. Bernard. S t i l l - L i f e with a Tobacco Pot. C o l l . Samuel J o s e f o w i t z , Lausanne. 1887, 33x56 cm. (Source: L i l l e , exh. Emile Bernard, 19 67.) P.Cezanne. The Temptation o f S t . Anthony C o l l . J.V. P e l l e r i n , P a r i s . 1873-77, V. 241, 47x56 cm. (Source: Th. R e f f , "Cezanne, F l a u b e r t , S t . A n t h o n y 1 9 6 2 P. Cezanne. Madame Cezanne. 1872-1877, V.229, 55x46 cm. (Source: E. Bernard, S o u v e n i r s . . . . Une Conversat i o n . .., P a r i s : A - M i c h e l , 1926.) E. Bernard. Pont—Aven Seen From B o i s d'Amour. C o l l . Samuel J o s e f o w i t z , Lausanne. 1892, 71.5x91 cm. (Source: L i l l e exh.) M. Denis. Hommage a Cezanne. Musee N a t i o n a l d'Art Moderne, P a r i s . 1900, approx. 91.5x235 cm. (Source: Bonnard, V u i l l a r d e t l e s Nabis, 19 55.) P..' Cezanne. S t i l l - L i f e.with Compotier. Musee du Luxembourg. 1879-82, V.341, 46x55 cm. (Source: F. Novotny, Cezanne, Phaidon, 1961.) M. Denis. Cezanne s o r t a n t de l a messe a Aix en 190 6. Drawing. (Source: M. Denis Du symbolisme au c l a s s i c i s m e , Hermann, 19  -  V  l  l  -  P. C e z a n n e . The E n v i r o n s o f A i x - e n Provence. W a l l y F i n d l a y G a l l . N.Y. P a i n t e d s c r e e n , 1858-60, V.3, 402x250  cm  P. C e z a n n e . G r o t e s q u e d e c o r a t i o n s on the back o f t h e s c r e e n reproduced i n F i g . 10. V . l - 2 . ( S o u r c e : L. V e n t u r i , C e z a n n e . . . , P a r i s , 1936.) P. C e z a n n e . Rocks a t L'Estaque. Sao P a u l o Museu de A r t e . ( D e t a i l . ) ( 1 8 8 2 - 8 5 , V . 4 0 4 , 7 3 x 9 1 cm. (Source: Sandra O r i e n t i , Complete P a i n t i n g s o f C e z a n n e , 1972.) P. C e z a n n e . House i n P r o v e n c e . C o l l . P. M e l l o n . 1882-85, V.397, 6 5 x 8 1 cm. ( S o u r c e : The W o r l d o f C e z a n n e , T i m e - L i f e B o o k s , N.Y.) F r . B o u c h e r . The C h i n e s e F i s h i n g P a r t y . (Detail.) B e a u v a i s t a p e s t r y , 1758. (Source: Madeleine J a r r y , La T a p i s s e r i e , d e s o r i g i n e s a n o s j o u r s , P a r i s , 1968.) Fr. Casanova. L e s amusements de l a Campagne: L ' A b r e u v o i r . ( D e t a i l . ) Beauvais t a p e s t r y , 1772. Mobilier National, Paris. ( S o u r c e : P i e r r e V e r l e t e t . a l . , Le Grand L i v r e de l a T a p i s s e r i e , P a r i s , 1965.) P. C e z a n n e . Mont S a i n t e - V i c t o i r e . V i a d u c t and B i g T r e e s . M e t r o p o l i t a n Mus. o f A r t , N. Y. 1 8 8 5 - 8 7 , V.452, 65x81 cm. (Source: s l i d e f r o m C a r l B e l z , C e z a n n e , Mc Graw- '•" H i l l , 1975.) P. C e z a n n e . Mont S a i n t e - V i c t o i r e S e e n " v from Bibemus. The B a l t i m o r e Mus. o f A r t , b e q u e s t o f E t t a and C l a r i b e l Cone. 1 8 9 8 - 1 9 0 0 , V.766, 64.8x81.3 cm. (Source: t h e p o s t e r o f t h e MOMA e x h i b . C e z a n n e . The L a t e Work, 1977-78.) P. C e z a n n e . S t i l l - L i f e w i t h Peppermint Bottle. N a t i o n a l G a l l , of A r t , Washington, D.C; Chester Dale C o l l . 1890-92, V . 6 2 5 , 65x81 cm. (Source: J . Wechsler, C e z a n n e i n P e r s p e c t i v e , 19 7 5.) P. C e z a n n e . S t i l l - L i f e w i t h A p p l e s and Oranges. Louvre, P a r i s . 189 5-19 00, V  -  .V.732, 73x92 cm. Cezanne.)  V  l  l  l  -  ( S o u r c e : C.  Betz,  P.. C e z a n n e . . The Red R o c k . Louvre, Walter-Guillaume C o l l . 1 8 9 5 - 1 9 0 0 , V.776, 91x66 cm. (Source: S. O r i e n t i , C o m p l e t e P a i n t i n g s o f Cezanne. P. C e z a n n e . Mont S a i n t e - V i c t o i r e . Private Coll., Switzerland. 19021906, V . 8 0 2 , 6 5 x 8 1 cm. (Source: F. N o v o t n y , C j z a n n e . ) M. D e n i s . Ctszanne "on t h e M o t i f . " P r i v a t e C o l l . , France. 1906. ( S o u r c e : C a t . o f t h e Bremen e x h . , M e i s t e r w e r k e des Nachimpressionismus a u s d e r Sammlung M a u r i c e D e n i s , 17 O c t . 5 Dec. 1971.)  - ix-  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I am indebted  t o David H. S p l k i n and Serge G u i b a u l t f o r  t h e i r guidance and help i n o r g a n i z i n g my m a t e r i a l , f o r asking penetrating questions,  and f o r making u s e f u l  suggestions.  I am t h a n k f u l t o George Knox f o r teaching me how t o "see" Cezanne's p a i n t i n g s and f o r encouragement. I am g r a t e f u l t o A l b e r t Boime, who on v e r y s h o r t n o t i c e , took the time f o r a h e l p f u l d i s c u s s i o n . My r e s e a r c h was helped  by the S t a f f o f the UBC F i n e A r t  L i b r a r y , I n t e r l i b r a r y Loan, and S l i d e L i b r a r y .  My s p e c i a l  thanks t o Melva Dwyer, Diana Cooper, A l i c e McNair, Karen Peplow, Barbara Hopkins and Mary Webb. T h i s t h e s i s would not have been w r i t t e n without Mike's support  and p a t i e n c e .  - 1 -  INTRODUCTION  1.  The  Key  Issue of the  The  present  Thesis  s t a t e o f r e s e a r c h on C S z a n n e shows a s t r o n g  C u b i s t b i a s , w h i c h c l e a r l y emerged i n t h e e x h i b i t i o n o f h i s l a t e w o r k o r g a n i z e d by t h e Museum o f M o d e r n A r t i n 1977. p u r p o s e o f t h i s e x h i b i t i o n was  The  t o emphasize the " e v o l u t i o n "  f r o m t h e l a t e C e z a n n e t o C u b i s m and a r t i s t i c movements o f t h e 2 0 t h  thence  t o the other major  century.  M o d e r n v i e w s o f C e z a n n e t e n d t o r e l y t o o h e a v i l y on of the C u b i s t p a i n t e r s , a t the expense of those of the contemporaries." are presented  To  sum  up  influential  194 8"*") ; on t h e o t h e r h a n d , we of h i s contemporaries  and  They saw  i d e a l " a s i t was  who  (the C u b i s t view,  we  re-  "Cezanne's Doubt" o f  are confronted w i t h the  opinions  applied a decorative conception to h i s  Cezanne's work i n t h e l i g h t o f t h e understood  a t t h e end  the very beginning of the 20th century.  " d e c o r a t i v e p a i n t i n g " by a v a n t - g a r d e important  hand  w i t h a c u r r e n t image o f C e z a n n e t h a t e m p h a s i z e s  i n f o r c e d by M e r l e a u - P o n t y ' s  tive  artist's  t h e s i t u a t i o n r o u g h l y , on one  the p e r c e p t u a l c h a r a c t e r of h i s approach  paintings.  those  of the 19th The  p a i n t e r s and  "decoracentury  emphasis put  on  c r i t i c s was  an  p a r t o f t h e s t r o n g r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t r e a l i s m and  p o s i t i v i s m t h a t t o o k p l a c e a t t h e end Cezanne developed  h i s mature s t y l e  a g a i n s t N a t u r a l i s m and was decorative tendencies  of the l a s t  i n t h i s p e r i o d of r e a c t i o n  c o n s i d e r e d as  i n avant-garde  century.  "initiator"  of  the  painting.  R i g h t from the b e g i n n i n g , the C u b i s t s emphasized Cezanne's  -i 2 -  role  as t h e i r  painting.  "forefather" i n order  (Cezanne was a l r e a d y  to "legitimize"  their  an i d o l o f t h e a v a n t - g a r d e . )  A t t h e same t i m e t h e y gave a " d e a t h - b l o w " t o t h e c o n c e p t o f painting-decoration,  because t h e y , and e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r  K a h n w e i l e r , were c o n c e r n e d w i t h  the status of p a i n t i n g .  dealer, They  f e l t t h a t t h e s t a t u s o f p a i n t i n g had been eroded, lowered t o the  level of decoration.  I n 1912, i n t h e i r Cubism,  Gleizes  and  Metzinger s t a t e d t h i s a n t i - d e c o r a t i v e a t t i t u d e very  clearly:  Many c o n s i d e r t h a t d e c o r a t i v e preoccupation must g o v e r n t h e s p i r i t o f t h e new p a i n t e r s . ... Enough d e c o r a t i v e p l a s t i c a r t a n d p i c t o r i a l d e c o r a t i o n , enough c o n f u s i o n and a m b i g u i t y . 2  R e f e r r i n g t o 1906, and t o Braque, D e r a i n  and M a t i s s e  others,  a r t , Daniel-Henry  the i n f l u e n t i a l  Kahnweiler, declared itself  i n Cubist  i n 1915: " P a i n t i n g t h r e a t e n e d  t o 'adorn' t h e w a l l . "  status of decoration  Because K a h n w e i l e r  geometrical  according  applied arts.  o f C u b i s t p a i n t i n g s he r e m a r k e d ,  t o Kahnweiler, Cubist  from such r e d u c t i o n s Cubist  painters  viewpoints.^ This  painters d i d not proceed  w h i c h a r e commonplace i n a r c h i t e c t u r e a n d  means o f s y n t h e s i z i n g v a r i o u s  realists."  Reductions t o simple  f o r m s s u c h as c u b e s , s p h e r e s a n d c y l i n d e r s w e r e  "seen" by " e a r l y s p e c t a t o r s "  from v a r i o u s  considered  i n f e r i o r , he d i d n o t l i k e t h e d e s i g -  n a t i o n o f Cubism as "Geometric A c t . "  but  t o debase  t o t h e l e v e l o f o r n a m e n t a t i o n ; i t s o u g h t t o be ' d e c -  orative' the  dealer  among  reproduced objects  he s a i d , b y  images o f t h e o b j e c t ,  I n o t h e r words they were  representation  of the object  obtained "conceptual  as i t r e a l l y i s  (as o p p o s e d t o t h e way i t a p p e a r s t o be when s e e n i n l i n e a r perspective)  was a l s o commonplace i n a r c h i t e c t u r e a n d a p p l i e d  - 3 -  arts curricula  i n the 19thcentury,  u n d e r t h e name o f d e s s i n 5  geometral  (as opposed t o d e s s i n p e r s p e c t i f ) .  a c t u a l l y admits that there  Kahnweiler  i s "a c e r t a i n r e s e m b l a n c e " b e t w e e n  t h e C u b i s t mode o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f s o l i d o b j e c t s a n d t h i s "geometrical  drawing.. "  B o t h Cubism and d e c o r a t i o n  - a s t h e l a t t e r was u n d e r s t o o d  i n t h e second h a l f o f t h e 1 9 t h century  - wanted t o a v o i d  l u s i o n i s m a n d u s e d s i m i l a r m e t h o d s t o do s o .  The b a s i c  d i f f e r e n c e l a y s i n i n t e n t i o n . Cubism wanted t o r e a c t painting itself  against  "debased" t o t h e l e v e l o f d e c o r a t i o n , and t h u s  "Realism"  Decoration  il-  labelled  (a " p r o f o u n d , " o r b e t t e r , a " c o n c e p t u a l " o n e ) .  avoided  i l l u s i o n i s m i n o r d e r n o t to. " p i e r c e  i n the w a l l s , i n order words o u t o f submission  to respect t h e i r planar to architecture.  holes"  surface, i n other  E a s e l p a i n t i n g based  on t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f d e c o r a t i o n r e a c t e d a g a i n s t t h e R e a l i s m c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e p o s i t i v i s t , e m p i r i c i s t method, w h i c h reproduced "appearances." higher  only  This painting did not aspire t o a  s t a t u s than t h a t o f mural p a i n t i n g , o f p a i n t i n g t h a t had  a specific destination. When t h e C u b i s t s g a t h e r e d "Realism,"  they  d e c l a r e d t h e i r works d e r i v e d from  (whose r e a l i s m t h e y  labelled  ("profound r e a l i s m " ) . as  "conceptual"  themselves under t h e banner o f 1  " s u p e r f i c i a l realism")  Of c o u r s e ,  and Cezanne's  C e z a n n e was n o t c o n s i d e r e d  as themselves, because o t h e r w i s e  have been t h e i n n o v a t i o n ?  Courbet s  where w o u l d  Thus t h e m a i n d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e  C u b i s t s and Cezanne has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been c o n s i d e r e d i n t h e much more c o n c e p t u a l Cubist art.  (versus perceptual)  to reside  character of  Not l o n g ago, however, W i l l i a m Rubin remarked  that  - 4 -  a l o t o f Cezanne's a r t i s a l s o " c o n c e p t u a l . " admission  He t u r n e d  i n t o an a r g u m e n t i n f a v o u r , o f a c l o s e r  this  relationship  between Cezanne and t h e C u b i s t s , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e d i f f e r e n c e between t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e methods  "was a s much one o f d e g r e e a s  8 of k i n d . "  But i fthere are s i m i l a r i t i e s  i n method, i t does n o t  n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h e r e a r e a l s o s i m i l a r i t i e s motives.  Cezanne's c o n c e p t u a l i s m  i n intentions, i n  c o u l d be r o o t e d i n t h e p r i n -  c i p l e s o f d e c o r a t i o n , w h i c h were a p p l i e d t o p a i n t i n g as a r e action against realism i n the f i r s t  place.  T h i s i s my  working  h y p o t h e s i s , w h i c h I hope t o d e m o n s t r a t e b y p l a c i n g t h e p a i n t e r in  h i s own. h i s t o r i c a l During  time.  t h e 1890s a n d t h e f i r s t  years of t h i s century, the  d e c o r a t i v e a s p e c t s o f C e z a n n e ' s w o r k w e r e c o n s i d e r e d "paramount 9 and  new," a s G e o r g e H e a r d H a m i l t o n  Hamilton  has p o i n t e d o u t .  Apparently  i s t h e o n l y modern a r t h i s t o r i a n who h a s c o n s i d e r e d  t h i s as s i g n i f i c a n t .  B u t e v e n he s e p a r a t e d  the "decorative"  f r o m t h e " a r c h i t e c t u r a l , " when i n f a c t t h e two n o t i o n s w e r e n o t at  a l l incompatible i n the context.of  the time  "decorative painting" at  i n France.^  The p r e s e n t a u t h o r  f e e l s that a s i g n i f i c a n t aspect of  C e z a n n e h a s b e e n n e g l e c t e d by m o d e r n s c h o l a r s h i p : t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between Cezanne's p a i n t i n g and t h e d e c o r a t i v e a e s t h e t i c o f t h e 1890s a n d t h e f i r s t y e a r s o f t h e 2 0 t h c e n t u r y .  This i s  the key i s s u e o f t h e t h e s i s . 2.  Overview In  the f i r s t  tendency o f French  chapter  I p r o p o s e t o e s t a b l i s h t h a t t h e new  avant-garde  p a i n t i n g i n t h e d e c a d e 1890 -  - 5 -  1900  was  t o be  "decorative."  the c r i t i c s of the period) painting. new  This.tendency  (emphasized  e n c o m p a s s e d more t h a n  by  Symbolist  I t i n c l u d e d N e o - T m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t i n g , as w e l l  p a i n t i n g by  the. o l d " i m p r e s s i o n i s t s . "  In Chapter I , P a r t 1 I s h a l l deal w i t h problems of tion.  A t o p i c of utmost importance i s , of course,  meaning of  "decorative" at that time.  d i d n o t mean t h e  tableau.  "Decoration" as  i s again  i t was  1870s, but  v a t i o n of the  i t was  "decorative  painting"  a true  the  intend to place  p a i n t i n g to r e t a i n something of the  Decorato preser-  not  one.  use  atmos-  of the d e c o r a t i v e  France wanted "Western  easel painting i n t o decoration? a r t s i n the  A  f l a t n e s s as  decorative  tradition."  d i d t h e a v a n t - g a r d e want a t t h a t p a r t i c u l a r  f l o u r i s h i n g of decorative  a  t o make  e f f e c t s (linear or  Many " r e f o r m e r s " century  in  A tableau would simulate  or perspective  second h a l f of 19th  of  "decoration."  subservient  ( p a i n t i n g - d e c o r a t i o n " was  i n an o r n a m e n t a l d e s i g n .  to transform  state  also "decorative"  But. t h i s d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y mean a b s o l u t e  B u t why  the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  consequence being  f l a t n e s s of a w a l l .  e i t h e r of chiaroscuro  the  a b o l u t i o n of  not  u n d e r s t o o d a t t h e t i m e was  "window" w h e r e t h e a r c h i t e c t d i d n o t  i n the  some a v a n t - g a r d e  a term t h a t r e q u i r e s d e f i n i t i o n .  a r c h i t e c t u r e , t h e most i m p o r t a n t  pheric) .  For  the general  I m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t i n g was  sense used i n the  exact  to painting i t  Impressionism reduced e a s e l p a i n t i n g to the  the t a b l e a u .  tion,  the  defini-  of easel p a i n t i n g i n t o  i n o t h e r w o r d s i t meant t h e  ebauche or s k e t c h , but p r e s e r v e d  the  Applied  same t h i n g t o e v e r y b o d y .  p a i n t e r s i t meant t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n "decoration,"  as  The  time  "rebirth,"  l a s t decade o f  the  arts  - 6 19th not  century  does n o t  a u t o m a t i c a l l y e x p l a i n why  j u s t l i m i t thernselyes  Most of the  reformers  h a l f of the  l a s t century  for  decoration,  traditional  of decorative k e p t two  "decorative  a r t s a c t i v e i n the  separate  sets of  other Gothic  would have p r e f e r r e d the abolished altogether.  R e v i v a l i s t s or  "decadent,  The  11  second  "laws":  one  i n C h a p t e r I , P a r t 2,  turned  to the  recommended f o r d e c o r a t i o n , m o t i v a t e d I considered  by  Only  sympathisers  even "pagan"  avant-garde of the  did  arts."  another f o r e a s e l p a i n t i n g s , f o r tableaux.  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c and  discuss  to the  the a r t i s t s  tableau  1 8 9 0 s , as  I  will  set of p r i n c i p l e s  i d e o l o g i c a l reasons.  i t necessary to s t r e s s the.French sources  of  i n f l u e n c e which c o n t r i b u t e d to the avant-garde's o r i e n t a t i o n toward d e c o r a t i o n , because t h i s modern s c h o l a r s h i p . the  a s p e c t has  been n e g l e c t e d  by  I t i s f o r example customary t o mention  i n f l u e n c e of Ruskin  or W i l l i a m Morris  on t h e  rebirth  of  decorative without  a r t s i n F r a n c e , o r e v e n on t h e N a b i g r o u p o f p a i n t e r s , 12 a word about V i o l l e t - l e - D u c .  A f t e r e s t a b l i s h i n g i n the  first  chapter  what the  t r e n d o f t h e a v a n t - g a r d e p a i n t i n g was  a t t h e end  century  20th century,  and  d e a l i n the  the v e r y b e g i n n i n g second chapter  vis-a-vis this  of the  of the  I  19th  will  t h e s i s w i t h Cezanne's p o s i t i o n  1 will  i n d i c a t e t h a t the bulk  temporary c r i t i c i s m emphasized the Cezanne's p a i n t i n g s .  According  "decorative"  f l a t n e s s of decoration  i d e o l o g i c a l reasons) the  critics  of  con-  features  of  to their respective positions  r e g a r d i n g w h a t " d e c o r a t i v e p a i n t i n g " s h o u l d be the  of the  trend.  Chapter I I , Part  b o t h e r e d by  general  can be  (some w e r e  in easel painting, for d i v i d e d i n two  main  - 7 -  groups: those  who c o n s i d e r e d  voluntary, of a conceptual on  C e z a n n e ' s " d i s t o r t i o n s " as b e i n g  nature,  faulty perception or s k i l l .  a n d t h o s e who b l a m e d  B o t h g r o u p s r e m a r k e d t h o u g h on  s i m i l a r i t i e s between Cezanne's p a i n t i n g s and v a r i o u s arts  s u c h as c e r a m i c s ,  them  Oriental  silks,  decorative  m o s a i c s , and e s p e c i a l l y  tapestries. Finally,  P a r t 2 o f the second chapter  will  attempt t o  d e t e r m i n e i f C e z a n n e ' s p a i n t i n g s a n d h i s own w o r d s  (I consider  as h i s "own w o r d s " o n l y w h a t he w r o t e i n h i s l e t t e r s ) a r e compatible with a "decoration  paradigm."  My c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t t h e r e the  "decoration paradigm" f i t t i n g  "mature" p e r i o d fit  Cezanne's p a i n t i n g s o f h i s  ( i . e . s i n c e the 1880s).  Many o f t h e s e  paintings  a c t u a l l y , i n my o p i n i o n , i n t o a " t a p e s t r y p a r a d i g m . "  refer especially  t o the 18th century  e x t a n t e x a m p l e s , as w e l l envisaged  by t h e r e f o r m e r s  e m p h a s i s on t h e c o n n e c t i o n  of decorative arts  of Charles  employed i n 1 8 t h century  I among as  i n France i n the  I s h a l l place  a special  w h i c h c a n be made b e t w e e n C e z a n n e ' s  method o f " c o l o u r m o d u l a t i o n s " the writings  Rococo t a p e s t r i e s ,  as t o h y p o t h e t i c a l t a p e s t r i e s ,  l a s t quarter o f the 19th century.  by  i s a s t r o n g enough case f o r  a n d s i m i l a r m e t h o d s recommended  Blanc  a n d M i c h e l Eugene C h e v r e u l - , o r  Beauvais tapestry.  - 8 -  CHAPTER I THE CONCEPT OF DECORATION I N LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY ART AND  THE NEW  TENDENCIES I N THE  PAINTING  OF THE  1890s  Introduction. I n t h e l a s t few y e a r s a r t h i s t o r i a n s have begun t o r e cognize  the r o l e played  a r t s i n the formation  by t h e " l o w l y , "  o f " h i g h " modern  Because t h e " d e c o r a t i v e "  "merely  decorative"  art."*"  i s today a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  f l a t n e s s , Cezanne has been e x c l u d e d  from recent  absolute  discussions  on  2 this topic. temporaries manifested  Y e t C e z a n n e was c o n s i d e r e d as t h e " i n i t i a t o r "  by many o f h i s c o n -  o f t h e new d e c o r a t i v e  i n p a i n t i n g i n t h e 1890s.  t h i s i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o c l a r i f y what  In order  tendencies  t o understand  "decoration"  and  "decora-  t i v e " meant a t t h e t i m e when C e z a n n e w o r k e d , e s p e c i a l l y when he d e v e l o p e d h i s m a t u r e s t y l e . conclusions  One o f t h e most  important  o f C h a p t e r I , P a r t 1 i s t h e f a c t t h a t when C e z a n n e  developed h i s mature s t y l e ,  t h e t e r m " d e c o r a t i v e " was n o t  equated with absolute  flatness.  theorists a t the time,  a s t r i c t t w o - d i m e n s i o n a l f l a t n e s s was  not  r e q u i r e d , nor even considered  decorative  According  t o most  desirable, neither i n  p a i n t i n g nor i n a l l the decorative  t a p e s t r y f o r example  a r t s , s u c h as  (only i n carpets, wallpapers,  s t a i n e d - g l a s s windows). I t i s a l s o important  French  pavements,  t o understand the reasons behind the  - 9 apparently and  the  " d e c o r a t i v e " i n the  decorative was  not  of the be  sudden i n t e r e s t o f a v a n t - g a r d e a r t i s t s  a r t s , expressed  by  s u m m a r i z e d as  The  artists practicing  aroused suddenly i n the 1890s who  1890s.  I t was  (As w i l l  be  discussed  a c t i o n t h a t began i n t h e 1880s.)  were r e s p e c t i v e l y f o r m u l a t e d  first  chapter.  the  "official"  and  art  avant-garde (which  anti-positivist  Yet the p r i n c i p l e s  can to  re-  of  the  of decorative arts.  problems of a general nature  2,  decoration  i n i t i a t e d n o t by  reformers  in  i n Chapter I , P a r t  d e c o r a t i o n , as w e l l as a r e v i v a l o f i n t e r e s t i n  d e a l w i t h these  "high"  " f l a t n e s s " ) t o e a s e l p a i n t i n g as w e l l as  r e l a t e d t o the a n t i - n a t u r a l i s t ,  g a r d e , b u t by  "decoration"  interest  applied decorative arts principles  mural decorations. t h i s was  1890s i n F r a n c e .  in  avantI  i n P a r t 1 of  will the  - 10 C h a p t e r T, P a r t ' 1 The  R e v i t a l i z a t i o n o f the I n d u s t r i a l A r t s i n France  and  i t s Role i n R e d e f i n i n g t h e Concept o f D e c o r a t i o n . 3  The  r e v i t a l i z a t i o n o f i n d u s t r i a l and/or d e c o r a t i v e a r t s  was a c o n s t a n t p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h i n v a r i o u s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s i n the second  h a l f o f the 19th century i n France.  t h e Government and p r i v a t e i n d u s t r y t h i s g o a l , s i n c e the u l t i m a t e motive  At f i r s t  (not a r t i s t s )  only  strove  toward  behind the i n d u s t r i a l  r e v i t a l i z a t i o n was o f a n e c o n o m i c n a t u r e :  arts  F r a n c e was a f r a i d o f  l o s i n g t h e l e a d i n t h i s f i e l d , m a i n l y because o f E n g l i s h  com-  petition. T h e r e was h o w e v e r a s u b s t r a t u m o f a n o n - e c o n o m i c n a t u r e u n d e r l y i n g t h e reforms proposed: Gothic R e v i v a l i s t s  the " o f f i c i a l "  r e f o r m e r s were  ( o r s y m p a t h i s e r s ) who w a n t e d t o r e d e f i n e t h e  p r i n c i p l e s o f d e c o r a t i o n i n s u c h a way a s t o c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e i r particular viewpoint. as  "decadent"  They c o n s i d e r e d a r t s i n c e t h e R e n a i s s a n c e 4  o r even "pagan."  Of c o u r s e t h e y knew t h a t t h e  G o v e r n m e n t w o u l d be v e r y r e c e p t i v e t o s u c h r e a s o n s lag  and t h e " p r e s t i g e " o f F r a n c e .  economic reasons in  This tactice  a s an e c o n o m i c  (substituting  f o r t h e i d e o l o g i c a l ones) worked f i r s t v e r y  E n g l a n d , w h e r e t h e G o t h i c R e v i v a l was a s t r o n g e r movement  than i n France  i n the f i r s t  h a l f of the 19th century.  The  o r i g i n a l m o t i v e s b e h i n d t h i s movement w e r e o f a r e l i g i o u s nature  ( w i t h e t h i c a l and s o c i o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . ) a s i s  e v i d e n t i n i t s m o s t i m p o r t a n t p r o p a g a n d i s t , t h e a r c h i t e c t and d e s i g n e r A.W.N. P u g i n .  He i n s i s t e d on a r e t u r n t o " t r u e "  C h r i s t i a n a r t a n d v i r t u e s w h i c h he f o u n d i n t h e M i d d l e A g e s .  well  - 11 He  a l s o found  vocated. Cole  t h e r e a m o d e l o f s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , w h i c h he  "Official"  r e f o r m e r s , such  b a s e d on P u g i n ' s 1851  taste" 5  Henry  reformers  doctrines.  The  Great  London E x h i b i t i o n  e x h i b i t s of V i c t o r i a n England  necessary  i n d e e d p r o v i d e d an a b u n d a n c e o f "bad  taste."  i n d u s t r i a l d e s i g n e r , and  (1809-1874) who  In the  formu-  interior  e s t a b l i s h e d w h a t was  i n the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s .  He  decorator  " t r u e " and  object that i t decorated. s u r f a c e o f w a l l s and  t h a t were n o t p e r f e c t l y r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s , and  flat,  He and  pierced f u l l  objected to wallpaper  of holes."  F l a t n e s s , which  industry.  H e n r y C o l e and the l a t e r A r t s  C r a f t s movement, w h i c h r e p r e s e n t e d m o s t a r t i s t s '  trial  very  I m e n t i o n e d b e f o r e w e r e v e r y much i n t e r e s t e d  (as o p p o s e d t o W i l l i a m M o r r i s and  accepted  patterns  r e p r o d u c t i o n , f o r mass p r o d u c t i o n .  r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n a r t and circle  plane  to carpets with "perspective 7  o f t e n meant a s i m p l e , a b s t r a c t g e o m e t r i c a l d e s i g n , was s u i t a b l e f o r mechanical  the  That i m p l i e d r e s p e c t f o r the  floors.  wholeheartedly  what  considered i t absolutely  t h a t an o r n a m e n t s h o u l d p r e s e r v e t h e u n i t y o f  "officials"  The  "true p r i n c i p l e s " a very i n f l u e n t i a l p e r s o n a l i t y  the a r c h i t e c t ,  "false"  by  success-  illusionism i n decoration.  examples o f what t h e y c o n s i d e r e d  Owen J o n e s  a  of  s e i z e d upon  as a g r e a t o p p o r t u n i t y t o l a u n c h t h e i r  campaign a g a i n s t r e a l i s t i c  l a t i o n of the  started  (read i l l u s i o n i s t i c n a t u r a l i s m ) ,  ( t h e W o r l d ' s F a i r a t t h e C r y s t a l P a l a c e ) was  these  was  servant  " t r u e " p r i n c i p l e s " o f d e c o r a t i o n , and  c a m p a i g n a g a i n s t "bad  was  as t h e c i v i l  ad-  (1808-1882) and h i s c i r c l e , a r g u e d f o r t h e n e c e s s i t y o f  e s t a b l i s h i n g the  ful  -  a r t s and w e r e i n t e r e s t e d i n b e t t e r d e s i g n s  i n the  his and  p o i n t of  t h e r o l e o f the machine i n the  The  view)  indus-  f o r mass-  - 12 produced  -  goods, e s p e c i a l l y w a l l p a p e r s .  e d u c a t i o n was  o f paramount importance..  In a c h i e v i n g t h i s Cole created the  goal, famous  " S c h o o l s o f D e s i g n " a t t a c h e d t o t h e S o u t h K e n s i n g t o n Museum, where t h e " t r u e p r i n c i p l e s " o f o r n a m e n t a l The in  r e s u l t s of the o f f i c i a l  d e s i g n were t a u g h t .  r e f o r m e r s ' endeavours were  t h e E n g l i s h e x h i b i t s a t t h e W o r l d ' s F a i r o f 1862.  t h e F r e n c h G o t h i c R e v i v a l i s t s and t h e i r opportunity to create "panic." listener extremely  s u p p o r t e r s saw  They f o u n d a v e r y  susceptible was  i n t e r e s t e d i n the progress of the i n d u s t r i a l a r t s .  as a " k i n d o f war,  and E n g l a n d  p o l i t i c a l condition."  " t e s t i f y t o our moral  c o m m i t t e e h e a d e d by t h e Comte L e o n de L a b o r d e m e d i e v a l monuments a t t h e L o u v r e )  Not everybody  and  then, s i n c e France  prepared to take  r e c e i v e d g o l d and  of  industry.  seriously right  s i l v e r medals a t the  no d e s p e r a t e n e e d f o r  the success of England's  a  London  concerning the n e c e s s i t y of reforms  ment."'"^ , H o w e v e r , i n 1862,  P r o s p e r Merimee  (curator  t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n a r t s and  W o r l d ' s F a i r , p r o o f t h a t t h e r e was  g a v e more w e i g h t  and  appointed  to study the Great  i n t h e g o v e r n m e n t was  warnings  field  E v e n b e f o r e he became e m p e r o r , w h i l e  t h e P r e s i d e n t o f F r a n c e , L o u i s N a p o l e o n had  E x h i b i t i o n o f 1851  in this  He  w h i c h makes no v i c t i m s " and h e l d t h e o p i n i o n  t h a t the products of the i n d u s t r y 9  Laborde's  time  the  i n t h e p e r s o n o f t h e E m p e r o r N a p o l e o n I I I , who  l o o k e d upon t h e r i v a l r y . b e t w e e n F r a n c e  still  This  seen  first improve-  exhibits  t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n r e a c h e d by a n o t h e r m e d i e v a l i s t , ( n o v e l i s t and.medieval  s e r v a n t , f r i e n d o f de L a b o r d e and  archaeologist, c i v i l  of V i o l l e t - l e - D u c - the  known G o t h i c R e v i v a l i s t i n F r a n c e ) , who  as a member o f t h e  d e l e g a t i o n a t t h e F a i r , d e s c r i b e d t h e s i t u a t i o n as  best French  "serious,  even t h r e a t e n i n g . "  The  Government o f Napoleon  I I I became c o n -  vinced that a r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l arts.was necessary.  absolutely  T h a t meant a c l o s e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between, " h i g h a r t "  and i n d u s t r y , r e f o r m s i n a r t e d u c a t i o n a t a l l l e v e l s , as w e l l the e d u c a t i o n of manufacturers, merchants  as  and t h e g e n e r a l p u b l i c  i n o r d e r t o i m p r o v e t h e i r , " t a s t e , " and make e v e r y b o d y aware o f "the t r u e p r i n c i p l e s of d e c o r a t i o n . " This process of r e v i t a l i z a t i o n d i d not proceed smoothly howe v e r , because  of the c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s of the various  groups  involved. The  G o v e r n m e n t , as I a l r e a d y p o i n t e d o u t , was  F r a n c e ' s " p r e s t i g e " and e c o n o m i c t h e r e was  g r o w t h , and when c o n v i n c e d t h a t  a r e a l t h r e a t t o those areas, agreed t o a c t .  thus p o s s i b l e f o r V i o l l e t - l e - D u c we  interested i n  s h a l l see, w i l l  I t was  (whose i d e a s on d e c o r a t i o n ,  be i m p o r t a n t f o r b o t h S y m b o l i s t p a i n t e r s  as as  w e l l a s A r t Nouveau) t o h a v e h i s i d e a s on t h e r e f o r m a t i o n o f -the E c o l e d e s B e a u x - A r t s a c c e p t e d by t h e E m p e r o r artd h i s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e body. "Decree  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c was  the d r i v i n g force behind the  o f 1863" w h i c h p l a c e d t h e E c o l e d e s B e a u x - A r t s  under  d i r e c t government c o n t r o l , undermining the a u t h o r i t y o f the 12 Academy.  The  i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e D e c r e e o f 1863  of view of s t r e s s i n g development  "originality"  from the p o i n t  and i t s c o n s e q u e n c e s  o f i n d e p e n d e n t a r t i s t i c movements h a s b e e n v e r y w e l l 13  d e m o n s t r a t e d by. A l b e r t Boime..  I would  l i k e t o p l a c e more  p h a s i s on t h e o t h e r m a i n i s s u e r a i s e d by t h e D e c r e e  (also  o u t b y B o i m e ) , n a m e l y t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n a r t and One  f o r the  of the important achievements  empointed  industry.  of the Decree, i n accordance  w i t h V i o l l e t - l e - D u c ' s dream o f u n i t i n g a l l  t h e a r t s , was  the  -14 of p r e p a r a t o r y as w e l l as  r-  workshops i n p a i n t i n g , s c u l p t u r e , a r c h i t e c t u r e ,  i n engraving, medallions  premises of the Ecole  des  and  Beaux-Arts..  a p p l i e d a r t s i n t o t h a t b a s t i o n of high Arts  (where s t r a n g e l y e n o u g h n o t  t a u g h t ) , was  in  the  In the  the  i n t r u s i o n of  e v e n p a i n t i n g was  published  the  the  Beaux-  previously  i n t o the  field  Superintendent  together  with  the  of Decree  B e a u x A r t s ) , t h e Comte A l f r e d - E m i l i e n  held this o f f i c i a l  author of the Decree reorganization  on  a r t t h a t was  Report of the  (a t e x t t h a t was  G a z e t t e des  w e r k e r k e who  This  suppose t o a t t r a c t the b e s t a r t i s t s  of i n d u s t r i a l a r t s . Beaux-Arts  jewelery,  p o s i t i o n , and  who  was  (with V i o l l e t - l e - D u c ) , declared  of the Ecole  "will  i n s u r e our  Nieu-  also that  industry  cothe  a  14 s u p e r i o r i t y which i s beginning The de the  t o be  " o f f i c i a l " r e f o r m e r s (Nieuwerkerke, V i o l l e t - l e - D u c ,  Laborde, Merimee, f o r example) i n the i n d u s t r i a l a r t s entered  representative mixing  o f t h e Academy was  " a r t " and  i n d u s t r y at the 15  "true temple of A p o l l o . " f o r c i n g the  desire to  i n t o c o n f l i c t w i t h the  because they v i o l a t e d i t s sacred  territory. Ingres.  The He  Academy,  prototypical  protested  E c o l e , w h i c h he  I n g r e s and  revitalize  against  considered  i n f l u e n c e was  Aesthetics, a f t e r only greatly  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c can  be  of  seven l e c t u r e s .  Thus  diminished. considered  as r e p r e s e n t i n g  the  "official"  s i d e of the above-mentioned c o n f l i c t between  Academy on  the  one  a  h i s p u p i l s succeeded i n  r e s i g n a t i o n o f V i o l l e t - l e - D u c as p r o f e s s o r  H i s t o r y o f A r t and his  contested."  s i d e , and  t h e o f f i c i a l s on  i s a c o n f l i c t t h a t would continue  f o r the  the  the other.  r e s t of the  19th  (This  - 15 -  century.  16  )  He was t h e f a v o u r i t e a r c h i t e c t o f N a p o l e o n I I I ,  who a p p o i n t e d h i m I n s p e c t o r  General.of diocesan buildings  a f t e r he p r o c l a i m e d  Emperor.  himself  trained a t the Ecole Academy stood  soon  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c was n o t  (he was l a r g e l y s e l f - t a u g h t )  and h a t e d t h e  (a r e s e n t m e n t s h a r e d b y N a p o l e o n I I I ) a n d e v e r y t h i n g i t  for.  Instead  o f c l a s s i c i s m he p r a i s e d t h e G o t h i c  and t h e  s o c i a l system t h a t produced i t , i n which t h e d i v i s i o n o f labor among a r t i s t s , did  t h a t would occur l a t e r i n "decadent" s o c i e t i e s ,  not yet exist.  He was a g a i n s t  the emancipation of p a i n t i n g  s i n c e t h e R e n a i s s a n c e , and a d v o c a t e d t h e u n i t y o f t h e t h r e e architecture, sculpture  and p a i n t i n g , s i n c e t h e b r e a k i n g  arts:  of the  t i e s b e t w e e n them l e d t o t h e " d e c a d e n c e o f a l l o f them."  He  p r a i s e d p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s i n w h i c h , he s a i d , " T h e r e a r e n o t 17 three  v i s u a l a r t s , there  plored  i s o n l y one."  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c de-  t h e s p l i t between " t h e b e a u t i f u l " and " t h e u s e f u l , "  b e t w e e n t h e a r c h i t e c t and e n g i n e e r , b e t w e e n " h i g h dustry.  His ideas  i n the a r t i s t i c  a r t " and i n -  r e a l m were a c u r i o u s  mixture  o f o l d a n d new, s o t h a t h i s e n e m i e s a n d l a t e r d e t r a c t o r s s i d e r e d him merely a "Gothic  con-  i m i t a t o r " ( w h i l e i n f a c t he o p -  p o s e d t h e p l a g i a r i s m o f o l d e r s t y l e s ) a n d among h i s f u t u r e a d m i r e r s he w o u l d h a v e s u c h i m p o r t a n t f i g u r e s o f A r t N o u v e a u a s Horta,  Guimard, G a u d i , and S e r r u r i e r - B o v y .  decorations the  a t the  he d i d f o r t h e C h a t e a u d ' E u , f o r e x a m p l e ( e s p e c i a l l y  iron-work of the great  motifs with  A look  s t a i r c a s e , the c e i l i n g  arabesques, the motifs  ornamental  i n s p i r e d by o r g a n i c ,  shapes t h a t d e c o r a t e t h e h e a t - c o n v e y i n g system) would  floral tell  18 why.  Grasset,  a n o t h e r w e l l - k n o w n A r t Nouveau p e r s o n a l i t y  ( m e d i e v a l i s t , s t u d e n t o f J a p a n e s e a r t and i n s i s t e n t on u s i n g  - 16 -  o r n a m e n t a l m o t i f s d e r i v e d f r o m n a t u r e ) was V i o l l e t - l e - D u c s 1  pupil,  a n d s o was V.P. G a l l a n d , who .has  cognized  o n l y l a t e l y been r e -  a s a n i n f l u e n c e on t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e A r t N o u v e a u 19  s t y l e i n France.  G a l l a n d was a b l e t o r e i n t r o d u c e  Viollet-le-  D u c ' s i d e a s i n t o t h e E c o l e d e s B e a u x - A r t s i n 1873 (and a f t e r ) , when he was a p p o i n t e d  t o teach  a course  i n decorative art.  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c g l a d l y would have a b o l i s h e d t h e t a b l e a u ( i n t h e Academic sense o f t h e word) a l t o g e t h e r , s i n c e f o r h i m i t embodied times  o f d e c a d e n c e , a n d he w o u l d h a v e h a d m u r a l  p a i n t i n g resemble medieval manuscript i l l u m i n a t i o n s . presented  one p o s i t i o n on d e c o r a t i o n  half of the 19th century. p o s i t i o n , which while  i n France i n t h e second  T h e r e was a n o t h e r ,  i t accepted  He r e -  widespread  that decoration  the f l a t n e s s o f t h e surface i t decorated,  should  respect  wanted t o r e t a i n i n  " d e c o r a t i v e p a i n t i n g " something o f t h e "Western T r a d i t i o n , " t h a t i s , some m o d e l l i n g and  of the individual objects  e s p e c i a l l y o f t h e human f i g u r e .  (I w i l l  d i s t i n c t i o n i n positions regarding decoration will be  come b a c k t o t h i s l a t e r o n , when I  discuss the actual p r i n c i p l e s of decoration.)  the " o f f i c i a l " An  represented,  This  will  p o s i t i o n i n t h e 1880s.  extreme case o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e "Western  t r a d i t i o n " was C h a r l e s  Blanc  (1813-1882), V i o l l e t - l e - D u c ' s  20 contemporary.  I considered  h i m an "extreme c a s e "  i n pre-  s e r v i n g t h e O c c i d e n t a l t r a d i t i o n , b e c a u s e i n m u r a l p a i n t i n g he did  n o t make a n y c o n c e s s i o n s  d i v i d u a l forms regarding  with respect  to modelling  of i n -  (only w i t h r e s p e c t t o p e r s p e c t i v e and c o l o r i n g ,  the general  "effect,"  as I s h a l l d i s c u s s l a t e r ) .  was i n t h e p e c u l i a r p o s i t i o n o f b e i n g b o t h a n " o f f i c i a l "  He  and an  - 17  Academician, activities, sides.  and  -  i t i s evident i n his i n f l u e n t i a l writings  t h a t he t r i e d t o r e a c h a c o m p r o m i s e b e t w e e n t h e  He was  a firm believer i n hierarchy i n art.  h i g h e s t f o r m o f a r t a c c o r d i n g t o h i m was ability  an a r t t h a t h a d  a r t " was  ( w i t h o u t a d m i t t i n g t h i s as i t s p u r p o s e  not supposed  moral ends.  He  t o have u t i l i t a r i a n  two  The  to i n s t i g a t e h e r o i c sentiments i n the viewer,  could serve  and  the  that  since  ends) n o b l e  "high  causes,  favoured c l a s s i c i s m , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h a t of the 21  Renaissance.  Thus he was  i n t u n e w i t h t h e Academy.  Blanc  h e l d t h e o p i n i o n t h a t o n l y t h e S t a t e s h o u l d have t h e monopoly of "grand a r t , " produced art."  f o r the " g r e a t e s t g l o r y of  French  M u r a l s were v e r y a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h i s k i n d o f a r t i n  h i s v i e w , s i n c e when d e c o r a t i n g p u b l i c e d i f i c e s , exposure  t o numerous p e o p l e who 23  "noble i d e a s . "  t h e y had  c o u l d thus b e n e f i t from  In "grand a r t " m u r a l s , B l a n c would  n e v e r a c c e p t e d f i g u r e s r e n d e r e d i n t h e manner o f t h e illuminations.  He  stated that  " a t t h e S a l o n and  those  have manuscript  i n front 24  t h e p u b l i c one m u s t e x h i b i t f i g u r e s and n o t s h a d o w s . " comment was  provoked  whose f i g u r e s , B l a n c  of This  by 'the c a m a i e u p a i n t i n g P u v i s de  e x h i b i t e d a t t h e S a l o n . o f 1866,  wide  Chavannes said,  w e r e "more dreamed t h a n p a i n t e d . " But B l a n c had one art.  a double standard w i t h respect t o d e c o r a t i o n :  r e g a r d i n g p u b l i c a r t , and a n o t h e r one The  l a t t e r was  supposed  for privately  t o t r a n s p o r t the viewer  owned  "into  t h e i d e a l w o r l d , " t o s e r v e as a means o f e s c a p i n g r e a l i t y . he owned a p r i v a t e h o t e l , he s a i d , he w o u l d decorate i t s walls with Puvis decorative arts  1  panels.  have l i k e d  to  With regard to the  ( i n w h i c h he d i d n o t , as a r u l e ,  include  If  - 18 murals), he  destined mostly  recommended t h e  evident  -  f o r t h e p r i v a t e e n j o y m e n t o f an  f o r m and  content  i n h i s Gramma i r e : des  o f an  elite,  I d e a l i s t a r t , as  a r t s : d e c o r a t i f s, t h e s e q u e l  is  to  25 t h e G r a m m a i r e des a r t s du d e s s i n . I d e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c o f K a n t and  B l a n c was  an a d e p t o f  S c h i l l e r , H e g e l and S c h e l l i n g ,  i n t h e f o r m p r o p a g a t e d i n F r a n c e by V i c t o r C o u s i n , q u i t e c l o s e to the theory same t i m e he was  apart i n p o l i t i c a l  The  and  which 26  was  At  the  of. " a r t f o r a r t ' s s a k e . "  i n f l u e n c e d by  w e l l as by P r o u d h o n .  the  the w r i t i n g s of Lamennais,  l a s t two  p e r s o n a l i t i e s were  r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s , but  the concept of a r t f o r a r t ' s sake.  The  poles  they both  connection  as  with  fought Proudhon  i s e a s y t o u n d e r s t a n d , s i n c e L o u i s B l a n c , C h a r l e s ' b r o t h e r was an a r d e n t who  b e l i e v e r i n the s o c i a l r o l e of a r t .  s a i d t h a t "The  number w i l l considered  be  pleases  r a t e d the g r e a t e s t of a l l  enjoy  against realism. and  Lacordaire  ...  L i k e Proudhon,  who  and  He  xt."  But  unlxke  and  1831  greatest  published  was  together 28  with Lamennais  s a i d t h a t " a r t i s o n l y the e x t e r i o r shape o f i d e a s , the p r e s s i o n o f r e l i g i o u s dogma, and 29  of the dominant  principle  He  a r t ' s s a k e i s an a b s u r d i t y . " in  " i n d u s t r y " an a c t i v i t y  t h e a r t s and  the  sciences.  considered  enjoy  the  ex-  social  that "Art f o r  L i k e the Saint-Simonians,  that should  was  a Catholic  Montalembert the j o u r n a l L'Avenir.  i n c e r t a i n epochs."  Blanc  t h e number o f  Proudhon, Blanc  a d m i r e d L a m e n n a i s , who  i n 1830  the  Charles  t h a t t h e w o r k o f a r t " i s e n n o b l e d by 27  s p e c t a t o r s who  Liberal,  a r t i s t whose w o r k  -  he  saw  same d i g n i t y as  T h u s , as A l b e r t C a s s a g n e  pointed  o u t i n 1905 i n h i s book L a T h e o r i e de l ' a r t p o u r l ' a r t , L a m e n n a i s reached c o n c l u s i o n s s i m i l a r t o those of L o u i s B l a n c , Proudhon  ^  - 19  and  the  -  Saint-Simonians.  Whatever e c l e c t i c  i n f l u e n c e s Blanc accepted, i t is. c l e a r  t h a t he b e l i e v e d i n t h e p r a c t i c a l u t i l i t y o f homes o r o b j e c t s ) as l o n g as i t was  o f a r t (as d e c o r a t i o n  not  "grand  art."  As  a c t i v e supporter of the r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of the i n d u s t r i a l  an  arts,  he b e l i e v e d i n a " r e j u v e n a t i o n o f f i n e a r t s w i t h t h e p u r p o s e a p p l y i n g them t o i n d u s t r y , " and the u s e f u l . " that matter  31  * B l a n c s h a r e d M e r i m e e ' s , de L a b o r d e ' s ,  and  1  the Emperor's  a d m i r a t i o n f o r England's Kensington  i n "wedding the b e a u t i f u l  of  system.  (who  d e c o r a t e d Henry C o l e i n  achievements,  t i v e a r t s i n h i s Grammaire des a r t s d e c o r a t i f s later),  Owen Jones,' g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s ,  1855)  e s p e c i a l l y f o r the  In e s t a b l i s h i n g the p r i n c i p l e s of  d i s c u s s e d more i n d e t a i l  and f o r  B l a n c was faithful  South  decora-  (which w i l l  be  i n agreement w i t h  to the  "official"  32 line.  B u t he d i d n o t d e a l m o s t l y w i t h o r n a m e n t a l  d e s i g n , as Jones  and C o l e ' s c i r c l e d i d , and a s I  b e f o r e , he d i d u p h o l d  the "Western t r a d i t i o n "  abstract  mentioned  expressed  es-  p e c i a l l y by h i s p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r c o l o u r " g r a d a t i o n , " as opposed t o f l a t As  concerns  tints. the q u e s t i o n of " a r t f o r a r t ' s sake"  i s s u e i n t h i s p a p e r ) , even i f Blanc a v o i d s u s i n g t h i s w h i c h he h a l f - d r e a d e d , u l t i m a t e l y t h i s i s w h a t he f o r the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s .  term  recommends  D e c o r a t i v e a r t s s u c h as t h e a r t o f  t a p e s t r y , i n v o l v e s c e n e s w i t h f i g u r e s , and supposed t o convey p o w e r f u l emotions, any m o r a l i z i n g p u r p o s e .  (a k e y  t h e y were  not  t o be e l o q u e n t , t o  They s i m p l y had  serve  to t r a n s p o r t the  v i e w e r i n t o a w o r l d o f d r e a m s , i n t o an i d e a l w o r l d , t o p l e a s e t h e eye  and  the " s p i r i t . "  He  r e q u i r e d eloquence,  a s we  have  - 20 -  a l r e a d y s e e n , o n l y f r o m t h e " g r a n d a r t " w h i c h was s u p p o s e d t o i n s p i r e noble sentiments. Kantian  A s much a s he w a n t e d t o p r e s e r v e t h e  autonomy o f a w o r k o f a r t , he c o u l d . n o t  b e l i e f o f a 1848 " r e v o l u t i o n a r y . "  These b e l i e f s r e q u i r e d a r t  t o have a m o b i l i z i n g , example s e t t i n g r o l e heroic acts) Blanc  forsake h i s  (by p o r t r a y i n g  i n society.  found h i m s e l f a t the t h r e s h o l d o f changing  the dichotomy o f "pure a r t " v e r s u s  "applied art" w i l l  concepts: soon be-  come o f l e s s i m p o r t a n c e t h a n t h e d i c h o t o m y o f " a r t f o r a r t ' s sake" versus So  m o r a l a r t and " l i t e r a t u r e "  f a r t h e d i s c u s s i o n has been f o c u s s e d  b e t w e e n "Academy" a n d t h e " O f f i c i a l s . " other  (literary art).  important  The i n t e r e s t s o f two  groups i n v o l v e d i n the a c t u a l  of the i n d u s t r i a l a r t s , the i n d u s t r i a l i s t s were i n c o n f l i c t w i t h each The  on t h e c o n f l i c t  Industrialists,  revitalization  and t h e a r t i s t s ,  other.  the manufacturers of i n d u s t r i a l  j o i n e d t h e i r e f f o r t s t o form a p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e however, g e t support des  (which  from t h e Government), t h e Union  Beaux-Arts appliques  a l'industrie;  arts, did,  Centraie  f o u n d e d on J u l y 1864,  t h i s was renamed U n i o n C e n t r a i e d e s A r t s D g c o r a t i f s a f t e r u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e S o c i e t y o f t h e Museum o f D e c o r a t i v e 1880.  Arts, i n  The p u r p o s e o f t h e U n i o n C e n t r a i e was t o c e n t r a l i z e t h e  i n d u s t r i a l and d e c o r a t i v e a r t s , t a k i n g t h e South K e n s i n g t o n as  i t s model.  I t organized  System  a museum o f a r t o b j e c t s o f v a r i o u s  periods, periodical exhibitions of decorative arts (retrospective and  c o n t e m p o r a r y ) , p u b l i c l e c t u r e s and a l i b r a r y .  t o c r e a t e a C o l l e g e de b e a u x - a r t s quite materialized.  appliqu€s  Because o f t o o zealous  The i n t e n t i o n  a l'industrie support  never  on t h e p a r t  - 21  o f Ch.  B l a n c and  E.  Guillaume,  -  t h e U n i o n C e n t r a l e was  infil-  33 t r a t e d w i t h academic t r a d i t i o n .  Instead of a simple  form of  i n s t r u c t i o n i n f l a t o r n a m e n t a l d e s i g n as m o s t a p p r o p r i a t e f o r wallpapers,  like  t h a t o f f e r e d i n H.  Cole's  schools of  t h e U n i o n C e n t r a l e o f f e r e d l e c t u r e s i n g e o m e t r y and as w e l l as i n o t h e r s c i e n c e s , and i n t h e l e c t u r e s d e l i v e r e d by Ch. excerpts  design,  perspective,  a e s t h e t i c t h e o r i e s such  as  Blanc himself, containing  from h i s y e t unpublished  b o o k , G r a m m a i r e des  arts  du  dessin. Union C e n t r a l e d i d not f u l f i l w h i c h i t was  one  of the main purposes f o r  created, that i s to a t t r a c t a r t i s t s  involved i n  f i n e a r t s i n t o the f i e l d of i n d u s t r i a l a r t s , p r e c i s e l y i t was  i n the hands of  the a r t i s t s ' The  and  d i d not  of  specialized  i n " h i g h a r t " were t h e  " d i v i s i o n o f l a b o r " t h a t g a v e them a  s p e c i a l s t a t u s , which they wanted t o m a i n t a i n . f o r a long time  g a r d e a r t i s t s were n o t  j u s t e m i l i e u a r t i s t s or the 35 interested either.  a t t r a c t a r t i s t s who  d i d not  1)  long  into as  "inferior" avant-  i n t o the f i e l d of i n d u s t r i a l or d e c o r a t i v e a r t s i n  o f t h e f o l l o w i n g two The  artists  a l r e a d y have the s t a t u s o f  t o "improve the standards",.would  i n one  As  generally considered  t o t h a t of "high a r t , " the  order  very  Academic  f o o t i n g w i t h the f i n e a r t s .  t h e s t a t u s o f d e c o r a t i v e a r t s was  "decorator"  product  r e s i s t e d the i n v a s i o n of the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s  t h e S a l o n , on "an e q u a l  To  represent  interests.  A r t i s t s who  of a process  "industrialists," 34  because  have been p o s s i b l e o n l y  situations:  a r t i s t s are committed t o the s o c i a l r o l e of a r t ,  to the f a c t t h a t the  " b e a u t i f u l " and. t h e  "useful"  - 22 -  should  be u n i t e d , a n d a r e e v e n p r e p a r e d  t o design f o r  i n d u s t r i a l mass-production, (thus a c c e p t i n g o f "the machine" i n order cheaper 2)  the role  t o r e a c h more p e o p l e ,  with  products).  The d i f f e r e n c e i n s t a t u s b e t w e e n " h i g h a r t " a n d . " d e c o r a t i v e a r t " i s a b o l i s h e d , thus a r t i s t s h e l d back by  scruples connected w i t h  " s t a t u s - , " c a n now  advantage o f another marketing they if  are "prostituting"  o u t l e t , without  themselves.  called  I t i s even b e t t e r  " a r t f o r a r t ' s sake," as opposed t o t h e s o -  "fine a r t " e x h i b i t e d a t the Salon,  that  t h e t a s t e o f t h e p e t i t - b o u r g e o i s crowd.  " d e c o r a t i v e a r t s " c o u l d e v e n be c o n s i d e r e d to The the  feeling  i t i s emphasized t h a t the " d e c o r a t i v e a r t s " are  "elitist,"  to  take  catered  Thus t h e as s u p e r i o r  Salon a r t .  first  s i t u a t i o n never q u i t e m a t e r i a l i z e d i n France i n  second h a l f o f the 19th century.  At f i r s t ,  official  pro-  p a g a n d a , i n t h e 1860s t r i e d t o a t t r a c t a r t i s t s w i t h t h e s l o g a n of  " u n i t i n g the b e a u t i f u l with the u s e f u l , " along  an o u t d a t e d and by  Utopian  Saint-Simonism.  the lines of  (The i d e a s o f u n i t i n g a r t  i n d u s t r y o r i g i n a t e d i n f a c t i n t h e 1830s i n F r a n c e , such i d e a l s . )  prompted  S u c h p r o p a g a n d a was n o t v e r y s u c c e s s f u l ,  e s p e c i a l l y when i t was c l e a r t h a t t h e m a n u f a c t u r e r s ,  the  " i n d u s t r i a l i s t s " were t h e ones r e a p i n g  The  the p r o f i t s .  a r t i s t s - i n d u s t r i a l i s t s c o n f l i c t became more a c u t e p a r t o f t h e c e n t u r y , when many a r t i s t s ,  i n the l a t e r  i n s p i r e d by t h e example  o f W i l l i a m M o r r i s a n d t h e B r i t i s h A r t s and C r a f t s movement r e a l i z e d t h a t by t h e m s e l v e s p r o d u c i n g  "art objects" f o r  a m a t e u r s , a p o t e n t i a l m a r k e t was  o p e n t o them.  But  s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between the r e v i v a l of the a r t s i n E n g l a n d and other.  B e l g i u m on one  M o r r i s and  The  (and n o t  i n d u s t r i a l i s t s w e r e ) had  social role  nothing  t o do w i t h  which i n f a c t  society.  I r o n i c a l l y , the  implied  i n the c a p i -  post-medieval  I t was  t h i s prospect  of  "artistic"  n o t t h e v i r t u e s o f t h e humble m e d i e v a l a r t i s a n . they  s e i z e d the opportunity  of d e c o r a t i v e a r t s to t h a t of f i n e a r t s . the  1890s t h e r e was  s o c i a l r a d i c a l i s m i n France,  d i d not a f f e c t the  produce a H e n r i van  de V e l d e ,  during  artistic  avant-garde,  p o s i t i o n w i t h respect t o the i n d u s t r i a l a r t s .  status  fact that  a renewed a s s o c i a t i o n o f the  ( v i s u a l ) avant-garde w i t h the p o l i t i c a l  artists,  Just  to r a i s e the The  with  artists' France d i d  Belgium d i d , even though  t h e i r a r t i n the  s e r v i c e of the people,  s u c h as H.  to  Nocq's:  J a t t e n d a v e c i m p a t i e n c e l e r e t o u r des a r t i s t e s a 1'Industrie. Grace a l a p r o d u c t i o n mecanique l e u r s o e u v r e s s e r o n t m i s e s a l a p o r t e e du p l u s g r a n d nombre e t a i n s i s e r v i r o n t au p r o g r e s s o c i a l . ^ 6 1  not  there  were i n F r a n c e l o u d v o i c e s t h a t t r i e d t o m o b i l i s e a r t i s t s put  elite  versus  i n d u s t r i a l mass-production t h a t appealed to the French  the o p p o s i t e ,  be-  methods  of p r o d u c t i o n , produced " a r t o b j e c t s " t h a t o n l y a wealthy could enjoy.  1  and  socialist Morris, largely  c a u s e o f h i s h a t r e d o f t h e m a c h i n e o r any  and  of  Ruskin's  lowering of the s p e c i a l s t a t u s the a r t i s t gained  talist  artists  i n H e n r y C o l e ' s , as t h e G o v e r n m e n t  "Gothic" h u m i l i t y " that Morris professed, the  the  f a c t t h a t F r e n c h a r t i s t s became i n t e r e s t e d i n M o r r i s  achievements the  i n F r a n c e on  de V e l d e ) , b e l i e v e d i n t h e  are  decorative  h i s g r o u p , as w e l l a s t h e B e l g i a n  ( s u c h as H e n r i Van art.  h a n d , and  there  - 2:4 -  I do n o t i n t e n d t o d i s c u s s  Belgium here, but the c l o s e r  r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e a r t i s t s country and  and t h e Worker's p a r t y  i n that  c a n t h r o w a l i g h t on t h e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n F r e n c h  Belgian  avant-gardes.  (For t h e d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e  " c o l l e c t i v i s t " movements i n F r a n c e and B e l g i u m , a n d t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e p o s i t i o n s toward a r t , see Eugenia Herbert, Artist  a n d S o c i a l R e f o r m , 1961.)  The  N o t o n l y was t h e s o c i a l i s t  movement w e a k e r t h a n t h e a n a r c h i s t movement a t t h e t i m e i n France, but also i t d i d not give the  other  a r t s u f f i c i e n t thought.  On  h a n d , t h e a n a r c h i s t movement made a s p e c i a l e f f o r t  to a t t r a c t a r t i s t s ,  a n d i t s e m p h a s i s on " i n d i v i d u a l i s m " a l s o  a p p e a l e d t o F r e n c h a r t i s t s , most o f them.coming f r o m b o u r g e o i s 37 backgrounds.  Thus t h e N e o 7 l m p r e s s i o n i s t s  were a n a r c h i s t  sympathisers.  i n the f u t u r e , a r t should but  f o r the time being,  consider  this possible.  among  They b e l i e v e d t h a t  be i n t e g r a t e d w i t h  painters eventually,  t h e whole s o c i e t y ,  i n t h e i r present s o c i e t y they d i d not T h e i r a r t was p r o d u c e d e s s e n t i a l l y  f o r an e l i t e  o f amateurs, and as E u g e n i a and R o b e r t  Herbert  have p o i n t e d  o u t , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , i t was p r e c i s e l y i n t h e 1 8 9 0 s ,  when t h e i r c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h t h e a n a r c h i s t movement became most m i l i t a n t ,  t h a t t h e a r t i s t s a d o p t e d a more p r o n o u n c e d " a r t 38  f o r a r t ' s sake" p o s i t i o n . aware o f t h e d i s c r e p a n c y and  S i g n a c , f o r e x a m p l e , was w e l l between h i s p o l i t i c a l  t h e a e s t h e t i c ones, and t r i e d a t v a r i o u s  justify  it.  convictions  occasions  to  F o r example, i n June 1891, i n t h e a r t i c l e  "Impressionistes  et Revolutionnaires,"  Comrade," S i g n a c  said:  signed  "an  Impressionist  - 25  -  I t w o u l d t h u s be an e r r o r , i n t o w h i c h t h e b e s t i n t e n t i o n e d r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s , l i k e , Proudhon, a l l too o f t e n have f a l l e n , s y s t e m a t i c a l l y t o r e q u i r e a p r e c i s e s o c i a l i s t tendency i n works of a r t , f o r t h i s t e n d e n c y w i l l be f o u n d much more p o w e r f u l and e l o q u e n t i n t h e p u r e a e s t h e t e s , r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s by t e m p e r a m e n t , who, m o v i n g f a r o f f t h e b e a t e n p a t h , p a i n t what t h e y see as t h e y f e e l i t , and v e r y o f t e n u n c o n s c i o u s l y give a hard blow of the p i c k - a x e to the old social structure. ^ 3  Camille the  P i s s a r r o was  C l u b de  society.  1'Art  Yet  in general, only  the  Carriere Geffroy  another a n a r c h i s t  S o c i a l , and  professed hatred of  h i s a t t i t u d e was  that  is elitist.  artistic  s y m p a t h i s e r , a member o f  t h a t of the He  t a s t e o f an  was  French  interested  e l i t e of  exactly  educate the w o r k e r s . ^  an  capitalist  avant-garde  i n educating  " b u y e r s , " as  (a " j u s t e m i l i e u " p a i n t e r ) , o r t o t h e ( a l s o not  the  opposed  critic  avant-garde.writer),  to  Gustave  who  wanted  to  ,  I t i s e v i d e n t t h a t , as C h e s n e a u r e m a r k e d , F r e n c h  artists 41  had  the  tendency to a s p i r e as  the  toward the  As  long  as  a c t i v i t i e s of a l e s s e r s t a t u s  Academy) t h e f a c t was  i n d u s t r i a l and  artists'  parties interested and on  the the  decorative  the  i n the  a r t s were  non-Academic o f f i c i a l s r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of the  i n status.  ( f o u n d e d i n 1880 official was  i n the  a critic  and  as  the  the  and  This  other  l a t e 1870s was  arts,  based  I n v o l v e d i n t h i s campaign were  d i r e c t o r of the an o r g a n o f t h e  Revue des  Henry Havard,  Arts  Decoratifs  Union Centrale)/v  Beaux-Arts a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , e d i t o r of the  considered  decorative  I n s p e c t o r s o f B e a u x - A r t s , s u c h as R o g e r B a l l u and V i c t o r Champier, the  art.  l e s s than e n t h u s i a s t i c .  campaign they launched s i n c e equalization  l e v e l s of  (an a t t i t u d e s u p p o r t e d by  r e s p o n s e was  u n d e r s t o o d by  loftier  G a z e t t e des  and  and  Roger Marx,  Beaux A r t s .  who  Marx  - 2.6  was  a l s o an e x e m p l a r o f a new  o f modern a r t , " who  species:  formed t h a t " e l i t e "  s p e c i a l group of the b o u r g e o i s i e creating.  He was  -  "the e n l i g h t e n e d  amateur  of connoisseurs,  that  f o r whom t h e a v a n t - g a r d e  w e l l aware o f t h e r o l e o f t h e  was  "Writer" i n i n -  f l u e n c i n g the d e s t i n y of the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s i n France i n 19th  century,  and  while  reminding  h i s readers  of the  "movements  o f o p i n i o n " i n c i t e d by V i c t o r Hugo, V i o l l e t T l e - D u c o r de he  c a r r i e d on h i s own  p r o p a g a n d a t o b r i n g f i n e a r t s and 42  a t i v e a r t s t o an e q u a l d i d n o t mean t h e opposite, occupied  a s t a t u e , and  of the  f i n e a r t s , but  e s p e c i a l l y by  contributed his organising s k i l l s of d e c o r a t i v e a r t s at the  just  Salon of the S o c i e t e N a t i o n a l e 43 T h i s was  a  by. a s e c o n d " s o c i e t y o f a r t i s t s , "  the p a i n t e r s of the  (the f i r s t  one  S o c i e t e des Elysees)  was  of course,  f o r m e d i n 1890 and  i n 1882  des  second  that promoted  T h i s second s o c i e t y  the academic o r i e n t e d  at the  initiative  on t h e of  Champs-  Meissonier  P u v i s de C h a v a n n e s ( V i c e - P r e s i d e n t ) .  idea of a Salon  been t r i e d  juste milieu.  A r t i s t e s F r a n c a i s t h a t h e l d Salons  (as P r e s i d e n t ) The  being,  level  to the opening of a s e c t i o n  e x h i b i t e d n o n - j u r i e d w o r k s , a w a r d e d no p r i z e s , and mainly  the  a t a b l e a u . Roger Marx  B e a u x - A r t s , h e l d a t t h e Champ-de-Mars. Salon, organized  decor-  This e q u a l i z a t i o n i n status  r a i s i n g the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s to the h i g h e r by  Laborde,  . . .  status.  "debasing"  the  by  o f d e c o r a t i v e a r t s was  n o t new;  t h e U n i o n C e n t r a i e , w h i c h had  i t had  opened  such  a S a l o n , s i d e by s i d e and s i m u l t a n e i o u s l y w i t h t h e r e g u l a r 44 • Salon. B u t U n i o n C e n t r a i e was n o t p o p u l a r w i t h t h e a r t i s t s . The a r t i s t s - i n d u s t r i a l i s t s c o n f l i c t was r e f l e c t e d i n t h e a r t i s t s ' b i t t e r n e s s towards the Union C e n t r a i e  ( w h i c h was  c o n t r o l l e d by  -  the de  27  -  i n d u s t r i a l i s t s ) , whose p e r i o d i c a l e x h i b i t i o n s l ' i n d u s t r i e they considered  serious  " e x c l u s i v e l y c o m m e r c i a l " and a s  competition f o r the section  S a l o n o f t h e Champ-de-Mafs.  at the Palais  of decorative  The a r t i s t s  arts a t the  f e l t that  the Union  Centrale d i d not deserve the f i n a n c i a l help i t received the  G o v e r n m e n t , e s p e c i a l l y when i t r e p r e s e n t e d a p o r t i o n  budget o f t h e Beaux-Arts. strong i n the early  trialists imitate  1 8 9 0 s , when a c o n s c i o u s e f f o r t t o c r e a t e a r t s was h i n d e r e d b y t h e i n d u s -  a n d m e r c h a n t s , who c o n s i d e r e d i t more p r o f i t a b l e t o  older  cognition, status.  of the  T h i s r e s e n t m e n t was p a r t i c u l a r l y  a new s t y l e i n t h e d e c o r a t i v e  styles.  The a r t i s t s w a n t e d more p e r s o n a l r e -  t h e y wanted t o s i g n  their a r t object,  they wanted  T h i s was e s p e c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t f o r t h e a v a n t - g a r d e  artists.  The F r e n c h a r t i s t i c  definition, the  from  alienated  a v a n t - g a r d e was e l i t i s t b y  from t h e c u l t u r e  of the dominating class  b o u r g e o i s i e - a s w e l l a s f r o m mass c u l t u r e .  garde c o u l d h a v e been a t t r a c t e d  The a v a n t -  o n l y by t h e p r o s p e c t o f  p r o d u c i n g an e l i t i s t a r t , an a r t w h i c h t h e y , c o u l d "superior"  -  judge  b e c a u s e i t was n o t m a k i n g any c o n c e s s i o n s t o t h e  v u l g a r " t a s t e " o f the crowd.  For the avant-garde, "art f o r 45  a r t ' s s a k e " became a "code o f p r o f e s s i o n a l  ethics."  If  members o f t h e F r e n c h a v a n t - g a r d e p a i n t i n g w e r e a t t r a c t e d the  f i e l d of decorative  to unite  a r t s , i t was n o t b e c a u s e t h e y w a n t e d  " t h e b e a u t i f u l " and " t h e u s e f u l , " b u t because  were a t t r a c t e d  into  they  by t h e " a r t f o r a r t ' s s a k e " a s p e c t o f t h e de-  corative  arts.  In doing so, the " u t i l i t a r i a n "  corative  a r t s became s e c o n d a r y .  side  This approach t o  a r t s was e m p h a s i z e d d u r i n g t h e 188 0s  o f t h e dedecorative  and 1890s b y a n t i - a c a d e m i c  - 28 w r i t e r s s u c h a s E r n e s t C h e s n e a u or. H e n r y H a v a r d , who shared  an a n t i p a t h y f o r t h e B r i t i s h ,  and a b e l i e f  also  i n t h e super-  46 i o r i t y of French a r t i s t i c  genius.  As Chesneau p u t i t ,  a r t i s above t h e , " s t a t i s t i c s c o n c e r n i n g  commercial  French " 47  export.  He was a g a i n s t t h e F r e n c h G o v e r n m e n t ' s a d o p t i n g B r i t i s h - t y p e schools o f i n d u s t r i a l design, which o f course  were i n t e n d e d f o r 48  the development o f mass-produced i n d u s t r i a l a r t s .  In France,  " i n d u s t r i a l a r t " became more a n d more a p e j o r a t i v e t e r m i n artistic  c i r c l e s , w h i l e " d e c o r a t i v e a r t " was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h 49 " a r t f o r a r t ' s sake." I n t h e " d e c o r a t i v e a r t s " t h e accent:'' was on t h e f o r m a l e l e m e n t s ( s h a p e s , c o l o u r s ) d i s p o s e d i n s u c h 50 way a s t o g x v e p l e a s u r e  t o t h e e y e and " s p i r i t . "  Havard  c l e a r l y s t a t e d t h a t t h e a r t i s t s p r a c t i c i n g t h e B e a u x - A r t s were e a s i l y u n d e r s t o o d by t h e c r o w d  (la. f o u l e ) , w h i l e t h o s e  i n t h e d e c o r a t i v e a r t s " c a n be a p p r e c i a t e d conoisseurs."  He c o n s i d e r e d  involved  o n l y b y an e l i t e o f  that the "false  hierarchy  e s t a b l i s h e d i n t h e a r t s " comes f r o m t h e f a c t t h a t " i n a l l 51 t x m e s t h e i g n o r a n t s w e r e more n u m e r o u s . " To i l l u s t r a t e  the avant-garde's involvement i n the  d e c o r a t i v e a r t s I w i l l mention Gauguin, Emile a r t i s t s o f the Nabi group. ceramics  Bernard  and t h e  When G a u g u i n a p p l i e d h i m s e l f t o  (he w o r k e d w i t h t h e famous c e r a m i c i s t C h a p e l e t ) f o r  e x a m p l e , he d i d n o t t h i n k i n t h e f i r s t p l a c e o f "useful objects," but "art objects."  producing  This i s evident  from  a l e t t e r he w r o t e h i s w i f e i n 1886: I am e n g a g e d i n m a k i n g a r t p o t t e r y . Schuffenecker s a y s t h e y a r e m a s t e r p i e c e s and s o d o e s t h e m a k e r , b u t t h e y a r e p r o b a b l y t o o a r t i s t i c t o be s o l d . H o w e v e r , he s a y s t h a t i f t h i s i d e a c o u l d e v e r be i n t r o d u c e d i n t o an e x h i b i t i o n o f t h e i n d u s t r i a l a r t s , i t w o u l d h a v e an a m a z i n g s u c c e s s . 5 2  Thus G a u g u i n was pieces. "  He  t h i n k i n g i n terms of  "art pottery,"  a l s o l e f t no d o u b t as f o r whom he  w o r k ; a n s w e r i n g an  i n q u i r y whose p u r p o s e was  "master-  intended  to probe  the  e x i s t e n c e o f a " R e n a i s s a n c e o f t h e a r t - i n d u s t r i e s " and eventual  e m e r g e n c e o f a "new  style,"  Gauguin  his  the  declared:  Ne'. c h e r c h e z pas l a s o l u t i o n de v o t r e p r o b l e m e d a n s l a r u e , p r e s des monuments p u b l i c s , d a n s l e s b o u t i q u e s des m a r c h a n d s . C h e z 1." a m a t e u r s e u l e m e n t v o u s v e r r e z ce q u i a € t e f a i t . Et pour c e l a , n u l b e s o i n d'un g r a n d nombre, du r e s t e l e s c h e f s - d ' o e u v r e ne s e r e m u e n t pas a l a p e l l e . ^ 3  His  "masterpieces,"  d e c o r a t i v e a r t o b j e c t s produced i n  q u a n t i t y , w e r e d e s t i n e d f o r an e l i t e Of  course,  one  should  of  amateurs.  not n e g l e c t the economic  reasons,  t h e p o o r f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n t h a t l e d some a v a n t - g a r d e i n t o the  field  of d e c o r a t i v e a r t s .  limited  Emile  even t r i e d h i s hand a t i n d u s t r i a l d e s i g n  Bernard, i n 1890  artists  f o r example, ( w i t h o u t much  54 success)  i n order  to earn  a living.  t h e E c o l e des A r t D e c o r a t i f s b e f o r e  He  a l s o took courses  at  he e n t r e d A c a d g m i e Cormon  55 i n 1885. t o be  Bernard  was  one  of the  first  i n v o l v e d i n the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s :  tapestry, embroidery, e t c . of a r t f o r a r t ' s sake.  e v e r y t h i n g was  done i n t h e name  I n 1891  (as i s e v i d e n t  from a  Bernard  a s o c i e t y with, the  slogan  extensive.  1' A r t p o u r 1' A r t . ~*^  Tapestries  the l i s t of the a r t o b j e c t s  involvement w i t h the d e c o r a t i v e a r t s  D e n i s and  letter  proposed i n f a c t the foundation  o t h e r d e c o r a t i v e a r t s w e r e on be p r o d u c e d by t h i s s o c i e t y . Nabis'  s t a i n e d - g l a s s windows,  But  to Schuffenecker),  The  avant-garde p a i n t e r s  Ranson even d e s i g n e d  of and to  was  "artistic"  wall-  f o r church  com-  57 papers. missions)  Most o f the Nabis' was  work  (except  d e s t i n e d f o r the d e c o r a t i o n of the  apartments  - 3D -  of well-to-do  amateurs  (such  as Thadee N a t a n s o n f o r e x a m p l e ) ,  58 not  of  workers.  The  p r o p a g a n d a a i m e d a t b r i n g i n g f i n e a r t s and  a r t s o n t o an to create  equal: f o o t i n g i n o r d e r  a new  s t y l e of) French decoration,  avant-garde a r t i s t s , groups.  to revive  s u c h as  (and  decorative eventually  thus a t t r a c t e d  t h e members o f P o n t - A v e n o r  They e x h i b i t e d t h e i r d e c o r a t i v e  a r t a t the  Nabi  Tndependants,  a t t h e S a l o n o f Champ-de-Mars, o r a t B i n g ' s , and r i g h t f r o m t h e s t a r t t h e y had t h e s u p p o r t o f R o g e r M a r x , who as I i n d i c a t e d , had  an  important r o l e i n the  campaign t h a t r a i s e d the  status  59 of decorative  arts.  I n t r y i n g t o c o n c l u d e t o what e x t e n t vitalization decoration  (even a " R e n a i s s a n c e " as  was  s e , and The  rather  re-  some c a l l e d i t ) o f  r e a l i z e d i n p r a c t i c e , one  achieved i n the d e c o r a t i v e  the d e s i r e d  can  say  that i t  decade o f the  home-grown " A r t N o u v e a u " , t h a t a s s i m i l a t e d J a p a n e s e s t y l e i n s p i r e d by  limited editions.  s t y l e should  not  be  This  was  p l i e d a r e d e f i n i t i o n of the  organic kind,  decorative Art  became more  l a t t e r , while  i t drew  f o r m a s s - p r o d u c t i o n , and  English industrial  r e v i t a l i z a t i o n of the  d i d i n England.  The  intended  a l s o s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e s by The  absolutely f l a t  a p p e a r e d i n B e l g i u m and  international style.  from French sources,  the  and  natural,  s p e c i f i c a l l y French,  equated w i t h  Nouveau s t y l e t h a t f i r s t o r l e s s an  new,  per  1890s.  shapes, e x c e l l e d e s p e c i a l l y i n " a r t o b j e c t s , " one-of-a or  was  than i n i n d u s t r i a l a r t s  t h a t i t r e a c h e d i t s peak i n the  R o c o c o i n f l u e n c e s i n t o a new  French  decorative  was  design.  a r t s i n France  p r i n c i p l e s of decoration,  im-  as i t  I s h a l l focus the d i s c u s s i o n f o r a w h i l e  on  - 31 -  these  "true" principles,  the c o n v e n t i o n a l  s i n c e t h e y were i m p o r t a n t  not only f o r  d e c o r a t i v e a r t s , but a l s o f o r t h e development  of e a s e l p a i n t i n g  (as i t w i l l be e v i d e n t  I would a l s o l i k e  t o e m p h a s i z e t h a t t h e s p e c i f i c way t h e r e -  v i t a l i z a t i o n was p r o c e e d i n g  i n France,  i n C h a p t e r I , P a r t 2) .  was r e f l e c t e d  i n the  s p e c i f i c way d e c o r a t i o n was d e f i n e d . Equating for  decoration with absolute  the ornamental design  p a p e r s , such as f i r s t fact, that  of f l a t patterns, best  taught  i n Cole's  i n my o p i n i o n , h e r e l i e s "decorative" equals  In France, decorated  schools  suited for wall-  of design.  the o r i g i n of the  a flat  l i n e a r design  as i n England, t h e r e s p e c t  intended  f l o o r had t o a v o i d  fora flat  misconception  and smooth c o l o u r .  f o r the i n t e g r i t y of the  illusionistic  t o underline that French r e -  s p e c i f i c p r i n c i p l e s f o r each branch o f decora-  t i v e a r t s , a l l o w i n g f o r v a r i o u s degrees o f " f l a t n e s s "  but  among  W a l l p a p e r s f o r example were suppose t o have f l a t  since the wallpaper  there t o the extent not  so p r o m i n e n t l y  considered  i t was i n E n g l a n d , t h i s k i n d o f d e s i g n emphasized.  t i v e a r t s i n t h i s country  was  I n F r a n c e t a p e s t r y w e a v i n g was of  decora-  w e r e v e r y much i n t e r e s t e d i n a  o f t h e t a p e s t r y i n d u s t r y b a s e d on t h e t r u e  p r i n c i p l e s of decoration  (instead of imitating  illusionistic  t a b l e a u x ) , and a c c o r d e d s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n t o t h i s Before  designs,  i n d u s t r y was n o t t h e " n a t i o n a l i n d u s t r y "  t h e " n a t i o n a l i n d u s t r y , " and t h e r e f o r m e r s  "renaissance"  Thus  s u r f a c e such as a w a l l o r a  "piercing holes" i n i t with  But i ti s important  formers defined  them.  In  o b j e c t became t h e b a s i c p r i n c i p l e o f d e c o r a t i o n .  a decoration  devices.  flatness i s correct only  subject.  discussing the issue of "tapestry flatness"  I would  - 32  -  l i k e t o m e n t i o n a few w o r d s a b o u t t h e this decorative a r t . especially  i n the  In the  r e v i v a l of i n t e r e s t i n  second h a l f of the  19th  l a t e 1870s, the a f f l u e n t F r e n c h  century,  Bourgeoisie  became i n t e r e s t e d i n t a p e s t r i e s f o r home d e c o r a t i o n . r e p o r t on t a p e s t r y a t t h e U n i v e r s a l E x h i b i t i o n o f Denuelle  r e m a r k e d t h a t t h e use  In h i s  1878,  o f t a p e s t r i e s i n p r i v a t e homes  60 had  become q u i t e w i d e s p r e a d .  t h e r e was  an  cartoons crease  o f B o u c h e r and C o y p e l " 61  r e a l i z e d t h e r e was among t h e  The  A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the  The  Gobelins  a p o t e n t i a l m a r k e t f o r modern t a p e s t r y c o u l d not  a f f o r d the  Also, v a r i o u s p u b l i c b u i l d i n g s r e q u i r e d  tapestries.  the  which l e d t o a tremendous i n -  l e s s w e a l t h y a m a t e u r s who  antiques.  l a t e 1870s - e a r l y 1 8 8 0 s ,  " i n f a t u a t i o n w i t h t h e t a p e s t r i e s done a f t e r  in their price.  cartoons  In the  p r o b l e m was  contemporary  t o f i n d good models, t h a t i s  p a i n t e d i n accordance w i t h the p r i n c i p l e s of  decora-  62 tion. alists,  "Official"  aestheticians, administrators,  showed c o n s i d e r a b l e  Union Centraie organized  concern i n t h i s respect.  (Blanc's successor  of the Beaux-Arts pointed out,  " w o u l d become t h e  p o i n t o f so many s t u d i e s and the  In  1876  an e x h i b i t i o n o f t a p e s t r i e s w h i c h ,  as t h e M a r q u i s de C h e n n e v i e r e s  t h e o r i g i n s and  industri-  as d i r e c t o r starting  p u b l i c a t i o n s of the a r t , of  laws were i n the p r o c e s s  of being  which  es-  63 tablished." the Gobelins  At the time of the e x h i b i t i o n the d i r e c t o r of was  A l f r e d D a r c e l , and  he p u b l i s h e d  i n the  Gazette  des  B e a u x - A r t s a s e r i e s o f a r t i c l e s e n t i t l e d " E x p o s i t i o n de 64 l ' h i s t o i r e de l a t a p i s s e r i e . " He l o o k e d a t t h e e x h i b i t i o n 65 as a t a " l e s s o n i n d e c o r a t i v e a r t t h r o u g h t a p e s t r y . "  was  i n complete accord  on  t h i s subject with Charles  Darcel Blanc,  from  - 33 -  whose a r t i c l e  "Le Musee d e s t a p i s . s e r . i e s "  (Le Temps, 4 S e p t e m b e r  66 187 6) he a c t u a l l y  quoted.  The p r i n c i p l e s a d v o c a t e d f o r t h e modern t a p e s t r y drew u p o n o l d e r p e r i o d s , as l o n g as t h o s e trompe l ' o e i l  periods avoided  a n d t h e "window" e f f e c t .  was t h a t t a p e s t r y s h o u l d  the r e a l i s t i c  The g e n e r a l  not i m i t a t e tableaux.  consensus  This  criticism  was e s p e c i a l l y d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t t h e t a p e s t r i e s weaved i n t h e f i r s t h a l f of the 19th century, not  "decorative tableaux,"  w h i c h had t r i e d  t o reproduce  as t h e Rococo t a p e s t r i e s d i d ( i n  f a c t a t t h e t i m e t h e r e was a r e v i v a l o f b o t h M e d i e v a l Rococo t a p e s t r i e s ) , b u t " e x p r e s s i v e " .tableaux  and  s u c h a s The  P e s t h o u s e o f J a f f a by G r o s , w i t h a l l i t s s u b t l e t i e s o f modelling.^'  7  Charles  Blanc's  one o f t h e b e s t ferences  G r a m m a i r e d e s a r t s d e c o r a t i f s (1882) i s  sources  f o r understanding  the s p e c i f i c  i n t h e r u l e s e s t a b l i s h e d by most r e f o r m e r s  decorative arts,  such as: pavements, m e t a l work,  t a p e s t r i e s , carpets, f u r n i t u r e , glass-work, Carpets, exclude  dif-  f o r various  wallpaper,  ceramics, e t c .  f o r e x a m p l e , w e r e t o be f l a t and t h e i r d e s i g n w e r e t o t h e human f i g u r e .  human f i g u r e s , b u t r e n d e r e d  Wallpapers designs  could  include  i n f l a t t i n t s and s i l h o u e t t e d .  t h e t a p e s t r i e s scenes w i t h f i g u r e s a n d . l a n d s c a p e s were The g e n e r a l g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s recommended  by B l a n c  In  allowed.  for tapestry  w e r e t h e f o l l o w i n g : a v o i d a n c e o f t h e e f f e c t s o f l i n e a r and a t m o s p h e r i c p e r s p e c t i v e , and a v o i d a n c e o f c h i a r o s c u r o w h i c h was t o be r e p l a c e d w i t h a " d e c o r a t i v e e f f e c t " 68 an i m p r e s s i o n  of overal uniformity of value.  a v o i d t h e p e r s p e c t i v e e f f e c t , one b a s i c r u l e ,  effect,  t h a t gave  In order t o according  to  B l a n c , was t o c h o o s e a v e r y h i g h v i e w p o i n t , w h i c h w o u l d a l s o 69 a v o i d . d i s p l a y i n g t o o much " s k y . "  A good i l l u s t r a t i o n  of the  d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e p e r s p e c t i v e i n a t a p e s t r y and t h e one i n a t a b l e a u i s g i v e n i n Havard's La D e c o r a t i o n he  r e p a t e d much o f w h a t B l a n c s a i d ) .  (c.1891,  i n which  He i l l u s t r a t e d  t i n c t i o n w i t h two f i g u r e s : one r e p r e s e n t e d  this  dis-  a 16th century  F l e m i s h t a p e s t r y , t h e o t h e r t h e same t a p e s t r y "mise en p e r 70 spective."  H a v a r d commented: "The f i r s t  one g i v e s t h e s e n -  s a t i o n o f a t a p e s t r y , t h e second one p i e r c e s t h e w a l l and has " 71 the aspect o f a t a b l e a u .  Avoiding the perspective  "effect"  r e f e r s t o t h e s c e n e a s a w h o l e , i t means a v o i d i n g t h e i l l u s i o n of depth,  b u t i t does n o t e x c l u d e  o b j e c t s seen i n p e r s p e c t i v e .  representation of individual  Also, the "decorative effect" d i d  not exclude m o d e l l i n g o f i n d i v i d u a l volumes  (albeit rudimentarily  and n o t b y s u b t l e g r a d a t i o n s a s i n p a i n t i n g ) , 72 n o t e x c l u d e an e f f e c t o f r e l i e f .  i n o t h e r words d i d  E v e n w i t h o u t an o u t l i n i n g o f t h e c o n t o u r s , a t a p e s t r y g i v e s the i m p r e s s i o n o f o u t l i n i n g shapes w i t h a l o s t - a n d - f o u n d due  to i t s slits.  l i n i n g o f shapes  Blanc d i d not s p e c i f i c a l l y (he, as I w i l l d i s c u s s l a t e r ,  contour,  require a firm still  out-  believed i n  the o l d academic p r e j u d i c e about t h e i r r e c o n c i l a b i l i t y o f " l i n e " , and  " c o l o u r , " and b e l i e v e d c o l o u r s h o u l d dominate i n d e c o r a t i o n ) ,  b u t most r e f o r m e r s  r e q u i r e d a c l e a r d e f i n i t i o n o f forms i n  decoration, tapestry included.  In Denuelle's  r e p o r t o f 1877,  l e t r a i t de r e d e s s i n e e i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be " c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t o 73 all  decorative arts deriving  from a r c h i t e c t u r e . "  Darcel  (who  was d i r e c t o r o f t h e G o b e l i n s b e t w e e n 1871 - 1885) a l s o r e q u i r e d "firmness i n drawing,"  and C a l m e f t e s  (a v e r y t h o r o u g h  historian  - 35 of the  a r t of tapestry  i n the  -  19th  c.)  w o u l d say  a few  l a t e r t h a t t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t r u l e i n t a p e s t r y was  years  the  ren74  dering  o f t h e p u r i t y o f f o r m , e x p r e s s e d by  Edouard Didron  (who  f o r a couple of years ran  -archeologiques,described for  the Gothic  Revival  as  ( w h i c h he  contours.  the  Annales  "the most e f f e c t i v e m o u t h p i e c e "  i n France).,  among t h e p r i n c i p l e s he formulation  firm  also l i s t e d  formulated  this 75  requirement  for tapestry.  Since  his  extended a l s o t o mosaics) summarizes  w e l l the p r e v a i l i n g t h e o r i e s c o n c e r n i n g t a p e s t r i e s i n the 1870s, I w i l l  reproduce i t i n a s l i g h t l y  1)  A composition that leaves  2)  S i m p l i c i t y of e x e c u t i o n , and  the  very  "A  sober modelling  4)  An  almost complete l a c k of  It  should  the  The  decorative  that  same as  had  a parallel  (in  the  i n the  character."  "tapestry flatness"  "wallpaper  were i n the  sense o f monumental p a i n t i n g o r d e c o r a t i o n )  In the  f i r s t h a l f of the  itself  from a r c h i t e c t u r e to such degree, t h a t mural  p a i n t i n g s became n o t h i n g only difference resided  e l s e but i n the  s p e c i f i c d e s t i n a t i o n , the u s u a l (and  e v e n t h i s was  t i o n o n l y as  not  fore-  conflict  d i s t i n c t i o n between " d e c o r a t i v e  century  as  i n France.  versus tapestry-tableau  19th  was  f l a t n e s s " (or  t h o s e who  arts revival  tapestry-decoration  i s predominant  perspective.  " s t a i n e d g l a s s window f l a t n e s s " ) by f r o n t of the  trait  of a true decorative  c l e a r by how  u n d e r s t o o d t o be  version:  accentuated.  3)  not  late  spaces.  i n which the  s i l h o u e t t e s are  be  few  shortened  quite  p a i n t i n g had  painting"  and  emancipated decorative  large scale tableaux.  f a c t that being  intended  s h a p e o f a t a b l e a u was  always necessary).  But  tableau.  The for a modified  defining decora-  a w o r k w i t h a s p e c i f i c d e s t i n a t i o n was  not  good  enough for. t h e r e f o r m e r s was  unequivocal  on t h i s  of decorative arts.  Viollet-le-Duc  subject:  De c e que o n p e i n t s u r un mur a u l i e u de p e i n d r e s u r une t o i l e , 1 1 ne s ' e n s u i t p a s que 1 ' o e u v r e s o i t une p e i n t u r e monumentale, e t presque t o u t e s l e s p e i n t u r e s m u r a l e s p r o d u i t e s de n o t r e t e m p s , ne s o n t t o u j o u r s , m a l g r e l a d i f f e r e n c e d u p r o c e d e , que d e s t a b l e a u x ; 7 6  Decorative any  p a i n t i n g , i n o r d e r t o be a " t r u e " d e c o r a t i o n  o t h e r d e c o r a t i v e a r t ) had t o f u l f i l l  of decoration.  Of c o u r s e ,  (like  the "true" principles  t h e r e were s p e c i f i c  requirements  f o r p a i n t i n g as d e c o r a t i o n , j u s t a s t h e r e were s p e c i f i c r e q u i r e m e n t s for. d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g t h e v a r i o u s d e c o r a t i v e The  g e n e r a l c o n s e n s u s among r e f o r m e r s  d e c o r a t i o n s h o u l d be s u b o r d i n a t e d d e c o r a t i o n s were i n t e n d e d common r e q u i r e m e n t . was  arts.  was t h a t p a i n t i n g a s  to architecture.  S i n c e most  f o r f l a t w a l l s , f l a t n e s s was t h e m o s t  B u t how f l a t ?  "Flatness" i n decoration  o r i g i n a l l y advocated and i n t r o d u c e d d u r i n g t h e G o t h i c  R e v i v a l and t h e N e o - C a t h o l i c  movements, a s a r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t 77  w h a t was c o n s i d e r e d  t o be " p a g a n i s m " a n d " d e c a d e n c e . "  Since  t h i s f l a t n e s s ( w h i c h was a b s o l u t e ) , a n d s i m p l i f i e d d e s i g n , w e r e a l s o very convenient  f o r mechanical  r e p r o d u c t i o n , i t became  widely accepted  especially i n the f i e l d of industrial  and  ideological motivation forgotten.  the i n i t i a l  design,  I n t h e 1880s 7  "flatness"  i n d e c o r a t i o n was r e q u i r e d a s a "common s e n s e l a w . "  Of. c o u r s e ,  i n the f i e l d  question o f f a c i l i t a t i n g "common s e n s e " . d i d  o f d e c o r a t i v e p a i n t i n g t h e r e was no the process  o f r e p r o d u c t i o n , and t h e  not dictate absolute flatness.  T h i s i s why  i n t h i s a r e a t h e d i f f e r e n c e o f o p i n i o n s between t h e G o t h i c R e v i v a l i s t s a n d t h o s e whom I e a r l i e r . c a l l e d u p h o l d e r s o f t h e 79 "Western t r a d i t i o n " i s most o b v i o u s .  - 37  In the f i r s t  category  ( G o t h i c R e v i v a l i s t ) , who  belongs of course V i o l l e t - l e - D u c  d i e d i n 1879.  here Henry Havard, c o n s i d e r e d 1880s and  1 8 9 0 s , who,  -  I will  also  include  an a u t h o r i t y i n d e c o r a t i o n  like Viollet-le-Duc, believed in  " d e c a d e n c e " b r o u g h t a b o u t i n m o n u m e n t a l a r t by  the  in  the  the  emancipation  80 of p a i n t i n g s i n c e the Renaissance. Duc  a monumental p a i n t i n g s h o u l d  a decorated  plane  surface"  According  to  always preserve  Viollet-le-  "the  ( " 1 ' a s p e c t d'une s u r f a c e  aspect  of  plane  81 decoree"). proper,  T h i s was  true not only f o r ornamental p a i n t i n g  t h a t i s , t h e p a i n t i n g o f o r n a m e n t a l m o t i f s t h a t do  i n v o l v e t h e human f i g u r e and  a s u b j e c t , but  p a i n t i n g of various scenes.  Viollet-le-Duc declared:  not  a l s o f o r monumental "Les  p e u p l e s a r t i s t e s n ' o n t v u d a n s l a p e i n t u r e m o n u m e n t a l e q u on ». 82 d e s s i n enlumine e t t r e s - l e g e r e m e n t modele." He p r e f e r r e d t o 1  see by  the modelling  reduced o n l y to the  "more o r l e s s a c c e n t u a t e d  more t h a n an  "illumination."  traits," He  i n France,  s t y l e was  very  c o l o u r as t h a t the  way  " i m i t a t i o n " of the Gothic  style,  but  Henry Havard, campaigned  f o r a modern s t y l e t o f i t t h e n e e d s o f t h e modern  of l i f e .  a ban  Byzantine  o n l y l a t e l y been acknowledged, d i d  u s u a l l y , i n agreement w i t h V i o l l e t - l e - D u c ,  more o p e n l y  12th  pronounced.  advocate a l i t e r a l  was  apogee  a t t a i n e d i n the  o n l y the borrowing of c e r t a i n general p r i n c i p l e s . who  achieved  nothing  when t h e i n f l u e n c e o f t h e h i e r a t i c 83  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c , as has not  and  considered  o f m e d i e v a l a r c h i t e c t u r a l p a i n t i n g was century  linear modelling  L i k e V i o l l e t - l e - D u c , E a v a r d w o u l d have p r e f e r r e d  on m o d e l l i n g  w e l l as on t h e  (which  gives the  impression  of r e l i e f )  i l l u s i o n of deep s p a t i a l r e c e s s i o n .  His  as  opinion  - 38 -  was t h a t i n a d e c o r a t i o n , n o t o n l y holes  " i t i s awkward t o s i m u l a t e  a n d g r o o v e s where t h e demands o f t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n f o r b i d  them," b u t i t i s j u s t a s i n c o r r e c t " t o s i m u l a t e  reliefs  ina  84 p l a c e where t h e w a l l s h o u l d  remain f i a t . "  B u t e v e n h e , who  o f course  banned any " i d e a o f r e l i e f "  tolerated  i t e v e n t u a l l y i n mural d e c o r a t i o n , because a t l e a s t ,  he  s a i d , one c a n k e e p a d i s t a n c e f r o m a w a l l , w h i l e w a l k i n g  simulated absolute to  i n pavements and c a r p e t s ,  reliefs  i s very unpleasant.  over  Havard s desire f o r 1  f l a t n e s s i n d e c o r a t i o n , e v e n when he d o e s n o t r e f e r  p a i n t i n g , i s n o t r e l a t e d t o t h e problems o f mass-production,  w h i c h he a c t u a l l y d e p l o r e d .  He was a g a i n s t t h e " d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n  o f l u x u r y , " a n d a s I m e n t i o n e d b e f o r e , he f a v o r e d decorative arts.  Havard shared  the e l i t i s t  Viollet-le-Duc s inclination 1  t o w a r d a u s t e r i t y (he was a l s o a g a i n s t b r i g h t , p u r e c o l o u r s i n decoration)  and h i s p o s i t i o n a g a i n s t p a i n t i n g b e i n g  overly  assertive i n decoration. T h e r e w e r e o t h e r s , t h o u g h , who a c c e p t e d  a s a "common s e n s e "  r u l e t h a t i n d e c o r a t i o n p a i n t i n g h a d t o be s u b o r d i n a t e d t o a r c h i t e c t u r e , b u t d i d n o t want t o renounce t h e "Western" heritage  (which  Alphonse Germain d e n t a l eye w i l l  favored modelling  ( L a P l u m e , 1891) p u t i t , "A t r u l y  the  supporter  the f l a t n e s s of Symbolist  sane O c c i 85  o f Peladan,  cri-  p a i n t i n g which d i d not respect  " f o r m " i n t h e name o f t h e s l o g a n  " a r t i s n o t r e a l i t y > " and  w h i c h w o u l d t h u s r e d u c e t o a. " m a g n i f i c e n t materpieces  As  always f e e l t h e n e c e s s i t y o f gradations."  (Germain, a r e a c t i o n a r y c r i t i c , ticised  i n t h e round) c o m p l e t e l y .  aberration" a l l the  produced since the Renaissance.)  The c r i t i c  con-  sidered that the imitation of the imperfections of "barbarians"  -  3  9 -  (among whom he seems t o i n c l u d e t h e B y z a n t i n e s ) to  would only  a n " i n f e r i o r d e c o r a t i v e a r t , b e c a u s e i t was w i t h o u t  w i t h o u r r a c e and o u r m o d e r n i t y . " accepted Denis  1  "archaisms"  since Renaissance),  f o r example  f o r S a g e s s e by V e r l a i n e ) .  because a t t h e time,  rapport  B u t i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t he  i n book d e c o r a t i o n s  illustrations  lead  (such as  T h i s was s o  i n p a i n t i n g (which had a s p e c i a l f l a t n e s s was s t i l l  status  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h an  I d e a l i s t p h i l o s o p h y , w i t h r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e "dream" and t h e 1'au-dela. I mentioned before  t h a t an e x t r e m e c a s e o f " W e s t e r n  ditionalism"  c a n be f o u n d i n C h a r l e s B l a n c .  "gradations"  (to f l a t  tints)  "extremism" i s manifested In  i n decorations  He d i d p r e f e r i n general, but h i s  with respect to painted  f a c t he d i d n o t i n c l u d e p a i n t e d d e c o r a t i o n  p a i n t i n g on g l a s s . a n d  tra-  decoration.  (except f o r  m i n i a t u r e p a i n t i n g - s u c h as were t h e  enluminures of the 14th century-, which belonged according t o him  "rather t o ornamentation  than  to the a r tof the painter")  • 86 among t h e d e c o r a t i v e a r t s , a s d i d H a v a r d a n d V i o l l e t - l e - D u c . Blanc  d i d a c c e p t . f o r p a i n t e d d e c o r a t i o n the b a s i c r u l e of "not  s i m u l a t i n g h o l e s where t h e a r c h i t e c t wanted t o have structures,"  solid  i . e . the respect f o r the character of the decorated  87 surface.  But the concessions  t h a t p a i n t i n g s h o u l d make t o  t h e f l a t n e s s o f t h e w a l l r e f e r r e d t o t h e g e n e r a l e f f e c t , and not t o t h e m o d e l l i n g o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l o b j e c t s and f i g u r e s i n the p a i n t i n g , w i t h the exception t h a t the modelling done i n c o l o u r .  To: u n d e r s t a n d  b e t t e r what were t h e d i f f e r e n c e s  between a d e c o r a t i o n and a t a b l e a u i n B l a n c ' s v i e w according to others), I w i l l of the tableau.  h a d t o be  concentrate  first  (as w e l l a s  on t h e d e f i n i t i o n  V i o l l e t - l e - D u c answered t h e q u e s t i o n  "What i s  - 40  a t a b l e a u ? " w i t h the  -  following definition:  C ' e s t une s c e n e qu'on f a i t v o i r au s p e c t a t e u r a t r a v e r s un c a d r e , une f e n e t r e o u v e r t e . U n i t e de p o i n t de v u e , u n i t e de d i r e c t i o n de l a lumiere, unite d e f f e c t . 1  S i m i l a r l y , Charles dessin  8 8  B l a n c w r o t e i n h i s G r a m m a i r e des  arts  du  (1867): M a i n t e n a n t , q u ' e s t - c e qu'un t a b l e a u d a n s l a p e i n t u r e proprement d i t e ? C'est l a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n d'une s c e n e d o n t 1 ' e n s e m b l e p e u t e t r e e m b r a s s e d'un c o u p d ' o e i l . 8 9  This u n i t of e f f e c t p a i n t i n g a t one (understood  ( i n o t h e r words the u n i t y p e r c e i v e d  glance)  was  achieved  first  of a l l i n a  s i n c e A l b e r t i as a "window") by  in  the  tableau  the observance  of  the .rules of l i n e a r p e r s p e c t i v e , which r e q u i r e d a u n i t y of viewpoint.  Another f a c t o r t h a t allowed  i n a t a b l e a u t o be o f l i g h t , w h i c h had chiaroscuro."  perceived  a t one  to achieve  Chiaroscuro  was  glance  what B l a n c  latter,  one  l i g h t and  principal  and  was  represented  the  called  distribution  "the u n i t y  The  the  u n i t y of  chiaroscuro  i t means t h a t i n a t a b l e a u t h e r e  one  dominant dark area.  of  modelling  a l s o t o "model  as a s i n g l e e n t i t y .  r e f e r s to the  scene  used not o n l y f o r the  of i n d i v i d u a l , f o r m s i n a t a b l e a u , but tableau,"considered  the  is  This u n i t y of  90 c h i a r o s c u r o induced  an u n i t y o r  A d e c o r a t i o n was  not  s u p p o s e d t o s i m i l a t e "windows" i n  t h e w a l l , t h r o u g h w h i c h one depth.  In order  "effect."  could experience  to avoid t h i s ,  the  l i b e r t i e s taken  illusion w i t h the 91  o f l i n e a r p e r s p e c t i v e were a b s o l u t e l y n e c e s s a r y . chiaroscuro e f f e c t a l s o "pierced" t h e . w a l l , Blanc its  Since  of rules the  recommended  replacement w i t h a polychrome e f f e c t , the u n i t y o f which  i s achieved  by an e v e n , l i g h t t o n a l i t y .  Blanc  also  associated  t h i s k i n d o f e f f e c t , c o n s i s t i n g o f a " d i f f u s e d and generous light"  obtained  by such c o l o r i s t s as V e r o n e s e and Rubens,  with  92 t h e p a i n t i n g of. s c e n e s t h a t t a k e . p l a c e in  c o l o r i n g was i n f a c t t h e o n l y way o f a c h i e v i n g  effect" in  i n plain air.  i n decoration,  decoration  a n d t h i s u n i t y was s t i l l  Unity  the "unity of  a requirement  a l s o , o n l y a c h i e v e d b y d i f f e r e n t means t h a n i n a  tableau. O t h e r w r i t e r s were s a t i s f i e d w i t h  a more summary  modelling  o f i n d i v i d u a l forms t h a n B l a n c was, and i n f a c t s u c h a v i e w will  be t h e p r e d o m i n a n t one i n t h e 1880s and 1 8 9 0 s , w i t h  to painting-decoration. Darcel  and Champier.  associated  I will  give  A l f r e d Dareel  at f i r s t with  the Gothic  respect  as examples o f such w r i t e r s , (1818-1893) h a d b e e n R e v i v a l , and he was c o n -  s i d e r e d an a u t h o r i t y on t h e a r c h e o l o g y o f t h e F r e n c h M i d d l e 93 A g e s , as w e l l a s . o f t h e R e n a i s s a n c e . the as  He was an o f f i c i a l i n  administration of the Beaux-Arts, d i r e c t o r of the Gobelins, I already  m e n t i o n e d , a s w e l l a s o f t h e Musee de C l u n y , a n d  he was a member o f t h e A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Centrale duction  d e s A r t s D e c o r a t i f s . He c a m p a i g n e d f o r t h e i n t r o of the decorative  when t h e U n i o n C e n t r a l e On t h i s o c c a s i o n article  C o u n c i l o f the Union  a r t s i n t o t h e S a l o n as e a r l y as 1882,  h e l d i t s own S a l o n o f d e c o r a t i v e  arts.  he w r o t e "Le S a l o n d e s A r t s D e c o r a t i f s , " an  i n w h i c h he s t a t e d t h a t a " d e c o r a t i v e  painting"  (in the  sense o f decoration) should s a t i s f y the f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s : Dans l a c o m p o s i t i o n une c e r t a i n e e u r y t h m i e ; d a n s l e d e s s i n une c e r t a i n e a b r e v i a t i o n , q u i e s t une d e s c o n d i t i o n s du s t y l e a t q u i n ' e x c l u t p o i n t l a g r a c e e l l e - m e m e ; d a n s l a c o u l e u r une c e r t a i n e u n i t € q u i r e s u l t e s o u v e n t de l a d e c o l o r a t i o n d e s l u m i a r e s e t une t e n u e q u i p r o v i e n t de c e que c h a q u e c h o s e e s t s i m p l e m e n t m o d e l e e p a r l e s d i f f e r e n t s t o n s d'une  - 42  I will  -  come b a c k l a t e r t o D a r c e l ' s  decoration;  requirements f o r p a i n t i n g -  f o r t h e moment I w o u l d l i k e t o p o i n t o u t  that  D a r c e l h e l d the o p i n i o n t h a t i n such a p a i n t i n g e v e r y t h i n g s h o u l d be  at l e a s t summarily modelled.  m o d e l l i n g w i t h the evenly  applied colour  J a p o n i s m e , o f w h i c h he d i d n o t did  n o t want a m o d e l l i n g  e f f e c t ) , but  He  contrasted (les a-plat)  approve.  of  Like Blanc,  o f t h e p a i n t i n g as a w h o l e  a unity in colouring  this  Darcel (chiaroscuro  ("which o f t e n i s t h e r e s u l t  t h e d i s c o l o r a t i o n s o f l i g h t " ) , most i m p o r t a n t l y i n v a l u e . the aspect  o f a p a i n t e d d e c o r a t i o n was  not  t o be  as  Thus  f l a t as  J a p a n e s e p r i n t , o r as a m a n u s c r i p t i l l u m i n a t i o n , b u t more an e v e n l y to  be  l i t bas-relief.  expected only i n a Darcel  illusion  of a high r e l i e f  t o u c h e d upon a n o t h e r d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t was  "finish.&q