Monument, Moment, and Memory

Monument, Moment, and Memory

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By the end of the nineteenth century, a mode of painting that captured qinstantaneityq had come to be seen as an appropriate and characteristically Impressionist means of depicting its subject, when that subject was understood to be our variable perception in nature. In May of 1895, however, Monet turned capriciously it seemed to some, to the immutable facade of a Gothic cathedral. Struck by the curious choice of a medieval monument as subject matter, critics, used to talking about qinstantaneity, q continued to lay emphasis on the theme of temporality, and this was addressed in two distinct but related ways. First, there was the matter of perception--the temporality that is involved in engaging visually with the near impenetrable surfaces of individual canvases, suggesting the dense complexity--the nuances--of our qmomentaryq perception. Then, there was the temporality involved in the real historical character of the motif itself; an awareness of the persistence of memory embedded in the medieval edifice and its significations of history and nation. It is the critical discourse and its complex negotiations--aesthetic, philosophical, and literary--that this book examines.Or rather, it is the formal descriptions of shifts in technique themselves that are presented as explanatory of stylistic change. Another useful study of painterly technique that must be acknowledged here is Robert Herberta#39;s Art in America essay of 1979, ... Here the complexities of Moneta#39;s painting techniques are scrupulously examined, demonstrated, and used to prompt ... Schapiro, a€œOn Some Problems in the Semiotics of Visual Art: Field and Vehicle in Image-Signs, aquot; Semiotim, I (1969):anbsp;...

Title:Monument, Moment, and Memory
Author: Ronald R. Bernier
Publisher:Bucknell University Press - 2007

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