Wednesday, October 4
5:30 – 7:00 PM
Lecture led by: Professor Robert Baldwin, Art History Dept., Connecticut College
Inspired by Gauguin’s artistic group in Brittany, Van Gogh travelled to the south of France to revitalize his art by returning to his early subject matter – pre-modern landscapes and peasants – but painted now with a Post-Impressionist artistic abstraction. This talk examines Starry Night in the broad picture of larger artistic trends since Romanticism (1790) and the rise of Symbolism (1885-).
Through visionary nature and subjective aesthetics, Symbolist painters tried to forge a new community of individual sensibilities grounded in the transcendent self and a sublime eternity. The latter existed not just in nature but in art itself. With its peaceful village and visionary abstraction, Starry Night moved from traditional community (village, starry heavens) to a uniquely modern artistic community, an urban audience of liberated, atomized individuals transformed into kindred spirits by art. Like the inscription chiseled on two slightly later art museums, Starry Night goes beyond sublime nature in proclaiming: “Art still has truth, Take refuge there.”
Members: $5 / Non-members: $10
Please RSVP to 860.443.2545 ext. 2129 or email us.
Robert Baldwin is Associate Professor of Art History at Connecticut College. He has been teaching Renaissance and Baroque art since 1985 and more recently, 19th century European art. His PhD is from Harvard (1983). His areas of interest include gender, nature, music, and religion. A few hundred of his unpublished essays on Western art from the late middle ages to the early twentieth century can be found on his web site: www.socialhistoryofart.com.