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The work of Zahari Zograf is strongly influenced by the social and artistic events taking place in
Bulgaria during the 19 century. Zahari Zograf is the most representative figure of the Bulgarian
National Revival. Bulgaria at this time was in a period of socio-economic development and
national integration of the Bulgarian people under Ottoman rule, often cited as the Bulgarian
Renaissance (1760s – 1878). Zahari Zograf is especially noted for his mural paintings and
icons, and his inclusion of everyday elements into his work. He is generally regarded as the
founder of secular art in Bulgaria.
The Baltic Regions
In the early 19th century Classicism and Romanticism replaced the Baroque and the Rococo in
the Baltic countries. By the end of the 18th century the expertise of the local craftsmen was
equal to of other countries. Lithuania developed a strong independent school of architecture
producing architects such as Laurynas Gucevicius, who constructed the Cathedral and the City
Hall in Vilnius. In Latvia the cultural centres at RÄ«ga and Jelgava held exhibitions for both foreign
and local artists. The production of sculptures decreased in this period due to imported
sculptures from Russia and Germany. Meanwhile the importance of painting grew as artists
received training in top academies in St Petersburg, Dresden and Munich. Both portraiture and
landscape painting developed, and themes of rural life became common amongst the first
native Latvian painters. Important artists of the century included Johan Heinrich Bauman, and
the work of Johan Leberecht Egink and Carl Gotthard Graβ, which combined Romanticism and
Classicism. By the end of the century the prosperity of Riga, which had grown to become one of
the Russian Empire’s most influential cities, had led to a growth in the number of educated
Latvians, and consequently the number of art institutions. In the air of nationalism societies
were formed with the sole purpose of producing a national art. The St Petersburg Academy of
Arts, St Petersburg Conservatory and students from the Stiglitz Central School for Technical
Drawing who participated in the “Rūķis” (Gnome) study group all played a role in the
development of a national Latvian identity. Historical paintings appeared by painters such as
Carl Huhn. In Estonia, Johann Köler (1826-99), considered the first Estonian professional
painter, promoted the national awakening of Estonian art.
The Czech Lands
By mid 19th century, under the reign of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the Czech Lands
witnessed great economic growth. A surge of nationalism presented itself in Czech culture,
including the arts and architecture. A distinctly Bohemian national society for the fine arts was
created in Prague in 1848. Buildings that embodied this feeling include the National Theatre in
Prague (1868-83) and the Rudolfinum (1885), which provided a home to the artists working at
this time. This was known as the ‘National Theatre Generation’. Important artists of this
movement worked on this building including the sculptors Bohumil Schnirch, Antonín Wagner
and Josef Václav Myslbek, and the painters František Ženíšek, Mikoláš Aleš and Vojtěch
Hynajs. Romanticism played a leading role in the Czech nationalist zeal. The most prominent of
these artists include Josef Navrátil (1798-1865) and the son of the influecnial Antonin Mánes,
Josef Mánes (1820-71). His most celebrated work is the calendar disc of Prague’s Astronomical
Clock (1866). The other most prominent Bohemian painter of this period is the realist painter
Antonín Chittussi (1847-91). His passion was to paint the landscape of South Bohemia and the