Theme 1. International relations and European integration.
3. Democratic peace theory
International relations theory attempts to provide a conceptual model upon which international relations can be analyzed. Each theory is reductive and essentialist to different degrees, relying on different sets of assumptions respectively. As Ole Holsti describes them, international relations theories act as a pair of coloured sunglasses, allowing the wearer to see only the salient events relevant to the theory. An adherent of realism may completely disregard an event that a constructivist might pounce upon as crucial, and vice versa.
The number and character of the assumptions made by an international relations theory also determine its usefulness. Realism, a parsimonious and very essentialist theory, is useful in accounting for historical actions (for instance why did X invade Y) but limited in both explaining systemic change (such as the end of the Cold War) and predicting future events. Liberalism, which examines a very wide number of conditions, is less useful in making predictions, but can be very insightful in analyzing past events. Traditional theories may have little to say about the behavior of former colonies, but post-colonial theory may have greater insight into that specific area, where it fails in other situations.
International relations theories can be
divided into "positivist/rationalist" theories which focus on a
principally state-level analysis, and "post-positivist/reflectivist"
ones which incorporate expanded meanings of security, ranging from class, to
gender, to postcolonial security. Many often conflicting ways of thinking exist
in IR theory, including Constructivism, Institutionalism, Marxism,
Neo-Gramscianism, and others. However, two positivist schools of thought are
most prevalent: Realism and Liberalism; though increasingly, Constructivism is
becoming mainstream and postpositivist theories are increasingly popular,
particularly outside the
Realism, also known as political realism (not to be confused with Realpolitik), is a school of international relations that prioritizes national interest and security, rather than ideals, social reconstructions, or ethics. This term is often synonymous with power politics. The international system is anarchic. States prioritize survival, using a self-help dynamic. Human beings are predisposed to conflict. Personal morality cannot determine national interest, because states don't face one another as individuals, they face one another as sovereign nation states. Politics is not a function of ethics, it is a function of interest and power. The nation state is ultimately responsible for its own security and survival.
The term realism can, instead of referring to the broad family of realist theories, refer specifically to "classical realism", the common ancestor and original form of realism.
Realist theories share the following key assumptions:
The international system is anarchic. There is no authority above states capable of regulating their interactions; states must arrive at relations with other states on their own, rather than it being dictated to them by some higher controlling entity.
Sovereign states are the principle actors in the international system and special attention is afforded to great powers as they have the most leverage on the international stage. International institutions, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, individuals and other sub-state or trans-state actors are viewed as having little independent influence.
States are rational unitary actors each moving towards their own national interest. There is a general distrust of long-term cooperation or alliance.
The overriding 'national interest' of each state is its national security and survival.
In pursuit of national security, states strive to amass resources.
Relations between states are determined by their comparative level of power derived primarily from their military and economic capabilities.
There are no universal principles which all states can use to guide their actions. Instead, a state must be ever aware of the actions of the states around it and must use a pragmatic approach to resolve the problems that arise.
The injection of morality into international relations causes reckless commitments, diplomatic rigidity, and the escalation of conflict.
In summary, realists believe that mankind is not inherently benevolent but rather self-centered and competitive. This Hobbesian perspective, which views human nature as selfish and conflictual unless given appropriate conditions under which to cooperate, contrasts with the approach of liberalism to international relations. Further, they believe that states are inherently aggressive (offensive realism) and/or obsessed with security (defensive realism); and that territorial expansion is only constrained by opposing power(s). This aggressive build-up, however, leads to a security dilemma where increasing one's security can bring along greater instability as the opponent(s) builds up its own arms in response. Thus, security is a zero-sum game where only relative gains can be made.
While Realism as a formal discipline in international relations did not arrive until World War II, its primary assumptions have been expressed in earlier writings:
Sun Tzu (or Sunzi), an ancient Chinese military strategist who wrote the Art of War.
Thucydides, an ancient Greek historian who wrote the History of the Peloponnesian War and is also cited as an intellectual forebearer of realpolitik.
Chanakya (or Kautilya) early Indian statesman, and writer on the Arthashastra.
Chinese scholar who theorised Legalism (or Legism) and who served in the court
of the King of Qin - later unifier of
Niccolò Machiavelli, a Florentine political philosopher, who wrote Il Principe (The Prince) in which he held that the sole aim of a prince (politician) was to seek power, regardless of religious or ethical considerations.
Richelieu, French statesman who destroyed domestic factionalism and guided
Hobbes, an English philosopher who wrote Leviathan in which he stated the State
Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, French diplomat who guided
Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Koblenz-born Austrian statesman opposed to political revolution.
Otto von Bismarck, a Prussian statesman coined the term balance of power. Balancing power meant keeping the peace and careful realpolitik practitioners tried to avoid arms races.
Carl von Clausewitz was a 19th century Prussian general and military theorist who wrote On War (Vom Kriege).
20th century proponents of realism include Henry Kissinger, the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State to President Richard Nixon, French General and President Charles de Gaulle, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.
Classical realism Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (December 2007)
Classical realism states that it is fundamentally the nature of man that pushes states and individuals to act in a way that places interests over ideologies. Classical realism is defined as the “drive for power and the will to dominate [that are] held to be fundamental aspects of human nature” 
realism began as a serious field of research in the
George F. Kennan - Containment
Nicholas Spykman - Geostrategy, Containment
Herman Kahn - Nuclear strategy
E. H. Carr
John H. Herz
English school of international relations theory
Prominent liberal realists:
Hedley Bull - argued for both the existence of an international society of states and its perseverance even in times of great systemic upheaval, meaning regional or so-called “world wars”.
Neorealism (international relations)
Neorealism derives from classical realism except that instead of human nature, its focus is predominantly on the international system. While states remain the principal actors, greater attention is given to the forces above and below the states through levels of analysis or structure-agency debate. The international system is seen as a structure acting on the state with individuals below the level of the state acting as agency on the state as a whole.
neorealism shares a focus on the international system with the
Robert Jervis - Defensive realism
Kenneth Waltz - Defensive realism
Stephen Walt - Defensive realism
John Mearsheimer - Offensive realism
Robert Gilpin - Hegemonic theory
Neoclassical Realism can be seen as the third generation of realism, coming after the classical authors of the first wave (Thucydides, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and the neorealists (esp. Kenneth Waltz). Its designation of "neoclassical", then, has a double meaning: 1) It offers the classics a renaissance; 2) It is a synthesis of the neorealist and the classical realist approaches.
Gideon Rose is responsible for coining the term in a book review he wrote.
The primary motivation underlying the development of neoclassical realism was the fact that neorealism was only useful to explain political outcomes (classified as being 'theories of international politics'), but had nothing to offer about particular states' behavior (or 'theories of foreign policy'). The basic approach, then, was for these authors to "refine, not refute, Kenneth Waltz", by adding domestic intervening variables between systemic incentives and a state's foreign policy decision. Thus, the basic theoretical architecture of Neoclassical Realism is:
Distribution of power in the international system (independent variable) >>> Domestic perception of the system and/or domestic incentives (intervening variable) >>> Foreign Policy decision (dependent variable)
While neoclassical realism has only been used for theories of foreign policy so far, Randall Schweller notes that it could be useful to explain certain types of political outcomes as well..
Neoclassical realism is particularly appealing from a research standpoint because it still retains a lot of the theoretical rigor that Waltz has brought to realism, but at the same time can easily incorporate a content-rich analysis, since its main method for testing theories is the process-tracing of case studies.
Democratic peace theory advocates also that Realism is not applicable to democratic states' relations with each another, as their studies claim that such states do not go to war with one another. However, Realists and proponents of other schools have critiqued both this claim and the studies which appear to support it, claiming that its definitions of 'war' and 'democracy' must be tweaked in order to achieve the desired result. This is along with Archaic rule of law.
The term refers to the theory or advocacy of federal political orders, where final authority is divided between sub-units and a centre. Unlike a unitary state, sovereignty is constitutionally split between at least two territorial levels so that units at each level have final authority and can act independently of the others in some area. Citizens thus have political obligations to two authorities. The allocation of authority between the sub-unit and centre may vary. Typically the centre has powers regarding defence and foreign policy, but sub-units may also have international roles. The sub-units may also participate in central decision-making bodies.
The basic idea behind federalism is that relations between states should be conducted under the rule of law. Conflict and disagreement should be resolved through peaceful means rather than through coercion or war. Its most important aspect is in recognizing that different types of institutions are needed to deal with different types of political issues.
precursor to liberal IR theory was "idealism"; however, this term was
applied in a critical manner by those who saw themselves as 'realists', for
instance E. H. Carr. Idealism in international relations usually refers to the
school of thought personified in American diplomatic history by Woodrow Wilson,
such that it is sometimes referred to as "Wilsonianism." Idealism
holds that a state should make its internal political philosophy the goal of
its foreign policy. For example, an idealist might believe that ending poverty
at home should be coupled with tackling poverty abroad.
Liberalism holds that state preferences, rather than state capabilities, are the primary determinant of state behavior. Unlike realism where the state is seen as a unitary actor, liberalism allows for plurality in state actions. Thus, preferences will vary from state to state, depending on factors such as culture, economic system or government type. Liberalism also holds that interaction between states is not limited to the political/security ("high politics"), but also economic/cultural ("low politics") whether through commercial firms, organizations or individuals. Thus, instead of an anarchic international system, there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation and broader notions of power, such as cultural capital (for example, the influence of films leading to the popularity of the country's culture and creating a market for its exports worldwide). Another assumption is that absolute gains can be made through co-operation and interdependence - thus peace can be achieved.
Democratic peace theory (or liberal peace theory or simply the democratic peace) holds that democracies, for some appropriate definition of democracy, rarely go to war with one another.
The original theory and research on wars has been followed by many similar theories and related research on the relationship between democracy and peace, including that lesser conflicts than wars are also rare between democracies, and that systematic violence is in general less common within democracies.
the philosophical idea has circulated since Immanuel Kant, it was not
scientifically evaluated until the 1960s. Kant foreshadowed the theory in his
essay Perpetual Peace written in 1795, although he thought that constitutional
republics was only one of several necessary conditions for a perpetual peace.
Kant's theory was that a majority of the people would never vote to go to war,
unless in self defense. Therefore, if all nations were republics, it would end
war, because there would be no aggressors. Other explanations have been
proposed since, but the modern theory is principally the empirical claim that
democracies rarely or never fight (Ray 1998). Dean Babst, a criminologist, was
the first to do statistical research on this topic. He wrote an academic paper
supporting the theory in
3. Democratic peace theory
Democratic peace theory (or liberal peace theory or simply the democratic peace) holds that democracies, for some appropriate definition of democracy rarely go to war with one another.
The original theory and research on wars has been followed by many similar theories and related research on the relationship between democracy and peace, including that lesser conflicts than wars are also rare between democracies, and that systematic violence is in general less common within democracies.
Research on the democratic peace theory has to define "democracy" and "peace" (or, more often, "war"). Similarly, the main criticism contends that the theory is an example of equivocation, particularly, No true Scotsman fallacy.
Democracies have been defined differently by different theorists and researchers; this accounts for some of the variations in their findings. Some examples:
Kant (1795) opposed direct democracy since it is "necessarily despotism, as it establishes an executive power contrary to the general will; all being able to decide against one whose opinion may differ, the will of all is therefore not that of all: which is contradictory and opposite to liberty." Instead, Kant favors a constitutional republic where individual liberty is protected from the will of the majority.
Small and Singer (1976) define democracy as a nation that (1) holds periodic elections in which the opposition parties are as free to run as government parties, (2) allows at least 10% of the adult population to vote, and (3) has a parliament that either controls or enjoys parity with the executive branch of the government.
(1983) requires (1) that "liberal régimes" have market or
private property economics, (2) they have polities that are externally
sovereign, (3) they have citizens with juridical rights, and (4) they have
representative governments. Either 30% of the adult males were able to vote or
it was possible for every man to acquire voting rights as by attaining enough
property. He allows greater power to hereditary monarchs than other
researchers; for example, he counts the rule of Louis-Philippe of
Ray (1995) requires that at least 50% of the adult population is allowed to vote and that there has been at least one peaceful, constitutional transfer of executive power from one independent political party to another by means of an election.
Rummel (1997) states that "By democracy is meant liberal democracy, where those who hold power are elected in competitive elections with a secret ballot and wide franchise (loosely understood as including at least 2/3rds of adult males); where there is freedom of speech, religion, and organization; and a constitutional framework of law to which the government is subordinate and that guarantees equal rights."
The above definitions are binary, classifying nations into either democracies or nondemocracies. Many researchers have instead used more finely grained scales. One example is the Polity data series which scores each state on two scales, one for democracy and one for autocracy, for each year since 1800; as well as several others. The use of the Polity Data has varied. Some researchers have done correlations between the democracy scale and belligerence; others have treated it as a binary classification by (as its maker does) calling all states with a high democracy score and a low autocracy score democracies; yet others have used the difference of the two scores, sometimes again making this into a binary classification (Gleditsch 1992).
Several researchers have observed that many of the possible exceptions to the democratic peace have occurred when at least one of the involved democracies was very young. Many of them have therefore added a qualifier, typically stating that the peacefulness apply to democracies older than 3 years (Doyle 1983), (Russett 1993), (Rummel 1997), (Weart 1998). Rummel (1997) argues that this is enough time for "democratic procedures to be accepted, and democratic culture to settle in." Additionally, this may allow for other states to actually come to the recognition of the state as a democracy.
Mansfield and Snyder (2002, 2005), while agreeing that there have been no wars between mature liberal democracies, state that countries in transition to democracy are especially likely to be involved in wars. They find that democratizing countries are even more warlike than stable democracies, stable autocracies or even countries in transition towards autocracy. So, they suggest caution in eliminating these wars from the analysis, because this might hide a negative aspect of the process of democratization. A reanalysis of the earlier study's statistical results (Braumoeller 2004) emphasizes that the above relationship between democratization and war can only be said to hold for those democratizing countries where the executive lacks sufficient power, independence, and institutional strength. A review (Ray 2003) cites several other studies finding that the increase in the risk of war in democratizing countries happens only if many or most of the surrounding nations are undemocratic. If wars between young democracies are included in the analysis, several studies and reviews still find enough evidence supporting the stronger claim that all democracies, whether young or established, go into war with one another less frequently (Ray 1998), (Ray 2003), (Hegre 2004), while some do not (Schwartz & Skinner 2002).
Economic Peace Theory
A derivative of the democratic peace theory that a semi-autonomous territory uses to ameliorate a potential occupying power’s aggression through increased economic exchange in the hopes that these efforts will lead to political results. The whole relationship between the newly elected president of Taiwan Ma Ying Jeou and Chinese president Hu Jintao negotiating increased economic exchange through their respective representative bodies SEF and ARATS is contingent upon this theory.
Quantitative research on international wars usually define war as a military conflict with more than 1000 killed in battle. This is the definition used in the Correlates of War Project which has also supplied the data for many studies on war. It turns out that most of the military conflicts in question fall clearly above or below this threshold (Ray 1995, p. 103).
Some researchers have used different definitions. For example, Weart (1998) defines war as more than 200 battle deaths. Russett (1993, p. 50), when looking at Ancient Greece, only requires some real battle engagement, involving on both sides forces under state authorization.
Militarized Interstate Disputes (MIDs), in the Correlates of War Project classification, are lesser conflicts than wars. Such a conflict may be no more than military display of force with no battle deaths. MIDs and wars together are "militarized interstate conflicts" or MICs. MIDs include the conflicts that precede a war; so the difference between MIDs and MICs may be less than it appears.
Statistical analysis and concerns about degrees of freedom are the primary reasons for using MID's instead of actual wars. Wars are relatively rare. An average ratio of 30 MIDs to one war provides a richer statistical environment for analysis.
Monadic vs. Dyadic peace
Most research is regarding the dyadic peace, that democracies do not fight one another. Very few researchers have supported the monadic peace, that democracies are more peaceful in general. There are some recent papers that find a slight monadic effect. Müller and Wolff (2004), in listing them, agree "that democracies on average might be slightly, but not strongly, less warlike than other states," but general "monadic explanations is neither necessary nor convincing". They note that democracies have varied greatly in their belligerence against non-democracies.
List of wars between democracies
Historically, cases commonly cited as exceptions include the Spanish-American War, the Continuation War and more recently the Kargil War.
Some theorists cite these or other exceptions, but nevertheless regard them as marginal cases
Advocates of the theory who describe war between democracies only as "rare", "very rare", "rare or non-existent" account for the possibility of a very few or marginal exceptions, while undercutting their significance.
Some advocates also minimize the significance of any exceptions by stating the theory in a probabilistic form: since such a very great many wars have been fought since democracies first arose, we might expect some proportionately large number of wars to have occurred between democracies; however the historical record reveals this number to be either at or near zero, depending on interpretation, with the finding that no wars at all have taken place between well-established liberal democracies being common. One review (Ray 1998) found that, in probabilistic terms, the correlation between democracy and peace is statistically significant. In broader terms, Jack Levy has famously characterized the strength of this correlation as being "as close as anything we have to an empirical law in international relations" (Levy 1988).
Bremer (Bremer 1992, 1993), a strong advocate of the theory, notes this issue of interpretation, but questions its relevance. He argues that it is "fruitless to debate the question of whether democracies never or only very rarely fight one another," since in either case, the central insight of the theory is valid. Most researchers incline to this view (Gleditsch 1992); an exception is Rummel (Rummel 1983).
One problem with the research on wars is that, as the Realist Mearsheimer (1990, p. 50) put it, "democracies have been few in number over the past two centuries, and thus there have been few opportunities where democracies were in a position to fight one another". Especially if using a strict definition of democracy, as by those finding no wars. Democracies have been very rare until recently. Even looser definitions of democracy, such as Doyle's, find only a dozen democracies before the late nineteenth century, and many of them short-lived or with limited franchise (Doyle 1983), (Doyle 1997, p. 261). Freedom House finds no independent state with universal suffrage in 1900.
Wayman (1998), a supporter of the theory, states that "If we rely solely on whether there has been an inter-democratic war, it is going to take many more decades of peace to build our confidence in the stability of the democratic peace".
Many researchers reacted to this limitation by studying lesser conflicts instead, since they have been far more common. There have been many more MIDs than wars; the Correlates of War Project counts several thousand during the last two centuries. A review (Ray 2003) lists many studies that have reported that democratic pairs of states are less likely to be involved in MIDs than other pairs of states.
Another study (Hensel, Goertz & Diehl 2000) finds that after both states have become democratic, there is a decreasing probability for MIDs within a year and this decreases almost to zero within five years.
When examining the inter-liberal MIDs in more detail, one study (Wayman 2002) finds that they are less likely to involve third parties, the target of the hostility is less likely to reciprocate, if the target reciprocates the response is usually proportional to the provocation, and the disputes are less likely to cause any loss of life. The most common action was "Seizure of Material or Personnel".
Studies find that the probability that disputes between states will be resolved peacefully is positively affected by the degree of democracy exhibited by the lesser democratic state involved in that dispute. Disputes between democratic states are significantly shorter than disputes involving at least one undemocratic state. Democratic states are more likely to be amenable to third party mediation when they are involved in disputes with each other (Ray 2003).
In international crises that include the threat or use of military force, one study finds that if the parties are democracies, then relative military strength has no effect on who wins. This is different from when nondemocracies are involved. These results are the same also if the conflicting parties are formal allies (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001). Similarly, a study of the behavior of states that joined ongoing militarized disputes reports that power is important only to autocracies: democracies do not seem to base their alignment on the power of the sides in the dispute (Werner & Lemke 1997).
Most studies have looked only at who is involved in the conflicts and ignored the question of who initiated the conflict. In many conflicts both sides argue that the other side was initiator. Several researchers, as described in (Gleditsch, Christiansen & Hegre 2004), have argued that studying conflict initiation is of limited value, because existing data about conflict initiation may be especially unreliable. Even so, several studies have examined this. Reiter and Stam (2003) argue that autocracies initiate conflicts against democracies more frequently than democracies do against autocracies. Quackenbush and Rudy (2006), while confirming Reiter and Stam's results, find that democracies initiate wars against nondemocracies more frequently than nondemocracies do to each other. Several following studies (Peceny & Beer 2003), (Peceny & Butler 2004), (Lai & Slater 2006) have studied how different types of autocracies with different institutions vary regarding conflict initiation. Personalistic and military dictatorships may be particularly prone to conflict initiation, as compared to other types of autocracy such as one party states, but also more likely to be targeted in a war having other initiators.
Internal violence and genocide
Most of this article discusses research on relations between states. However, there is also evidence that democracies have less internal systematic violence. For instance, one study finds that the most democratic and the most authoritarian states have few civil wars, and intermediate regimes the most. The probability for a civil war is also increased by political change, regardless whether toward greater democracy or greater autocracy. Intermediate regimes continue to be the most prone to civil war, regardless of the time since the political change. In the long run, since intermediate regimes are less stable than autocracies, which in turn are less stable than democracies, durable democracy is the most probable end-point of the process of democratization (Hegre et al. 2001). Abadie (2004) study finds that the most democratic nations have the least terrorism. Harff (2003) finds that genocide and politicide are rare in democracies. Rummel (1997) finds that the more democratic a regime, the less its democide. He finds that democide has killed six times as many people as battles.
Davenport and Armstrong (2004) lists several other studies and states: "Repeatedly, democratic political systems have been found to decrease political bans, censorship, torture, disappearances and mass killing, doing so in a linear fashion across diverse measurements, methodologies, time periods, countries, and contexts." It concludes: "Across measures and methodological techniques, it is found that below a certain level, democracy has no impact on human rights violations, but above this level democracy influences repression in a negative and roughly linear manner." Davenport and Armstrong (2003) states that thirty years worth of statistical research has revealed that only two variables decrease human rights violations: political democracy and economic development.
These theories have traditionally been categorized into two groups: explanations that focus on democratic norms and explanations that focus on democratic political structures (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001), (Braumoeller 1997). Note that they usually are meant to be explanations for little violence between democracies, not for a low level of internal violence in democracies.
these mechanisms may also apply to countries of similar systems. The book Never
at War finds evidence for an oligarchic peace. One example is the
One example from the first group is that liberal democratic culture may make the leaders accustomed to negotiation and compromise (Weart 1998), (Müller & Wolff 2004). Another that a belief in human rights may make people in democracies reluctant to go to war, especially against other democracies. The decline in colonialism, also by democracies, may be related to a change in perception of non-European peoples and their rights (Ravlo & Gleditsch 2000).
Bruce Russett (1993, p. 5-11, 35, 59-62, 73-4) also argues that the democratic culture affects the way leaders resolve conflicts. In addition, he holds that a social norm emerged toward the end of the nineteenth century; that democracies should not fight each other, which strengthened when the democratic culture and the degree of democracy increased, for example by widening the franchise. Increasing democratic stability allowed partners in foreign affairs to perceive a nation as reliable democratic. The alliances between democracies during the two World Wars and the Cold War also strengthened the norms. He sees less effective traces of this norm in Greek antiquity.
Hans Köchler (1995) relates the question of transnational democracy to empowering the individual citizen by involving him, through procedures of direct democracy, in a country's international affairs, and he calls for the restructuring of the United Nations Organization according to democratic norms. He refers in particular to the Swiss practice of participatory democracy.
Mousseau (2000, 2005) argues that it is market-oriented development that creates the norms and values that explain both democracy and the peace. In less developed countries individuals often depend on social networks that impose conformity to in-group norms and beliefs, and loyalty to group leaders. When jobs are plentiful on the market, in contrast, as in market-oriented developed countries, individuals depend on a strong state that enforces contracts equally. Cognitive routines emerge of abiding by state law rather than group leaders, and, as in contracts, tolerating differences among individuals. Voters in marketplace democracies thus accept only impartial ‘liberal’ governments, and constrain leaders to pursue their interests in securing equal access to global markets and in resisting those who distort such access with force. Marketplace democracies thus share common foreign policy interests in the supremacy — and predictability — of international law over brute power politics, and equal and open global trade over closed trade and imperial preferences. When disputes do originate between marketplace democracies, they are less likely than others to escalate to violence because both states, even the stronger one, perceive greater long-term interests in the supremacy of law over power politics.
(Braumoeller 1997) argues that liberal norms of conflict resolution vary because liberalism takes many forms. By examining survey results from the newly-independent states of the former Soviet Union, the author demonstrates that liberalism in that region bears a stronger resemblance to 19th-century liberal nationalism than to the sort of universalist, Wilsonian liberalism described by democratic peace theorists, and that, as a result, liberals in the region are more, not less, aggressive than non-liberals.
Democratic political structures
The case for institutional constraints goes back to Kant (1795), who wrote:
"[I]f the consent of the citizens is required in order to decide that war should be declared (and in this constitution it cannot but be the case), nothing is more natural than that they would be very cautious in commencing such a poor game, decreeing for themselves all the calamities of war. Among the latter would be: having to fight, having to pay the costs of war from their own resources, having painfully to repair the devastation war leaves behind, and, to fill up the measure of evils, load themselves with a heavy national debt that would embitter peace itself and that can never be liquidated on account of constant wars in the future"
thus gives influence to those most likely to be killed or wounded in wars, and
their relatives and friends (and to those who pay the bulk of the war taxes)
Russett (1993, p. 30). This monadic theory must, however, explain why
democracies do attack non-democratic states. One explanation is that these
democracies were threatened or otherwise were provoked by the non-democratic
states. Doyle (1997, p. 272) argued that the absence of a monadic peace is only
to be expected: the same ideologies that cause liberal states to be at peace
with each other inspire idealistic wars with the illiberal, whether to defend
oppressed foreign minorities or avenge countrymen settled abroad. Doyle also
notes (p. 292) liberal states do conduct covert operations against each other;
the covert nature of the operation, however, prevents the publicity otherwise
characteristic of a
Studies show that democratic states are more likely than autocratic states to win the wars. One explanation is that democracies, for internal political and economic reasons, have greater resources. This might mean that democratic leaders are unlikely to select other democratic states as targets because they perceive them to be particularly formidable opponents. One study finds that interstate wars have important impacts on the fate of political regimes, and that the probability that a political leader will fall from power in the wake of a lost war is particularly high in democratic states (Ray 1998).
As described in (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001), several studies have argued that liberal leaders face institutionalized constraints that impede their capacity to mobilize the state’s resources for war without the consent of a broad spectrum of interests. Survey results that compare the attitudes of citizens and elites in the Soviet successor states are consistent with this argument (Braumoeller 1997). Moreover, these constraints are readily apparent to other states and cannot be manipulated by leaders. Thus, democracies send credible signals to other states of an aversion to using force. These signals allow democratic states to avoid conflicts with one another, but they may attract aggression from nondemocratic states. Democracies may be pressured to respond to such aggression — perhaps even preemptively — through the use of force. Also as described in (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001), studies have argued that when democratic leaders do choose to escalate international crises, their threats are taken as highly credible, since there must be a relatively large public opinion for these actions. In disputes between liberal states, the credibility of their bargaining signals allows them to negotiate a peaceful settlement before mobilization.
An explanation based on game theory similar to the last two above is that the participation of the public and the open debate send clear and reliable information regarding the intentions of democracies to other states. In contrast, it is difficult to know the intentions of nondemocratic leaders, what effect concessions will have, and if promises will be kept. Thus there will be mistrust and unwillingness to make concessions if at least one of the parties in a dispute is a nondemocracy (Levy & Razin 2004).
factors for certain types of state have, however, changed since Kant's time. In
the quote above, Kant points to the lack of popular support for war - given
that the populace will directly or indirectly suffer in the event of war - as a
reason why republics will not tend to go to war. The number of American troops
killed or maimed versus the number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians maimed and
killed in the American-Iraqi conflict is indicative. This may explain the
relatively great willingness of democratic states to attack weak opponents: the
List of possible exceptions to the democratic peace theory
There are several logically distinguishable classes of criticism. Note that they usually apply to no wars or few MIDs between democracies, not to little systematic violence in established democracies.
Only one study (Schwartz & Skinner 2002) appears to have argued that there have been as many wars between democracies as one would expect between any other couple of states. However, its authors include wars between young and dubious democracies, and very small wars.
Others (Spiro 1994), (Gowa 1999), (Small & Singer 1976) state that, although there may be some evidence for democratic peace, the data sample or the time span may be too small to assess any definitive conclusions. For example, Gowa finds evidence for democratic peace to be insignificant before 1939, because of the too small number of democracies, and offers an alternate explanation for the following period (see the section on Realist Explanations). Gowa's use of statistics has been criticized, with several other studies and reviews finding different or opposing results (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001), (Ray 2003). However, this can be seen as the longest-lasting criticism to the theory; as noted earlier, also some supporters (Wayman 1998) agree that the statistical sample for assessing its validity is limited or scarce, at least if only full scale wars are considered.
It can be interesting to consider the question of "how much" significance the evidence has. One study (Ray 2003) tries to answer this question in a straightforward way. According to Ray, who uses a rather restrictive definition of democracy and war, there have been no wars between jointly democratic couples of states in the period from 1816 to 1992. Assuming a purely random distribution of wars between states, regardless of their democratic character, the predicted number of conflicts between democracies would be around ten. So, Ray argues that the evidence is statistically significant, but that it is still conceivable that, in the future, even a small number of inter-democratic wars wipes out such evidence.
Definitions, methodology and data
authors criticize the definition of democracy by arguing that states
continually reinterpret other states' regime types as a consequence of their
own objective interests and motives, such as economical and security concerns
(Rosato 2003). For example, one study (Oren 1995) reports that
Some democratic peace researchers have been criticized for post hoc reclassifying some specific conflicts as non wars or political systems as non democracies without checking and correcting the whole data set used similarly. Supporters and opponents of the democratic peace agree that this is bad use of statistics, even if a plausible case can be made for the correction (Bremer 1992), (Gleditsch 1995), (Gowa 1999). A military affairs columnist of the newspaper Asia Times has summarized the above criticism in a journalist's fashion describing the theory as subject to the no true Scotsman problem: exceptions are explained away as not being between real democracies or being real wars.
However, most researchers agree that an objective working definition of "democracy" and "war" can be given. Even so, democracy is an evolving concept which has meant different things at different times, but in almost all cases researchers apply the same criteria to all history.
of democracy that require an actual transfer of power between different
political parties sometimes exclude long periods often viewed as democratic.
For example, the
democratic peace researchers require that the executive result from a
substantively contested election. This may be a restrictive definition: For
example, the National Archives of the
Spiro (1994) made several other criticisms of the statistical methods used. Russett (1995) and a series of papers described by Ray (2003) responded to this, for example with different methodology.
Sometimes the datasets used have also been criticized. For example, some authors have criticized the Correlates of War data for not including civilian deaths in the battle deaths count, especially in civil wars (Sambanis 2001). Weeks and Cohen (2006) argue that most fishing disputes, which include no deaths and generally very limited threats of violence, should be excluded even from the list of military disputes. Gleditsch (2004) made several criticisms to the Correlates of War data set, and produced a revised set of data. Maoz and Russett (1993) made several criticisms to the Polity I and II data sets, which have mostly been addressed in later versions. These criticisms are generally considered minor issues.
If phenomenon A is found to be correlated with phenomenon B, there are in principle several possibilities regarding the origin of such correlation: A may cause B, B may cause A, both A and B may be caused by a third phenomenon C, or they may be caused by two different phenomena which are themselves correlated, and other, more complex, combinations. Many researchers, while accepting the empirical findings of democratic peace, have looked for different or complementary explanations, connections, and statistical variables which may account for such evidence.
One general criticism motivating research of different explanations is that actually the theory cannot claim that "democracy causes peace", because the evidence for democracies being, in general, more peaceful is very slight or non existent; it only can support the claim that "joint democracy causes peace". According to Rosato (2003), this casts doubts on whether democracy is actually the cause because, if so, a monadic effect would be expected.
Perhaps the simplest explanation to such perceived anomaly (but not the one the Realist Rosato prefers, see the section on Realist explanations below) is that democracies are not peaceful to each other because they are democratic, but rather because they are similar. This line of thought started with several independent observations of an "Autocratic Peace" effect, a reduced probability of war (obviously no author claims its absence) between states which are both non-democratic, or both highly so (Raknerud & Hegre 1997), (Beck & Jackman 1998), This has led to the hypothesis that democratic peace emerges as a particular case when analyzing a subset of states which are, in fact, similar (Werner 2000). Or, that similarity in general does not solely affect the probability of war, but only coherence of strong political regimes such as full democracies and stark autocracies.
peace and the explanation based on political similarity is a relatively recent
development, and opinions about its value are varied.
To summarize a rather complex picture, there are no less than four possible stances on the value of this criticism:
similarity, plus some complementary variables, explains everything. Democratic
peace is a statistical artifact.
Political similarity has a pacifying effect, but democracy makes it stronger. Werner would probably subscribe to this view.
Political similarity in general has little or no effect, except at the extremes of the democracy-autocracy scale: a democratic peace and an autocratic peace exist separately, with the first one being stronger, and may have different explanations. Bennett holds this view, and Kinsella mentions this as a possibility
Political similarity has little or no effect and there is no evidence for autocratic peace. Petersen and Ray are among defendants of this view.
A majority of researchers on the determinants of democracy agree that economic development is a primary factor which allows the formation of a stable and healthy democracy (Hegre, 2003; Weede, 2004). This in itself is not in contradiction with democratic peace theory; it is just a statement about the nature of democracy; however, if a causal link between some economic factor and peace could be found, one could hope to explain the findings of the theory on a purely economical basis.
Mousseau argues that a culture of contracting in advanced market-oriented economies may cause both democracy and peace (2000; 2002; 2003; 2005). These studies indicate that democracy, alone, is an unlikely cause of the democratic peace. A low level of market-oriented economic development may hinder development of liberal institutions and values. Hegre (2000) and Souva (2003) confirmed these expectations. Mousseau (2005) finds that democracy is a significant factor only when both democracies have levels of economic development well above the global median. In fact, the poorest 21% of the democracies studied, and the poorest 4-5% of current democracies, are significantly more likely than other kinds of countries to fight each other. Mousseau, Hegre & Oneal (2003) confirm that if at least one of the democracies involved has a very low level of economic development, democracy is ineffective in preventing war; however, they find that when also controlling for trade, 91% of all the democratic pairs had high enough development for the pacifying effect of democracy to be important during the 1885–1992 period and all in 1992. The difference in results of Mousseau (2005) and Mousseau, Hegre & Oneal (2003) may be due to sampling: Mousseau (2005) observed only neighboring states where poor countries actually can fight each other. In fact, fully 89% of militarized conflicts between less developed countries from 1920 and 2000 were among directly contiguous neighbors (Mousseau 2005:68-69). He argues that it is not likely that the results can be explained by trade: Because developed states have large economies, they do not have high levels of trade interdependence (2005:70 and footnote 5; Mousseau, Hegre & Oneal 2003:283). In fact, the correlation of developed democracy with trade interdependence is a scant 0.06 (Pearson's r - considered substantively no correlation by statisticians)(2005:77).
Wars were fought between countries which can be considered economically
developed. Mousseau argues that both
Gartzke (2005) argues that economic freedom (a quite different concept from Mousseau's market norms) or financial dependence (2007) explains the developed democratic peace, and these countries may be weak on these dimensions too. Rummel (2005) criticizes Gartzke's methodology and argues that his results are invalid.
Several studies find that democracy, more trade causing greater economic interdependence, and membership in more intergovernmental organizations reduce the risk of war. This is often called the Kantian peace theory since it is similar to Kant's earlier theory about a perpetual peace; it is often also called "liberal peace" theory, especially when one focuses on the effects of trade and democracy. (The theory that free trade can cause peace is quite old and referred to as Cobdenism.) Many researchers agree that these variables positively affect each other but each has a separate pacifying effect. For example, in countries exchanging a substantial amount of trade, economic interest groups may exist that oppose a reciprocal disruptive war, but in democracy such groups may have more power, and the political leaders be more likely to accept their requests. (Russett & Oneal 2001), (Lagazio & Russett 2004), (Oneal & Russett 2004). Weede (2004) argues that the pacifying effect of free trade and economic interdependence may be more important than that of democracy, because the former affects peace both directly and indirectly, by producing economic development and ultimately, democracy. Weede also lists some other authors supporting this view. However, some recent studies find no effect from trade but only from democracy (Goenner 2004), (Kim & Rousseau 2005).
None of the authors listed argues that free trade alone causes peace. Even so, the issue of whether free trade or democracy is more important in maintaining peace may have potentially significant practical consequences, for example on evaluating the effectiveness of applying economic sanctions and restrictions to autocratic countries.
Michael Doyle (1983, 1997) who reintroduced Kant's three articles into
democratic peace theory. He argued that a pacific union of liberal states has
been growing for the past two centuries. He denies that a pair of states will
be peaceful simply because they are both liberal democracies; if that were
enough, liberal states would not be aggressive towards weak non-liberal states
(as the history of American relations with
Many studies, as those discussed in (Ray 1998), (Ray 2005), (Oneal & Russett 2004), supporting the theory have controlled for many possible alternative causes of the peace. Examples of factors controlled for are geographic distance, geographic contiguity, power status, alliance ties, militarization, economic wealth and economic growth, power ratio, and political stability. These studies have often found very different results depending on methodology and included variables, which has caused criticism. It should be noted that DPT does not state democracy is the only thing affecting the risk of military conflict. Many of the mentioned studies have found that other factors are also important. However, a common thread in most results is an emphasis on the relationship between democracy and peace.
Several studies have also controlled for the possibility of reverse causality from peace to democracy. For example, one study (Reuveny & Li 2003) supports the theory of simultaneous causation, finding that dyads involved in wars are likely to experience a decrease in joint democracy, which in turn increases the probability of further war. So they argue that disputes between democratizing or democratic states should be resolved externally at a very early stage, in order to stabilize the system. Another study (Reiter 2001) finds that peace does not spread democracy, but spreading democracy is likely to spread peace. A different kind of reverse causation lies in the suggestion that impending war could destroy or decrease democracy, because the preparation for war might include political restrictions, which may be the cause for the findings of democratic peace. However, this hypothesis has been statistically tested in a study (Mousseau & Shi 1999) whose authors find, depending on the definition of the pre-war period, no such effect or a very slight one. So, they find this explanation unlikely. Note also that this explanation would predict a monadic effect, although weaker than the dyadic one.
Weart (1998) argues that the peacefulness appears and disappears rapidly when democracy appears and disappears. This in his view makes it unlikely that variables that change more slowly are the explanation. Weart, however, has been criticized for not offering any quantitative analysis supporting his claims (Ray, 2000).
very strongly to be between neighboring states. Gleditsch (1995) showed that
the average distance between democracies is about
Supporters of realism in international relations in general argue that not democracy or its absence, but considerations and evaluations of power, cause peace or war. Specifically, many realist critics claim that the effect ascribed to democratic, or liberal, peace, is in fact due to alliance ties between democratic states which in turn are caused, one way or another, by realist factors.
For example, Farber and Gowa (1995) find evidence for peace between democracies to be statistically significant only in the period from 1945 on, and consider such peace an artifact of the Cold War, when the threat from the communist states forced democracies to ally with one another. Mearsheimer (1990) offers a similar analysis of the Anglo-American peace before 1945, caused by the German threat. Spiro (1994) finds several instances of wars between democracies, arguing that evidence in favor of the theory might be not so vast as other authors report, and claims that the remaining evidence consists of peace between allied states with shared objectives. He acknowledges that democratic states might have a somewhat greater tendency to ally with one another, and regards this as the only real effect of democratic peace. Rosato (2003) argues that most of the significant evidence for democratic peace has been observed after World War II; and that it has happened within a broad alliance, which can be identified with NATO and its satellite nations, imposed and maintained by American dominance (see Pax Americana). One of the main points in Rosato's argument is that, although never engaged in open war with another liberal democracy during the Cold War, the United States intervened openly or covertly in the political affairs of democratic states several times, for example in the Chilean coup of 1973, the 1953 coup in Iran and 1954 coup in Guatemala; in Rosato's view, these interventions show the United States' determination to maintain an "imperial peace".
The most direct counter arguments to such criticisms have been studies finding peace between democracies to be significant even when controlling for "common interests" as reflected in alliance ties (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001), (Ray 2003). Regarding specific issues, Ray (1998) objects that explanations based on the Cold War should predict that the Communist bloc would be at peace within itself also, but exceptions include the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, the Cambodian-Vietnamese War, and the Sino-Vietnamese War. Ray also argues that the external threat did not prevent conflicts in the Western bloc when at least one of the involved states was a nondemocracy, such as the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, the Falklands War, and the Football War. Also, one study (Ravlo & Gleditsch 2000) notes that the explanation "goes increasingly stale as the post-Cold War world accumulates an increasing number of peaceful dyad-years between democracies". Rosato's argument about American dominance has also been criticized for not giving supporting statistical evidence (Slantchev, Alexandrova & Gartzke 2005).
Some realist authors also criticize in detail the explanations given by supporters of democratic peace, pointing to supposed inconsistencies or weaknesses.
Rosato (2003) criticizes most explanations to how democracy might cause peace. Arguments based on normative constraints, he argues, are not consistent with the fact that democracies do go to war no less than other states, thus violating norms preventing war; for the same reason he refutes arguments based on the importance of public opinion. Regarding explanations based on greater accountability of leaders, he finds that historically autocratic leaders have been removed or punished more often than democratic leaders when they get involved in costly wars. Finally, he also criticizes the arguments that democracies treat each other with trust and respect even during crises; and that democracy might be slow to mobilize its composite and diverse groups and opinions, hindering the start of a war, drawing support from other authors. Another realist, Layne (1994) analyzes the crises and brinkmanship that took place between non-allied democratic great powers, during the relatively brief period when such existed. He finds no evidence either of institutional or cultural constraints against war; indeed, there was popular sentiment in favor of war on both sides. Instead, in all cases, one side concluded that it could not afford to risk that war at that time, and made the necessary concessions.
Rosato's objections have been criticized for claimed logical and methodological errors, and for being contradicted by existing statistical research (Slantchev, Alexandrova & Gartzke 2005), (Kinsella 2005). Russett (1995) replies to Layne by re-examining some of the crises studied in his article, and reaching different conclusions; Russett argues that perceptions of democracy prevented escalation, or played a major role in doing so. Also, a recent study (Gelpi & Griesdorf 2001) finds that, while in general the outcome of international disputes is highly influenced by the contenders' relative military strength, this is not true if both contenders are democratic states; in this case the authors find the outcome of the crisis to be independent of the military capabilities of contenders, which is contrary to realist expectations. Finally, both the realist criticisms here described ignore new possible explanations, like the game-theoretic one discussed below.
different kind of realist criticism (see (Jervis 2002) for a discussion) is
centered around the role of nuclear weapons in maintaining peace. In realist
terms, this means that, in the case of disputes between nuclear powers,
respective evaluation of power might be irrelevant because of Mutual assured
destruction preventing both sides from foreseeing what could be reasonably called
a "victory". An obvious rebuttal is that nuclear powers have been too
few to account for the evidence in favor of democratic peace, except a very
small part of it. The rebuttal remains valid even considering the mitigating
argument that some advanced democracies, for example
Some supporters of the democratic peace do not deny that realist factors are also important (Russett 1995). Research supporting the theory has also shown that factors such as alliance ties and major power status influence interstate conflict behavior (Ray 2003).
Immanuel Wallerstein has argued that it is the global capitalist system that creates shared interests among the dominant parties, thus inhibiting potentially harmful belligerence.
Negri and Hardt take a similar stance, arguing that the intertwined network of interests in the global capitalism leads to the decline of individual nation states, and the rise of a global Empire which has no outside, and no external enemies. As a result, they write, "The era of imperialist, interimperialist, and anti-imperialist wars is over. (...) we have entered the era of minor and internal conflicts. Every imperial war is a civil war, a police action." (Hardt & Negri 2000).
The peacefulness may have various limitations and qualifiers and may not actually mean very much in the real-world.
Democratic peace researchers do in general not count as wars conflicts which do not kill a thousand on the battlefield; thus they exclude for example the bloodless Cod Wars. However, as noted earlier, research has also found a peacefulness between democracies when looking at lesser conflicts.
Democracies were involved in more colonial and imperialistic wars than other states during the 1816-1945 period. On the other hand, this relation disappears if controlling for factors like power and number of colonies. Liberal democracies have less of these wars than other states after 1945. This might be related to changes in the perception of non-European peoples, as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Ravlo & Glieditsch 2000).
Related to this is the human rights violations committed against native people, sometimes by liberal democracies. One response is that many of the worst crimes were committed by nondemocracies, like in the European colonies before the nineteenth century, in King Leopold II of Belgium's privately owned Congo Free State, and in Stalin's Soviet Union. The United Kingdom abolished slavery in British territory in 1833, immediately after the Reform Act 1832 had significantly enlarged the franchise. (Of course, the abolition of the slave trade had been enacted in 1807; and many DPT supporters would deny that the UK was a liberal democracy in 1833 when examining interstate wars.)
Hermann and Kegley (1995) argue that interventions between democracies are more likely to happen than projected by an expected model. They further argue (1996) that democracies are more likely to intervene in other liberal states than against countries that are non-democracies. Finally, they argue that these interventions between democracies have been increasing over time and that the world can expect more of these interventions in the future. The methodology used has been criticized and more recent studies have found opposing results (Gleditsch, Christiansen & Hegre 2004).
Rummel argues that the continuing increase in democracy worldwide will soon lead to an end to wars and democide, possibly around or even before the middle of this century. The fall of Communism and the increase in the number of democratic states were accompanied by a sudden and dramatic decline in total warfare, interstate wars, ethnic wars, revolutionary wars, and the number of refugees and displaced persons. One report claims that the two main causes of this decline in warfare are the end of the Cold War itself and decolonization; but also claims that the three Kantian factors have contributed materially.
Academic relevance and derived studies
Democratic peace theory is a well established research field with more than a hundred authors having published articles about it. Several peer-reviewed studies mention in their introduction that most researchers accept the theory as an empirical fact.
Imre Lakatos suggested that what he called a "progressive research program" is better than a "degenerative" one when it can explain the same phenomena as the "degenerative" one, but is also characterized by growth of its research field and the discovery of important novel facts. In contrast, the supporters of the "degenerative" program do not make important new empirical discoveries, but instead mostly apply adjustments to their theory in order to defend it from competitors. Some researchers argue that democratic peace theory is now the "progressive" program in international relations. According to these authors, the theory can explain the empirical phenomena previously explained by the earlier dominant research program, realism in international relations; in addition, the initial statement that democracies do not, or rarely, wage war on one another, has been followed by a rapidly growing literature on novel empirical regularities. (Ray 2003), (Chernoff 2004), (Harrison 2005). Many of these derived studies have been mentioned above, for example those examining lesser conflicts and minor incidents.
Other examples are several studies finding that democracies are more likely to ally with one another than with other states, forming alliances which are likely to last longer than alliances involving nondemocracies (Ray 2003); several studies including (Weart 1998) showing that democracies conduct diplomacy differently and in a more conciliatory way compared to nondemocracies; one study finding that democracies with proportional representation are in general more peaceful regardless of the nature of the other party involved in a relationship (Leblang & Chan 2003); and another study reporting that proportional representation system and decentralized territorial autonomy is positively associated with lasting peace in postconflict societies (Binningsbø 2005).
In The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman coins the "Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention" - that no two countries that both have a McDonald's franchise would be likely to fight a war. The advantage of that theory in testing is that it is easy to do.
The democratic peace theory has been extremely divisive among political scientists. It is rooted in the idealist and classical liberalist traditions and is opposed to the previously dominant theory of realism. However, democratic peace theory has come to be more widely accepted and has in some democracies effected policy change
Presidents of both the major United States parties have expressed support for the theory. Former President Bill Clinton of the Democratic Party: "Ultimately, the best strategy to ensure our security and to build a durable peace is to support the advance of democracy elsewhere. Democracies don't attack each other." Former President George W. Bush of the Republican Party: "And the reason why I'm so strong on democracy is democracies don't go to war with each other. And the reason why is the people of most societies don't like war, and they understand what war means.... I've got great faith in democracies to promote peace. And that's why I'm such a strong believer that the way forward in the Middle East, the broader Middle East, is to promote democracy."
Former European Commissioner for External Relations Chris Patten: "Inevitable because the EU was formed partly to protect liberal values, so it is hardly surprising that we should think it appropriate to speak out. But it is also sensible for strategic reasons. Free societies tend not to fight one another or to be bad neighbours." The A Secure Europe in a Better World, European Security Strategy states: "The best protection for our security is a world of well-governed democratic states." Tony Blair has claimed the theory is correct.
As a pretense for initiating war
Some fear that the democratic peace theory may be used to justify wars against nondemocracies in order to bring lasting peace, in a democratic crusade (Chan 1997, p. 59). Woodrow Wilson in 1917 asked Congress to declare war against Imperial Germany, citing Germany's sinking of American ships due to unrestricted submarine warfare and the Zimmermann telegram, but also stating that "A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by a partnership of democratic nations" and "The world must be made safe for democracy." R. J. Rummel is a notable proponent of war for the purpose of spreading democracy, based on this theory.
Some point out that the democratic peace theory has been used to justify the 2003 Iraq War, others argue that this justification was used only after the war had already started (Russett 2005). Furthermore, Weede (2004) has argued that the justification is extremely weak, because forcibly democratizing a country completely surrounded by non-democracies, most of which are full autocracies, as Iraq is, is at least as likely to increase the risk of war as it is to decrease it (some studies show that dyads formed by one democracy and one autocracy are the most warlike, and several find that the risk of war is greatly increased in democratizing countries surrounded by nondemocracies). According to Weede, if the United States and its allies wanted to adopt a rationale strategy of forced democratization based on democratic peace, which he still does not recommend, it would be best to start intervening in countries which border with at least one or two stable democracies, and expand gradually. Also, research shows that attempts to create democracies by using external force has often failed. Gleditsch, Christiansen and Hegre (2004) argue that forced democratization by interventionism may initially have partial success, but often create an unstable democratizing country, which can have dangerous consequences in the long run. Those attempts which had a permanent and stable success, like democratization in occupied Japan after World War II, mostly involved countries which had an advanced economic and social structure already, and implied a drastic change of the whole political culture. Supporting internal democratic movements and using diplomacy may be far more successful and less costly. Thus, the theory and related research, if they were correctly understood, may actually be an argument against a democratic crusade (Weart 1998), (Owen 2005), (Russett 2005).
International relations theory attempts to provide a conceptual model upon which international relations can be analyzed. Each theory is reductive and essentialist to different degrees, relying on different sets of assumptions respectively. As Ole Holsti describes them, international relations theories act as a pair of coloured sunglasses, allowing the wearer to see only the salient events relevant to the theory. An adherent of realism may completely disregard an event that a constructivist might pounce upon as crucial, and vice versa.
The number and character of the assumptions made by an international relations theory also determine its usefulness. Realism, a parsimonious and very essentialist theory, is useful in accounting for historical actions (for instance why did X invade Y) but limited in both explaining systemic change (such as the end of the Cold War) and predicting future events. Liberalism, which examines a very wide number of conditions, is less useful in making predictions, but can be very insightful in analyzing past events. Traditional theories may have little to say about the behavior of former colonies, but post-colonial theory may have greater insight into that specific area, where it fails in other situations.
International relations theories can be divided into "positivist/rationalist" theories which focus on a principally state-level analysis, and "post-positivist/reflectivist" ones which incorporate expanded meanings of security, ranging from class, to gender, to postcolonial security. Many often conflicting ways of thinking exist in IR theory, including Constructivism, Institutionalism, Marxism, Neo-Gramscianism, and others. However, two positivist schools of thought are most prevalent: Realism and Liberalism; though increasingly, Constructivism is becoming mainstream and postpositivist theories are increasingly popular, particularly outside the United States.
Theme 2. The Low Countries at the Crossroads of European History.
Religion in Europe has been a major influence on art, culture, philosophy and law. The largest religion in Europe for at least a millennium and a half has been Christianity. A number of countries in Southeastern Europe have Muslim majorities. Smaller religions include Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism which are found in their largest groups in Britain and France.
Little is known about the prehistoric religion of Neolithic Europe. Bronze and Iron Age religion in Europe as elsewhere was predominantly polytheistic (Ancient Greek religion, Ancient Roman religion, Celtic polytheism, Germanic paganism etc.). The Roman Empire officially adopted Christianity in AD 380. During the Early Middle Ages, most of Europe underwent Christianization, a process essentially complete with the Christianization of Scandinavia in the High Middle Ages. The emergence of the notion of "Europe" or "Western World" is intimately connected with the idea of "Christendom", especially since Christianity in the Middle East was marginalized by the rise of Islam from the 8th century, a constellation that led to the Crusades, which although unsuccessful militarily were an important step in the emergence of a religious identity of Europe. At all times, traditions of folk religion existed largely independent from official denomination or dogmatic theology.
The Great Schism of the 11th and Reformation of the 16th century were to tear apart "Christendom" into hostile factions, and following the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, atheism and agnosticism became widespread in Western Europe. 19th century Orientalism contributed to a certain popularity of Buddhism, and the 20th century brought increasing syncretism, New Age and various new religious movements divorcing spirituality from inherited traditions for many Europeans. The latest history brought increased secularisation, and religious pluralism.
The vast majority of theist Europeans are Christians, divided into a large number of denominations. Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination with adherents mostly existing in Latin Europe (which includes France, Italy, Spain, Southern [Wallon] Belgium, and Portugal), Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, but also the southern and central parts of Germanic Europe (which includes Austria, Luxembourg, Northern [Flemish] Belgium, Southern and Western Germany, and Liechtenstein). Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy are organized into many churches, the largest of which are:
Eastern Orthodoxy (the churches are in full communion, i.e. they see each other as local churches, members of a single religious body)
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Albanian Orthodox Church
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Church of Greece
Cypriot Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
Georgian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church
Armenian Orthodox Church
Protestantism (see list of Reformed churches, Porvoo Communion)
Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church
Danish National Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church—Synod of France and Belgium
Evangelical Church in Germany
Reformed Church in Hungary
Church of Sweden
Swiss Reformed Church
Church of England
Church of Ireland
Scottish Episcopal Church
Church in Wales
Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church
Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church
United Reformed Church
Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales
Church of Scotland
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
Methodist Church of Great Britain
Protestant Church in the Netherlands (Neo-Calvinism)
Baptist Union of Great Britain
Baptist Union of Sweden
Seventh-day Adventist Church
There are numerous minor Protestant movements, including various Evangelical congregations, Jehovah's Witnesses and others.
Except for the Iberian Peninsula where various Muslim states existed before the Reconquista, Western Europe has no Islamic tradition. The Muslim population in Western Europe today is mostly a result of migration accounting for between 4% and 7% of the population in France, 5.8% in the Netherlands, 5% in Denmark, just over 4% in Switzerland and Austria, and almost 3% in the United Kingdom. Muslims make up 38,8% in Albania, 40% in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 33.3% in Macedonia, about 20% in Montenegro, 12% in Bulgaria and between 10-15% of the population of Russia. Islam has been a factor in the cultural development of the Balkans and parts of Russia.
Further information: History of the Jews in Europe, Jews and Judaism in Europe, Jews by country
The Jews were dispersed within the Roman Empire from the 2nd century. At one time Judaism was practiced widely throughout the European continent; throughout the Middle Ages, Jews were frequently accused of ritual murder and faced pogroms and legal discrimination. The Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany decimated Jewish population, and today, France is the home of largest Jewish community in Europe with 1% of the total population. Other European countries with notable Jewish populations include Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and Italy.
Buddhism thinly spread throughout Europe and growing rapidly in recent years, about 3 million. In Kalmykia, Tibetan Buddhism is prevalent.
Hinduism mainly among Indian immigrants in the United Kingdom. In 1998 there were an estimated 1.4 million Hindu adherents in Europe.
Sikhism, nearly 1 million adherents
of Sikhism in Europe. Most of the community live in United Kingdom (750,000)
and Italy (70,000). Around
Below one million adherents
Neopagan movements in some countries, notably in the British Isles Germanic Europe and the Baltic states (the UK, German-speaking Europe and Scandinavia).
Rastafari, communities in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and elsewhere.
Jainism, small membership rolls, mainly among Indian immigrants in the United Kingdom.
The Bahá'í Faith, upwards of 60,000, with populations of several thousand in Russia, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Albania, et al.
West African Vodun and Haitian Vodou (Voodoo), mainly among West African and black Caribbean immigrants in the UK and France.
Traditional African Religions (including Muti), mainly in the United Kingdom and France.
Other: Animism, Christian Scientists, Gnosticism, Paganism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mennonites, Moravian Church, Mormonism or Latter-day Saints, Pantheism, Polytheism, theological relativism, Scientology, Seventh-day Adventists, Universal Life Church, Unitarians, Hare Krishna, Wiccan, and Zoroastrianism.
Europe has a large and growing atheist and agnostic irreligous population with 18% on average answering the question "I do not believe in a spirit, God or life force" in The Eurobarometer Poll 2005. The largest non-confessional populations (as a percentage) are found in the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the former Soviet countries of Belarus, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine.
A European country has also been the first officially atheist state in the world. Albania in 1967 constitutionally banished religion.
A number of countries in Europe have official religions, including Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, the Vatican City (Catholic); Greece (Eastern Orthodox); Denmark, Iceland, Norway (Lutheran); and England (Anglican). In Switzerland, some cantons are officially Catholic, others Reformed Protestant. Some Swiss villages even have their religion as well as the village name written on the signs at their entrances.
Georgia has no established church, but the Georgian Orthodox Church enjoys de facto privileged status. Much the same applies in Germany with the Evangelical Church and the Roman Catholic Church. In Finland, both the Finnish Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church are official. England, a part of the United Kingdom, has Anglicanism as its official religion. Scotland, another part of the UK, has Presbyterianism as its national church, but it is no longer "official". In Sweden, the national church is Lutheranism, but it is also no longer "official". Azerbaijan, France, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain and Turkey are officially "secular".
The culture of Europe might better be described as a series of overlapping cultures. Whether it is a question of West as opposed to East; Christianity as opposed to Islam; many have claimed to identify cultural fault lines across the continent. There are many cultural innovations and movements, often at odds with each other, such as Christian proselytism or Humanism. Thus the question of "common culture" or "common values" is far more complex than it seems to be.
Languages of Europe
East Slavic languages
West Slavic languages
South Slavic languages
Old Church Slavonic (a liturgical language)
Romano-Serbian (a mixed language)
The Germanic languages in Europe
Dutch (West Germanic)
High German (West Germanic)
Insular Anglo-Frisian (West Germanic)
Continental Anglo-Frisian (West Germanic)
East Nordic (North Germanic)
West Nordic (North Germanic)
Line dividing the North and West Germanic languages.
Main article: Germanic Europe
Main article: German-speaking Europe
High German languages
Standard German (High German)
East Central German
West Central German
West Low German
East Low German
Main article: English-speaking Europe
Anglic (descending from Anglo-Saxon)
Modern Scots in Scotland and Ulster
Yola (extinct 19th century)
Shelta (mixed with Irish)
(descending from Old Norse)
Crimean Gothic (extinct in the 1800s)
Romance languages, 20th c.
The Romance languages descended from the Vulgar Latin spoken across most of the lands of the Roman Empire.
French is official in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland and the Channel Islands. It is also official in Canada, many African countries and overseas departments and territories of France.
Italian is official in Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, Vatican and several regions of Croatia and Slovenia.
Spanish (also termed Castilian) is official in Spain. It is also official in most Latin American countries.
Romanian is official in Romania, Moldova (as Moldovan), Mount Athos (Greece) and Vojvodina (Serbia).
Latin is usually classified as an Italic language of which the Romance languages are a subgroup. It is extinct as a spoken language, but it is widely used as a liturgical language by the Roman Catholic Church and studied in many educational institutions. It is also the official language of Vatican City. Latin was the main language of literature, sciences and arts for many centuries and greatly influenced all European languages.
Portuguese is official in Portugal. It is also official in Brazil and several former Portuguese colonies in Africa and Eastern Asia (see Geographic distribution of Portuguese and Community of Portuguese Language Countries).
Catalan is official in Andorra, and co-official in in the Spanish regions of Catalonia, Valencian Community (as Valencian), Balearic Islands. It is also natively spoken in France in the Languedoc-Rousillon region (Llengadoc-Rosselló) and in Sardinia, Italy (as Alguerese).
Galician, akin to Portuguese, is co-official in Galicia, Spain. It is also spoken by Galician diaspora (more than local population).
Occitan is spoken principally in France, but is only officially recognized in Spain as one of the three official languages of Catalonia (termed there Aranese). Its use was severely reduced due to the once de jure and currently de facto promotion of French; since 2008 it is among the regional languages recognised in the French constitution.
Sardinian is co-official in the Sardinia Autonomous Region, of Italy. It is also spoken by Sardinian diaspora. It is considered the most conservative of the Romance languagesin terms of phonology
Franco-Provençal, sometimes called "Arpitan," protected by statutes in the Aosta Valley Autonomous Region of Italy, also spoken alpine valleys of the province of Turin, two communities in province of Foggia, Romandy region of western Switzerland, and in east central France (i.e., between standard French and Occitan domains). It is in serious danger of extinction.
Norman has been debatedly referred to as a language in its own right or a dialect of standard French with its own regional character. Its use is recognized in the Channel Islands, remnants of the historical Duchy of Normandy, and since 2008 it is among the regional languages recognised in the French constitution.
Corsican is spoken exclusively on the French island of Corsica and is much more closely related to the Italian or northern Italian regional languages. Unlike other French minority languages, it has a healthier outlook, but still suffers from a lack of promotion.
Romansh is an official language of Switzerland.
Mirandese is officially recognized by the Portuguese Parliament.
Asturian is recognized, but not official, in the Spanish region of Asturias.
Aragonese is recognized, but not official, in Aragon (Spain).
Leonese is recognized in Castile and León (Spain).
Some of the above languages are official in the European Union and the Latin Union and the more prominent ones are studied in many educational institutions worldwide. This is due to the fact that just three of the Romance languages, French, Spanish, and Portuguese are spoken by close to a billion speakers.
Many other Romance languages and their local varieties are spoken throughout Europe. Some of them are recognized as regional languages.
Romance languages are divided into many subgroups and dialects. For an exhaustive list, see List of Romance languages.
Greek: official language of Greece and Cyprus; and Greek-speaking enclaves in Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Georgia, Ukraine, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Turkey, and in Greek communities around the world. Dialects of modern Greek that originate from the Ionian Koine are Cappadocian, Pontic, Cretan, Cypriot, Katharevousa, and Yevanic.
Tsakonian language: Doric dialect of the Greek language spoken in the lower Arcadia region of the Peloponnese around the village of Leonidio.
Griko: Debatably a Doric dialect of the Greek Language spoken in the lower Calabria region and in the Salento region of Southern Italy.
To say hello in Greek say " Yasoo"
The Armenian language is widely spoken as the majority language in Armenia. There are Armenian speakers in globally scattered communities of the Armenian diaspora in Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas (in North and South America). It was an official language when there alphabet was created by Mesrop Mashtotes. It is a diverse laguagein cluding words from all surrounding nations. It include Russian, Arabic, Georgian, Frech, German, and Turkish.
To say hello in Armenian say "Barev".
Albanian language is made up of two major dialects, Gheg and Tosk spoken in Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Albanian speakers living in parts of Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, also southern parts of Italy, northern part of Greece and many other European countries.
Distribution of the Baltic languages in the Baltic (simplified).
Old Prussian (extinct)
The Celtic nations where most Celtic speakers are now concentrated
Maltese is a Semitic language with Romance and Germanic influences, spoken in Malta. It is based on Sicilian Arabic, with influences from Italian (particularly Sicilian), French, and more recently, English. It is unique in being the only Semitic language written in the Latin alphabet in its standard form. It is the smallest official language of the EU in terms of speakers, and the only official Semitic language within the EU.
Cypriot Maronite Arabic
Cypriot Maronite Arabic (also known as Cypriot Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken by Maronites in Cyprus. Most speakers live in Nicosia, but others are in the communities of Kormakiti and Lemesos. Brought to the island by Maronites fleeing Lebanon over 700 years ago, this variety of Arabic has been influenced by Greek in both phonology and vocabulary, while retaining certain unusually archaic features in other respects.
The Finno-Ugric languages are a subfamily of the Uralic language family.
Distribution of Uralic languages
Extinct Finno-Volgaic languages of uncertain position
Kemi Sami (extinct)
Akkala Sami (extinct)
Võro (including Seto)
Finnish (including Meänkieli or Tornedalian Finnish, Kven Finnish, and Ingrian Finnish)
Distribution of the proposed Altaic languages across Eurasia
The proposed but controversial Altaic language family is claimed to consist of three branches (Turkic, Mongolian, and Manchu-Tungus) that show similarities in vocabulary, morphological and syntactic structure, and certain phonological features. On the basis of systematic sound correspondences, they are generally considered to be genetically related. In Europe the Turkic branch prevail, though the Mongolic branch is represented also.
South Caucasian languages
Northeast Caucasian languages
Northwest Caucasian languages
Ethno-Linguistic groups in the Caucasus region
The Basque language is a language isolate spoken at the western Pyrenees and directly related to ancient Aquitanian. The language may have been spoken in a wider area since Paleolithic times.
The language is also spoken by immigrants in Australia, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Philippines, and the USA.
Linguas Francas—past and present
Europe’s history is characterized by sixlinguas francas:
Classical Greek then Koine Greek in the Mediterranean Basin and later the Roman Empire
Koine Greek and Modern Greek, in the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire and other parts of the Balkans
(Medieval and Neo-) Latin (from the Roman Empire until 1867, with Hungary as the last country to give up Latin as an official language apart from the Vatican City), with a gradual decline as lingua franca since the late Middle Ages, when the vernacular languages gained more and more importance (first language academy in Italy in 1582/83), in the 17th c. even at universities).
Spanish (from the times of the Catholic Kings and Columbus, ca. 1492 (i.e. after the Reconquista, till the times of Louis XIV, ca. 1648)
French (from the times of Cardinal Richelieu and Louis XIV, ca. 1648 (i.e. after the Thirty Years' War, which had hardly affected France, thus free to prosper), till the end of World War I, ca. 1919)
English (Since 1919, and especially since 1945, due to U.S. influence and subsequently due to lingua franca status internationally)
Linguas francas that were characteristic of parts of Europe at some periods:
Latin during and after the collapse of the Roman Empire until supplanted by French and then English.
Old French in all the western European countries (England, Italy), and in the Crusader states
Provençal (Occitan) (12th—14th century, due to Troubadour poetry)
Czech, mainly during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV but also during other periods of Bohemian control over the HRE.
Middle Low German (14th – 16th century, during the heyday of the Hanseatic League)
Polish (16th-18th century, because of the political, cultural, scientific and military influence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth)
Sabir, a Romance-based lingua franca used around the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages and early Modern Age.
German in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe
Russian in Eastern Europe from the Second World War to the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact
First dictionaries and grammars
The first type of dictionaries are glossaries, i.e. more or less structured lists of lexical pairs (in alphabetical order or according to conceptual fields). The Latin-German (Latin-Bavarian) Abrogans is among the first. A new wave of lexicography can be seen from the late 15th century onwards (after the introduction of the printing press, with the growing interest for standardizing languages).
Language and identity, standardization processes
In the Middle Ages the two most
important definitory elements of Europe were Christianitas and Latinitas. Thus
language—at least the supranational language—played an elementary role. This
changed with the spread of the national languages in official contexts and the
rise of a national feeling. Among other things, this led to projects of
standardizing national language and gave birth to a number of language
academies (e.g. 1582 Accademia della Crusca in Florence, 1617 Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft,
1635 Académie française, 1713 Real Academia de
Among the first standardization discussions and processes are the ones for Italian (“questione della lingua”: Modern Tuscan/Florentine vs. Old Tuscan/Florentine vs. Venetian > Modern Florentine + archaic Tuscan + Upper Italian), French (standard is based on Parisian), English (standard is based on the London dialect) and (High) German (based on: chancellery of Meißen/Saxony + Middle German + chancellery of Prague/Bohemia [“Common German”]). But also a number of other nations have begun to look for and develop a standard variety in the 16th century.
Treatment of linguistic minorities
The linguistic diversity of Europe is protected by e.g. the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
The historical attitue towards diversity can be illustrated by two French laws, or decrees: the Ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts (1539), which says that every document in France should be written in French (i.e. not in Latin nor Occitan) and the Loi Toubon (1994), which aims to eliminate Anglicisms from official documents.
Despite previous attempts to achieve national linguistic homogenization, like in France during the Revolution, Franco's Spain and Metaxas's Greece, the “one nation = one language” concept is hard on its way to become obsolete. As for now, France, Andorra and Turkey are the only European countries that have not yet signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, while Greece, Iceland and Luxembourg signed it, but haven't ratified it. This framework entered into force in 1998 and is now nearly compulsory to implement in order to be accepted in the European Union, which implies France would not qualify for EU entry were it to apply for membership now.
Early promotion of linguistic diversity is attested at the translation school in Toledo, founded in the 12th century (in medieval Toledo the Christian, the Jewish and the Arab civilizations lived together remarkably peacefully).
A minority language can be defined as a language used by a group that defines itself as an ethnic minority group, whereby the language of this group is typologically different and not a dialect of the standard language. In Europe some languages are in quite a strong position, in the sense that they are given special status, (e.g. Basque, Irish, Welsh, Catalan, Rhaeto-Romance/Romansh), whereas others are in a rather weak position (e.g. Frisian, Scottish Gaelic, Turkish)[dubious – discuss]—especially allochthonous minority languages are not given official status in the EU (in part because they are not part of the cultural heritage of a civilization). Some minor languages don’t even have a standard yet, i.e. they have not even reached the level of an ausbausprache yet, which could be changed, e.g., if these languages were given official status. (cf. also next section).
Official status and proficiency
A more tolerant linguistic attitude is the reason why the EU’s general rule is that every official national language is also an official EU language. However Luxembourgish for instance is not an official EU language, because there are also other (stronger) official languages with “EU status” in the respective nation.[dubious – discuss] Several concepts for an EU language policy are being debated:
one official language (e.g. English, French, German)
several official languages (e.g. English, French, German, Italian, Spanish + another topic-dependent language)
all national languages as official languages, but with a number of relais languages for translations (e.g. English, French, German as relais languages).
New immigrants in European countries are expected to learn the host nation's language, but are still speaking and reading their native languages (i.e. Arabic, Hindustani/Urdu, Mandarin Chinese, Swahili and Tahitian) in Europe's increasingly multiethnic/multicultural profile. But, those languages aren't native or indigenous to Europe, therefore aren't considered important in the issue of allowing them printed in European countries' official documents.
The proficiency of languages is increasingly related to second or third language learning and has been subject to recent shifts caused by changing popularity and government policy.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing these questions (such as mysticism or mythology) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on reasoned argument. Philosophy comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία [philosophia], which literally translates to "love of wisdom".
Branches of philosophy
The following branches are the main areas of study:
Metaphysics investigates the nature of being and the world. Traditional branches are cosmology and ontology.
Epistemology is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge, and whether knowledge is possible. Among its central concerns has been the challenge posed by skepticism and the relationships between truth, belief, and justification.
Ethics, or 'moral philosophy', is concerned with questions of how persons ought to act or if such questions are answerable. The main branches of ethics are meta-ethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics. Meta-ethics concerns the nature of ethical thought, comparison of various ethical systems, whether there are absolute ethical truths, and how such truths could be known. Ethics is also associated with the idea of morality. Plato's early dialogues include a search for definitions of virtue.
Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals and communities to the state. It includes questions about justice, the good, law, property, and the rights and obligations of the citizen.
Aesthetics deals with beauty, art, enjoyment, sensory-emotional values, perception, and matters of taste and sentiment.
Logic deals with patterns of thinking that lead from true premises to true conclusions, originally developed in Ancient Greece. Beginning in the late 19th century, mathematicians such as Frege focused on a mathematical treatment of logic, and today the subject of logic has two broad divisions: mathematical logic (formal symbolic logic) and what is now called philosophical logic.
Philosophy of mind deals with the nature of the mind and its relationship to the body, and is typified by disputes between dualism and materialism. In recent years there have been increasing similarities, between this branch of philosophy and cognitive science.
Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language.
Philosophy of religion is a branch of philosophy that asks questions about religion.
Most academic subjects have a philosophy, for example the philosophy of science, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of logic, the philosophy of law, and the philosophy of history. In addition, a range of academic subjects have emerged to deal with areas which would have historically been the subject of philosophy. These include psychology, anthropology and science.
Europe is home to many cultural festivals including the Oktoberfest beer festival (Germany), Cannes Film Festival (France) and music festivals such as Glastonbury (UK), Wacken (Germany) and Benicassim (Spain).
Flemish Art and European Culture.
1. FLEMISH ART AND ARCHITECTURE.
2. The Medieval Period.
3. The Northern Renaissance
The Flemish are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Membership in the Catholic church is the norm, regardless of personal religious belief. Although nearly everyone is baptized and learns Catholic doctrine in catechism classes or Catholic school, many Flemish people are not practicing Catholics or are active nonbelievers. Leaving the church in an official act of excommunication, however, creates myriad social difficulties, because many social services are linked with the parish or other church institutions. Flanders has a small Protestant community composed of Flemish converts to Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormon church, and other Christian sects. In addition, there is an active, large, and dynamic Jewish community, particularly in Brussels, Antwerp, and the coastal area; an ephemeral surviving Gypsy community; and a growing community of Muslims in Brussels. "Flemish" Jews and Muslims have not adopted the Culture of their neighbors, and they continue to practice their faiths in separate ethnic communities. However, Belgian Religious minorities often speak the language of the region in which they live and participate in Belgian social and political life.
Religious Practitioners. Priests and nuns organize most religious functions. Lay religious leaders are active in parish associations and participate in the organization of religious ceremonies and church services. The Freemasons also comprise an important quasireligious group in Flemish culture, establishing ties of brotherhood that crosscut social, Religious, and ethnic differences. Freemasons have been influential in liberal party politics and in the process of defining a middle-class Flemish political interest.
Ceremonies. Baptism, first communion, and confirmation mark the child's entry into the Catholic family and Community. There are no official rituals marking entry into adulthood—except perhaps graduation from school, military service (for men), and marriage. The Flemish celebrate many days in the Catholic religious calendar that mark events in Christ's life. Also, there are a series of folk processions, rooted in historic events and legend, often using masks and papier-mâché "giants" (e.g., the Kattestoet in Ghent). Other ceremonies mark religious miracles, such as the Procession of the Holy Blood in Bruges, or are more purely commercial, on the order of street theater, combining spectacle with romantic reformulations of history.
Arts. Flemish literature, painting, sculpture, music, and dance are highly developed arts, comprising Flemish regional and ethnic styles, as well as participating in widespread European art movements. Early Flemish literature, written in local dialect, is linked with the growth in political importance of the Flemish population, depicting folk heroes that personify the political and social character of the Flemish. More recent literature is often nihilistic or surreal, influenced by the damage inflicted by both world wars on the Flemish psyche. Many of the great early works of Flemish musical composition are liturgical pieces for voice and organ, for example Orlando de Lassus's Gregorian compositions. The exceptional works of the Flemish primitives—including Memling, Bosch, and the Van Eycks—and the numerous Flemish masters, such as Rubens, were commissioned by noble patrons throughout Europe. More recent Flemish painting and sculpture often highlight the pleasures and pains of rural life, but others, such as works by Ensor, depict urban decadence and cultural decay. Folk arts, notably street singing, folk opera, and marionette and hand puppetry, have revived in recent years as part of the folk movement. Antwerp has a tradition of puppet theater that often crosses into the realm of political and social critique. In the plastic arts, tapestry and lace manufacture have evolved from early products of cottage industry into Domestic crafts. Today, lace is simultaneously a fine art, a hobby craft, and a tourist art; and many varieties of lace are available for sale, collection, and display.
Medicine. Modern medical care is provided in state-run hospitals and clinics and is also available through private doctors and health practitioners. The scientific model of Medicine is widely accepted, but health maintenance often involves folk beliefs regarding the use of herbs, mineral and saltwater baths, and the use of certain foods as preventative cures. Many Flemish also believe in the curative value of Oriental medical treatments, such as acupuncture. Devout Catholics often pray for divine assistance with health problems, posting placards of thanks to the Virgin Mary in churches. Many Flemish people avoid dental care, with a resulting loss of teeth from decay.
Death and Afterlife. Beliefs about death and an afterlife are shaped by Catholic doctrine. Funerals are sad and frequently private events, shared only by the deceased's family, close friends, and neighbors. The death of a child is a particularly sad and private event. Public displays of grief are not common. Graves, located on church grounds or nearby, are cared for by the survivors of the deceased. National graveyards of the fallen of World Wars I and II, located in northern Flanders, are maintained by the nations whose dead are buried there. For the Flemish, these vast graveyards are monuments to sacrifice and freedom, symbolic of a national and Flemish resolve to work for international peace and political compromise.
1. FLEMISH ART AND ARCHITECTURE.
FLEMISH ART AND ARCHITECTURE works of art and structures produced in the region of Europe known for centuries as Flanders. Netherlandish art is another term sometimes used for these works. Art produced in Flanders achieved special eminence c.1200 and in the 15th and 17th cent. Flanders was among the most culturally productive regions at other times as well.
flăndərz, former county in the Low Countries, extending along the North Sea and W of the Scheldt (Escaut) River. It is divided among East Flanders and West Flanders provs., Belgium; Nord and Pas-de-Calais depts., France; and (to a small extent) Zeeland prov., the Netherlands. The name Flanders is also used for all the Dutch-speaking areas of Belgium. Flanders varied considerably in size in the course of its history and at one time also included Artois and parts of Picardy. In Belgian Flanders, Dutch is spoken by the majority of the inhabitants.
In 862, Baldwin Bras-de-Fer [Iron Arm], a son-in-law of Emperor Charles II, became the first count of Flanders. In the divisions (9th cent.) of the Carolingian empire, Flanders became a fief of the French crown, but its powerful counts enjoyed virtual independence. They extended (11th cent.) their domains to the east; these additions, being held in fief to the Holy Roman Empire, became known as Imperial Flanders, in contrast to Crown Flanders, held from the French kings. In the 12th cent. the direct line of counts died out, and in 1191 the counts of Hainaut (with which Flanders previously had been briefly united) also became counts of Flanders.
The struggle for the succession to Flanders in the 12th cent. resulted in the loss of Artois and other districts and towns in W and S Flanders to the French crown. At the same time, the Flemish cities—among which Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, and Kortrijk were foremost—gained vast privileges and liberties (see commune). Their prosperity and the prosperity of Flanders as a whole depended on the growing cloth industry, which had been introduced in the 10th cent., and on the transit trade at such major ports as Bruges (later superseded by Antwerp) and Ghent. By the 13th cent. the Flemish cloth industry was the foremost in Europe, and it has still retained much of its importance.
Flanders had a turbulent history in the 13th and 14th cent. due to social, economic, and political tensions. One result of the intensive industrialization of the cities was a struggle between the guild workers and the patricians. This struggle was reflected in the political rivalry of the Leliaerts (supporters of the French kings, named for the fleur-de-lis on the French arms), who were backed by the patricians, and the Clauwaerts (supporters of the counts of Flanders, named for the lion's claws in the counts' shield), who represented the lower classes. In addition, there was a long-standing rivalry among the cities, which often led to open warfare.
Flanders was weakened by the departure of its count, Baldwin IX, on the Fourth Crusade, during which he was proclaimed (1204) emperor of Constantinople as Baldwin I. Baldwin's absence was exploited by Philip II of France to strengthen his influence in Flanders; the Flemings were aided by John of England and Emperor Otto IV, but were defeated by Philip at Bouvines (1214). In 1297, Guy of Dampierre, count of Flanders, allied himself with Edward I of England against Philip IV of France; Philip, with the help of the Leliaerts, overran Flanders and imprisoned Guy (1300). Only two years later the Clauwaerts seized power; the French were massacred in the Matins of Bruges and were forcefully expelled in the Battle of the Spurs (1302).
The accession (1322) of the pro-French Louis of Nevers as count of Flanders threw the country into a civil war in which Bruges and Ypres sided against (but Ghent sided with) the count. The pro-French party emerged victorious. When Edward III of England, about to embark on what was to become the Hundred Years War with France, stopped wool exports from England to Flanders, the Flemish cloth industry faced ruin. Aware of the danger, the Flemings united under the leadership of Ghent, where Jacob van Artevelde was given dictatorial powers in 1337, and allied themselves with England, taking part in Edward's great naval victory at Sluis (1340). After Artevelde's death (1345), Louis de Maële, son of Louis of Nevers, regained control over Flanders and sought to balance the influences of England and France. In 1381, however, the weavers of Ghent rebelled once more, this time under Philip van Artevelde. The weavers captured Bruges but were defeated (1382) by a French army at Rozebeke.
Louis de Maële's son-in-law, Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy, succeeded to Flanders on Louis's death (1384) and in 1385 subdued Ghent. Under the Burgundian dynasty (see Burgundy), Flemish commerce and art flourished, but Flanders lost its independence; the Burgundians and (after 1477) the Hapsburgs kept a firm grip on Flanders, which was a major source of income. The cloth industry was in decline, and the political rights of the cities, although asserted in many revolts, were curtailed. On the death (1477) of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, his heir, Mary of Burgundy, restored the Flemish liberties in the Great Privilege. Her son by Archduke Maximilian (later Emperor Maximilian I), Philip of Burgundy (later Philip I of Castile), succeeded on Mary's death in 1482, but the burghers kept him a virtual prisoner in Ghent until 1485.
In 1506, Flanders came under the Spanish line of the house of Hapsburg through Philip's wife Joanna. Flanders joined (1576) in the revolt of the Netherlands against Philip II of Spain, but by 1584 the Spanish under Alessandro Farnese had recovered the county. It continued under Spanish rule until 1714, when the Peace of Utrecht awarded it to Austria (see Netherlands, Austrian and Spanish). Parts of W Flanders, including Lille, were annexed (1668–78) to France by Louis XIV and became known as French Flanders (see Flanders, French). Austria ceded the remainder of Flanders to France in the Treaty of Campo Formio (1797), but the Congress of Vienna awarded (1815) the former Austrian Flanders to the Netherlands. When Belgium gained (1830) independence, its part of Flanders was divided into the provinces of East Flanders and West Flanders.
Flanders's strategic location has made it a major battleground since the Middle Ages. In World War I, there was continuous fighting in French Flanders and in West Flanders. In World War II, the battle of Flanders began with the German invasion (May 10, 1940) of the Low Countries and ended with the surrender of the Belgian army and the evacuation of the British at Dunkirk (May 26–June 4, 1940).
See F. F. Mendels, Industrialization and Population Pressure in Eighteenth Century Flanders (1981). For additional bibliography, see Belgium.
2. The Medieval Period.
During the Middle Ages, Flemish art followed the contemporary early Christian, Carolingian, and Romanesque styles. In the 12th cent. Rainer of Huy, Godefroid de Claire, and Nicholas of Verdun, among others, were noted for their work in metal and enamel. In the same century an important late Romanesque cathedral was built at Tournai (see Romanesque architecture and art). In succeeding centuries, the metalworks of Dinant lent their name to the French word dinanderie, for metalwork, and Flemish brass workers and copper workers produced sophisticated pieces.
Splendid examples of secular architecture were executed in the 14th and 15th cent., including the Ypres cloth hall and the city halls of Brussels and Louvain. At Tournai painting, sculpture, and tapestry-making also flourished. Flanders followed the French in their adaptation of Gothic styles until the late 14th cent., when Flemish artists contributed vigorously realistic figures to the elegant, more fragile French manner of painting and manuscript illumination (see also Gothic architecture and art). Jean de Cambrai introduced similarly powerful and realistic forms into French sculpture, along with André Beauneveu and Jacques de Baerze. Jean Bondol of Bruges was a leading illuminator and tapestry designer.
The marriage in 1369 of the daughter of the count of Flanders to the duke of Burgundy led to a concentration of artists around the wealthy Burgundian court. It was the center of activity for such painters and manuscript illuminators as Melchior Broederlam, the Limbourg brothers, the Boucicaut master, Jean Malouel, and Jan van Eyck. Claus Sluter executed the famous sculpture at the court-sponsored Carthusian monastery of Champmol.
ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE AND ART
the artistic style that prevailed throughout Europe from the 10th to the mid-12th cent., although it persisted until considerably later in certain areas. The term Romanesque points to the principal source of the style, the buildings of the Roman Empire. In addition to classical elements, however, Romanesque architecture incorporates components of Byzantine and Eastern origin.
The specific character of the Romanesque style can be understood only in the light of the development of early medieval architecture in the West, notably its Carolingian and Ottonian phases. Certain of the most characteristic features of Romanesque structures—the massive west facade crowned by a tower or by twin towers, the complex design of the eastern part housing the sanctuary, the rhythmic alternation of piers and columns in the nave—represent only the advanced stages in a lengthy and complex formal evolution marked by considerable trial and error.
The development of Romanesque architecture owes much to the primacy accorded to vaulting. Masonry vaulting (see vault) since the beginning of Christian architecture had been confined to buildings of relatively small scale and to crypts. Large basilican structures, in a continuation of a tradition inaugurated by the early Christian basilica, were topped by wooden roofs. Romanesque churches, on the other hand, with notable exceptions in Normandy and Italy, sustained massive barrel vaults, making mandatory the reinforcement of load-bearing walls in order to parry the lateral outward thrust. The frequent presence of galleries above the aisles, sometimes with half-barrel vaults, is in all probability rooted in structural considerations connected with the problem of abutment. The limitation of wall openings to a minimum, related to the same concern, contributed to the sober yet somberly impressive character of the light.
The major share of architectural activity was sponsored by the great monastic communities. The Cluniac order, at the peak of its power, played a primary role in the patronage of construction. Thus a number of significant Cluniac churches connected with great 12th-century pilgrimages—St. Martin in Tours, St. Sernin in Toulouse, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain—show great similarity in plan and overall design. This sameness is especially notable in the presence of spacious ambulatories with radiating chapels designed to facilitate the pilgrims' access to the precious relics. The design of the third church of Cluny, dedicated in 1095, is reflected in a number of Burgundian churches. The basilica of San Marco in Venice and other Byzantine structures help to account for the presence of domed vaulting in a group of churches in French Aquitaine. German Romanesque architecture on the other hand remained strongly tied to the heritage of Ottonian art.
The following structures are noted works of Romanesque architecture: France—the abbey churches of St. Madeleine Vézelay (c.1090–1130) and Paray-le-Monial (early 12th cent.); Germany—the Cathedral of Speyer, dedicated in 1060, but largely reconstructed after 1082, and the Church of St. Mary on the Capitol in Cologne (1049); Italy—the cathedral (1063–92) and baptistery (1153) in Pisa, the Church of San Miniato al Monte (c.1070) in Florence, and the Cathedral of Monreale in Sicily (1174). From the last third of the 12th cent. certain features of the churches in N France and in England began to point toward the development of the Gothic (see Norman architecture). Similarly, architecture in the Ile-de-France, particularly the ambulatory (1140) of the abbey of St. Denis, reveals such an advance in unified design and construction as to be considered the first monument of Gothic architecture.
The art of the Romanesque period was characterized by an important revival of monumental forms, notably sculpture and fresco painting, which developed in close association with architectural decoration and exhibited a forceful and often severely structural quality. At the same time an element of realism, which parallels the first flowering of vernacular literature, came to the fore. It was expressed in terms of a direct and naive observation of certain details drawn from daily life and a heightened emphasis on emotion and fantasy. For many aspects of its rich imagery Romanesque art depended on the heritage of antiquity and of earlier medieval art, while the prestige of Byzantine art remained high in Western eyes. The pilgrimages and Crusades contributed to an unprecedented expansion of the formal vocabulary through the development of closer contacts between regional cultures and distant peoples.
The first important monuments of Romanesque sculpture were created in the last decade of the 11th cent. and the first decades of the 12th cent. The primary source of artistic patronage was provided by the monastic institutions, for whom sculptors executed large relief carvings for the decoration of church portals and richly ornate capitals for cloisters. Romanesque sculpture produced an art of extraordinary ornamental complexity, ecstatic in expression, and abounding in seemingly endless combinations of zoomorphic, vegetal, and abstract motifs.
In France themes portrayed on tympanums of such churches as Moissac, Vézelay, and Autun emphasized the awesome majesty of Christ as ruler and judge of the universe. They often depicted terrifying spectacles of hell. English sculpture showed a tendency toward geometric ornamentation. However, with the introduction in England of continental influences in the mid-12th cent. there also appeared gruesome renditions of the Last Judgment, e.g., at Lincoln Cathedral. In contrast with the demonic nature and animated quality of sculpture in France and in England, there was an assertion of more massive and ponderous figures in N Italy, with the narrative reliefs from Genesis designed by Wiligelmo in Modena and by Niccolò in Verona.
Another aspect of the Romanesque revival was the production of metalwork objects, of which many outstanding examples, such as crucifixes, reliquary shrines, and candlesticks, are still preserved in church treasuries. The most productive centers of this art were the regions adjacent to the Rhine and the Meuse rivers, where the art of bronze casting reached a level of technical mastery sufficient to permit the execution of works of considerable dimension. An outstanding example of Mosan bronze casting is the baptismal font of St. Barthelemy in Liège, a large vessel supported by 12 oxen and decorated with scenes in high relief, executed by Rainer of Huy between 1107 and 1118. It was during this same period that Limoges, in central France, became an extremely active center of metalwork production, specializing in enamelwork.
Fresco painting has been more adversely affected by the accidents of time, but several large cycles, as well as numerous other fragments of Romanesque wall painting, have survived. The large and relatively unbroken expanses of wall space within Romanesque buildings presented an excellent ground for the work of the painter, and the basic forms of Romanesque fresco painting are typically monumental in scale and bold in coloristic effect. Among the foremost examples of this art still largely extant are the cycles of Saint-Savin in western France and Sant'Angelo in Formis in S Italy.
Manuscript illumination of the Romanesque period was characterized by a vast enlargement of the traditional fund of pictorial imagery, although in terms of overall execution and calligraphic quality Romanesque illuminated books often show a certain carelessness and lack of refinement. The Psalter, as in the early Middle Ages, continued to be the most widely read volume for religious use, and numerous sumptuously illuminated copies of this work were executed. The Romanesque scriptorium also produced large editions of the Bible, often extending to several volumes. A splendid example of such a work is the Winchester Bible, executed in the course of several generations and decorated with numerous scenes from the Old and the New Testaments. Romanesque manuscripts are enlivened by elaborate and highly inventive initial letters, on which the artists of this period lavished their bent for rich ornamental display.
See H. P. Swarzenski, Monuments of Romanesque Art (2d ed. 1967); G. Künstler, ed., Romanesque Art in Europe (1968); G. Nebolsine, Journey into Romanesque (1969); O. Demus, Romanesque Mural Painting (1970); G. Zarnecki, Romanesque Art (1971).
3. The Northern Renaissance
In Flanders Renaissance works of art took on a character quite different from those of Italy. The masterpieces of 15th-century Flemish painting are remarkable for their acute observation of nature, symbolism in realistic disguise, depiction of spatial depth and landscape backgrounds, and delicate precision of brushwork. The achievements in symbolism (see iconography) and realism of Robert Campin (identified with the Master of Flémalle) and the Van Eycks, who mastered the technique of oil painting in the first third of the century, were continued in the second third by Roger van der Weyden, Dieric Bouts, and Petrus Christus. These artists refined the depiction of psychological expression, landscape, and space.
In the last third of the 15th cent. Hugo van der Goes and Hieronymus Bosch were especially sensitive to complex emotional expression and fantastic subject matter, while Hans Memling, Gerard David, Joachim Patinir, Quentin Massys, Justus of Ghent, and Joos van Cleef produced paintings in a calmer mood, based on the achievements of earlier Flemings with occasional influences from Italian art. In general, with the exception of the brilliantly original Pieter Bruegel, the elder, late 15th-century Flemish art followed Italian models, although it preserved interest in genre realism and landscape painting as seen in the works of Paul Brill, Gillis van Coninxloo, and others.
Italy attracted many 16th-century artists, such as Jan Gossaert and Jan van Scorel, who returned to Flanders and imported Italian Renaissance forms and motifs into the North. At this time the center of Flemish artistic activity moved to Antwerp, where a school of mannerist artists arose, more clearly influenced by Southern European aesthetic development (see mannerism). Frans Floris was a leading representative of this trend. The 16th-century landscape style, emphasizing exquisite detail and brilliant color, persisted in the works of Jan Bruegel, the elder; Roelandt Savery; Joost de Momper; and Gilles de Hondecoeter, who worked in Holland.
Achievements of the Seventeenth Century
With Rubens, Flemish art again became preeminent in Europe, and his influence dominated painting throughout much of the 17th cent. The greatest patron of Flemish art remained the church, and Rubens's greatest influence was exerted through his religious paintings rather than his portraiture or his apotheoses of European rulers. Elements of his energetic line, brushwork, and understanding of form, his rich, warm color, and his ideal of robust beauty were emulated in the work of his pupil Jacob Jordaens and in that of his more consciously elegant and more highly individual follower Sir Anthony Van Dyck.
Still life and genre painting also flourished in 17th-century Flanders. Outstanding still-life painters included Jan Bruegel and Frans Snyders; genre painters included David Teniers and Adriaen Brouwer. The principal exponent of classicism, the painter Abraham Janssens, brought elements of Caravaggesque painting to the Flemish school (see Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da). The graphic arts also flourished in Flanders at this time. The principal Flemish sculptor was François Duquesnoy, who practiced in Italy. Architecture in the later 16th and 17th cent. blended heavy northern decorative taste and steeply pitched roofs with Italian mannerist and baroque forms; the Antwerp town hall (1561–65) and Rubens's house (c.1610) are characteristic buildings.
The Eighteenth through the Twentieth Centuries
In the 18th cent. French rococo taste predominated in Flanders, but in the 19th cent. a flourishing Belgian school of romantic painters arose (see romanticism). They included Gustave Wappers, Hendrik Leys, and the genre painter Henri de Braekeleer (1840–88). Two other noted Belgians, Alfred Stevens and Henri Evenepoel, worked chiefly in Paris.
A number of figures stand out as exemplars of modern Belgian art. Foremost is James Ensor, an individualistic painter of grotesque personal visions whose major works were created by 1900. Important artists of the 20th cent. include the founders of Belgian expressionism, Jakob Smits and Eugene Laermans; the sculptor and painter Rik Wouters and later expressionist painters Frits van den Berghe and Constant Permeke; the internationally recognized exponents of surrealism Paul Delvaux and René Margritte; and the later painters of the abstract school Anne Bonnet and Louis van Lint. Victor Horta and Henri van de Velde are the major 20th-century Belgians architects.
See M. D. Whinney, Early Flemish Painting (1968); W. Gaunt, Flemish Cities (1970); L. and T. van Puyvelde, Flemish Painting (2 vol., tr. 1970 and 1972); M. Friedländer, Early Netherlandish Painting (9 vol. in 10, tr. 1967–72).
ILLUMINATION, in Art
in art, decoration of manuscripts and books with colored, gilded pictures, often referred to as miniatures (see miniature painting); historiated and decorated initials; and ornamental border designs.
The earliest known illustrated rolls come from Egypt; they include the oldest example, the Ramesseum Papyrus (c.1980 b.c.) and fragments from the Book of the Dead, found in tombs. Little or nothing survives of ancient Greek illumination, although scientific treatises and epic poetry are said to have contained pictures. It is thought that by the 2d cent. a.d. the long papyrus roll began to be replaced by the parchment codex (or leaved book). Thus a new, compact format was introduced as the framework for the picture. From the late classical period (probably 5th cent. a.d.) come the illustrations of Vergil (Vatican) and the Iliad (Ambrosian Library, Milan).
Illumination in Early Christendom
Most illuminations of the early Christian period, whose style was based on Hellenistic prototypes, are preserved only in medieval copies made in monasteries. Sumptuous Byzantine codices of the 6th and 7th cent., such as the Vienna Genesis, also show the adaptation of antique models to biblical subject matter.
In the 7th and 8th cent. the work of the Irish, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, and Lombards displayed rich decorative geometric designs with intricate human and animal interlacing, largely concentrated in initials and title pages. Among the masterpieces of Hiberno-Saxon illumination are the Book of Durrow, the Book of Kells (both: Trinity College Library, Dublin), and the Lindisfarne Gospels (British Mus.).
The chief works of the Carolingian period date from the beginning of the 9th cent. and were created for the court of Charlemagne, whose aim was to revive the art of antiquity. The existence of several local monastic schools led to a variety of styles; prominent were the Ada group, characterized by splendid coloring and figures full of movement and expression, e.g., The Gospel Book of Ada (Municipal Library, Trier), and the Reims school, known for vibrant pen drawings with little color, e.g., the Utrecht Psalter (9th cent.; University Library, Utrecht).
Works of the Reims school greatly influenced the English school of Winchester in the 10th and 11th cent. The Benedictional of St. Aethelwold (c.980) typifies this style, with sketchy drawings of elongated figures in fluttering drapery, enriched by foliated borders. Contemporary with the flowering of the Winchester school was the Ottonian renascence in Germany. Germanic illuminators used thick, luxurious colors with vigorous outlines and dynamic movement. Reichenau, Hildesheim, and Fulda were prominent centers of Ottonian art.
In Byzantine miniatures a more classical mode continued into the 13th cent. in such works as the Joshua Roll (10th cent.; Vatican), along with images of a hieratic austerity. Italy was important for the diffusion of the Byzantine style; the most original works are the Exultet rolls (Pisa), containing joyous hymns. Byzantine work declined after the capture of Constantinople in 1204.
In Spain, where there was a mixture of Christian and Arabic elements, a highly inventive work was the Commentary of Beatus on the Apocalypse (a 10th-century copy is in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City). The illumination of large books, Bibles and psalters, was fashionable in the Romanesque era. Richly decorated initials graced these books and, in the early 12th cent., stylized figures enhanced by complex garments and gestures were plentiful. Characteristic of mid-12th-century work is the Winchester Bible.
Before the 14th cent. illuminated manuscripts in the West were nearly always made of vellum. Both ink outline and full-color drawings were common. The color medium was usually tempera, and the gilt was burnished to a high luster. Lavish illumination was most commonly applied to religious books, including early gospels, fashioned for rich patrons, then psalters and books of hours. A few other sorts of manuscripts, such as the bestiary, were, by tradition, profusely illustrated.
The Golden Age of Illumination
Paris was the birthplace of new ideas in book ornamentation at the beginning of the 13th cent. Picture and text were more closely integrated. The most striking quality of the Gothic miniatures was their parallel to stained glass windows in the use of similar colors, drawing, and medallion frameworks. Book size decreased, initials were expanded, and grotesque little monsters and drolleries appeared in the margins.
Lay schools emerged in the 14th cent., directed by individual artists, such as Maître Honoré and Jean Pucelle. Gold fields were replaced by colored and landscape backgrounds, although colors were sometimes abandoned for grisaille, as in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux (c.1325; Metropolitan Mus.) by Jean Pucelle.
Greater realism and a wealth of ornament in the margins can be seen in the works done in the early 15th cent. for the duc de Berry by the Burgundian court artists André Beauneveu, Jacquemart de Hesdin, and the Limbourg brothers. The epitome of elegance was reached in the Très riches heures du duc de Berry (Chantilly) by the Limbourg brothers, showing a fusion of the refined Parisian style with the more realistic art of Flanders and also the influence of Italian panel painting.
Other notable works of the 15th cent. include the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c.1428–45; Morgan Library) and illuminations of the Master of Mary of Burgundy (Bodleian, Oxford). The Boucicaut Master also made notable contributions. From the region of Tours came the highly accomplished Hours of Étienne Chevalier (Chantilly) by Jean Fouquet and the work of his pupil Jean Bourdichon. In England the early 14th-century art of illumination was nearly indistinguishable from that of France, e.g. Queen Mary's Psalter (British Mus.).
Italy was an important center of illumination in the 15th and 16th cent. Among those who worked as illuminators were Fra Angelico, Mantegna (briefly), Liberale da Verona, and Giulio Clovio. In general, illuminations were no longer closely related to the text but became little paintings in Renaissance frames. The decline of the art of the miniature was made inevitable by the invention of the printing press, and toward the end of the 15th cent. wood-block prints began to replace painted illumination.
GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE AND ART
structures (largely cathedrals and churches) and works of art first created in France in the 12th cent. that spread throughout Western Europe through the 15th cent., and in some locations into the 16th cent.
The Nature of the Gothic
The essential character of the Gothic period, particularly at the outset, was the predominance of architecture; all the other arts were determined by it. The character of the Gothic visual aesthetic was one of immense vitality; it was spikily linear and restlessly active. Informed by the scholasticism and mysticism of the Middle Ages, it reflected the exalted religious intensity, the pathos, and the self-intoxication with logical formalism that were the essence of the medieval. Gothic style was the dominant structural and aesthetic mode in Europe for a period of up to 400 years.
Characteristics of Gothic Architecture
It is generally agreed that Gothic architecture made its initial appearance (c.1140) in the Île-de-France, the royal domain of the Capetian kings. However, the inception of the style owes much to several generations of prior experimentation, particularly in Normandy (see Norman architecture). Although individual components in Gothic architecture, such as ribbed vaulting and the pointed arch, had been employed in Romanesque construction, they had not previously received such a purposeful and consistent application. While the structural value of the Gothic rib has been contested, its formal significance cannot be overestimated. It served above all to delineate the vaults with a skeletal web that gave to the entire structure an articulation of impressive clarity.
Unlike Romanesque architecture, with its stress on heavy masses and clearly delimited areas, Gothic construction, particularly in its later phase, is characterized by lightness and soaring spaces. The overall effect of the Gothic cathedral combined this lightness with an innumerable subdivision and multiplicity of forms. The introduction (c.1180) of a system of flying buttresses (see buttress) made possible the reduction of wall surfaces by relieving them of part of their structural function. Great windows could be set into walls, admitting light through vast expanses of stained glass. Wall surfaces of High Gothic churches thus have the appearance of transparent and weightless curtains. The spiritual and mysterious quality of light is an important element of the religious symbolism of Gothic cathedrals.
In plan the High Gothic cathedral remained faithful to the traditional basilican form. It consisted of a central nave flanked by aisles, with or without transept, and was terminated by a choir surrounded by an ambulatory with chapels. These elements, however, were no longer treated as single units but were formally integrated within a unified spatial scheme. The exterior view was frequently dominated by twin towers. The facade was pierced by entrance portals often lavishly decorated with sculpture, and at a higher level appeared a central stained glass rose window. Additional towers frequently rose above the crossing and the arms of the transept, which often had entrance portals and sculpture of their own. Around the upper part of the edifice was a profusion of flying buttresses and pinnacles.
Landmarks of French Gothic Architecture
The first important example of Gothic architecture was the ambulatory of the abbey of Saint-Denis, constructed between 1140 and 1144. Saint-Denis embodies the first daring use of large areas of glass, coupled with a brilliant organization of space. Its influence was immediate, and the possibilities of the new style were eagerly explored in structures such as the cathedrals of Sens, Noyon, Laon, and Paris, begun in the ensuing decades of the 12th cent.
The High Gothic phase of architecture was ushered in by the Cathedral of Chartres, begun after 1194 and followed in rapid succession by the cathedrals of Bourges, Reims, Amiens, and Beauvais. These structures surged to unprecedented heights. A further reduction of opaque wall surfaces in favor of graceful screens of stone tracery and glass led toward the formation of the Gothic Rayonnant style around the mid-13th cent. The most striking achievements of Rayonnant design, the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the Church of St. Urban in Troyes, have walls almost entirely of glass, held in place by only a thin skeletal frame of masonry.
Gothic Architecture Outside France
The adoption of Gothic architecture in various parts of Western Europe resulted in interesting variations and developments of the style. The cathedrals of Lincoln and Salisbury typify the early English style (late 12th–early 13th cent.). They retain much of the ponderous mural quality of earlier Norman architecture. In Italy height was usually subordinated to width, in a perpetuation of Romanesque proportions. French models served as inspiration for German churches of the 13th cent., notably at the cathedral in Cologne. Spanish Gothic architecture of this period was also based largely on French monuments; the forms, however, were modified, as in Toledo and Burgos, in the direction of greater ornamental display, partly derived from Moorish precedents.
Late Gothic Styles
In the 13th cent. the newly founded orders of Franciscans and Dominicans erected large hall churches of unassuming sobriety. The simplicity and functional character of these buildings, shown in such structures as the interior of Santa Maria Novella in Florence or the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse, contrasts with the trend toward richness in ornamental elaboration apparent in later Gothic art. In the 14th and 15th cent., these tendencies culminated in intricate webs of tracery, as in the towers of the cathedrals at Ulm and Strasbourg in Germany and in the flamboyant style of the Church of Saint-Maclou in Rouen in France. In England the same exuberance of decoration is manifested in the Decorated style of Bristol and Ely cathedrals and the even more elaborate Perpendicular style, exemplified in the choir of the cathedral at Gloucester.
Building activity, however, was seriously affected by the economic crises of the 14th cent. and by the Black Death, and later Gothic constructions were far less ambitious in scope than those of the preceding period. However, the Gothic tradition never completely died out, and in the 19th cent. it enjoyed a revival in Europe and in the New World inspired chiefly by the romantic movement (see Gothic revival).
Sculpture and stained glass were formally and spiritually integrated within the Gothic cathedral to express a theological program or scheme. The Royal Portal at Chartres (mid-12th cent.) exemplifies the early achievements in the development toward a coherent sculptural scheme; the tympanum, archivolts, and jamb figures are newly united structurally and iconographically to emphasize the importance of Christ on earth. Images of Christ begin to reveal a tendency toward greater humanization.
By the first half of the 13th cent., the role of the Virgin Mary as the intermediary between God and humanity is stressed in the sculptural programs of Laon, Notre-Dame de Paris, and the north transept of Chartres. At the same time figures began to protrude more strongly from their architectural background. Whereas the jamb figures of the Royal Portal at Chartres were formally no more than splendid humanized columns, by the 13th cent. individual sculptural elements became more important and less united with the architecture. The portal figures of the cathedral at Reims provide an eloquent example of the trend toward sculptural independence.
From the mid-13th cent. onward, mannerisms in gesture developed, such as the "hip-shot" pose, notable in the statue of the Virgin and Child at Amiens. This swaying posture further separated sculpture from architecture. In the 14th cent., after the completion of the great cathedrals, sculpture became an independent artistic form. Mannerisms were exaggerated into an elegant style that continued into the 16th cent. There was a parallel trend toward greater realism, which had its origin in sepulchral portrait sculpture. The tendency toward realism reached monumental form in the Well of Moses (Dijon; 1395–1403) by Claus Sluter.
The influence of French Gothic sculpture spread throughout the Continent and England. The finest and most individual examples are found in Germany in the middle of the 13th cent. in the facades of Bamberg, Strasbourg, and Naumbourg cathedrals, the last showing evidence of a powerfully realistic, wholly German style. In Italy the late 13th-century works of Giovanni Pisano (see Nicola Pisano) in Siena and Pistoia and of Lorenzo Maitani at Orvieto reflect the heightened expressiveness found in French Gothic art.
Other Gothic Arts
Monumental fresco painting was rare in the Gothic period except in Italy, where the massive walls remained instead of yielding to the tall skeletal structure found elsewhere. In the rest of Europe stained glass and tapestry assumed greater importance and showed a stylistic development analogous to that of sculpture.
Another aspect of Gothic painting was manuscript illumination, in which text and pictures formed a united composition. From the beginning of the 13th cent., illuminations were done for the courts by lay schools. The Paris school achieved a perfection which made it the center of Gothic painting for nearly two centuries. English miniatures are often indistinguishable from the French in this period. The painters of the Avignon school flourished from 1309, when the papal court was moved there from Rome. This school produced one work, a Pietà from Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (Louvre; c.1460), of such originality of expression that it stands outside the established categories of Gothic painting.
The Waning of the Gothic Style
Toward the end of the 14th cent., many Flemish artists went to France, and a Franco-Flemish style was created, showing an elegance and interest in minute detail; so wide was its diffusion that it came to be known as the International Style. At about this time panel painting, under the lead of Flanders and Italy, achieved preeminence over all other forms of painting. In the 15th cent. individual painters, such as Stephan Lochner, Martin Schongauer, and Mathias Grünewald in Germany, mark the culmination of Gothic art. Others, such as Jean Fouquet in France and the Van Eycks in Flanders, point the way to the Renaissance, while retaining much of the Gothic spirit. In 15th-century Italy, where the Gothic style had never really taken root, the early Renaissance was already in full flower.
See E. Mâle, The Gothic Image (1958); P. Frankl, The Gothic (1960); E. Panofsky, Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism (new ed. 1964); W. Worringer, Form in Gothic (rev. ed. 1964); A. Martindale, Gothic Art (1967); W. Swaan, The Gothic Cathedral (1969); J. Harvey, The Master Builders (1971).
hand-woven fabric of plain weave made without shuttle or drawboy, the design of weft threads being threaded into the warp with fingers or a bobbin. The name has been extended to cover a variety of heavy materials, such as imitation tapestries woven on Jacquard looms, tapestry carpets, and upholstery and drapery stuffs. True tapestries include various primitive textiles woven on the rudest of early looms, as well as the famous pictorial hangings of the Middle Ages.
The techniques for high- and
low-warp work (haute-lisse and basse-lisse) differ; both were used in the 14th
cent. In a high-warp loom the threads are stretched vertically in front of the
weaver, and the lisses or loops which raise the alternate threads to make the
shed are lifted by hand; in low-warp work, the warp threads are horizontal, and
the lisses are moved by means of a foot treadle. The strong warp threads of
wool or linen may vary from 10 to
In true tapestry, the front and back surfaces are alike, except that portions of the design of the same color are connected by a loose thread that is left hanging at the back. The different colors of the design, being worked in separately in blocks or patches, leave little slits between, which are afterward sewn up. All are woven with the back to the weaver, who sees nothing of his work until it is finished, unless he uses a mirror to reflect it. A cartoon or painting on linen or paper, often by a noted artist, is provided for the weaver to copy. Themes for medieval hangings were drawn from ancient legends, mythology, allegory, history, religion, chivalry, and sport.
Antique specimens of tapestry weaving include a few surviving from Egypt of 1500 b.c. and Coptic tapestries made from the 4th to 8th cent. a.d. The Incas of Peru produced beautiful specimens, some of which date back to the pre-Columbian era. Ancient Chinese tapestries, k'o ssu, were made of light, thin silks, often interwoven with gold thread. Allusions in early Greek poetry and paintings on Greek vases show that tapestry weaving was an important household industry.
The history of tapestry weaving is continuous. In the 5th cent. a.d. and in the centuries immediately afterward, monasteries and convents were the centers of the craft. Woolen tapestries appeared early in Europe. A few fragments woven in this material in the 10th or 11th cent. are still preserved. (The so-called Bayeux tapestry was actually embroidered.) At Arras, early in the 14th cent., the first great French weaving was done, in wool. Soon Brussels achieved prominence and remained important through the 17th cent., until the rise of the Gobelins works at Paris.
By the 15th cent., tapestry weaving had reached a high degree of perfection, and from this century date many great Gothic sets rich with gold thread. A fine specimen is the set of Burgundian Sacraments; a late 15th-century example of a verdure background is the Lady and the Unicorn set (Musée de Cluny). An example of the Renaissance period is the widely acclaimed set, the Acts of the Apostles, from the cartoons of Raphael. Fine weaving was done at Beauvais in the mid-17th cent. Weavers at Aubusson, France, began in the 16th cent. to make an inferior textile that was gradually improved. The baroque style dominated the 17th cent.; the rococo and classical styles appeared in the 18th cent. Fine examples were woven from the cartoons of François Boucher, who worked both for the Beauvais and the Gobelins looms.
In England much tapestry, known as Arras, was used before any was manufactured there. In the 16th cent. William Sheldon set up works in Warwickshire. An establishment in imitation of the Gobelins was opened at Mortlake in 1619 and employed Flemish weavers. In 1881, William Morris began weaving at Merton; his friend Edward Burne-Jones designed some of Morris's series. In 1893 tapestry looms were set up in New York City. Some interesting 20th-century tapestries have been woven in France from cartoons by Rouault, Braque, Lurçat, Picasso, and Calder.
Important public collections in the United States that contain fine examples of tapestry weaving are those in the Metropolitan Museum (including the magnificent Hunt of the Unicorn series at the Cloisters) and in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
See M. Jarry, World Tapestry (1969); A. Pearson, Complete Book of Tapestry Weaving (1984); T. P. Campbell, Tapestry in the Renaissance (2002).
īˌkŏnŏgˈrəfē [Gr.,=image-drawing] or iconology [Gr.,=image-study], in art history, the study and interpretation of figural representations, either individual or symbolic, religious or secular; more broadly, the art of representation by pictures or images, which may or may not have a symbolic as well as an apparent or superficial meaning.
The Meaning and Significance of Iconography
When first used in the 18th cent. the term was confined to the study of engravings, which were then the standard mode of illustrating books on art and on antiquities in general. But it came shortly to be applied more specifically to the history and classification of Christian images and symbols of all sorts, in whatever medium they happened to be rendered originally or in whatever way they were reproduced for study.
With the rise of the systematic investigation of art from prehistoric ages to modern times, it became apparent that each major phase or epoch in which figural representations occur had created and developed in varying degrees of richness and elaboration an iconography of its own. As used today, therefore, the term is necessarily qualified to indicate the field of iconographic study under discussion—e.g., the iconography of the various Egyptian deities, the iconography of Roman imperial portraits, early Christian iconography, Buddhist or Hindu iconography, Byzantine iconography, Gothic iconography.
As a method of scholarly research the science of iconography strives also to recover and express the thought from which a given convention of representation has arisen, particularly when the convention has assumed the value of a symbol. The importance of identifying motifs is central to iconographical interpretation. For example, St. Catherine of Alexandria is traditionally portrayed in the presence of a wheel. This wheel is a familiar attribute that serves to identify her and that at the same time signifies a miracle connected with her martyrdom. Some attributes are more difficult to understand, and their obscurity has led scholars to consult other images or literary sources in order to interpret the motif more satisfactorily.
Certain themes characteristic of a specific philosophy have been commonly represented during an era, and an iconography has been developed to express them. An example is the still life vanitas vanitatum of the Middle Ages, a reminder of the transitory quality of earthly pleasure symbolized by a skull, candle, and hourglass (or, in later versions, a watch). In every living art the conventions and symbols, as well as their meanings, change with the passage of time and the growth of ideas; many disappear, while others become almost unintelligible to a later generation and can be recovered only by intensive study. Among the foremost scholars in iconographic studies are Didron, Émile Mâle, Aby Warburg, and Erwin Panofsky.
By reason of its long history and the dynamic concepts that controlled it, the growth of Christian iconography is rich and varied. Beginning with the catacomb frescoes in the early centuries of the Christian era, it deals with the perils faced by the human soul on earth in its journey toward eternal salvation. Figures from the Old Testament (e.g., Abraham, Judith and Holofernes), episodes from the life and passion of Jesus (e.g., the Nativity, the Descent from the Cross, the Pietà), scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary (e.g., the Sacred Conversation, the Visitation), scenes from the lives of the saints (e.g., St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata, St. Jerome in the Wilderness, the Martyrdom of St. Agatha), and symbolic scenes of ultimate beatitude (e.g., the Majesty, the Savior of the World, the Coronation of the Virgin), all reveal the same purpose—to repeat in many forms and inculcate in every mind the moral aims and fundamental dogmas of the Christian religion.
A long series of evolutionary stages unfolds in the representation of a given person or scene from the art of the catacombs to that of the Gothic cathedrals. Thus the art of the Middle Ages is above all a kind of sacred writing whose system of characters, i.e., the iconography, had to be learned by every artist. It was governed also by a kind of sacred mathematics, in which position, grouping, symmetry, and number were of extraordinary importance and were themselves an integral part of the iconography.
From earliest times Christian iconography has likewise been a symbolic code, showing the faithful one thing and inviting them to see in it the figure of another. Some examples are: the dove, which figures the Holy Spirit; the fish, symbol of Christ, from the Greek icthus, an anagram for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior; the monkey or reptile as symbol of evil; and the bowl or pitcher of water and the vase of lilies that signify the Virgin's purity in the Annunciation scene. In Christian art, form is thus the vehicle of spiritual meaning; in the expression and reading of this meaning lies the essence of Christian iconography.
See E. Panofsky, Studies in Iconology (1939, repr. 1962); G. Ferguson, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art (2d ed. 1955); A. N. Didron, Christian Iconography (2 vol., tr. 1851–86, repr. 1965); G. Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art (tr. 1971).
REALISM, in Art
in art, the movement of the mid-19th cent. formed in reaction against the severely academic production of the French school. Realist painters sought to portray what they saw without idealizing it, choosing their subjects from the commonplaces of everyday life. Major realists included Gustave Courbet, J. F. Millet, and Honoré Daumier. In a broader sense the term is applied to an unembellished rendering of natural forms. In recent years realism has come to mean the presentation of forms and materials that are simply themselves, not primarily representations of things that already exist.
direct application of pigment to a surface to produce by tones of color or of light and dark some representation or decorative arrangement of natural or imagined forms.
See also articles on individual painters, e.g., Rubens; countries, e.g., Dutch art; periods, e.g., Renaissance art and architecture; techniques, e.g., encaustic.
Materials and Techniques
Painters use a number of materials to produce the effects they desire. These include the materials of the surface, or ground; the pigments employed; the binder, or medium, in which the color is mixed; and its diluting agent. Among the various media used by artists are fresco, watercolor, oil, distemper, gouache, tempera, and encaustic. In addition to these, painting properly embraces many other techniques ordinarily associated with drawing, a term that is often used to refer to the linear aspects of the same art.
If painting and drawing are not always clearly distinguishable from each other, both are to be distinguished from the print (or work of graphic art), in which the design is not produced directly but is transferred from another surface to that which it decorates. While the print may be one of many identical works, the painting or drawing is always unique. Painting has been freely combined with many other arts, including sculpture, architecture, and, in the modern era, photography.
In ancient Greece and medieval Europe most buildings and sculptures were painted; nearly all of the ancient decoration has been lost, but some works from Egypt have preserved their coloring and give us an insight into the importance such an art can assume. The art of painting in China was linked from the 1st cent. a.d. with the development of the Buddhist faith. Early Christian and then Byzantine artists established iconographic and stylistic prototypes in wall painting and manuscript illumination that remained the basis for Christian art (see iconography).
Highly spiritualized in concept, the medieval painting tradition gave way to a more worldly orientation with the development of Renaissance art. The murals of Giotto became a vehicle for the expression of new and living ideas and sentiments. At the height of the Renaissance a large proportion of the works were decorations of walls and altarpieces, which were necessarily conceived in terms of their part in a larger decorative whole and their appeal for a large public. The greatest masterpieces of Raphael and Michelangelo and of the Florentine masters are generally public works of this character. The same period also saw the rise of the separate easel painting and the first use of oil on canvas. Simultaneously are found the beginnings of genre and other secular themes and the elaboration of portraiture.
Basing their art on the technical contributions of the Renaissance, e.g., the study of perspective and anatomy, the baroque masters added a virtuosity of execution and a style of unparalleled drama. From the age of the rococo, painting tended in the direction of greater intimacy. It is noteworthy, for example, that many of the masterpieces of the 19th cent., and particularly of impressionism, are small easel paintings suitable for the private home. The same period saw the rise of the large public gallery with both temporary and permanent exhibitions, an institution greatly expanded in the 20th cent.
A reawakened interest in mural painting and the contributions of painting to such arts as the motion picture and video have led some to believe that a return to a greater emphasis on the public functions of the art is taking place. Such a view can find support in the notable influence of abstract painting in the fields of industrial and architectural design. This art also continues to enjoy undiminished popularity in the home and gallery. Painting has had a long and glorious world history as an independent art. From Giotto to Picasso and from Ma Yüan to Hokusai, painting has never ceased to produce great exponents who have expressed not merely the taste but the aspirations, the concepts of space, form, and color, and the philosophy of their respective periods.
See M. Levey, A Concise History of Painting (1962); R. Mayer, Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques (3d ed. 1970); W. Slatkin et al., Art Through History (1986); G. F. Brommer and N. Kinne, Exploring Painting (1988); H. Hensche, The Art of Seeing and Painting (1988).
zhänˈrə, in art-history terminology, a type of painting dealing with unidealized scenes and subjects of everyday life. Although practiced in ancient art, as shown by Pompeiian frescoes, and in the Middle Ages, genre was not recognized as worthy and independent subject matter until the 16th cent. in Flanders. There it was popularized by Pieter Bruegel, the elder. It flourished in Holland in the 17th cent. in the works of Ter Borch, Brouwer, Metsu, De Hooch, Vermeer, and many others, and extended to France and England, where in the 18th and 19th cent., its major practitioners were Watteau, Chardin, Greuze, Morland, and Wilkie. In Italy genre elements were present in Carpaccio's and Caravaggio's paintings, but not until the 18th cent. did genre become the specialty of an Italian artist, Pietro Longhi. The French impressionists often painted genre subjects as did members of the American ashcan school.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright© 2004, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. All rights reserved.
portrayal of scenes found in the natural world; these scenes are treated as the subject of the work of art rather than as an element in another kind of painting.
In the West, the concept of landscape grew very slowly. Nature was traditionally viewed as consisting of isolated objects long before it was appreciated as scene or environment. As a result landscape painting as an independent art was a late development in the West. Many scenes, from the Hellenistic pastoral paintings of antiquity to the religious works of the 16th cent. a.d., contained expansive landscape backgrounds, but they were usually subordinated within a narrative context.
The Renaissance and the Sixteenth Century
In Renaissance Italy the study of perspective gave rise to a careful rendering of scenery according to conventional formulas. Giorgione and the Venetian painters excelled at pastoral vistas that recalled scenes from classical literature. Flemish works enhanced by meticulous landscape detail became popular in Italy and encouraged Patinir and others to cater to this taste. Altdorfer, the Danube painter of the early 16th cent., created some of the first works devoted entirely to landscape.
During and after the Reformation the use of religious subject matter was restricted and numerous artists in the north became specialists in the landscape genre at which, when painting backgrounds of religious works, they had become proficient. These artists, among whom Pieter Bruegel the elder was most notable, were devoted to fantastic scenes painted according to established convention in tones of brown for the foreground, green for the middle ground, and blue for the background panorama. In Rome, Dutch artists, led by Coninxloo, initiated the concept of the ideal landscape.
The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Claude Lorrain was supreme master of this genre. His serene pastoral works and the heroic compositions of Poussin contrasted with the concurrent Dutch tendency toward realism. The great 17th-century Dutch landscape masters from van Goyen to Ruisdael, Hobbema, and Rembrandt transformed into paint what they saw in the Dutch countryside (see Dutch art). The Rococo saw a revival of ideal pastoral scenes in the works of Watteau and Gainsborough. The 18th-century Englishman Thomas Girtin was an important influence on future landscape painting.
The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
England produced the major late 19th-century landscape masters: the visionary Turner and the poetic Constable. Constable, who greatly influenced the French Romantics, also served as an important inspiration to the Barbizon school in France, whose members returned to the serene pastoral mood. In Germany, C. D. Friedrich sustained the poetic tradition of landscape, as did the luminists of the American Hudson River school. Turner's exploration of the atmospheric effects of light interested Monet, whose plein-air works, forming the basis of impressionism, elevated landscape to the highest position in artists' esteem that it had yet held.
Landscape also became a principal source material of postimpressionism. The exponents of surrealism revealed the fearful power of imaginary landscape. In addition, many of the 20th-century artists working in the abstract idiom have employed both landscape and still life as basic sources for their widely differing work.
Landscape Art in the East
In China landscape art reached extraordinary perfection as early as the 8th cent. It engaged the highest talents during the T'ang, Sung, and Ming dynasties (see Chinese art). The prominence accorded landscape in both Chinese and Japanese art reflects the esteem for nature characteristic of East Asian religions.
See K. Clark, Landscape into Art (1949, repr. 1961); Z. Szabo, Landscape Painting in Watercolor (1971); P. Monahan, Landscape Painting (1985); J. Arthur, Spirit of Place: Contemporary Landscape Painting and the American Tradition (1989); A. Wilton and T. Barringer, American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1820–1880 (2002).
a style in art and architecture (c.1520–1600), originating in Italy as a reaction against the equilibrium of form and proportions characteristic of the High Renaissance. In Florence, Pontormo and Bronzino, and in Rome, Il Rosso, Parmigianino, and Beccafumi created elegant figures elongated and contorted into uncomfortable postures. Mannerists devised compositions in which they deliberately confused scale and spatial relationships between figures, crowding them into the picture plane. Often strange tunnellike spaces were created, as in the works of Tintoretto and El Greco. Lighting became harsh, and coloring tended to be acrimonious. The mannerists devised sophisticated and obscure allegories. Among the prominent sculptors who created sinuous and sometimes bizarre forms were Giovanni Bologna, Ammanati, and to a certain extent Cellini. The style was carried into France by Primaticcio, Il Rosso, Niccolò dell'Abbate, and Cellini. It flourished particularly at Fontainebleau and was adapted by the sculptor Goujon and the engraver Callot. In architecture the style was manifested in the use of unbalanced proportions and arbitrary arrangements of decorative features. Elements of mannerism can be found in the elegant Laurentian Library in Florence, designed (c.1525) by Michelangelo; the Massimi Palace, Rome, planned by Peruzzi; the Palazzo del Te, Mantua, built and decorated by Giulio Romano; and the Uffizi, planned by Vasari. In Spain, Berruguette was a leading exponent of mannerism. Toward the end of the 16th cent., mannerism assumed an academic formalism in the works of the Zuccaro brothers. By the end of the century it had given way to the baroque.
See studies by S. J. Freedburg (2 vol., 1961), F. Würtenberger (1963), and M. Haraszti-Takas (1970).
a pictorial representation of inanimate objects. The term derives from the 17th-century Dutch still-leven, meaning a motionless natural object or objects.
Evolution of Still Life
Until the Renaissance, elements of still life, often imbued with symbolic or ritual significance, appeared as subordinate subject matter in religious or allegorical paintings. Hellenistic frescoes and mosaics from Pergamon, Alexandria, Rome, and Pompeii included depictions of plants and food in which a trompe l'oeil illusionism was often stressed. In early Christian and Byzantine religious paintings still-life elements were handled in a schematized and symbolic fashion until the end of the Middle Ages. Franco-Flemish paintings of the late Gothic era revealed close observation of natural details, as seen in much of the period's manuscript illumination.
At the beginning of the Italian Renaissance such detail was handled far more formally and was utterly dominated by the religious theme of the work, as in the paintings of Giotto. By the 15th cent. still-life objects were used to enhance the illusion of scientific perspective, a subject of passionate study in the new humanism. At that time still life became a separate genre in Italy; it was used to great effect by masters of marquetry.
It was in the religious works of Northern European masters that the revival of the study of nature was most completely revealed. The van Eycks, van der Weyden, van der Goes, and Robert Campin, to name but a few, observed carefully and recorded exactly objects of everyday use and subjects from nature. They incorporated these into religious works, giving them more and more importance until the still-life elements appeared in the foreground and diminished the religious, or landscape subject, as in the works of Aertsen and Beuckelaer.
Specialists in the handling of specific textures or effects such as glass, fur, plants, and the translucence of grapes came into being. Where Italian artists had communication with Northern masters, their works reflected the Northern interest in still-life subjects. The direction of this influence was reversed by the time of Caravaggio. Specialty pictures were the first major separate still lifes. These included works on the vanitas vanitatum theme featuring skull, hourglass, candle, book, and flowers in their iconography, as well as the banquet pieces that had become popular with collectors of 1600.
Still Life in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Still life was developed as a separate genre primarily in the Netherlands in the works of Jan Bruegel (see under Bruegel, family), Rubens, Snyders, and Rembrandt. In France still life was used in the 17th cent. primarily for trompe l'oeil exercises and not significantly elevated until it received brilliant handling by Chardin in the 18th cent. French 19th-century masters, including Courbet and Cézanne, adopted still life wholeheartedly, giving it status equal to that of their other subjects. In the United States, Harnett and Peto used still life in order to display brilliant trompe l'oeil techniques.
Still Life in the Twentieth Century
In the 20th cent. both American and European artists' most characteristic subject matter was still life. The cubist artists, Picasso, Braque, and Gris, painted still-life subjects predominantly. The artists in many schools of abstract painting, beginning with Cézanne and continuing to the present day, forsook the objective representation of still life and developed myriad varieties of treatment of the subject, concentrating on color, form, and composition. Occasionally they painted other subjects, applying to these their still-life stylistic techniques. The painters of the pop art movement and their followers frequently criticized contemporary social values using, almost exclusively, still-life subject matter. They chose objects of popular culture relevant to their thesis such as soup cans and comic strips.
East Asian Still Life
In East Asia still-life subjects were depicted as early as the 11th cent. Chinese works were distinguished by brilliant brushwork and rapid execution. Objects were frequently endowed with symbolic import in both Chinese works and the Japanese compositions often derived from them. The importance of illusionistic representation of the object was minimized in East Asian Art, and in general its treatment of still life does not correspond with that of Western art.
See C. Sterling, Still Life Painting (rev. ed., tr. 1959, repr. 1981); W. H. Gerdts and R. Burke, American Still-Life Painting (1971); R. Gwynne, The Illustrated Guidebook to Still-Life Painting (2 vol., 1982); E. E. Rathbone and G. T. M. Shackelford, Impressionist Still Life (2001).
a term that, when applied generally, means clearness, elegance, symmetry, and repose produced by attention to traditional forms. It is sometimes synonymous with excellence or artistic quality of high distinction. More precisely, the term refers to the admiration and imitation of Greek and Roman literature, art, and architecture. Because the principles of classicism were derived from the rules and practices of the ancients, the term came to mean the adherence to specific academic canons.
The Renaissance and Thereafter
The first major revival of classicism occurred during the Renaissance (c.1400–1600). As a result of the intensified interest in Greek and Roman culture, especially the works of Plato and Cicero, classical standards were reinstated as the ideal norm in literature. In Florence, the early center of Renaissance learning, Cosimo de' Medici gathered a circle of humanists (see humanism) who collected, studied, expounded, and imitated the classics. Outside Italy writers affected by the revival of classical conventions included Francis Bacon and Ben Jonson in England and Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine in France.
Renaissance painters and sculptors whose works reflect the classical influence include Andrea Mantegna, Raphael, and Michelangelo. The Greek and Roman orders of architecture were also revived during the Renaissance and applied to ecclesiastical designs. Leone Battista Alberti wrote the first of several Renaissance treatises on architecture (1485), based on his reading of Vitruvius. The writers and artists of the baroque and rococo periods (c.1600–1750) that followed the Renaissance elaborated on many of the same classical themes, although their work is often characterized by a new exuberance of form and complexity of subject matter.
The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Following the archaeological rediscovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii in the 18th cent. there was a renewed interest in the culture of ancient Rome and, subsequently, ancient Greece. This period is generally designated as neoclassicism, and it is considered to be the first phase in the larger romantic movement. The revival of antiquity in the 18th cent. was closely tied to such political events as the American and French revolutions, in which parallels were drawn between ancient and modern forms of government.
In German literature the classical stream was deflected in the last quarter of the 18th cent. by the romantic period of Sturm und Drang, but it was revived later in the century when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller wrote classical drama. Classicism is also applied to the music of this period, especially the works of Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. In art and architecture classicism remained fashionable throughout the 19th cent. and into the early 20th cent. largely through the influence of the École des Beaux-Arts in France, whose curriculum was imitated in many countries.
The Twentieth Century
In early 20th-century Europe and the United States there was a renewed interest in Greek literature, and classical models were somewhat revived, as in the work of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. Abstracted classical elements can be found in the paintings of Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, and in the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. A more overt classicism has found renewed acceptance among many postmodern architects in recent years. Spearheading the 20th-century neoclassical revival in music were Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, and Béla Bartók.
See T. S. Eliot, What Is a Classic? (1946); G. Highet, The Classical Tradition (1949, repr. 1957); P. O. Kristeller, Renaissance Thought (1961); W. J. Bate, From Classic to Romantic (1961); G. Murray, The Classical Tradition in Poetry (1927, repr. 1968); C. Rosen, The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (1971); R. R. Bolgar, ed., Classical Influences on E. Culture (1971); J. Summerson, The Classical Language of Architecture (1980).
CARAVAGGIO, MICHELANGELO MERISI DA
mēkālänˈjālō mārēˈzē dä kärävädˈjō or Amerigi da Caravaggioäˌmārēˈjē, 1571–1610, Italian painter. His surname, Caravaggio, came from his birthplace. After an apprenticeship in Milan, he arrived (1592) in Rome where he eventually became a pensioner of Cardinal Francesco del Monte for whom he produced several paintings, among them the Concert of Youths (Metropolitan Mus.). Most of Caravaggio's genre pieces, such as the Fortune Teller (Louvre), are products of his early Roman years, but after completing the Calling of St. Matthew and the Martyrdom of St. Matthew (c.1598–99; San Luigi de' Francesi, Rome), he devoted himself almost exclusively to religious compositions and portraiture. His violent temper and erratic disposition involved him in several brawls, and in 1606 he fled Rome after killing a young man in a duel. He spent the last four years of his life in Naples, Malta, Syracuse, and Messina. A revolutionary in art, Caravaggio was accused of imitating nature at the expense of ideal beauty. In religious scenes his use of models from the lower walks of life was considered irreverent. He generally worked directly on the canvas, a violation of current artistic procedure. His strong chiaroscuro technique of partially illuminating figures against a dark background was immediately adopted by his contemporaries, and although he had no pupils, the influence of his art was enormous.
See biographies by H. Hibbard (1983), H. Langdon (1999), and P. Robb (2000); study by B. Berenson (1954); W. Friedlaender, Caravaggio Studies (1955, repr., 1970); M. Kitson, Complete Paintings of Caravaggio (1986).
BAROQUE, in Art and Architecture
bərōkˈ, in art and architecture, a style developed in Europe, England, and the Americas during the 17th and early 18th cent.
The baroque style is characterized by an emphasis on unity among the arts. With technical brilliance, the baroque artist achieved a remarkable harmony wherein painting, sculpture, and architecture were brought together in new spatial relationships, both real and illusionary, often with spectacular visual effects. Although the restrained and classical works created by most French and English artists look very different from the exuberant works favored in central and southern Europe and in the New World, both trends in baroque art tend to engage the viewer, both physically and emotionally. In painting and sculpture this was achieved by means of highly developed naturalistic illusionism, usually heightened by dramatic lighting effects, creating an unequaled sense of theatricality, energy, and movement of forms. Architecture, departing from the classical canon revived during the Renaissance, took on the fluid, plastic aspects of sculpture.
Painters and sculptors built and expanded on the naturalistic tradition reestablished during the Renaissance. Although religious painting, history painting, allegories, and portraits were still considered the most noble subjects, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes were painted by such artists as Claude Lorrain, Jacob van Ruisdael, Willem Kalf, and Jan Vermeer. Caravaggio and his early followers were especially significant for their naturalistic treatment of unidealized, ordinary people. The illusionistic effects of deep space interested many painters, including Il Guercino and Andrea Pozzo. Other baroque painters opened up interior spaces by representing long files of rooms, often with extended views through doors, windows, or mirrors, as in the works of Diego Velázquez and Vermeer.
Color was manipulated for its emotional effects, ranging from the clear calm tones of Nicholas Poussin, to the warm and shimmering colors of Pietro da Cortona, to the more vivid hues of Peter Paul Rubens. A heightened sense of drama was achieved through chiaroscuro in the works of Caravaggio and Rembrandt. Carracci and Poussin portrayed restrained feeling in accordance with the academic principles of dignity and decorum. Others, including Caravaggio, Rubens, and Rembrandt depicted religious ecstasy, physical sensuality, or individual psychology in their paintings.
Baroque sculptors felt free to combine different materials within a single work and often used one material to simulate another. One of the great masterpieces of baroque sculpture, Giovanni Bernini's St. Theresa from the Cornaro Chapel, for example, succumbs to an ecstatic vision on a dull-finished marble cloud in an alabaster and marble niche in which bronze rays descend from a hidden source of light. Many works of Baroque sculpture are set within elaborate architectural settings, and they often seem to be spilling out of their assigned niches or floating upward toward heaven.
Buildings of the period are composed of great curving forms with undulating facades, ground plans of unprecedented size and complexity, and domes of various shapes, as in the churches of Francesco Borromini, Guarino Guarini, and Balthasar Neumann. Many works of baroque architecture were executed on a colossal scale, incorporating aspects of urban planning and landscape architecture. This is most clearly seen in Bernini's elliptical piazza in front of St. Peter's in Rome, or in the gardens, fountains, and palace at Versailles, designed by Louis Le Vau, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and André Le Nôtre.
Divisions of the Baroque Period
For convenience the baroque period is divided into three parts:
Early Baroque, c.1590–c.1625
The early style was preeminent under papal patronage in Rome where Carracci and Caravaggio and his followers diverged decisively from the artifice of the preceding mannerist painters (see mannerism). Bernini abandoned an early mannerism in his sculpture, allowing him to express a new naturalistic vigor. In architecture, Carlo Maderno's facades for Sta. Susanna and St. Peter's moved toward a more sculptural treatment of the classical orders.
High Baroque, c.1625–c.1660
The exuberant trend in Italian art was best represented by Bernini and Borromini in architecture, by Bernini in sculpture, and by da Cortona in painting. The classicizing mode characterized the work of the expatriate painters Poussin and Claude Lorrain. This period produced an astonishing number and variety of international painters of the first rank, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, and Anthony van Dyck.
Late Baroque, c.1660–c.1725
During this time Italy lost its position of artistic dominance to France, largely due to the patronage of Louis XIV. The late baroque style was especially popular in Germany and Austria, where many frescoes by the Tiepolo family were executed. The extraordinarily theatrical quality of the architecture in these countries is best seen in the work of Neumann and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. From Europe the baroque spread across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. Gradually the massive forms of the baroque yielded to the lighter, more graceful outlines of the rococo.
See R. Wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600–1750 (1958); A. Blunt, Art and Architecture in France, 1500–1700 (1953); J. W. P. Bourke, Baroque Churches of Central Europe (1962); E. Hempel, Baroque Art and Architecture in Central Europe (1965); H. Busch and B. Lohse, ed., Baroque Sculpture (tr. 1965); M. Kitson, The Age of the Baroque (1966); G. Bazin, The Baroque (1968).
ROCOCO, in Architecture
rəkōˈkō, rō–, style in architecture, especially in interiors and the decorative arts, which originated in France and was widely used in Europe in the 18th cent. The term may be derived from the French words rocaille and coquille (rock and shell), natural forms prominent in the Italian baroque decorations of interiors and gardens. The first expression of the rococo was the transitional régence style. In contrast with the heavy baroque plasticity and grandiloquence, the rococo was an art of exquisite refinement and linearity. Through their engravings, Juste Aurèle Meissonier and Nicholas Pineau helped spread the style throughout Europe. The Parisian tapestry weavers, cabinetmakers, and bronze workers followed the trend and arranged motifs such as arabesque elements, shells, scrolls, branches of leaves, flowers, and bamboo stems into ingenious and engaging compositions. The fashionable enthusiasm for Chinese art added to the style the whole bizarre vocabulary of chinoiserie motifs. In France, major exponents of the rococo were the painters Watteau, Boucher, and Fragonard and the architects Robert de Cotte, Gilles Marie Oppenord, and later Jacques Ange Gabriel. The rococo vogue spread to Germany and Austria, where François de Cuvilliès was the pioneer. Italian rococo, particularly that of Venice, was brilliantly decorative, exemplified in the paintings of Tiepolo. The furniture of Thomas Chippendale manifested its influence in England. During the 1660s and 1670s, the rococo competed with a more severely classical form of architecture, which triumphed with the accession of Louis XVI.
See F. Kimball, The Creation of the Rococo (1943); A. Schönberger and H. Soehner, The Rococo Age (tr. 1960); H. A. Millon, Baroque and Rococo Architecture (1961); G. Bazin, Baroque and Rococco (tr. 1964); H. Hitchcock, German Rococco (1970).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition Copyright© 2004, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V. All rights reserved.
term loosely applied to literary and artistic movements of the late 18th and 19th cent.
Characteristics of Romanticism
Resulting in part from the libertarian and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution, the romantic movements had in common only a revolt against the prescribed rules of classicism. The basic aims of romanticism were various: a return to nature and to belief in the goodness of humanity; the rediscovery of the artist as a supremely individual creator; the development of nationalistic pride; and the exaltation of the senses and emotions over reason and intellect. In addition, romanticism was a philosophical revolt against rationalism.
Romanticism in Literature
Although in literature romantic elements were known much earlier, as in the Elizabethan dramas, many critics now date English literary romanticism from the publication of Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads (1798). In the preface to the second edition of that influential work (1800), Wordsworth stated his belief that poetry results from "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," and pressed for the use of natural everyday diction in literary works. Coleridge emphasized the importance of the poet's imagination and discounted adherence to arbitrary literary rules.
Such English romantic poets as Byron, Shelley, Robert Burns, Keats, Robert Southey, and William Cowper often focused on the individual self, on the poet's personal reaction to life. This emphasis can also be found in such prose works as the essays of Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt and in Thomas De Quincey's autobiographical Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822). The interest of romantics in the medieval period as a time of mystery, adventure, and aspiration is evidenced in the Gothic romance and in the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott. William Blake was probably the most singular of the English romantics. His poems and paintings are radiant, imaginative, and heavily symbolic, indicating the spiritual reality underlying the physical reality.
In Germany the Sturm und Drang school, with its obsessive interest in medievalism, prepared the way for romanticism. Friedrich Schlegel first used the term romantic to designate a school of literature opposed to classicism, and he also applied the philosophical ideas of Immanuel Kant and J. G. Fichte to the "romantic ideal." Major German writers associated with romanticism include G. E. Lessing, J. G. Herder, Friedrich Hölderlin, Schiller, and particularly Goethe, who had a mystic feeling for nature and for Germany's medieval past.
France and Other European Countries
The credo of French romanticism was set forth by Victor Hugo in the preface to his drama Cromwell (1828) and in his play Hernani (1830). Hugo proclaimed the freedom of the artist in both choice and treatment of a subject. The French romantics included Chateaubriand, Alexandre Dumas père, Alphonse de Lamartine, Alfred de Vigny, Alfred de Musset, and George Sand. Other leading romantic figures were Giacomo Leopardi and Alessandro Manzoni in Italy, and Aleksandr Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov in Russia.
The United States
In the United States romanticism had philosophic expression in transcendentalism, notably in the works of Emerson and Thoreau. Poets such as Poe, Whittier, and Longfellow all produced works in the romantic vein. Walt Whitman in particular expressed pride in his individual self and the democratic spirit. The works of James Fenimore Cooper reflected the romantic interest in the historical past, whereas the symbolic novels of Hawthorne and Melville emphasized the movement's concern with transcendent reality.
Romanticism in the Visual Arts
In the visual arts romanticism is used to refer loosely to a trend that appears at any time, and specifically to the art of the early 19th cent. Nineteenth-century romanticism was characterized by the avoidance of classical forms and rules, emphasis on the emotional and spiritual, representation of the unattainable ideal, nostalgia for the grace of past ages, and a predilection for exotic themes.
Romantic artists developed precise techniques in order to produce specific associations in the mind of the viewer. To convey verbal concepts they would, for example, endow inanimate objects with human values (e.g., the wild trees and shimmery moonlight used in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich to suggest an infinity of human longing, the weltschmerz of his time). The result was often sentimental or ludicrous. In the case of Delacroix, however, his painterly style and color sense exalted the romantic attitude in a singularly effective fashion.
In England landscape gardening was used to express the romantic aesthetic by means of deliberate imitation of the picturesque in nature. In architecture Wyatt's preposterous, mock medieval Fonthill Abbey displayed the romantic building style in extreme form. The host of lesser artists of the romantic tradition included the French Géricault, the Swiss-English Henry Fuseli, the Swiss Arnold Böcklin, the English Pre-Raphaelites, the German Nazarenes, and the American artists of the Hudson River school.
Romanticism in Music
Romanticism in music was characterized by an emphasis on emotion and great freedom of form. It attained its fullest development in the works of German composers. Although elements of romanticism are present in the music of Beethoven, Weber, and Schubert, it reached its zenith in the works of Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Wagner. Less totally romantic composers usually placed in the middle period of romanticism are Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and Grieg; those grouped in the last phase include Elgar, Puccini, Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Sibelius.
Many romantic composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, and Brahms, worked in small forms that are flexible in structure, e.g., prelude, intermezzo, nocturne, ballad, and cappriccio, especially in solo music for the piano. Another romantic contribution was the art song for voice and piano, most notably the German lied (see song). Romantic composers, particularly Liszt, in combining music and literature, created the symphonic poem. Berlioz also made use of literature; much of his work is described as program music. Romantic opera began with Weber, included the works of the Italians Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi, and culminated in the work of Wagner, who aimed at a complete synthesis of the arts in his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk [total work of art].
While Tchaikovsky was inspired by a more universal romanticism, the movement in Russia was nationalist in nature, exemplified by the works of Mikhail Glinka. The music of the Czech composers Bedřich Smetana and Dvořák and that of the Norwegian composer Grieg also expressed romantic nationalism. Toward the end of the 19th cent. interest in classical forms was revived by Bruckner, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Franck. The end of the romantic period—frequently described as decadent and grandiose—is often referred to as postromanticism and is represented by the works of Holst, Elgar, Mahler, and Richard Strauss.
See J. Barzun, Romanticism and the Modern Ego (1944); L. R. Furst, Romanticism in Perspective (1970); R. F. Gleckner and G. E. Enscoe, ed., Romanticism (2d ed. 1970); M. Praz, The Romantic Agony (tr., 2d ed. 1970); I. Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism (1999).
For treatment of romanticism in the visual arts, see K. Clark, The Romantic Rebellion (1974); H. Honour, Romanticism (1979); C. Rosen and H. Zerner, Romanticism and Realism (1984); A. K. Wiedmann, Romantic Roots in Modern Art (1984). In music, see A. Einstein, Music in the Romantic Era (1947); R. M. Longyear, Nineteenth Century Romanticism in Music (1969); P. Conrad, Romantic Opera and Literary Form (1981).
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term used to describe works of art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision. The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it.
In painting and the graphic arts, certain movements such as the Brücke (1905), Blaue Reiter (1911), and new objectivity (1920s) are described as expressionist. In a broader sense the term also applies to certain artists who worked independent of recognized schools or movements, e.g., Rouault, Soutine, and Vlaminck in France and Kokoschka and Schiele in Austria—all of whom made aggressively executed, personal, and often visionary paintings. Gauguin, Ensor, Van Gogh, and Munch were the spiritual fathers of the 20th-century expressionist movements, and certain earlier artists, notably El Greco, Grünewald, and Goya exhibit striking parallels to modern expressionistic sensibility. See articles on individuals, e.g., Ensor.
See C. Zigrosser, The Expressionists (1957); F. Whitford, Expressionism (1970); J. Willett, Expressionism (1970); W. Pehnt, Expressionist Architecture (1973).
In literature, expressionism is often considered a revolt against realism and naturalism, seeking to achieve a psychological or spiritual reality rather than record external events in logical sequence. In the novel, the term is closely allied to the writing of Franz Kafka and James Joyce (see stream of consciousness). In the drama, Strindberg is considered the forefather of the expressionists, though the term is specifically applied to a group of early 20th-century German dramatists, including Kaiser, Toller, and Wedekind. Their work was often characterized by a bizarre distortion of reality. Playwrights not closely associated with the expressionists occasionally wrote expressionist drama, e.g., Karel Čapek's R.U.R. (1921) and Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones (1921). The movement, though short-lived, gave impetus to a free form of writing and of production in modern theater.
See E. Krispyn, Style and Society in German Literary Expressionism (1964); P. Vogt et al., Expressionism: A German Intuition, 1905–1920 (1980); P. Rabbe, ed., The Era of German Expresionism (tr. 1986); J. Weinstein, The End of Expressionism (1989).
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sərēˈəlĭzəm, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention. The movement was founded (1924) in Paris by André Breton, with his Manifeste du surréalisme, but its ancestry is traced to the French poets Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Apollinaire, and to the Italian painter, Giorgio de Chirico. Many of its adherents had belonged to the Dada movement. In literature, surrealism was confined almost exclusively to France. Surrealist writers were interested in the associations and implications of words rather than their literal meanings; their works are thus extraordinarily difficult to read. Among the leading surrealist writers were Louis Aragon, Paul Éluard, Robert Desnos, and Jean Cocteau, the last noted particularly for his surreal films. In art the movement became dominant in the 1920s and 30s and was internationally practiced with many and varied forms of expression. Salvador Dalí and Yves Tanguy used dreamlike perception of space and dream-inspired symbols such as melting watches and huge metronomes. Max Ernst and René Magritte constructed fantastic imagery from startling combinations of incongruous elements of reality painted with photographic attention to detail. These artists have been labeled as verists because their paintings involve transformations of the real world. "Absolute" surrealism depends upon images derived from psychic automatism, the subconscious, or spontaneous thought. Works by Joan Miró and André Masson are in this vein. The movement survived but was greatly diminished after World War II.
See A. Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism (tr. 1969); L. Lippard, ed., Surrealists on Art (1970); R. Brandon, Surreal Lives (1999); studies by P. Waldberg (1966), W. S. Rubin (1969), S. Alexandrian (1970), H. S. Gershman (1969, repr. 1974), J. H. Matthews (1977), E. B. Henning (1979), A. Balakian (1987), H. Lewis (1988), and M. Nadeau (tr. 1967, repr. 1989).
The perception of Rembrandt and his work in Russia
The perception of Rembrandt's works in Russia and the influence of that perception on Russian culture is one of only a few subjects not already covered by Western literature on Rembrandt.
Russian 18th- and 19th-century art is almost totally unrepresented in picture galleries abroad and is very little known. Attention is rarely paid to it by specialists in Dutch art, making all the more pleasant a recent article by Alison Hilton entitled Rembrandt, Rubens and Repin. Russian art historians themselves have also largely ignored the influence of the great Dutchman on Russian masters. It would seem that Russian painting, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was mainly oriented towards Italian and French models, provides little material for direct comparison with the art of the Netherlands. The cult of Raphael and Guido Reni, clearly evident in the work of the academic school, has been far more frequently studied.
This does not mean that the subject of Rembrandt has never come up in Russian art-historical literature. References to his influence are scattered throughout monographs on Russian painters and in studies of Rembrandt's pictures in the museums of St. Petersburg and Moscow. This interest, however, is limited to a mere general assertion of similarity (often only very approximately understood) to "Rembrandt's style". The sole work devoted to the assessment of Rembrandt by Russian 19th-century artists and critics is a small article of 1957 by I. E. Vertsman. A number of new resources and observations allow us to considerably broaden our conception of how Rembrandt's paintings were perceived in the Russian arts. Of particular interest here are incidents of similar interpretations of Rembrandt's images in works both artistic and literary. Works by philologists (unlike those of art historians) have picked up a good number of cases where Rembrandt's name is mentioned in poetry. Worthy of particular attention is a book by the Dutch Slavist Jan Paul Hinrichs, From "The Night Watch" to Huizinga: Russian Poets on the Netherlands, published in 1994. This is the first publication to gather together the abundant but highly varied literary material.
This paper has no pretensions to being conclusive or incontrovertible. Rather, the author seeks to clarify how profoundly art of the 18th and early 19th centuries was influenced by an acquaintance with the numerous works by Rembrandt which had by then arrived in Russia; and how was the myth of the great artist was transformed when it reached Russian soil.
By the end of the 18th century, Petersburg had what was perhaps one of the most extensive collections of works by Rembrandt in Europe. Catherine the Great's Hermitage listed 58 paintings attributed to the Dutch master. Even these were not the first works to arrive in Russia under the name of Rembrandt. We know that in the first quarter of the 18th century Peter the Great's collection included three paintings by the master: David''s Parting from Jonathan, which hung in the Tsar's favourite summer residence, the Monplaisir pavilion at Peterhof, and two canvases in the Imperial Kunstkammer in St. Petersburg, a surviving Adoration of the Magi (in fact a weak copy) and Christ Showing his Wounds to his Disciples. The first two are now in the Hermitage; the last is known only from descriptions.
Acquaintance with the art of Rembrandt was still largely secondhand at this time. The majority of paintings which then arrived in Russia were in fact works by pupils, imitators and copyists. The inclusion of copies alongside originals is no surprise, for in the early 18th century Russians were taking only their first steps in connoisseurship and questions of authenticity were barely considered. It was simply important to own an image which brought the collector closer to the European cultural tradition. Listed in the inventory of paintings acquired in the 1740s by Count Pyotr Borisovich Sheremetev (1713-1787) for his Fountain House in St. Petersburg, for instance, we find the following: "Portrait of a woman who has the nose and mouth of a parrot, around her a painting by the famed painter Rembrandt and a portrait of Mr Burgav (Herman Boerhaave?)" The way the paintings were hung indicates that they were valued for their unusual or curious subject matter, as had been the case in the Kunstkammer of Peter the Great.
Clearly, only the odd canvas was accessible, and then only to a very limited group of people. This cannot be considered evidence of serious interest in Rembrandt. Nonetheless, the mention of Rembrandt's name three times in descriptions of the very earliest Russian collections is worthy of note.
After the death of Peter the Great, the collecting of paintings in Russia ceased for nearly two decades. Many canvases formerly hung in palaces were despatched to storerooms and almost totally forgotten. Purchases for the Russian court were revived only with the accession to the throne of Elizabeth, Peter the Great's daughter, in 1741. As we know, this monarch had an exclusive preference for Venetian decorative painting. The sole supposed Rembrandt acquired during this period arrived from Prague as part of a large collection which in 1745 was hung in the imperial palace at Tsarskoe Selo. The painting was recorded in documents as Young Man in Half-armour Combing his Hair. Like many other apocryphal "Rembrandts," this painting cannot be identified today. Most of these were paintings of old men and women ("heads"), a description so general as to defy precise identification.
From the middle of the 18th century on, Rembrandt began to play a more tangible role in Russian artistic life. The key event in this development was the founding of the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg in 1757. We know that pupils started at the Academy at the age of six and went through five courses, each of which lasted three years. The teaching programme included the study of Western European paintings and the final stage involved the copying of originals. There is documentary evidence that as early as 1766 these study copies were available for sale on the Petersburg market. Works to be copied were chosen from the Academy's own collection, formed on the basis of the private gallery of its first President, Chancellor Ivan Shuvalov. Amongst the 100 canvases from the Shuvalov collection documents record Rembrandt's "Uriah," "The Appearance of the Angel to St. Anne", and "The Parable of the Vineyard" (probably the so-called Young Man with a Bunch of Grapes).
From the second half of the 1770s, students of the Academy were also allowed to copy works in Catherine the Great's Hermitage. Visits were initially permitted only during the summer period while the Empress was at her country residence. Unfortunately, no early copies have survived. Judging by recently published lists, clear preference was given to the Italian and French schools, as was totally natural for an institution which took the Académie Royale in Paris as its model.
Nonetheless, the most commonly selected models included numerous mentions of two compositions in the Academy then attributed to Rembrandt. One of them, Young Man with a Bunch of Grapes, belongs to the school of Rembrandt and is now in the Hermitage reserve collection. The title of the second, Old Woman Looking Through Glasses and Plucking a Fowl, is perfectly in keeping with a composition now known in two versions in foreign collections. These two works in the Academy confirm that the assessment of Rembrandt's style was based largely on single-figure genre compositions.
In the late 1770s, aspiring artists could gain a broader and undoubtedly clearer conception of the art of Rembrandt from the rich collection in the Hermitage. There was also an extremely large and varied collection of drawings and prints in the Academy of Arts. Original works from this collection were lent to students, who took them away for copying and critical commentary, and might often keep them for years. Fyodor Alexeev (1753/4-1824), who later earned himself the title of the Russian Canaletto, is recorded as having on loan a drawing by Rembrandt showing Vertumnus and Pomona from 1767 to 1773.
Works suggested to students as
models were not limited by the Academy in terms of subject or school, as we can
tell from a manuscript by Prince Dmitry Golitsyn of
The taste for Dutch and Flemish painting at the Petersburg Academy brought sharp criticism from Denis Diderot. On his arrival in St. Petersburg in 1773, he acquainted himself with the way artists were taught and expressed particular dissatisfaction with the habit of copying Teniers, Rembrandt and other 17th-centuiry painters from the Netherlands. Such works could not, in his opinion, inculcate a sublime manner and great taste. Far more suitable for their development he considered the works of Poussin purchased for the Hermitage through his mediation (Landscape with Polyphemus, Landscape with Hercules and Cacus [the latter now Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow]). But the range of Rembrandt compositions in use at the Academy gradually widened: according to published documents, by the end of the century it included also David and Uriah, Portrait of an Old Man, and Portrait of an Old Woman.
In his famous notes on the fine arts in Russia, Jacob Staehlin (1709-1785) expressed high praise for the art of Rembrandt. In the middle of the 18th century Staehlin assembled a mass of information about the master's paintings not only in imperial but also in private collections. The authors of the first Russian-language treatises on art theory only mention Rembrandt in passing. Neither Pyotr Chekalevsky in his Thoughts on the Free Arts with a Description of Some Works by Russian Artists (St. Petersburg, 1792) nor Ivan Urvanov, Short Handbook to the Mastery of Drawing and Painting of a Historical Nature, Based on Observation and Experiment (St. Petersburg, 1793), pay any attention to the Dutch master. We find several passages referring to him in the book Understanding of Contemporary Painting, Serving as a Basis to Judge the Works of Painters, and Notes on Portraits, The first translated from the Italian and the second from the French by the Collegiate Assessor Arkhip [Matveevich] Ivanov (St. Petersburg, 1789). This text, a free translation of the famous work of Roger de Piles (Abrégé de la vie..., 1699), particularly noted Rembrandt's great skill as a colourist: "In order to understand it [colour] we must look how it was used by Titian, Rubens, van Dyck and Rembrandt , for their art is most marvellous." Ivanov also noted the freedom and unfinished nature of Rembrandt's drawings which, "although they are not very correct, however they always have their merits, for they contain much intellect and character". French aesthetic thought, of which Diderot was an authoritative representative, could not but affect the way Rembrandt was perceived in Russia. The first treatises repeat rather closely (or are simply translations of) the works of Roger de Piles and Dezallier d'Argenville (Abrégé de la vie..., 1745-52). Within the borders of 18th-century aesthetics, Rembrandt, admired as one of the greatest painters of all times, was censured by Diderot among others for his "bizarre" taste (which Diderot described as "ignoble"), for his unattractive sitters and incorrect drawing. This assessment remained in force for quite a long time. In the published list of Rembrandt's paintings in the Academy of Arts of 1842, we find the following commentary: "In general all these works by Rembrandt are marked by extreme force of drawing, energetic brushwork, effect, the skilful application of paints, brilliant and characteristic expression. The composition of historical paintings have neither majesty nor naturalness, nor elegance, we can see only imagination and majesty in the manner of painting.
On the whole, the 18th century in Russia, a period marked by the consolidation of the academic school, was a time of introduction to and mastery of European models. A vast role was played by collections of paintings, where Rembrandt was amongst the most revered masters. Nonetheless, instances even of mere imitation of his art were extremely rare during the Neoclassical period in Russia, and we can mention but a few examples. The young Feodosy Yanenko (1762-1809) depicted himself in a Self Portrait of 1792 (Russian Museum, St. Petersburg) wearing a metal helmet and breastplate, a favourite costume of Rembrandt's figures in the 1630s. Such fantastical attire suggests that attention was being paid to the Dutch artist's repertoire. A possible prototype can be seen in a work then in the Hermitage and attributed to Rembrandt, Young Officer. This example is all the more notable in that the attire of Rembrandt's heroes was totally out of keeping with accepted norms. Fifty years later, in 1841, the journal Pamyatnik iskusstv [Artistic Monument] continued to criticise Rembrandt's incorrect taste in costume: "Everyone knows how Rembrandt dressed his figures. His turbans, sleeves, slippers, halberds, his vast rubies, gold and silver jewellery simply make us laugh."
At the dawn of the 19th century,
Romantic mysticism and melancholy reached Russia, introducing a new,
unprecedented sentiment in Russian culture. Rembrandt's images and the myth
surrounding the artist himself proved to be in keeping with the new mood. This
is reflected in both Russian painting and literature, on the pages of artistic
journals, and in diaries and letters. Probably the most striking example of
Rembrandt's profound effect on Russian painters of this period is the story of
Orest Kiprensky's Portrait of the Artist's Father (Portrait of Adam Schwalbe)
of 1804 (Russian Museum, St. Petersburg). During his second Italian journey, in
October 1830, Kiprensky took part in an exhibition in Naples which was open to
foreign painters. He presented three works, including his early Portrait of the
Artist's Father. The work aroused doubt and suspicion. As the artist related in
a letter home, Italian experts suspected that he was passing off a work by an
old master as his own. "The portrait of my father they took for a
masterpiece by Rubens, others thought van Dyck, and one Alberti was pleased to
suggest Rembrandt. A special commission was appointed to resolve the matter,
and decreed that this painting is of course an imitation of Rembrandt, since in
the dark tones of the body and in the depiction of fur we can pick out the
diligence and imperfections of the imitator, very far from the master's freedom
and transparency of colour, but able nonetheless to easily mislead those who
have not a sufficient comprehension of painting." This apparently
improbable tale is totally confirmed both by information from Russian envoys to
Naples and Rome, and by material in the Vatican archives. It was also widely
reported in Petersburg society. The story concluded with the purchase of the
work by Emperor Nicholas I for the Hermitage in
Another work by Kiprensky also aroused associations with the name of Rembrandt, a portrait of Senator Alexey Ivanovich Korsakov which for many years figured in the literature as Reading by Candlelight (c. 1808; Picture Gallery, Tomsk). The sitter was first identified by Russian art historians in 1985 on the basis of the perfect agreement between the composition and a description of the painting in a poem by Count Dmitry Khvostov:
He sits, resting on his elbows, by the fire, Perhaps resolving some dispute of the Muses. All think that he, his gaze fixed intently, Is engaged in mute conversation with Rembrandt.
The name of Rembrandt is not only a symbol of the sublime in art, but directly draws the reader's attention to Korsakov's famous passion for collecting. His picture gallery, one of the most valuable in Russia (it included Leonardo da Vinci's Benois Madonna), was sold after his death in 1821. Amongst its masterpieces was Rembrandt's Crucifixion, the very painting with which Korsakov is perceived to be "engaged in mute conversation". All traces of the work, however, have since been lost.
Kiprensky's prints and drawings include a similarly strong reference to the legacy of the Dutch master. He copied one of Rembrandt's etchings (Bartsch 291) in his gryphonage in the Russian Museum, while an album of 1807, also in the Russian Museum, has an outline sketch of the Old Man in Red in which Rembrandt's worthy and wise figure is given keenly tragic features, in accordance with Romantic aesthetics: the look in the disproportionately enlarged eyes gives the face an excessive exaltation and tension lacking in the original.
The Romantic interpretation of Rembrandt's art was reflected in literature in the 1830s, the most famous example being a verse by the outstanding Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, On a Painting by Rembrandt (1830). This is thought to have been inspired by the painting A Young Capuchin Monk (Portrait of Titus), now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. In the 19th century the painting, known as "Portrait of a Young Man as St. Francis", belonged to Count Alexander Sergeevich Stroganov, a major collector and famous patron of the arts.
This enlightened and refined connoisseur, head of the Academy of Arts, put together in his palace a magnificent picture gallery (it included another work now in the Rijksmuseum, Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem) and every week students of the Academy had the opportunity to copy masterpieces here. The gallery was open to all art lovers.
Lermontov may well have known Rembrandt's painting through a painted copy or from the engraved publication of the Stroganov Gallery published in 1807. Thus the argument that the poet first arrived in St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1832, while his poem is dated to 1830, cannot be seen as a serious argument against the identification of the painting as the source for the literary work.
Lermontov opens his poem with an address to the artist, the gloomy genius:
You understood, oh gloomy genius, That sorrowful, inexplicable dream, The gust of passion and inspiration.
In Lermontov's poem, the figure in the painting bears the stamp of profound spiritual anguish, of melancholic meditation, and he becomes now "a fugitive in the dress of a holy monk", now a portrait of the artist himself ("or haps in years of suffering thou didst depict thyself").
Rembrandt's canvas draws the poet with its unusual psychological effect. Neoclassical aesthetics demanded that reason should control man's instincts and his emotions; for Lermontov, the art of Rembrandt opened up the element of the subconscious. The unusual nature of the Dutch master's images, which had given rise to so much censure in the 18th century, was ideally suited to the Romantic poet.
Exaggeration, hyperbolic feelings,
fits of passion, all are reflected in many works executed à
Russian variations on the theme of Rembrandt's art are often quite naive, but provide evidence of a deep and sincere reverence for his skill. Such are the works of Alexander Orlovsky (1777-1832) (drawing: The Raising of Lazarus, 1809, State Museum of Russian Art, Kiev; based on the composition of an etching by Rembrandt of 1632 [Bartsch 73]; lithograph: Unknown Man in Medieval Dress, mid-1820s, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). Orlovsky was famed for his lithographs of Russian life, but he had studied in his native Poland in the studio of Jan Piotr Norblin, a passionate admirer of the great Dutch artist. Orlovsky remained faithful to this style throughout his life.
In speaking of Rembrandt's influence within Russia, mention must be made of the outstanding Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. According to one of contemporaries (V. V. Tarnovsky), Shevchenko was even called the Russian Rembrandt by his fellow students at the Academy of Arts because of his reverence for the Dutch artist. There are too few surviving works by Shevchenko the artist to confirm the justice of the nickname but evidence of a careful study of Rembrandt's works can be found not only in his 1858 etching after the Hermitage Parable of the Vineyard but also in his own original engraving of 1844, Gifts in Chigirin.
During the first third of the 19th century, Rembrandt's images also began to appear on works of applied art. At the beginning of the century the Petersburg Tapestry Manufactory produced a tapestry showing "Jan Sobiesky", then one of the most famous works in the Hermitage (National Gallery of Art, Washington). A copy of another painting, Young Woman with Earrings, was reproduced in the 1830s on a porcelain vase, a favourite element of interior decoration during the reign of Nicholas I (the only known example of this vase is in the State Museum of Ceramics, Kuskovo, Moscow).
Rembrandt's name is often mentioned in poems and prose during the first half of the century, notably in the 1830s. This was probably facilitated to no small degree by a heightened interest in the phenomenon of the creative personality: suffice it to look at the very titles of stories published at this time: Gogol's Portrait, Shevchenko's The Painter and Nikolay Polevoy's The Artist. Several curious facts contain indications of a more direct interest in the Dutch master.
One of the most famous lines in all of Russian poetry comes fromHouse in Kolomna (1832-1833) by the great Alexander Pushkin. He describes one of his heroines thus: "Old Woman. (I have a hundred times seen precisely such faces in the paintings of Rembrandt)." This reference is sufficient for the reader to conjure up a sentimental picture of a worthy old woman, of the kind seen in many variations in Rembrandt's late works. Pushkin also, however, uses the name of Rembrandt in connection with a more complex series of associations in his "Journey to Arzrum during the Campaign of 1829". He describes the wild countryside of the Caucasus, which reminds him of "the rape of Ganymede, a strange painting by Rembrandt. The very gorge was lit totally according to his taste." Gloomy magic - to use Pushkin's words - and the majesty of the mountainous landscape were seen through the prism of the "strange" Ganymedes, which Pushkin may have known from the engraving by Christian Schulz or from a painted copy. The painting conveys a sense of head-spinning height not in the landscape background but in the figure of the child, crying in fear and helplessly swinging in the air. This was the enthralling feeling Pushkin experienced when he looked upon the deep and narrow gorge. Perhaps this reflects the specific nature of Russian quotations of Rembrandt motifs, which differ from examples in European Romanticism. The strange fantasy of Rembrandt's paintings was intertwined in the Russian consciousness with the exotic world of the Caucasus, a perpetual source of inspiration.
Reproductive engravings of Rembrandt's paintings were undoubtedly an important source for information about the artist in Russian society. A far back as 1789, Arkhip Ivanov, in the section "On the Benefit and Use of Prints", had noted that "they show us distant objects as if they were before our very eyes, things which we could not see without most difficult journeys, or without the need for great expense".
It is interesting that at the very time that Journey to Arzrum was being written, The Rape of Ganymede inspired the attention of another famous artist, Karl Bryullov. This is all the more curious in that Bryullov was a master of precise drawing and bright decorative colouring, his style having been formed under the strong influence of the Bolognese school and of Flemish 17th-century painting. At first sight it seems unlikely that the work of this artist could have links with Rembrandt's style. Yet a private collection in St. Petersburg contains an unpublished copy of the Ganymede made by Bryullov in the late 1830s (oil on canvas, 45 x 34, signed). Taken from an engraving, it was enhanced by the artist's own recollections from Bryullov's visit to the gallery in Dresden during a journey back to Russia from Italy. In keeping with contemporary taste, Rembrandt's composition was corrected in the academic style and given an abundance of decorative pink. Reminiscences of Rembrandt are also aroused by the Portrait of Katerina Tittoni (dated 1851; priv. coll., Western Europe). Bryullov's interest becomes clear when we recall that it was he who said "Rembrandt is a god! He has stolen the sun's rays."
Analysing Russian interest in works by the Dutch master, it becomes clear that this was manifested in the most varied art forms during the first half of the 19th century. The strongest and most unusual expression of this is to be found in the literary tradition. This author would like to put forward a hypothesis not previously noted in the literature.
In their rich oriental dress,
Rembrandt's exotic figures made a great impression during the Romantic era. The
Russian public knew these works in particular from numerous engraved
reproductions as well as from paintings in the Hermitage, such as the Man in
Turkish Dress. This calls to mind a passage in one of Nikolay Gogol's most
amazing and excellent stories, The Portrait. It relates the story of a talented
young painter, which has given rise to numerous interpretations in the
scholarly literature. At the very beginning of the story, the attention of the
hero is captured by chance in a shop by a portrait, described thus: "It
was of an old man with a face the colour of bronze, with sunken cheeks, a
sickly face; the features would seem to have been captured in a moment of
convulsive movement and to reflect a most southern passion. The midday sun was
imprinted upon them. The figure was draped in broad Asiatic costume. How
damaged and dusty was this portrait, but when he was able to clear the dust
from the face, he saw the traces of a sublime artist. The portrait appeared to
be unfinished; but the force of the brush was striking. Most unusual of all
were the eyes: it would seem that to these the artist applied all the force of
his brush and all his diligent zeal." We should note that both in subject
(an oriental old man in broad "Asiatic" costume) and in manner of
execution, the portrait Gogol describes quite clearly summons up an image
irrevocably tied to the art of Rembrandt and "mass produced" in the work
of his followers. There is another important feature in this portrait, totally
in accord with Rembrandt's compositions: the unusual eyes, which are fixed fast
upon Chartkov, the young artist. This preoccupation recurs in the description
of Rembrandt's old men in a poem by Osip Mandelstam of 1931: "I enter the
marvellous dens of museums, With their devilish leering Rembrandts."
Mandelstam stresses the disturbing note which he, a poet of the 20th century,
saw in Rembrandt's figures. In yet another poem, Mandelstam speaks directly of
Rembrandt's paintings: "They trouble one not for good, they trouble one
without it." It is interesting that Gogol's story was published in 1832,
at the height of fascination with the style à
Variations, imitations or interpretations of Rembrandtesque images in Russian art are even to be found in the works of artists who were concerned with totally different subjects, the ideal of patriarchal Russian life. Young Woman Looking Through a Window (The Treasurer's Wife) (1841, Russian Museum) by Vasily Tropinin, a standard work in the Russian consciousness, can rightly be included amongst the numerous European compositions which are adaptations of Rembrandt's Girl at a Window of 1645 (Dulwich College Picture Gallery, London). In contrast to the other types of Rembrandtness in Russia we have discussed so far, this latter-day version of the woman in the window has a quality that French 18th-century treatises describe as agréable. At bottom, this means that the female figures had a coquettish expression and a low decolleté. The direct source of inspiration for Tropinin may have been a painting by Ferdinand Bol in the Rembrandt Room of the Hermitage. We know that the artist was closely acquainted with this collection for he made a copy of "Jan Sobiesky", now in the Art and History Museum, Dmitrov.
Another quite evident example of such borrowings is Abraham's Sacrifice (1849, Russian Museum, St. Petersburg) by Yevgraf (Gerhardt von) Reutern (1794-1865), which for many years hung in the Russian Painting Room of the Imperial Hermitage. Its closeness to Rembrandts composition makes any further commentary superfluous.
In the second half of the 19th century, Russian art was marked by a rejection of academic norms, a cult of truth to life and an interest in acute social themes. In this atmosphere, the relation of Russia to the classical heritage of the West became a subject of sharp dispute. The great debate between the Westernisers and the Slavophiles split society into two camps. There was keen discussion of the subject of Russian uniqueness versus borrowings from European culture. Against this politicized background there was a notable desire to make artistic collections accessible for the enlightenment of a wider circle of people. In the middle of the 19th century the Hermitage became a public museum, and anthologies of reproductive prints were produced in large quantities. Amongst them was a series of etchings by Nikolay Mosolov devoted to the Rembrandt Room in the New Hermitage. Meanwhile an outstanding collection of Rembrandt prints was being put together in St. Petersburg by the lawyer Dmitry Rovinsky. From 1854 the explorer and geographer Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky took up a new hobby, the collection of Dutch 17th-century paintings.
In this fresh Russian artistic environment Rembrandt too came to be perceived differently. Now the taste was not for imitations in the spirit known as genre de Rembrandt, presuming an interest in whimsical and exotic subjects, but for skill in conveying the sitter's psychological characteristics and a range of feelings such as those found in late Rembrandt paintings. Figures submerged in their own internal world, their faces reflecting melancholy concentration and sorrow were seen as unusually close to the psychology of the Russians, ancient qualities in the Russian national character. Without the influence of these features we cannot imagine the achievements of Russian portraiture, such as Ivan Kramskoy's Portrait of Vladimir Solovyov (1885, Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), in which the natural pose, the gesture of the hands and the lack of setting all concentrate our attention on the psychological state of the man himself.
The greatest admiration for Rembrandt's legacy appears among the artists who studied in the studio of Pavel Chistyakov (1832-1919). This artist has gone down in the history of Russian art as an outstanding teacher who trained a whole series of talented masters. One of his famous paintings, The Boyar (1876), was despite its Russian subject immediately perceived by the public as Rembrandtesque. The Moscow collector Pavel Tretyakov acquired it for his gallery of Russian painting in 1877 (now the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).
Chistyakov contributed to the development of such dissimilar creative individuals as Ilya Repin, Mikhail Vrubel and Valentin Serov, the cream of the Russian school at the beginning of the 20th century. Undoubtedly, they were all to a greater or lesser degree subject to the influence of Rembrandt. The main source of satisfaction for this interest during the early years was the Hermitage (the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow has a copy by Repin of the Hermitage Portrait of an Old Woman, while the Russian Museum has a drawing by Serov of the same portrait and a sketch on the subject of The Prodigal Son). Later, artists saw many works by Rembrandt during journeys abroad. At times their diaries and notes record a sense of surprise. In a letter from Serov, written in The Hague in July 1885, we read: "It is strange, I always thought that here, in this place, I would see many good works by Rembrandt and suddenly in the museum in Amsterdam I see only five works, of which just two are indeed excellent, the others being nothing out of the ordinary. I keep remembering in amazement how many marvellous portraits by Rembrandt we have in the Hermitage. Although it's not a new story of course. It's the same in the Crimea, only not with painting but with grapes: good grapes are more difficult to find in the Crimea than in St. Petersburg, unless you are acquainted with the owner of the vineyards."
Russian art of the beginning of this century, for all the variety of individual styles, did not lose its inherent traditionalism. Of very great interest here are certain echoes of Rembrandt in the work of Mikhail Vrubel, an artist of the Russian Symbolist trend. In his Girl with a Carpet in the Background (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), we are reminded of Rembrandt's images of women by the female figure with a cascade of long hair descending onto her shoulders, the pearls, the oriental carpet, by the warm shades of dark red, as if this were a translation of the subject of "the Jewish bride" into the language of 20th-century art. The impression is reinforced by his other works. Vrubel's skilful drawings (Russian Museum, St. Petersburg) at times copy very closely the style of Rembrandt's etchings of the 1630s.
A characteristic example of the way in which Rembrandt was taken up can be seen in the work of Academician Leonid Pasternak (1862-1945), father of the poet Boris Pasternak. Rembrandt literally suffuses many of Pasternak's drawings. In his private collection in Moscow was a painted sketch for a Danaë inspired by the Hermitage masterpiece. Strangely, this is the sole known Russian picture which directly reflects admiration of this particular painting. We should recall that Rembrandt's work, which lay for many years forgotten in the Hermitage, was re-exhibited only in the middle of the 19th century. Russian writer Ivan Turgenev, who saw it in 1868, wrote in a letter to Pauline Viardot: "Rembrandt's Danaë, for all its shockingness, created a very strong impression on me. It is devilishly strong, colourful, bright. And how stereotyped is Bryullov's Last Day [of Pompeii]". The image of Rembrandt's Danaë appears at the turn of the century in the engravings of Vasily Mate (Basil Matthée; 1856-1917) and his studio.
Pasternak left us yet another piece
of evidence, totally in accordance with the literary treatment of Rembrandt: he
wrote a book on the artist. His monograph on Rembrandt was written in Moscow
during a time of extreme difficult, between 1918 and 1920, immediately after
the Revolution, at a time of civil war and famine. It was published in Berlin
From its first appearance in Russia this monumental canvas occupied a very special place in the Hermitage. Staehlin described it as "one of [the] greatest originals which the great artist ever created". All the old descriptions of the Hermitage picture gallery, like all the memoirs of the foreigners who visited Russia's northern capital, express consistent admiration for the work. The very earliest depiction of it is perhaps in a drawing by Giacomo Quarenghi of 1800, an aborted project for rehanging the Hermitage gallery. Later the painting was to be the permanent central object in a special Rembrandt Room, a room which in fact moved three times, being originally in the Old Hermitage and later in the New Hermitage.
In the Russian consciousness the significance of this scene (taken from the traditionally didactic New Testament parable of the repentant sinner) acquires a new interpretation. In the 20th century the picture was taken up and mentioned particularly frequently. To this painting Russian literature owes marvellous lines by Osip Mandelstam: we know that Rembrandt was one of his favourite artists. According to Nadezhda Mandelstam, widow of the poet, the epithet in the poem - "I shall abandon the land - raspberry caress - which magically colours the gesture of touch" - was a recollection of the colour of the father's clothing in Rembrandt's painting. Mandelstam also devoted a famous poem to the artist, "As a martyr of light and shade, Rembrandt" (1931), which has become the subject of a vast number of literary studies.
The stormy and tragic history of Russian culture in the 20th century transformed Rembrandt's Return of the Prodigal Son into a deeply symbolic work, turning it from a biblical scene into a symbol of the end of earthly sufferings. One confirmation of this is to be found in the recollections of the historian Nikolay Antsiferov (1889-1958), author of the renowned book, The Soul of St .Petersburg. An outstanding scholar, passionately devoted to the Italian Renaissance, he was arrested in the early 1930s and spent five years in the camps on the Solovetsky islands. Years later he was allowed to return to Leningrad.
This is how he describes his return to his native city: "We arrived so early that the trams were still not running. With sacks over our shoulders we set off to the Grevses [the family of an old university professor, Antsiferov's tutor]. Ivan Mikhaylovich opened the door and embraced me. And at that moment I recalled Rembrandt's Prodigal Son. Here was I, exhausted by a long journey of almost five years, kneeling before him, and he lovingly placed his hands upon me." Thus Rembrandt's painting entered not only the artistic consciousness but the whole Russian outlook in the 20th century.
The examples cited above provide far from an exhaustive survey of clear and hidden quotations from Rembrandt in Russian art of the 18th to 20th centuries. In the eternal duality of Russian artistic culture, of which Dostoevsky wrote "We have two native lands. One is Russia, the other Europe," the artist occupies a unique and perhaps even now not fully comprehended role.