The French impressionist collaborative circle – quotes (chapter 2)

Note: speech to text dictation see book for accuracy.

Farrell, M. P. (2003). Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics and Creative Work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chapter 2, The life course of a collaborative circle: the French impressionist

  • When the young impressionists arrived in Paris in the early 1860s, they were confronted with three major cultural currents in the art world: classicism, romanticism and realism. p28
  • Only by exhibiting through the salon and receiving favorable reviews couldn’t artist become known, when commissions, and sell paintings. p28
  • Stages one and two: formation and rebellion stages of circle development

  • Most collaborative circles consist of a core group who interacts frequently and a proof real “extended” group very in their degree of involvement… In the formation stage the core group of impressionists consisted of four men – Claud Monet, that was then 22; Frederick Bazille, 21; Auguste Renoir, also 21; and Alfred Sicily, 23. p29
  • The group included “extended” members of other disciplines – novelist, poets, sculptures, musicians, and photographers who participated in the café discussions, supported the group but their resources, and were influenced by their emerging theories of art. p29
  • They’re growing friendship spilled over from their roles the students. They enjoy one another’s company, they share the ambition to become an artist, and they share the same negative reaction to the established styles of the Academy, but not heard yet developed a personal style. p33
  • Stage III: the quest for a shared vision

  • After Penny was not approved by the Academy members, who saw the studio is the only place the painter could acquire the concentration and discipline to produce the clean lines and protonic forms they considered real art. Monet, the most rebellious number of the circle, played a catalytic role at this point for persuading the other members to try the for bidding activity. Page 33
  • The most daring risks, the sharing of half–baked hunches, and some of which went somewhere, and some of which went nowhere – occurred not with the group was together, but rather within the more intimate context of pairs. Page 34
  • The new idea might be a discovery of the presence of colors and shadows, a new brush stroke technique, or a new idea about what subject to pay. Over time, through dialogue with the whole group, these insights experiments gradually are woven into a more coherent style. p34
  • In the large group meetings, through discussion and often acrimonious debates, the artist eventually reach consensus about discarding historical, religious, and mythical themes and focusing exclusively on images of every day modern life and landscapes. p39
  • In 18 68–69, some changes occurred and the internal coalitions of the group, and the changes coincided with the innovations that came to define Impressionists vision. p40
  • They painted rapidly was short, comalike brushstrokes, and they juxtapose sharply contrasting, a next colors. This technique brought a shimmering life to water that no one had ever achieved before. It enabled them to portray the transitory effects of light and atmosphere-goals they have been pursuing for years. They also discovered the value of panting many views of the same same quickly, capturing the changes and light and atmosphere as the day progressed. They came to value the sketchy, unfinished quality of the work. p41
  • It is not likely that either would have arrived at the new style alone, but together they had the courage to go beyond the limits, creating a new synthesis of the elements they had been working with. p41
  • Stage four: creative work

  • One of the defining characteristics of stage III and four in the life of collaborative circles is the ritualization of times when the whole group comes together, not because they share a teacher or workplace, but because that’s their own choice to make, exchange ideas, and enjoy one another’s company. p43
  • Roles in such groups are like masks or personas – images of one another that the members negotiate in the course of group development. p45
  • Manet and Degas were the older, higher – status members of the café group, and as you might expect based on research on the effects of status cues on interaction, initially they occupied central positions in the group. p46
  • The Impressionist circle, those who, like Cezanne, went to far rebelling against the jury, and those who sold out conventional standards, marked the two boundaries of the group. p53
  • Page 5: collective action

  • Having consolidated a shared vision that more or less guides their individual undertakings, have been completed works based on that vision, they mobilize to carry out collective action. p55
  • Group showed several signs of having moved into a new phase – not only in the plans for collective action, but in the changes and meeting place in leadership, and in the adoption of an explicit set of norms for the group exhibition. p57
  • Stage six: group disintegration a member individuation

  • Several factors contributed to the disintegration of the Impressionist circle during the later stages of its development. First, there were the interpersonal conflicts created during the collective action face. Second was a differential success of the members. Third, as various members left their youth behind a married, they were confronted with conflicting demands from the group and their families. Finally, as the artists mastered their craft and developed more autonomous values, they had less need to buttress there it egos through identification with heroes, attacks on scapegoats, and validation by the group. p66

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