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Impressionism and Naturalism by Robert Herbert - Essay Example

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Impressionism and Naturalism by Robert Herbert

Manet, according to Herbert was a different sort of flaneur. He was obtuse in reproducing the flaneur's experience of destruction, transformation, and desolation because he was an active observer. His work The Street Singer (1862) and The Balloon (1862) were examples of the artist's silent commentary in the upheaval of the city and its people (Herbert 36). He exemplified realism through artifice and caricature.
Flaneurs were keen in capturing the moment of life in its pure form which was why later works offered glimpses of contemporary urban life not through detailed oil paints but caricatures speedily drawn and executed as in Manet's Rue Mosnier Decorated with Flags and Degas's Martelli. Flaneurs, therefore, were inventors and responsible for innovation in art during the 19th century.
Flaneurs were also investigators of history for they were keen observers of urban life, noting spectators, daily occupations, behaviors, professions, and intimate and domestic life of that time. Degas's Women on a Cafe Terrace, Evening and Manet's Railroad which the artists investigated to the extent of scientific naturalism could be said to denote this aspect of flaneurs.
Flaneurs were also observers of domestic manners. Their detachment from the public and private arena offered them the advantage of narrating emotions and feelings without romantic interference. This could be observed in Cassatt's Cup of Tea (1880) and Morisot's Interior both depicted the artist's detachment yet interactivity with domestic life. ...Show more
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Summary

The writer of the essay "Impressionism and Naturalism by Robert Herbert" states that the artist community a breed of Impressionists and naturalists termed as flaneurs. These flaneurs overrode romanticism of earlier artists and declaimed emotions, feelings and artists’ romantic notion of life. …
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