Naturalism vs. Romanticism as Expressed in the Works of Millet and Breton
Nov 10, 1989
In today’s society there are few if any great artists. Most of what is exhibited in galleries and
museums, under the misnomer of “Modern Art”, is in most cases not art and definitely not modern.
Yet, only one hundred years ago, the Western World was overflowing with great, creative artists.
What happened? The answer lies in philosophy. Life in the twentieth century has been dominated
primarily by the philosophy of Kant and his ideological descendants, whereas the nineteenth century
was dominated primarily by the philosophy of the Enlightenment. It is the result of the difference
between these philosophies that we suffer today. This paper will not deal directly with the
chain of events in philosophy and in the art world that has led to the state we are in today. But, by
analyzing two nineteenth century artists, I hope to expand the understanding of the role philosophy
has in shaping art, whether or not this philosophy is held explicitly by the artist.
- The Atlantean Press Review, vol 1, no 3, spring 1994, p 41.