Thursday, August 25, 2011

The dancer and the artist at the end of the age of beauty, on the edge of the age of war

An interesting article via Arts and Letters Daily about the dancer Jane Arvil (Jeanne Richepin) and the painter Toulouse-Lautrec at Moulin Rouge during the close of the late 1800s. It captures the roles of two visual artists in depicting the stresses of a historic transition point -- a time when the tensions of the Industrial Age began to boil over into armed conflict. A time when social mores rooted in rural agricultural traditions and the restraints of poverty were corroding in an urban environment with a rising middle class and elites interested in the stimulation of the exotic, the disturbing, and the complexities of stylization over realistic representation.

Being a visual species with highly developed visual cortices in our brains, much of our historical development often ends up captured in images or expressive motion.

Public domain photo via Wikipedia

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