Antoine's Alphabet: Watteau and His World by Jed Perl

By Jed Perl

Antoine Watteau, the most mysterious painters who ever lived, is the foundation for this pleasant research of the tangled courting among artwork and existence. Weaving jointly ancient truth and private reflections, the influential paintings critic Jed Perl reconstructs the fantastic tale of this pioneering bohemian artist who, even if he died in 1721, while he used to be simply thirty-six, has prompted innumerable painters and writers within the centuries since—and whose paintings maintains to deepen our figuring out of where that love, friendship, and enjoyment have in our day-by-day lives.

Perl creates an excellent adventure through accumulating his reflections in this “master of silken surfaces and elusive emotions” within the kind of an alphabet—a fairy story for adults—giving us a brand new technique to take into consideration paintings. This awesome college of a e-book is a hunt for the treasure of Watteau’s lifestyles and imaginative and prescient that encompasses the glamour and intrigue of eighteenth-century Paris, the riotous heritage of Harlequin and Pierrot, and the paintings of such sleek giants as Cézanne, Picasso, and Samuel Beckett.

By turns somber and beguiling, analytical and impressionistic, Antoine’s Alphabet reaffirms the modern relevance of the best of all painters of younger love and imperishable desires. it's a booklet to enjoy, to proportion, to come to repeatedly.

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Civic humanism cast such pursuit of private interest, or "luxury," as an enemy of the state. 12 The capacity to abstract from the particular to the general, developed, for example, through a taste for the right type of art, "elevates" citizens' minds, helping them overcome differences between their private interests and individual ways of seeing by leading them toward a consensual apprehension of the world at the fundamental level of perception itself. Reynolds implies that the promotion among a select group of citizens of a cohesive community of vision or taste, a civic humanist art, contrib12 Pocock, Machiavellian Moment, pp.

The underlying continuity between these two themes in eighteenth-century aesthetics, the de-particularized artwork and disinterested contemplation, makes it misleading to relegate them to separate periods. See also M. H. Abrams, "From Addison to Kant: Modern Aesthetics and the Exemplary Art," in Studies in Eighteenth-Century British Art and Aesthetics, ed. Ralph Cohen (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985], pp. 18-21. Abrams does not use the term "Romantic" in this essay but discusses "heterocosmic" works and "contemplative" reception.

20 21 See Terry Eagleton, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), pp. 38-9. Barrell, Political Theory of Painting, pp. 1-8, 2 7 - 3 3 ; Stolnitz, "Origins of 'Aesthetic Disinterestedness/" p. 132. 28 ELIZABETH A. BOHLS Philocles replies with a startling logic: Absurd enough, in conscience. 22 Shaftesbury is alluding to the traditional "wedding" between the Republic of Venice and the Adriatic: the doge sails out in state to drop a ring in the water. Through this custom Shaftesbury proclaims the gendered identity of the aesthetic subject.

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