History of Genre Painting.
The Genre Painting is a type of painting which indicates until the 18th century all that is not religious painting or painting of history. In particular, daily scenes. The paintings have as a reason for the subjects such as the family life, the sports and the leisures, hunting or fishing, work, the scenes of street, the meals, the festivals, the marriages and the scenes of tavern.
At the origin of pictorial art and visual arts it there with the paleolithic art which extends on at least the 2/3 from the known history from art, is 25 millenia, and on most of the surface of the world. The first Genre paintings of humanity represent animals and, although sometimes arrows appear, they are not always scenes of hunting. At the beginning of the 20th century, one applied to paleolithic art the functional theory of the magic, according to which one drew the animals to have taken on them. Each aspect of paleolithic art is explained by the ritual. According to another spread theory, that of the “ magic of hunting ”, the animals would be represented to increase game. In the Chauvet cave in Ardeche (france) one can count nearly 350 figures of animals. The rhinoceroses are most numerous, the lions are also present, just as the mammoths, the horses, the bisons, the bears, the reindeers, the aurochs, the ibexes and some stags mégacéros. In the same way the cave of Lascaux in the Dordogne, contains priceless testimonys paleolithic art. Few 1.500 engravings and 600 drawings, painted in yellow, red and black, which it shelters represent of many animals, in particular bulls, horses and stags. Paintings were carried out around 15.000 front J. - C. The walls of the cave of Altamira in Spain are decorated bisons, hinds and wild boars painted in red or black. The layout, the absence of prospect and the provision of the animals are characteristic of the périgordo-Cantabric prehistoric parietal art, whose Altamira constitutes one of the jewels. In the cave of Niaux in Ariège the bisons are there too majority, from there to think that they were driven out and constituted the essence of the food mode of the time it has only one step there that of course we will not cross.
One can regard the scenes of the daily life painted on the walls of the Egyptian tombs as the true ancestors of the painting of kind.
After death, the late one, in Egypt, continuous with living in with beyond and as alive good one is regarded represents it with his daily occupations, in family or working with the fields. One knows today much thing about the lifestyle of old Egypt and one owes it with the frescos which decorate the tombs and which represent, always in 2 D and of profile, agriculture, and even grape harvest, in Egypt at the time of the Pharaons.
It is on the potteries that one finds Genre paintings which inform us about the lifestyle of Greece Antique. The frescos which decorate the Etruscan tombs describe us this civilization which born and develops during front thousand-year-old before
J. - C. For example fall it from the Leopards in Tarquinia. Located on a spur in the valley of Marta, this important center of Etruscan civilization contains vast tombs with the varied burials. The underground funerary rooms are decorated paintings of high-quality which present an evolution of the Etruscan pictorial art of the 6th front century J. - C. at the 4th front century J. - C.
It is because of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 after J. - C. which we have a good knowledge of the Roman mural. Pompéi, Herculanum, Stabies, Oplontis, preserved a treasure of frescos, gathered in four styles, whose classification was extended to the whole of Roman painting.
The frescos of Pompéi show us the Roman in their daily life even if as in Herculanum the reasons are sometimes gallant or even erotic.
At the end of the Middle Ages, the painting of kind appears in the religious calendars whose illustrations, which represent the seasonal occupations, are included in the manuscripts. The Middle Ages extend from 476, date of the fall of the Roman Empire of Occident, at the year 1492, marked by the discovery of America by Christophe Colomb. When the monks represent themselves in the scriptorium (room of the monastery where they recopy the texts) it acts well here of scene of kind. There exists at the end of the Middle Ages a morbid culture, a recrudescence of the practices heretics and a very strong dispute of the Catholic church. The Dance of Death is an allegory which cannot be classified in religious painting. Ordered by the duke of Berry, illuminations of the Very Rich Hours, carried out by the brothers of Limbourg between 1413 and 1416, are an iconographic source of choice on the life of the medieval campaigns.
With the Middle Ages all the scenes, nonreligious, which treat musicians or wandering entertainers are Genre painting.
In Italy, at the beginning of the Rebirth, the painters of Florence, Ghirlandaio and Benozzo Gozzoli, and later Venetian Giorgione and Bassano, introduce into their religious or historical tables details of the time (environment, costumes, characters) which brought them closer to the genre painting. In another manner,
the religious scenes of the Fleming Petrus Christus are almost daily which makes them also close to the genre painting.
16th and 17th centuries are the golden age of the scene of kind, in particular at the Flemings and the Dutchmen. The painting of kind takes truly its rise at that time. Already presents at Pieter Bruegel the Old and Pieter Aertsen, it opens out at Jan Steen, David Teniers and Adriaen Brouwer. The daily life of a country never had been as completely depicted in its least details as that of Holland at this period. The large Masters, but also the artists more the pain-killers, excel in this Art Among Dutch genre painters, commonly called minor artists, one can quote Gerald Terborch, Gabriel Metsu, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard Dou, Adriaen Van Ostade and Frans Hals at his beginnings.The Genre painting at Vermeer is characterized by a reduction of the narrative elements and a very clear description which seems to put the objects on the same level as the characters in a vibrating vitality. With the same time, the painters, Italian or installed in Italy, heirs to Caravage, treat the painting of more realistic kind of manner like Bamboccio, whose works are famous for their picturesque. In France, at Louis Le Nain, the subjects take the form of solemn, touching representations and of a mysterious poetry. The painters baroques (1590-1790) especially Murillo but also Diego Velasquez in Spain become pilot of their time, their paintings are similar with stereotypes of journalists. The Genre painting, at the beginning minor kind by report of religious painting and the painting of history will become impossible to circumvent and especially will eclipse these 2 other kinds completely so much so that all the movements will practice it.
When the Genre painting becomes gallant and frivolous one speaks about Roccoco.
Especially in France and England. The paintings are pictures of alcove where the sensuality has the insolence of the naturalness. When the Genre painting is dramatic it becomes romanticism, if there exists a point of humor or of irony it becomes caricature. The Genre painting , before minor kind, generates sub-genera and sometimes even pictorial movements as the Realism which carries the Genre painting to its paroxysm. Because at the time of incipient industrialization to show of worker agricultural broken by the effort for some corn ears can be interpreted like a criticism of the social conditions. But works of the artist like those of Julien Dupre. (1851 - 1910), are in fact only one testimony, without idealization nor effect of setting in scene. On the other hand Vincent Van Gogh which does not miss generosity presents to its beginnings as social painter and the painter of the poor people. Dark and almost monochromic, these works express with roughness the poverty and the misery of these people to which Van Gogh sticks with enthusiasm and exaltation. The emblematic picture of this time remains the Potato Eaters. 1885. The work of Van Gogh will give rise to the expressionism whose painters will denounce the misery and the absence of equality between the men like Heinrich Rudolf Zille, Käte Kollwitz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner or Georges Grosz. The most famous paintings of the Masters of impressionism are Genre painting. The totality of works of Toulouse Lautrec, except the portraits, are scenes of kind. During all the 19th century, the Genre painting remains very popular, it testifies however sometimes to a certain academism. One can quote Jean Leon Gérôme and Jean Meissonier, for France, Thomas Hart Benton for the United States. At the 20th century the Genre painting becomes critical social with the German expressionism. The painters denounce the company and its defects. The surrealist painters are not remains about it with their often morbid but so ironic oneiric visions.
Today the Genre painting is always there, with us. There will be always a painter or a photographer to represent his contemporaries. And especially there will be always a draftsman to illustrate on paper or screen the written articles and to make fun of the topicality without knowing if the topicality and the drawing, in the future, will remain caricature or become painting of history. But what imports since the painting of kind on this level there often makes us smile and even laugh !