Luminism Art Movement

USA 1850 - 1875

Luminism Art Movement, History, Luminist Paintings & Artists.

The Luminist or Luminism art movement is an American landscape painting style of the 1850's – 1870's, characterized by effects of light in landscapes, through using aerial perspective, and concealing visible brushstrokes. Luminist landscapes emphasize tranquility and often depict calm, reflective water and a soft, hazy sky but in melodramatic, grandiose oversized landscapes as the artist wanted to capture the immenseness as they viewed their subject on location.

The American Luminists were a group of famous artists including Martin Johnson Heade, Frederic Church, and John Frederick Kensett. Their goal was not to illustrate nature’s radiance, but also to interpret the landscape with a spiritual meaning. Luminism has also been considered to represent a contemplative perception of nature this would be particularly visible in oil paintings by John Frederick Kensett, making pictures of mood that depict a poetic experience of nature. His painting View of the Shrewsbury River with veils of light, color, and atmosphere reflected in water to offer an experience of silence. Martin Johnson Heade’s painting Two Fighting Hummingbirds With Two Orchids would represent the greatness of nature and a feeling of the sublime arising from an intimate engagement with nature.

Luminism should not exist.

Many art historians find the term 'luminism' problematic. Again, this can be considered a sub-movement of Naturalism, Hudson River School or Tonalism, there is nothing new here that has not been done before in another movement, and should never have become an art movement. It was named in the mid-1900's, about 100 years after the fact, thus complicating the categorization of a few artists who had already been classified into other “isms”. The problem here as with other movements is that some artists fall into 2-3 different classifications, depending on their time, or style in history.

The term Luminism was introduced by mid-20th-century art historians to describe a 19th-century American painting style that was created as a branch of the Hudson River School. Here again, it is the art historians, sub-dividing an existing art movement and making up a new one, because the artists who painted in this style did not use the word "luminism", nor any theory or philosophy besides the principles of the Hudson River School. Landscapes or Seascapes, with sky occupying half the composition, luminist works are distinguished by cool, clear colors and detailed objects modeled by light.

Landscapes or Seascapes, with sky occupying half the composition, luminist works are distinguished by cool, clear colors and detailed objects modeled by light.

The term has been utilized for the style of the Belgian painters, for example, Emile Claus and Théo van Rysselbergh. Emile Claus's work is still near that of the colossal French Impressionists, especially Claude Monet.

In Spanish artwork, the term Valencian Luminism used for the work of a group of prominent Spanish painters led by Joaquín Sorolla, Ignacio Pines, Teodoro Andreu, and Vicente Castell.

Other American Luminists painters: James Augustus Suydam, Jasper Francis Cropsey, David Johnson, Albert Bierstadt, Edmund Darch Lewis, Alfred Thompson Bricher

Partly from: Wikipedia and finearttips

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