The industrial revolution was a period in history, which iswidely recognised as having occurred from around 1760 to 1840. Having spent the previous period focusing onagriculture (i.e. the land and farming), society began to discover the industry.
The industry is mainly the use of machineryto achieve produce. For example, theproduction of textiles and clothing surged, as there were new found technologiesof mass production for such items. Theindustrial revolution also brought about the increased activity of trains,allowing people to travel further and to communicate further afield than theyever had before. A factor widely contributed to the development of the artmovement during this period was the advancement of science, and therefore theinvention of photography.
Although photographywas not like we know it today – no digital cameras in sight – artists all overwere now able to capture images which could then be used in their art, asopposed to having to sit and paint or draw from their own memories. However, it was not until late in the industrialrevolution that the possibility of multiple copies of photographs arose, due tothe creation of (what is now known as) the “DaguerreotypeProcess”. This drew down onadvancements in science by using iodine and bromine to sensitize themirror-style plate to light, which was then transported via a light-proof boxinto the camera, where it is exposed to the light. This leaves an imprint of the image on theplate, which can then be developed (originally by placing the image over a hotmercury solution). This development of photograph led to the development ofart during the industrial movement. Itallowed individuals to capture scenes of nature, beauty, people, and more, immediately,allowing artists to capture fleeting moments more readily. Due to the increased train accessibility,artists could also travel further to paint their scenery, and provide paintingsof places that not necessarily everyone would have access to.
This was especially applicable to those whocould not afford to travel, so had perhaps only seen the city in which theylived. During the revolution, there were three largely popularmovements that reflected the huge changes society was undergoing: Romanticism, Realismand Impressionism. They were reactionsto the feelings of society at the time and allowed expression of those emotionsthat people did not necessarily vocalise. The movement of romanticism led to both Realismand Impressionism – both leading society and artists out of the industrialrevolution.Romanticism can be said to have allowed society at thattime to escape the seriousness that was quite often around, and to express theinspiration and subjectivity that an individual could have during therevolution period.
Mary Shelley, anauthor, published the story of Frankenstein during this period, whichromanticises the love that a monster has for its creator, Victor Frankenstein,and other people involved in Victor’s life. It romanticised the ideas of death and murder and had a similar conceptof many artists during the industrial revolution. For example, JMW Turner, a British artist whowas ??? during the time of the revolution, famously painted the ‘Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino’ in 1839,which aimed to capture the central city of Rome under a hazy, shimmering light- a romanticised view of what is, essentially, ruins.Romantic painting largely used naturalism, yet unique, unfamiliarsubjects and can to said to often express more emotional passion than previousart movements. The art often acknowledged its artificial nature, asbrushstrokes might be obvious, or colours more bright and rich than in thereality of the image. Watercolour works also began to become popular, helped byhigh quality rag paper and the ease of carrying the pigments, rather than theprevious practice of sketching the image down and then returning to paint theimage from a studio – a practice helped by the creation of photography.
The artistic movement of impressionism stemmed followingthe industrial revolution and was the concept of artists using their own influenceson an image or photograph and allowed the artist to put their own spin on theimage. Cameras allowed images to beobjective, so impressionism allowed artists to create new art using existing photographsand to develop a unique style.