There is no best way to describe the relationship between the early modernist writers and the painters of the mid-nineteenth century. Certainly, there are similarities, but there are also differences.
The common thread that runs through all of these writers is the desire to see the world in a new light. A painter with this view would try to capture the essence of a particular scene or subject in painting. A writer with this same outlook would write as a character in a story and seek to give an authorial voice to the character. For an early modernist, it was the desire to represent the world as it really was as opposed to the world as represented by the author.
The goal of an early modernist was to present the world as it really was, often through the lens of a particular social, political, or ideological system, or even the society of the time period. For example, in the 17th century, the painter Paul Delaroche was a prominent early modernist figure. He was known for his use of classical references, and his works were often referred to as “classical paintings” by the upper classes of Paris.
Delaroche worked as a printer in his home town, and his works were often purchased by wealthy patrons. In other words, Delaroche was in the business of selling classical paintings, just as we are.
Delaroche was a member of the Academy but not of a particular school of painting. His work, for example, was influenced by the French Baroque. In fact, the words “Baroque” and “Baroque era” were used interchangeably in reference to Delaroche. This was also true for many early modernist writers.
Painters were interested in the arts because of their connection to the visual arts. These artists were inspired by the works they saw, the styles of art they appreciated, and the people who sold them the paintings they bought. Delaroche was a very famous painter in his own day, but his reputation suffered in the 1970s, when he turned to making his paintings available to a wider public.
For the most part, Delaroche’s work was well received when it was first shown. It was very well received from the time of the early 20th century, when it was first exhibited. Artists like Delaroche were famous for showing their original works to a wide audience and creating a market for them.
Artists often sell their work to a larger audience, or to a select group of people who can see past the artist’s style. Delaroche was selling these original paintings to an even wider market as the work was no longer being produced by the artist. In the 1970s, when the art market was not as big as it is today, Delaroche was struggling with this dilemma.
Delaroche himself says that he was struggling to get his work noticed. The problem was that his art was so visually arresting that it was impossible to get a gallery to show it. In fact, if you saw Delaroche’s work at an gallery, you’d never know that he painted it. And so he started to sell his work to galleries. But, no matter how much work he sold, Delaroche says that his paintings were never really noticed.
That’s a common theme in the early modernist movement. Artists like Delaroche needed to sell a lot of work to get noticed. But these collectors weren’t interested in the work, they wanted the name, the fame, the money.