The Avant-Garde

Death of Socrates

"Viewed by many as the founding figure of Western philosophy, Socrates (469-399 BC) is at once the most exemplary and the strangest of the Greek philosophers. His style of teaching-immortalized as the Socratic Method-involved not conveying knowledge but rather asking question after clarifying question until until his students arrived at their own understanding. He wrote nothing himself, so all that is known about him is filtered through the writings of a few contemporaries and followers, most of all, his student Plato. He was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens and sentenced to death. Choosing not to flee, he spent his final days in the company of his friends before drinking the executioner’s cup of poisonous hemlock," - History Channel
Time to complete student evaluations!
Five out of 20 students have completed so far.
Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1787.











Salted paper print from calotype negative
Albumen paper print

Southworth and Hawes, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, c. 1850.
David Octavius Hill, Miss Crampton of Dublin, c. 1845.
Nadar, Sarah Bernhardt, 1865.











The Slave Ship

Joseph Mallard William Turner, The Slave Ship, 1840.











Joseph Mallord William Turner, Snowstorm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps, 1812.











Jacques Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard, 1800 - 1801.
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Snowstorm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps, 1812.











"For me, a picture should be a pleasant thing, joyful and pretty- yes pretty! There are quite enough unpleasant things in life without the need for us to manufacture more." - Renoir
J.M.W. Turner, Snowstorm: Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth, 1842.










Realism = term used to describe a kind of naturalism with a socialist political message
  • Based on the idea that ordinary people and everyday activities are worthy subjects for art
  • Strives to depict ordinary existence without idealism, exoticism or nostalgia
  • Insisted on precise imitation of visual perceptions without alteration
Gustave Courbet, View of Ornans, 1850.











Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers, 1849 (destroyed during World War II). 8 1/2' X 5' 3".


Karl Marx and Friedrick Engels publish The Communist Manifesto in 1848










Gustave Courbet, The Painter's Studio, 1855. 12' X 19 1/2'.











Jean Francois Millet, The Gleaners, 1857.











Honore Daumier, The Third-Class Carriage, c. 1862.