Gauguin's Primitivism And Visual Art

1051 Words5 Pages
Primitivism was a branch of early European modernism that diffused through various fields of art including music and visual art; but more than that, it was a cultural mindset that stemmed from the ages old debate between simplicity and civilization. With the development of new technology during periods like the Enlightenment, European empires began a long period of exploration and expansive colonization that would have huge cultural implications for them as well as the nations they claimed. This period of colonial growth reached its peak in the late 19th century. Western artists who had long held with the conventions of Renaissance art, were gradually being exposed to the artistic traditions of cultures all around the world. The effects of this exposure can certainly be seen in the subject matter of 19th century Romanticism; fascination with all things “foreign” was a prevalent theme during this time, and artists spared no effort in romanticizing their exotic subject matter. For the European, these “primitive” cultures soon became a symbol of the authentic, simple paradise they had lost to civilization and its repressive conventions. The writings of philosophers…show more content…
He is literally forcing the audience to listen to music in a way they never have before, by rejecting the idea that music should be pleasing and comprehendible. By taking the listener out of a familiar musical context, it’s as if Stravinsky has taken them out of their civilized world and planted them in a more primitive one, where he hopes to elicit authentic emotional and spiritual response. This is a clear connection to the goals of Primitivism. And even the subject matter echoes the influences of non-European exposure; the song is a programmatic piece about a pagan ritual in
Open Document