Talk:Academic art

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Could you work in a link to the Beaux-Arts movement, which would link up many entries? Or is it a term you're avoiding? (This entry is so good I hesitate to interfere... Wetman 03:41, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)


Hey, I don't think this article counts as not verified, as there are books and a few external links, but it would be great if there were more references that other Wikipedians could check on the internet without access to those books. You can use inline references, which are easy-to-use, automatically numbered, and allow the user to easily go back and forth from the text being referenced to the references. Armedblowfish 16:08, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the lack of references is the main reason the article is not yet a good article. - Ilse@ 10:21, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


A good article as far as the french aspect of this european engendered subject goes. I think perhaps I see the hand of one who has learned the US version of things where all art seems to come from france, perhaps we have all those francophile american millionaires to thank for that. Not that I have anything against the telling of french events.

It would be good to add the role of the Royal Academy in london to this article, but nearly all of the text would need to be changed as most subsequent facts are mainly appropriate only to the french school. a good example here is the section about 'criticisms and legacy' which credits Gustave Courbet with being the first dissenting voice and then traces a neat line to the present day. strangely enough the pre-raphaelite brotherhood was started the year after courbet was credited with 'doubts' by a group of artists that had already protested. unfortunately the trail they leave doesnt make such a neat path to the received wisdom of the art historical cannon.

Why dont I make the changes? well I got here on a trail through various sculpture articles via half a dozen other pages and am labouring with the dissapointment that most of them wouldnt even make good first year guessays. Having weighed up the time I would need to spend even cleaning up the articles, I decided to get a life and just learn to laugh at the unfolding wikijoke. Sorry to be so negative, I'm sure you've felt the same way too.DavidP 03:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Hi David, I wrote the original article, and when I wrote it I understood very well the ways in which academic art appeared in countries other than France. 'Academism' as it came to be used does refer to a certain refined style where the center was even at the time considered to be in France, which was generally the center of culture at the time. Other European academies were influenced heavily by the French model, which I mentioned. Criticisms of 'academism' were also heavily influenced by French criticisms. There is no attempt to exclude anything but the French school. Mentions of Makart, Leys, Scheffer, Leighton, and other non-French academics are there. As for England, much can be said about Joshua Reynolds' writings about art and how they relate to academism, which are referenced in the article on hierarchy of genres which I wrote and is linked to in the academic art article. I also wrote the article on Hans Makart, who is a strong example of academism in Austria. Aside from England, it would be interesting to write further about what happened in Germany and Austria, and how the local traditions led to different results, partly because history painting was at first discouraged by Metternich. Its true that Pre-Raphaelites also had a revolt and this isnt discussed in the article. Its interesting to note that many highly regarded French academics themselves criticized 'academism' before there were any real revolts. So much is left out that can be discussed. There is a reason though under the Criticism and Legacy section, why that Pre-Raphaelites weren't mentioned and it leads to a neater path to modernism, because the legacy of the academic style was the modernist reaction, where pre-Raphaelites don't hold a high place. If I wrote the article longer, I could have included a lot more. Do you think its important for all of this to be worked into the article? I was actually working on writing something apart from Wikipedia to present a new history of 19th century art, where I discuss different traditions in different countries; but for the Wikipedia academism article I think I wrote enough. Brianshapiro

--from follow up from user talk pages--

Brian. thanks for taking the time to write a message, It is an excellent article, in hindsight I realise that I wrote my hasty critique in a state of pique, I hope that it was not too harsh. the reason that I felt it important to include the english side of the coin was that i came to the page following a trail via more ambiguous terms such as 'art' 'fine art' and even 'beauty' - by comparison these pages are quite speculative. your work is remarkably encyclopedic given the amount of space.
Of course a nod to what was occuring in england at the time would be welcome, if only because it is the root (via William Morris) of the arts and crafts movement, the clash with the early modernists (the Bloomsbury group) and the subsequent political split between 'art' and 'craft' that mirrors social changes taking place in Britain in the early C20. It has been said that the work of James Joyce and Conan Doyle exemplify the different stances in thier respective exclusivity and inclusivity of the general public. In the uk at least is still very much a live issue - It leads to odd forms of classification, such as 'Artist Blacksmith' as well as two seperate streams of art education and at government level, both an Arts Council and a Crafts Council.
I wish I had the breadth of knowledge to write a coherent account of the british events, but unfortunately my understanding stems from practise rather than historical study. Good luck with your writing, I am sure it will be well considered and very interesting. regards DavidP 11:13, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your message back to me. You're right of course how the debate shaped up in England at the time. I understand some of this also; and how many English academics argued that the artist should work for the market. I actually mentioned it in the article I wrote for kitsch. Its also interesting how the debate shaped in different countries other than France--as I hinted, in Austria, for instance, academic art, its main figure in Makart, became very much about public decoration. Metternich as head of the Academy discouraged history painting, because other forms of painting were considered to be of more moral benefit (contrast to France), after which history painting was mainly confined to decorating public spaces. This hard stance was later given up but it led to artists like Makart, who were also decorators and designers who were united with Wagner in seeking a 'total work of art'. The revolt against academism in central Europe was the Jugenstil and other Art Nouveau movements, which were similarly oriented around decoration. I guess I neglected to mention these different traditions in countries other than France, because 'academism' was usually used to refer to the French model, which relied on strict codifications, and the French model was really the central one--the "art pompier." If you take Leighton, who was closest to French academics, was criticized sometimes for being too much like a "French academic." I think though now that this was brought up I will edit the article to be more inclusive. Brianshapiro


It's missing dates... like when things happened, when it was officially established, and when they closed up shop. Also fails to mention how much control The French Academy of Art had over artists, and so on...--Hitsuji Kinno 17:50, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

This article starts by defining a major art movement without giving the dates it was most active in. This should really be in the first sentence of any art article concerning a major period or artist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:46, 28 January 2015 (UTC)


What do universities have to do with it? They are only mentioned a couple of times, but there they are in the first sentence. Why? These art academies were not universities. I've added a citation-needed tag. Andrew Dalby 14:50, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I've just removed them. Some older academies may have been part of universities, but this was certainly not typical. Johnbod (talk) 01:54, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Article issues[edit]

This looks like a finely wrought article, but it's too problematic to merit a B class rating: there's nary a reference. It appears to have been written of whole cloth some time ago, and it's time for reassessment and addition of sources. JNW (talk) 01:14, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Just realized: while the article rightly focuses on the impact of the academic model in Europe, there's but passing acknowledgment of its role in American art. Nor are any artists from the U.S.-- Vanderlyn, West, Eakins, Cox, Saint-Gaudens, Abbey, Blashfield--named. An outline of the National Academy and Pennsylvania Academy will be helpful. JNW (talk) 16:33, 26 February 2014 (UTC)