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Academic Art

ASAG Journal

The French Académie des Beaux-Arts, also known as the Academic Art movement, was a dominant trend in Western art during the 19th century. The movement promoted a strict set of guidelines for artists, including the use of classical techniques, historical or mythological subject matter, and an emphasis on achieving technical perfection in their work.

Artists associated with the Academic Art movement were often trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and were expected to adhere to the ideals of the Academy. These artists created artwork that was seen as refined and sophisticated, but some critics argued that the strict standards of the movement led to a lack of innovation and an inability to adapt to the changing times. Despite its critiques, the Academic Art movement had a significant impact on the development of art in the Western world, and its legacy can still be seen today in the work of many artists.

Pan Yuliang, Self Portrait, 1924

Denise K. McTighe

ASAG Journal

April 13, 2021

PAN YULIANG 1895-1977 🇨🇳
Self Portrait, 1924
oil on canvas, 56cm x 41cm (22in x 16¼in).

Pan Yuliang gained renown as the first Chinese female painter to explore techniques and styles of the West. She was also the first female artist to enter the Shanghai School of Fine Arts in 1918, during which time she enrolled in the Department of Western Paintings under the support of School Director, Liu Haisu. Her teachers were Wang Jiyuan and Zhu Qizhan. In 1921, Pan won a government scholarship and studied overseas in Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where she and Xu Beihong came under the tutelage of Professor Lucieh Simon. 'Self Portrait' was painted in 1924 when Pan was in her second school year there.

In this work, she imbued Western oil painting with Chinese aesthetics, combining animated lines from the Chinese ink tradition and vibrant colours inspired by the Impressionists. Created in the 1920s during Pan's first study trip to France, Self Portrait is iconic and rare among her other self depictions. This work clearly reflects her personal aspirations as she portrayed herself holding a brush with a palette at one side, heightening her self-consciousness as an innovating female artist. This is markedly different from her other self portraits of the 1930s and 1940s, which often convey a sense of anxiety and sadness (fig.1). In 'Self Portrait', Pan's pose illustrates her strong character and assertive stance towards her work, despite sparking criticism in her country for her avant-garde renditions. More than an important self portrait, this work also makes a bold personal statement in that era.


Self Portrait of Pan Yuliang (1924) by Pan Yuliang
Pan YuliangSelf Portrait, 1924, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Romeo and Juliet (1884)
by Frank Dicksee 

ASAG Journal

February 22, 2022

Romeo and Juliet (1884)
by Frank Dicksee 
Location: City Art Gallery, Southampton, England

The painting "Romeo and Juliet" was created by the British artist Frank Dicksee in 1884. It depicts the famous tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, who were two young lovers from feuding families in Verona, Italy. In the painting, Romeo is shown standing atop a balcony, while Juliet leans over the balcony's railings. The figures are beautifully rendered with soft, delicate brushstrokes, and the colors are rich and vibrant, highlighting the romantic and passionate nature of their relationship.

The painting captures the moment where Romeo has just come to Juliet's balcony to declare his love for her. The two lovers are depicted gazing into each other's eyes, their hands reaching out towards each other, but unable to touch due to the physical barrier between them. Dicksee's portrayal of Romeo and Juliet's reunion is romantic and idealized, with a dreamy atmosphere that emphasizes the overwhelming passion and love between them.

The painting has been widely celebrated as one of the most romantic and iconic depictions of Romeo and Juliet. It has been reproduced in various forms, from prints and posters to book covers and album artwork, and has become a popular cultural reference point for the tragic love story of the two young lovers.


Romeo and Juliet (1884) by Frank Bernard Dicksee
Oil on canvas, 171 x 118 cm (67.3 x 46.4 in)
Frank Bernard Dicksee, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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