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The House of Art

Modern Residences of Artists as the Subject and Space of Creation

Andrzej Pieńkos

The term «house of art» designates the cultural phenomenon and creative mode in modernity associated with an artist’s residence as his own creation and as his product of a need to create which is unfulfilled in the painter’s, writer’s or composer’s actual field. This book discusses the most important of these creations from the 18 th century to the beginning of the 20 th , including gardens as well as the artist’s space, broadly understood, annexed by his imagination. An artist’s shaping of his own residence was most commonly a secondary area of his creative work. The formula for a «house of art» is specific to the particular artist and does not have to fit within any given architectural or decorative style. It may conform to the traditions of a residence (artist’s palace, cottage etc), but most often it forms an individual case.


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Chapter 2: “It is a world that came to me”. The cave of making and its aura after the Romantic breakthrough


65 Chapter 2: “It is a world that came to me”. The cave of making and its aura after the Romantic breakthrough The “cult” aspect of an artist’s atelier in the Romanticism was mentioned already by Jan Białostocki in his classic overview of research problems concerning this era.135 A visit to an artist’s studio evolved into “a rite of passage; an initiation embodied by the act of crossing the threshold of an atelier was even more impor- tant because, in the 19th century, a visit to an atelier was a sort of a cultural duty, almost a celebrated custom”.136 In his monograph on the topic of the atelier, in the chapter entitled L’atelier comme miroir de l’artiste, Philippe Junod states that modern aesthetics, which highlights the expression of individuality, naturally caused the atelier to be perceived as its owner’s expression. He also cites many statements dating from the entire 19th century which reveal this connection. The view expressed by the critic Henri Nocq in 1896: “In order to have a more or less complete perception of an artist, his works, his propensities, it is necessary to visit his atelier”, was mandatory since the Romanticism.137 But by that time the “Promethean factory” (as put forth by the Polish Romantic Antoni Edward 135 J. Białostocki, ‘Ikonografia romantyczna. Przegląd problemów badawczych’, in: Ro- mantyzm. Studia nad sztuką drugiej połowy wieku XVIII i wieku XIX. Materials from the conference of the Association of Art Historians, Warsaw, 1967, p...

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