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Eclecticism is a kind of mixed style in the fine arts: "the borrowing of a variety of style from different sources and combining them" (Hume 1998, 5). Significantly, Eclecticism hardly ever constituted a specific style in art: it is characterized by the fact that it was not a particular style. In general, the term describes the combination in a single work of a variety of influences — mainly of elements from different historical styles in architecture, painting, and the graphic and decorative arts. In music the term used may be either eclecticism, crossover music, or polystylism.

In the visual arts

The term eclectic was first used by Johann Joachim Winckelmann to characterize the art of the Carracci, who incorporated in their paintings elements from the Renaissance and classic traditions. Indeed, Agostino, Annibale and Lodovico Carracci had tried to combine in their art Michelangelo's line, Titian's color, Correggio's chiaroscuro, and Raphael's symmetry and grace.

In the 18th century, Sir Joshua Reynolds, head of the Royal Academy of Artsmarker in Londonmarker, was one of the most influential advocates of eclecticism. In the sixth of his famous academical Discourses (1774), he wrote that the painter may use the work of the ancients as a "magazine of common property, always open to the public, whence every man has a right to take what materials he pleases" (Reynolds 1775, In 19th-century Englandmarker, John Ruskin also pleaded for eclecticism.

Picasso has often been cited as an eclectic artist because of his African-influenced Period.

Western architecture

Eclecticism "was an important concept in Western architecture during the mid- and late 19th century, and it reappeared in a new guise in the latter part of the 20th century" (Muthesius 2008).

Music

Much of postmodern music is characterized by eclecticism. In hip-hop, the fusion of samples from different genres is prominent in such artists as DJ Shadow, Kid Koala, or Wax Tailor. Particularly in turntablism, the branch of "dj-ing" devoted to one's use of such equipment as though it were any other.

External links



Sources

  • Hume, Helen D. (1998). The Art Teacher's Book of Lists. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-7424-2.
  • Muthesius, Stefan. "Eclecticism". Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. (subscription access) (accessed 19 September 2008)
  • Reynolds, Joshua (1775). A Discourse, Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of the Prizes, Dec. the 10th, 1774. London: T. Davies.



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