Avant-garde is a military term, which indicates the troops sent in front of the progression of an army, to explore and ensure the ground.
The Encyclopaedia of Alembert and Diderot (1752) contains the following definition of "the avant-garde":
- "term of War, is the first line or division of an army arranged in battle, etc. "
By analogy, avant-garde is a name that are given, since XIXE century, of the people who claim to undertake new or experimental actions, in particular in arts and culture. This practice takes as a starting point the the ideas of the French revolution and like it, does not exclude that characters installed with the c?ur of the political power and hostile claim themselves some at the civil company.
See the article (discussed and debatable) avant-garde.
Claude Henri de Saint-Simon (1825)
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, count de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), distant cousin of duke of Saint-Simon (1675-1755), memorialist celebrates it, is one of the inventors of the socialist idea, consisting in abolishing the natural property with the profit of a despotism of the scientists. It is in its work Literary, philosophical and industrial opinions published in Paris in that it is the first apparently used the term of "avant-guard" in a direction exceeding the simple military range to give him broader contents, especially revolutionary.
In a vision giving the control of the new social order to the artists, men of science and industrialists, it imagines a dialogue between an artist and a scientist and fact statement by the first:
- "It is us, artists, who will be used to you as avant-garde: the power of arts is indeed most immediate and fastest. We have weapons of any species: when we want to spread new ideas among the men, we register them on the marble or the fabric... What a more beautiful destiny for arts, than to exert on the company a positive power, a true priesthood and to spring in front of all intellectual faculties, at the time of their greater development! "
Gabriel Laverdant (1845)
The same revolutionary direction will be included a little later in a text of the critic of art Gabriel-desired Laverdant (1802-1884) Mission of art and role of the artists appeared in :
- "Art, expression of the Company, express, in its highest rise, the social tendencies most advanced; it is the precursor and the revealing one. However, to know if art fulfills with dignity its role of initiator, if the artist with avant-garde, it is well is necessary to know where Humanity goes, which is the destiny of the Species. »
(Contrary, was hostile to the artists)
As from this time, the term avant-garde takes care of sociological and artistic contents. It is taken again by holding of "dialectical" of (1770-1831), with its passages of thesis, towards antithesis and then synthesis.
The avant-garde is given there for the antithetic vision of a group of artists to a given moment of the artistic evolution. This one is then absorbed by the social body in its moment of synthesis, until an imbalance appears again, which will be also reduced by"dialectical evolution".
Examples of movements of avant-garde
It should be noted that with time, certain movements of avant-garde became almost traditional styles, just as as we regard as academic was generally avant-garde, at its beginning...