It is a common phenomenon for an object to be associated with the ruler or the country in question. The Great Wall of China, where not only served as a defense system, but also consolidated the image of China as a mighty power for many years. The Wall -- acted more as a psychological defense mechanism -- giving the image of China as a united nation.
The design and the emergence of the wall was only possible in the then current prevailing Political Condition of the country, when the country needed to defend itself from foreign attacks by the Mongols.
The design of the Wall was used as a medium to inspire fear and an image of a strong state -- depicted by the strong wall itself. Aesthetic consideration was not point or considering factor, as the main point was protection and promotion of a certain image.
The idea of wall as a defense mechanism has existed for a long time. The building of Great Wall of China was result of necessity. This is obvious enough by the fact that the wall was not a single structure, but was built during the reign of different rulers, as an object of need and war induced protection system.
5. Art as a medium has been used from antiquity to inspire a certain image regarding the object in question. The Great Wall of China today is seen as the identity of the Chinese nation, and historically as well must have inspired the image of the country as one that is "undefeatable."
Personal Response: The Great Wall of China is the result of a political necessity; it was medium that was to inspire a certain image of china in the mind of the Mongols, who were a great threat at the time. Therefore the only two reasons which must have played a primal role in the design of the wall would have included defense and inducing a certain image. Today the Great Wall of China is seen as the symbol of China -- it has become a symbol of might and human accomplishment.
EXAMPLE 2: PALACE AT PALENQUE, CHIAPAS, MEXICO
1. Used as the royal residence of the King, the palace's most important feature of the place being the throne room. The palace was also used as an exhibition place of the images of all the conquered rulers and their states. This was probably done to entice the image of the Maya State as the mighty one, which dominates others.
2. In the case of Maya the architecture seems to be more inspired by the religious and the ceremonial procedure that were very important to the Mayan Culture, instead of politics. The stairs were the most important element of the Mayan Architecture to reach the palace from where the sunset and rise could be seen which was an important element of their Culture.
3. For the Mayan the aesthetics was a primary area of focus, as compared to the function to the structure. But since the structure is not an object of war, but is in a fact a residence, which would explain the importance of aesthetics for a space that is to serve the royal as well as the religious functions.
4. War has no importance for this structure. Although, war and conquest was an essential part of the Mayan rule, which emphasized by the presence of imagery of the conquered rulers.
5. These art works are the documentation of the achievements of the Mayan Dynasty, and as such it can be said that as a structure it did in a fact document the war and peace, and history in general of that era.
Personal Response: The structure honors the beliefs of the Mayan Society, the palace being the vital organ that gives honor to both the religious and the royal aspect of this society. It is a structure that responds to the Mayan style of architecture, thus also giving respect to the local forms. The thatched roof influence is too prominent in the palace, thus making a connection with the Mayan society in large.
EXAMPLE 3: HALL OF MIRRORS, VERSAILLES, FRANCE
1. Whereas the defense and objects of war are instrumental in portraying the image of a strong nation, royal places are instrumental in portraying the grandeur of the rule of a certain ruler. Architecture of the courts did just that in the example of Versailles, where for the first time mirrors were use in such a massive scale.
2. Politics of the royal courts must sure have been a determinant in the form of the hall, where the grand life style and the life of Louis XIV are all on display in the shape of the ceiling frescos. This way the life and the achievements of the King are forever immortalized in the architecture of the Versailles's Hall of Mirrors.
3. Since this is not an object of war, it can't be commented on, but this is for sure that as a royal court, aesthetics was one of the most important considerations. It is a result of this consideration, that even today the royal courts of France are considered to be synonymous with Luxury!
4. Although the form was not affected by war, however the furnishing of the Hall of Mirrors was definitely melted, so that finances can be arranged for the War of Leagues. So in a way, the form of the interiors and the Architecture were sacrificed -- rather than determined -- due to war.
5. Rather than being serving as a document of war and peace, the Hall was more of a testimony to the life of King Louis XIV, his family and his royal courts. However, art has played a role in documenting some of the historical events and moments that took place in this space. Events like the "Reception of the Doge of Genoa" in 1685, "The Ball of the Yew Trees" in 1745 besides many others, have all been preserved and represented in the form of art works, and in this serve as a document.
Personal Response: The Hall of Mirrors is nothing more than a space to show off the wealth and the immense grandeur of the French Monarch. It shows the immense comfort in which they lived, but in all of this, you can also witness the fine test they possessed in form of art work and the furnishing that adorned the Hall. The use of glass in such a large quantity to reflect the gardens, the sculptures, the silver throne, the fresco on the roof -- all are a testament that the artist themselves wanted a place that would be magnificent and a representative of the prestige of the French Monarchy.
EXAMPLE 4: HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, LONDON 1840-1960
1. The Houses of Parliament is a true example of the use of a structure for the service of the rulers and kings, and the entire nation on the whole. As a building where the representatives of the people sit and work for the betterment of the nation and its citizens, and thus serve the state.
2. The form of the structure is much emphasized by the fact that when after the World War II, when the building was greatly damaged, Sir Winston Churchill insisted on retaining the original form of the Parliament. In the original form, the two houses of the Parliament -- The Opposition and the Government sat facing each other as they debated about the various issues. Churchill believed that changing the form of the building can even result in changing the way the entire structure of the country functions.
3. Aesthetics seem to be one of the primal focuses of the entire building, which has been employed in this building. However, where the building was kept modern in its planning, the look has been adorned with Gothic details. Even in the interiors, frescos and murals add to the grandeur of the building, while also giving the impression of the rich traditions of Great Britain.
4. As stated that even despite war, the form of the building wasn't altered, which shows that war is not always a determinant factor. In the case of the Houses of Parliament, it was the ideology that proved to be the most important factor.
5. The Art collection of the Parliament House has been very helpful in documenting the events of the world; these include Coronations, Houses in Sessions, Elections and even trials. So even in the House of Parliament, Art has been used as a medium to add to the historic value of the structure and making it connect with its past!
Personal Response: As a structure the Houses of Parliament is truly a structure that serves the people, because of the power that has been given to it by the people of Britain through the power of their vote. And in this historic role, House of Parliament truly has a long…