The above perception of the insanity of life is not at all apparent in the second painting of Georges Seurat. While it is mystical, it gives too much quiescence that is there with the impressionistic style. This like Picasso's painting above is a happy trip and does not exhibit as much negative energy as Picasso. He also does not seem to be trying to summon any primitive energies. Rather Seurat's painting is very urban. He is obviously a product of a new city, with new sidewalks, parks and a newly affluent city where nature had been tamed, including the monkeys on the leash. While it may seem that the monkeys are almost a Darwian joke, it does seem to be in the same as the dog on the leash of the lady with the umbrella. The dog and the monkey almost seem to expensive accessories like a handbag that has no other purpose. Indeed, the monkeys all over the painting make one wonder who is really in charge.
The individual dots, dashes and small strokes are fascinating however. It is almost as if he is stitching together some kind of needle point. This meticulous, colored dot method, plays with the eyes and the perception of color and light. Its validity as a descriptive system is questionable and, in my opinion, incidental to what he is trying to achieve. He obviously wants the person to think about the scene and look underneath the bourgeois surface of the middle class society that he is portraying. This is why Seurat needs to be so meticulous, with so much extra details, contributions to depth and perception. He plays a lot with the light. I would make the argument that La Grande Jatte's was not so much a painting as a satire of middle class life. It is so subtle…… [Read More]
His paintings were and are provocative because, instead of using personal confessions (like Dali), he uses irony and wit and intelligence to make his point hear. "The Treason of Images" is controversial in the sense that it makes the viewer question art and language and the meaning that we apply to objects. Magritte questions the assumptions made by people about the world, changing the scale of objects and defying the laws of gravity
Picasso, Dali and Magritte were all controversial artists of the early 1920s who expressed their fears, their guilt and fantasies as well as their question through their works of art. All of the artists had a major influence on other artists to come as well as a major impact on society during that time. While some may have considered these artists a threat to society, their works express a heightened sense of reality and an awareness.
Surrealism, expressionism and symbolism attempted to express the inner life or more implicit workings of the human condition. Expressionism was depicted not in an objective realistic fashion but in a subjective fashion, its aim was to stir emotion and illicit response. The works are usually highly personal to the artist and the artist tried to recreate the event or image with his or her own sensibility in mind. Hughes states that the flaw with expressionism was that its only hero was the Self
, which spurred the German Dadaist movement, laughing at the self-indulgence.
Vassily Kandinsky was highly spiritual and expressionistic in his perspective on art. More radical members of the art world laughed at him, and his work was labeled bourgeois and self-indulgent. His works were abstract, employing non-representation properties of color and form
. His 1913 piece or art entitled "Composition VII" was one of the most complex and confounding pieces he ever painted. This piece is an emotional composition that is representative of his great artistic vision and his necessity to express his emotional thoughts and feelings. The oval at the center of the piece appears like the center of a hurricane, encompassed by swirlings and twisting of color. Kandinsky was always trying to create a pure…… [Read More]
The renaissance period was an important period in terms of culture, history and most importantly art. Art became a way to express ones views in politics, religion and society simply because one could imply subtle images or symbols that could convey their thoughts and opinions. There were many things therefore that inspired various artists in their art work. This paper will focus on Leonardo da Vinci as an artist where he drew his inspiration to for his art work. Leonardo started art around 1469 through apprenticeship from his father to the Verrocchio workshop. Leonardo quickly mastered the art and soon became god at it mastering the challenges that came with perspective art. He was a very famous artist and was known for many paintings in history such as the last supper, monalissa, the baptism of Christ, the annunciation, the battle of Aghiari and many more (Michalko, 2011).
Renaissance Italy was termed as being behind from the culture of photographs and cinema that is seen. Leonardo had the urge to bring out a universal language in his paintings. He used perspective, baroque alongside other realistic elements in his work. Leonardo tried his best to create renditions of his life through his art work. This he did in a culture that was previously flooded with paintings that were highly figurative as well as strange religious paintings. Leonardo had had a bold and fresh desire to paint things in a realistic way. He made a call to objectivity which became standard for other painters that came after him in the 16th century. Leonardo took a scientific study of light and shadow as they existed in nature. Through this he came to a realization that objects were not just mere things that were made up of outlines but in the real sense they were actually three dimensional bodies that were defined by shadow and light. Chiaroscuro was what this technique was known as and it gave Leonardo's paintings a lifelike quality that was soft which made paintings that…… [Read More]
The clouds gleamed gloriously, as if they were smiling to greet newcomers to heaven Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti. The two artists sat rather impatiently in the heavenly waiting room, and they refused to pick up any of the literature that lay strewn on the gilded coffee table before them.
This is ridiculous," grumbled Leonardo, who in spite of his age lacked no luster in his eyes. "I am not accustomed to waiting for so long. Indeed, I myself made the King of France, Francis the First, to wait for me. Now, if I am able to keep a mighty monarch..."
Indeed," interrupted Michelangelo. "If you were able to keep the mighty King of France waiting for you, why indeed should you not have to wait at heaven's gate. Whosoever can know the timetable of the angels?"
The angels keep perfect time, I am sure," replied Leonardo, rolling his eyes. "They more than us know the pains involved in sitting on one's bottom for hours on end."
Why, we have barely been here for a matter of minutes. You have grown tedious in your old age, Leonardo. What happened? Have you finally realized how many times you have started something you can't finish? It seems you finally were able to finish your term on Earth. Now that must have felt like a real accomplishment for you."
Leonardo stood up in preparation to strike the belligerent Michelangelo and was also about to remind his contemporary that his nose would not be so horribly disfigured were it not for the blow delivered by Torrigiano, when a light so absurdly bright beamed in on the heavenly waiting room. The source of the illumination could not be ascertained, and nor could either of the artists bear to keep their eyes open any longer. Michelangelo and da Vinci both began to moan in pain from the excessively bright light, when a voice as…… [Read More]
The transition from the Baroque to the Rococo style in sculpture and painting was attended by a concurrent shift in European power relations, as the cultural and political hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church gave way to secular institutions of power. Comparing a work produced during the height of either style demonstrates this shift implicitly, because the Rococo style contains a playfulness in both theme and visual content hinting that its intended audience and patron were far less concerned with grandeur and religious imagery than they might have been a century before, during the Baroque era. Furthermore, comparing and contrasting Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa with Jean-Honore Fragonard's The Swing will make this implicit cultural shift stand out more dramatically, because although both works include some of the same stylistic features that link the Baroque and Rococo, the playful, almost deliberately blasphemous thematic and literal content of Fragonard's Swing stands in stark contrast to the explicitly religious milieu of Bernini's Teresa.
To begin, one may note the similarities between both works that reveal the Rococo style's Baroque ancestry. Although Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is a marble sculpture completed in 1652 and intended to adorn the tomb of a Cardinal, and Fragonard's Swing is a circa 1767 painting featuring a pair of adulterous lovers hiding their affair from a cuckolded husband, both works focus on the central image of a woman in a kind of ecstasy, and the ecstasy of the woman translates visually into the lines and curves of either work (Coonin 666, Schroder 150). Both works exemplify their respective styles while presenting clear lines of continuity, and by tracing these lines of continuity one is able to appreciate the larger cultural impact of stylistic changes. Different ideological positions are rendered all the more stark when one…… [Read More]
Art History And Contemporary Art
The world is a complex place and the old, outmoded, Eurocentric way we look at politics, economics and culture (art) may not be the right way to conceive the new order. Globalism describes, in fact, the increasing unification of the world through economic means (reduction of trade barriers, support of international trade, and mitigation of export and import quotas). They goal for globalization is to increase material wealth and the distribution of goods and services through a more international division of labor and then, in turn, a process in which regional cultures integrate through communication, transportation and trade. The overall theory is that if countries are tied together cooperatively economically, they will not have needed to become political enemies. However, politics and economics do not exist in a vacuum, and art is part of culture and the historical paradigm of regions, countries and is part of . While this is primarily an economic determinant, nothing exists in a vacuum. Therefore, economics drive technological, social, cultural, political, and even biological factors. And, with this exchange of paradigms, there is transnational circulation of ideas, languages, popular culture, and communication through acculturation. Typically, we see the movement of globalization moving into the developing world as it struggles to become part of the developed world.
(Croucher 2004, 10).
When we discuss globalization in terms of art and culture, though, we must as ourselves some of the very basic questions about the nature of art. Art certainly evolves -- not just the medium of expression or the pervasive ties to culture, but the way we perceive and even define art. For example, many of the Ancient World's "art" was perceived in their time as merely functional (pots, illuminations, etc.). Art is easier to describe than to define, most particularly after the Renaissance when groupings of arts formed a nucleus of music, painting, sculpture, weaving, etc. As being something that creates a response to humans, which may be individual or shared. According to Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer and philosophers, art is not all about theory and aesthetics that tend to define art as something true, good, beautiful, or ugly -- but rather something that creates a specific emotional link between artist and…… [Read More]
Art History Of the Western World
Raphael's Madonna of the Meadow is from the High Renaissance period, which lasted from the 14th Century to the 16th Century. The Italian term "Madonna" is a medieval term for a noble or important woman, but in Western art it has come to specifically refer to work that depicts the Virgin Mother Mary. Biblical subjects such as the Madonna were very important to Renaissance painters and other artists. Other subjects of importance were the Holy Family and the Passion of the Christ. Raphael was very much creating exemplary work of the Renaissance period -- other Renaissance artists such as Da Vinci and Michaelangelo have also become renown for their depictions of the Madonna. Two of the most popular moments in the life of the Virgin Mary that were chosen for depiction in Madonna art were the Virgin with the Child, and the Pieta.
During his Florentine years, Raphael painted many numbers of Madonnas. Leonardo did at least forty variations on the theme of the Virgin mother with her child. In his paintings, the Madonna is seen as both extremely human and motherly, but also very majestic. He additionally utilized the concept of Sprezzatura, which is the idea that a person's expression reflects their inner quality. Leonardo gave his Madonnas a look that was very distant and spiritual, like it was completely separated from the material world. In 1506, he painted his Madonna of the Meadow, which was strongly inspired by the style of Leonardo, specifically in the pyramidal structure of the painting. The setting of this painting, as well as the other Florentine Madonnas, is serene and beautiful, with rolling hills and a beautiful sky. The landscape is actually an idealized Tuscan image. John the Baptist as a child is the third figure which created the pyramid. However, unlike Leonardo's very complex style, Leonardo…… [Read More]
Art History Of the Western World
Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, also known as La Giconda, is one of the most well-known paintings of the High Renaissance period. Painted between 1503-1506, it was done with oil paints on wood. Part of the reason it has so haunted people is because of Da Vinci's unique ability to capture expressions and facial subtleties that are lost in works by other artists. Da Vinci used a combination of idealizing and humanizing his subjects that gave them a realistic and surrealistic feel. The Mona Lisa has so many feelings expressed in the face that her smile has become legendary in and of itself for being completely mysterious. There are rumors that Da Vinci hired clowns and singers and other performers to amuse the model for his Mona Lisa so that she would enjoy her time posing for him, which is one theory as to why she looks so very amused. However, others speculate this is a ridiculous proposition due to the stately nature of the picture. The painting is confident and mellow, and the balance of her mouth in particular implies the same about her personality. The Mona Lisa is a woman that represents a spectrum, for her pose and sobriety are like that of a refined older woman, while her slightly chubby face and glimmer in her eye are like that of a child, and her falling hair is like that of a young woman looking for company.
The most widely recognized theory as to who the model for this painting was is the wide of Francesco del Gicondo. She is dressed in the modern fashion of De Vinci's time, in Florence. She is seated against a mountain-covered landscape. According to some historical accounts, the young woman that posed was actually named Mona Lisa, and she married the well-known Giocondo in 1495, and Leonardo himself was so in love with the portrait he carried it with him for years.
The cultural significance of the Mona Lisa is that it truly is the prototype or ultimate Renaissance portrait. The technique of the piece was immediately copied by others, and even today it remains one of the most copied…… [Read More]
Roy Lichtenstein -- Stepping Out is a painting done in oil and magna on canvas by Roy Lichtenstein. (Magna is a plastic painting product made of permanent pigment ground in acrylic resen with solvents and plasticizer. This material mixes with turpentine and mineral spirits and dries rapidly with a mat finish) (www.artlex.com/ArtLex/M.html).Painted in 1978, this work is 85 inches in heighth and 70 inches in width, 218.4 cm by 177.8 cm. This work of art, accession number 1980,420, is located at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (5th Avenue and 82nd Street). It was purchased in 1980 as a Lila Acheson Wallace Gift with additional funding through the Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, the Arthur Lejwa Fund, in honor of Jean Arp; the Bernhill Fund, the Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Inc., the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation Inc., and gifts fromWalter Bareiss, Marie Bannon McHenry, Louise Smith, and Stephen C. Swid.
The painting is signed on the reverse with the signature of the painter, R. Lichtenstein, dated 1978. The Metropolitan Museum of Art also owns and displays Lichtenstein's Study for Stepping Out, 4 inches x 3 3/8 inches, done in pencil in 1978.
A chose to explore this particular work because it appealed to my sense of humor as an example of a revered and popular work that makes fun of itself as well as its environment and the artistic milieu that fosters its fashionableness. This work by Lichtenstein symbolizes for me the central theme Jonathan Fineberg's book, Art Since 1940, Strategies of Being. As he discusses twentieth century art, Fineberg admirably displays what he terms in his introduction the "tension between the inner self and the world" that creates a "happening of truth" in a work of art. If, as Fineberg further proposes, artworks represents "the spiritual concerns of the individual as the origin and defining rule for the forms" (Fineberg 18), then Lichtensteins use of comic book style represents both what modern humanity looks like on the outside as well as our empty inner hollowness. As shallow throwaway creations of the media, we lack inner substance as well. An artist, like Lichtenstein, who recognizes this, puts his own inner concerns onto canvas and through his "mechanical and removed" (Fineberg 261) style, mirrors…… [Read More]
Art History - High Renaissance
The contextual knowledge of the era of High Renaissance and Mannerism is important as its integral to any study of work emerging from the period. The Renaissance movement took place in Europe from the early 14th to late 16th century, which witnessed a revival of interest in the values and artistic styles of classical antiquity especially in Italy. Early in the movement, the concept of Renaissance or revival emerged as a consequence of contemporary efforts in the period to imitate the poetic and painting styles of the ancient Greeks and Romans. But as the movement progressed the word Renaissance came to represent a distinctive cultural and intellectual movement characterized by the growth of secular values and the rise of scientific and geographical exploration of the natural world. While Early Renaissance artists sought to create art forms consistent with the appearance of the natural world and with their perception of human experience, the emphasis was on theoretical art or the laws of proportion and pictorial considerations of measurable space and the effects of light and color (Web Museum, Paris).
The culmination of the artistic revolution of the Early Renaissance led to what is now known as the High Renaissance to signify the period of explosion of creative genius, producing as it did the work of great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo. High Renaissance Art touched unparalleled heights of creative expression because it brought the artist's personal expression into well-established techniques and style, increasing thereby the dramatic force and physical presence of a work of art. Thus, an essential characteristic of High Renaissance Art is seen as its unified balance between technical skill and the artist's intuition or personal expression (Web Museum, Paris).
By about the 1520s, High Renaissance art became so exaggerated that the style was termed as Mannerism. The Mannerism period is considered to be a period of technical accomplishment but of formulaic, theatrical and overly stylized work, characterized by complex composition, with muscular and elongated figures in complex poses. The works of Parmigianino are seen as belonging to the Mannerist style, which interestingly is seen as having taken as its ideals the works of Raphael and Michelangelo. (Artcyclopedia).
Leonardo da Vinci's The Madonna of the Rocks exists in two, nearly identical versions; one, entirely credited to Leonardo, in the Louvre, Paris and the second, considered a…… [Read More]
Art History -- High Renaissance
raphael, da vinci & MICHELANGELO:
THE SUPREME MASTERS OF THE HIGH RENAISSANCE
Within a thirty year span, beginning approximately in 1495, the city of Rome replaced Florence as the Italian seat of artistic pre-eminence. A series of powerful and ambitious popes, most notably Julius II and those associated with the rich and powerful De Medici family run by Cosimo De Medici and later on by Lorenzo De Medici, created a new papal state with Rome as its capitol and artistic center of Europe. These popes embellished Rome with great works of art and invited artists from all over Italy to take on some very challenging tasks. In its duration, the "High Renaissance" (ca. 1492 to 1520) produced works of such authority and magnitude that later generations of artists were forced to imitate it in order to compete with the growing competition within Italy and northern Europe. The various masters of this period had of course inherited the pictorial science of their predecessors, yet they made a distinct break from the past and occupied new and lofty ground that had never been explored before.
In his excellent work The Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari points out that the artists of the High Renaissance, especially Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti, epitomized a return to naturalness and to the old artistic methods linked with ancient Rome; Vasari also maintains that these three artists, as compared to the earlier Italian masters, embellished their works with rule, order, proportion and exquisite delineation. Thus, Raphael, Da Vinci and Michelangelo expressed the ideals of the High Renaissance through their abilities to mirror the natural world in all its realities.
The artist most typical of the High Renaissance is undoubtedly Raphael Sanzio (1483-
1520). Although he was strongly influenced by Da Vinci and Michelangelo, Raphael developed his own individual style which, in some measure, was borrowed from the earlier Italian masters. But Raphael also learned much from his contemporaries which helped to create his powerful originality and to assimilate the best artistic ideals and render them into visions of perfection.
In…… [Read More]
The 'Self' Concept in Abstract Expressionism Movement
Throughout many years, movements concerning approaches on different works of art often reflect principles that appeal to the utility and social function of artworks, which is the primary characteristic of Socialist art movement. Moreover, Cubism as an art movement subsists to creating ambiguous sense of space and use of geometric shapes to flatten the objects and subjects of the painting. Figures, objects, and subjects are broken into fragments and are overlapped with each other.
These are examples of important movements in art history that, somehow, deal with artworks as creations or products of an individual's conscious being, since these artworks have specific interpretations, functions, and purposes. But what if artworks cannot be easily interpreted, and have no specific functions and purposes?
The above-mentioned characteristics are illustrated in artworks created through the Abstract Expressionism movement. In this movement, there is a spontaneous assertion of feelings of the individual/artist. In addition, since the discipline utilizes abstraction, there are no definite styles, only subjective expressions of the artist's feelings, visually illustrated through his/her paintings. Abstract Expressionism is often associated with the Surrealist movement, where thoughts that are only found in dreams and the unconscious (Freudian discipline in psychoanalysis) are visually illustrated through various media, such as paintings and films, media forms which Luis Bunuel, famous Surrealist painter and filmmaker, uses in creating his works of art (in painting, The Persistence of Memory, and, in film, Un Chien Andalou).
However, despite the similarities in principles that Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism subsists to, Barnett Newman, famous abstract expressionist painter, believes otherwise. For him, Surrealism is not different…… [Read More]
War Imagery in Ancient and Contemporary Art
Considering the backdrop of politics and war is an important part of understanding ancient and contemporary art (Stockstad, 2003, p. 468). Historians can tell a lot about the actual events and feelings that occurred during wartime by looking at the rat of the time.
As the twentieth century dawned, many European and Americans had an optimistic outlook on life, believing that human society would advance through the spread of democracy, capitalism and technological change. Thus, during this time, artwork was relatively positive and upbeat. However, the competitive nature of both colonialism and capitalism created greater instability in Europe, and countries banded together in rival political alliances.
World War I started in 1914, pitting Britain, France and Russia against Germany and Austria. War imagery was created by many artists and often was used as propaganda. The United States entered in 1917 and contributed to an Allied victory in 1918. WWI transformed European politics and economics, particularly in Russia, which became the world's first Communist nation. In 1922, the Soviet Union was created.
American and Western European economies soon recovered from the war but the 1929 stock market crash in New York caused the Great Depression, which devastated the world economy (Stockstad, 2003). In 1939, German aggression caused World War II, the most destructive war in history.
Still, many technological and scientific revolutions occurred during these years. As a result, many artists, like scientists and inventors, engaged in a process of experimentation and discovery, seeking to explore new worlds of creativity and expression in a rapidly changing world.
After 1900, the pace of artistic innovation increased, producing a succession of movement, including Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism. However, during wartime, realism was prevalent, as artist depicted war images in their work.
Realism dominated American art in the period between WWI and WWII…… [Read More]
Their uneven edges contrast with the stark, sharp, straight lines of the canvas itself. Correspondingly, Rothko uses the canvas to its maximum space, extending the blue background all the way to the edges. The blue is neither bright nor dull; it is a calm blue like the one that just follows dusk or precedes dawn. Such a naturalistic blue matches the earthy red and green used for the rectangles.
Furthermore, Rothko uses some shadow and nuance, creating slightly darker blue lines around the rectangles. The red rectangle floats above the green one. The green rectangle can be experienced as a giant field of grass, or as a forest scene from a distance. Like the blue field in the background, the green is not a solid block of color. There are nuances and shades within the green. Likewise, the red appears darker in some spots than in others, especially around the edges. Rothko's title, "Earth and Green" draws attention to the artist's affection for natural forms and colors.
Bright spots and thicker layers of paint in the red and green planes add to the textural complexity of Rothko's deceptively simple work. Moreover, Rothko places the objects on the canvas unevenly rather than with mathematical precision. Rather than leave the viewer with a sense of unease, Rothko's object placement keeps the eye entertained and moving about the canvas as if the artist intended to paint an actual narrative.
A formal art history approach such as the one suggested by Gardner helps students better analyze and understand the work we encounter. While the questions seem limiting, they do outline the essential elements of each piece of art including issues like the artist's cultural and historical background and the context of the work itself. Placing a painting in cultural and historical perspective helps the student of art history understand it…… [Read More]
Monet used brushstrokes and many shades of vivid greens and pinks to portray the garden as if it were viewed through a mist.
In 1910, English writer Roger Fry coined the phrase "post impressionism" as he organized an exhibition in London (Shone, 1979, p. 9). Just as the paintings of the impressionists caused a scandal in the art world some forty years earlier, the post impressionist work of artists such as Gaugin and Van Gogh "outraged all notions of what good painting should be" (Shone, p. 9).
The post-impression movement included, in addition to Gaugin and Van Gogh, artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Seurat, and the later work of Cezanne. Like the Impressionists, these artists used real-life subjects, portraying them with distinct brushstrokes, thick paint, and bright colors. Times were changing, and the post-Impressionists responded by modernizing what the Impressionists had done, imposing more form and structure to show greater depth of expression and emotion. The post-Impressionists wanted to demonstrate more careful renderings of the world around them. A famous example is Georges Seurat's a Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-1886), a painting that is now part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. In Sunday Afternoon, Seurat employed a new technique, pointillism. Instead of laying down lots of color quickly to give an impression of people at the shore, Seurat used tiny dots of color and placed them very close together. One can see the individual dots upon close inspection of the work, but from afar, the eye blends the colors, making the shapes very clear and with distinct edges.
Another famous example of post-Impressionism is Van Gogh's Starry Night. That soft and misty glow of Impressionist paintings is gone. In its place is a brightly colored sky that swirls and appears to move. The stars and the moon are bright above a peaceful village. A somewhat ominous shape looms up on the left side of the…… [Read More]
The dress is refined, but oversized and ill-fitting as befits a young boy. Here too, an Americanism is no doubt being added. Rather than make Henry Pelham appear too formal, as the scion of some great house in a European portrait, Copley reminds us that his subject is quite young and probably wearing hand-me-downs, or else some cost-saving garment into which he will eventually grow. It is a budding American disregard for class - a break with both the limners and the European masters. Copley's half-brother is both a young man of a good family and of a certain standing in society, and also any boy of the same age and similar means. In many ways, Henry Pelham comes across as a typical schoolboy. The way he holds string in his hand makes it appear like a pencil or pen that he is absent-mindedly twirling in his fingers as an unseen teacher continues with another tedious lesson. The desktop adds to this feeling, and the small glass of water might be doubling for an inkwell. Possibly, Copley means to give us the sense that his narrative, that is, the painter's, is actually being composed by the subjects of the painting - the boy and his squirrel. Like so many thinking Americans, Copley would have been conscious of the fact that his people were writing their own history, composing a narrative that did not quite fit with the age-old stories and traditions of Europe. The relative blankness of the background is well within European traditions of portraiture, but here it seems to serve for more than to make the human figure stand out to the viewer. In Copley's hands it is a metaphor for the "blank slate" that is both America, and the young boy. Each has a whole life ahead to make of it what he will. As well, the drape can be a curtain, as in a theater, concealing the drama that lies beyond. The simple straightforwardness of a boy, a face so easily read in the bright light, can conceal great complexity, dreams…… [Read More]
Can it be that Kuan-yin is not a precursor to Seated but rather a copy of it, produced with less attention to detail and elegance because it was intended to serve the masses? While that is possible, one cannot completely discount either that, having been created during the same century (with little information to narrow down the exact year or even which half of the century), and with so many symbolic similarities as well as a similar pose, it is possible and even likely that Kuan-yin is an ancestor in the artistic style of Seated.
Drawing conclusions about two works of art created in the course of the same century, with at minimum, similar ideals and societal influences, as represented in the symbolism and postures that comprise the similarities between Kuan-yin and Seated, is a complex and multi-faceted process. One cannot ignore, however, that these two pieces, juxtaposed beside one another, seem to form viable links in a chain following the course of artistic style and trends, connected one right after the other. The real benefit to comparing works within such a long period of time as was the rule of the Song Dynasty is that one can see the subtle and drastic changes alike, and identify them with relative ease because there are some elements which remain the same. By process of elimination, one can easily determine what those changes are and then compare them to extrapolate about the culture which created them, as art history methodology bids one to do. In the case of this study, it becomes possible to see sculptors (and the culture in which they worked) moving toward more lifelike represenation.
Annotated… [Read More]
The Functions and Dysfunctions Mass Media advertising and Elitist vs. Popular Art in John Berger's "Ways of Seeing"
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution gave birth to numerous movements that influenced contemporary culture and society at the turn of 20th century. The increase in production and distribution of goods and services, and the production of surplus of these goods and services gave birth to advertising. Consequently, advertising, in order to attract and entice consumers to buy their products or subsist to their services, came up with creative concepts on advertising their products and services -- through art and the mass media. Thus, popular culture was created, where mass communicated media messages are extended to consumers in visual, audio, print, and, nowadays, in multimedia forms.
Advertising is an essential factor that propagates two interrelated elements in today's capitalist world: popular culture and consumption. These two are interrelated because what is included in popular culture tends to be patronized by society, which explains why advertising is a very lucrative market for goods, services, and even ideologies to be propagated and accepted by society.
These functions of the mass media, particularly the advertising sector, are discussed extensively in Ways of Seeing by John Berger. In the last chapter of his book, he discusses how mass media and art promote publicity, which, for him, is the symbol of freedom: "Publicity is usually explained and justified as a competitive medium which ultimately benefits the public... And the national economy. It is closely related to certain ideas about freedom... The great hoardings and the publicity neons of the cities of capitalism are the immediate visible sign of 'The Free World'."…… [Read More]
Client paid for This sculpture is from Cambodia, in the Angkor period. The statue is 22.75 inches high, which is just under two feet. The majority of the statue is made from bronze, but it is ornamented with inlaid silver. The tiny Amitabha Buddha is seated within the topknot of hair on the Bodhisattva's head.
Although the posture is erect with a very straight back, the Bodhisattva is not well muscled: there is a curvature to the hips and a smooth femininity to the arms. The posture of "Royal Ease" indicates a relaxation and informality.
The Bodhisattva's right hand is missing (broken off). (There also seems to be some damage to his skirt and to the base of the statue on which he sits, but it is impossible to tell if some ornament is missing in these portions.)
This bottle shape was favored in northern Peru for 3,000 years.
The handle is made in this way either because it was convenient to carry, or because the shape prevented evaporation of liquids.
This vessel was made by the Moche culture of Peru's northern coast.
The country of origin for this item is Peru.
The warriors depicted on the vessel are wearing fox face masks, and ornamented conical helmets. They wear decorated long skirts and trapezoidal belt ornaments.
The warriors depicted are carrying round shields and war clubs.
The fox warriors are running across a hilly desert landscape indicated by a wavy line and cactus plants.
This mask comes from Nigeria, where it was produced by the Edo peoples in the Benin kingdom.
The mask represents the mother of the king of Benin.
The King presumably wore it at rituals commemorating his mother, although today these pendants are worn at ceremonies for spiritual renewal and purification.
The tiara and collar feature both stylized mudfish and the faces of Portuguese voyagers.
The mudfish was symbolic of the Benin king: because the mudfish can live in water or on land, it was symbolic of the king's dual nature (as both human and divine).
The mask is made predominantly of ivory, which is the commodity that…… [Read More]
Marxism: Principal Ideology in Russian Constructivism and Mexican Mural Movement
In the history or political philosophy, Karl Marx has revolutionized the social structure of the society by introducing in his discourse, The Communist Manifesto, the concept of modern Socialism, more popularly called as Socialism. In his discourse, Marx posits that in the course of human history, there is the ongoing struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor, which he termed the proletariat and bourgeois societies, respectively. Marx argues that this continued oppression of the proletariat by the bourgeois class will eventually lead to social revolution, where the proletariats will be the new dominant social class, and social order is ruled by the proletariats. A distinct characteristic of Marx's concept of socialism is that it promotes state ownership, control of means of production and distribution, and reconstruction of the capitalist and other political systems through peaceful and democratic means.
Through Marx's discourse on socialism, many artists where influenced by his proposed ideologies. Cultures in the 20th century society have taken on the Marxist characteristic of being socialist, such as the Russian Constructivism and Mexican Mural movements. Russia, one of the main proponents of Socialist Communism and adherents of Marx's political philosophy, has illustrated in its culture influences of Marxist ideologies. Established in 1913, the Russian Constructivism, which is a movement that centers on principles of abstraction, functionalism, and utilitarianism. These principles helped build the art ideology that all artworks must be easily understood and can be used by people. Evidently, Russian constructivism subsists to Socialist principles, which creates artworks that can both be…… [Read More]