In order to understand what an art history essay is; it is necessary to understand what the term “art history” means. It refers to the academic study of the history and development of the visual arts, including painting, sculpture, and drawing. Therefore, an art history essay is any essay that involves discussion of this history and development of art, and may focus on technical details of art that make it representative of a certain historical period or movement in art history. Typical essay topics may ask you to explain how a work does or does not represent a specific type of art, and will require you to analyze different aspects of the painting such as color, line, texture, scale, contrast, size, medium, subject, technique, and the use of light to support your explanation.
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…… [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 realizes that they are traced in largely the same movements.
Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa focuses on the image of Teresa as she writhes in pain and ecstasy, based on the story of…… [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…… [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 is focused more on harmony and expression. It is easy to identify the noble figures of Leonardo's work, for they fit gracefully into the setting and the world that surrounds them is orderly and calm.
The calm, ordered, intelligent, and beautiful imagery is truly typical of the Renaissance, revealing the ideas of the…… [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 and duplicated paintings. There are cultural elements embedded into the piece that are subtle and numerous, such as the slight openinng of the lips which was considered a…… [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,…… [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…… [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 (Stockstad, 2003, p. 500). Still, some artists maintained an interest in the nonrepresentational styles of European art. In the 1930's, new exhibits at New York's Museum of Modern Art promoted European avant-garde art and paved the way for Abstract Expressionism, the dominant…… [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]
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 of the future, and infinite nuance. America…… [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 first attracted the Portuguese to the kingdom.
Olokun is the Benin god of the sea. His symbolic color is white, and so he is associated with ivory.
The construction of cathedrals in Europe declined due…… [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]
C.E.), a large underground chamber with massive capitals supporting a slanting and beamed ceiling. In tombs like this and in many others, the walls were usually covered with paintings in the form of murals, mostly drawn from Greek legends. Most of the time, these murals provide scenes of banquets, feasts and revelry, such as in the Tomb of the Leopards in Tarquinia, Italy. This tomb is decorated with a banquet scene and groups of dancers and musicians. These wall paintings are similar yet different from those of other ancient societies, for in ancient Roman, the murals were more focused on the family and familial ancestry; Minoan murals also express the daily lives of the Minoans, celebrating at banquets, sporting events and religious ceremonies; Egyptian murals, however, usually expressed religious activities, especially those of the gods and goddesses, such as Osiris and Isis, and with Greek murals, those of the Etruscans are very similar in theme and execution, yet are sometimes more architecturally dominant.
QUESTION #4: How and why did Early Christian sculpture differ from the Roman sculptural style of depicting man?
As to the form of man in Early Christian sculpture, there occurred a shift from Greco-Roman naturalism to a style that incorporated religious symbolism and themes as found in the Holy Bible and in the teachings of Jesus Christ. One prime example is the Good Shepherd Sarcophagus (3rd century a.D.). As compared to Roman sculptures of man, this object, rather than having a pagan theme, depicts man as a symbol of redemption through the blood of Christ. Also, Early Christian sculptural images of man are not as stylized nor as realistic as those of ancient Rome, a trait which carried over to the Medieval Period, especially when images of man were used as pictures to educate the uneducated on the mysteries of faith and the theme of God as all-powerful and divine.
QUESTION #5: How did Charlemagne influence art, architecture and education?
Charlemagne was a great admirer of learning and the arts and often invited to his court at Aachen the best minds and the finest artisans of western Europe and the Byzantine East.…… [Read More]
Art History - Survival Research Labs
Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) is the brainchild of Mark Pauline, and was founded in 1978. SRL has the following Mission Statement "SRL is an organization of creative technicians dedicated to redirecting the techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product or warfare. Performances consist of a unique set of ritualized interactions between machines, robots, and special-effect devices, employed in developing themes of sociopolitical satire." On its web site: (http://www.srl.org),SRL claim to "produce the most dangerous shows on Earth," and SRL has gained a cult following, due to its anarchic gut-wrenching machine performances, which have been described as "theatrical displays which blend high and low technology and transform junkyard, industrial and avant-garde aesthetics into explosive socio-political satire....which draw attention to everyday technological violence" (Lucas, 1995).
Since its foundation, SRL has performed over 45 mechanized presentations, and 'typical' performances and exhibitions have included:
The Deliberate Evolution of a Warzone: A Parable of Spontaneous Structural Disintegration, which was performed in Austria, and in which machines battled against each other, and an overhead crane moved between them, trying to break up the fights. The crane hurled down bombs in order to break up the fights, each of which had the equivalent of two sticks of dynamite. In the midst of all of this, a V-1 rocket backfired, which shook the building (an abandoned toilet paper factory), along with gas detonations and lightning from fireballs. Also used were air-raid sirens that were powered by multistage turbo compressors (Mraz, 1999).
This particular performance generated so much noise that local residents thought a Serbian attack was underway, and the Austrian Ministry of Defense put the military on alert, who sent in a squad of armed troops to investigate (Mraz, 1999). Responding to this particular development, Mark Pauline said, "It was a bad scene
We've done five shows in Europe now, and three have ended up generating…… [Read More]
Structuralism and Semiotics in Advertising
Modern culture in the 20th century characteristically subsists to techniques of structuralism and semiotics, which introduces a new scientific rigor to art criticism. This is because both fields of study provide systematic and detailed analyses of images and texts. Structuralism and semiotics also borrows from various disciplines, such as linguistics, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and other social sciences in the analysis of these images and texts.
Structuralism is the study of various code functions within a single structure, which may be in different forms. Through this discipline of image and text analysis, structuralists can scientifically, i.e., objectively create concepts or ideas embedded within the unit of analysis. Semiotics, on the other hand, is the study of symbols, representation, and signs. Thus, both are essential in the study of codes (which can be words, images, sounds, odors, and objects that are encountered through sensory experience) that we encounter everyday, how people organize and signify meaning to a code (structuralism), and how these codes are represented (semiotics).
Roland Barthes, a French social and literary critic, is one main proponent of Structuralism and Semiotics to analyze, primarily, images and texts. His contribution in semiotics concerns the process of signification, defined as the "relationship of a sign or sign system to its referential reality." In his essays, Rhetoric of the Image and Myth Today, Barthes categorizes an images and texts that are analyzed into three messages, which are the signified, signifier, and sign.). Barthes did not only provide extensive study on the process of signification in semiotics; he also identified and defined the 'sign' as the "associative total of the first two terms," which means that the sign is equivalent to the addition or combination of the signifier and the signified. Thus, the signifier and the signified are parts…… [Read More]
The poem shows him as a harsh ruler, very rude to people and a lady's man. This behavior stirs the gods against him and god Aruru creates Enkidu, a wild creature, to be the rival of Gilgamesh and punish him for all his bad deeds. The two characters fight, but in the end, they become friends. On a deeper analysis of the text of this poem, Enkidu may be perceived as the human part of Gilgamesh, and their fight as an inner fight between mortality and immortality. In the end, mortality is accepted and poise is re-established.
Enkidu appears like an innocent and humble creature, ready to follow his friend in the most dangerous fights. He is very courageous, ready to sacrifice. Even from the beginning, there is a very powerful bond between the two. Despite the fact that they are different, they create a whole new being together, this time with traits that belong more to the human rather than the god side. Gilgamesh is an arrogant, hot-tempered person, while Enkidu is warm, spontaneous and simple. It is very difficult to see who has stronger features, and which one of them is more interesting a character. The main idea is that these two characters were created to build unity together.
Before he met Enkidu, Gilgamesh was lonely, but he didn't even realize that. By meeting Enkidu, he discovers a new person in himself. With Enkidu by his side, Gilgamesh feels the need to share feelings for the first time. Now he feels the need to grow and surpass his own limits. His new friend places himself somewhere else but in the center of his own universe. From now on, he starts to concentrate more on the outside world than on his needs and pleasures.
It is very interesting to follow how the poem develops ideas like two entities that can only form together a unique an complete new entity, how deep the meanings of this old poem are, and how complex the traits of its characters. In "Gilgamesh," characters grow, learn, rediscover themselves, and sometimes the sense of the world, feeling born allover again. Enkidu, becomes a friend for life. After being enemies before the…… [Read More]
The rococo ethos symbolized this coming together of worldly knowledge and artistic accomplishment. It was a world of the few and the privileged, but in its promotion of careful inquiry and insightful debate, it was laying the groundwork for another era.
The works of the philosophes quickly turned to an out and out criticism of the status quo. Men like Voltaire and woman like Madame de Stael, pursued avenues of thought that lead directly, in their most extreme versions, to revolution. Diderot's Encyclopedie, and Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, were examples of the strongly rational spirit that was emerging. Much as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and other Classical thinkers had sought to probe and to understand the mysteries of the natural and human world, so too did the leaders of the Eighteenth Century hope to create a civilization that was based on rational principles and scientific investigation. Turning to examples from the Ancient World, Eighteenth Century artists and architects created works in a neoclassical style that embodied the extreme restraint, studied introspection, and balanced purity of the original Classical forms. England, with its developing democratic institutions, was a leading exemplar of the new outlook, producing such works as Syon House with its rigid Classical symmetry and central plan, and numerous Palladian manor houses, such as Woburn Abbey and Chiswick House. Stripped of the elaborate ornamentation of the rococo, the neoclassical decor featured large expanses of plain white walls, and in painting favored the Roman-inspired themes of David and Ingres - styles that continued standard through the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The era's leading minds consciously pursued the links between art and political and philosophical developments.
Neoclassicism concentrated especially on the ethics of the Roman Republic, that age's emphasis on duty to the state, selfless devotion to great causes, and Spartan simplicity according well with the hopeful rationalism of the American Revolution and the early phases of the Revolution in France. The political ideals of the Ancient republicans appeared to match the aspirations of their modern descendants. As well, the first beginnings of the Industrial Revolution could be seen as yet a further development of the Classical spirit of inquiry. Though Neoclassicism would not long survive the upheavals of war and social change, it would…… [Read More]