Rather than seeking to emulate an ideal, they sought instead to cobble together influences, styles, and techniques from a range of different traditions. Relying on what others have created without actually valuing those creations on their own merits is not respectful of either tradition or innovation.
The result was a hodge-podge of aesthetics that is not without merit, but that is criticized now (and for quite a time) for not having a clear focus. Mannerist artists neither venerated the past nor sought to create an entirely new way of seeing. They often did incorporate fantastical subjects and twisted the forms of both of these creatures and of human subjects into sinewy shapes. The effect was not so much dreamlike (or even nightmarish) but distorted.
Even as Mannerist artists borrowed freely from other traditions and so seemed to devalue the worth of innovation and the allure of the new, they did so in a way that might be considered essentially disrespectful. The overall result -- as in Hendrik Goltzius's 1588 The Dragon Devouring the Companions of Cadmus and Bronzino's Exposure of Luxury (1546) -- is an unsettling mixture of an artistic era that could not decide whether to move forward or be pulled back into the past.
Modern art in general has had a much more positive regard for the innovative and new. The reasons for this are complicated but may reflect consequences that have arose since the Industrial Revolution. Industrialization brought about two important trends that affected the ways in which artists interact with and feel about the new. Industrialization made constant innovation a social good in a way that had never been true before. The fact that new technologies made...
The machine changed everything and made it imperative for artists to re-evaluate what it meant to be an artist at all. Daumier's 1862 Nadar Elevating Photography to the Height of Art is an ironic visual exploration of the ways in which having artistic tools such as the camera made it impossible to make art as it once was. Timothy O' Sullivan's A Harvest of Death (1863) proved incontrovertibly that new technologies changed the way in which everyone (not just artists) would view the world.
The next phase of Modernist art continued the valorization of the new, although in far more ironic ways. Indeed, irony itself in many ways can be seen to be the way in which many artists chose to confront the emphasis on the new. Beginning with the (then) new century, artists tried to combine new technologies and new social mores to ensure their audiences that they were the newest and therefore the best thing. Giacomo Balla's Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912) focused on the ways in which technology affects the literal ways in which people view the world while a work like Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 (1912) incorporating much more traditional artistic techniques with the innovative idea that art…
When Neo-Confucianism arrived in Japan in the 16th century, it built on the pre-existing ideas of Confucianism that had already been imported into the island centuries earlier (Tsutsui 104). As far back as the 5th century, the Japanese had mixed with Confucian ideas about society and the role of the person in the world. Confucian ideas taught the Japanese about what it means to be a moral person. However, the
The bacchius ritual is an expression of another related god, who has been embraced by some as the guide of the spiritual through free expression and has been judged by others as the leader of good people to wicked excess. Though the story of Bacchus is controversial it is one that needs retelling. In Andrew Dalby's work, Bacchus a Biography the life story of Bacchus is told, from am ore
Roman Sarcophagi sculptures, one sarcophagus of portraying Roman deity as portrayed on the Sarcophagus with the Indian Triumph of Dionysus' triumphal return from India, contrasted with the other the Sarcophagus Depicting a Battle between Soldiers and Amazon made for a military leader. During the second and 3rd centuries, inhumation became more and more used than cremation, and this created a push for a greater need for sarcophagi, as the departed
If one doubts this, consider Ovid's most overly scathing prose is served for Caesar and contemporary politics. Even better than at plays, one can pick up women witnessing spectacles and triumphs: "When, lately, Caesar, in mock naval battle, / exhibited the Greek and Persian fleets, / surely young men and girls came from either coast, / and all the peoples of the world were in the City? / Who did
Liturgical Use of Visual Arts and Paganism Christian art's rich history goes as far back as the 3rd century A.D. Ever since the first paintings were done on catacomb walls, Christians have endeavored to use visible means for expressing the invisible Almighty. Despite Christianity's origins lying in Judaism, which forbids such imagery, the Incarnation concept made it essential to image God's human face in Jesus. The intent was never portraiture.
Such linkages and juxtapositions contributes to the search for hidden meanings, and concentration on Poussin's iconography shows that critics believe there is usually more meaning in the frame than a cursory look would convey. To a degree, this belies Poussin's emphasis on simply reflecting nature, for the hand of the artist is always evident in the way the frame is formed consciously around various symbols and icons as well