Warhol By Ratcliff

The life and work of Andy Warhol has inspired many writers to tell of the artist’s secrets in published writings. However, Carter Ratcliff accomplishes this feat in a unique fashion, profiling Warhol’s work in Andy Warhol. A must-read for anybody interested in the origins of American Pop art, Ratcliff’s book touches on all aspects of Warhol’s work. Segmented chronologically, Ratcliff explains the influence and significance of select paintings, as well as sections devoted to Warhol’s sketches, photographs, movies and notes on the techniques used by the artist. This format, combined with the inclusion of nearly 100 prints of paintings, is effective because a natural theme flows through the chronological ordering of the monograph. Some of the influences are obvious in Warhol’s work. However, the cumulative effect of the artist’s attempts is more easily understood through the chronological ordering of the pieces. The chronological ordering helps the reader understand what social or personal beliefs or conflicts the artist was dealing with pertaining to the given time period. For example, Warhol produced many pieces with singular subject matter displayed multiple times as in his Campbell’s soup cans, Coca-Cola bottles and dollar signs, possibly just comforting symbols to Warhol as well as the American Pop Culture. Also, Ratcliff leads the reader on a journey through the details, effects and consequences of the work. The author also describes similarities in select Warhol pieces. The development of Warhol as an artist is easily understood using this format, as his work transforms from the playful character of Saturday’s Popeye (Figure 1) to the realism of Skull or the political power of the Hammer and Sickle series. Andy Warhol takes a convincing and comprehensive look at the pursuits of the artist, basing observations on a plethora of sources. The information cited in each section is a cumulation of Ratcliff’s investigation, interviews with Warhol and references to the writings of other critics. Basing his survey largely in the ideas of others, Ratcliff discovers little original information. Referring to such credible contacts as Robert Rosenblume’s description of Julia Warhola [1], saying that Warhol’s portrait of his mother breaks through the artists “aestheticism” to convincing emotion (Figure 2). Art critic Thomas Lawson’s notion that Pop art has everything to do with nothing [2], or Warhol’s own magazine article, Crazy Golden Slippers [3], are examples of the type of solid sources that the author utilizes in his work. The majority of Ratcliff’s ideas originate elsewhere, however Ratcliff chose to use these many sources to support his own theories, drawing from established and accepted concepts to uphold his statements. The prize of Andy Warhol lies in the inclusion of the author’s essay about the artist. Together with the effect of the many large prints, which comprise a majority of the body of the book, the essay enables the reader to learn about the artist and reflect on what may have been his intention for select works. To fully understand a work of art it is helpful to have some background information about the work and the artist. The author does a fantastic job of presenting this type information about the artist and his work. Warhol was obsessed with the idea of stardom, controversial works pertaining to popular culture and the use of images from every day life or symbols of such. Ratcliff, when compared to other writers who investigated Warhol, has an edge on the competition. Ratcliff not only describes the work itself, but also tells of the concept behind the art. Cantz’ The Last Supper is at best a glorified picture show of the artist’s work. The artist focuses on one series of paintings rather then on the entire portfolio.[4] Unseen Warhol is an in depth biography of Andy Warhol, not much attention is granted to the actual pieces of art.[5] Ratcliff’s Andy Warhol fills the gap left by other writers. Ratcliff delivers a complete analysis of Warhol’s work by explaining the concepts and ideas surrounding the work in an intensive manner. Ratcliff’s thoughts on many of the pieces help to define the actual meaning or ideas of the work in a practical fashion. For example, the use of helium filled mylar, covered with foil in Silver Pillows (Figure 3) served as a way of making his paintings on the wall come to life and float away.[6] Drawing comparisons from the periods of Pre-Pop art, Pop art, and Post-Pop art, Ratcliff attempts to classify Warhol’s work in Andy Warhol. Commercial art including the title page for In The Bottom of My Garden, album jackets commissioned by RCA, book jackets for New Directions and Warhol’s famous I. Miller shoe advertisements became the focus of the Pre-Pop art period, also called the period of Consumerism by Warhol. Shifting to the Pop art period Warhol labels his art as “all surface with nothing beneath”.[7] The transition to Pop culture from Consumerism may have been influenced by the emptiness in Warhol’s work. The artist seems to have completed his projects as if he was commissioned to do the work, painting without a sense of feeling. The idea that Warhol only looked at his paintings for their face value is evident in such works as the do-it-yourself images (Figure 4) and Campbell’s soup cans, which appear to be commercial works of art, however they were part of Andy’s private collection. Warhol’s Death and Disaster series brought about muddled reviews from the public. The artist may have been equating the empty electric chair (Figure 5) combined with car-crash images to highway death as a form of execution, or he may have been merely trying to portray these symbols of death as strong controversial statements, to raise interest in his work. Death is the common bond that moves us from the Pop era to the Post Pop era. On the third of June in 1968, Warhol was shot several times by Valerie Solinas, founder and sole member of S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men). Warhol was pronounced dead on the operating table, however, he was able to fully recover nearly two months later. During this period Andy said “everything is such a dream to me…I don’t know whether or not I’m really alive or whether I died.”[8] This near death experience must have been Warhol’s ultimate feeling of emptiness. Emptiness seemed to be a characteristic that carried Warhol into the Post Pop era, as evident by the artist’s use of very pale (almost white) pigments to produce the faces of Paul Jenkins and Leo Castelli their respected portraits. Warhol also continues his Death and Disaster series during this period. Warhol created his collective works in an iconic style, which Ratcliff points out throughout the text. The Campbell’s soup can, dollar signs, and Gold Marilyn express examples of Warhol,s personal iconography of everyday figures that he brought to his work. Ratcliff is unique in mentioning such tools as his blotted ink line or use of symbols to the work of Warhol. Ratcliff does a super job of uniting the wealth of information pertaining to the accomplishments of Warhol, as well as thoroughly explaining monumental works in the artist’s portfolio. However, Ratcliff’s text Andy Warhol is deficient, relating to the fact that there is a lacking of information concerning the artist’s work in the film industry. The film industry is where Warhol gained his “star” status. This deficiency may be due to the fact that Andy’s film works were just in the beginning stages at the time of the texts printing. This is a minor issue considering the enormous amounts of other information regarding Andy Warhol’s art that is contained in Ratcliff’s book. Warhol’s work is very unique; Andy broke all the rules and made new ones as he went along. Warhol is known as the father of Pop art. Ratcliff captures the essence of Warhol and his paintings, sketches, photography, and movies. Andy Warhol accomplishes the task of revealing some of the mystique behind the artist Andy Warhol as well as his work. Andy Warhol by Carter Ratcliff is a powerful source for anybody interested in the source of American Pop art.

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Virgil At Odds

While on the surface the Aeneid could be seen as a Roman epic meant to glorify Rome and rival those of the ancient Greeks, the author was engaged in a struggle. Virgil had to satisfy the cultural demands of his work, the political demands of his time, and his own personal demands as an artist. In tackling his problem, Virgil is revealed to be slightly reluctant of embracing fully the still young regime of Octavian but still proud of Rome and his ancestry, and concerned with the moral issues of civil war. When considering the style with which Virgil composed the Aeneid, it is important to look at the time in which he lived and exactly what was going on around him when it was written. Virgil was born in 70 BC and died in 19 BC. This places him in the very beginning of what was to be a long and relatively stable existence of the Roman Empire. Further, it was during the poet's lifetime that Rome made citizens of all Italians, allowing a huge community to share in Rome's growing heritage. People who formerly may have felt like outcasts under the oppression of Rome could now call Rome their own. This included Virgil because he came from a provincial Italian town far outside Rome. W.A. Camps cites that while Virgil was still a young man, his family's estates were confiscated by Caesar to be given to veterans of the battle of Philippi (1). Caesar was eventually assassinated and the next twenty years of the poet's life are shaded by bloody struggles for power among heirs and military leaders. Eventually Caesar's adopted son Octavian defeats Marc Antony and Cleopatra's forces and brings all Rome under his rule, in about 30 BC. This is important because Virgil had been fond of Octavian, although it is not known if he publicly supported anyone during the conflict. It is known that Virgil came to enjoy first the friendship then the patronage of Octavian and his minister Maecenas, both of whom bestowed a small fortune upon him (Freeman 389). While Virgil accepted their patronage he was still wary of capitulating the new emperor and sacrificing any integrity. Charles Freeman writes that Virgil's contemporary, Horace also reflects these feelings. Octavian, now known as Caesar Augustus, took a liking to Horace just as he did Virgil, endowing him with gifts and money. Eventually Augustus asked Horace to be his secretary, and Horace refused, citing the need to protect his integrity as a poet. (391) Virgil felt great gratitude towards an emperor who vigorously supported the arts and brought the Empire much stability but at the same time faced a moral dilemma. Augustus was looking for a poet to write a national epic about him and his rise to power. In a letter Augustus wrote to Maecenas he says, If I had any talent for the heroic epic, I'd not waste my time on stories from mythology . . . I'd write about Caesar's wars and achievements (qtd. in Quinn 27). This sheds light on the morality issue Virgil faced as an artist. There were plenty of epic poets available in Rome at the time, and plenty were approached with this daunting task of writing an epic with Augustus as the hero. Nearly all declined, and even Virgil was reluctant. That says something about the attitudes of the poets of his time. They were not interested in art for art's sake. They wanted to create of their own accord something that came from within. Kenneth Quinn points out that they wrote with very high standards of integrity, and wrote not for widespread popularity of their works but for approval of their literary peers (30). Poets were writing of their own personalities; their own views and ideas of right and wrong. They were not to be leased out for purposes of glorifying Rome's leader. In a widely known of reply to Augustus' letter inquiring as to Virgil's progress, the poet writes that he thinks he may have been out of his mind to have undertaken the task in the first place (Freeman 387). He was obviously struggling to balance his need to satisfy himself artistically without sacrificing principle and simultaneously honor the emperor Augustus. As is obvious in the work, Virgil is unable to clearly conquer his moral problem, seeming to side-step it. He must focus on the historical epic, and glorify the emperor rather indirectly. This is exemplified in a Book II passage mentioning Iulius, son of Aeneas and source of the Julius Caesar lineage. A point on Iulius' head seemed to cast light, a tongue of flame that touched but did not burn him, licking his fine hair, playing round his temples. (860-862) Virgil symbolically prophesizes the greatness to come of his posterity. Again in Book IV the poet sings of the glory to come to Iulius and his heirs, as well as Rome. The god Mercury speaks to Aeneas, Think of the expectations of your heir, Iulius, to whom the Italian realm, the Land of Rome, are due (356-357). Aeneas is reminded of the glory of the future that is Rome and the role that his son would play. The poet, as earlier mentioned, was not a native of Rome. He first alludes to the 'Italian realm' then to Rome herself, reflecting that newfound feeling of unity and nationality among Italians. In preparation for the war with Turnus, a magic shield brought to Aeneas by Venus depicts the future glories of Rome. Among the numerous drawings is one showing the victory at Actium. Augustus is leading the charge with flames flowing from his brow. Virgil then tells of Agrippa and Antonius being honored on the shield . Apart from reference to a flaming brow, they are honored in just the same fashion as Augustus (Book VIII 90-106). Augustus is not alone in being accredited for the victory at Actium. The poet is careful to place his emperor above the other two naval leaders but not so far as to cheapen the contributions of Antonius and Agrippa, or give solely credit to Augustus. Virgil tends to be oblique in his reverence to Augustus, but it is rather unrealistic to expect the poet to have written such a work and completely leave out direct homage to the man bringing peace to the empire (not to mention supporting the poet quite generously). Aeneas is before his father in the underworld when a clear prophecy honoring Augustus is relayed to him. Anchises declares this is the man, this one, Of whom so often you have heard the promise, Caesar Augustus, son of the deified, Who shall bring once again an Age of Gold To Latium (665-669). Virgil is symbolically honoring the Julio-Claudian line as it was called, or the descendants of Iulius. In acknowledging Augustus to be progeny of Aeneas, Virgil is again able to extol the emperor while skirting unashamed eminence. As was a budding tradition at the time, the emperors of post-Republic Rome were to be deified and worshipped as a god. Virgil stops short of this, but tells of a link in ancestry to the son of a God. The poet then prompts Anchises to sing more praise of Augustus, perhaps to overshadow the neglect to deify Augustus straightly. The truth is, even Alcides2 Never traversed so much of the earth. (679-680). He does not blatantly model his hero after the emperor however, and leaves nothing in the writing acknowledging this, it must be inferred. This takes the weight of his moral problem off of the author's shoulders and places the problem of solving it onto those of the reader. In grappling with the issue of civil war, Virgil is able to symbolize the dilemma of the victor. A fine description of just how symbolism is brought has Quinn quoting R.D. Williams. Symbolism is the poet's way of suggesting different levels of significance at which his words may be taken, while allegory is the cruder method of equating. (55) Everyone in Rome knew or at least expected the Aeneid to glorify Augustus, but Virgil will simply not come out and say it. Both Augustus and Aeneas were not fighting hated enemies; they were fighting other Italians. Both their causes were seen as just, hence the ends justify the means. This is a sensible route to take when trying to defend civil war. Virgil fulfills the expectation to produce a patriotic work, and ennobles Augustus and his victory at Actium, but provides a subtle and humane comment on the price paid, the fact that civil war was needed to attain stability, and the blood spilled was that of their own. He will not clean the hands of the victors, despite his support of their cause (Highet 61). Marc Antony was not a hated man. He was the emperor of the entire eastern half of the Roman Empire. He lost popularity by allying himself with Cleopatra it is true but nonetheless he had legions of supporters. That brought a need for Virgil to show Augustus as a unifier, not so much for Augustus' sake, but for the populace of the Empire. The poet sought to soften some of the bitterness of the conflict. By having Aeneas leave Dido despite the fact that he loves her, Virgil displays honor to duty above all, a classic element of Stoicism(the reigning philosophy of the Roman Republic/Empire). Perhaps he is likening the hero to Julius Caesar, who left Cleopatra when Rome called. That likeness at the same time leads us to frown upon Marc Antony and his failure to abandon the Egyptian queen. However, Dido is greatly pitied and is not painted as an enemy in the story. The hero encounters the slain queen in the Underworld and speaks to her I swear by heaven's stars, by the high gods, By any certainty below the earth, I left your land against my will, my queen. The gods' commands drove me to do their will.. (Book VI 242-244). This loose attribution to the civil war just won by Augustus neatly places the sentiments of Romans to the plight of Marc Antony and his supporters. It likewise shows Virgil's reluctance to chastise them as 'the enemy.' The poet will not precisely identify Aeneas with any one man. As far as the hero's exploits, refer to his manipulation of symbolism and see that he refuses to simply re-tell reality with the names changed. Virgil's whole strategy was basically to leave inference to the reader, and never let any social pressures present at the time rear their heads in his work. His use of symbolism for the most part distorts any hope of a crystal-clear parallel. This stylizing of a lack of clarity could have roots in the poet's past personal experiences with an Emperor. It was Caesar, after all, who appropriated the lavish villa of Virgil's family many years before. This event undoubtedly instilled a sense of uncertainty in the poet concerning the autocrat. Virgil did not, however, bear any malice either. Be it out of his own Stoic influence or admiration for Augustus the man. Those background circumstances aside, the Aeneid is nothing short of an epic drenched in Roman and Italian pride. Rome saw itself as the light in a dark world. It was held that their civilization was the greatest since Athens in its heyday, and the poets conformed. The Iliad and Odyssey are oral tales that were handed down, arguably more the creation of legend than that of Homer. They could be deemed products of an entire society. The Aeneid was contrarily a singular voice, of one man alone. It was the product of an individual; free in a relative sense of the word. It lacked social constraints but still respected the ideals behind those very constraints. BibliographyCamps, W.A. An Introduction to Virgil's Aeneid. London England: Oxford University Press, 1969. Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean. New York City, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Highet, Gilbert. The Speeches in Virgil's Aeneid. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1972. Quinn, Kenneth. Virgil's Aeneid: A Critical Description. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1968. Peter Clemente English 109, Sheehan. 12.8.2000 Virgil At Odds BibliographyCamps, W.A. An Introduction to Virgil's Aeneid. London England: Oxford University Press, 1969. Freeman, Charles. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean. New York City, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Highet, Gilbert. The Speeches in Virgil's Aeneid. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1972. Quinn, Kenneth. Virgil's Aeneid: A Critical Description. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1968.

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Thomas Cole: Life, Paintings, And Views

Thomas Cole: Life, Paintings, and Views Landscape painting was an extremely important time during the middle of the nineteenth century. One of the leading practitioners of landscape painters in America was Thomas Cole. He went to many places seeking the natural world in which he used direct observation to show his audience the untainted nature by man. His works helped to find goodness in American land and to help Americans take pride in their unique geological features created by god. Thomas Cole inspired many with his brilliant works by bringing satisfaction among the people who were trying to find “the truth” (realism) through the works of others. Thomas Cole was born on February 1, 1801 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. Due to financial problems experienced by his family, at the age of fourteen Cole found work as a textile printer and wood engraver in Philadelphia. In 1819, Cole returned to Ohio where his parents resided. Here Cole learned the oil painting techniques of a portrait painter named Stein. During this time Cole was extremely impressed by what he saw in the landscapes of the New World and how different they were from the small town of England where he had come from. Art came to Cole naturally, he taught himself, and one day set out to observe nature and the wilderness. He began painting pictures by first making oil sketches of American rocks, trees, sunsets, plants, animals, as well as distant Indians. From these sketches he formed several paintings. He is famous for his allegorical collection called the “The Course of Empire” and is well-known for his Landscape paintings, “The Oxbow,” “The Woodchopper,” and “The Clove, Catskills.” In January of 1826, Cole was known for the being the founder of the National Academy of Design. During this time many people wanted Cole to paint pictures of American scenery for them, but his main goal, he says, was to create a “higher style of landscape that could express moral or religious meanings.” Cole continued to paint and in 1836 he married Maria Barstow and settled in Catskill, New York. Catskill was the place where he sketched a portrait of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River. From these paintings he influenced a lot of other artists such as Frederick Edwin Church along with Albert Bierstadt. Cole died on February 11, 1848 due to an illness and was remembered by many whom he helped to see the true vision of America. Thomas Cole led the first American school of Landscape, called the Hudson River School. This school included many leading artist such as Asher Brown Durand, Thomas Doughty, as well as the second generation of artists such as Frederick Edwin Church, Sanford Gifford, and Albert Bierstadt. These painters shared a common background. They were Romantic Realists who found great wonders in the countryside of the New World. They searched the Hudson Valley and areas of New England to find unique images of America. These realists combined detailed panoramic images with moralistic insights, which they obtained from famous works of literature of Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Bryant. They saw the landscape as having a feeling of hopefulness, divinity, and harmony. This school was an important part of the American culture. Many neighboring countries had crushed America during the time of war and peace. Since that time, Americans yearned to see their nation survive. In his paintings, Cole seems to focus on an ideal America. He does this by painting vistas that mix both idealism and realism. He impressed several of his colleagues teaching them that a landscape painter must have strength, determination, and should be willing to conquer the hazards of the weather and terrain in order to achieve success. In 1825, an artist named John Trumball discovered Cole’s work in the window of a frame shop. Trumball purchased many of Cole’s paintings and this was brought to the attention of many critics who loved Cole’s style. The success of the Hudson River School led to the formation of the National Academy of Design. In the beginning of the 1800’s, artists such as Thomas Cole painted pictures of the East and closer to the Hudson Valley. By the 1850’s artists began to travel further into the west and distant places such as the South American Tropical environments to capture a more spectacular American wilderness. The result of Cole’s first sketch on this trip up the Hudson River inspired a new generation of artists to follow his direction. “The Course of the Empire,” painted by Thomas Cole, was one of his famous allegorical works that dealt with the stages of an empire. This painting is separated into five stages: The Savage State, The Pastoral State, The Consummation of Empire, Destruction, and Desolation. These canvases portray the relationship between man and nature. Cole believed that human empires and civilizations were not permanent. Throughout history, empires have risen and fallen. He is trying to say that man can dominate and create a civilization, but he will soon return to destruction and failure. In this scenery, Cole painted each picture in the same location, but used different seasons, time, and weather conditions to come up with an appropriate mood for each of his paintings. The message Cole gives out for this painting is that nature has the supreme control, and no matter what man does, his actions cannot stop anything. In his first canvas, “The Savage State,” a bay with grassy green land is seen on the near side. On the far side there is smoke rising from the colony of teepees and a noticeable mountain. The atmosphere of the painting seems dark and untamed. Broken trees, thick underbrush, and a hunter trying to kill a deer can be seen in the foreground. From a far distance one can see the fire and gathering of the savages. The hunters are perceived as wild because they are running near a stream with their weapons, such as bows and spears and are ready to attack for food. The dark gray clouds in this painting hover about the mountain, while the water remains to show its roughness by crashing against the shore. This work of art represents the “Primitive” state of the natural world in the presence of man. Thomas Cole writes in his prose description of this stage, “The Empire is asserted, although to a limited degree, over sea, land, and the animal kingdom” (qtd. in Parry156). In his second section, called “The Pastoral State,” the area is the same, but the perspective of the painting has slightly changed. Unlike the first stage with its broken trees, this stage is tamed and ordered. There are beautiful green grass fields in the scene, which may show that men have tamed the area in order to suit themselves. This painting shows several people being busy in their daily lives and some even relaxing. For example, shepherds can be seen as well as thinkers, imperial soldiers, and women working on chores at the stream with their children. The animals are being used for agriculture work and some are grazing. More houses and different sorts of building styles can be seen compared to the first stage painting. In this painting, the mood appears to be calm and pleasant just like the way the people are enjoying themselves. Overall, this image represents a state in which man has changed nature to suit himself by taming the ones that are barbaric and being more civilized about the essential quality of nature. The third portion of this painting is “The Consummation of Empire.” There are great advances in this painting than the first two. Roads and other structures have been built. The water is calm, there are a few clouds, and two columns can be seen marking the entrance to the bay. A lot more people are present in this setting than the previous stages. There are crowds of people seen walking on luxurious walkways, boats, and the buildings. The environment in this painting shows human beings as being prosperous and abundant. They have dominated nature by changing the natural world to fit them. The fourth part of the series is “Destruction.” In this scene, warriors are attacking the community and nothing can be seen but massacres and destruction. Fighting is going on everywhere while the dead and the dying lay around the walkways and near the buildings. The columns that were seen in the third stage by the bay have been broken and so have some of the houses. The sea is not calm and the clouds appear smoky and thick. The main purpose of this canvas is to indicate that human empires do not last, and at some point they may face destruction. The final part of this painting is “Desolation.” Unlike all the other paintings, this one takes place at night. The night is calm with the glistening moon reflecting in the bay and a few clouds strung out in the night sky. No humans are present in this setting, but by viewing the painting one can see evidence of human existence. Broken pillars and ruined structures line the coast while they are being overgrown by mosses and plants. The area is quite wild due to the awkward growing of plants everything. The mountain still stands in its place, but alone without any human presence. The sea shines with peacefulness. On the far side two deer can been perceived drinking water. The point of this portrait is to let the viewer know that nature has reclaimed the land. The deer have returned and so have the plants and trees, but the people have not. The marks of the human beings have become part of the natural world. Cole had many views about nature, human life and mortality. He felt that the nation had a wild beauty. Cole said in one of his articles, “To walk with nature as a poet is the necessary condition of a perfect artist.” He illustrated the American landscape with a new vision, but at the same time he did not forget to paint pictures that portray allegorical and religious subjects. He believed that as men live and die so do plants and animals. Cole used eroded mountains and dried up rivers to symbolize the cycles of nature as being compared with humans. What he meant by this was that man dies as he ages and nature also looses its agility. Sometimes Cole’s art works represent that as the early settlement of America is passing by, a new one is taking its place. This America that he portrays is competitive, abundant with resources, and there is also a society ranked by class. Cole enjoyed painting nature and he used nature in comparison to life. Another one of Cole’s finest achievements would be “The Oxbow.” Completed in 1836, the sketches for this painting were completed at a real place, the Connecticut River Valley. On the left is the wilderness of the mountain. Dead trees and living trees symbolize the cycle of nature. From a distance one can see the peaceful bend in the river, a golden light coming from the left, a storm spotted from far, and some trees blasted out on the near side. This picture is painted as if the audience is taken into the moment. In the center of the painting, the artist is sitting and painting the scene with his painting kit. The artist cannot be seen at a first glimpse because he is extremely tiny in the picture. He gives the audience a look at the future possibilities if they looked into the distance. The fading storm shows that the wild will eventually be replaced by the civilized. This scenery is beautifully shown with its bright colors and amazing developed features. Thomas Cole did an excellent job in portraying realism in his paintings. He helped America vision a society with possibilities, opportunities, and abundance of resources. Not only did Cole inspire the nation; he also influenced many artists who are now heading Cole’s way. Cole was a brilliant man of great intelligence who stole the hearts of many. In an article written by William Church Bryant, he says, “We might dream in his funeral oration on Cole, that the conscious valleys miss his accustomed visits and that autumnal glories of the woods are paler because of his departure.” Bibliography: Harvey, Eleanor Jones. The Painted Sketch: American Impressions From Nature 1830-1880. Dallas: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1998. Lucie-Smith, Edward. American Realism. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994. Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Rev. ed. Vol. 2. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1995. 973-974. Yaeger, Bert D. The Hudson River School: American Landscape Artists. New York: Smithmark Publishers, 1996.

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Early is the best time to start children with an enriched musical background. The earlier the child starts to hear and learn about music, the more enriched and fulfilling the child's experience of music is going to be. This is even more beneficial for talented children. A child cannot receive the full benefit of music and will not learn as much or at all without the first three stages of preparatory audiation. With this in mind, I will now show you how to guide children through these stages. First of all, we need to look at resources. For this particular situation, I will have two helpers, two rooms in which to work (one is furnished with cribs, the other is mostly open space with a carpet). Also, I will have a good sound system in both rooms (that includes a tape player and compact disc player), and some money (available to buy recordings and equipment). Next is the age range of the children. The first stage is Absorption. One of the most difficult things to do when guiding children through these stages is to know when the right time is to move them to the next stage. This often requires much patience. The reason that you need so much patience is because all children move through the different stages of preparatory audiation at different times. The times when children move are as different as their handwriting. In the Absorption stage, children are absorbing music. But, not all music is appropriate. Most of the music that should be played is live music. It should also be played in different keyalities, tonalities, harmonies, meters, and tempos. When playing such diverse groups of music it is also important to not play music with words. Why you ask? Because if you play music with words, the children seem to focus their attention more on the words than the music itself. Out of the two rooms that we have, I would use the one room, which has the cribs in it for the children in the absorption stage. This would be more appropriate for children in the absorption stage than for children in any other stage because the children in the absorption stage are the youngest. I am going to give names to my two helpers so that we can easily tell the difference between the two. The one helper that is going to be helping me with the children in the absorption stage is named Mary. The other helper, which will help me with the two other stages (random response and purposeful response), is named Peter. Mary would be playing live music for the children. Live music and/or any kind of music that you play for children must be pleasing to the ear. It is also important that children hear a wide variety of instruments so they are introduced to a variety of pitches and timbres. Another thing is that children's attention spans are very short. This means that it is best to play only short sections of music or music with frequent shifts in dynamics, timbre, and tempo. This encourages children to continually redirect their attention to the music. Once you think a child is ready to go through the absorption stage, than you can go onto the next stage, which is random response. But, before a child can go through absorption you must make sure the child is really ready to go to the next stage. One thing you do not want to do is to rush a child through each stage. They must be emotionally ready. Even if it seems like they are mentally or physically ready, you must wait if necessary. I would practice the beginning order of step two to find out if they are ready. If they are ready, they will start doing things in step two since step one and two overlap one another. The way I would be able to tell if they changed is by looking at the different things they do during this stage. In the second stage children begin to make babble sounds and movements. These are not coordinated with each other or with aspects in the environment and should not even be interpreted as an attempt by children to imitate what they are listening to or seeing, or as a conscious response to what they have listened to or seen. Adults guiding children at this stage need to understand that at this age children simply have the need to babble. Another activity that happens during stage two is group interaction. It is important in this stage that children have this because children learn much about music as a result of listening to and observing other children of similar ages as they attempt to sing chant and move. One of the purposes of stage two of preparatory audiation is to continue children's exposure to music so that they will be better acculturated to the sound of more complex music than in stage one. Even another thing that happens during this stage is random movement that is mostly associated with subjective tonality and subjective meter. Although they make these movements, they should not be expected to imitate anything. Only the natural sounds and random movements that children voluntarily engage in should be encouraged. Children are still encouraged to listen to music as in stage one. Except what is more valuable for them now is to make much body movement in accordance to different songs. I would start (being the teacher) to sing and chant to them. At the same time I would be making full use of my body. I would move my body to the beat of the song or chant. That way the more children have this kind of movement modeled for them, the more they will begin to experiment with movement themselves. As in stage one, only short songs and chants in as many tonalities and meters as possible should be sung and chanted to children, and again, these should be performed without words or instrumental accompaniment of any kind. Since we have some money to use for equipment, I might buy some small instruments like a xylophone, wooden blocks, and an instrument that makes a shaking noise of some sort. Then, after we bought the instruments, I would chant something to them and then repeat the chant, but instead of going through the whole chant like I did the first time, I would repeat parts of the chant and ask somebody if they wanted to play an instrument. When I found three children that wanted to play the three instruments, I would show these children how to do each different part of the instrument. We would play the chant and the instruments separately, then together using simple syllables like bah or bum. The thing that I feel very strongly about is not expecting much from the children. We would try to sing the song and play the instruments, but at the same time I would pay special attention to singing the song in the same keyality, tonality, meter, and tempo. I wouldn't be really strict about playing the right notes or playing the right tempo. Just having the children experience different things like that would be enough. Although it might not look like the child would be learning anything, they actually would. Every little bit of musical experience a child gets helps to exercise and tone the audiational skills a child has. To help me stay in the same meter and tempo, I would buy a metronome. At the second stage of Acculturation, consideration should be given not only to children's tonal aptitude, but also to their rhythm aptitude. In addition to being concerned with tonal and rhythm aptitudes, parents and teachers performing for children should pay greater attention to musical expression and phrasing. A lasting impression can be made on a child's musical sensitivity through performance of chants. As in stage one of preparatory audiation, unstructured informal guidance is the rule in stage two of preparatory audiation. We don't really know when children merge from stage to stage. One thing we do know is that children typically enter stage three, which is purposeful response, between the ages of eighteen months to three years old, as soon as they begin to make purposeful responses in relation to their environment. In this stage children should still continue to listen to songs and chants with out words, because listening to songs and chants with out words is no less important and maybe even more important in stage three than in stages one and two. It is also important that children with high tonal and/or rhythm developmental aptitudes, be encouraged to begin, but in their own initiative, to create their own songs and chants. Also in this stage children start to sing and/or chant with the parent and/or teacher, but the teacher does not expect accuracy. In order to guide a child from stage two to stage three, you should sing a song or chant, and if they respond to you with the same response, it's called purposeful response. Another way you can tell when a child is in stage three is if they start to participate in the singing of tonal patterns and the chanting of rhythm patterns. It is best to keep tonal and rhythm patters separate during structured informal guidance for children in this stage. Adults should not perform tonal patterns immediately after rhythm patterns or other way around, but instead should perform one or more songs and/or chants between the tonal and rhythm patterns. When children begin to sing tonal patterns in stage three, they typically sing at the same time that the parent or teacher is singing. But, adults should not expect children to be capable or even interested in imitating tonal patterns with any degree of accuracy. When, however, children in this stage spontaneously sing the same thing as the adult is singing, that is a signal that the child is ready to make the transition into stage four. In order for children to give meaning to the tonal patterns they are hearing, they need to establish syntax. They begin to do this as they gain familiarity with a variety of tonalities. Only tonal patterns in major and harmonic minor tonalities that move diatonically (by scale-wise steps) should be sung to children in this stage. In the classroom, have the children audiate different tonal and rhythm patterns. When doing different rhythm patterns use your arms and legs and move with the music and try to get them to do it with you. In doing this, the child should pick

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Solomon And The Queen Of Sheba

On Francesco del Cossa’s Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba The Italian artist, Francesco del Cossa, created an oil painting on a panel during the mid-15th century called Meeting of Solomon and the Queen Sheba. This work is now displayed in the Boston Museum of Fine Art. The plate that identifies the painted tray in the museum explains that this twelve sided tray is a ceremonial tray, most likely in honor of the marriage of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and given to them as a gift. The back of the tray was against the wall but the identification plate noted that two cupid figures with cornucopias and coral necklaces were painted there to symbolize good luck and fertility. The most striking part of this work is the symmetry. The symmetrical architectural structures perfectly centers the palace. The dome of the palace perfectly divides the arch behind it; the highest point of the palace perfectly divides the sky within the main arch. The next most noticeable point of this painting is where the figures of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon stand. They appear to protrude out from the rest of the painting. Each has an out turned foot that comes into the viewer’s space. This aspect and the symmetry make it apparent that the Queen and Solomon are the characters to be focused on. The deep color is very striking, especially the abundance of reds, pinks and purple. It seems very bold, perhaps suggesting the royalty of the subjects. The overcast gray sky is the same color as the dome of Solomon’s palace. Perhaps the dome is supposed to look as if it is made of metal, but it appears to reflect the trouble that is about to storm. The entire painting is almost composed exclusively of shades of red and black, with highlights of blue. The use of color is not realistic, but very symbolic. Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba utilizes many of the techniques that were beginning to be used in painting during the 15th century. The vanishing point lies on the central angelic statue above the arch of Solomon’s throne. The lines created by the checkered floor and the landscape in the background suggest the depth and distance of this image. Francesco del Cossa filled the space he had. All space is taken advantage of by detail of architecture and people. The arches and circular lines may suggest motion. As a whole, this painting is very geometrical with the twelve-sided frame, the repetition of the arches and the line of people represented across the lower half of the work. The people in this painting are telling. The viewer first notices the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, who are at the so close to the edge of the floor that if they took one more step they would step to the ground. Their hands just slightly touch, but do not hold eachother, as if they would rather not have their hands that close together. This may suggest that this marriage is not a ceremony of love, but one of necessity. This is also reflected by their eyes, which do not meet. In fact, Solomon appears to be in a daze, almost possessed. The Queen of Sheba has a slight smile on her lips but her down turned eyes make her seem sad. The subjects on either side of the Queen and Solomon are interesting as well. Almost every woman appears to be in the “correct” place. They seem quite proper with their hands clasped in a similar fashion behind the Queen. They appear to be supporting her. The men behind Solomon are less organized. Two men, one in a bright red cloak, appear to be having a conversation of their own, taking away from the important event that is depicted. There is a mysterious man in black in the background at the right. He is leaning against his own small archway; his hat and dress are unlike the others’. He holds a strange red object at his waist. There is also a small woman wearing all black in the lower left part of this painting. She does not display the same darkness that the man does. She could be a nun. Over all, the subjects on the Queen’s side of the painting look more stately and supportive than the men on Solomon’s side. After noticing the exposed brick on the right side of the main arch that appears to be falling apart, I took note that Solomon’s half seems less “perfect” than the Queen of Sheba’s side does. The people behind him don’t appear to care about what he is doing as much as the Queen’s followers care. They also are placed more randomly in comparison to the organization of the Queen’s women. The man in the red cloak is barely even looking at the situation and has his back turned to us. It is interesting that I first noted the “perfect” symmetry of the painting, but as I investigated more, I noticed how different the details make each side. This painting evokes me to feel that there is something bad about Solomon. It gives off the feeling of a bad premonition. The dark brewing storm foreshadows, to me, that this event will not end joyously. And the dark details of the left side appear to suggest that the problems that lie ahead will likely be the fault of Solomon. I wonder how I would have accepted this as a wedding gift. I believe that at first I would find it very beautiful, but then, as I had a chance to study it, I would begin to wonder what Francesco del Cossa meant to convey. Is he really suggesting that the meeting of my husband and I was a dark moment, with trouble brewing? Did he dislike my husband or know something about him that I did not know? And who are the ominous characters in black? Francesco del Cossa created a very interesting piece. It seems to be rich with symbolism and thought. He used the perspective techniques of art of the time to paint a tray that is thought provoking. Bibliographynone

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Social Realism

Social Realism In Art Social realism, in art, describes both a specific stylistic approach and an overall attitude toward the subject. Social realism aims toward the not so lovely part of life. Its goal is not to amuse but to show the observer the evils of poverty , immorality and war. Social Realists believed that paintings should describe and express the people, their problems and their times. The roots of social realism lie in the 18th century. Some of the artists involved in the start of social realism are William Hogarth, Francisco de Goya and Honor Daumier. William Hogarth attacked drunkenness and foolish extravagance with his engravings of the 1730's to the '50's. Goya had a series of horrifying etchings titled The Disasters of War. Daumier had satiricial lithographs of the 1830's to '40's, that reflect deep social concern. Social realism painting declined, in France, after the 1860's which was the time it became important in Great Britian. Sir Luke Fildes's Applicants for Admission to a Casual Ward, Frank Holl's Newgate: Committed for Trial, and Hubert Herkomer's Pressing to the West depict grimy scenes of urban poverty. In the 1900's the British social realist tradition was carried on in the United States by the Ashcan school. After 1920 its emphasis was carried on by several major American painters. Ben Shahn was one of the artists in the 1920's and early '30's. He showed laborers and other victims of the Depression as well as scenes of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial and execution. Also Ivan Albright and Edward Hopper focused on the isolation of individual people in a society.

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Social Contexts

Art in Canada FFAR 250 Social Contexts presented to Mark Mullin on December 3, 1999 written by Marguerite Gravelle 4320662 1. When analysing an artwork what is to be gained from considering the social context in which it was created? Are there possible drawbacks to this methodology? Provide clear examples to substantiate your argument. When analysing artwork, in any form, there are often times social contexts in which can be interpreted. Not always does the history behind the painting need to be revealed to fully understand the concept of the artwork, yet it is helpful in determining if the artwork is truthful in its representation. Although in analysing artwork it is likely that there are drawbacks to considering the social context. To illustrate this point, I'm going to use the visual arts as my medium of choice. Understanding the social context can be an important tool. An advantage of knowing the history of the painting or sculpture can really enrich our knowledge, being in the 20th (soon to be 21st) century, about some of the social periods from previous times. It can demonstrate how traditions were carried out, how they had an impact on the different social classes. It's a visual teaching aid of a sort. Even in the time period of which the artwork was created can be used as a tool to show how the life was in different parts of the world. It was also used as a hammer in the realist movement to show the upper classes that life for the poor was horrible. The visual arts is the only medium in which the pictorial image creates a universal language in which anyone, regardless of nationality or social class can interpret. The text which is created by this language often creates a context which is left open to interpretation. Contexts are created by the artist, critics, judges, the public, essentially, any one who views the work and forms an opinion relating to it. The contexts stem from subject or content of an artwork, and are usually facts regarding the content. Yet, the contexts almost always have backgrounds themselves, therefore making the original contexts, texts. This will be more clearly illustrated later. The chain is seeming to be a never ending process. There are always more conditions to the previous ones. All context, therefore, is in itself, textual. This concept of all context in itself textual is a post-structuralist strategy. A man named Derrida is a man who has developed this idea that the post-structuralist concept of every statement made, can be interpreted in infinite ways, with each interpretation triggering a range of subjective associations. Every statement has an association, therefore it's a sort of domino effect. He also says that no matter how precise a work strives to be, the absolute meaning can never be found due to this never ending sequence. To better illustrate this concept, I have chosen a painting from the mid-nineteenth century. It was painted by a french artist in 1854 named Jules Breton. It is called The Gleaners(figure 1). The gleaners were impoverished women who picked the left-over wheat from the farmers' fields after they had been ploughed to bake bread for their families. In this painting there are numerous women who's arms are brimming with wheat. The women are beautiful, healthy looking. The children even seem happy running around playing next to their mothers. There are many contexts which can be extracted from The Gleaners. A major influence would be the revolution in France in 1848. Perhaps the gleaning laws enforced in 1851, even the physical health of the gleaners. For arguments sake, let's take the physical health of the gleaners to show how a statement can trigger other associations. The physical health of the gleaners in the 1850's could be researched in the reports from the army conscripts. The conscripts were usually poor men who wanted a secure and stable job. These reports showed that most of the men were of poor health and diseased. These reports can be associated with who was writing the reports, officers? The associations never cease. We can never fully determine what the health was of the gleaners because every context we take will lead to another context. The key point in this image is the womens' arms being full of wheat. If I were a bourgeoisie in the 19th century viewing this painting, I would think very little of it. It is exceptional in technical accuracy. It might even be considered correct in the depiction of the way things were. But, on the other hand, if I were a gleaner looking at this painting, I would wonder where this field was that has an abundance of wheat and beautiful the girls looked. The gleaners were poor, withered, weak, and sick. They weren't beautiful and were definitely not happy. Also, the gleaners had to collect wheat for a full day, sometimes more, to be able to bake one loaf of bread. It is even published that one of the girls in the painting is Breton's wife, he used his wife as a model. Breton's style epitomizes the contemporaneity associated with realism. He wants us to feel we are looking at real people in an actual place, and, indeed, the young woman seen in profile in his Gleaners is a portrait of the artists' future bride. It's not a true representation of the gleaners when he uses his bride as a model. Jules Breton looked at the world and the future with an optimistic eye. Although he painted many of the same themes as Courbet and Millet, his sensibility-his ‘social consciousness'-was different. Where they saw the poor, he saw ‘the humble'. His family was bourgeoisie, yet he knows what it's like to experience financial troubles. When his father died in 1848, the family plummeted. Perhaps he knew what the gleaners must endure and by painting them in a better light, it seems it was his way of sympathizing with them, giving them some redemption. Its a major drawback when the painting is subjective to one another. Jules Breton interpreted the gleaners' daily work in an ideal way, not a realistic way. So how can the viewer see the painting and not assume that that's how the life was? Breton was a respected rural bourgeoisie, he knew what his peers would praise and what they would frown upon. He painted what they wanted to see. Courbet also painted the gleaners, yet it was criticized for being offensive. Breton painted with a mask on, Courbet, who also painted the gleaners a and was criticized, pulled away that mask. Masking the reality of social and economic conflict in the countryside, the myth projected rural society to be a unity, a one-class society in which peasant and master worked in harmony. Courbet's imagery was considered offensive or dangerous precisely because he pulled away that mask. Jules Breton, in other words, was a realist purveyor of the bourgeois myth of rural society. By altering the true image of society is a form of self-deception. Denial is a common psychological defence against feelings of guilt ans anxiety, and there were plenty of signs of it among the bourgeoisie during the nineteenth century. The drawback here is the artist's interpretation of the society, whether it's truthful to the subject or whether it has been masked. Another disadvantage to the methodology of considering the social context is the viewer's own context. A viewer may see different things within a piece of artwork. For example, the critics praised Breton's version of the The Gleaners and bashed Courbet's version. Breton's image was pleasant, and Courbet's showed withered women and was pitiful. The critics didn't want to necessarily want to see the ‘real world' so they chose to believe that the women were healthy and beautiful. Now if the actual gleaners were to see both of the paintings, they'd most likely reject Breton's version. Courbet's version was more truthful to their being. So, the viewers' context is never the same. Every different person can explain a work of art by different means, and can take separate routes. Who says that the social context taken from a work of art has to strictly be the content? Context doesn't pay any attention to the visual elements. From the formalist perspective we can look at everything but the content: colour, how the shapes relate to one another, do the forms fit in space, etc... Yet another drawback. If the viewer is concerned with the context of the form and not the content, then the context is skewed again. The formalist perspective concentrates on form, basically. The curve of the gleaner's backs bend with accuracy. The shadows created by the figures and the amount of wheat that they carry that the sun in setting in the west. We don't know for sure what Jules Breton wanted to convey when he painted The Gleaners. We can assume certain circumstances and backgrounds, but the key word is ‘assume'. When determining a social context of a work of art it's strictly an assumption and is only one of the many, many contexts that can be derived. Yes, works of art, especially realist works, can give the twentieth century some sort of clue as to what life was like in the 1850's. Yet, we can't take everything we view as the truth. It has to be at face value. If one were to look at Breton's version of The Gleaners and then at Courbet's version, we would see exceptionally noticeable differences. So what are we supposed to ‘assume' as the truth? The answer is we don't choose either one as the truth. We have to look in between and find a happy medium in which we can understand and be satisfied with by either doing background research on the painting or simply not regarding either to be truthful and just moving on. It's very hard, nearly impossible to fully understand a social context for a work of art. In this instance, with the gleaners, through documentation, we can determine which work of art was a little embellished towards pleasing the critics. Sooner or later we have to just look no further along the association line than is absolutely necessary. The vision can get too cloudy if the context wants to be understood completely. There are various and numerous drawbacks to considering the social contexts. The major one, being stated, is that all context is itself textual. It's too hard and labourious to attempt to comprehend the mannerisms and customs of the eighteenth century. We weren't there to experience it so we have to be happy with just reading and viewing about it. Then there is the subjective aspect. There are different viewers, different intentions from the artist. Who determines what the message was? Is it the artist, or the viewer? Is one more important than another? It's all very subjective. Perhaps the artist intended one central idea yet the viewer captures another. Which one is more correct? The formalist perspective is the opposite to the post-structuralist concept. The formalist focuses on the form and colour, whereas the post-structuralist is based on concept and circumstance. So there is another way to look at things. These concepts can be applied to almost any art medium. It is not necessarily restricted to the realist period or even the visual arts. Literature is an art form which is easily examined and studied through these concepts. In fact, most of the philosophies and theories have been derived from and for literary sources. It is easy to juxtapose literary sources with visual art due to the visual arts being a ‘wordless' book. Many things can be said about a work of art without any facts being known about it. But the one thing that I am confident about, is the social contexts in which art works are created are complicated and subjective. BibliographyNochlin, Linda Realism, Penguin Books, England; 1972 Weisburg, Gabriel P. The European Realist Tradition, Indiana University Press, Indiana;1982 Wendelboe, Karen, Finger Prints1, http://www.mala.bc.ca/~soules/CMC290/fprint/WENDEL.htm, December 2, 1999

Words: 2010

Sistine Chapel Cieling

The Sistine Chapel Ceiling The Sistine Chapel ceiling is perhaps the most amazing painting of all time. It was finished by Michealangelo Buonarroti in 1512.(he started it in 1508.) He worked on the painting every day in the four year period. It was grueling work. He would have to climb a scaffolding and lay flat on his back 65 feet above the floor with paint dripping down on him. All of the scenes were based on stories of The Bible. The centerpiece, “The Creation Of Adam” shows God infusing life into Adam, the first man. The triangular areas along the two long sides of the ceiling are called spandrels. The moldings which outline them are the only aspects of the architectural design of the Ceiling that are truly part of the architecture. The moldings were in the ceiling before Michelangelo began his project. All other architectural details on the Ceiling were painted by Michelangelo. The figures painted inside the spandrels represent ancestors of Christ. (These figures are also continued into the lunettes below the Ceiling.) The prophets and sibyls could be seen as mediating between the Old and New Testaments in a spiritual or prophetic way. The ancestors mediate between the two in a concrete or biological way. Michelangelo was first assigned to paint the ceiling when he received a letter from the Pope. This letter reveals that the idea of completing the Chapel begun by Sixtus IV had been broached while Michelangelo was previously in Rome. Michelangelo told him that the didn’t want to paint the Chapel doubting he had the ability to paint foreshortened figures. On May 10, 1508 Michelangelo contracted to paint the ceiling for 3,000 ducats1 and began work that very day. The ceiling is divided into three zones, the highest showing scenes from Genesis. Below are prophets and sibyls. In the lunettes and spandrels are figures identified as ancestors of Jesus or the Virgin. His awesome Last Judgment is on the alter wall. The sequence of the Old Testament and New Testament scenes were arranged to emphasize the authority of the Pope. Between the windows above are painted images pre-Constantian sainted Popes. To left and right of the alter wall were the findings of Moses and the birth of Christ. Above them, on the level of the Popes was the beginning of the Papal series and in the center, possibly an image of Christ flanked by Peter and Paul. Michelangelo was first commissioned to paint the twelve apostles on the twelve pendentive-like2 areas. In place of the twelve Apostles who followed Christ, Michelangelo painted the Hebrew Prophets and pagan Sibyls who foresaw the coming of a Messiah. Here, for the first time in the Chapel, Greco-Roman culture is joined to the Hebrew world. These Prophets and Sibyls inhabit the curved lower part of the vault, sitting on thrones. By this method Michelangelo created an imaginary architecture: the bands across the vault are united by the cornice above with its projecting segments. The Prophets and Sibyls are clearly to be understood as sitting in front of the Ancestors of Christ, painted in the spandrels and lunettes3. These are pictorial versions of the mere list of names that begins the Gospel of Matthew, the generations linking Christ with the tribe of David, as was necessary according the Old Testament prophecy. Thus the Hebrew and pagan seers who foretold the coming of the Messiah alternate with representations of Christ’s own ancestors. This part of the vault is closely connected with the scenes below that show Christ’s life and work on earth as the counterpart and fulfillment of the prophetic example of Moses. Some of the scenes of Genesis are obviously related to Christian events, others are less obviously relevant. Michelangelo’s decoration of the Sistine ceiling is the most pictorial ensemble in all of Western art, and for that reason it has to be approached from different points of view. Michelangelo began painting in the winter of 1508-9, not the earliest scenes of creation over the sanctuary, but the Noah episodes over the entrance. At first he had trouble with the mold and had to paint some of the ceiling over. He used watercolor painted into newly applied plaster, a technique he learned but had never before practiced independently. He transferred his design to the wet plaster by holding it up and following the lines with a stylus, making grooves that can be seen. He was at first conscientious in following these lines, but later became much freer, sometimes improvising around the drawing on the ceiling. He had trouble with assistants. He then dismissed the assistants (among them, one of his friends) and painted the rest almost all by himself, although he surely had help with the preparation of the plaster and other such menial tasks. On January 27, 1509 Michelangelo wrote to his father: I do not ask anything of the Pope because my work does not seem to me to go ahead in a way to merit it. This is due to the difficulty of the work and also because it is not my profession. In consequence, I lose my time fruitlessly. May God help me. In June he wrote again: I am attending to work as much as I can...I don’t have a penny. So I cannot be robbed... I am unhappy and not in too good health staying here, and with a great deal of work, no instructions, and no money. But I have good hopes God will help me. The coloration of the Sistine ceiling has suffered from age, dirt, and restoration. Nevertheless, it is still a subtle harmony of contrasting warm and cool tones: green shot with gold; rose; blue; and gold. Never before has such an amazing project been carried out with so complex a program, with such thorough planning and with life-like a cast of figures and scenes. The Sistine ceiling, as was immediately realized upon its unveiling, is one of man’s greatest achievements. Never again was such a project to be conceived. Over time the ceiling has become rusted and has lost its colors, but was recently cleaned and now you can finally see this amazing piece of art in its original colors. In conclusion, I think the work Michelangelo has done was ahead of its time and definitely deserves more recognition. I admire his hard work. BibliographyEncarta98 encyclopedia

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Sistine Chapel

The Presence of God Michelangelo's paintings on the Sistine Chapel contain a strong presence of God. The ideas and stories of the Bible lie at the surface of the entire ceiling. All these stories are taking from the book of Genesis, which would not be possible without God. The scenes depicted are placed in a time frame of an earlier world. This period is called ante legem, and is the period before the Mosaic Law. The scenes can be analyzed in numerous ways that depend on the analyzers faith and interpretation of the beginning of time. The chapel contains nine stories divided into three trilogies: The Creation of the World, the Creation of Man, and the Story of Noah. All of these stories have a strong Godly presence, as the viewer sees the creation, progression, and, eventual, fall of man. The idea of God evolves from panel to panel by allowing the onlooker to consider God in three different situations forcing his role to change throughout each. The establishment of the vision of diverse, yet related symbols of biblical foundations presents a sense of the supernatural and divine world. The stories embody separate motifs; but, the piece is expressed as a unified whole with God being the only consistent presence in either idea or visual portrayal. The order of the ceiling, according to the book of Genesis, should be read from the Separation of Light from Darkness to the Drunkenness of Noah, if the viewer reads in chronological order. The Creation of the World is the first out of the three trilogies. This focuses on the emergence of God's presence, arising from his creation of the earth and the cosmic environment. the Separation of Light from Darkness exemplifies the physicality of God in the beginning of his worldly universe. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light... and God divided the light from the darkness1 This story is depicted in this scene, where Michelangelo shows God whirling in a spinning motion. The shading and use of light and dark creates a feeling of the light and dark in the midst of division. God furthers his role as worldly creator in the Creation of Sun , Moon, and Planets by making two great lights; the greater light to rule the day; and the lesser one to rule the night2. God appears to be in circular motion once again; but, in this instance, he seems as if he is circulating the newly created universe. He is, at first, transpiring from the universe, and then, turns his back to the viewer to concentrate on a new object in process of establishment. The final story of the origin of the world is the Separation of Land from Water. God is perceived as an ominous being, flying above the sea, and reaching out to the heavens. He appears to be extending his arms outward to a nonexistent boundary, as if he was luring the land out of the sea. Michelangelo, in the Creation of the World, demonstrates God's limitless power by illusions of movement. The arm position, the masterful flying, and the seemingly face paced motion persuades the viewer to see a universal creator, above all fathomable beings. God appears to be traveling through all earthly dimensions, as if forcing the creation on the undeveloped world before him. The second role of God is the Creator of Man. This section is in the center of the Sistine Chapel promoting the most concentration. This is undoubtedly strategically placed, for the importance of God's role to the God creates man to rule his last creation of the universe. This section tells the story from the creation of the primarily pure to the emergence of a sinful world. The Creation of Adam delineates God giving life to Adam. This scene encompasses an intense feeling because of the naturalistic connection between Adam and God. The body language and the positioning show the events in the story. The touching fingers give a sense of the intense power traveling from God and being transported to the fingertips of Adam. Michelangelo painted this scene with a definite basis of the bible's description, so that the viewer can actually see that God formed man of the dust of the ground; and breathed into the nostrils the breath of life3. God appears to be extremely powerful. The figures in the back of God and the cloud of the heavens create a figure more commanding than his creation; even though, the creation embodies a Godly essence. The Creation of Eve and The Temptation and Expulsion from Paradise are the other stories of this second trilogy. The Creation of Eve seems less mystical than the Creation of Adam for it is arising from something already in form. This painting shows Eve stemming from Adam. The small piece of Adam is transformed by God, who has a magical role with this creation because he is changing the form of something. This mystical role shifts to a spiritual role in The Temptation and Expulsion from Paradise. God, the creator, has altered into God, the numinous, worldly onlooker. This scene shows that Eve was good for food... she took the food thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat4. This is the temptation given by the serpent, who also acts as a division line in this scene. On the left is the cause, and the right is the effect. The right side shows the shameful Adam and Eve as God drove out the man; and placed at the east of the garden of Eden5. This is a transitional scene of the Sistine Chapel for the role of God and man. God is now the overlooking being that is beyond the eye of man, and is , therefore, not seen by the human eye. Man transformed to a sinful being that contains character of love, hate, and foolishness, promoting more happenings with unfavorable themes. The third section is the Story of Noah. Noah is sometimes seen as the second Adam, or Adam after having sinned. The Sacrifice of Noah and The Flood are the story of Noah's Ark. This story has God taking his anger of the sinful man out on Noah, who was a righteous man, blameless in his generation6. The first scene of this section exhibits Noah obeying God's order to build an ark, which would encompass his family and ritually cleansed animals. The second scene, The Flood, shows God's anger in the form of a natural disaster, a flood. Michelangelo paints a setting of chaos, as the Noah's family struggles to survive at all measures, which is sinful with a instinctive basis. The last scene of the final trilogy is The Drunkenness of Noah. This scene arises from Noah's discovery of wine, which foolishly drinks in excess: he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent7. The sons of Noah are also displayed, where three children laugh, as the one child covers his father in his foolish state. The children who treated their father as a mockery were punished. The sin of the man is counteracted in all three of these scenes of the final trilogy, as God is seen as all knowing of his eventful world. When dividing the Sistine Chapel into an two equal parts, the role of God is the foundation of the division's placement. The line is seen between the Creation of Eve and The Temptation and Expulsion of Paradise. This is where God changes from an active figure to a sensual spirit. The question of who or what is God is not recognized in the Sistine Chapel. The closest thing to a definition of who God is, is the description of the two roles he plays from the Separation of Light from Darkness to The Drunkenness of Noah. This description is from Michelangelo's point of view for he is the creator. He takes on a Godlike position because the viewer can only see God as Michelangelo sees God if the Sistine Chapel is what is being examined. God can be defined in a number of manners for it is a personal belief and opinionated definition.

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Should Frank Lloyd Wright

Natalie DeFrancesco Class 02 Frank Lloyd Wright 12/4/1999 BibliographyFrank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8th, 1867 in Wisconsin. His heritage was Welsh. His father’s name was William Carey Wright; his occupation was a musician and a preacher of his faith, Unitarian. His mother’s name was Anna Lloyd Jones; her occupation was a schoolteacher. It was said that his mother placed pictures of great buildings on the walls of his nursery in order to train him to become an architect. He spent most of is life on his Uncle’s farm near Spring Green, Wisconsin. Frank briefly studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. When Frank was twenty years old, he moved to Chicago. After he moved there, he got his first job in an Architectural Firm of J. Lyman Silsbee, he worked there for about a year. In 1887, he got a job as a draftsman for Adler and Sullivan; here he eventually became chief draftsman and residential design. Under Sullivan he began to develop his architectural ideas. In 1889 he married his first wife Catherine Tobin. After awhile of developing his own ideas he started to design “bootlegged homes” which meant that he was going against the firm’s policy of moonlighting. When the firm found out what Frank was doing, he was fired. These were the start of Wright’s low, sheltering rooflines, the prominence of the central fireplace and “destruction of the box” open floor plans. In 1893, Wright started his own firm; he first worked out of the Schiller Building (designed by Adler and Sullivan). Then he moved into a studio which was built onto his home in Oak Park. Oak Park was an affluent suburb of Chicago, which was located to the west of centercity. From 1893 to 1901, about 49 building designed by Wright were built. This period was brought together by concepts of “prairie house” ideas. In 1909 he developed and refined his prairie style. He founded the “Prairie School” of architecture. His art of this early productive period in his life is also considered as part of the “Arts and Crafts movement.” The productive first phase ended in 1909. He left his wife and his five children to go to Germany. There, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, wife of a former client and his new lover, joined him. For two years, Wright and Cheney lived together at Taliesin, a home that Frank built at the site of his uncle’s farm near Spring Green, Wisconsin. This ended when a crazed servant murdered Cheney and six others and set fire to Taliesin, which most was destroyed. From 1914 to 1937 was a time of personal turmoil and change for Wright. During this time he rebuilt Taliesin (but it was almost lost due to a bank foreclosure), he divorced Catherine Tobin, married and separated from Miriam Noel (which spent in jail because of this), and met his 3rd wife, Olgivanna Milanoff (a Bosnian Serb who was a student of GI Gurdjieff). Designs of this period included the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (a large complex that required much time in Japan to oversee it), and concrete California residences. “Few commissions were completed toward the end of this period, but he did lecture and publish frequently, with books including An Autobiography in 1932. In 1932, the Taliesin fellowship was founded. Thirty apprentices who came to live and learn under Wright. His books served as an advertisement. It inspired many whom read it to seek him out. His out put became more organized and prolific with the help of the numerous apprentices who assisted in design detail and the site supervision. His most famous work Fallingwater was designed in 1863. Fellowship was expanded as Taliesin west was built in Arizona as a winter location for the school. Taliesin Association Architects, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation are living legacies of what Wright founded in 1932. Few building were built during the war years. The GI Bill brought many new apprentices when the war ended. The post war period. To the end of Frank’s life was the most productive. He received two hundred and seventy house commissions. He designed and built the Price Tower skyscraper, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Marin County Civic Center. Frank never retired. He died on April 9th, 1959 at the age of ninety-two in Arizona. He was interred at the graveyard of the Unity Chapel (which is considered to be his first building) at Taliesin in Wisconsin. In 1989 his wife, Olgivanna Milanoff passed away. One of her wishes was to have Frank’s remains cremated and the ashes placed next to hers at Taliesin West. Amid much controversy, this was done. The Epitaph at his Wisconsin gravesite reads “Love an Idea, is the love of God.” Fallingwater Fallingwater was Frank’s most famous work. “He sends out free-floating platforms audaciously over a small waterfall and anchors them in natural rock. Something of the prairie house is still there; and we might also detect a grudging recognition of the International style in the interlocking geometry of the planes and the flat, textureless surface of the planes and the flat, textureless of the mainshelves. But the house is thoroughly fused with its site and inside he roughstone walls and the flagged floors are of an elemental ruggedness (Spiro Kostof).” “The location of Fallingwater is in Ohiopyle (Bear Run), PA. Years of construction were 1934, 1938,and 1948. The Building Type is a house for Edgar J. Kaufman. The Construction system is reinforced concrete and stone. The climate of this house is Temperate and the context is Rural. The buildings style is Modern Expressionist (Great 1).” “It is now owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and tours are conducted for the public, except in the winter. A guesthouse was added in 1938 behind the house (farther up on the hill) and it's also open for the tours (Major.) Guggenheim Museum “The Guggenheim Museum is located in Manhattan, New York on the eastern border of (and across the street from) Central Park. It’s a continuous spiral, circling the building. Frank’s plan was for the visitors to ride the elevator to the top floor and then walk down the entire ramp to view the displayed artwork. The ceiling height at the museum’s entrance is low, increasing the sensation of bursting into the open central area of the museum with the dramatic glass roof. The Guggenheim was chosen by the American Institute of Architects as one of Frank’s major architectural contribution to be preserved (Major).” “Once again this Museum is located in New York, New York. They started building it in 1956, and kept working till 1959. The building is an art museum. The construction system consists of concrete. The climate for this building is temperate and the context is urban. The style is modern (Great 2).” ...[Wright's] great swansong, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York, is a gift of pure architecture—or rather of sculpture. It is a continuous spatial helix, a circular ramp that expands as it coils vertiginously around an unobstructed well of space capped by a flat-ribbed glass dome. A seamless construct, the building evoked for Wright 'the quiet unbroken wave (Spiro Kostof).” “Wright made no secret of his disenchantment with Guggenheim's choice of New York for his museum: I can think of several more desirable places in the world to build his great museum, Wright wrote in 1949 to Arthur Holden, but we will have to try New York. To Wright, the city was overbuilt, overpopulated, and lacked architectural merit (Guggenheim).” Frederick C. Robie House The Robie house was built in 1909. This was the corner stone of modern architecture. This house inspired an architectural revolution with bold horizontal lines, daring cantilevers, stretches of art glass windows and open floor plan. It was designed while Frank lived and worked in his Oak Park home and studio from 1889 to 1909. When Frank met Frederick C. Robie in 1908, he had a definite community of thought. Robie was the kind of client that Frank liked, he was an American man of business with unspoiled instincts and untainted ideals. The construction was rapid, beginning in March 1909 and completed by June 1910, when Robie moved in. It was built exactly specified in the original drawings. It unrivaled in its architectural drama and adventure but unexpectedly changed with each angle vision. When it was completed, everyone like how the home is long, low design to a steamship with its two rectangles or vessels, abutting in each other and visually separated the living areas from the utility spades. The broad central chimney serves a unifying function, locking all pieces into their places. It has harrow dimensions, sixty by one hundred and eighty feet city lot, which allowed Frank’s visions to soar. It had a low pitched roof and exquisite art glass windows and doors, one hundred and seventy-four through out the entire structure, these served to dissolve the outer walls of both rooms into screens of patterned glass, providing spectacular lightness and transparency. “The location of the Robie house is in Chicago, Illinois. The dates that building started was 1909. The building type was a large house. The construction system was built out of brick and steel. The climate was temperate and the context of the house was suburban. The building type was Prairie Style exemplar (Great 3).” BibliographyWork Consulted/Sited 1. Frank Lloyd Wright. An Autobiography. 2. Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright, The Architectural Forum, January, 1948, Vol 88 Number 1. p89. 3. William Allin Storrer. The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog. Project 127. 4. Frank Lloyd Wright. From Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer and Gerald Nordland, ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: In the Realm of Ideas. p48. 5. Dennis Sharp. A Visual History of Twentieth-Century Architecture. p29 6. Frank Lloyd Wright. From Edgar Kaufman and Ben Raeb, Ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: Writings and Buildings. p75-77, 81-82. 7. Elizabeth Mock, ed. Built in the USA since 1932. p84 8. Great Buildings 3. http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Robie_Residence.html 9. Great Buildings 2. http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Guggenheim_Museum.html 10. Great Buildings 1. http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Fallingwater.html 11. Frank Lloyd Wright Resource & Appreciation Site http://www.majorworks.com/wright.html 12. The Guggenheim Museum- The Building http://www.guggenheim.org/history.html 13. Spiro Kostof. A History of Architecture, Settings and Rituals. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985. p740 and p737.

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Roman Art

Romans were collectors and admirers of Greek art. Art from Greece was brought to Rome, copied, and also changed by the Romans. As a result, Roman art is somewhat based on Greek art. However, Roman art is not merely a continuation of Greek art. For an amateur it is difficult to determine between the two art forms because neither the Romans nor the Greeks wrote down the history of their own art. The characteristics pertaining to each particular type of art are known to some extent, so the experts are relatively accurate in determining the separation of the two types of art. Roman art is divided into four categories: portrait sculptures, paintings and mosaics, relief sculptures, and statues. Each of these has its own characteristics. Portrait sculptures, designed by the Romans, shows the desire of the Romans for literalness; it records even the homeliest features. This is demonstrated in the sculpture, Head of A Roman, made of marble in 80 B.C. The artist painstakingly reported each rise and fall and each bulge and fold of the entire facial surface. It was as if the artist was acting like a map maker, trying not to miss the slightest detail. The end product was a blunt, bald record of features. Idealism nor improvement of features was done causing the feeling of superrealism. Paintings and mosaics were influenced by the architecture of the Romans . Their architecture consisted of buildings containing a small number of doors and windows, thus leaving considerably large stretches of wall space suitable for decoration. The quality was determined by the importance and the wealth of the patron. The walls were used for two things in Roman art. First, they were used as a barrier. Secondly, they were used to visually open the wall and enhance the space of the room. Only certain colors were used. These were deep red, yellow, green, violet and black. Two methods were used to prepare walls for painting. In one, plaster was compounded with marble dust, then laid directly on the wall in several layers. It was eventually beaten smooth with a trowel until it became dense. Finally, it was polished to a marble finish. The wall was then ready to be painted with water colors or encaustic paints. The other method, called panel painting, consisted of stucco being applied to boards of cypress, pine, lime, oak, and larch. Then water colors, obtained from minerals and animal dyes were applied. The painting was then mounted to cover a wall. These methods were used throughout the years to produce paintings. Although the style of the paintings on the walls changed during the years, the methods used to prepare the walls basically stayed the same. There are four styles of painting Incrustation, the first style, was used from 200 to 60 B.C. Walls were divided into bright polychrome panels of solid colors with an occasional textural contrast. In the years 60 to 20 B.C. the second style, the architectural style, was used. This method made a wall look as if it extended beyond the room, but it wasn't systematically perspective. In the years 20 B.C. to A.D. 60, the third style, the ornate style, was used. This method subdivided a wall into a number of panels by means of vertical and horizontal bands. The fourth and final style of painting took place in A.D.60 to A.D.79. It was called the intricate style. Each wall contained a great number of separate paintings not relating to each other. It made people feel as if they were walking through an art gallery looking at a variety of different paintings. Art of Rome wasn't limited to that of walls. Romans also had murals, painted glass, illustrated books, and easel paintings. Relief sculptures, carved into large pieces of stone, were used to decorate pediments, cella walls of temples, and the interior and exterior of various buildings. The size of a relief was dependent upon the purpose, location and treatment of the monument. There are two types of relief sculptures. One is a pictorial frieze, which is an unbroken representation of one or more mythological or historical events. The other is an image. It consists of a self-contained representation of an act, an occurrence, or event relating to the deeds of military figures. A relief was not treated as a wall, but rather, as a space in which figures disappeared or emerged from all in accordance to the laws of perspective. Reliefs varied by the method in which they were executed. Some were densely packed while other were loosely dispersed. Sculptures were one form of art in which the Romans copied the Greeks to a great extent. Statues of Greek gods were taken and copied. Then wings and portrait heads were added along with draping clothing. The Romans favorite subjects for nude statues were powerful, muscular, male bodies. As a result, a vast majority of nude statues are exactly that, muscular men. Many statues of people were made into an ideal form, although some represented a person's characteristics. For example, a small head was symbolic of a person with little intelligence. In conclusion, art in Rome influenced the people's religion, mythology, and architecture. The styles and technics of ancient Roman art are still evident today, to a small or great extent in modern sculptures, statues, and paintings. BibliographyBrown, D., and Strong, D. (1979). Roman Crafts. New York: University Press. Croix, H., and Tansey, R. (1980). Art Through the Ages. United States of America: Harcourt Brage Jovanovich, Inc. Heintze, H. (1971). Roman Art. New York: University Press

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Resurrection And Christ

Resurrection & Christ. Extended Written Response. For many centuries, artists throughout the world have aimed to capture and portray a particular theme or subject in accordance to their religious beliefs, personal influences, and mood, or based entirely upon societal influences. The figure of Christ and the manner in which he has been depicted has varied immensely over the years, which is highly indicative of changing social attitudes. Piero della Francesca’s Resurrection of 1463, and Julie Rrap’s Christ of 1984, have each depicted a Christ like figure in a way that illustrates their personal beliefs and also reflects the public’s stance regarding the depiction of Christ at the time each artwork was completed. The two artworks are significantly different in style and representation, as each artist has selected different media and entirely different approaches and interpretations. These significant differences are mainly due to the eras in which each artwork was produced. Francesca’s fresco is a classic product of the Italian Renaissance period, whereas Rrap’s piece is indicative of “our changing society and its religious values.” (Israel, 1997, p.160). Francesca composed his piece during the Early Renaissance period at the beginning of the 15th century, where faith in the theoretical foundations of art was highly placed. During this time, many examples of Ancient art were revered as both a source of inspiration and also as a record of trial and error that had the ability to reveal the success of the former great artists. (Pioch, 1996, p.1). About this time, there was still a set format of how particular Christian figures were perceived to have appeared; hence Francesca has depicted the figure of Christ in the stereo typed perception. Yet he has done so in a manner that fully exemplifies the era he was in, and also indicates his personal interest and success with the use of perspective. Alternatively, Rrap’s photomontage Christ has been compiled at a time when female stereo types are being challenged. The artwork challenges “the male dominance of past art.” Typical of postmodern art, this piece is quite the feminist statement, and is in keeping with many of her previous artworks. (Israel, 1997, p.160). The two artworks are noticeably different immediately upon viewing, as Resurrection is a fresco and Christ is a photomontage. The fresco was compiled with the use of pigment being applied to wet plaster, whereas the photomontage is in essence an installation arrangement that has used a collage technique with the use of photographs. Rrap has used a piece of art by Munch and outlined the figure it depicted, and then positioned herself whilst semi-naked within the outline. It is this placement of herself within the outline that has enabled her to “slip out of the stereotype of the female” (Israel, 1997, p.160). The image was then divided and abstracted, with the use of thick brush strokes in the background, creating a sense of movement. Resurrection however has been produced in a far more simple manner, with the composition comprising of Jesus standing with one leg raised onto a tomb, whilst four Roman guards are sleeping by the tomb at his feet. Jesus, swathed in red cloth, is holding a flag in an almost triumphant and defiant gesture. The foreground figures have all been placed in perspective, yet the background appears quite out of place in conjunction. Few colours have been used in Christ, yet the chosen colours of yellow and black inter mixed in the background, red on blue for the crucifix, and the exaggerated yellow flesh tone in the photo on the blue have all been used successfully. They each contribute to the overall effect of the image in a positive mode. Conversely, Francesca’s fresco has encompassed the use of realistic colour throughout the entire image. The colours have been used skillfully and created tone and depth in all aspects of the fresco, contributing to the desired “realistic representation” of figures. (Hopwood, 1996, p.80B). Each artist has chosen and used their colour in an approach that is indicative and typical of their era, Francesca in particular. Despite the imposing position that Jesus has been placed in within Resurrection, his facial expression along with the overall composition of figures and the landscape creates an almost peaceful and tranquil mood. The positioning of each figure generates a harmonious balance, which is complimented by the variation of colour and space. The entire nature of the composition is characteristic of the Renaissance era, where the development of mathematical application of art principles was continuously being developed along with many other new artistic concepts in the whole “rebirth” period. (Hopwood, 1996, p.92). Not unlike Resurrection in regards to social influences and environment, Christ has been completed in such a way that it too, is representative of it’s social environment. This is shown in several ways, including the fact that Rrap has photographed herself naked, except for a white cloth falling below her abdominal region. She has in no way attempted to cover her breasts, which illustrates society’s growing acceptance of the almost naked female form being used in modern art. It is not the technicality of appearing semi naked however, that is most indicative of today’s social climate. Rather, it is the placement of herself in such a pose and representation of Jesus that provides the biggest insight into the social atmosphere of today. It is a bold feminist statement that openly challenges the stereotyped role of women in art throughout previous centuries. (Isreal, 1997, p.161). Both Francesca’s Resurrection and Rrap’s Christ have been produced in ways that adapt to their specific eras. Each artist has conveyed their chosen subject matter of Christ in such a manner that clearly shows and illustrates the social environment of their time. This has been illustrated through the overall layout and composition, accentuated by elements such as colour and variation. Yet the social climate has been depicted most significantly through the way in which the figure of Jesus has been portrayed. Initially as a male, then quite strikingly as a female, over four centuries later. To many people, this is a sign of progress, but in the eyes of just as many, it is also step backwards. BibliographyHopwood, Graham. (1996). Handbook of Art. Dingley, Vic: Graham Hopwood Publications. Israel, Glennis. (1997). Artwise: Visual Arts 7-10. Milton, Qld: Jacaranda Wiley. Pioch, Nicholas. (1996). La Renaissance: Italy. [Online] URL: http://metalab.unc.edu/wm/paint/glo/renaissance/it.html (Accessed: March 17, 2000) Williams, Donald. (1992). From Caves to Canvas: An Introduction to Western Art. Roseville, NSW: McGraw-Hill Book Company Australia.

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Rembrandt's La Petite Tombe

According to some philosophers “La Petite Tombe” would most probably be considered a great work of art, this is my opinion too. Rembrandt is one of very few painters known around the world and valued as an addition to human history. Praised by the art world long time ago and until today. It also considers Rembrandt’s work as great, professional, expressive and impressive. However its’ greatness can be analyzed and criticized, which I will try to do in this paper. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Riju was born July 15, 1606 in the town of Leiden, Netherlands. One of the seven children he was the only one who received Higher Education, all of his siblings went into trade. Leiden was a University town with favorable education atmosphere. Upon graduating from the Leiden high school where students primarily learned Latin, and “true religion” (Calvinistic Protestantism) Rembrandt enrolled into a Leiden University, which by 1620s was internationally renowned. Not very eager for education he pretty soon became an apprentice of Jacob Isaacszoon Swandenburgh, and showed promise in painting, so his father found it good to apprentice him and to take him to the renowned painter P. Listman, residing in Amsterdam so that he might advance himself and be better trained and educated. During the seventeen’s century history painters enjoyed the highest prestige, higher even then portrait painters. Since history painters could give their imagination a certain freedom, depict and arrange their compositions as they please. In comparison portrait painters had little variation to work with to express themselves. This is why Rembrandt wanted to become a history, or religion painter. This era would probably be more favored by Tolstoy then by Plato. Although the paintings still presented the objects close or were identical to what we see in life, the fantasy of the artists began to take over the order of the objects, leaning towards the more historical, religious perspective, something Tolstoy would love. A piece of art from that era by Rembrandt of a religious context is an etching called “La Petite Tombe”, also known as “Christ Preaching”. The subject here is a gathering of common people around Jesus Christ, who is preaching “the remission of sins, an event that does not occur in the Gospels, but which played an important part in the Mennouite doctrine”. (Clark, p. 183) Rembrandt has many religious paintings and etchings in his collection, and in all of them he keeps his style of presentation. A little bit rough, and expressive. His characters on one hand are not explicitly detailed, but on the other all have their own unique points of interest, and expressive quality. If Plato were shown this etching he would probably be satisfied with it, since it meets all his conditions to be defined as good art. He argues that to be considered “art” at all, a piece of someone’s work, whether it is a painting, etching, poem etc., has to resemble identically a life that we see, and how we perceive it. The closer the work of art is to reality, the better would he consider it to be. Looking at an etching by Rembrandt we can see a very close similarity to life. People are proportionate, they look what ordinary people should look like, and the place where they are gathered is also a familiar surrounding which would look probably the same if we were to look at it in real life. However if we were to think about the content of the piece, there is a side to it, which draws particular attention. Jesus Christ is present on the etching. In the times of Plato there were no such concepts as Bible or Christianity. Even if we were to explain them to Plato, a person for whom the whole other concept of religion is a basis for understanding reality, still he would not accept it as a replica of a real life, since for him there is no such god as the one accepted by Christians. The person right in the middle of a picture would be a step away from reality, together with the aura above his head. Therefore for Plato this etching would be a good even a great piece of art, but the context of it would be probably considered a little strange or “unreal”. Tolstoy on the other hand would like, maybe even love the etching. Tolstoy’s criteria for judging art are infectiousness of the presentation, and religious context. Even though on an infectiousness scale this would not probably score too high, since there is nothing striking in the picture, no unusual event is taking place, just some people around Jesus. It is interesting, but not that much infectious. However, it is deeply religious showing an episode from the New Testament. This would add to the impression on Tolstoy and score high on his “religion scale”. There is a third criterion for Tolstoy: sincerity. A work of art has to be drawn, produced from the heart, a true expression of feelings, as present in the “peasant art”, an art of people driven by the inspiration. Upper-class artists lack that in their work according to Tolstoy. As we can see Rembrandt is definitely not a peasant, but it is also hard to relate him to the upper class. He is probably somewhere in the middle, upper-middle due to his education mostly. So the sincerity is definitely present in this picture, probably not as striking as “peasants” show it, but noticeable enough. It is hard to say that this etching is “actuated by personal aims of covetousness or vanity”. (Tolstoy p. 60.) Presence of all three of these conditions includes this etching in a group which Tolstoy considers “art”. Looking at the etching itself we can analyze it according to Bates Lowry and his interpretation of artist’s intentions. Lowry explains how different aspects of the parts of the picture can influence the overall impression of it. Starting with contrast, or dark and light variation in the etching. Contrast is primarily used to emphasize some parts making them lighter, and hide other parts by making them darker in contrast to the rest of the picture. This creates a certain relationship between the objects making them comparable to each other by their brightness or darkness. Usually lighter parts draw our attention, as we can see them more clearly, however darkness is not always made to hide things from us, it is also used to add a certain mystery to the objects. A good work of art is very well balanced in its’ light-dark aspects. Rembrandt’s “La Petite Tombe” as I have said before is a great work of art, so these variables are well controlled here as well. First of all, the center point of the etching is its’ middle part where Jesus is preaching. Mainly because it is the brightest part of the whole etching, the podium, and the figure of Jesus himself are in a brightest part of the room, which also could be the divine light which Jesus himself emits, or the light from above indicating the importance, virtue, honesty, greatness of the Son of God. All these positive impressions were generated only by the artist’s mastery of contrasting the shades. The rest of the people are mostly in the dark, or not as brightly illuminated as the main character. Noticeable thing about them is that Rembrandt has emphasized their faces making them lighter then their bodies, clothes and the rest of the room. Showing us the different reactions to the preaching, some reflect thinking, others live interest, some even indifference, maybe disbelief. I have noticed that the faces are brightest of the people who seem to be interested the most, or who understand the preaching the best. The darker faces are in a kind of confusion about the content, these people have to reflect a little bit more for themselves to understand Jesus fully. Also the lighter the object, the clearer it is, therefore it seems closer to us as viewers. We tend to accept them visually closer then the darker objects because their detail level is higher. Another important aspect for closely analyzing a work of art is the line. Different use of the line presents to us different intention, and better reflects the mood with which the work was created. Straight or curved lines, long or short, sometimes intersecting lines all have their meaning for the artist and for us. Right away we can see the use of vertical lines on the main subject – Jesus. Vertical lines typically mean stature, authority, and all the good and strong qualities of a person or an object. The figure itself, his hands, his robe all have been drawn using mostly straight vertical lines to show us the importance and dominance of Christ. Also it is important that he is the tallest figure in the etching, which adds to his authority. There are little other vertical lines as straight as the ones used for this figure. The other category is the horizontal line. There is only one more or less important horizontal line in the etching, and that is the pedestal where Jesus stands. Horizontal lines usually mean stability and calmness; from it we can understand that the platform, the base for Jesus is solid and reliable. From which there is a parallel to his preaching probably, that it also is a base, foundation for morality of these people around the figure. Another interesting use of the horizontal line can be seen close to the bottom of the image. A little boy drawing in the sand, who barely understands what the gathering is about is drawn with horizontal lines to show his calmness and indifference to the surroundings. His mind is still mostly pure and calm, and he does not need to be preached to about the remission of sins. The last important use of lines on this etching is the use of implied lines. These are the ones that are not actually drawn by the artist, but they can be a continuance of other type of lines that lead us to a certain point on the picture. Rembrandt decided to use the eyesight of the surrounding people who are almost all looking at Jesus, and that should lead our eye towards him as we notice their glances. Also the lines from Jesus’ hands point up to his father: God, implying that all his preaching comes from him, who represents the greatest authority to these people. Together with the implied lines from the eyes of the people in the room, there is yet another type of line used in conjunction with the implied line. Converging lines are used to emphasize a point in the picture and also to lead our eye to it. Therefore the implied lines of all the people around Jesus are also converging lines that all have a focal point in the center of the etching: Jesus Christ. This was an example of close analysis of a work of art introduced by Bates Lowry. Almost any visual art can be analyzed by this method, so I would consider it Universal. By using it to analyze the “La Petite Tombe” we once again have proved the mastery and professionalism of a great artist Rembrandt. BibliographyPlato. Republic (excerpt). In: Aesthetics: Critical Anthology (2nd ed.). Ed. George Dickie, Richard Scalfani, and Ronald Roblin. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989. Tolstoy, Leo. What Is Art? (excerpt). In: Aesthetics: Critical Anthology (2nd ed.). Ed. George Dickie, Richard Scalfani, and Ronald Roblin. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989. Clark, Kenneth. Rembrandt and the Italian Renaissance. New York: 1989.

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