Movements That Mattered: Spring 2014

Created in 1925, by Edvard Munch, this painting “Woman” is viewed as quite morbid and dark. The painting exhibits linear lines, which is evident in Munch’s work. The linear lines are sketchy; the colors used are bright and vibrant noted during the Fauvism period. The three women to some extent are rendered in an erotic pose. In this painting women/womanhood become the key figure. The women in the middle are naked, very provocatively with red hair and her arms raised in a whorish contrast compared to the other figures in the image. The other woman close to her in the dark is almost like a shadow and stands with raised shoulders and a pointed mouth.
This oil on canvas painting reveals the violence of bullfighting. To create this painting, Goya used a heavily loaded brush, a palette knife, a rag, and his fingers. The picador is leaning forward about to strike the bull with his lance. Other dying animals lay on the ground and the picador's horse is bloody.The bull looks surprisingly calm and is coolly eyeing the picador. The crowd is faceless, which leaves an the onlooker with a sinister feeling that something unpleasant is about to happen.
Created in France by Jean-Honore Fragonard this painting from the High Rococo period is highly frivolous, with a sense of playfulness. There is evident love between the mother and child and she looks endearing towards him. Both the women’s postures are very fluid, and informal showing a sense of ease in society,compared to the Baroque, which is slightly more rigid. The painting is playful with a feel of fantasy, as they glide with animals alongside them. Their emotions too are very peaceful and calm. There is a sense of elegance, with the thin lines and gentle curves to round the work. This pieces focuses on the upper class, with a peak into their internal life. The work has a sketch-like feel to it with the use of watercolors. Fragonard uses the landscape to frame the painting, increasing the appreciation for nature during this period.
In keeping with the Renaissance ideas of perfect balance and harmony, Raphael makes the Virgin Mary the center of the work by placing her directly in the middle of the canvas. The baby Jesus and a young John the Baptist play at her feet, and the three figures create a triangle-like shape in the center of the painting. The background is balances as well. There are equal amount of clouds in the sky on both the right and left of the painting as well as mountains in the distance. Unlike some of Michelangelo’s paintings, such as the Mona Lisa, Raphael creates a very clear and bright background. He uses bright and vibrant colors of red and blue in Mary’s clothing, and all three figures have glowing skin with rosy cheeks that bring a sense of cheerfulness to the work.
Perseus Freeing Andromeda (Oil on Canvas, 1638) painted by Peter Paul Rubens presents the Andromeda myth with selected narrative breadth. This painting demonstrates evident qualities from the Baroque period. Looking at Andromeda ‘s face there is much emotion of sadness, which is gradually conveyed in her body posture too; which is slightly slouched. There is a sense of drama, as the work is telling part of mythological story and power; this is much different than the Renaissance period, which is focused on quiet, balance, and stillness. There is much richness in the materials used, creating a strong visual impact on the viewer along with we can see open forms with the diagonal lines creating much depth. Realism is noted in the painting and is aligned with spiritual ideas, such as the angle above her head. There is drapery on the right hand corner of the image which softness the image, however this style is seen less during the Baroque period. Andromeda’s body is extremely muscular and fully exposed showing the power of a women’s body. Rubens was the proponent of the Baroque style, which emphasized movement, color, and sensuality all evident in this painting. Taking Heinrich Wolfflin’s analysis into consideration, this work in a painterly painting, the figures are not evenly illuminated but are fused together with a strong light that comes from one direction. There are swift brush-strokes that bind the figures together rather than isolating them from one another.
The deep red of The Virgin's gown and the luminosity of the painting are remarkable. Rubens was a painter of historical and mythological themes and this one is my favourite. The glances and the emotional connection between the Virgin, St. Elizabeth and their respective sons and the lamb encourage us to look deeper for a message of human and divine love.
The Altar of Our Lady is a painted relief from the Gothic period. The left side of the painting shows Mary holding Christ as a baby with Joseph by her side. In the middle, Mary holds the dying Christ after he has been on the crucifix. On the right, the risen Christ appears to Mary. What I find most interesting about this painting is the representation of Gothic architecture. Each panel resembles a portal into a Gothic cathedral. Each portal has one jamb on either side and one archivolt. The background on the far right shows the most detail of the interior of Gothic cathedrals. The bay in between the pointed arch window on the outer wall is divided in the middle which aides to emphasize the vertical exaggeration. Above the window is a blind arcade divided into five pointed arches, some of which are divided into two with mini rose window details. Ribbed vaulting is also visible in the background of the painting. The artist brings light into the painting by dissolving the walls of the cathedral in the background with windows.
This is a painting by Petrus Christus, who we know painted "a Goldsmith in his Shop" in 1449, as we learned in one of the lectures. This painting was done sometime in between 1460 and 1467. This was painted with oil on a wood panel. In the painting you see Mary with Christ and Joseph is entering in the back. There are a number of details included in this painting such as the chamber pot under one corner of the bed, the chandelier and the open book by the window. Petrus was the first artist in the north to use one-point perspective. Although this concept was introduced in Florence in 1420, many believe that Petrus arrived at this technique independently. In this painting, he originally planned for the vanishing point to be just left of Joseph's head, but then changed the vanishing point to be at the area of the bed, near the left curtain canopy. Petrus is emphasizing the importance of the bed. Also in this painting, you can see the angular drapery in Mary's clothing and the bed covers that is so often seen in northern renaissance paintings.
This painting was part of St Crescentius altarpiece, in this depiction of John the Baptist, we can see naturalism and the expressive gestures, that it seems to be speaking (when we see the open middle mouth and the hand) the eyes are looking (with some concern) at the same direction of the pointing hand and probably this is for changing our attention to the main massage of the whole altarpiece.
‘Compartments from the altarpiece from Sant Andreu in Gurb’ (1415 – 1418) created by Lluís Borrassà evidently has aesthetics borrowed from the Byzantine period in which the icon (In this case the image of Christ) is used as an object of worship. Additionally, much of the design is Byzantine with the gold background, tilted head, drapery, and sense of naturalism. Much of the style and painting is quite colorful and centered around the idea of religious beliefs. The aesthetics of the figures is focused on elongation, which is evident in the faces and joints. There is a sense of depth/shadowing, attempted naturalism, and non-mathematical dimensions. This work is an example of early international Gothic style, quite rich in movement and color.
i have chosen the bronze statue of Victorious Youth which dates back from 300 to 100BCE. This statue was made with bronze which is different from the material were used in ancient Egypt. The statue represents differences between ancient Egyptian art and accent Greek. First of all, the young boy is nude, male nudity and female were in vogue while in Egypt nudity was only used in statues of children and servants. Secondly, emotion and expression were written in the face. The curve of body is perfect, muscles were excellent exhibited. Ancient Egyptian statues generally without expression or special posture. Another difference is that the ancient Greek art was depicted more natural. The proportion of the body is just like the real human being. The artist were made to observe the world and proceed according to what they saw in the world. While the Egyptian artists followed strict stylistic laws.
This silver coin, called a Tetradrachm, was worth about 4 days’ pay for the average citizen. Each one was individually hand struck. Thus, the labor needed for the proliferation of this symbol of power was considerable. The inscription of this coin by the artist was probably initiated with the onset of Alexander’s attempt to essentially capture the known world. As his power and influence spread, so did the morphing of his identity with the Gods. For example, he declared that he was a son of Zeus after occupying Egypt. Depending on where the coin was struck, Alexander’s portrait blended with Herkales (Hercules). As can be seen in this example, the artist (no doubt with Alexander’s approval) incorporated gross and subtle symbols to send a clear message of Alexander’s influence, prestige and lineage. For example, close inspection reveals what appears to be a lion’s tooth near the ear of Alexander. This is part of the lion’s body that is worn as a headdress. It represents Herakles’ victory over the Narnia lion. This victory set the stage for the myth of his strength and invincibility. The accentuated side profile is highlighted by Alexander’s steely open-eyed gaze forward, suggesting a look into the future. On the reverse side of the coin is a depiction of Zeus on a throne. He grasps a complex scepter. As with similar Egyptian carvings, this identifies him as a deity/authority figure. The eagle, perched on his arm, is an attribution of Zeus and similar to Egyptian gods and their birds of prey. Various mint marks were inscribed to imply the far reaching authority of Alexander’s conquests. As also observed in the nude and anatomically correct male statues, the Greeks displayed sexual behavior in a unique cultural context. Some mint marks, such as the ithyphallic (sexually erect) god Hermes, suggested sexual arousal. However, this mark more served as a warning of territorial boundaries and power as opposed to a depiction of sexual exhibitionism. Zeus’ head adornment changed over time from a laurel wreath crown, to a horned headdress or wrapping suggestive of a turban. As different territories were captured, local conventions may have been used. The position of Zeus’ legs changed from an open to closed position and may indicate whether the coin was a lifetime issue of Alexander if the legs were open. The use of the royal title on a coin most likely guarantees that it was struck after Alexander’s death, since the royal title would be an anathema to the concept of democracy in Greece at the time. Therefore, this coin is likely minted during his lifetime. In summary, this small disc of silver, intricately carved in high relief, is probably one of the most important examples of how artistic expression can influence the world. Coins with his representation were struck in 1 city in Africa, 7 in Europe and 17 in Asia during his lifetime. It is estimated that 105 million examples were struck over 3 centuries. Its dissemination across vast territories gave credence to Alexander’s ever widening conquests, helped establish a stable and acceptable form of payment, and allowed for the manipulation of much of the world’s currency. Without the artistic interpretation of a myriad of symbols and figural representations, the power of this coin would not have been as great. It is little surprise that the United States Quarter of today bears an amazing similarity in size and symbols.
This was created during the early 7th century by a Byzantine artist and stands 16.3 cm high. Encircling the chalice are two pairs of apostles flanking large crosses. An apostle was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, chosen by him during his ministry to spread his word after his death and resurrection. It is difficult to make out the expressions of the apostles but they appear to be rather stoic. Also encircling the chalice is an arcade that appears to have corinthian columns in between.
This week I have chosen the Statuette of Mars-Cobannus from the Roman Empire. The male figure is made of bronze, borrowing the lost wax technique from the Greeks that came before. Unlike Greeks sculptures, this figure is completely covered with draping fabric from a traditional Roman toga. The figure seems to have an odd pose, but originally he would have been holding a spear. While the Greeks were interested in the human figure and correctly portraying the anatomy of the ideal man, the Roman artist seems to concerned with engaging the audience with the figure’s movement. Roman statues also tend to have unique features to easily identify the subject. This particular piece happens to be comparable to Mars, the Roman god of war.
This bust of an older man shows the changes that occurred in late roman art, the naturalism style of the face present an accentuation of some details, big eyes, large face, long nose, however it is not as realism as the sculpture was in the early roman art. This bust show some conventions of the Tetrarch style of idealized abstraction.
This painting from the late Medieval period (1400) depicts six scenes-Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Baptism, and Saint Christopher. The mediums used (oil and tempera) allow the painting to come alive and brings out the dynamic images and details of the surroundings. The use and alternation between the colored sections is prevalent to display the different scenes. The overall painting is quite geometric, rhythmic, and abstract. The painting is more narrative, almost telling us a story or part of a bigger tale to be heard. The emotion of the two figures is evident with an almost pained expression, which is translated to the body as well. Compared to Greek and Egyptian artistic convention the text in the painting is very legible, and the pattering and style takes presentence over naturalism.
The Statuette of a Horse dates back to 750-700 BCE during the Geometric Period of Greece. It is made from bronze, a favorite medium of Greek sculptors. Greek sculptors during this period were not as interested in creating a realistic representation of their subject. It is evident that this is a very stylized portrayal of a horse, but at the same time is it very clear that the statue is of a horse. The horse has exaggerated legs, and its body is constructed out of various geometric shapes such as cones, rectangles, and cylinders. The curves of the figure and slenderness give it almost a delicate feel. Statuettes were very popular as dedication to the Greek gods, and horses were popular subjects. Horse are expensive to own because they require a lot of time, care, space, and food, so they became a symbol or wealth and power to the Greeks. Being from Kentucky, I was very much drawn to the Statuette of a Horse when scrolling through the Google Art Gallery. Horse culture is very popular back home, and I grew up surrounded by horse farms and races. Even though this is a very stylized representation of a horse, it highlights features very unique to certain breeds of horse. The long and thin legs and slender body remind me very much of thoroughbred horses. The lack of detail on the surface of the sculpture almost brings more attention to its body and proportions. I have chosen statue of the horse .Geometric period was a headspring of a Classical Greece lie in 900 – 700 BC. That tie was a rise for Greece such as Olympia. That significant time for Greece culture we are able to observing now. In fact Horses required wide land and permanent care, eventually horse signified for Greece people wealth and power.
The Stela of the official Si-Mut demonstrates many of the techniques exemplified in Ancient Egyptian art. Stelae were used as funerary or commemorative slabs in tombs. The subject of this stela, Simut, is carved in low relief along with what appears to be some servants. His social standing is emphasized by the use of the hieratic scale. He is surrounded by rich objects, and wears royal garments, showing his position as a royal prophet and treasurer. All of the figures are shown in the traditional Egyptian perspective, with the feet and lower body facing profile, torso facing the viewer, and face in profile. There is a woman carved in a slightly smaller ratio behind Simut, touching him with her hand. She is most likely his wife, as she is slightly larger than the servant kneeling before Simut. The shapes used to create the bodies and objects are very geometric. The artist has made the choice to skew the perspective of the pile of offerings in order to display them all to the viewer.
'Kore' means 'girl' or 'young woman' and this statue now stands in the Acropolis Museum. She is made of Marble and stands approximately 3.8 feet (1.18 metros) tall. She was excavated from a pit near the Erecthion on the Acropolis in 1886. She had been dumped there following the destruction by the Persians in 480 BCE. She is wearing a garment known as a peplos which is where the title comes from. It is a dress that is pinned at the shoulders and gathered at the waist by a belt. Her left arm is extended, probably holding an offering. Her eyes are bright and she appears to show an "archaic" smile. Some argue that this represents the goddess Athena.
I think that the “Statuette of a Nude Girl” is an interesting piece of art, because it’s not totally follow the art conventions, although the posture keeps the pose with one foot extended, the body hasn’t definite the muscles, the shapes of her knees or her arms, other curious things are that she is naked and she has separation of her arms from the torso (these are conventions that we can observe in the Greek Sculpture), These absent of the art conventions could implicate that this statuette is not represent any particular person. This statuette also represents an Egyptian practice: she is wearing a wig, with an elaborate coiffure that was using during sex; I guess the artist depicts the girl with more curves that make the girl body quite sexy
The Statuette of a Horse dates back to 750-700 BCE during the Geometric Period of Greece. It is made from bronze, a favorite medium of Greek sculptors. Greek sculptors during this period were not as interested in creating a realistic representation of their subject. It is evident that this is a very stylized portrayal of a horse, but at the same time is it very clear that the statue is of a horse. The horse has exaggerated legs, and its body is constructed out of various geometric shapes such as cones, rectangles, and cylinders. The curves of the figure and slenderness give it almost a delicate feel. Statuettes were very popular as dedication to the Greek gods, and horses were popular subjects. Horse are expensive to own because they require a lot of time, care, space, and food, so they became a symbol or wealth and power to the Greeks. Being from Kentucky, I was very much drawn to the Statuette of a Horse when scrolling through the Google Art Gallery. Horse culture is very popular back home, and I grew up surrounded by horse farms and races. Even though this is a very stylized representation of a horse, it highlights features very unique to certain breeds of horse. The long and thin legs and slender body remind me very much of thoroughbred horses. The lack of detail on the surface of the sculpture almost brings more attention to its body and proportions.
Dated back from the 8th BC the ‘Gold Sheet Ornament’ from Greece was created during the geometric period. This piece of art could have been created with marble (used at the time) and embossed with gold as an ornament for funerary use. Much of gold ornaments were used during the Aegean period. This piece of art slightly mirrors some of the art found in Egypt however modified to suit Greece’s cultural needs. There is evidence of relief carving, allowing the figures to stand out creating a nice visual impact. Considering this was created during the 8th century, at the time of Homer, much of the art found are references to the Homeric past. Thus on the ‘Gold Sheet Ornament’ you can visibly see the structure of a warrior and shield; a known symbol during the geometric period.
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