"Art / Painting / Sculpture" Essays

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Humanism and the Renaissance Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (737 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1+


Humanism and the Renaissance

There are many great works from the Renaissance, and Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper is certainly considered among the greatest of that era. The Last Supper has strong religious themes and tones to be sure, but there is also the element of humanism in the Last Supper. Indeed one of the most powerful themes to emerge from the Renaissance is humanism. In Leonardo's painting he eschewed having halos over the heads of everyone but Judas; he also had Judas seated on the same side of the table as Christ. Since Leonardo decided to make this painting more humanistic than strictly religious, he has painted them all "…equally human rather than saintly and holy," which reflects Leonardo's "…humanistic and artistic beliefs" (About.com). Leonardo's deliberate use of humanism is, according to the About.com material, a rebuke of the conspiratorial narrative of author Dan Brown.

In fact any author or scholar attempting to misuse this painting because of some bizarre religious conspiracy theory is going to be wrong because this painting was done in humanistic terms. The writer of this article in About.com insists that Dan Brown was wrong to conclude that the absence of the cup of Christ means "…the Holy Grail must be something other than a cup" (About.com).

Symbolism played a significant role in Leonardo's paintings, and in the Last Supper he uses symbols to depict humanism. The facial expressions of the characters symbolize that Christ was human just like they were; Every one of the apostles expressions "…represent distress or confusion" simply because humans show stress and anxiety; indeed, they are incredulous that someone among they would betray Christ (the Hub). Juxtaposed with the concerned and anxious facial expressions of the apostles is Christ's expression, which is "…calm and pure because he is the son of God and is forgiving of sin" (the Hub).

Symbolism also is reflected in the painting by the fact that the apostles are all in groups of three (the Trinity); moreover, there are three windows behind Christ and Christ's figure is in the shape of a triangle. The humanism comes through this painting because even though Christ is the Son of God and considered a deity, he is…… [read more]

Particular Artist Including Three Things Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,603 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


The one major leg that Longo has up on Sherman is that he uses only black and white in most to all of his work and he does so in such a great way whereas Sherman relies a lot on color. However, one can only go so far with black and white and color, even if used sparingly, can be poignant. This is obviously something that Ms. Kruger believes in. As this paper has gone on, it is clear that there are common threads that weave these artists together and this is to be expected that they are generally in the same field of speaking through pictures that are both simple yet complex all at the same time. Being able to make a statement while saying nothing is a skill that many people never come close to mastering.


It is impossible to know the social trends and patterns that will come up with any great certainly and this is especially true beyond the next 10 to 20 years. As society becomes more liberalized in terms of what is acceptable from a lifestyle and artwork standpoint, work like Ms. Sherman's and the other four people mentioned in this work will probably come to be more accepted but there have been national and international events that have turned the growth and perception habits of many people on its head overnight and there is nothing saying that this could not happen again at some point in the near future. Even so, it is fairly easy to say that Ms. Sherman has indelibly etched her name in the history of art for years to come and there is little chance that this will not be validated in the years and generations…… [read more]

Reading Visual Culture Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (958 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Visual Culture Is Different to Traditional Visual Culture in That it Is Composed of:

New technologies of vision

An exponential increase in the presence of visual cultural signage 'The empire of signs' has been growing all the time shaped by political, social, and economic events but this 'empire of signs' proliferated in the 20 thcentury obliquely and covertly influencing and persuading.

Visual culture was traditionally seen as artistic expression. Today, it is also demagoguery largely, although not exclusively, used for consumerist ends and pasted onto rhetorical and persuasive purposes. Marketing, for instance, is a field that uses visual culture -- or representation -- to engage consumers and to accomplish its ends (i.e. Of persuading people to buy their advertised articles). Politics uses symbols / representations for its own end, as do many other people-related drives.


What are representations?

The difference between a sign and an object is the following: a tree is the original object or sign. It stands there; we can see it. It may be interpreted in various ways. Once the tree is painted or described, this very act of superimposing the tree into a figment of it renders it a 'representation' and the tree, transformed by the imagination of the other, can come to mean various things.

Many, if not all, of the signs that persuasive mediums (such as media or marketing professionals) use are representations (i.e. they are re-presented in representations). These signs are symbols of entities in the world; they are reproduced or produced in different ways so that they come across with different, deliberate meanings. It is in this way that communication is executed between people and communication results in the process of 'information' but this process of 'representation' happens in such a covert and indiscernible way that we are immune to and unaware of it. We have been internalized in this swap of sign-representation from early on. It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to step outside of it and to critically engage with it.

Not all of these representations are deceptive or ominous. Authors use representation too as techniques of prefiguring or indicating a certain event (a 'shadow' for instance may indicate death due to the connections that we have been habituated to make between 'shadow' and threat). Turner's painting the Fighting Temeraire 1838 shows a blazing sunset ass background, symbolic perhaps of the ship's demise or the fury of the battle. Either way, symbols such as 'shadow' and 'fire' have only received these connotations due to social constructions placed on these symbols that have converted them into representations. 'Shadow' is not literally suffering nor is 'fire' always destruction. A 'flame' can provide warmth and light too. Nonetheless, an author may use shadow to signal an encroaching unhappiness, and Turner used the blaze of sunset to match the blaze of the ship and to convey his intention.…… [read more]

Life as a Graphic Designer Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (994 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


There is some overlap between the professions of illustrator and graphic designer. "Illustration, while often closely related to graphic design, is for many a separate profession. It is common for a graphic designer to do illustrative work and for illustrators to incorporate their work into graphic design, but there are also those who work solely in illustration, often being commissioned to create works for larger projects" (Miller 2013). Illustrators create images for articles and books to support their words with images. They are less likely to be involved in the creation of business cards and design-related elements. Modern illustrators, in contrast to illustrators of the past who mainly used pen, ink, pencil, and paints, "work in software such Adobe Illustrator or Corel Painter" but may still add distinctive, "hand-drawn elements into their work" in contrast to the more mass-produced images typical in pure graphic design (Miller 2013). Unlike graphic design, which is designed to catch the viewer's eye and to represent a product, event, or some other idea, pure illustration is designed to be pleasurable to view in and of itself, not just representative of something. Conceptually, "illustration is the art of making images that work with something…without distracting from the thing they illustrate…the illustration's role is to add personality and character without competing with that other thing" while "graphic design is the art of making images that attract direct attention towards themselves and use attention for a specific, deliberate purpose" ("What does it mean to be an illustrator," Stack Exchange: Graphic Design Beta, 2013). According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics "fine artists made an average of $48,300 yearly," although earnings vary widely, because most are self-employed ("Artist," BLS, 2013).

Both graphic design and illustration prevent viable career options for fine artists, and many self-employed artists may wish to work in both capacities. Both fields, although different present creative possibilities, either in creating a distinctive logo in the case of graphic design that is timeless and iconic, or supporting a text with illustrations like an illustrator. While most professionals in either field are self-employed, which requires a certain degree of enterprise on the part of the individual to stay afloat in a competitive economy; these professions provide rewarding and creative ways for artists to sustain themselves financially.

Works Cited

"Artist." Bureau of Labor and Statistics BLS. 2013. [8 Feb 2013]


"Graphic designer." Bureau of Labor and Statistics BLS. 2013. [8 Feb 2013]


Miller, Eric. "Working as an illustrator." About.com. [8 Feb 2013]


Poggenpohl Sharon, Helmer. Graphic Design: A Career Guide and Education Directory.

The American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1993. [8 Feb 2013]


"What does it mean to be an illustrator?" Stack Exchange: Graphic Design Beta. [8 Feb 2013]

http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/6787/what-does-it-mean-to-be-an-illustrator… [read more]

Post War Furniture High Modernism Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (524 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


By doing experiments with different materials, Eames designed the ESU-400 cabinet that was made from stained birch plywood, painted Masonite, and zinc-plated steel. The cabinet contains rectangular compartments that create four tiers of shelving. The design is made with low cost materials that give quality of life enhancements. Their designs also started to include leather upholstery and fiberglass as low cost materials.

George Nelson created clocks and lamps from various low cost materials of wire, plastic, and glass. He used organic designs to create clock designs made of wood. Machine art design was used to create various shapes of clocks from wire and various other materials, such as plastics. Some of the clocks used wire design to hold balls made of plastic in a circular design while some used other metals for other various shapes of metal clocks. Machine art design also influenced his designs in glass ball lamps made with different shapes and designs in glass.

Machine art design and organic design started affecting the design of products in prewar time. Because of the rationing of industrial materials in wartime efforts, the designs of furniture changed in efforts of substituting nonessential materials. In the efforts to produce low cost furniture, designers starting using molded plywood to produce wood furniture for eco-friendly organic designs. The use of plastics was used with low cost metal designs to create other designs with machine art. In efforts to create quality of life enhancing products for consumer demand, designers learned to use various materials in creating their designs.… [read more]

Van Gogh Vincent Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (660 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


" In "Bedroom in Arles," the perspective is skewed. The proportions are deliberately rendered incorrectly, just as the color and light values are not natural. The right wall next to the bed caves inward, imparting an oppressive feel. The front board of the bed is disproportionately large compared with the back board. A same type of playful rendering of perspective is evident in "The Night Cafe," in which a billiard hall is rendered as if through a fisheye lens. Van Gogh has a command of perspective, and the artist plays with perspective to play tricks on the viewer. Perhaps to parallel his mental state, van Gogh presents the world in a skewed and distorted manner. Both his sense of perspective and his color palette, with its strange and unnatural values, give a sense that the viewer is half in the world, and half outside of it. Van Gogh's paintings are representational, and yet they are approaching abstraction given the detachment from reality. Evidence that van Gogh is deliberately playing with perspective is in the way that the artist does occasionally render scenes with more realistic perspective. Even "Starry Night" has a realistic depth of field and perspective, as the foreground tree, the middle ground village, and the background of stars all occupy their rightful places on the canvas. Similarly, "Starry Night over the Rhone" is deftly rendered, the curving flank of the waterfront promenade and the reflection of the lights in the water offer a nearly realistic scene.

Long, undulating brushstrokes are characteristic features of van Gogh's painting. The brushstrokes sometimes convey a sense of shakiness or internal movement. These shaky brushstrokes might parallel or symbolize van Gogh's shaky mental state. For instance, "The Church at Auvers" appears warped and twisted, as if viewed through water. It is as if van Gogh is sharing his state of mind through his warped perspective, fervent brushstrokes, and unnatural…… [read more]

Simulacrum: What Is Neither Real Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,141 words)
Bibliography Sources: 5


Originally, film had a functional quality of preservation. But today it has come to take on artistic value (Camille 802). Of course, the artistry of film may be viewed on a continuum. On one hand, there are films that are primarily designed as commodities, with the intention of promoting toys and generating box office revenue. On the other hand, at the opposite end of the spectrum are 'art' films which are primarily designed to provide visual enchantment. Other films straddle the two boundaries. Films that become part of the cultural landscape become part of initiation rituals, like watching certain films as Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, and It's A Wonderful Life even while they have exhibition value in their own right. These ritual experiences may have the quality of a simulacrum because they are works of fiction that come to influence 'real life.'

Some films have meditated upon the nature of how film influences our expectations and concepts of life, such as The Truman Show, which depicts a man who is living in a constructed reality where all of his neighbors and family are actually paid actors. The film was intended to show how the idea of the 'perfect' intact, ideal home is actually something that requires a great deal of artifice, even though it causes a great deal of anxiety for people when they cannot live up to an ideal. The exhibition value and intended meaning of the film is to encourage viewers to question such notions, even while the film relies upon the cinematic tools of production to be created itself.

Of course, the image of every film actor, no matter how sincere or postmodern the aesthetic of the film is from the actor's real, physical body. Inherent to the mediums most popular today -- film and images online -- is this notion of separation of the image from the true person. Reality television stars create personas that are supposed to be 'real' even though the actors are living in highly contrived and constructed versions of game shows. They become the ultimate celebrities, famous for being famous, even though they are supposed to be the most 'real' of stars.

Both photographic and cinematic film, unlike stage productions, can be appropriated by others and transformed, and these transformations can actually have more of a lasting impact than the reality of the human being who generated them. This was also true of prose and painting: "time does not flow ever onward in a poem or a painting," and postmodernism celebrates the ability to appropriate and reinterpret the past in a fluid fashion but film has proven to be even more plastic in its ability to be appropriated and to change from the original -- and also to affect real life (Hart 56). This simulacrum of culture can have a negative impact because of its power, but the ability of culture to be so mutable and its lack of stable referents can also be read as something positive, despite Baudrillard's… [read more]

Painter of Modern Life Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (662 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Contrary to this idealized version of the artist, Ben Singer argues that modernity disallows the perfection and idolization of the artist that was seen in earlier times. Instead, the modern era is one of sensationalism, where what is given the most attention is not things which are beautiful, but that which is unattractive or scandalous. These aspects have always been part of the zeitgeist, such as when looking at newspapers or literature of an era. However, as time progresses, this need to examine the seedier aspect of existence is taking higher priority to beauty.

The modern artist, in trying to comment on the present historical moment, has a tendency to look at what is unpleasant and illustrate those aspects. However, despite the fact that the subjects of most modern works of art are antithetical to those that would have been depicted in the past, there are still quite a few ways in which the forms are the same. The medium of the artist has changed but the intention is the same: to hold a mirror up to the current society and reveal the truth behind the facade. As in the past, what has paramount importance is the observation of the artist, not what is presented. What the artist sees, according to these two authors, is the reality of the world around us whether we like to admit that or not. The truth can be ugly and unpleasant, but it nevertheless is the reality. It is therefore the author's purpose to show even what is ugly. In the modern moment, that responsibility is even more obvious because there is so much more high-profile ugliness.

Works Cited:

Baudelaire, Charles. "The Painter of Modern Life." The Painter of Modern Life and Other

Essays. Phaidon. 1-35.

Singer, Ben. "Modernity, Hyperstimulus, and the Rise of Popular Sensationalism." Bodies and…… [read more]

Horkheimer/Adorno, Benjamin, Lowenthal Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (877 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice -- politics" (226). Thus, the mechanically reproducible media like film and photography instead start to contain a political or ideological content. But for Benjamin, the mechanically-reproducible art also summons up the spectre of Nazi Germany because the Nazis aestheticized culture and politics both -- Nazism, in his reading, is itself a kind of mass-producted artistic phenomenon, which conceals its true purposes behind artistically well-produced and emotionally appealing mythology.

Lowenthal writes with an awareness of both of these preceding essays. But he is more keen to emphasize that, in some sense, "popular culture" has always existed, and has always served a purpose -- and provoked a dual response. In a historical survey, he notes that, although the terminology of concerned or dismissive response to popular culture changes over time, there is an overriding sameness to the response to it on the part of intelligent critics: what Lowenthal terms "a conflict between the psychological and the moral approaches to popular culture." In this sense, Lowenthal is critiquing Horkheimer and Adorno (who are both quoted throughout his essay) and to some extent Benjamin -- he sees them as taking a moral approach to popular culture (in finding it debased and dangerous) while assuming that the psychology of its popularity is fairly simplistic. But Lowenthal understands the psychology of consumption of popular culture as being altogether more complicated: and in particular he suggests areas for future research, rather than dismissive theorizing. From an early 21st-century standpoint, however, Lowenthal's claim that something which should be examined is "the replacement of taste -- a concept of liberalism -- by the quest for information" (332). It seems like this provides the hint for what is currently happening in the realms that all of these writers are concerned with. The Internet's effect on culture seems to have done away with the liberal arts' notion of "taste" -- is it possible to find "tasteful" high art on the Internet -- in the name of redefining everything as "information." In the Information Age, it is worth considering whether the values associated by all these writers with important art are even transmissible at all -- it may be the simple fact that the medium itself governs what can possibly be done with it. And it may be that the Fascist-seeming homogenized mass-narratives -- which Horkheimer and Adorno, as well as Benjamin, found threatening in the mechanically-reproducible and homogenized Hollywood cinema -- are fragmented by the participatory and de-centered nature…… [read more]

African Cultural Artifact Present Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (927 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


("Historical Time Periods," 2012)

During the middle / non-European period is when many of these ideas were passed onto other cultures. This spread to different tribes and it became a part of the artwork for all of Africa. The only difference is that the statue was completed in the 19th century. This is illustrating how all of these different periods influenced the ideas of the artist and its impact on culture. ("Historical Time Periods," 2012)

How do you anticipate this artifact being passed to future generations?

The way that this artifact will be passed onto future generations is through taking the beliefs of the past and introducing them to everyone. This will help them to have an understanding of where they came from and how these ideas are part of the society they live. Over the course of time, this will have an effect upon the way someone will look at their lives. Moreover, there will be an emphasis on using these techniques to show the different perspectives the artist is trying to communicate. For example, an individual could take these ideas and use them to create a realistic portrayal of someone praying. This is taking the views of the past (by highlighting religious beliefs) and augmenting them with a contemporary activity. Once this occurs, is when future generations can use this as a bridge between the past and current ideas.

What kind of evolutions might it undergo as cultural changes.

The biggest evolution that might occur is: someone could take these ideas and adapt them to more modern beliefs (such as science fiction). This means that they will take the traditional elements of African society to show how someone is engaged in a particular activity. Then, they will include science fiction elements to make the work appear to be more unique. This will signify a change in beliefs by highlighting how these views have evolved over time. As most people no longer support pagan rituals and practices.

Yet, they still embrace many of the ideas from these periods. To show this sense of understanding, they will incorporate different views into their art work. In a modern setting this will involve: taking these beliefs and combining them with contemporary ideas. Once this occurs, is the point that these traditions are illustrating how: this is telling the larger story of the values that are practiced in society and what ideas are most important to everyone. This is when the work becomes a representation of the past and present.


Baule. (2004). Rand African Art. Retrieved from: http://www.randafricanart.com/Baule_Blolo_bian_figure.html

Historical Time Periods. (2012). Buzzle.com. Retrieved from: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/historical-time-periods.html

Seated Male. (2012). Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1978.412.425… [read more]

Veda Reed Exhibit Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (574 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


This painting is more obviously a cloudscape -- the clouds swirl in the upper half of the painting, slightly tilted on an angle, while the blue-pink morning sky is a blank, contrasting blur of color in the lower half of the painting. Suggestions of swirling clouds are embedded in the lower half, but they are very faint and pale in comparison to the more aggressive blooms of clouds in the upper regions.

Many Reed's studies in sky portraits tend to be hazy, with relatively undefined edges. However, some of her works are more distinctly outlined. Her "Three Black Clouds" depict a matte black background divided into three sections, with a single, amoeba-like blob of blue representing the unclouded portion of the sky. A paler cloud wafts in the middle of a sky like a gash, with a single, circular moon hovering beneath the line of clouds. The effect is more dramatic than Reed's gauzier sky portraits and seems to suggest a darker view of the natural world. The colors of the inner sky break forth in the darkness with symmetrical precision, suggesting that there is hope even in the midst of despair.

Reed's work is compelling because of her ability to infuse emotion into what could merely be a sentimental portrayal of the natural world. Reed's sky visions have points-of-view -- the tenderness and maternal quality of the night in "From Dusk Till Dawn" and the more ambiguous take upon what the day ahead holds for the viewer in "Morning Clouds." Reed's works are not consistently dark or light in attitude -- she exhibits both, in a worldview as mutable as the sky itself.… [read more]

Accounting Theory Lyotardian Post Modernism Article Review

Article Review  |  2 pages (610 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Lyotard perceives the excessive adaptation and attachment to realism as part of a capitalist, consumer market agenda. Realism makes easily the process of commodification of everything. Consider reality-based television programming. Though Lyotard has not expressively or directly articulated post modernist ideas or theories, he is in the subtext of his writing. He talks of the modernist and realist affects upon the conditions of existence so as to set up and contextual his more directly post modern ideas later.

Approximately halfway into the piece, Lyotard shifts his focus more narrowly to the arts, though he brings readers into this topic with discussion of science, technology, and mechanical industry. He begins in such a way so as to present the argument that with time, the boundaries among these categories dissipate primarily due to technology. His greatest point is that while science, technology, and industry do impact and change life significantly, when the mechanical, industrial, scientific, and technological enter realms traditionally held for art and producers of art, the consequences are far more powerful and severe because of the power of art over or in human perception and constitution of reality. This is part of, and perhaps the beginning of the post modern condition.

Lyotard names the post modern as the urge to break old rules of aesthetics and relations with aesthetics to form new ones. The post modern acknowledges what is "unpresentable in presentation itself," which acknowledges the unattainable, the unrepresentable, and encourages adventures in seeking or creating new forms of presentations which in invariably fall short in the same ways. For Lyotard, within the post modern, the artist is writer and the writer is artist; the art is text, whatever form the art takes. Finally, he calls for a release from nostalgia and for a greater human presence and participation in unpresentable reality.… [read more]

Roman Religions (Chicago Citation) Chapter Book Review

Book Review  |  2 pages (737 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Horace's 1st Century BC work entitled Carmen Saeculare was used as a literary example of the Sol-Luna paradigm used to depict the gods Apollo and Diana. While Apollo and Diana had their own distinct identity within the ancient religious world, there were not clearly defined roles for gods; and thus a god could have many, sometimes completely unique, identities and attributes. In the Carmen Saeculare, Apollo and Diana assumed the characteristics of Sol and Luna, which exemplified the overall meaning of the chapter: that the "Romans were comfortable with that full range of meaning - from symbolic to divine - for a single deity that we have been postulating for Sol."[footnoteRef:3] [3: Ibid., 566.]

Finally, in Chapter eight the concept of the visual and verbal meanings associated with Sol were discussed with an emphasis on the relationship between two different forms of communicating. While the two forms cannot be equated to each other, there is a relationship between the two and that "must counterbalance the principle of non-equivalency with a principle of non-exclusivity."[footnoteRef:4] In other words, both visual and verbal meanings are important when studying Roman art. Horace's Carmen Saeculare was used an example of verbal communication of the concept of Sol-Luna, but the artwork in a Roman mausoleum, called "mausoleum M," was also used to depict how visual images can also communicate artistic ideas. While verbal communication has been found to have the ability to express the intricate concepts involved in artwork; visual communication, like the mausoleum M's images, cannot fully express to a viewer the complete message intended by its creator. In fact, the meanings of the images on Mausoleum M. could not be fully deciphered because there is not "sufficient knowledge of the potential meanings and connotations of the image types [sheep-bearer], [angler], [ketos/Jonah], [vine], and even [sol]."[footnoteRef:5] The chapter ends with the assertion that even though there has been many advances in material culture studies, more insight is needed to fully understand the visual imagery associated with Roman artwork, and especially images of Sol. [4: Ibid., 567.] [5: Ibid., 580.]


Hijmans, Steven, (2009). "Sol: The Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome." PhD diss., University of Groningen.

http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/faculties/arts/2009/s.e.hijmans/… [read more]

Frida Kahlo Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,097 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


They quickly married in a drunken ceremony and not long after headed to the United State where Rivera would both advance and damage his career because of his admiration for Joseph Stalin -- something that did not go over well with people like the American Rockefeller millionaires who would have otherwise funded his works. Frida hated America and, though she would return later for her own painting career, expressed gratitude in being able to return to Spain and Mexico to continue their revolutionary works.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the artistic community of Mexico was highly political (Gonzalez, 2005). Several major artists, including Rivera, where commissioned to incorporate mural artistry into Mexico's turbulent public spaces. As Gonzalez said about this experience: "Although all three leading Muralists were powerful personalities, their artistic practice was rooted in an idea of collective creation - and an equally powerful insistence that art was work, labour, and that artists were in that sense workers." The communist roots that both Rivera and Kahlo shared would find their expressions here and he and others would literally incorporate her likeness into their works.

Sexuality was also a major and often downplayed part of Frida's search for freedom. Early on, just like her husband, she would have affairs with other men. Some of these were important political and community leaders. But she also evolved from passing off occasional sexual relationships with women -- which she said meant nothing more than a handshake -- to stronger sexual lesbian liaisons (FANS, 2011). It could well have been this transformation as well as her struggle to not be colonized by any for the restrictions she put on her second marriage -- not to mention the fact that he had had an affair with her sister during their first marriage.

In a strange way, it would also be Frida's serious health challenges that would allow her to dance free like she wanted to be near the end of her life. In the early 1950s, she was experiencing severe problems with circulation in her foot. After numerous medical and hospital visits, it became clear that she would lose her foot. By 1953, the combined impacts of these illnesses would take their toll. She did eventually become well enough to return to painting herself again -- after a period of still life work thought to be associated with her depression -- as she pranced around and proclaimed that she did not need feet when she could fly.

She died in July 1954 just 47 years after she was born in the same Blue House. She was free of colonization at various parts of her life. But always her confinement was linked to love, marriage, money and her search for creative outlets. She participated in that freedom with a number of political leaders and was often shown giving speeches and speaking to her people. To many, she seemed comfortable in that position and she might have even agreed. When the debate occurred about what to do… [read more]

Expression Theory Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,205 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Expression Theory

There is much controversy regarding the concept of art in the contemporary society, as while some are likely to categorize a particular something as having an artistic nature, others are likely to refute this claim. Robin George Collingood's book "Principles of Art" puts across the feeling that art is something mental in character, with the writer generally considering that one cannot simply refer to a work of art as being an object. His main focus in this book is to provide readers with a complex understanding of the concept of art, artistic language, and the relationship that an artist develops with the outside world as a consequence of his actions. Jim Jarmusch 1991 motion picture Night on Earth is apparently meant to present audiences with rather obscure episodes in some people's lives but actually manages to induce passionate feelings in viewers through providing more information regarding the lives and personalities of the taxi drivers portrayed in the film.

Collingood considers that any artist should consider the audience that he or she is interested in addressing before creating artwork. If he or she thinks the targeted public is accustomed to associating particular concepts with certain meanings, he or she can use these respective concepts with the purpose of having audiences gain a better understanding of the message that he or she is trying to convey. At some point, however, the artist is likely to use ideas that his audience is not familiar with. Even with that, the fact that people manage to understand his initial thinking makes it easier for them to understand later concepts, even if they are not acquainted with them. The writer thus promotes the belief that all artists need to have an understanding of their targeted public in order for the audience to be able to understand the perspective that artists are trying to put across (Collingood, 8).

The fact that Jarmusch initially presents the characters in his film as being perfectly normal and as having all the traits that social stereotypes influence people in thinking they have is likely to be an attempt to speak in a general language. It is difficult for him to present viewers with the personalities of his characters without first having them think that they very similar to them. According to Collingood, artists need to have people assimilate the experiences of the characters they see with their own experiences. Consequent to having viewers acquainted with each character, Jarmusch brings in more information and emphasizes the fact that each individual has something special about him or herself and that it is wrong to discriminate on the basis of appearance. The first chapter of the film actually contributes to this through having viewers look at matters from the point-of-view of Victoria Snelling (Gena Rowlands), only to later reveal that the eerie-looking cab driver named Corky has a personality of her own and a determination that prevents her from feeling any attraction in regard to material values. Thus, not only is Corky… [read more]

Formal Analysis of a Metro Card Vending Machine Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,398 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Metro Card Vending Machine

Formalism in art focuses on the reception of a work with an eye towards its essential, formal characteristics, such as color, shape, and line, so that a formal analysis seeks to explicated the meanining generated by the physical object itself. One piece that seemingly invites formal analysis while frustrating this invitation through its functional nature is the MetroCard Vending Machine in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (as well as the New York Subway system), designed by Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger at their studio, Antenna Design.

Through its clever use of shape and color, the MetroCard Vending Machine invites the viewer to interact with it with the promise of whimsy and ease-of-use, thus utilizing its formal properties to engage the viewer far more directly and personally than one might expect of a vending machine.

Before describing the MetroCard Vending Machine in detail with an eye towards its formal characteristics, it will be useful to briefly discuss its context and functional purpose, if only as a means of avoiding them later, because one cannot really discuss a vending machine without at least mentioning what it is selling and why. The MetroCard machine sells the reusable cards and passes used to pay for transit on the New York subway system, and were introduced in the mid-1990s in order to phase out the use of token booth clerks and streamline the movement of travellers through the station.

As such, the machines were required to be "user-friendly and accessible to all, aesthetically pleasing, and vandal-resistant."

The MetroCard Vending Machine design featured at MOMA achieved all of these goals, and succeeded not only in streamlining the subway experience but also led to a variety of awards and subsequent transit-centered commissions for Antenna Design.

The casing of the MetroCard machine in the Museum of Modern Art (which is exactly the same as any of the machines in subway stations) is a large trapezoidal box made out of steel.

The corners of the case are rounded so that there are no right angles, but rather smooth edges everywhere. On either side of the front, vertical bars are set just inside the edge of the rounded corner, giving the big steel box some extra depth and making the entire thing appear smoother. At the top of the machine's face there is a marquee, and the edge of the marquee is also rounded. The marquee sits on the same plane as the front of the machine, but underneath, in the area where people interact with the machine, the machine is recessed. At the top of this part there is a mirror, and it is also rounded like everything else. The mirror is at an angle so that it goes from the front of the machine back to where the recessed part is.

In the recessed part there is a touchscreen with a black square around it. On the screen there is a yellow bar with rounded corners and then the rest of… [read more]

Globalization the Contemporary World Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,046 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Globalization & the Contemporary World

Has globalization changed the way artists see the world and society? If so, how has globalization changed artists' view of culture? What place does diversity occupy in the world of art, and are there concerns based on nationalism that are expressed by artists? Should ethnicity and/or nationality determine what an artist creates? These questions and issues will be reviewed and critiqued in this paper.

Globalization and Art

Pushparajah and M. Manobavan explain in the Daily News (Sri Lanka's national newspaper) that globalization survives by "…controlling information flows" and globalization has a "profound impact on the human populous as it controls the pathways of information." While this is certainly accurate to some degree, the question to address in this context is, has globalization (with it's control of the flow of information) affected the world's prevailing "appreciation of beauty" and has it affected what we know as art? (Scholte, 2000, p. 200). Jan Aart Scholte admits that beauty has gone through some changes in "supraterritorial spaces," but more fundamental ideas of constitutes are "have not disappeared in the process" (p. 200).

In fact, Scholte continues on page 201, globalization has actually helped "certain art forms to obtain worldwide currency," due to the digital mass media that has emerged, and some art forms (like Andy Warhol's images and "tinted-glass office blocks) have become "marks of beauty" across borders and they are not "unconnected to any specific country." Indeed, Scholte goes on, there has been a "hybridization in collective identities" with globalization; but on the other hand, the shrinking of the globe has provided what the author calls "increased possibilities for intercultural combinations in the arts" (201).

As to diversity in the art world, the three trends that are mentioned by Scholte -- who is professor of politics and international studies at Warwick University in the UK -- include: importations, combinations, and new creations. These three trends have "…arguably brought greater diversity and flexibility appreciations of beauty" (201). The art that is generated today vis-a-vis globalization can be seen as celebrating "…difference, ephemerality, spectacle, fashion, and the commodification of cultural forms" (Scholte quoting David Harvey).

Ali-Asghar Gharebaghi writes in Tavoos Art Quarterly that "Art needs to be free from nationalities, political barriers, selfishness and self-centeredness; it requires the oneness of the creators of art," the author explains. "Artists of all nationalities, unite! Art must become global, or else it will perish!" Gharebaghi asserts (Gharebaghi, 2008). Lynn Anne's 2010 pages called Art & Globalization shows a number of interesting artworks, including an image with dozens of airplanes of all shapes and sizes heading in multiple directions, looking confused and even sinister. The proponents of globalization see art as a "counterbalance to nationalism" and as an expression of the "diversity of cultural expression"; the opponents, according to Lynn Anne, see globalization as the "increased disparity between rich and poor nations" (Lynn Anne Blogspot).

Museums are part of the story of globalization, according to a book by Selma Holo and Mari-Tere Alvarez.… [read more]

Asco Show in Ios Angeles Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (668 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


The lack of Latino and Latina actors in films was certainly a good reason to protest or perhaps parody the film industry that ignored such people. To that extent the work of Asco can be defined as artistic in the sense that it was attempting to make a statement and even to change society, something which the best of artwork oftentimes seeks to do.

However, works of art such as "Decoy Gang War Victim," in which the group would travel to neighborhoods plagued by gang violence and reenact crime scenes that were fictionalized and present the images to the media in hopes of stopping gang violence and making fun of the media, don't necessarily seem to have much artistic value. Sure, such work was created for a good cause and hopefully served its purpose, but most people probably would not want to spend money to see such things, which they could see for free in their own neighborhoods, if they wanted to.

But what Asco lacks in artistic talent, in the works rendered, it more than makes up for in terms of presenting its efforts for a valid cause and for helping to highlight certain issues in a way that was constructive and creative. Some of the stills are hard to ignore, in the way that it may be difficult to pass the scene of a car accident or a crime scene without watching. But in terms of pure artistic merit or achievement, it is hard to consider the group's work to be necessarily deserving of the term art. Unless, of course, one were to expand the definition of art to include the political, social, innovative techniques which the group used, which is apparently what the Los Angeles County Museum of…… [read more]

I Am an 18-Year-Old Girl Who Attends Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (580 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


I am an 18-year-old girl who attends a Parson's design school in New York City and studies design and management. I am a foreigner in that I come from * and have been living here for * years. I studied French before in high school so you may call me a poly-linguist.

Art is very much an aspect of my life. Not only do I study art and design, but also I think that design and management (another one of my studies) makes up my very character and ethos of life. What I mean to say is that each of us is constructions or artistic masterworks. We each create / sculpt / weave design (whichever artistic medium you prefer to use) to sculpt ourselves, and sculpting ourselves is perhaps the most challenging part of existence. But it is the most significant.

I love art. Some see art s inessential. A nice hobby, perhaps, but, ultimately, just another hobby or subject such as reading, drawing, mathematics, or science. I, on the other hand, see art as something that permeates all existence. A finely crafted composition is a piece of art; a woman's body -- her graceful movements and curves are another piece of art; the curvature of a dog's limbs, and the leaves sliding through the air in Autumn; the sound of the lecturer slicing through the air; and the way these words are expressing themselves on paper.. Each of these -- their form and connection and end result are varying pieces of art in that they have varying effects and impact. You see, I am interested in all of these things, nature particularly and I am apt to daydream as well as fall asleep on the bus. I love whizzing…… [read more]

Biography of Michelangelo Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (600 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Michealangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarotti Simoni was born on March, 6, 1475 in Caprese, Tuscany and is presently recognized as one of the greatest artists of all time. He brought great contributions to the Renaissance period, and, along with Leonardo da Vinci and a series of other important artists that lived during the era, he managed to change society's perceptions in regard to art. Michelangelo's character was especially intriguing because of his ability to generate impressive artwork in all domains that he got involved in. His family was apparently interested in having Michelangelo pursue a career in financial-related domains, most probably with the purpose of continuing the family's tradition and because this was believed to be a profitable enterprise at the time. After his father's attempt to introduce him to Francesco da Urbino's school of grammar failed, he enrolled as a paid apprentice at Domenico Ghirlandaio's workshop. It was through Ghirlandaio that he was introduced to the Medici family, which contracted several of his later works. As the Medici family lost influence in Florence, Michelangelo was commissioned by a series of other patrons who required that he should sculpt or paint some of his most notable works.

Some of Michelangelo's greatest artworks were commissioned by popes, as he served six popes across his lifetime. His religion-directed works include the Sistine Chapel, several tombs meant to hold the bodies of popes, and the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. He outlived most of his acquaintances, as he died in Rome, on the 18 of February 1564, consequent to spending several days suffering as a result of his poor health condition.

Michelangelo's Pieta is certainly one of the most impressive sculptures of all time, as the work's sharp details and its resemblance to real life are breathtaking. While most artists chose…… [read more]

Caravaggio's Calling of St Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,292 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Instead, Caravaggio depicts the world of the tax-collectors in the custom house as an accurate representation of prosperity at the turn of the seventeenth century. Matthew himself wears a doublet of burgundy-colored crushed velvet, with piping in gold, and wears a large chapeau with a gold ornament upon it -- his beard suggests a Venetian grandee more than a first century Hebrew. An elderly accountant (or so he seems) peers through anachronistic spectacles; two of the attendant pageboys (more appropriate for Renaissance aristocrats than Judaean revenue collectors) wear outrageous ostrich plumes on their caps, and the one in the foreground wears what is recognizably a contemporary rapier. Christ himself, depicted in deep chiaroscuro on the far right of the canvas, seems to be wearing more traditional-looking robes, but is mostly obscured by a figure (presumably St. Peter) also wearing a toga-like garment. The disjunction, though, between the heavenly realm of Jesus and the worldly realm of Matthew and the tax-collectors is plainly indicated by the dress. The tax-collectors look like Caravaggio's rich contemporaries -- Jesus and St. Peter look like more traditional depictions of Biblical figures in Renaissance art (such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel freschi).

But it is the chiaroscuro that dramatizes the scene -- in some sense, the central fact of the painting is not the figures themselves, but in the large diagonal swath of light which cuts across the canvas from the upper right to the lower left, seemingly emanating from just above Christ's head and hand gesturing to Matthew. The action and energy that are captured by this strong central diagonal band, which represents the source of light -- and possibly also Christ's own divine father -- and which is the only illumination upon the figures depicted. Matthew does not seem blinded, like Saul on the road to Damascus -- but it is worth noting that the shaft of light illuminates his eyes, and the focus of his gaze upon Jesus, perfectly. Matthew's eyes are also perfectly mirrored by those of the pageboy directly to his right, who also gazes upon Jesus. This duplication of effect actually emphasizes the key difference: Matthew's hand pointing at himself (as though to make certain that Jesus is calling him, and not the boy to his right) which reproduces the motif Christ's own hand pointing dramatically at Matthew also. The sense of spiritual election in being called personally by Jesus to follow him is perfectly dramatized by the handling of the light in the painting, made all the more striking by the fact that the majority of the canvas depicts a vast and murky interior in which details (such as Christ's bare feet) are almost wholly obscured by deep shadow.

Yet Caravaggio's illustration of the Biblical meaning is clear. Not only does the visual structure of the painting succeed in capturing the sense of a divine calling, but it offers an interpretive meaning for the viewer as well. By depicting Jesus in traditional robes, with a halo and bare feet, but… [read more]

Portraits of Gertrude Stein Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (938 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Portraits of Gertrude Stein

An Analysis of Two Portraits of Gertrude Stein

The two portraits of Gertrude Stein by Sir Francis Rose and Pablo Picasso are as different as any two portraits of the same subject might be. While one might suspect it to be the latter whose rendition of the author/critic/poet/promoter is the more opaque and abstract, it is actually the former whose portrait represents Stein as a kind of abstraction. Picasso's painting is one that thoroughly resembles Stein and captures her quite elegantly (as is even featured in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, hanging on the wall above Stein's throne as she critiques Picasso's other works). This paper will compare and contrast the two portraits by Rose and Picasso, showing how both attempt to illuminate the character of the popular friend of artists.

Francis Rose

The character of Rose's portrait may be considered in the light of what he himself thought of his style: "a new medium of artistic expression…half abstract and half symbolic" (Art: Blossoming Career 1949). Clearly all of that, Rose was a painter who appealed to Stein and to few others: to Stein perhaps because of his devotion to both Picasso and Catholicism -- a combination that would have appealed to her own sensibilities and prejudices. After all, Picasso was her baby, essentially. As for the great English Catholic author Evelyn Waugh, Picasso was a fraud -- and he ended each of his letters heaping scorn upon the artist.

Rose's art, then, was experimental and such is seen in the portrait of his patron: symbolic it must be considered, as Stein appears to be a kind of bug-eyed insect in the robes of an ancient. The style is flattering, presenting Stein as a figure similar to the one who holds the scales of justice in her hands: Stein is viewed as an emblem of artistic perception, recognizing the good, discerning the bad. The portrait by Rose is reflective of the time. Its abstract representations are avant-garde and modern, yet its subject is discernible. As Clement Greenberg stated, "It has been in search of the absolute that the avant-garde has arrived at 'abstract' or nonobjective' art…The avant-garde poet or artist tries in effect to imitate God by creating something valid solely on its own term, in the way nature itself is valid…" (p. 531). Such is where Rose would rank.

Pablo Picasso

Picasso would also rank there; nonetheless, his portrait of Stein is much more classical than Rose's. Then again, Picasso was the better artist -- despite the fact that he rarely labored over any single piece of artwork. As Paul Johnson states of Picasso, he "was perhaps the most restless, experimental, and productive artist who ever lived. But everything had to be done at top speed. He was incapable of lavishing care,…… [read more]

Dadaism and Surrealism Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,539 words)
Bibliography Sources: 12


"A Surrealist Manifesto" was composed in 1925 by several prominent artists of the period. Among their declarations was that "Surrealism is not a poetic form. It is a cry of the mind turning back on itself, and it is determined to break apart its fetters, even if it must by my material hammers" (Nadeau 240). This art explores not just the visual aspect of art, but the mental and psychological as well.

Works Cited:

Breton, Andre. "Manifesto of Surrealism." 1924. Print.

Claybourne, Anna. Surrealism. UK: Heinemann. 2009. Print.

"Clocking in with Salvador Dali: Salvador Dali's Melting Watches." Salvador Dali Museum.


Dali, Salvador. The Secret Life of Salvador Dali. New York: Dover. 1994. Print.

Hoffman, Irene. "Documents of Dada and Surrealism: Dada and Surrealists Journals in the Mary

Reynolds Collection." The Art Institute of Chicago. 2001. Web. May 8, 2011. http://www.artic.edu/reynolds/essays/hofmann.PDF

Horsley, Carter B. "Surrealism: Two Private Eyes." 1999. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.


Klingsohr-Leroy, Cathrin. Surrealism.

Nadeau, Maurice. The History of Surrealism. Cambridge: Belknap Press. 1989. 240-41. Print.

Rojas, Carlos. Salvador Dali, or the Art of Spitting on Your Mother's Portrait. University Park:

Pennsylvania State. 1985. Print.

Ross, Michael. Salvador Dali and the Surrealists: Their Lives and Ideas. Chicago: Chicago

Review Press. 2003. Print.

Sanchez, Monica. "History of Surrealism." Web. May 8, 2011.


Warlick, M.E. Max Ernst: a…… [read more]

Edward Gordon Craig Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (911 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Edward Gordon Craig


Edward Gordon Craig was born on 16th January, 1872 in Hertfordshire, England. He was the illegitimate son of actress Ellen Terry and the architect Edward Gordon. His mother's profession gave him a natural entry into the world of theater and he spent a good part of his childhood in the backstage of Lyceum Theater where his mother played a leading role as the wife of Sir Henry Irving.

During this period, he learned a lot about theater and stage architecture and designs. He was also immensely interested in graphics and he began to explore the different ways by which stage designs could be made more realistic. His close association with some of the leading actors, directors and producers of that period gave him a clear edge over others and propelled him into the world of theater with relative ease. Though he acted in a few roles in Lyceum Theater, his interest was on the architecture side of it. In 1893, he met James Pryde and William Nicholson who were into engravings and printing books. This duo "assisted Craig to develop his skills in woodblock engraving and in 1898, he published the first issue of his art journal the Page, which had contributions from some of the leading contributors to other art journals of the period such as Will Rothenstein and Max Beerbohm." (Craig and Chamberlain, 2008, p.viii). He continued to publish it until 1901.

He also helped Pryde with his work and in this process met the composer Martin Shaw. This was probably the most significant turning point in his life. Shaw and Craig founded the Purcell Operatic Society and Craig designed and developed his first play, Dido and Aeneas. This was an instant success and soon Craig became well-known in the art circle. His continued efforts won him the Order of British Empire (a national honor) and in 1958, he became the Champion of Honour.

He married May Gibson in 1893 and had four children with her. He also had two children with Elena Meo and one daughter with Isadora Duncan. He died in 1996 at Venice and he was 94 years old.

Innovations in Scenery

His most prominent contribution to the world of art has been the sweeping changes to stage backdrops and the representation of scenery. He wanted the stage backgrounds to be neutral and aesthetic and this was a big shift from the traditional way of depicting and illumination the stage. He introduced three important changes in the stage design. His first change came in terms of lighting. Traditionally, all stage backgrounds only used foot lights and Craig introduced the idea of lighting the stage from the top. This opened a whole new world and artists could…… [read more]

Dada or Dadism Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (922 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


Surrealism is very interesting due to the images that are presented in the works. They also share some qualities similar to conventional art, many times surrealist works are aesthetically pleasing and their composition is attractive, other times they appear disorganized and abstract. For me the appealing factor of Surrealist art lies within the unconventional combination of elements that sometimes make sense and sometimes do not. That however is not very important, what is important in these is analyzing and appreciating them taking into consideration the foundations for their inception into the art world in the early 21st century. In order to appreciate them fully we must understand that this works were created and fueled with the inspiration of dreams and the sub-conscious. Imagery in these works is enticing, interesting and sometimes challenging to interpret because by its very nature the images depicted are illogical and lack conventional explanation. At the same time what makes this art genre special is the liberty and free ranging spirit that these works convey; they are associated with the psychological and are often images that depict dream like states. The combination of these creates a world without limits and one of endless possibilities open to different interpretations. It appears that art collectors, historians and college students are attracted to surrealism due to its fantastical nature. It is appealing because it has no boundaries the images depicted are impressive very active and not at all passive. It challenges the viewer's mind to try to find a meaning. Surrealist works can encompass within them a variety of elements they can have irony, tragedy, humor, aesthetics and satire all within one work. Also the elements of abstract mystery that are depicted have a universal appeal. Dada artists embraced Surrealism because it was not conventional cookie cutter art; it challenged the art community t open up its mind. Proponents of Dadaism appreciated surrealism because it did not conform to meet the expectations of critics, Surrealism appealed to them because it was rebellious and raw in nature. The two main streams of Surrealism were represented by The Automatists and The Veristic Surrealists. The two streams differed in that The Automatists were more concerned with feeling and freedom being expressed through this genre of art; they did not want to derive any meaning from the images they felt it would burden the images. The Veristic Surrealist on the other hand were highly concerned with bringing images from the sub-conscious so that they could be analyzed and in turn derive some kind of meaning from them. Circumstances and diversities within this art philosophy were all able to conform to the surrealist movement because this philosophy is rooted in shared human elements like the dreams, the subconscious, psychology etc.… [read more]

Giotto's Kiss of Judas Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (760 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Overall, though, the red and flame tones that mark virtually all of the cloaks and garments (save for the hooded figure in gunmetal grey) mimic the orange flames of the torches (depicted almost cartoonishly compared with the detailed realism of the faces) and are meant to give a sense of the strange lighting at work in the nighttime setting: presumably if the night sky were not so badly damaged in the fresco at present, the vivid coloration would stand out even further as an indication of torchlight.

Giotto is working here in fresco -- literally the Italian word meaning "fresh," but in this case referring to a type of painting which is done directly onto fresh plaster in a room. Michelangelo's Sistine chapel ceiling, together with the rear wall's depiction of the Last Judgment, are freschi; so is Leonardo's Last Supper. Giotto, as the earliest major painter of the Italian Renaissance, uses the space of the wall in the most obvious, almost primitive possible way: it is divided into halves, and the human figures occupy solidly and completely the lower half of the painting -- the upper half mainly depicts the night sky and the torches and pikes carried by the arresting centurions. This partly reflects the way in which a viewer in the actual Arena Chapel would situate himself or herself beside the fresco's depiction of Christ: the fresco measures roughly 6 feet by 6 feet 7 inches, so the painted figures (who occupy about half the height) are less than life-sized. The color in the fresco is vivid and bright -- although like many frescoes of the period, the instability of lapis lazuli in the darker blue pigment has worn away that color, leaving the night sky in the background seriously damaged from what was presumably Giotto's original intent: on the whole the upper third of the painting has lost substantially less of the lapis lazuli, while the field directly above the heads of the figures depicted has lost most of its pigment, revealing the dull grey of the underlying plaster. To some extent the fresco medium dictates Giotto's strong use of line: the groupings of the figures are to some extent delineated by what could be painted in any given session before…… [read more]

Henri Cartier-Bresson and Tacita Dean Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,203 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Henri Cartier Bresson and Tacita Dean

INTERVIEWER: We are going to start with the assumption that the reader has never been introduced to you or your art. Can you give us a little background information about you?

TACITA DEAN: I was born in 1965 in Canterbury England, and I attended Kent College in Canterbury. Art seems to run in my… [read more]

Realism, Impressionism, and Postimpressionism Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (830 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Realism and Impressionism

In general, the Realist and Impressionist schools of art sought to move away from idealist schools that represented allegory and figurative ideals. Idealism was basically Platonic in that artists sought to substantiate the perfection of forms that were held in the mind away from the reality of the world. Realist and Impressionist art were based on much experimentation of such as color and light.

It would be difficult to say that any period of art was without attention to experiment in color and light or even in technique. Hence the similarity in styles of school of art would be that they all dealt with ways of rendering color and light, in ways that were often influence by advances in technique at the time.

It is in subject matter where perhaps the greatest difference in styles can be seen. During the Renaissance period artists often drew income from either, in Europe, the Catholic Church, or the royal courts of Kings and Queens. Under the Church their subject matter was usually images of the Bible, such as Madonna figures. The Realist Schools such as illustrated by Courbet, rendered paintings of the people, peasants or the working class at work, or play. The Impressionist school continued this kind of subject, often painting the leisure class at play, such as the paintings of Seurat. The Impressionists produced many paintings of the working class and they often rendered deep psychological insights such as found in the work of Van Gogh. The Impressionists also did a lot of paintings of outdoor scenes. The paintings could be said to be psychological to the extent that they often represented the artists inner interpretations of the natural scene, Edouard Manet in his the Luncheon on the Grass. Claude Monet Impression, Sunrise.

The rise of positivism drawing out from the Age of Enlightenment. Positivism from such thinkers as Auguste Comte, favored scientific reasoning instead of metaphysics or idealism. One could say this kind of thinking brought art back to the realism of the earth. Such painters as Van Gogh could render a pair of old shoes and show the wear and tear of life upon them and not some miraculous idea of perfection.

Canvas paintings were very popular as the medium. In fact painters supported themselves by selling each other's work. The canvas as a medium seems to have sustained since the Renaissance and even to this day.

Dear Mom

I have heard good news from America. I like it that that…… [read more]

Arnolfini Portrait Article Review

Article Review  |  2 pages (580 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


*Of course the temptation to reduce all art to mere allegory is something that needs to be resisted.

*Bedaux is right that an interpreter should not confuse a profane picture with an altarpiece.

*But I do think Panofsky is persuasive that the particularities of the Catholic marriage sacrament do, in fact, make this a profane picture that has much in common with an altarpiece.

-Can and should the written text carry more weight than its visual counterpart? How does iconography help or hinder art historical study?

*Bedaux clearly has spent too much time with written text but gives very little sense of an aesthetic response to the painting, or a real curiosity about its uniqueness as the first portrait of its kind.

*The difficulty that iconography poses for art historical study is that it may be incorrectly applied. There may be lots of crossed lines in a Mondrian painting, but that is no invitation to go searching for symbolism of Christ's cross there.

*But it is equally incorrect to fail to apply iconography where it is relevant -- trying to interpret a painting by Hieronymus Bosch without some knowledge of the relevant iconography would be like attempting to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics on the basis of what the pictures look like.

*Iconography also need not… [read more]

Henri Cartier-Bresson Compile Bibliography Research Paper

Research Paper  |  7 pages (2,403 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Henri Cartier-Bresson Compile Bibliography

"Cartier-Bresson has the weakness of his strength: an Apollonian elevation that subjugates life to an order of things already known, if never so well seen. He said that the essence of his art was "the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event, as well as the precise organization of… [read more]

Emergence of Aesthetics and the Artful Brain Reaction Paper

Reaction Paper  |  3 pages (899 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Ramachandran's Theory of Neuroaesthetics: A Reaction

In his book the Tell-Tale Brain, neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran makes many assertions about how the brain handles those distinctive attributes of human existence that many say "make us human." However, he is not too proud to also extend his explanations outside of H. sapiens when appropriate. As a reader, I was surprised to find that he did so in his chapter on the brain's response to art. However, the purpose and mechanisms that he posits for a human artistic sense force him to admit that what makes humans produce art might apply also to nonhuman "artists" like the bower bird (Ramachandran, 2011: 196). Below, I will describe Ramachandran's theory of aesthetics, the neural mechanisms he believes are responsible, and the evidence he cites in support of his theory.

Ramachandran's theory is comprehensive, and attempts to provide "universal laws" for how art works. Philosophical theories of aesthetics have also tried to refine what it is about art that is broadly appealing. I am surprised that Ramachandran does not cite more art historians and philosophers; some of them made the same claims that he does in eras long before neuroscience was even possible. Aristotle, for example, touches on ideas of repetition, rhythm, and orderliness that were first formalized by Pythagoras (Heath, 1996). He seems proud that social scientists have been called upon to reinvent this particular wheel -- they have undoubtedly done so in a way that is more satisfying to our modern sensibilities about evidence and intuitions, but aside from some clever formulations, the nascent field of neuroaesthetics does not seem to be giving us radically new discoveries about what art is.

The ten Universal Laws of Art according to Ramachandran are: (1) Peak shift, (2) Grouping, (3) Contrast, (4) Isolation, (5) Perceptual problem solving, (6) Symmetry, (7) Repetition, rhythm, and orderliness, (9) Balance, and (10) Metaphor. Some of these laws seem to overlap; for example, what is the distinction between Grouping and Rhythm, or between Symmetry and Balance? Groupings must of necessity be repetitive to some extent, otherwise there would be no category similarity on which to base the grouping. Interestingly, Peak shift seems to be a more cognitively specified version of some combination of the Metaphor and Contrast laws. The Peak shift aspect of art is, in short, that artistic representations shift away from the mean and towards more extreme examples of the thing being represented -- think of Constructivist sculptures of inhumanly square-shouldered socialist workers like those in Figure 1, whose proportions stray at times into the uncanny. In this way, it appears that Peak shift is really Contrast with (specifically) the norm of an object's appearance. Peak shift also involves…… [read more]

Absalom Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (580 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


This is striking under the circumstances in which the viewer and the art object are situated on the exact same floor.

This means that the floor is activated and that the viewer is actually inside the artistic experience. The contemplation acts have been usually laced in a world external to that of the contemplated object. In this case, the contemplating instance is an integrated part of the entire experience. This creates a completely new experience for the body of the viewer himself, who needs to find new, personal dynamics in approaching the art object.

It must be mentioned that the horizontal and the vertical axes have underwent a powerful gendering process. Taking a look at universal sculpture, we see that when the male is presented in a horizontal position, he is either dead, wounded or about to die. If the person in a horizontal position is a woman, she can be depicted in any kind of state. This implies a clear division regarding the attributes of the two genders: vertical implies standing, subject and ideal, while horizontal means reclining, object and vulnerable.

The titles of the two sculptures which represent the focus of the present analysis are relevant in this direction. In one case we have a woman who is possessed, in the other one a woman who has had her head cut. It is obvious that there is a powerful sexual connotation which can be attributed to both the sculptures and this is enhanced right by the horizontal position.

In other words, the modernist construction of the body has the woman depicted as a sort of sexual object, in complete absence of… [read more]

Laura Mikuseviciute the Land of Not-So-Creative Freedom Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (937 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Laura Mikuseviciute

The Land of Not-so-Creative Freedom

America is a land of dreams and freedom. In a democratic society such as ours, people have the right to express their views, thoughts and critiques in whatever form they wish. However, it is not so simple when it comes down to our own properties and housing. The day we purchase our very own piece of land, it surprisingly comes with a big book of rules and regulations, offering a crash course on what may and may not be done to our very own homes. One might feel that the outside world has great control over the small things surrounding us. This should make us want to stop and think, what kind of world is it where freedom comes with a manual of rules?

Let's begin with the example of condominiums. The idea of condominiums is that every single house on a particular street looks identical. In some of those houses, the architects will take things to such an extent that they not only make the outside of the house appear similar, but also make the interior of the house look similar. Some may argue that they know exactly what to expect when they purchase these types of housing. However, is it control of "visual pollution" or somebody's idea of the "perfect neighborhood"? Living as apparent identical robots seems odd, and even a little creepy. How far is too far to take this idea of identical surroundings? We start by buying the same houses. We plant the same trees because somehow the street looks prettier that way. What's next? Are we going to include the same cars as our neighbors because they "go" with the design of the street?

New paragraph as a New York Times reporter wrote, "When my husband placed a swing set for our young son, our backyard neighbors objected. Following zoning regulations, they placed the swing set well inside their yard, shielded by trees and bushes. But the neighbors complained they could see it from their bathroom window. 'We like to think of your yard as an extension of ours', they said, voicing an increasingly common attitude" (398). For generations people have purchased houses with backyards with one goal in mind: for kids to have fun and play in it. If the freedom of having fun with swings and toys is taken away, what is the point of a backyard? It should not be for our neighbor's enjoyment.

In the book "[ ]," the author discusses [first name] Weitz by saying, "Weitz contends that the very use of the term art and the history of its use demands that the concept remain open. Art cannot have necessary and sufficient conditions for its correct use, but finds its ostensive definition only through a complicated network of overlapping similarities…… [read more]

Social Realism and the Great Depression Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,168 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Social Realism and the Great Depression

The social realism movement actually began in the 19th century, according to sociologist and social anthropologist Peter Worsley. It was an art movement based on depicting persons and landscapes just as they are seen with the naked eye. It was adopted by American painters in the early 1900s, Worsley writes, and became "particularly important during the Great Depression" (late 1920s and early 1930s) (Worsley, 2010, p. 2). Worsley notes that social realism, during the Great Depression, was seen as a movement to depict injustice, economic hardship, and the pain people were struggling with during the Depression.

Worsley explains that "realism" reveals exactly what the eye sees, and the original realism movement actually grew out of the invention of photography, as artists wanted to create painting that showed things as "objectively real." "Realism" was certainly the main thrust of the social realism movement during the Depression because the paintings and photography showed hungry people waiting in line for a bowl of hot soup, men breaking rocks, hobos hopping on a train, a mother comforting a hungry child while father hitchhikes with his thumb out.

On a broader scale, Worsley continues, social realism is a continuation of the "realist" movement in French art in the 1800s; a good share of the artists who used the genre of social realism were "socialists," according to Worsley; not Marxist per se but socialist in philosophy, he points out. Realism in fact is the opposite of "Romanticism" (Worsley, p. 2). And in fact realism was a rebellion against "exaggerated emotionalism," he adds.

The "Ashcan School" painters actually originated American Social Realism, according to Worsley (p. 3). The Ashcan School talent depicted the "commonplace, gritty, and unglamorous realities of city live"; they were led by painters like John Slone, Robert Henri, George Bellows, and George Luks (Worsley, p. 3).

Meanwhile during the Depression, painters working in the social realism genre were relating "sociopolitical commentary," Worsley writes. Joblessness, political corruption and grim poverty were themes embraced by artists like Ben Shahn, Philip Evergood, Charles White, Jack Levine and William Gropper. All of these artists were employed at one time by the WPA.

The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the New Deal features that helped put people to work. It ran from 1935 to 1943, according to the Illinois State Museum (ISM) Website. Many people who had lost their jobs in businesses but had artistic talent were given an opportunity to earn some money. "It was the largest and most long-lived of all the New Deal visual arts programs" and the FAP didn't dictate to the artists what style they could use or what their themes would have to be. But it was obvious that the main theme running through the country was the Great Depression, so many of the artists used that theme and included poignant expressions on faces to go along with the general tone of pathos.

A painted plaster 48 inches tall (in the museum) is pictured on… [read more]

Illustrators Who Influenced the U.S. Society Term Paper

Term Paper  |  9 pages (3,049 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Illustrators Influenced U.S. Society

1910 Art

The Red Rose Girls: Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935), Elizabeth Shippen Green (1871-

1954), and Violet Oakley (1874-1961)

Smith, Green and Oakley met at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in the late 1800s. The three then went on to study with Howard Pyle at Philadelphia's Drexel Institute. In 1900, the three women -- and… [read more]

Form Glazes and Firing Processes of Early Islamic Lustre Ware Methodology Chapter

Methodology Chapter  |  7 pages (2,532 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Islamic Luster Wear

The area of Central Asia is one that even as we look at it today, we see the richness of design, color, and texture in fabric, architecture, and earthen ware that can be traced to the earliest periods of Islamic society and culture. That large geographical area, consisting of Anatolia, Syria, to the Arabian Peninsula… [read more]

Archetypal Psychology Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,040 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Archetypal Psychology

A myth is a sort of preferred lie (Sipiora 2008). It is something that we can create for ourselves, casting it with the players we want and imbuing it with emotion where there was none. A fact is a fact -- no way around it. If a person becomes ill and subsequently loses the ability to see, for… [read more]

Vincent Van Gogh Netherlands (Holland) Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (1,066 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Vincent Van Gogh

Netherlands (Holland)

Vincent van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland in 1853. He is most famous for his paintings like Starry Night, Sunflowers and the Potato Eaters. However he also drew over a thousand drawings with pencil and chalk. He was considered to be mentally ill, especially after he cut off his own ear, so he was put inside a mental institution. He even drew a portrait of himself after he did this called Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (Lubin 13). He died in 1890. According to Julius Meier-Graefe, his painting style is post-impressionism, which is an art movement that began in France in the late 19th century. This style is usually full of bright colors and sharp edges.

I chose to write about Vincent Van Gogh because I have always heard a lot about him but never really knew that much except that he cut off his ear. He seems like a very interesting artist so I chose him to write this paper about. I also chose three of his most famous drawings to write about because I found them to be very beautiful. These drawings are called: Young Man with a Pipe, Bent Figure of Woman and Cottages with a Woman Working in the Foreground. These drawings are all in black in white so they are not like the post-impressionist paintings that Van Gogh is famous for that are full of bright colors. But they are still very beautiful.

Young Man with a Pipe

This drawing is a portrait done with pencil and transparent watercolor on watercolor paper. Van Gogh drew this portrait in 1884 (Van Gogh Gallery, 1). He signed it in the bottom right corner with only his first name: Vincent. The picture is of a young man smoking a pipe, wearing a hat and a coat with buttons. He is facing to the side. He appears to be deep in thought about something but there is no way to tell what he is thinking about. But he definitely seems to be thinking about something important because he looks sort of sad. Van Gogh was able to make the young man look sad and deep in thought by the way he drew the expression on his face. His head is straight up but his eyes seem to be looking down. Also, he is not smiling, but that could be because he has a pipe in his mouth.

Van Gogh uses very thick lines and bold shapes in this drawing. The texture is fairly rough because he uses criss-cross lines on the coat and the hair. The hat is mostly straight lines but they are going in different directions. There are also some criss-cross lines on the man's face but they are lighter. I can see that even though there are no bright colors in this drawing, Van Gogh did show the part of post-impressionism that has dark outlines around the figure. Also, there is some light brown color in the chair and… [read more]

La Grenouillere and Wheat Field With Cypresses Research Paper

Research Paper  |  6 pages (2,144 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


La Grenouillere & Wheat Field with Cypresses

Belonging to the same style of painting (Impressionism) and painted just 20 years apart, La Grenouillere, by Claude Monet, and "Wheat Field with Cypresses," by Vincent van Gogh, represent, nevertheless, two different interpretations of nature, interpretations that are less an accurate representation of the elements of nature and more a reflection of the… [read more]

Lion and the Jewel by Soyinka Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,369 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka. Specifically it will discuss the influence and interaction of European dramatic art on the novel. The entire premise of this novel is built around European dramatic art. The main characters, Sidi and Lakunle are at odds about their beliefs and ways. Lakunle is well educated and the village teacher. He wants to bring European (modern) ways to the village, and he believes that this in inevitable. Sidi, on the other hand, is not educated, and she sees Lakunle as crazy and outlandish, showing the fight between modernization and traditional culture in Africa. The play utilizes many facets of European dramatic art, combined with traditional African art to make its point.

European art is the basis for much of this African play. For example, many times throughout the play, Soyinka uses European dramatic devices, such as mime and dance to move the action forward. His direction notes say, "Lakunle directs their spacing, then takes his place in the middle, and sits on air. He alone does not dance. He does realistic miming" (Soyinka 14). Ancient Greeks and Romans used mime in their theater, so it is a long-standing tradition in European theater that Soyinka employs in his drama. The fact that the drama is in English and uses traditional western staging and direction is a testament to western influences and direction, as well.

Another aspect of the play that celebrates European art is the drama itself. Plays and dramatic plays also grew up in Greek and Roman times, survived through the Middle Ages, and were perhaps at their height when Shakespeare wrote them in England during the 16th century. This African author is using tools developed in Europe to tell his story, and he blends African culture and tradition with European tools to create a drama that transcends both cultures. He is attempting to show the differences between 1950s Africa and the rest of the world, and he uses European dramatic techniques to show the vast differences between the two cultures.

In addition, he uses Western references, such as to the Bible, which Sidi does not understand or want to learn. This indicates how African culture does not want to learn from the West, even though the West will heavily influence them, just as the author has been. Soyinka grew up in Africa and graduated from college there, but continued his studies at Leeds University in England, obviously influenced by European and Western culture. He won a Nobel Prize in 1986, and is recognized as one of Africa's most well-known playwrights. He incorporates western themes and values in many of his works, including this play, which is one of his most well-known works (Brians).

Another aspect of European art is the magazine that catapults Sidi to village stardom. The photographer uses modern technology to capture her image and her beauty, again illustration how European culture is enveloping the African continent. Sidi cannot stop looking at herself in wonder and awe, and it… [read more]

Leonardo Da Vinci Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,769 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4


Leonardo da Vinci was considered a relevant representative of the Renaissance period. His multiple passions, interests and areas of expertise contributed to his popularity. The purpose of the present paper is to discuss some of his inventions, scientific studies and philosophies in an attempt to demonstrate how these may have influenced his work. Interested in both science and art he… [read more]

Brent Edward's Article the Ethnics of Surrealism Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  2 pages (604 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Ethnics of Surrealism

Edwards, Brent Hayes. The Ethnics of Surrealism. Transition, No. 78, 84-135

[Thesis] Hayes' article is a scholarly, critical, occasionally esoteric review of publications and journals representing surrealism and audacity in art, complete with bold, sometimes outrageous contrasts between white vs. black, the grotesque vs. ordinary, ethnography juxtaposed with Western artistic genres; the narrative is presented eloquently from the point-of-view of an intellectually inclined African-American professor of literature and art who condemns bias whether subtle or obvious.

[Summary] Woven into the piece and between the lines like a tapestry is Hayes' brilliance as a critic of cultural ignorance, racial stereotypes, racism, and words that misjudge Africans (like "primitive" and "negritude"). Hayes' mistrust of ethnic discourse from other critics who fail to correctly link surrealism and the black experience is brought out in narrative that rarely is blatantly attacking but always pecking away. Throughout the long piece Hayes educates the reader about publications that feature surrealism and ethnicity -- and he contributes substantial information about the essayists and critics who comment on the art and photography that is part of the publications. Through his rich historical narrative and use of juxtaposition vis-a-vis grotesque photos, bold art images and ethnographic realism, Hayes demands strict attention to what he is presenting. Professor Hayes offers great detail on Georges Bataille's surrealist journal called Documents. Through descriptions of the fifteen issues of Documents (published in Paris between 1929 and 1930) Hayes offers readers definitions and descriptions that relate to art and ethnicity in a way that jolt the senses. That is intentional. When framed next to art that startles (like dead flies squished on a sticky flypaper), Hayes' presentation is vividly original and compelling. But he can be cryptic and subtly caustic as well. The use of stark images -- some sexually themed,…… [read more]

Jacob Van Ruisdael Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,058 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Jacob Van Ruisdael

Dutch Landscape Painter

Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/29-83) is stated to be the "pre-eminent Dutch landscape painter of the seventeenth century" (Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006) and is well-known for the number of subjects he depicted in his painting which is as of yet unmatched. Jacob van Ruisdael is noted for the "wealth of clearly observed naturalistic detail in his works." (Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006)

Ruisdael's Talents Explored

It is reported that the reason that Ruisdael is one of the greatest masters of the Golden Age of Dutch painting is the "grandeur of Ruisdael's compositions coupled with his skill in portraying natural phenomena and carefully observed detail..." (Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006) Ruisdael was a contemporary of Rembrandt and had a talent for making the familiar in life appear as remarkable including:

(1) Knotted tree trunks;

(2) Dense foliage;

(3) Brooding skies; and (4) Choppy seas. (Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006)

II. The Jewish Cemetery

Ruisdael's painting entitled 'Jewish Cemetery' is a famous work of art reported to have been painted sometime around 1655. Pictured is an austere view of the Oudekerk Jewish Cemetery located near Amsterdam with the tombs and ruins on the edge of a rushing stream. This pictured is stated to contain "heightened symbolism" and "mortality is depicted through the broken branches, crumbling ruins and centrally placed tombstones." (Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, 2006)

Figure 1

Jewish Cemetery

Source: Landscape Tour (2010)

The work of Ansell and Fraprie entitled: "The Art of the Munich Galleries: Being a History of the Progress of the Art..." states that the works of Ruisdael "were little known or appreciated until about a century after his death and of the details of whose life we know comparatively nothing..." (2007)

III. Examination of the Style of Ruisdael

Jacob van Ruisdael, whose uncle was also a painter, is stated to represent a "much more advanced style" than his uncle Solomon. Ruisdael held color to be a chief thing to him and his pictures are stated to be composed of "bright tones which must have been perfectly glorious when they were fresh." (Ansell and Fraprie, 2007) Ruisdael's works are stated by Ansell and Fraprie to be "generally...looked upon as the work of a melancholy man pursued by bad luck, a contention of which we have not the slightest proof as a matter of fact. They are as typical of the splendid Baroque style as landscapes can be." (Ansell and Fraprie, 2007)

Ruisdael portrayed nature precisely as nature really is instead of the "simple enjoyment of nature's moods" as many landscapes artists choose to employ. Ruisdael prefers a style that is "...more complicated and vigorous in his landscapes..." (Ansell and Fraprie, 2007) the colors of Ruisdael's paintings are reported to have "become much darker with time, and appeal to us more through the great contrasts of the amassed effect and his handling of light and shade, even than through their delicate, wonderfully executed structure."… [read more]

Plato Euripides T. Mann Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (730 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3


Death in Venice: An Interpretive Reading

Thomas Mann's Death in Venice is about the artistic process, and the self-delusion of an artist who believes that he can struggle with art without ever being touched by its seductive charms. In the story a famous German writer, Gustav von Aschenbach, has come to the final stages of his career without ever really understanding what it means to be touched by the tragic beauty of art, and his struggle with that art, when he suddenly comes face-to-face with beauty and tragedy in his own life, makes him reevaluate the meaning of his life, his career, and the art which has eluded him for so long. In this paper a brief discussion of Aschenbach's journey toward an ultimately self-destructive discovery of self will show how Mann developed the story to indicate the power of passion in art and to point to the failure of his main character to fully come to grips with such passion either in his art or in his own personal life.

The story is a simple one. Mann begins his book by showing Aschenbach, in a moment of struggle with his writing, taking a walk just as a storm brews -- and coming to a cemetery where he inspects some religious symbols. He is met through a chance encounter by a character who (by appearance) can be interpreted to represent a kind of demon, perhaps Satan himself. Thus, Aschenbach is found to be at a crossroads when art seems to be dying within him, as decadence sets in and the tempter approaches. He decides to take a trip to clear his head. During his travels, Aschenbach considers his theory of artistic expression, which consists primarily of a defiant overcoming of chaos, passion, and emotion, through an orderly, disciplined imposition of will. He comes across a group of youthful revelers and is shocked to see that one of them is an old man pretending to be young. The image disturbs him. He reaches Venice and comes to meet a beautiful young Polish boy named Tadzio, only to fall madly in love with the boy, although he never has direct actual contact with him. He discovers that…… [read more]

Marcel Duchamp Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,146 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Marcel Duchamps

Many art critics and commentators do not consider Marcel Duchamp's later works to be art at all, especially his Green Box. A common critique of his work is that it is nonsensical and does not fit into any accepted idea of art or aesthetic beauty. A number of critics and commentators state that his later works are simply not understandable as art. These criticisms are however part of the reason why his work has become so acclaimed in the art world. Furthermore, these criticisms point towards the most important aspect of his art. This refers to the fact that it is intended to be enigmatic and mysterious and to challenge the boundaries of what is conventionally understood as art.

One also has to understand that Duchamp's work is intended to place into question the meaning of artistic creation and to interrogate the very question of what art is. Therefore, the central thesis that will be explored in this paper is that the works that Duchamp created, especially The Green Box and The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) are intended as an interrogation of the essence of art and a refusal to remain within conventional parameters.

As one commentator succinctly notes; "Marcel Duchamp perhaps more than any other artist in history challenged the definition of art." ( Merrit) One of the aspects of his life that reflects on his unusual and discursive approach to art is that he was interested in many fields and disciplines throughout his life. This refers to his interest in science, mathematics and optics as they relate to the concept of art. He was especially interested in "…non-Euclidean geometry and the mathematics of higher dimensionality." ( Merrit) This was to be factor in his search for alternatives to conventional methods and views about artistic creation.

Marcel Duchamp was born in 1887 in Blainvillein in France. He was the son of a notary and the entire family was deeply interested art, music literature and chess. He was not the only artist in his family and both his brothers and sister became well-known artists. Duchamp went on to study at an art academy in Paris. However he was never particularly attracted to the conventional art world and "…preferred playing billiards to attending classes." (Stafford) Nevertheless, he did absorb many influences from the more provocative and unconventional source such as Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism.

His art as well as his writing had one dominant theme. This was that art could not be trapped or contained in any category or in any theoretical or visual way. In a real and historical sense his work is the forerunner of the radial questioning in art of all orthodoxy and assumptions about reality. Central to his work is paradox and ambiguity, as well as mystery. In Works like The Green Box Duchamp emphasizes freedom of expression and the intellect. It is in many ways a "freeing" or a liberation of art forms and an extension of art… [read more]

Rococo to Impressionism 18th and 19th Century Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  4 pages (1,118 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5



George Seurat's work is immediately recognizable -- the flurries of busy specks, the sure pools of shadow, the luminescent faces and hands. But we do not remember Seurat for his subjects, or his lighting, or his perspective. We do not remember Seurat as an individual settled in time, in his place in the smooth continuum of history. Seurat is an oddity in the collective consciousness of the art-viewing populace. He's the inventor of pointillism -- and not much else. We think of him and we see dots. And then move on to the next mental image. He is all too easy to dismiss as a sort of one-trick pony. But he did not exist within a vacuum -- and it is impossible to understand Seurat or his work without placing him firmly and irrevocably within his time and place. Pointillism, like Impression and Neo-Impressionism in general, arose from a very specific set of historical, social, and cultural circumstances.

France in the late 1800s -- when Seurat was a young artist -- was experiencing the last great push of the Industrial Revolution as factories began to gobble up more resources, more land, more workers, and more cultural capital. Mechanization was everywhere -- in the mill and warehouse, in the home and at the farm. And along with industry, science was becoming an increasingly important and common element of society. George Seurat grew up with and was surrounded by a people preoccupied with faster and now and more. Assembly lines sped up and up. Scientists worked feverishly on cures and enhancements and inventions.

And there was George-Pierre Seurat, an artist. Looking at his work, it can seem that Seurat came out of nowhere. He was a Neo-Impressionist, a man preoccupied with the saving grace of reflected light and cool shadow. But he was also a man enraptured by the possibility of science, and of what it could mean to art. So the question is, to what extent is George Seurat a phenomenon, a happening separate from his time, and to what extent is he the product of his time? Was he a visionary, trekking the landscapes of Invention? Or was work simply an inevitable final waltz of Impressionism.

Annotated Bibliography

Cachin, Francoise, Seurat: Le reve de l'art-science. Paris: Gallimard/Reunion des musees nationaux, 1991. Cachin examines the ways in which Seurat's work, far more than his Impressionist predecessors, was almost obsessed with having art serve the brave new world of science. Emery, Elizabeth and Laura Morowitz. Consuming the Past: The Medieval Revival in Fin-de-Siecle France. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2003. The authors examine the Arts and Crafts and similar movements as social and aesthetic alternatives to the scientifically informed Impression and Neo-Impressionism.

Rewald, J. Georges Seurat. London: Kessinger Publishing, 2006.

Rewald investigates the ways in which Seurat-the-painter can be seen to be in important ways to be subservient to Seurat-the-theorist.

Thomson, Richard. The Troubled Republic: Visual Culture and Social Debate in France, 1189-1900. Thomson investigates the ways in which ideas about progress… [read more]

Medieval and Renaissance Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (589 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0



Of all the artistic masterpieces of the Renaissance period, Michelangelo's David is undoubtedly the most beautiful and elegant. This colossal statue, made between 1501 and 1504 and composed of marble at eighteen feet in height, truly reflects Michelangelo's own artistic interpretation of this famous figure from Biblical history. In form and shape, this statue shows David with his head turned to the left, sternly watching for perhaps the approach of the giant Goliath. His whole muscular body, as well as his face, is tense with muscular power. The rugged torso and limbs of David and his large hands and feet demonstrates his strength and might, almost as if he is ready to move like a real human being.

Since this statute is nude, it surely represents Michelangelo's great admiration for similar statutes from the past, especially those created by the ancient Greeks and Romans some 1500 years before Michelangelo was born. Overall, this statue of David symbolizes not only the great genius of Michelangelo but also how beautiful the human body truly is in its pure and natural state. What is particularly striking about this statute is the face of David with his sloping Roman nose, chiseled jaw line and set of eyes which seems to be intensely watching something in the distant or perhaps something rapidly approaching. This statue also represents the classical contraposto style with one leg firmly set on the base and the other reaching to one side and slightly shifted forward. Perhaps the main reason for liking this piece of art so much is because of its power and dominance, both of which symbolize David himself as one of the great Biblical heroes as king of his people and as the conqueror of his enemies.


From this period…… [read more]

Illustrators Who Influenced Society Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  2 pages (569 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Influential Illustrators 1980-1990

Elaine Duillo (1928- )

Elaine Duillo was a German born illustrator who later moved to the United States and began a very successful and long career as an illustrator primarily for publishing. Duillo, like many of her contemporaries, studied art at the School of Art and Music in New York City. She began her career illustrating covers for murder mystery, gothic, western, and suspense novels producing amazingly realistic images with very active content. Duillo later found great fame in the niche of Romance novels. Since beginning illustrating for Romance novels, she has produced an immense amount of high quality work. She has worked with famous publishers, including Bantam, Avon, Warner, and St. Martin's Press, (Solinder 2009). Also Working with various writers, such as Johanna Lindsey, Bertrice Smalle, and Jude Deveraux, Duillo found great success appealing to a female audience. She used famous models within the context of her work, including the notorious Fabio Lanzoni whose name is almost directly associated with Romance cover illustrations.

Her work in the context of Romantic literature really defined the nature of the illustrative standard in that genre. She solidified a unique style for Romance novels which was very provocative and set the stage for later illustrative work within the context of the genre. The content of her illustrative work allowed later Romance cover illustrators to take great liberties with the provocative nature of the artistic expression (see Image A). This went hand in hand with the developing feminist movement that had begun earlier in the 1970s that liberated women from their docile and conservative roles. By providing such provocation in a predominately female market, Duillo helped provide a more free and flexible sexual expression that…… [read more]

Kahlo and Rivera Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (387 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo influenced each other's work and how their lives were related to their work

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo had one of the most stormy and artistically productive romantic relationships in the history of art. Rivera was noted for works that merged the genres of social realism and fantasy. He created sprawling, primitive, fantastic Mexican murals. "He decided that he wanted to create paintings which would speak directly to the common people. Active in the socialist revolution in Mexico, he felt that art could play a part in this by educating the Mexicans about their history. His public murals illustrate Hispanic culture's proud pre-Columbian past, their conquest by the Spanish, the conversion from their native religion to Catholicism, the submission of the working class by agricultural tyrannies, and the Mexican Revolution" ("Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo," Eyeconart, 2009).

Rivera's wife Frida Kahlo was also a primitivist, but her works were of a more subjective nature than her husband's. Unlike Rivera, who extolled the ability of the Mexican Industrial Revolution to set workers free, Kahlo's images were symbolic of her personal pain and suffering. She used bright colors…… [read more]

Mystery of the Italian Renaissance Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,161 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


Mystery of the Italian Renaissance

We can look at sections of history and see certain movements that changed the course of history. One of those movements is the Italian Renaissance. An influx of new ideas coupled with new ways of looking at life and living opened the door for an artistic rebirth. Freedom to do so was a primary factor in this endeavor. Giotto, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo Di Vinci are just a few of the artists responsible for realizing the limitless possibilities of this new way of thought and putting them into action. While these artists were not attempting to change the world, they did so because they were following passions that lead them to open new doors of thought and creativity. The Italian Renaissance is an exploration of humanity that began with the notion of freedom and expression, evolving into an appreciation for the incredible machine of humankind.

One movement that might have been the most influential for the expansion of the Renaissance was humanism. A broad definition of this word can include a renewed interest in mankind and the things of mankind. This new interest included art and certain aspects of the mind. Individuals became open to exploring new channels of gaining knowledge. This movement led to an inquiry of antiquated points-of-view. Philosophy included an individual's creative prowess as well as a skill to reason. Many who subscribed to the humanist way of thinking believed that "humanists had an almost infinite faith in the liberalizing and improving power of classical education" (Cameron 72). Humanism was a word whose meaning included a "combination of instruction and generosity of spirit" (72) and a "peculiar combination of intellectual and literary disciplines combined with artistic, physical, and musical training" (72). These definitions reveal man's deeper interest in himself and his desire to approach new ideas in an attempt to do so. Humanism wanted to separate itself from the traditional ways of doing things and yet reach to the classics to find meaning for life and art. Humanism was no doubt a movement that was associated with the mind and it is only natural that a renaissance in art would follow this movement.

The beginning of the Italian Renaissance is recognized as the early 1300s when painter Giotto di Bondone broke the traditional ways of doing things. Richard Tansey explains that Giotto's "true teacher" (Tansey 635) was nature and a "world of visual things" (635). This new outlook was significant because it allowed artists to think about their work in completely different ways. Giotto began looking at his art as something he could create from observation and this was a radical way of looking at things in his day. Artists open to this new way of thinking understood the visual world needed to be "observed before it can be analyzed and understood" (635). Sculptor Donatello also infused this new way of looking at art and life in his work. His statue of Saint Mark is one of the best examples of how… [read more]

1906 by Yve Alain Bois and Matisse's Notes of a Painter by Roger Benjamin Essay

Essay  |  8 pages (2,304 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … Henri Matisse

Our impression of art is subjective and it is human to want to know about the artists that create them. History is filled with incredible, innovative artists and almost as fascinating as their art is their thoughts and impressions. Henri Matisse is known for his astonishing paintings and we have the ability to see them as… [read more]

Mona Lisa Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (929 words)
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Mona Lisa Story

Napoleon's Grinning Lady

The coachman sped the horses only as fast as he dared along the way to the Tuileries Palace, and sometimes even slower than that. The attendant within his coach had told him just what the valuable bundle he carried with him contained and for whom it was intended, and though the coachman had heard of the Emperor's democratic leanings, he had heard more about his infamous temper. Regardless of what else life had in store for him in the changing world of the new French Empire, this coachman was determined that it would not fall on him to enrage Napoleon Bonaparte and art lovers the world over by damaging one of the greatest masterpieces of painting the world had ever seen -- even he knew the invaluable status of the Mona Lisa.

Luckily for both the art world and the coachman, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece of the enigmatic smiling woman arrived at Napoleon's new residence unharmed from its former home at the Louvre museum, yet another instance of the appropriation of the symbols of the aristocracy by the common man. This stance was, admittedly somewhat harder to justify in these circumstances than in other instances, but this nonetheless was the reasoning given by the Emperor himself as the painting was carefully unloaded from the coach and a team of servants conveyed the oil-on-wood masterpiece -- still carefully covered in layers of cloth to protect its centuries-old surface -- into the palace to its intended place of honor in Napoleon's own bedroom.

"Art like this was meant for the people," Napoleon announced to no one in particular as the coachman whipped his horses into a canter, rounding the corner outside the palace gates and making his way home and out of our story. "This remarkable woman was not meant to suffocate in a museum, in the halls of the rich, but to enjoy all of the passions of life!"

Secretly, however, Napoleon had far more selfish reasons for having this painting "appropriated" and brought to his palace. The servants -- those that were brave enough -- talked behind their hands about the strange proclivities of their new master and leader, but their irreverent eyebrow waggles suggested a prurience that was not any real part of Napoleon's obsession with the painting. And he was obsessed of this there could be no doubt; he found the woman in the painting captivating, intriguing, capable of revealing all of the secrets of womanhood and possibly even of mankind, but her silent smile continued to taunt him.

The Emperor began to spend his sleepless nights, with which he had been visited many times before, sitting at the foot of is bed and conversing with the painting on the wall opposite in tones too quiet…… [read more]

Craig Clunas Material Culture and Social Status in Ming China Research Paper

Research Paper  |  10 pages (3,438 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Craig Clunas and how he portrays material culture in his writings and how John Fairbanks expresses his views on Chinese culture

The question of portraying culture in writing is inherent to any author. The reasoning and the method of evaluating a subject proceeds from the known -- what the writer has accumulated from his experience; which means the culture that… [read more]

Artist Interview Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (624 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 0


Artist Interview

A Case Study of an Artist:


It was a Saturday afternoon when this petite woman who's wearing a beige hat, a big brown shoulder bag walked towards me in a very carefree manner. She waved, smiled, and sat on the chair across mine in this brightly-lit restaurant. To any ordinary observer, she would strike you as just about any other woman, but her story proved otherwise. I have known her for quite some time now because of an art gallery I once attended, but today, she came to me to tell her story, her work and how she makes a good living out the things that she truly enjoy.

Her Beginnings: Discovering the Love for Art

Her name is Myung Urso (I was granted the approval to disclose her real name in this paper). She began her story on how she has been inclined towards the arts ever since. At the tender age of seven, she began drawing. Her love for arts was something she saw from her parents as she states, "My mother loved to draw and so did my father. All of us were encouraged to draw by our parents. They used to enroll us in art classes…[and they also] buy us handicraft pieces that we can build." It is in this process of exploring the arts that she found how liberating and enjoying this experience is as she narrates, "…these artistic activities carried on until I got older and eventually I realized that whenever I draw or build cute objects from the materials that I have, I feel that I am most relaxed. It takes my troubles away. They say that it is cliche but it's true. It's like you're on a different dimension whenever you express your artistic abilities."

Art: Venturing into an Enterprise

Myung Urso had several jobs before but she did not…… [read more]

Creativity: Product of a Process? The True Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,264 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6


Creativity: Product of a Process?

The true nature of creativity still serves to baffle those who long to dissect its properties. It is responsible for the creation of great works and beautiful testaments to humanity. Creativity filtered through artistic expression proves an elusive, yet marvelous trait which is exhibited in only a handful of true geniuses. Many believe it to be merely a product or a process; however, the examination of the creative process within the lives of a multitude of truly elite artists proves it to be a combination of both. The art and lives of such masters as Michelangelo, Thomas Kinkade, and Isadora Duncan shows that creativity is a product in that there are some innate elements associated with its presence in particular individuals over a number of others. Examining the creative process through the lives of Michelangelo and Norman Rockwell show the second piece of the puzzle -- the hard hours f training and work behind any great masterpiece. And so, it can be assumed that the creative process itself is both an innate product which is then trained and honed through a laborious process.

At the very basest level of the creative mind is a spark which differentiates the artist from other individuals, a product be it of biology or god. The talent associated with creativity in many cases proves to be strongly present in some, while absent in others. One major modern artist, Thomas Kinkade showed this specially reserved talent even early on in his life, "From the age of four, his calling as an artist was evident," (Kinkade 2004:1). This shows the aspect that creativity needs a certain product to be there through birth itself, beyond the scope of training, in order to produce great art later on. Kinkade himself believes that this talent within him comes from God himself, "Kinkade's artwork is an outgrowth of his deep faith in God which he believes to be the foundation of his work," (Kinkade 2004:1). Looking to the work of another artist, Michelangelo, the concept of art as a product of nature is strengthened. Michelangelo, who was responsible for the awe inspiring Sistine Chapel in Italy, believed that "A man paints with his brains and not with his hands," (Bunarroti 2006:1). This is the idea that it is a talent within the selected creative mind which is later allowed to express this trait through artistic expression. Another artist, Isadora Duncan, also represents the concept that art is natural, an innate product from the being itself. Although she worked with a very different medium, her own body, Duncan's artistic expression came directly from her soul, "My art is just an effort to express the truth of my Being in gesture and movement," (Henkes 1997:57). Duncan had actually rejected formal training which would filter the creative product through process, and so full embodies the image of the natural artistic expression associated with the view that creativity is a gift, or innate trait.

In many cases it is seen… [read more]

Ode on a Grecian Urn Keats Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,372 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


Ode on a Grecian Urn Keats

The Keats poem Ode on a Grecian Urn, describes an individual interpretation of an historical piece of art, in this case in the interpretation of Keats and specifically in reaction to an Urn which has a pastoral scene including many traditional Grecian themes. The work also demonstrates several universals regarding art and the art of man and how it can and should to some degree transcends time and place through symbolism and imagery. The work is reflective of the piece itself, its images and the emotion that can easily be elicited within the viewer of any piece of art. The poem, a piece of art itself reflects the idea that within art, at least art that is capable of eliciting emotion that there are three specific themes regarding the human experience of art; first that art can freeze time

Blackstone 312), second that art reflects eternal human emotion and lastly that both these elements can work together to bring the viewer to a place of emotion that is relatable. Hence the Urn and the ode describing it represent universal emotional themes that are forever reachable by the viewer. "Will Keats's poem attain the speechlessness of the true language of art? Or will it remain in opposition to the urn, unable to transcend 'art's mortal enemy?'" (Hofmann 251) This work will analyze Ode on an Urn according to these three themes utilizing the text of the work to demonstrate what the poem says about art and the human experience.

Art Can Freeze Time

Keats repeats the theme of time in this work over and over, expressing that the content of the art, in this case the images on the Urn is eternally youthful frozen in a moment of time, just before the pinnacle of action, the "bride" remains unkissed "THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,/

Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time," the pipes are eternally playing a gay tune, reflective of the event depicted but eternally silent, "ye soft pipes, play on, " "And, happy melodist, unwearied,/

For ever piping songs for ever new." The youth under the tree remains in a continued state of just about to reach his goal of ravishing the fair beauty, who will remain forever young. "Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 15/

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;.../

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,/

For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!"

Not only will the lovers be forever fair and youthful but they will always be in a state of bliss, that is associated with being in love. The boughs of the tree, presumably where the youth hides and plays his flute will always be fresh and green. "Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed/

Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; and, happy melodist, unwearied,/

For ever piping songs for ever new;" Events frozen in time are the main theme of Keats interpretation.

Eternal Human… [read more]

Leonardo Da Vinci Mona Lisa Thesis

Thesis  |  1 pages (401 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Aesthetic Response to the Mona Lisa

As one of the most famous paintings of all time -- arguably the most famous painting -- it is difficult to form an aesthetic opinion of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa that is uninfluenced by outside opinions. I have always found her famous smile to be very engaging, and the perspective and focus of the painting both direct the viewer's eye there. The muted tones of the painting also call attention to the face, which has by far the lightest value of anything in the painting. All in all, the shrouded and mysterious figure of this woman is made intriguing by da Vinci's use of shadow, which creates a feel of roundness and texture to the actual figure which is lacking in the rest of the painting due to the complete absence of foreshortening.

According to Nicolas Pioch, an art scholar with ibiblio.org, the paintings fame began almost as soon as it was completed. Though no one knows for certain who the portrait is of or why it was painted, da Vinci carried the portrait around with him for many years due to his own admiration of the work, or at least so Pioch…… [read more]

Leonardo Da Vinci Sitting Essay

Essay  |  1 pages (339 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Leonardo Da Vinci

Sitting with Leonardo at a cafe in Paris, on the side walk and watching the street show, the first question that would come to my mind would be regarding the most famous painting in the world: Mona Lisa. Was he is love with her? I know that he starting painting the portrait of Francesco del Giocondo's third wife around 1503, when she was twenty-seven years old.

A noticed that he chose to depict her without any jewelry, leaving the details of her clothes almost entirely in the dark, casting light only on her face and hands. The style resembles that of Madonna depictions at the time, but the technique is far more superior.

Vasari describes the painting in the section dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci in his "Lives." He praises Leonardo for having succeeded to bring a picture to life with such a masterful hand. His description of the painting leaves the impression that Vasari was fascinated with Mona Lisa, the woman himself.

Was Leonardo's intention…… [read more]

Life That Things Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  2 pages (694 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … life that things have seemed simple, yet when I go deeper into trying to understand issues or solve problems, I see that things are in fact more complex than I originally thought. This has included moments when I was sure of one thing or another, but learned upon examination that I was incorrect. One of the major events that happened in such a manner was my belief in my artistic skill regarding film. I still believe that I have great skills that would be useful in the film world, but I used to believe that this was all it would take to become successful in the arts. I now know that study and perseverance are even more important than skill.

It took a lot of honest and critical thinking for me to come to this conclusion. One of the ways it happened was in my reading about one of my favorite artists and thinkers of all time, Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci had great skill as an artist, scientist, and engineer, but it was not only the brilliance of his mind that led to his success. He worked very hard for many years to study anatomy and other aspects of art in order to make is skill better. I also learned in my studies that he often had to work on projects that he did not really enjoy in order to earn a living so that he could then be able to survive and work on the projects that really meant something to him. His dedication to his craft far outweighed his talent, though it was also great.

My belief that talent is the essential quality for a successful artist has undergone a massive reevaluation. My experience with the change of this notion has influenced my thinking in general, too; I have learned to examine things for all of the possible influences, motives, and causes, rather than simply taking the most apparent (and often wrong) answer. This skill in critical thinking is the most valuable lesson I have learned from my study of art.

Educational…… [read more]

Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (716 words)
Style: APA  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece

In APA Format

Renaissance was a revolutionary period which saw tremendous changes take place in Europe. Renaissance is a French word which means rebirth; many a thing changed during the period of renaissance for instance the Political changes in Europe, social changes which took place during that time etc. This paper will throw light upon Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece. Grunewald was a very prolific artist of the Renaissance period; he was mainly involved in making religious paintings. This paper will provide an insight on his masterpiece which is known as the Altarpiece which is now located in France.

Mathis was one of the most famous painters of the Renaissance period. He was not well-known until the late 19th century which brought him to the limelight. The details about this great artist are still obscure, for the reputation that he had back then, people expect a lot of information about him but the fact is that even his real name is not known by the people. The name Mathis was given to him by a 17th century writer; this happened because the writer got confused with another artist and named him Mathis. If the facts are to be believed, his first painting is supposed to be in Munich Germany, painted in the year 1503. Mathis supposedly died in the year 1528 or 1531 in Halle. There is no concrete information about this amazing artist, very little is known about him.

The Isenheim Altarpiece is arguably his most popular work of art. The Altarpiece was completed in the year 1515 and consists of about nine images. The images include scenes like the Crucifixion of Christ, Resurrection, Mother Mary Bathing, Temptation of Saint Anthony etc. The paintings are colossal with the height of roughly about 2.65 Meters and with the width of about 5 Meters. Most of his other works are in Munich and some of them are in Basel Switzerland. The most striking aspects about his work are the dramatic forms, depiction of light and the use of vivid colors. "German author W.G. Sebald traces the life story of Grunewald in his first literary work, After Nature. This…… [read more]

How Leonardo Could Be Said to Be the Epitome of the Renaissance Man Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (660 words)
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Leonardo Di Vinci: The Original Renaissance Man

Leonardo di Vinci is no doubt the Ultimate Renaissance Man because he not only embodied everything that the Renaissance was all about, he helped spur the movement into action with his innovative ideas and techniques. While many may only think of Leonardo as a painter, he was much more, most notably an original thinker that propelled fantastic ideas regarding science and nature from his imagination to paper. His sketches reveal a mind constantly at work observing the world around him and his paintings are regarded as the forerunners a new technique that brings art to life. Leonardo was not just a man of the Renaissance, he was responsible for determining the definition of what Renaissance meant.

More than anything, Leonardo's mind shaped the ideas of the Renaissance. As a scientist, he "bridged the gap between the shockingly unscientific medieval methods and our own trusty modern approach" (MoS Scientist). Leonardo's experiments were unorthodox for their time. It is recorded that his study of fluids "absolutely blew away the accomplishments of his predecessors" (MoS Scientist). He studied "loads of subjects, including nature, flying machines, geometry, mechanics, municipal construction, canals and architecture (designing everything from churches to fortresses)" (MoS Renaissance). In addition, he also considered things that would seem completely out of place in his world such as designs for "advanced weapons, including a tank and other war vehicles, various combat devices, and submarines" (MoS Renaissance). Apparently, he used the same method of scientific inquiry, which included "close observation, repeated testing of the observation, precise illustration of the subject object or phenomenon with brief explanatory notes" (MoS Scientist). Notes abound on his many topics including the "sun, moon and stars to the formation of fossils and, perhaps most notably, the mysteries of flight" (MoS Scientist). Here we see how Leonardo embodies the Renaissance in his exploration of new things. He was not satisfied with what the world had postulated before him and set out discover more…… [read more]

Contributions of Painter Jan Van Eyck Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (916 words)
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¶ … Painter Jan Van Eyck

Jan Van Eyck is renowned for his contribution to the development of painting, particularly with regard to his realism and attention to detail, as well as for his precise technique and realism. He is considered by some critics and commentators as '...one of the founders of modern painting techniques" (Coppens). This can be seen in numerous works, including the Ghent Altarpiece. This work in particular is described as bringing a"...unprecedented realism to the themes and figures of late medieval art. (Jan van Eyck: ca. 1380/90-1441)

In terms of art history, Jan van Eyck has also been described as "... The greatest artist of the early Netherlands school" (Jan van Eyck: Active from 1422, died 1441). While littler factual detail is known about his life, what is known is that he was admired and respected as an artist during his life and was a court painter as well as a diplomat in Bruges. (Jan van Eyck: Active from 1422, died 1441).

It is possibly his technical mastery of the medium of oil painting that is his greatest contribution to the development of art and painting. His use of layers and transparences and his understanding of the oil medium to achieve his realistic effects is a central contribution to the history of painting. As one critic notes; "Van Eyck exploited the qualities of oil as never before, building up layers of transparent glazes, thus giving him a surface on which to capture objects in the minutest detail and allowing for the preservation of his colours" (Jan van Eyck: Active from 1422, died 1441).

Van Eyck made use of the slow drying times of oil paints to manipulate the surfaces of works to create his intricate and detailed paintings. This can be seen for instance in the Arnolfini Marriage Portrait, where tinted glazes are used to add depth and character to the work. Critics note that van Eyck perfected the art of using oils on wooden panels. Another technical aspect that is mentioned in the literature is that his use of oils was technically sound and that his paintings are still fresh and vivid today (Applying the Paint and the Technique of Color Modeling).

The Annunciation: source: (http://www.artchive.com/viewer/z.html)

His methods and technical expertise are evident in many of the works. A painting that exhibits some central aspects of his technique and style is the Annunciation (1434/1436). The application of different layers and glazes is clearly evident in tbhe Virgin's blue drapery; "... A first layer in grayish blues establishing light and shade, a second solid blue layer to soften the contrast of the first, and a final, rich blue glaze of ultramarine in a water-based protein medium such as glue"(Gifford, 1999).

Critics are unanimous in…… [read more]

Greek Lovers by Henry Peters Gray Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (783 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Gray's The Greek Lovers

Henry Peters Gray's the Greek Lovers is a large (401/4" by 511/2") oil on canvas depicting a woman sitting with a lute and a man leaning up against a tree. Both figures are youthful; though not children, they are possibly in late adolescence or early adulthood. The lute is held completely vertical by the woman, whose left hand grips the neck of the instrument just below the sharp angle the precedes the tuning keys. Her right hand drifts near the base of the lute, where the instrument would be played, as if she has either just stopped playing or is about to start. Her head is coked to the side and her eyes raised to the man's face. He, on the other hand, has his eyes cast down. Between them in the distance can be seen a building of some sort and a rough, pre-mountainous and verdant landscape. The blue sky and white clouds both seem to be transitioning into something darker and more ominous, which is matched by the darkness of the tree against which the male figure leans.

The perspective of this painting appears almost atmospheric as opposed to linear -- there being no vanishing point, the only things that distinguish foreground from background are size and color. The two lovers appear to be as much a part of their world as anything else in the painting. Their size, however, makes them clearly foregrounded and the focus of the painting. Their color, too, distinguishes them; the woman's white flowing top is the lightest thing both in color and tone in the entire painting; the man's clothes, though mostly of a darker color, are also of a light value. Value, in fact, is one of the two most informative design elements of this painting. Beyond just the clothes that the two figures are wearing, value is also used to add mood to the painting. The tree that the man is leaning against, if painted the same basic color with a lighter value, would have drastically changed the meaning and impact of this painting. Both leaves and trunk have a very dark value, matching the somberness and pensiveness that can be seen on the two lovers' faces. This tone is also matched by the more distant landscape and all but the farthest reaches of the sky. The…… [read more]

Visual Culture Research Proposal

Research Proposal  |  2 pages (691 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Visual culture: A museum and mall comparison decided to select a mall and a museum as my sites of comparison because both are public places in which individuals, often accompanied by friends and family members gaze upon objects. However, the mall is perhaps the ultimate in 'commercial space.' It is an area where virtually all of the objects an individual sees can be consumed -- clothing, books, music, food, and ornaments. In contrast, in a museum, none of the objects seen can be taken out of their original places, or touched by the public (with the exception of children's museums and museum gift shops). Even objects that were once useful, like pots and pans of ancient peoples, now have reverential status as they are put on display and deemed priceless.

There is an aura of reverence surrounding a museum's objects than an individual seems to feel he or she must display, regardless of whether he or she likes art. It is striking to see the body language of museum-goers, as the individuals make their way around the different exhibits. While in the mall, individuals grab, touch, and examine objects for purchase, and in some cases let them carelessly fall to the floor when they deem them undesirable. So long as an individual does not steal or permanently damage property, shoppers may take an 'anything goes' attitude. In the museum, people walk with their hands by their sides or in their pockets, clutching perhaps a brochure about the different exhibits, as if to signal that they know they are in a place where touching things like a consumer is wrong. Even though individuals were dressed casually in both places, there was a reverential quality to the body posture of the people in the museum, as they all walked slowly, deliberately, with restraint. In the mall, some people ran, some teens playfully pushed their friends -- others consumed food.

The silence in the museum is omnipresent, in some ways an even more palpable presence than the art itself. While the art's visual qualities may be loud in…… [read more]

Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red Essay

Essay  |  5 pages (1,684 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Orhan Pamuk's My Name is red and the idea of "Casting the Present in the Past" as it relates to the Ottoman Empire and Present day Turkey

Cultural pluralism in the past and present: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

The unusual perspective of My Name is Red is evident immediately from the first chapter, entitled "I Am a… [read more]

Development and Characteristics of Abstract Expressionism Thesis

Thesis  |  1 pages (332 words)
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¶ … Expressionism

As its name implies, Abstract Expressionism deals primarily with abstract subjects, although some are based on reality. The product of imagination, emotion, and the political frustrations of the Great Depression and World War Two, the movement, which included Gorky's bright abstractions that seem somewhat familiar, Jackson Pollock's paint drip style, and De Kooning's "iconic figurative images," was at its height during the years between 1943 and the middle 1950s (Paul 2008).

As an informal movement, Abstract Expressionism developed in New York City when a group of new artists began experimenting with similar abstract subjects that were influenced by the tumultuous political and economic climate of the day. The artists attempted to create works that would express their "individual psyches" that were not overtly political. What emerged was a new kind of art, which was generally composed of bright colors and an "abstract mode" (Paul 2008).

The first mode through which this type of art expressed itself was through imitation of ancient artwork. The…… [read more]

Alice Neel Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,695 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


¶ … artist and artwork of Alice Neel. Specifically it will discuss several of Neel's artworks, along with her style of painting. Alice Neel could be one of the most prolific female artists in American history. She painted almost continuously from the 1920s to the 1980s when she died, and her works fill some of the most well-known and notable… [read more]

Thomas Gainsborough Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,627 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

I am the son of a cloth merchant from the country and yet I have lived a life of infamy and intrigue, though it did not always seem so at the time. I am the fifth son of John Gainsborough and Mary Burrough, baptized Thomas Gainsborough in 1727.

Waterhouse 8) When I was very young I began… [read more]

Pablo Picasso La Vie 1903 Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,174 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 4


Picasso's La Vie

Pablo Picasso's La Vie (1903)

La Vie is a painting executed by the young Pablo Picasso when he was only twenty-two years old. It is one of the more famous examples of the artist's Blue period. This period was at least partly inspired by the suicide of his good friend Casedemas (Picasso, quoted in arthistoryarchive.com). During this period, the artist used an almost exclusively blue and green palette. It was painted at a time of transition for the young Picasso, when he was moving constantly between Barcelona and Paris, unsure of where he really belonged. His biographers have described this period in his life as a time of isolation, unhappiness, poverty, and despair. All of these wretched emotions were depicted on canvas in shades of blue, and in La Vie, we see perhaps Picasso's most direct tribute to his deceased friend.

In the foreground of the painting, we see three figures. To the left is a man, who has the face of Casedemas, standing nude except for a loincloth. A nude woman, with a slightly protruding belly, suggesting the possibility of pregnancy, stands next to him, with her head and arms resting on his shoulder for support. The man has a firm, but melancholy expression on his face. He extends one figure forward, as though to emphasize a point, to the woman forming the other half of this foreground scene, who is standing on the left side of the picture. Unlike the other two, she is fully clothed, except for her bare feet. She is wearing a white blouse and is wrapped in a dark blue-green shawl that covers her entire body. She holds a sleeping baby in her arms, wrapped in a white cloth. The figures seem to be standing in an artist's studio, as in the background, one can make out two canvases, one of which features a nude man holding a nude female figure in his arms, who is apparently sobbing. Beneath that, one can make out another canvas with a drawing of a female figure sitting, with her head bent towards her knees, also in a state of anguish.

It has been established that this is a painting that Picasso heavily worked on, edited, and changed over time. Preparatory sketches for this painting have revealed the fact that the male artist in the picture was originally meant to be Picasso himself (Harris). In the original drawings, the male figure had his arm raised up in a gesture of defiance, suggesting famous crucifixion images. Perhaps, then, the original meaning of the painting for Picasso was meant to be the artist's persecution at the hands of fate, as symbolized by the clothed woman with the baby - a sign of what the young, pregnant nude woman would one day become.

La Vie must be understood in the wider context of Picasso's Blue period. It is unclear when, exactly, the Blue period began for Picasso. It was either begun in Spain in the spring of 1901… [read more]

Pierre Bonnard French: "La Revue Blanche" or "The White Review Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,020 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


¶ … poster) Pierre Bonnard. (French, 1867-1947). La Revue Blanche (the White Review). (1894)

Art Analysis: La Revue Blanche (the White Review) by Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) was a French artist primarily associated with the avant-garde artists of the Post-Impressionist Parisian School of painting. His 1894 La Revue Blanche (the White Review) was a poster designed to promote a Parisian periodical that published work by cutting-edge writers of the late 19th century. "This and Bonnard's other posters bear many of the same design hallmarks: unmodulated color, a playful depiction of flattened space, and a decorative handling of silhouettes and textures" that would later come to characterize most popular art deco works, and is often associated with the Moulin Rouge posters created by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Wye, 2004, p.32). The comparison with Lautrec is fitting given that Bonnard was also noted for creating artwork for performances or magazines, such as this one for the White Review.

Bonnard did not see the commercial demands of print as incongruous with his artistic sensibility. Pierre Bonnard allied himself with what became known as the Nabis (prophetic) group of Parisian Post-Impressionists. They were committed to a "greater connection between art and everyday life through a synthesis of fine art and ordinary subjects" (Wye, 2004, p.32). "He tried just about every artistic activity. Like other members of the influential group of painters known as the Nabis, he believed in what he later called 'popular production'" (Brenson 1989). No work was too great or too small, nothing was sneered at. Bonnard "designed birth announcements, concert programs, magazine covers, theater posters and screens" (Brenson 1989)

His first commissioned work was an advertisement for champagne. "France-Champagne is the famous 1891 poster -with its young woman as effervescent as Champagne and the sickle-shaped letter 'C' ready to cut the ribbon of her dress - that established Bonnard's reputation" (Brenson 1989). He followed with theater programs, exhibition announcements, sheet music, and book and journal illustrations such as this one, along with his own individually issued prints.

Bonnard's primary aesthetic influences were Japanese woodblock prints which accounts for the flat textures and perspective of La Revue Blanche (the White Review). The print shows the beautiful, detailed face of a beautiful female Parisian aristocrat with pale eyes and a shapely nose that casts an alluring, slightly off-center and mysterious gaze at a point just slightly off-center from the viewer's position in relation to the print. Her slender form and thick black ruffled coat are flat and black and evidently from the ink of a woodprint. They stand in stark and striking contrast to her detailed face. Her towering hat is a similar contrast in darkness and light, starkness and detail. The hat is only a vague shape but the small white flowers are extremely well-crafted and detailed.

Observed one contemporary art critic for the New York Times: "Bonnard's poster for La Revue Blanche in 1894, with the shadowy elegance of its tall Parisienne, her body looming behind a masklike face that seems… [read more]

Relationship of Museums to the Community Term Paper

Term Paper  |  20 pages (5,211 words)
Bibliography Sources: 15


Relationship of Museums to the Community

The objective of this work is to examine what part that museums play in the life of a community and what new roles and responsibilities are the museums in communities adopting and what are the possibilities. This work will examine whether museums within a community recognize the community's stake in the decision making processing… [read more]

Mona Lisa La Gioconda AKA Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,504 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


Mona Lisa

La Gioconda AKA Mona Lisa

While searching through articles for this topic, one small article entitled, How She got Her Smile, by Amelia Gentleman, became the unintended focus of this paper. In her article Gentleman writes of the experience of actually seeing the painting and remarks how the publicity surrounding it has perhaps become more important than the… [read more]

Hans Hofmann Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (633 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


hans hofmann had great influence over the development of abstract Expressionism. He had several exhibitions since 1908, in Germany and the United States (1908 Berlin: Neue Sezession; 1909 Berlin: Neue Sezession; 1944 New York: 67 Gallery, Forty American Modern; 1950 New York: Kootz Gallery, the Muralist and the Modern Architect, to name just a few).

Although he began his artistic inclinations early in the XX century, his most notorious pieces were created between 1950s and 1960s. He was very appreciated by the critics of his time and, as teacher, influenced many contemporary artists.

Hofmann found his color sense from Postimpressionist and Cubist theories, developing his famous 'Push and Pull' theory. The associated colors can be seen rejecting or attracting each other in the picture, in a "Push and pull" effect of visual contradiction.

The use of bright colors was typical of Expressionist fashion. Hofmann leans towards abstract representation as we can see in his works Imperium in Imperio (Oil on Canvas, 1964), where the key of the composition is made of basic geometric shapes, clearly constructed that stand out in strong contrast with each other.

The use of drawing line is almost nonexistent. Lines become an optical illusion, made by the contrast of the colors that create a three-dimensional effect as the bright colors stand out against violent dark tones (Autumn Gold, Oil on Canvas, 1957, the National Gallery of Art). When he does employ the drawing line, this presents bright colors and violent brush strokes, to mix cleanly with the rest of the composition. (Table with Fruit and Coffeepot, 481/4 x 601/4," Casein and Oil on Plywood, 1936).

Hofmann uses basic figures and basic colors, avoiding midtones or degradees. His work has the savage strength of Fauvist painting in the use of saturated hues, accentuated by intense black and cold tones.

His work mostly avoids figurative representation. There are few examples of clearly mimetic work,…… [read more]

Death of Marat Jacques Louis David 1793 Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,661 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 2


Death of Marat

Jacques-Louis David's Death of Marat

The famous painting the Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David is considered to be a masterpiece of neoclassical art. It is also probably one of the most iconic images of the French Revolution. In the center of the painting, the torso of a bleeding, dying man emerges. In his left hand, resting… [read more]

Fiction the Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (992 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1



The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Harcourt Reprint, 2004)

The mystery novel the Flanders Panel is set in the contemporary art world. Its main protagonist is an art restorer and amateur detective, determined to solve a murder that occurred centuries ago. While cleaning "The Game of Chess" by Flemish Van Huys, Julia finds strange, painted-over Latin inscription on the 15th century Flemish painting, asking, 'who killed the knight,' i.e. 'quis necavit equitem.' "Only then did she realize that her work on 'The Game of Chess' would be far from routine" (1) the painting depicts Duke of Flanders playing chess, and the image seems to hold clues to a murder conducted around the time of its composition, that of Roger de Arras. Interpreting the iconography and messages embedded in the painting she speculates: "AR would be exactly right for the abbreviation of Arras. And Roger de Arras appears in all the chronicles of the time" (20).

Julia begins to read more and more about Arras, the circumstances that spawned the composition of the painting, and begins to feel as if the characters in the painting are familiar to her as her own friends in Madrid, Spain, where the mystery is set. However, the authorities at the Prado museum, which charged Julia to restore the work, seem uninterested in her finding beyond the word's significance to art, and they merely wish Julia to continue her restorative work on the same level of quality as always.

Looking for further information and aid that cannot be provided by texts alone, Julia first turns to her old guardian, Cesar, a cultivated, gay, gin-sipping art dealer, who knows a great deal about art, but has very little inclination towards learning about chess. Still, they both agree that "the key [to Arras' murder] does lie in the chess game," noting that in Latin 'necavit' means 'took' as well as 'killed'" (52). However, the 500-year-old murder begins to take on added significance when Julia's caddish ex-boyfriend Alvaro dies, apparently murdered, after she asks him about the meaning of the inscription, and his interpretation of the depicted chess game -- and mysterious woman lurking in the picture.

Julia finds some assistance in her quest to solve the apparently unsolvable age-old murder (and the apparently linked contemporary murder) from a clerk named Munoz, who is as passionate about the game of chess as Julia is about art. He is also just as ruthlessly asocial as Julia is sympathetic -- he challenges Cesar, who asks him why chess is an interesting game with the words that he plays chess for the same reason that Cesar is a homosexual (70). Yet Munoz proves helpful to the protagonist because he uses what he calls retrograde analysis to reconstruct the chess game being played in the painting by a knight and the royal patron who may also have been his murderer. Although presented as a rather scrawny, undeveloped, geeky sort of individual -- he is described at one point…… [read more]

American Illustrators Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (3,049 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 3


¶ … Illustrators

Today, with the high-tech electronic communication and the ease of using computers to conceive of, draw, or refine artwork, it is difficult to conceive of an environment where there were few visuals and all had to be done by hand one-by-one. The creativity that existed through this artwork has been "illustrious," where each designer uses an "illustration"… [read more]

Modern Iconography Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,530 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 5


¶ … Iconography picture is worth a thousand words.

Everyone has heard this saying before, but what does it really mean? Are we to infer that every work of art is loaded with meaning, waiting for a detailed interpretation? Is there such a thing as a "right" or "wrong" interpretation of a work of art? How does one go about… [read more]

On Megumi Akiyoshi Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (389 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 0



Flower Gallery

Flower Gallery" by on megumi Akiyoshi (2007) is like bringing a wild garden right indoors. It looks just like something straight out of 1960s with the bright colors, big flowers, and continuous, floor-to-ceiling colors and art. This art is made of frames, acrylic paint, plywood, cardboard, and transparent sheet, which shows the versatility of the artist and how she can use just about anything to make art. She is performance artist, too, and wears her art; some of it looks very much like this work. This is not just a piece of art; it is an entire room that is the art, which is unusual, but very interesting. That way the colors blend and create different angles and shadows, and make it more interesting and exciting. The colors are very vibrant and alive, and look like something that would be popular during the Hippie era.

Could you live in a room like this? This art was created for an exhibit called "Making a Home," and I don't know if I would want to live in a room like this all the time. It is very busy, and very exciting, and I…… [read more]

Picture of Dorian Gray Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (822 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Portrait of Dorian Gray

The Nature of Sin -- the Fall from Eden

For Oscar Wilde, sin has its origin in awareness and knowledge of desire, just like the fall from grace in Eden. When Adam ate of the tree of knowledge, Adam disobeyed God and created the fall of humanity. Adam also created the existence of human sexuality, death, and an awareness of social conventions, like nakedness and clothing. When Dorian Gray is recognized as beautiful in a picture, Dorian becomes aware of his beauty, and thus begins to sin.

At first, Dorian enters the decadent world of the aristocratic Lord Henry and the artist Basil Hallward as an innocent. In Chapter 2 of the Picture of Dorian Gray, the title character is described like a Greek sculpture, and his movements are equally artless, although he has recently been memorialized in art. "He was bareheaded, and the leaves had tossed his rebellious curls and tangled all their gilded threads. There was a look of fear in his eyes, such as people have when they are suddenly awakened. His finely chiseled nostrils quivered, and some hidden nerve shook the scarlet of his lips and left them trembling."

The notion of chiseled nostrils suggests a sculpture, a Greek sculpture of nature. This world also underlines the vaguely homoerotic tone of the setting and the feeling of the two men for Dorian. Dorian's hair is described as gilded, as if he is made of gold, a metallic and valuable material, rather than human flesh. Like a crowned sculpture, there are leaves in his hair, and his hair is wild, bareheaded. Dorian is art; he does not recognize himself as art -- yet. The fact he is not wearing a hat and has been amongst nature before suggests his innocence as well -- he is outside of the society where people are observed, dress in careful fashions, and are overly concerned about what other people think. The sense that emotion can change the physical appearance in a normal individual is suggested in the image of the hidden nerve turning Dorian's lips scarlet and trembling. The fact that Wilde uses this passage to show the ability of morality to affect the body more seriously is suggested by the fact that Wilde gives this passage to the narrator to speak, rather than Henry's unreliable, humorous, and sarcastic observations of Dorian or society.

Lord Henry, the serpent-like temptation figure is the reason for the innocent…… [read more]

Levitating on One Foot 2003 Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (372 words)
Style: Chicago  |  Bibliography Sources: 0



Levitating on One Foot

Levitating: On One Foot," or "Levitando: A UN Solo Pie" (2003) by Raquel Paiewonsky is a strange piece of modern art that is made of panty hose, beeswax, and cable. The artist made models of feet, put them in the feet of panty hose, and then suspended them just off the floor with cables. It is kind of scary to look at, just at cut off feet hanging in midair. There are dozens of pairs of feet just hanging there. I have to say that the way the light shines on the piece, some of the feet hang in shadow and are not as easy to see or clear, as some that are in the light. The shadows do strange things to the feet, and because the feet are heavy, they pull the panty hose down tight, and hang there like they are dead. Some of the feet look old and rough, and some of the feet look young and healthy. Some of them almost look like they are ballet dancers balancing right on their toes. So, some of this work…… [read more]