Study "Art / Painting / Sculpture" Essays 661-715

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Decorative Art of Today and Le Corbusier's Pavillon De L. Esprit Art Nouveau Essay

… L'Esprit Nouveau

Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau

The Art Nouveau movement of the early twentieth century that really found its heyday in the Jazz Age, the period of glitz, glamour, and luxury that occupied the 1920s and formed a high road of optimism between World War I and the Great Depression, was considered by most practitioners and critics of the period itself to be a purely decorative art, with no real practical value. Indeed, the progression of this movement and of art in the twentieth century make sit clear that ultimately, art nouveau is to be relegated to the decorative arts, having failed to take hold in more practical applications such as architecture and industrial design (Gronberg 1992). This is the judgment of history and what actually ended up occurring, however, and should by no means be taken as a certain or even strong indicator of the potentials that existed for the period and the style (Gronberg 1992).

It cannot be denied that the proponents of the Art Nouveau movement, and even those critics that were not as adamant in their approval of the movement's aesthetics, could be quite vehement and vociferous in their defining and limiting of the manner in which they thought this aesthetic ought to be applied (Gronberg 1992; Gronberg 1198). This no doubt had a major effect on the trajectory of the movement and the fact that it was never really incorporated into architecture or industrial design in any meaningful or lasting way (Gronberg 1998). This does not mean, however, that absolutely everyone in the art world shared this view of the lack of practical value and the purely decorative nature of the art nouveau style, and certain individuals managed to show that this movement absolutely could have a place in practical design (Gronberg 1992).

Le Corbusier was one such individual; he found much of the artistic movement in early twentieth century Paris distasteful, trivial, and completely lacking in any real social progress or merit (Gronberg 1998). The artistic emphases and criticisms that proliferated during this period, for the most part, made Paris a, "city acknowledged as modern only to the extent that its women were well dressed," rather than a place of real substance and worth in the minds of more progressive artists and for the industry of the day (Gronberg 1998, pp. 156). Certain individuals from a variety of walks of life, Le Corbusier included, sought to redefine this image that they saw not only as disparaging, but truly unwarranted if the surface elements of the city and…… [read more]

Art and Passion Interview

… McCollum

Douglas Patrick McCollum is an artist who lives and works with passion, and his initial inspirations sometimes turn into much more than even he imagined. On March 8, 2010, one of McCollum's works, a bust of the college's namesake, Andreas Vesalius, was put on display. The bust's permanent home will be in the college's new main building, according to Vesalius College's future plans.

The bust was created by McCollum, an American artist who has been living in Europe for more than a decade. We interviewed McCollum for his take on not only the Vesalius bust but also his history with art and how it became his life's work.

McCollum took up sculpting almost on a whim a mere eight years ago. It was Christmas Day of 2003, and he and his two sons were celebrating the holiday in Strasbourg, France. It happened to be a rainy day, and so the family decided to create a manger scene for under the Christmas tree. McCollum found some clay and, he says, while his sons made "monsters," he made his first nude, and, "I haven't stopped since."

This accidental happening into sculpting unearthed what turned out to be a hidden passion and talent. McCollum found himself able to create magic with his hands, and he still has never taken any professional training in sculpting. "I just kind of started using my hands," he explains. He is completely self-taught, searching the Internet for information about different techniques, applying some to his own works and discarding others.

The modern marvel of the Internet allowed McCollum to learn his craft in a way that previous generations couldn't have imagined. Not only did he research and read "how-to" articles, he was also able to find videos of other artists demonstrating their techniques and how to use various tools. One can only imagine how an artist from generations past, who had to travel to a master's studio and apprentice, would view this kind of art study.

Not everything he found in his research was useful, however. "Most of the techniques where involved armatures," he says, "and most of the styles were solid," McCollum rejected those concepts because they involved double the work. "If you put those statues in the oven…you will have to hollow it up in order to prevent cracks that are created by the heat," he explains.

Instead of the traditional aperture technique, he decided to start the statue as a hollow form using a very specific type of clay that would enable the process. There were no Internet videos to guide him in this process, however. He would have to develop it on his own.

McCollum's favorite sculptures are of the female form, au naturel.

"I think it's important to have passion for sculpting," he explains, "and my passion is the au naturel female -- an attractive subject to sculpt."

Of course, the nude female is not McCollum's only area of art and expertise. He has also created a number of busts of famous… [read more]

Henri Cartier-Bresson Interviewer Essay

… The ever-present art scene in France always inspired me. Yet I also garnered inspiration from the scenes seldom depicted on canvas (Assouline). It was in the common streets of towns (and not the lavish gardens or polo matches where artists typically worked) that I drew my largest inspirations. This lead to my pioneering of what has come to be called "street photography" (Assouline). By using a small and portable camera, I was easily able to capture these candid images while creating little distraction or obstruction (Chalifour).

INTERVIEWER: How did the agency known as "Magnum" aid in the advancement of your photographic career?

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: The Magnum agency has been a huge help to me over the years. In addition to giving me a means of employment, Magnum has allowed me to travel the world doing what I love (Chalifour). This is particularly important because, as I alluded to earlier, a worldly scope is an essential aspect of my work. My travels allowed me to gain a more precise recognition of the true emotion and power of humanity (Assouline 43). Such trips also provided me with various homes. For you cannot simply "rush in and out" rather you must stay long enough to truly "get a feeling of the place" in which you are working (Cartier-Bresson 2).

INTERVIEWER: This photograph is entitled "Behind the Gare St. Lazare" and it has had a powerful effect on me. Seeing it in person at the San Francisco MoMA gave me a deeper appreciation of the stark contrast of the work along with its brilliant textures. What was the goal you were trying to achieve in this depiction?

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: Well this photograph is certainly one of my favorites. It is a superb example of the "street-life" style I always tried to capture in my work (Assouline). This specific instant depicts the entrance where many of the workers entered the railway station for work in the morning. I wanted to capture the familiar feeling of the "morning rush." Thus, there is a significant amount of action occurring in this piece.

INTERVIEWER: This photo was taken on my home island of Sumatra, Indonesia and it also possess the same title ("Sumatra, Indonesia"). Taken in 1950, this epic photo captures the common agriculturally-based lifestyle prevalent throughout most of Indonesia during this period. I was very happy to see that you have been to my homeland, what was your main motivation in learning about this culture?

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: Well I was certainly curious. I had spent time in Africa and had learned a lot about the primitive cultures of this land. I suppose that experience helped to fuel my desire to explore the Asian Pacific as well (Chalifour). And similar to what I found in Africa, while many would consider these cultures primitive, they are in fact quite ingenious people. Like the work I was doing in Europe, I tried to capture the "every-day" lifestyle or routine in which these people lived.

INTERVIEWER: This breath-taking color photograph is… [read more]

Armory Show of 1913 Research Paper

… The different critiques of the effort, from glowing to panning, had the effect of engaging the curiosity of the viewing public (Osborne). In total, over 70,000 people went to the Armory to see the show. This fascination with a new… [read more]

Places for Social Use in Paris of Manet Research Proposal

… MANET Proposal

Nineteenth Century Paris in Cafe and Dance: A Social and Psychological Examination of the Works of Manet and Degas in the 1870s through the 1890s

The primary goal of this proposed research will be to develop an understanding of Parisian society and social issues through an examination of the people and public spaces depicted in the paintings of Manet and Degas. Paintings of Manet such as Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1882), the Cafe Concert (1878), and Singer at a Cafe (1878-79) will be examined for how the spaces themselves are represented, as well as how the figures are arranged within the space and in relation to each other. The individual psychology of these characters will also be examined, and compared and contrasted with those in the paintings of Degas from the same period in Paris, such as the Dance Class (1873-76), the Dance Lesson (1879), and others.

From these examinations, a deeper understanding of the psychological and social issues occurring in Paris during the latter half of the nineteenth century can be obtained, and the true import of these paintings in regards to their psychological realism and social commentary can be defined and brought explicitly to the foreground. This will also entail a detailed historical examination of events in Paris occurring in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and specifically in the three decades from the 1870s to the 1890s. From this dual perspective examination of both the paintings themselves and the actual events that were unfolding in Paris, a comprehensive view…… [read more]

Francis Bacon Seated Figure 1961 Essay

… Francis Bacon's Seated Figure (1961)

Seated Figure (1961)

A self-taught painter, Francis Bacon (1909 -- 1992) found it difficult to express himself verbally when it came to his art form -- what inspired him, how he created what he created,… [read more]

Violence, Violent Artistry in 1944 Research Paper

… The emotional color of Artemesia's version of this topic is especially powerful when one contrasts it with Caravaggio's painting of the same subject. His work is obviously skilled in all the important artistic aspects such as composition, use of color, and painting technique. However, while Artemisia's overwhelms the viewer with the ways in which female power can be unleashed, Caravaggio presents us with a Judith who seems barely able to touch her enemy. This is, however, no depiction of a good woman troubled by the moral ambiguity of what she is doing. Rather Caravaggio presents us with a picture of weakness and squeamishness.

Artemisia worked for years as a successful painter before disappearing from history. How and where or even when she died is not known, although some scholars believe that she may have died in 1656 of the plague that roared through Naples that year. She might well have been lost to history forever had there not been those like Banti who heard whispers of her life and art and set out to discover how a woman of Artemisia's world could have succeeded in creating such extraordinary art.


Bal, Mieke (Ed.) The Artemisia Files: Artemisia Gentileschi for Feminists and Other Thinking People. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2006.

Banti, Anna. Artemisia. Translated by Shirley D'Ardia Caracciolo. New York: Bison, 2003.

Broude, Mary and Mary Garrard. The Power of Feminist Art. New York: Harry Abrams, 1996.

Garrard, Mary D. Artemisia Gentileschi.…… [read more]

Birth of Venus by Botticelli Term Paper

… Birth of Venus by Boticelli

The Birth of Venus -- Sandro Botticelli

The Italian Renaissance gave birth to a great number of debated concerning art and philosophy. It was during this movement that artists came to triumph over traditional convictions… [read more]

Orient West Minoan and Romantic Research Paper

… 3. Analyze the relationship between the historical art periods.

a. Explain similarities or differences between the historical art periods.

Upon reflection of Minoan Art and Romantic Art, a similarity in scale bodies forth. In both instances, a miniature movement rich… [read more]

Georgia O'Keefe Petunias Term Paper

… ¶ … Petunias" -- Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe was an 20th century American artist who was a central figure in bringing American art to Europe and establishing respect in a community that tended to look down on all things artistic from the United States. She was inspired by the rural Southwest, and was chiefly known for her paintings of flowers, shells, bones and landscapes that offered her the opportunity to synthesize abstraction and representations. O'Keefe could take the most simplistic of natural subjects and, through color, movement, and line, completely transform the object into one of emotional vividness and passion. In fact, in the popular press, many of her floral works are seen as the embodiment of femininity and expressive of the Earth Mother (Messinger).

Because she was so fond of flowers, she found poetry in their color, shape, texture, and above all, size and dignity. She commented that she should paint flowers as she saw them, small or large, but within their own transcendent beauty. One such example of this is her 1925 study in oil "Petunias." O'Keefe completed four studies of Petunias, and this particlar example was one that was from relatively early in her career (Drohojowska-Philp).

From a purely technical point-of-view we see a grouping of purple petunias in full bloom, clustered. The purple tones vary, from soft lavender to an almost black shade. Like most of her floral paintings, the subject is isolated from not only the natural enviroment (pot, hanging basket or garden) but even from its own stem -- all we see, all we are meant to see, and to focus, is the engulfing view of the flower in its blooming glory. We do not see any imperfections, either -- there are no bruised petals, no insect damage, no sun or moisture, and yet the rendition is neither static nor artifical.

O'Keefe was part of a uniquely American art movement known as Precisionism, or Cuist Realism. This movement emphasized geometrical form, but was detailed and precise in the depiction of that form. Many of the American precionists, though, used industrialization -- the crisp lines of the modern American landscape, as their emphasis, whereas O'Keefe remained true to her preoccupation with the American Southwest (Precisionism in America) We do not see the typical cubist leanings in Petunias, in fact, in this digital age, one could almost imagine it being a close up digital print. Really, quite simple images of what become monumental form -- or a way to relook at something smallish and common, and find that it is far from common at all.

Emotionally, it seems that O'Keefe's floral studies were her own celebration and translation of nature. Yet the elements of…… [read more]

Culture Event From the Past Essay

… Cultural Events From the Past

Postimpressionism reflects the art-for-art's sake spirit, while H.G. Wells debated that novels should be a sort of lecture, have morals, that they should affect the people who read them. What do you think on this? Which side do you take? Literature can serve numerous purposes; it can inform, entertain, comment on society, allow speculation, or a combination of things. By it is very nature, Wells' is right in some ways -- there is usually a moral point to a plot -- whether that plot be looking within ourselves or at our society, or imagining how things could be and attempting to remake the world, one step at a time. Since Wells' point was to comment on the condition of humans, his works tended to ask those big questions. It is hard to imagine, though, a poem, story, or work of art that simply "is" without allowing it to evoke something more within us -- our own brand of interpretation -- which makes the art real for us.

How did the new psychology influenced the birth of key movements in the arts: expressionism, dada, and surrealism? The so-called new psychology was really a product of the trends in enlightenment and focus on human actualization of the Age of Enlightenment forward. Freud, Jung and others began to legitimately peel away the layers of the conscious and unconscious allowing different forms of artistic expression to flow -- this happened in art, music, and literature in slightly different ways. Expressionism was an outgrowth of impressionism, which had its roots in the romantic movement, or the allowing of emotions and passions to rule what was being expressed. Dada and expressionism were somewhat reflections of the anti-rational mind -- a way…… [read more]

Margaret Preston Essay

… ¶ … Margaret Preston aim to modernise Australian culture?

Margaret Preston

MARGARET PRESTON: Aim to Modernise Australian Culture

Margaret Rose McPherson was first introduced to the world of art at age 12. Today, she is known to the world as… [read more]

Biography and Artistic Work Essay

… Hollywood Artists

Vincent and Theo…and Robert?

Popular lives of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) tend to gloss over most of their subject's short life and career in order to focus on the artist's breakdown, intense final period, and suicide. This is… [read more]

Marriage Feast Essay

… Marriage Feast at Cana

Sebastiano Ricci's 18th century oil painting entitled "The Marriage Feast at Cana" is both romantic and hedonistic. Painted in the early 1700s, Ricci's work does not depict the actual time period in which the artist worked. The painting is of a Bacchanalian wedding festival. Musicians are playing, both men and women are drinking copious amounts of alcohol while flirting with other members of the party. The atmosphere at the marriage feast is undoubtedly festive. Thus, the viewer wonders why Ricci would have chosen such a subject matter. In terms of balance, rhythm and repetition, emphasis, variety within unity, and contrast, the Ricci painting conveys a harmony and joie du vivre that parallels its subject matter.

One of the defining visual features of "The Marriage Feast at Cana" is the vertical lines of the columns that draw the viewer's eye up and down the painting. In the foreground is a shadowed but large and fat column, which adds spacial depth to the painting. In the mid-ground, a colonnade stretches horizontally to suggest the movement of people to and from the party. In fact, the colonnade is connected at the top by a pedestrian bridge. On top of the bridge, Ricci represents a series of individuals who are gazing down at the festivities below. They are partygoers who are taking a break from the intensity of the feast. Above them and to the right of the canvas is a proper building. Ricci depicts dwellers looking down at the party. The viewer's eye is then drawn to the group of party musicians playing in a box draped with a red cloth. Red is one of the defining colors of "The Marriage Feast at Cana." The women at the party are dressed in casual flowing clothes colored red. Besides red, white and blue are featured. The collection of these three colors adds balance, as there are no intruding hues in the painting.…… [read more]

International Gothic Style Continued Term Paper

… Developed into full-fledged landscapes or realistic interiors, the miniatures produced at the beginning of the fifteenth century seem ready to step out of the vellum page and to become in esse what they already were in posse: "pictures" in the Albertian or "modern" sense of the term" (idem).

The painting on vellum, called "Lament over the Dead Christ" is another example of a combination between classic and International Gothic style. The dead bleeding body of Christ, positioned at the bottom of the painting, the Virgin who is almost collapsing over him and has the face of a very old woman, John whose face is facing God, God himself who blesses those three figures above while holding his hand above his head, all these are naturalistic elements that are placed in a frame and a background of ornamental non-naturalistic elements like the golden wings of the angels that surround them. The strong tension coming from the strong emotions expressed in the picture are however framed in a strict harmony rendered by the proportions and the positions of bodies and faces as a result of lessening the tension. Gradually, the ornaments and the classical background in the pictures with religious themes and in portraits tend to become elements that are no longer essential to the subject, but remain more like adjacent elements that are placed there along with naturalistic elements that emerged from the realist sources.

The Holy family with Angels, painted in the 1420s in the Lower Rhineland, depicts a peaceful, but busy moment in the life of the holy family that combines naturalistic elements like baby Jesus who is dragging his cloth diaper while looking to see his mother's reaction to his action. Angels are depicted throughout the entire picture, one of them even carrying two buckets of water toward the bathing tub. The beauty of the material that encloses the tub and the richly decorated material of the bed, as well as the grace of the Virgin's figure are non-naturalistic elements, specific to the International Gothic that add material beauty to a pleasant, but otherwise common scene from day-to-day life.

The Limbourg brothers have also created masterpieces in the International Gothic style that reflects in the manuscript illumination art. The Tres Riches Heures du Duc Du Berry is the title of their illustrated calendar.

Panofsky, E. 1971. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character Vol. 1…… [read more]

11th Cairo Biennale, Which Took Term Paper

… The Biennale is capitalizing on this interest. There is worry that with the worldwide recession, the Biennale, already dependent on foreign funding for much of it, will not survive. (In fact, the entire Ministry of Culture website at the Egyptian Government site is not available as this paper is written, a concern, of course.)

In conclusion, the 11th Cairo Biennale is an enduring event that is energizing young artists, bringing the Middle East together with the rest of the world, and introducing talented new artists in a variety of mediums. It is well thought of internationally, and it is prestigious to win the awards associated with it. The Biennale will occur again in late 2010, and hopefully it can survive money problems and continue to thrive. It is also a boost for Cairo tourism, bringing thousands of visitors to the city to view the many displays. It is vital to the Egyptian culture and art scene, and should continue.


Editors. "11th International Cairo Biennale." 2009. 8 Dec. 2009.


Elkoussy, Hala. "Peripheral -- The Art Scene in Cairo." Federal Agency for Civic Education. 2009. 8 Dec. 2009. 1-17.


Krakowski, Anja. "Installation at the 11th Annual Cairo Biennale." Personal Blog. 2009. 8 Dec. 2009.


Larsen, Lars Bang. "11th Cairo Biennale & PhotoCairo4." Frieze Magazine. 2009. 8 Dec. 2009.


Shaked, Nizan. "The 11th International Cairo Biennale." 2009. 8 Dec. 2009.

.… [read more]

Eric Fischl's Works Essay

… Eric Fischl

It comes as no surprise that many of Eric Fischl's paintings focus on suburban life. Born in New York City in 1948, he was raised from a toddler on Long Island, which his parents considered a "safer place… [read more]

Eric Fischl's Works Essay

… Eric Fischl's Works

"Eric Fischl": Introduction

Eric Fischl was born in New York City in 1948 and grew up on suburban Long Island. His family moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1967. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the… [read more]

Illustrator Who Influenced Society Research Proposal

… Influential Illustrators from 1950-1960

James Elliot Bama (1926- )

Born in New York City, James Elliot Bama was heavily influenced by the art in popular comics. After showing initial talent as a kid in the arts, he attended the legendary High School of Music and Art in New York . From this great start to a prominent career, he further developed his technical skills at the Art Students League, also in New York. There, he studied under famous illustrator Frank Reilly, focusing primarily on commercial art. After school, Bama worked at Cooper Studios in Manhattan, where he "quickly established himself as one of the firm's leading illustrators, producing advertising images for such major clients as General Electric, Coca-Cola, and Ford," (Smith 2009). Bama also had art featured in Reader's Digest and The Saturday Evening Post, popular magazines. He also dabbled in working in film and television, producing background art for the series "Star Trek" and the poster for Cool Hand Luke. Bama eventually left the city and moved into a more isolate art in Wyoming where he produced more Realist paintings than his infamous illustrations.

Based on his long career in commercial art, Bama had a huge role in the creation of popular American culture and commercial representations of that culture. He helped create ads for major companies that represented typical staples of contemporary American life at the time of the 1950s. His ads for Coca Cola (see Image A) solidified the marketing campaign for the soda giant which dominated their marketing campaign for decades. Bama truly made commercial ads a real respectable art form. His Coca Cola ads are now collected today by various art collectors and appreciated more as popular art than simple advertisement. Thus, Bama had a huge impact on the formation of commercial art as a true art form rather than just…… [read more]

Illustrator Who Influenced Society Research Proposal

… Influential Illustrators 1990-2000

Tim O'Brien (1964- )

Working primarily out of New York, Tim O'Brien has had an illustrious career over the years, producing amazing illustrations primarily between 1990 and 2000. Strangely enough, he began his career as a boxer, and continues to engage in coaching the sport today. However, his great artistic talent led him down the path of illustration, and he graduated from the Paier College of Art, located in Connecticut in 1987 with a B.A in Fine Arts. Since his graduation, O'Brien has won several prestigious awards for his work, including recognition from the Society of Illustrators in both New York and in Los Angeles.

Tim O'Brien integrates intense realism with experimentation in his work, which primarily focuses on modern American culture. He presents a very realistic style, usually tied in with a provocative twist. Much of his work focuses on contemporary American society. He has several portraits of famous boxers, including Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, (see Image A). His influence has expanded into the culture of the United States as well. He has done several covers for Time Magazine, portraying provocative or politically charged material within his art. O'Brien has also designed several stamps for the U.S. Postal Service, which has then helped incorporate artistic expression in every day practicality. This allows Americans to enjoy art within the context of their daily lives and associated artistic expression with the basic essentials of what it is to be American.

He has also actually served on the committee of the Society of Illustrators for several years. Thus, his influence has extended to the recognition of other artists and has helped morph new American trends in illustration. In recent years, O'Brien has…… [read more]

Franz Marc Little Mountain Goats Thesis

… Franz Marc

The Little Mountain Goats

Franz Marc: Art analysis of the Little Mountain Goats

Franz Marc: Art analysis of the Little Mountain Goats

Early 20th century German artist Franz Marc is usually classified as a German Expressionist, although the… [read more]

More Than Realistic Van Gogh's Starry Night Thesis

… ¶ … Realistic: Van Gogh's Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night" is one of his most famous paintings, largely considered as his greatest work. Painted from memory in June, 1889, during his stay in the Saint-Remy asylum, "Starry Night" is one of the most reproduced works of art ever made. It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City from 1941. This work is one of the most representative examples of the suggestive power of art, especially painting. Thesis: This paper argues that painting has the capacity not only to reproduce exteriors, i.e. appearances, but also to deconstruct emotions, states and feelings, and to reflect them in its viewers. In this sense, Van Gogh's "Starry Night" reflects the painter's feelings and mental state, and has the ability to mirror not only a small piece of French scenery, but also the trials and tribulations of an artistic genius.

In painting, as in any other art form, perspective is the key to understanding the point-of-view of the artist. In this case, it is both interesting and crucial to note that "Starry Night" was painted from memory during the day although it depicts a nocturnal scene. Van Gogh mentally recorded the view outside his sanitarium room window at night, and was able to reproduce it on canvas during the day, depicting not only the physical attributes of his surroundings, but also his frail state of mind. In this sense, painting represented an emotional and spiritual experience for Van Gogh who sought to recreate more than just his surroundings, but also his feelings and sensations on his subjects irrespective of their nature. This painting was executed during a period of great mental turmoil when his attacks were severe and his behavior, often erratic. This could account for the lack of interest the artist himself showed in this particular painting. In this sense, it has been almost impossible to establish Van Gogh's feelings towards his second "Starry Night" as there was little mention of…… [read more]

Picasso, Cubism, Mondrian Reference Work: Pablo Essay

… Picasso, Cubism, Mondrian

Reference Work: Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler 1910

For the popular person, the name Pablo Picasso stands out as a metaphor for 20th century art, usually art that is colorful, a bit on the abstract side, and clearly prolific. Picasso is best known as on of the founders of the Cubist movement in modern art. What is most amazing about Stravinsky is the wide spectrum of styles he embodied -- from the famous line drawing of Stravinksy in 1920 to his surrealism of the 1930s, culminating in various permutations of neo-expressionism during his later years ("Biography and Works," 2006).

Cubism, like most styles of art, music, and literature, is difficult to completely define. There are, however, some guides to it conception and styles. As an art movement, it was an off shoot of the works of Cezanne, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during the early part of the 20th century. It was a radical departure from the impressionism and romanticism of the late 19th century, and inspired related movements in music and literature. While art scholars organize Cubism into three stylistic periods, the basic characteristics of the movement surround the way objects are deconstructed, analyzed, and reassembled - but not in portrait form, more abstract and interpretive. Objects are depicted from multiple viewpoints that, for the artist, represent the nature of the object in a more panoramic concept. At first glance, some of these objects seem to intersect randomly and have little signs of depth or perspective for the viewer. However, upon study, the background and intersecting planes create an additional spatial viewpoint, which is another cubist characteristic (Gantefuhrer-Trier, 2009). The title, "cubism," comes from the approach using various geometric shapes that, when combined, form an alternate reality of the image in question.

The painting to the left, for example, is called Girl With Dark Hair, by Picasso. Note the shapes of the eyes, nose and mouth, almost as if the girl was a picture that was taken apart, then put back together by someone who didn't really know what a human looked like -- yet the viewer can still tell it is a human. Note, too, that despite the seeming mismatch, there is emotion emanating from the portrait -- the girl is contemplative, almost sad, and to appreciate the power of this art, think of the picture as numerous snapshots of a fixed point that, at a glance, become synergistically a whole.

Additionally, the impetus -- and really the power, of the cubist movement is that it took into account the way the world was changing during the 20th century. Cubism, like the geopolitical structure, was becoming more global; cultures were being discovered and cataloged by sociologists and anthropologists, art was being imported from Asia, Oceania, Africa, and other less developed countries. It was often the very stark primitivism of these ethnic works that influenced the cubist in terms of color, shape and line (Perry,, 1993).

Pieter Mondriaan (1872-1944), a Dutch… [read more]

Matisse's Joy of Life and Picasso's Demoiselles D'avignon Essay

… ¶ … Matisse's Joy of Life and Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon

Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso were rivals and friends. There art represents the variety that exists between artists. Both men were drawn to expressing themselves in new and different ways. Neither man was intimidated by the unknown and welcomed different ideas. Their paintings illustrate this point. Matisse was responsible for getting the fauve movement momentum and Picasso was at the forefront of the cubist movement. Matisse's Joy of Life realizes the vibrant nature of the fauve movement and Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon demonstrates the characteristics of the cubist movement. Both paintings are different in form even though they are clearly about groupings of women. Vibrant color contrasting with sharp angles reveals different styles but yet they seem to share the common denominator of artist reaching beyond the norm.

Matisse was the forerunner of the fauve painters and his work emphasizes simple design methods coupled with vibrant colors. In Joy of Life, we see the use of unexpected shapes, which provides a new way of not only looking at art but the world as well. This painting reveals how Matisse was intent on new forms of expression. The color contrasts are strong and spontaneous and it becomes the most powerful aspect of the painting. The women are situated on a large canvas of color and the background is bold with bright shades of green and red. The liberal use of color brings the piece to life and the shapes are outlined with Matisse's signature bold form. There are no flat planes of color in this piece. In addition, the primary hues clash on the canvas, causing our eye take in every aspect. Nature is very much a part of this painting…… [read more]

Picasso's the Studio 1934 Essay

… Picasso's Psyche as Seen Through The Studio (1934)
Pablo Picasso was wildly popular and respected in his time, both in
Spain and throughout the world art community. Simultaneously, he was
criticized for the provocative nature of his work and for… [read more]

Nude: A Critical History the Pope Julius Essay

… Nude: A Critical History

The Pope Julius II, Michelangelo and the pilgrims who came to Rome after he finished the painting of the Sistine Chapel in the sixteenth century, were all under the powerful impression left by the stories told by the images masterfully created on the ceiling.

Michelangelo is considered the first artist to have understood the importance of the human body in its representation as a nude in art. The Renaissance period revived the Greek and the Roman classics and brought the beauty of the human body in various representations back on the canvas and in the workshops of artists of various kinds. Bernard Berenson goes as far as concluding that Michelangelo saw in the human body the supreme form of art and chose to study it in the tiniest details possible in order to achieve perfection. The perfect rendering of the human body equaled the perfect work of art. The importance of "life confirming" and "life enhancing" was according to Berenson expressed in Michelangelo's work by his obsession with the human body.

The sixteenth century was the era of awakening on many levels in the history of humanity. The Renaissance period swept the world with new ideas revived from the old classics, inventions and innovations that will for ever change the face of the world and put it on a new course. The middle Ages taught human beings to be humble and repent in order to have a chance at the Judgment Day. Renaissance brought new ideas and forms of expression to life and changed the way people envisioned themselves and their place in the order of things. It gave humanity a central place in the universe instead of leaving it as a complementary form of existence. The human body in its necked form was beginning to represent the focus of the artistic expression in its struggle to find the best representation and the means to bring the artistic creation to the public. Bernard Berenson points out that the nudes in Michelangelo's art works, especially in his paintings of the Sistine Chapel summarize "manliness, robustness, effectiveness, the fulfillment of our dream of a great soul inhabiting a great body" (Berenson, 169). He continues remarking that "Michelangelo completed what Masaccio had begun, the creation of the type of man best fitted to subdue and control the earth, and, who knows! Perhaps more than the earth"(idem, 169). The hopes and aspiration of a great period in the history of the human kind were reaching no limits. The public was glad to enjoy the beauty of the human body and experience feelings of gratitude as to the genius of the artist. Those who came to Vatican and admired the paintings on the Sistine chapel were full of piety and devoted to religious experiences, but they were also bereaved by the beauty of the art work itself. Adam was one of the central figures and it represented humanity in its essence.

The same nude representing Adam brings a different message to… [read more]

Nude: Venus and Adonis in the Renaissance Essay

… Nude: Venus and Adonis

In the Renaissance painter Titian's original depiction of Venus and Adonis, the nude Venus sits, clinging to her lover Adonis, as she tries to restrain him from going to hunt wild boar. Her nudity represents female perfection and sensuality in the context of Titian's work. Titian's audience would be familiar with the gods and goddesses of mythology and the story depicted in the painting. Venus was famously the goddess of love, the most beautiful woman in the world, and Adonis, her mortal lover, was the most beautiful man in the world. Today, although the story is less well-known, Venus (and Cupid in the background) is still famed as the goddess of love and beauty, and a handsome male is often called an 'Adonis.' But the seemingly exaggerated fleshiness of Venus (in modern eyes), her bare buttocks, and the feminized yet powerfully dressed Adonis suggests that the painting might inspire humor rather than pity in a modern observer. Titian's original audience was likely to have taken the painting more seriously, as well as been more familiar with the story of Adonis' untimely death, which is not shown in the painting.

In terms of the scenic arrangement of the original work, only Venus' exposed backside is revealed and her front is concealed from the viewer, probably covered by a drapery. Her form looks soft and rotund compared with Adonis' hard, armor-encased frame, as he stands, ready to go and do battle with nature. It looks as if the two of them have been sleeping side-by-side, until Adonis dressed to leave. Venus has decided to arouse herself, half-clothed, aware that her lover is going to his doom. "She clings to him, imploring him not to go, but Adonis looks down at her impassively. His dogs strain at their leashes, echoing his impatience, as detailed in the tragic love story found in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Cupid sleeps in the background, a symbol of Adonis's resistance to Venus's entreaties, since his ineffective arrows hang uselessly in a tree. The story ends tragically; during the hunt the mortal Adonis is fatally gored by a wild boar" (Venus and Adonis, The Getty Museum, 2009). The story is a tale of the futility of eternal love, even the love of the gods, in the face of human mortality.

This is the paradox of the painting -- although Venus looks more vulnerable because of her nudity and femininity, it is really Adonis, the human male who is more vulnerable. In resisting the nude and the goddess' sexuality, he is departing for his own grave. The nude goddess of love represents life, Adonis heads to his death. Although Venus' buttocks, depicted in the foreground of the painting, are often used for humorous purposes in modern depictions of the nude, this is not the case in the original painting. "Venus's awkward pose… was inspired by an ancient sculptural relief" (Venus and Adonis, The Getty Museum, 2009). The painting reflects the revival of classical artwork that manifested itself during… [read more]

Artist Peter Paul Rubens Essay

… Artist Peter Paul Rubens

The Life and Art of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)

The Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens is often named by art historians as the leading exponent of the Baroque style of painting, and is credited for being the first artist to marry the characteristic styles of Northern and Italian Renaissance art. He is also called the great painter of the Counter-Reformation whose works embodied Orthodox Catholic doctrine. Although his father was an "ardently Calvinist Antwerp lawyer" after his father's death Peter Paul was raised a Roman Catholic (Pioch 2002). His foremost artistic influences came from studying in Catholic Italy and Spain during his youth, where he gave particular attention to the works of Titian. Ruben's adaptation of Titan's robust depictions of the female form would give birth to the adjective 'Rubenesque.'

Rubens' works are characterized by unparalleled sprawl and a "love of monumental forms and dynamic effects" although towards the end of his career, he did paint more sedate portraits and landscapes (Pioch 2002). To fulfill his royal commissions, "including the famous 21-painting cycle" depicting the life of Marie de Medicis, "originally painted for the Luxembourg…… [read more]

Rococo Style vs. Neo-Classical Thesis

… ¶ … rococo period vs. The neoclassical period: The sublimely frivolous vs. The sublime

Art never happens in a vacuum, and the development of artistic forms is conjoined with the political movements of the era. Politics spawns stylistic innovations. While the early 18th century rococo style in French art and decoration was associated with the pre-revolutionary aristocracy, the neoclassical style emerged as a revolt against the ornate aesthetic qualities of rococo and also the aristocratic qualities rococo came to represent. Neoclassicism's emphasis on the art of Greece and Rome became fused with a new political ideal, that of the French Revolution and classical austerity.

The earliest rococo forms can be traced to Versailles and its surrounding chateaux. The rococo itself was a reaction against the more formal baroque. "It was a style of high fashion and had few popular forms" (Kitson 1997) Rococo was playful, although the term was initially used in a pejorative fashion. "The essence of rococo interior decoration is twofold; first, the forms are almost flat instead of being, as in baroque schemes, in high relief; second, architectural and sculptural features are eliminated so that the designer is confronted with a smooth surface, interrupted only by the window recesses and the chimneypiece. In a typical rococo decorative scheme, series of tall wooden panels (including the doors), decorated with brilliantly inventive carved and gilded motifs in low relief, are arranged around the room" (Kitson 1997). As a result, the eye is drawn to these elaborate reliefs and ornate motifs, more so than any other functional aspects of the room.

The subjects of rococo painting tended to be romantic, rather than heroic. The emblematic rococo painter is probably Antoine Watteau, known for his delicate brushstrokes delineating cupids and blushing maidens in pale colors. Some rococo subjects were mythological, but the focus was on the personal and the erotic, not the philosophical and the transcendent. A notable contrast between the rococo and the neoclassical aesthetic that followed can be seen in a comparison of Watteau's Pilgrimage to Cythera (1717) with David's corpus of work. Cythera was the fabled island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. In the Watteau, cupids flutter above a contemporary couple, either leaving or returning from the island of pleasure. According to the Louvre website, because of such works Watteau become known as the era's master painter of f tes galantes, or courtly scenes in idyllic pastoral locations.

The "rococo style began to decline in the 1760s, denounced by critics who condemned it as tasteless, frivolous, and symbolic of a corrupt society" (Kitson 1997). The spirit of the Enlightenment came into fullest flower, and the ability of politics to better human life was celebrated, rather than the ornamental aspects of courtly dalliance, as in the rococo. "Art was now supposed to move a person's deepest feelings and teach virtue - not cater to wasteful living. Artists and critics believed that it should once again serve the nation and be good for the people, just as it had… [read more]

Color as Meaning in Kandinsky's Yellow, Red Thesis

… Color as Meaning in Kandinsky's Yellow, Red, Blue

In one of his earliest essays on art, 1899's "Secession," Wassily Kandinsky bemoaned the trend he had noticed in painting to depict fog and muted colors almost to the exclusion of everything… [read more]

Favorite Designer and Their Work Essay

… Milton Glaser: Man of Art

Milton Glaser is my favorite graphic design artist because he represents everything good that can come from graphic design. He is a champion in his field because he started working before computers. He had to use his head and his imagination to create his art and he is not ashamed to admit that art is work. In addition, he is also not ashamed to admit that art is work. It cannot go without saying, however, that are is also a great deal of talent. In Glaser's case, the talent comes from the ability to see things that are not quite there and make them images that will live forever. Basically self-taught, Glaser is an example for everyone that chooses to excel.

From early in his life, Glaser has demonstrated an independent edge unhappy to works by anyone else's rules. Glaser expressed an interest in art at an early age and at the age of 13, he took life classes with Moses and Raphael Soyer while living in New York. Afterward, he attended the high school of Music and Art in New York. Upon graduation, he studied painting, typography and illustration at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art "with the aim of becoming a comic-strip artist" (Grove). He spent two years working under the guidance of Giorgio Morandi at the Academia di Belle Arti in Bologna. It was here that he drew "extensively from plaster casts" (Grove). He was influenced by Felix Valloton and the decorative style of Art Nouveau and he "particularly admired Picasso's gift for working in both an abstract and realistic vein" (Grove). Glaser co-founded Push Pin studios in the 1950s, "groundbreaking" (Perman) studio that influenced the "professional world of graphic design in the 1960s and early 1970s" (Barnicoat).

Glaser and his co-founders "reintroduced a hand-drawn appearance to posters, which leant towards quotation and parody" (Barnicoat). Push Pin revived of the "union of art and typography, as well as its use of cultural references and visual language" (Perman). According to Barnicoat, many designs created by Push Pin Studio were "inspired by Surrealism, but they also borrowed imagery from many other periods; these magpie methods together with the bright decorative character of the posters set the style for a freewheeling approach to graphic design, which also appeared in other countries such as Britain" (Barnicoat). Glaser's works reflects a life of imagination that is not hindered by what other people think or by what other people are doing.

Glaser's style has always been eclectic often coupled with vintage typography and he has designed everything from poster, to book jackets to magazine covers. Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of Glaser's designs is the fact that they do not take themselves too seriously. Art is represented through a collection of pieces that feel good without feeling too overdone or weighing us down with a heavy message that is too much to bear. Glaser makes us realize that graphic art is a… [read more]

Is the Architecture of Michelangelo Mannerist? Essay

… ¶ … Michelangelo's art. Specifically it will discuss the architecture of Michelangelo and whether it was the Mannerism style or not. Mannerism refers to a time of European art that began around 1520 in Italy, and lasted until around 1580 to 1600, when the Baroque style of art and architecture began to replace it, but it did continue in many forms until the 17th century. The characteristics of Mannerism include artificial qualities that go against the harmonious, natural elements of High Renaissance art, and a great deal of sophistication, complexity and innovation in design. Michelangelo was one of the greatest practitioners of Mannerism for several reasons.

Elegance and innovation are two of the primary elements of Mannerism, and Michelangelo certainly practiced both those elements in his art. Some of his greatest architectural and artistic endeavors contain these elements, combined with sophistication in the design and execution of the works. Think of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, which Michelangelo conceived and developed. The paintings on the ceilings have stood the test of time, and retain their beauty, complexity and eloquence even today. In addition, the concept of painting on the ceiling of a wondrous piece of architecture was also one of Michelangelo's innovations, illustrating how he actively participated in the Mannerism movement.

In architecture, Michelangelo also excelled as a Mannerist. One Web site note, "Mannerist architects were no less interested in ancient classical architecture than were their predecessors, but they found other qualities in ancient Roman architecture to exploit. In fact, they often displayed an even greater knowledge of antiquity than did earlier artists" ("Italian Mannerism," 2008). Michelangelo's greatest architectural achievements, such as the Laurentian Library in Florence, helped indicate he was a Mannerist by its' blatant breaking of many architectural rules of the time, showing not only its elegance, but its novelty and sophistication, as well. For example, Michelangelo uses classic design in this building, but adds a new way of assembling them…… [read more]

Mannerism of Italy in APA Format Renaissance Essay

… Mannerism of Italy

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 the changes which have taken place post renaissance period. The mannerism of Italy and in particular Florence will be presented in the paper. The mannerism will be then be compared with the art of North, particularly Germany and the Netherlands.

Mannerism of Italy

The term Mannerism derives from the Italian word maniera, meaning "style" or "way of working." Writers of the 16th century praised works for having maniera -- a way of saying they were stylish. But critics also used the term in a negative sense, for works in which the artist seemed to rely too much on imagination or on conventions established by other artists, rather than on observation of nature. Until the early 20th century such negative associations led scholars to think of Mannerism as a decadent style, a decline from what they considered to be the perfection of the Renaissance." (Mannerism, 1 January 2009)

Florence was one of the most exciting places in Europe, located in Italy the city had a population of roughly about 60,000 people in the fifteenth century. The most noticeable aspect of Florence was that it was a self-governed and most importantly an independent city.

The city grew with leaps and bounds because of its strong economic background to match this, the city also boasted of a strong political philosophy, these factors contributed in the immense success of Florence during the period of the Renaissance.…… [read more]

Compare and Contrast the Netherlandish Style With the Florentine Style 1300 1450s Essay

… ¶ … Netherland's style with the Florentine style (1300-1450s).

North vs. South: Compare and contrast the Netherland's style with the Florentine style (1300-1450s)

The period between the years 1300-1450 is often called a kind of proto-Renaissance, a transitional artistic and architectural period that existed between the Middle Ages and the High Renaissance. The differences between the Northern and Southern Renaissance styles and cultural attitudes are particularly manifest during this period. The Northern Renaissance in the Netherlands and other nearby nations had a more realistic style vs. The more idealized style of the Southern Renaissance, and tended to focus more on personalized and domestic subjects than the classical and nationalistic art of the Southern Renaissance. Additionally, "though the styles of northern artists vary according to geography, one characteristic that is fundamental to all northern art of this period is a fondness for meticulous rendering of details. In addition, there is generally less of the classical ideal apparent in the figures (which can be partly explained by their lack of access to Greek and Roman statues). Instead, remnants of Gothic influences are apparent in their compositions" (Urton 2008). In contrast, the Florentine or southern style was characterized by a seamless blending of classical styles of architectural construction or anatomy with Biblical scenes. Florence even called itself a "new Athens" ("The Early Renaissance," NGA, 2008).

A frequent use of heavily symbolic images in the form of the triptych was common in the Flemish style. A typical illustration of this is that of the Merode Altarpiece (c. 1425) created by Robert Campin, a notable Flemish artist of the period. Elaborate triptych altarpieces were common in the north of Europe, and the triptychs inevitably deployed a method of pictorial storytelling constructed across three hinged panels. The central panel of the Merode Altarpiece shows Mary interrupted at her reading, while the angel Gabriel comes to her, announcing that she will be the mother of Christ. In the work, "symbols of her purity include the vase of white lilies, the open biblical text, and the white linen," and closer inspection of the central panel "also reveals an image of Christ on the Cross, floating from the direction of the circular windows, and the extinguished candle probably also relates to his death" (Urton 2008). The central panel of the work deploys the most common use of perspective in the northern or Flemish style, and the tilted perspective of the room allows the symbolic iconography to be seen more easily than would be the case if the artist had used a linear perspective, as would be typically used in the Florentine style (Urton 2008).

Throughout the triptych a gothic style of architecture is used in the illustration of spatial structures. This is seen in Mary's doorway and in the right panel of Joseph at his workshop, where Joseph is shown "building mouse-traps," which is symbolic of Jesus' trapping the evils of the world (Urton 2008). In contrast, Florence is noted as the birthplace of the…… [read more]

Renaissance Was Born Out of a New Essay

… Renaissance was born out of a new vision of the world called Humanism. Humanism put forth a new system of thought which centered on the rediscovery of the Antiquity and the importance of the humanistic values in society. Man's happiness, intellectual and political emancipation are only three of the most prominent concepts of the Renaissance. Man is considered God's masterpiece, the center of the world and the measure of all things. The Renaissance was born at the cusp between the 14th and the 15th centuries in Italy, and marked the end of the middle ages, and the beginning of the modern era. At the time, the Italian cities of Venice, Florence, Milan, etc. were the most flourishing powers of Europe thanks to their fleets, banks, and trade. This paper looks at the cultural effects of Renaissance in three countries outside of Italy, namely Spain, the German principalities, and France.

Spanish Renaissance took place in the 15th and 16th centuries, and emerged from Italian Renaissance. However, critics have agreed on the fact that Spanish Renaissance did not reach the level of modernity found in Italy, or Northern Europe. For instance, the Spanish imported several important painters and sculptors, such as Titian, the leading painter of the Spanish court. Spanish Renaissance is directly linked to the monarchy of the Catholic Monarchs, namely Queen Isabella I of Castille and King Ferdiand II of Aragon. Spain's focus on art, science and literature was the result of a series of historical events which occured at the end of the 15th century: the discovery of the Americas, the taking of Granada by the Spanish monarchy, the expulsions of Muslim and Jewish people, and the publication of the first grammar of a Romance language, namely Castillian, by Seville born scholar Antonio de Nebrija.

Spanish painting was mostly done in oil; the colors and shading are applied in tonal ranges in accordance with the Italian painters of the day. Moreover, several elements of Italian painting, such as the adornments a candelieri, are reproduced by Spanish artists. As far as literature, there are a few names that definitely stand out from the rest of the Spanish Renaissance writers, such as: novelists Amadis of Gaul, Juan Boscan Almogaver, Garcilaso de la Vega, Baltasar Gracian, and of course, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, as well…… [read more]

Art Design or Art in "Art's Little Thesis

… Art

Design or Art

In "Art's Little Brother" author Rick Poyner maintains design is not taken as seriously as art, and wonders at the reasoning behind this phenomenon. He notes that designers often are not taken as seriously as artists are, and are virtually ignored in the art world. He writes, "Designers rarely achieve the level of recognition and financial reward attained by the most successful artists. Media coverage of art and design constantly reinforces art's privileged position" (Poyner 1). He acknowledges there are questions about the relationship between art and design, and that the relationship has become blurred over the years, and will become closer in the future.

He notes that an exhibition, while attempting to answer some of these questions, actually draws a larger line between the two disciplines, and creates more questions than it answers. He writes, "So what was the museum trying to say with the mysterious mathematical symbol in the title, which means 'not equal to, but not greater than and not less than?'" (Poyner 1). He cites other exhibits, books, and ideas that perpetuate this divide between design and art, even though many experts acknowledge art cannot exist without design.

Poyner's key argument in his discussion is the definition of design. He writes, "A designer, unlike an artist, 'works through and for other people, and is concerned primarily with their problems rather than his own'" (Poyner 2). This is the ultimate difference, for many people; at least, between a designer and an artist, they maintain an artist actually thinks about his own vision, rather than worrying about the problems of others.

Poyner is an author and design critic, and his work makes the reader think more about the difference between design and art, and makes the reader wonder, "why can't art and design exist together, and what makes the divide between them so great for some artists?" It seems as if this might have something to do with snob value or art snobs, don't you think?

In "Graphic Design: Fine Art of Social Science," author Jorge Frascara grapples…… [read more]

Frank Gohlke Essay

… Gohlke

The Sublime Photographic Art of Frank Gohlke

Frank Gohlke is considered one of the preeminent American landscape photographers of the late 20th and early 21st century. As manifest in "Between 165-05 and 165-09 85th Avenue" (2003), this photographer uses simple, seemingly unremarkable landscapes to evoke a subjective, visceral response in the viewer. Former subjects tackled by Gohlke include the beauty and remoteness of his native Midwest, and the contrast between serenity and turmoil after a natural disaster, such as in his photographs of the aftermath of the eruptions of Mt. St. Helena and tornados (Watkinson 1984, p.260). Gohlke has described his use of the landscape in photography as a kind of still-life "theater" in which the "sublime can be experienced without embarrassment or irony," as the extremes of human and natural life are rendered meaningful and visible, but without special effects or adornment -- "gloom, terror, vastness, and awe" are the aesthetic characteristics of Gohlke's works, even though the subjects are often simple (Watkinson 1984, p.260).

Gohlke's subject is almost always how the natural, or in this case, the urban landscape is changed by human or natural intervention, even if his subjects are not overtly dramatic -- rather he encourages the viewer to see the drama inherent in landscapes, making subtle changes manifest even though…… [read more]

French Renaissance Essay

… Architecture of the French Renaissance

The Renaissance would be a convergence of social, economic and artistic forces in the middle centuries of the last millennium. A period of time which can be characterized by a refinement and mainstreaming of the… [read more]

Richard Hamilton's Work Interior Is a Complex Thesis

… Richard Hamilton's work Interior is a complex artistic expression where the artist succeeds, through the use of collages, but also through a mixture of photographic art and painting, to give a personal expression of an otherwise regular scene in a room. One of the first thing that impresses in the technique he uses is the presence of an almost infinite number of layers, giving, in the relative spectrum of a bi-dimensional frame, the idea of perspective and of the existence of three dimensions. Perhaps the center of the creation, with the presence of the table is most eloquent in this sense: the leg of the table is almost real and sticking out of the picture. At the same time, the table itself seems a distinct element in a yet unitary picture because it belongs to the same collage.

Another thing worth pointing out in the picture is the fact that, despite the existence of numerous layers and the combination of painting and photographic art, the picture is very unitary. This is perhaps most obvious in the left part of the painting, where the description is continuous, although there are several layers there. On the other hand, even the seemingly void spaces, such as the ones in the middle of the creation, including the part with the television set, are still well integrated into the overall framework.

One could probably argue referring to this picture that the artist's intention is to use collages in order to create visual illusions for the viewer, not necessarily with a distinct message, but as an artistic expression of his beliefs.

Hitchcock's film "Spellbound" is a perfect example of how different arts intertwine…… [read more]

Modernism and Postmodernism (Question Essay

… Modernism and Postmodernism (Question #2)

There are differing opinions as to the point in history that is marked by the advent of modernism. Clement Greenberg (1982) says that he identifies the modernist period as commencing with the philosophy of Kant… [read more]

Abstract Artists and Show Essay

… ¶ … abstract artists and show how the aims in their work differ from those of earlier generations of abstract painters.

Abstract art is commonly defined as, "... art that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead… [read more]

Art Renaissance Art Each of These Readings Term Paper

… Art

Renaissance Art

Each of these readings discusses pageantry and celebration during the Renaissance, indicating how important these types of celebrations were to every citizen. These celebrations often encompass art in some form, from the decoration of the floats for the Festival of San Giovanni to the illustrations in the printed accounts of Mary Tudor's entry into Paris. They show the importance of art in society, as well, and how art influenced celebrations, pageantry, and Renaissance life.

The works also mention another important aspect of these celebrations - the city or locale as a participant in the festivities. It is easy to see how the city of Paris could indeed become a participant in the celebrations, as it is a charming and beautifully artistic city. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the rituals and celebrations is their relationship to power, as Kertzer notes in Ritual, politics, and power. It is easy, once you read this article, to see the relationship between power and ritual more clearly, and it makes sense that ritual relies on symbols, and symbolism is rampant in politics. Symbolism is also rampant in the art world, as these rituals and celebrations clearly indicate, because as they become more entrenched in society, they become symbols of the society and the society's interests, such as art,…… [read more]

Madonna With the Child Reading Term Paper

… Analysis of Van Eyck's Madonna with the Child Reading (1433)

The early 15th century would witness a flurry of new technical feats
in painting, with artists in Italy and France contributing particularly to
a new depth of realism in visual portrayal. Often overlooked would be the
remarkable work of some of the late-renaissance painters emergent from
Northern Europe. The Netherlands would produce some of the most detailed
and accurate portrayals of human features and contexts, with Jan Van Eyck
often identified as perhaps the best of painters from his time. His 1433
canvas, Madonna with the Child Reading stands as testament both to Van
Eyck's singularity and to incisive use of religious imagery to express the
anguish of his personal life.
The depiction of the virgin mother and a child, as seen in this work,
would be prominently recurrent throughout the painter's career,
demonstrating his interest in the thematic impetus of the immaculate
conception and, in particular, in the Madonna. The realist stylistic
tendencies in his works show her visage and gaze with incredible intricacy,
made possible by Van Eyck's evolutionary work in the oil painting medium.
The selected iconography of his work, inherently divine in its intent, is
also cast in a tragically human light. The sorrowful but loving
countenance on the Madonna figure brings to the surface a pointed sadness,
otherwise suggested by the faint and shadowy hues of the room.
We may suggest from that which we know about Van Eyck himself-which
is decidedly a limited amount-that this sadness and hue are inspired by the
same biographical fact which has inspired that recurrent appearance of the
Madonna herself. To this end, "by 'copying' significant elements of that
trecento fresco and several of its quattrocento transformations by artists
like Lorenzo Monaco and Gentile de Fabriano, Jan hoped to retain the
apotropaic values of the Florentine cult image in his . . . paintings
intended to aid childless couples, specifically, the Vydts and the Duke and
Duchess of Burgundy." (Jolly, 369) As a painter with prominent endorsement
by the noted Duke-who would indeed be his patron and his strongest
supporter in the court-Van Eyck's sympathy for the man without offspring is
perhaps strongly suggested here.
This discussion is encouraged in its identification of this motive by
the stark naturalism in the portrait, which addresses line, form and color
with a mind toward honestly depicted the real world. Notably, the
painter's singular skill with oil and his mastering of theretofore untapped
techniques would mark a moment of artistic transition. Indeed, "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."
(Hughes, 1) The objects and context of the work in question are…… [read more]

Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci Term Paper

… Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper"

One of the most monumental figures of the Renaissance period, Leonardo da Vinci, also embodied the spirit of curiosity and vigor of the era. He is well-known today for his many contributions to the world of art, as well as science. He represents everything that was new within the Renaissance era's desire to return to a quest for knowledge and experiences within a traditional dusty European context. His most famous work, "The Last Supper," represents a true Renaissance masterpiece, it "is one of the most renowned paintings of the High Renaissance," (Bambach, 2008).

The Last Supper" portrays Jesus and the apostles as they dine for the last time before Jesus is arrested and eventually sentenced to die on the cross. Present with the groups is also Judas, who was the traitor who turned over Jesus and his secrets to the Roman courts. In the painting, da Vinci is successful in his attempt to convey the painful emotions experienced by the apostles at the time Jesus had announced that this event would be his last dinner with them as a free man. Each of the apostles has a unique expression, effectively recapturing what each one would have been thinking and acting at the time of the actual event, if it were to have occurred.

One of the most obvious aspects of Renaissance art is the capturing of Catholic religious figures in a more human and realistic sort of way. Many Renaissance artists chose to depict Saints, apostles, as well as classical Greek mythological figures, but in a more humanistic way than the figures had every before been portrayed in the context of popular art.

Da Vinci effectively glorifies his sacred religious figures, while at the same time spinning them into realistic figures that an observer might have seen in real life. He gives new life to the archaic religious figures, therefore effectively breathing new life into the religious significance if the piece.

During the Renaissance period, several key techniques and elements were used by a variety…… [read more]

Edouard Manet Term Paper

… ¶ … Edouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832 in Paris. His father was the head of a department of the French government and his mother was the goddaughter of the King of Sweden. Manet studied at the College… [read more]

Last Supper Term Paper

… Last Supper



Between 1495 and 1498, Leonardo da Vinci (1452 to 1519), the epitome of the artist-genius as well as the "Universal Man" of the Renaissance Period, painted the Last Supper… [read more]

Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism Term Paper

… Art Theory: Paradigms, Modernism, and Postmodernism paradigm can be thought of as a theoretical framework which forms the foundation of critical analysis of a particular work of art. Generally, paradigms consist of a complex web of philosophical principles that define a particular worldview. Paradigms are not always successful in defining and analyzing works of art, however; as the literary critic Frank Kermode once wrote on the subject of paradigms, "If we cannot break free of them, we must make sense of them."

Thus, a lot of the thinking on theoretical paradigms is self-reflective; in other words, a work of art may spurn an analysis that causes one to question the nature of the very paradigm being employed to analyze that work.

Furthermore, a paradigm typically consists of a conceptual binary - i.e. The notion of "good" and "evil"; "good" art and "bad" art, etc. Such paradigms tend to break down when confronted with instances (i.e. works of art) that defy such ready categorization. As some of the most successful art works are the ones that occupy such an ambiguous stance, it is interesting to think of art in terms of its accordance with certain popular theoretical paradigms, while also recognizing those works that stand outside it (and are thus "extra-discursive" in many ways.)

In contemporary art theory and practice, one of the more popular conceptual paradigms is a historico-temporal one that attempts to account for art making practices throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. This is the legacy of "Modernism" versus what has come to be known as "Postmodernism." The two legacies, however, are intertwined and cannot be separated.

Frederic Jameson was one of the first philosophers, or critical theorists, as they have come to be known in academia, to chart the evolution of modernism in to postmodernism. According to Jameson, this moment occurred in art when there was a shift in focus from reality into the realm of "pure" image. But the "post" in postmodernism also serves a differentiating purpose; that is, postmodernism can in many ways be considered a reaction against the styles and attitudes to be found in many of the masterpieces of High Modernism, which is thought to have begun with the works of Cezanne in France and extended up through the works of the Abstract Expressionist painters (Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, etc.) in New York in the middle of the 20th century. According to this account, the formerly subversive works of Modernism, which were believed to be shocking or disruptive during their era in the limelight, were quickly subsumed and institutionalized into academic and intellectual discourse, thus losing a lot of their initial bite. Just as the Modernists felt the need to rebel against what had come…… [read more]

Brenda Mcmahon Term Paper

… Brenad McMahon

The creation of ceramics is a form of art that some describe as an art and some a craft, though how this is applied may depend on the nature of the work under discussion and the degree of… [read more]

Caress by Mary Cassatt and Atlas's Slave Term Paper

… ¶ … Caress" by Mary Cassatt and "Atlas's Slave" by Michelangelo are works of art coming from different artistic periods and this is definitely reflected in the way that each reflects the artist's credo and beliefs. It is much easier to support the idea that the two works are completely different, starting with basic observations, such as the fact that "The Caress" is a painting, while "Atlas's Slave" is a sculpture. However, the scope of this paper is also to identify potential similarities between the two.

Mary Cassatt is one of the representative Impressionists of late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century in the United States and "The Caress" reflects this in a distinct tendency to suggest rather than clearly state. This suggestive style can be noticed, for example, in the wavy lines that define the bodies of female figures and the baby. This brings out a certain delicacy that the painter surely wanted to pass on to the viewer. Since the title is "The Caress," Mary Cassatt wants to show an image consisting of tenderness and care: a mother holding her baby, with the daughter simply participating in this happy familial picture and supporting the idea of happiness in a familial framework.

We should also note the coloring, supporting the same idea of coziness and tenderness. These are not rough colors, they are bright and generous. The mother's dress is a pleasant and relaxing dark green, while the little girl has a yellow dress on, which goes well with her blonde hair. The entire picture is that of familial bliss, and of relaxing happiness and the painting is thus created to support this idea.

The work "Atlas's Slave" should be seen from a completely different perspective. There is no tenderness here, the work is rough because of its subject. There is no caressing here, only the rough image of a slave holding on his shoulders the entire weight of the world. The material is the first that suggests this and that contrasts with the previous work of art. As we have seen, Mary Cassatt uses bright colors and wavy lines in her oil painting in order to suggest peaceful tenderness and gentility, going well with the theme of caressing that she has picked for her work. Michelangelo has preferred a hard rock in order to express not until the roughness of the scene, as I have previously mentioned, but also to express the pain of the slave in his attempt…… [read more]

Parmigianino's Antea Term Paper

… Parmigianino's Antea

Any visit to the Frick Collection will impress even the most experienced museumgoer. This is because the building housing the Frick Collection is so impressive. It is the former mansion of steel magnate Henry Frick. Beyond the obvious grandeur of the building, however, one finds a sweeping collection of old master paintings. One of my favorite paintings in the permanent collection is Holbein's portrait of Thomas More. Holbein does an amazing job of capturing More's elegant red velvet and fur coat. This is one of those rare experiences in art where the coat actually looks real, rather than painted. In terms of Italian Renaissance art, I was very impressed by Bellini's St. Francis in Ecstasy. It is a sublime painting that perfectly captures the union between the spiritual and the natural.

Currently, the Frick Collection is featuring an exhibition of Parmigianino's painting Antea. This painting is in many ways a mystery of Renaissance art. No one knows for…… [read more]

Japanese Artist Tawaraya Sotatsu Term Paper

… Tawaraya Sotatsu is one of the biggest names in the history of art in Japan. He was not always considered thus, however. He had fallen into obscurity for several centuries after his death, and it was not until the early… [read more]

Robert Arneson Term Paper

… ¶ … ceramic artist Robert Arneson, an artist noted for his whimsical and distinctive ceramic pieces. Robert Arneson changed the way many people look at ceramics and sculpture, and his works helped create a new dimension in ceramic design. He… [read more]

Revolutionary Ideas of the Impressionist Movement Term Paper

… Impressionism: "a theory or practice in painting especially among French painters of about 1870 of depicting the natural appearances of objects by means of dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to simulate actual reflected light..." Merriam-Webster

The… [read more]

Grandma Moses Term Paper

… ¶ … artist Grandma Moses and some of her works of art. Grandma Moses was a famous American folk artist who painted over 1500 paintings during her lifetime. She did not begin painting until she was in her 70s, which makes her output even more amazing. Her paintings were noted for their vivid colors, and realistic portrayals of country life and country landscapes.

Grandma Moses real name was Anna Mary Robertson. She was born at Greenwich, NY in 1860, and lived until 1961. For most of her life, she was a housekeeper, working on a farm where she met her husband, Thomas Moses. She became a mother, and later a widow in 1927. She did not paint her first painting until she was 76 (in 1936), and she took up painting because she had arthritis in her hands, and could no longer embroider, which she enjoyed. She based many of her first paintings on embroidery projects she had designed and completed ("Grandma Moses Is Dead"). Her paintings first sold for about $3 or $5 dollars in her hometown of Hoosick Falls, NY, but an art collector saw some of the paintings and bought them all. Soon word began to spread about the artist, and she became known around the world as "Grandma Moses."

Her paintings were in the primitive, folk art style, and showed typical scenes indoors and outdoors around her home. One writer said they were known for "Gay color, action and humor enlivened her portrayals of such simple farm activities as maple sugaring, soap-making, candle-making, haying, berrying and the making of apple butter" ("Grandma Moses Is Dead"). Her buildings often have a slight tilt to them, and her people often resemble cartoon figures, but there is something arresting and charming about her paintings that make them seem somewhat irresistible and heart-warming.

The Bennington Museum in Vermont has the largest collection of Grandma Moses' works in the U.S., and many of her most famous works are on display here. One of the paintings on display here is "At the Well," a delightful summer landscape filled with black and white dairy cows on a green hillside, tall birch trees, a Vermont farmhouse, and a community well…… [read more]

Theories of Art Term Paper

… ¶ … photographer Ansel Adams, on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Specifically it will contain a critical review on Adams' work, including a review of the exhibit. Ansel Adams is perhaps one of the most famous landscape photographers in the world, and his work shows many elements of the photographic message suggested in the text.

The content of Ansel Adams' photographic message may seem clear, but a closer look at his photographs indicates that is not the case. Adams is mainly known for his detailed black-and-white images of landscapes, especially throughout Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada, but as this show indicates, he chose other subjects, such as the Los Angeles Freeway interchange that is a study in modern art and architecture, but also contains many photographic elements common to Adams' work. Thus, the content of Adams' photographic message is more varied than some people might think, which is one of the surprises a viewer may come upon when they visit this exhibit. Adams' work does convey a "message without a code" because the message is very clear and easy to see in most of his photos. There is no hidden meaning or agenda in the works, just a clear love of the natural world, the landscape, and everything surrounding the artist. It is clear he had an appreciation for the outdoors and the many varied patterns in nature, and that message shows itself every time you view his work in the gallery.

Adams' style, on the other hand, has a clear message. His style is stark black-and-white, with an obvious appreciation for shadow, light, and the many different nuances these elements can produce in a photograph. His treatment of each image is detailed and extremely sharply focused from edge to edge, but the most striking thing about his photographs is the obsessive attention to shadow and light, using light to highlight just the trunk of a tree or the sensual curve of a freeway onramp. Adams was a master of light and darkroom development, and that is the style he developed and is most remembered for during his career as…… [read more]

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