Research Paper: Orient West Minoan and Romantic

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[. . .] 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 in content positions parallel discussion in the realm of everyday life, and in beauty. Intransience against an aesthetic lexicon of 'authority' as it was in Ancient Egypt and would later become during the nationalist period, artists working in Knossos and in the studios dedicated to a culture of feminine expression shared a whimsy in their work and their dedication to a light and cheerful disposition in creation.

Encompassing a diverse range of human activities, Art is a deliberation of the senses. It is said that Art is ceteris paribus an integral part of human society; and philosophers have long pondered creativity as a manifestation of this tendency. The semiotic relation in Art as a public good may be observed as synchronic or diachronic -- a recognizable dialogue between the skill of artificer and spectator, and those communicative elements transmitted throughout time. Transformation of this idea emerged as a contemporary concept after the early eighteenth century just prior to Cassatt's period, when artistic practices came to be understood as innate human 'talent' rather than mere craft. Ancient Greeks, however, already spoke of aesthetics, and the topic is of course a central trope in the writings of Aristotle. We of course, do not have knowledge of Minoan orientations toward the topic.

b. Explain the purpose for continuing the tradition of the earlier historical art period or deviating from it.

The compendium of Cassatt's work is imbued with subject matter that bespeaks of 'feminine' culture that is both emotive and domestic. In her late 19th century depiction of mother and child in, The Bath, anonymous subjects make the painting inimitable, as the anonymous nudes pose against a flat perspective resembling Japanese print compositional devices (de la Croix and Tansey, 1980). This trajectory reveals the West's renewed interest in the East; a very clear alignment with Classical Greek and Roman tradition, and Silk Road influences brought to the shores of the Mediterranean by way of the trade winds.

1. Reference at least one specific work of art from each period in your discussion.

Image 1: Faience figurine of a snake-goddess, deity or worshipper, h. 295 mm, from the Temple Repositories, Knossos, (Herakleion, Archaeological Museum); Photo credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Minoan statuary substantiate that the civilization engaged in Culture beyond mere agricultural exchange and communion with nature. Human passions are expressed in the cult of fertility goddesses. Numerous anthropomorphic figurines found strewn throughout Knossos indicate that Minoan cult sacrifices were a domestic activity. Alternative rites of passage motifs can also be found in male representations, typically associated with hunting, yet they are fewer and far between.

Image 2: The Baccante (Cassatt, 1872).

The Bacchante is an early composition by Cassatt. Considered a key transition work between Romanticism and Impressionism vis-a-v's continuity in classism, the subject matter is surrounded by the softness of golden light, making her face luminous, and emphasizing the silk folds of the garment; luxury textiles from the Orient.

2. Explain how the later work relates to the earlier work.

c. Explain the influence the later historical art period had on the art world (i.e., its historical significance).

Although Mary Cassatt's contribution is immeasurable in terms of the efficacy of her work in perpetuity, it is perhaps the immediacy of the composition that creates an 'ambience' that translates over time. An essential convention that would come to characterize Cassatt's talent was the capacity of the painter to illustrate the diffusion of internal emotion as atmosphere. An apt bridge since the Ancients, Cassatt's retention of the female form as a sacred site of timelessness engenders her legacy with domesticity and folly. It is here we find extension.


Art. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Retrieved from: de la Croix, H. And Tansey, R.G. (1980). Gardner's: Art Through the Ages. New York: Harcourt and Brace.

Vaughan, W. (2010). Romanticism. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Retrieved from:

(2010). Romanticism in the Visual Arts. Oxford Companion to Western Art.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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