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Art History Lecture 1.docx

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Art History
Neil Mc Kay

Fox 1: Lecture 1 Art History 1A03 Monday May 6,2013 Lecture 1  Sally McKay  What do artists do?  Create  Non verbal means  What do art historians do?  Looking  Describing  Researching  Analysing  Writing  Verbal means  Creative act  Art history is a living discourse-happens in the here & now  The textbook quotes: “privileged set of artifacts/evolves through the actions, opinions and selections of artists, patrons, governments, collectors, archaeologists, museums, art historians, & others.  Henry Moore (made similar artwork to one made 75 years ago)  Andre Serrano (iconoclasm, Jesus in urine)  4 Key Aspects of the Art Historical method: 1. Analyse physical properties: (date/age, condition, medium & technique, dimensions & physical conditions). Age: Broad categories of Western Art History such as Prehistoric (Greek & Roman), Byzantine, Medieval (Romanesque & Gothic), Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classicism, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism & Post-Modernism 2. Analyse visual or formal properties: (colors, light, line, form, texture, style, balance, composition & contrast) 3. Analyse content (iconography): (symbols & conventions) Ex = “Mother & Child” c. 1890 by Mary Cassatt=informs meaning of painting. Also: King Tut & Buddha 4. Analyse cultural context (iconology): Artwork makes no sense. Ex = Sculptures from Ancient Greece Fox 2: Lecture 1  Analysis of A Painting Using 4 Key Aspects of the Art Historical method: “Crucification with the Virgin & St. John the Evangelist” c. 1460 by Roger Van der Weyden. Oil on oak panels 71” x 73”. 1. Physical Properties: Distich (2 pictures in 1), oil, 1460, painted on oak panels, chalk base coat, pigments in oil, informed reflectography reveals sketchy drawing underneath, x-ray reveals dowel holes & plugs. 2. Visual Properties: Great detail in the fabric, sharp red colors, decay of walls, contrast of wall with red tapestry, solid colors, lines create a cross, no shadows, symmetrical on right side, curved linear left side, visual tension. 3. Content Properties: Jesus is being crucified, Mary is crying, bones represent decay, skull symbolize
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