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Lecture 2

HISTART 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Felice Varini, Guo Xi


Department
History of Art
Course Code
HISTART 101
Professor
Celeste Brusati
Lecture
2

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Lecture 2: Shifting Perspectives Ways of Seeing
Felice Varini, Five Black Concentric Circles
- Points of view - only one spot where it looks like circles: all about perspectives
- What you see depends on where you stand
Art/not art
- Cartographic illusions of scale - the rest of the world compared to Africa (Europe is much
smaller, but it is drawn to a similar scale)
Japanese World Map
- The map was adapted from European maps to incorporate other aspects and unknown information
about Japan to create a new synthesis
- People don’t know what's happening in the US - view from above vs view off into the distance
(naturalistic - closer to what the eye sees/“realistic” - more life like)
- Solar eclipse and world hemispheres
- Globe where Japan is the center - Brazil is in the center (bottom corners)
ART HISTORY’S SHIFTING FOCUS
From Europe-centered to culturally multifocal. Examples of exchanges
Same artist?
- Why not the same: different styles from different worldviews, different times and places, also
because they are so vastly different looking
- Dutch vs Asian Painting - oil painting on canvas vs the different materials and ink
painting
SCALES OF VALUE - CRITERIA OF VALUE
All styles of art are based on a particular scale of value, those qualities that are most prominent in a work
of art, those qualities most sought in the work of art
- These scales are different to different people at different times
Every scale has two ends; an artist who wants to contest current values can promote values at the other
end of the scale
- Naturalistic and unnaturalistic
- Polished vs rough
- 3-D vs flat
- Complicated vs simple
Why do people all over the world, at one time or another, develop highly descriptive techniques?
- Works from different cultures can adopt similar scales of value, but not always at the same time.
These two both adopt a naturalistic scale of value (idealism vs simplicity)
- Artistics products from different cultural regions can adopt very different scales of value even if
they were produced at the same time. Both these images are by famous artists of the 16th c.
- Different ways of human interpretations and varying ideals (more realism than a picasso -
more 3 dimensionality)
- Valuing naturalism over non-naturalistic things
Context is all - scribbles (right - german in the US vs chinese) - very different values of scale can produce
similar images
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