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University of Toronto Scarborough
Art History
Kucherova Darya

Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 1 Woman from Prehistoric, 24,000 BCE Willendorf Paleolithic Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Made from limestone, traces of red ochre • 4 inches • Large breast, a bulging stomach, wide hips and solid thighs Cultural Context • This artist may be showing her health and fertility, which would ensure the ability to produce strong children, thus guaranteeing the survival of the community. • Venus of Willendorf was the original name but then was changed because Venus means spiritual/religious ties which they didn’t know, therefore the name was changed to women because of the shape of the figurine which symbolizes fertility. 2 Palette of Narmer Ancient Egypt, 2950 BCE Early Dynastic period Formal Characteristics • Green Schist • Slab • 25” • Almost completely in profile • Twisted perspective (combination of perspective) • Hieroglyphs Cultural Context • Narmer is the largest figure depicted on the palette, and he towers over the less important human beings who surround him. The issue of size to indicate relative status is known as hierarchical scale. • On one side of the palette, Narmer is depicted wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt, on the other side he is shown wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. Both sides portray him victorious over his enemies, he raises a mace to smite a prisoner. 3 Great Pyramids Ancient Egypt, 2575 BCE Old Kingdom 1 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • Granite and limestone • 137m • 3 false passage ways were created to mislead others from getting at tomb • Cultural Context • Funerary art; pyramid will be the home for the king and his tomb • Built never to be disturbed • • 4 Great Stupa at Early Asian art, 150-50 BCE Sanchi Kushan dynasty (india) Formal Characteristics • Brick • Dome shape • 10 ft high stone railing—punctured by 4 stone gateways, rings the entire stupa Cultural Context • Buddha is represented by symbols such as the stupa. • Stupa’s derived from burial mounds. • Rituals took place at the stupas 5 Eternal Shiva Early Asian, Mid-6 century Gupta Period Formal Characteristics • Carved out of the caves walls • Height 11’ • 3 heads are shown but 5 heads are implied Cultural Context • The heads summarize Shiva’s fivefold nature • • • nd rd 6 Standing Buddha Early Asian, 2 -3 century from Gandhara Kushan period (Pakistan) 2 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • 7’6” • Made of schist • Sculpture • Trobe is carved in tight, rib-like folds alternating with delicate creases. • His masculinity can still be seen through his robe Cultural Context • Buddha is portrayed as more powerful and heroic than ordinary humans • All Buddha’s are distinguished by 32 physical features among them are bulge on top of head, a tuft of hair between the eyebrows etc. • • 7 Pathenon, Ancient Greece, 400 BCE Acropolis Classical period, Formal Characteristics • Marble • • • Cultural Context • • • • 8 Polykleitos Spear Ancient Greece, 450-440 BCE Bearer Classical period Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Marble • 6’11” • Movement • Idealized 3 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Cultural Context • Greek sculptors sought to create timeless images of men and women by embodying within them an ideal notion of human appearance and deportment. • Taking the best attributes of humans and combining them to make it into a single ideal person. • • 9 Hermes and the Ancient Greece, Roman copy infant Dionysos Late classical after 4 century period BCE Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • 7’1” • Marble with red paint on lips and hair • Movement Cultural Context • Greek sculptors sought to create timeless images of men and women by embodying within them an ideal notion of human appearance and deportment. • Taking the best attributes of humans and combining them to make it into a single ideal person. • • 10 Nike of Ancient Greece, 180 BCE Samothrace Hellenistic period Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Marble • 8’1” Cultural Context • This sculpture was perhaps created to commemorate the victory over the Seleucid king Antiochus (the third) in 190 BCE. • • • 11 Aphrodite of Ancient Greece, 150-100 BCE Melos/Venus de Hellenistic period Milo 4 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Marble • 6’8” • Movement • Erotic motion with the drapery slipping off Cultural Context • Hellenistic sculpture repeats the innovations of the "second classicism": perfect sculpture-in-the-round, allowing the statue to be admired from all angles; study of draping and effects of transparency of clothing; suppleness of poses. • Thus, Venus de Milo, even while echoing a classic model, is distinguished by the twist of her hips. • • 12 Pantheon Early Empire, 118-128 CE Rome Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Concrete • • Cultural Context • Temple built for all the Gods. • The entrance was made to resemble a typical rectangular Roman temple. • IT later became a Christian church • The opening at the top of the dome is the only source of natural light in the dome 13 Colosseum Early empire, 72-80 CE Rome Formal Characteristics • Travertine and tufa blocks and with Concrete faced with stone • Can hold 50,000 spectators • The outer layer of the colosseum consists of 3 levels of arcades surmounted by an attic story. Cultural Context • The building of the Ancient Roman Colosseum was widely regarded as a political move of the time, intended for entertaining and, possibly more importantly, distracting Rome's population from more serious 5 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 issues of the time • • • 14 Menorahs and ark Early Jewish 3 Century of the covenant, Jewish catacomb Formal Characteristics • Painting in a Jewish catacomb • Painting of Jewish symbols rather than figures • • Cultural Context • Judaism was practiced in secret • The earliest examples of Jewish art are in the catacombs, or the ancient burial grounds beneath the city of Rome • • 15 Great mosque at Islamic art, Early 785 CE Cordoba Caliphates Formal Characteristics • 620 by 420 feet • Marble columns (about 500 columns) • • Cultural Context • The great masque at Cordoba was original a temple for the gods, then converted into a church and then completely renovated into a mosque • • • th 16 Page from the Islamic art, Early 9 century Koran in Kufic Caliphates script Formal Characteristics • Passage from the Qur’an; black ink, pigments and gold on vellum • Horizontal strokes are elongated and the fat bodied letters are emphasized. • The surah’s title is embedded in the golden ornamental strip at the bottom of the page 6 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 • Cultural Context • Typical of Islamic artistic convention, use of gold and black coloring as well as the ornament and the intricate detailing of floral designs, also in gold. • Has religious relevance and showcases written language • • 17 Kandariya Later Asian art, 1000 CE Mahadeva temple Chandella dynasty (India) Formal Characteristics • Architectures/sculptures • near series of access-steps • At the top of the shikhara is the amalaka, a circular ring motif common in North Indian temple architecture. • Approximately 107 feet tall • Marble was used for the construction Cultural Context • Dedicated to the God Shiva • temple is one of the most ancient temples in India and attracts a lot of people because of its magnificence and beauty • • 18 The forbidden City Later Asian art, Fifteenth century Ming dynasty (China) Formal Characteristics • architectural masterpieces • The Forbidden City, located in the center of China's capital, Beijing, displays an extraordinarily harmonious balance between buildings and open space within a more or less symmetrical layout. • • 7 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Cultural Context • From the start, the City was enmeshed in ritualistic and religious concepts. • In this way, the emperor established himself as the Son of Heaven, with the mandate to maintain harmony between the human and natural world, balancing the vastness of nature with a uniform modular system of rectangular courtyards and buildings. He and his city became linked to the divine forces of the universe. 19 Palace Chapel of Carolingian art 792-805 Charlemagne Formal Characteristics • Architecture • • • Cultural Context • • • • 20 Christ Washing the Ottonian art 1000 Feet of his Disiples Formal Characteristics • Painting • Ink, gold, and colors on vellum • Page size • Inspired by Byzantine art in the use of sharply outlines drawing and lavish fields of gold Cultural Context • The scene captures the moment when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples during their final meal together. • • • 21 Abbey Church of Gothic art, 1140-1144 Saint-Denis France (Gothic) 8 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • Architectural landmark • Walls composed of stained-glass windows • Originally an inscription was carved into the bronze door (but now lost) • The churches choir is a semicircular apse surrounded by an ambulatory, around which radiate seven chapels of uniform size. Cultural Context • Was the first gothic church • Gained inspiration from the text “radiant light a physical manifestation of God” thus the stained-glass windows • The plan of the choir has key features of the Romanesque pilgrimage church • Church became a place for pilgrimage and the burial place for the French kings 22 Rose Window and Gothic art, 1230-1235 Lancets, North France Transept, Chartes Cathedral (Gothic) Formal Characteristics • Stained and painted glass • Huge north transparent rose floating above five slender lancets • The central oculus shows the Virgin and Child and is surrounded by 12 small petal-shaped windows 4 with doves (the 'Four Gifts of the Spirit'), the rest with adoring angels carrying candlesticks. • Beyond this is a ring of 12 diamond-shaped openings containing the Old Testament Kings of Judah, another ring of smaller lozenges containing the arms of France and Castille, and finally a ring of semicircles containing Old Testament Prophets holding scrolls Cultural Context • An ensemble proclaiming the virgin Mary’s royal and priestly heritage • The window was a gift from the young King Louis IX • The North transparent rose is dedicated to the Virgin • Under the rose are 5 lancets and each of these lancets contain standing figures is shown symbolically triumphing over an enemy depicted in the base of the lancet beneath them – David over Saul, Aaron over Pharaoh, St Anne over Synagoga, etc. 23 Lamentation from Giotto di 1305-1306 the Scrovegni Bondone, Chapel Gothic art 9 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • Fresco paintings in the chapel • The chapel is a simple, barrel-vaulted room that provides broad walls and a boxlike space to showcase the paintings. • The entrance wall is covered in the Last Judgment • the sanctuary wall with highlighted scenes from the life of Christ Cultural Context • Giotto has opened a door into a new style that will be known as Early Renaissance painting • He creates a world that is voluminous, 3-dimensional, and symbolic • The angelic hosts are individuals, each conveying their sense of grief in the tragedy that they see but are not physically a part of. • This fresco served as a palette for Giotto to express the new views of painting, and as a religious symbol. The Arena Chapel would host the events of the Life of Christ-Birth, Death and Resurrection through painted frescoes. 24 Feburary, Tres Limbourg 1411-1416 Riches Heures Brothers, Northern Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Colors and ink on parchment • Largest in scale and most elegantly dressed is the women closest to us at the lower left, who perhaps is the owner of the farm. • The owner carefully lifts her over garments and balances it daintily with both hands as she warms herself. • She shares her fire with a lower class couple, this can be seen through the fact that their figures are smaller and further in, and they wear less expensive clothing, and are also less behaved, especially the uncouth man. Cultural Context • The brothers produced this book of hours including a calendar of holy days with full page paintings introducing each month. • The subjects of the painting alternate between peasants’ labors and aristocratic pleasure. • On the February page you can see farm folk relaxing before a blazing fire. • The paining clearly shows some gothic conventions common in Northern Renaissance. 25 Portrait of a Jan Van Eyck, 1434 Giovanni Arnolfini Early and his wife Renaissance 10 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • Oil on wood panel • Wealthy couple posing in front of their bed • Is the wife pregnant or is she holding up her full-skirted dress in a contemporary fashion. • The room is a bit lit by a window on the left Cultural Context • Traditionally, it is believed that the scene is a private wedding ceremony and the painting acts as a marriage certificate; but it has also been suggested that the painting celebrates the continuity of their married life, or the close relationship between the couple. • The pasty man in the painting Giovanni earned his wealth rather than inheriting it • Even with the secular setting, the painting is filled with sacred meaning. • The church still provided spiritual groundings to the people of Renaissance. 26 Trinity with the Masaccio, 1425-1428 Virgin, Renaissance St. John the Evangelist, and Donors Formal Characteristics • Fresco • Precisely rendered perspective • Figures are organized in a measured progression into space • At the back a looming figure of God the father holds the cross on which Jesus hangs • Mary and St. John the Evangelist stand at the foot of the cross Cultural Context • The fresco was meant to give the illusion of a stone funerary monument • The major achievement of Renaissance artist was the consistently scaled integration of human figures into rationally receding architectural settings. • Below is an open sarcophagus, a skeleton provides a grim reminder of Christian belief • The inscription above the skeletons reads “ I was once that which you are, and what I am you will also be” 11 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 27 David Donatello, 1446-1460 Italian Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Bronze • Idealized body • Classical tradition on heroic nudity • Appearance of an adolescent boy, wearing a jaunty hat and boots, standing on his enemy’s served head Cultural Context • Rendition of biblical hero David • Donatello approaches every commission as an opportunity for a new experiment • Some have interoperated David’s angular pose, dreamy expression, and underdeveloped torso, as Donatello’s attempt to heighten the spectacular heroism of this child who takes on adult responsibility of challenging and defeating the giant enemy warrior. 28 Last Supper Leonardo da 1495-1498 Vinci, High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Wall painting in the refectory • Tempera and oil on plaster • Painting tells a story, capturing the moment when Jesus tells his companions that one of them is going to betray him. • One point linear perspective Cultural Context • Instead of painting in fresco, Leonardo devised an experimental technique for this mural. • Hoping to achieve freedom and flexibility of painting, he worked directly on dry intonaco. • The results were disthtrous, the painting began to deteriorate, and by the middle of the 16 century its figured could be seen with difficulty. • In the 17 century, the monks cut a doorway through the lower center of the composition 29 The School of Raphael, 1510-1511 Athens High Renaissance and Reformation 12 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 Formal Characteristics • Fresco • The central pair of philosophers is Plato and Aristotle. Plato was responsible for the foundations of Western philosophy and science, and Aristotle was his student • Viewers gaze at the scene through an illusionistic arch • Painting is flooded with light from a single source Cultural Context • This painting depicts the world’s greatest philosophers and scientists joining together to re-teach their discoveries to each other in order to discover more and “inspire a new age” • The figures in this imaginary gathering are modeled after many of Raphael’s friends and colleagues • The shape of the walls and the vaults of the room itself inspired the composition • The painting summarizes the ideals of the Renaissance 30 David Michelangelo, 1501-1504 High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Sculpture • Marble • Idealized masculine, athletic male nude body • The emotional power of the facial expression and concentrated gaze is new in contrast to the antique ideal of the body. Cultural Context • Rendition of biblical hero David • David knits his brows and stares into space, psychologically preparing himself for the battle to come • The statue was a Florentine commission but when it was completed it was so admired that the city council claimed it for the principle city square • The statue was a symbol of hope to the Florentine who had just fought and are still faced with political and military pressure 31 Pesaro Madonna Titian, 1519-1526 High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Oil on canvas • Madonna and child surrounded by Pesaro family • It thrusts Saint Peter and Pesaro into the center and puts Mary out to the side. Despite this, it is perfectly balanced and uses perspective. 13 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 • Cultural Context • Created to honor the Christian defeat of the Turks • He broke with a centuries-long tradition of placing the devotional figures (the Virgin and Child) in the center of the painting • Titian has used diagonal and triangular principles to draw the viewer's eye up to the Madonna and Child, thus creating hierarchy within the work and shows that the Pesaro family are pious • 32 Last Supper Tintoretto, 1592-1594 High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Oil on canvas • Dynamic technique, strong colors, and bright high lights • Pictorial mood of intense spirituality • Realistic elements are transformed by the plunging, off-center perspective and the brilliant, otherworldly light emanating from Jesus and the disciple which takes place of traditional halo • Angels swoop in from above Cultural Context • Last super is one of the last paintings Tintoretto created • Included everyday detail such as servant kneeling by a basket • Jesus offers bread and wine to a disciple • 33 Adam and Eve Albrecht Durer, 1504 High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Engraving • Idealized figures • Embedded in the landscape are symbols of 4 humors which is presented in an elk, cat, ox, and rabbit • Cultural Context • First use of an ideal human proportions based on classical sculptures • Symbols of 4 humors, reference the belief that Adam and Eve 14 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 disobeyed God • The mouse is an emblem of Satan, and the parrot may symbolize false wisdom, since it only repeats mindlessly what it hears • Durer is proud of his engraving and it shown due to the place card bearing his full name and date hanging on a branch next to Adam 34 The French Han Holbein 1533 Ambassadors Younger, High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Oil on wood panel • This picture memorializes two wealthy, educated and powerful young men • The two young scholars and ambassadors had attained social status, wealth, knowledge and fame, but they did not look proud or pleased they actually look sad • Music is a form of harmony in the period and the broken strings can represent discord that has been produced across Europe. Cultural Context • It reflects the political relationship between England and France • The two men stand at either side of a table covered with a collection of objects that can be related to the Quadrivium, the four mathematical sciences of the Seven Liberal Arts: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy • Upper shelf would be used for the study of the heavens and heavenly bodies (celestial globe, compasses, sundial, cylindrical calendar, level and quadrant), while the objects on the lower shelf have more to do with everyday worldly matters • The painting asks us to see invisibly the invisible truth, or death, which is hidden behind the surface of appearances. It might be a hint that one must look beyond the surface and look at things from a different perspective in order to find the truth 35 Return of the Pieter Bruegel 1565 Hunters the Elder High Renaissance Formal Characteristics • Oil on wood panel • The painting describes a November and December with the bleak atmosphere of early night fall during a damp, cold winter • The hunters are in the foreground • The row of trees form a receding set, consistently diminishing in scale • The stark contrast of light and dark highlights the playful movement of 15 Ways of Seeing Introduction to Art History Must-Know Images VPHA46H3 ice skaters on frozen fields Cultural Context • The subject matter of the art work is peasant hunters returning from the hunt • The figures themselves are dwarfed by the magnificent winter vista indicating Bruegel may have
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