Monday, May 9, 2011

Future Art Historians

-Read every single page in the book
-Follow the syllabus
-Study for the tests
-Keep up with your notecards
-Do the study guides
-Pay attention in class
-Enjoy yourself and soak up the art!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sacred Space

Katholikon located in Hosios Loukas, Greece exemplifies a church typical of middle Byzantium, the second golden age of Byzantine art. It is small and high shouldered with a central dome on a drum. The cloisonné technique creates the exterior walls, light stones framed by dark red bricks. The exterior walls also feature decoration with vivid patterns probably a technique reflecting Islamic ideas. Curved windows, projecting apses and varying roof lines also adorn the exterior of the church adding energy to the vertical architecture. The plan of the church is the Greek cross, a domed cross in square with four equal-length, vaulted cross arms. The dome is formed with squinches. The interior of the church creates mystique using space, surface, light and dark. The complexity of the interior architecture distracts the viewer from only looking up towards the dome. Katholikon features flat walls and concave recesses, wide and narrow openings, groin and barrel vaults, single, double and triple windows, and illuminated and dark spaces. The architects of middle Byzantine strived to create beautiful yet complex spaces dedicated to religious devotion.

The Dome of the Rock is a very unique sacred space. The name gives it all away, it is simply a dome over a rock. The rock is obviously very important considering it has been given a dome to protect it. It is the first great Islamic building and it is located in Jerusalem. The shrine was ordered by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik to commemorate the triumph of Islam. The Dome of the Rock was a marker for the coming of a new religion that was sacred to both Jews and Christians, Islam.  The construction began in 687 and was completed in 692. The Rock itself has many religious ties. It is said to be the place where Adam was buried and Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac. It is also the rock from which Muhammad miraculously descended into heaven only to return to his home in Mecca within the same night. The dome sits on the Noble Enclosure, where the Hebrews built the Temple of Solomon that Titus destroyed in 70. The architecture of the dome is a double-shelled wooden dome that is 60 feet across and 75 feet high. The interior walls of the Dome are covered with mosaics. The Dome of the Rock is a beautiful sacred space with many religious ties.

Representations of the Natural World

Primavera by Sandro Botticelli uses motifs from nature to signify the Medici family. Created for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de'Medici, one of Lorenzo the Magnificent's cousins, Primavera features the symbol of the Medici family, oranges. This tempera on wood painting was probably made to commemorate the May 1482 wedding of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de'Medici. Primavera portrays love in spring with Venus and Cupid at the center of the composition. To the right the nymph Cloris transforms into Flora, the goddess of spring, wearing a floral gown. Botticelli was a fabulous colorist and this can be clearly seen in Primavera. The sensuality of spring is shown through the brilliant colors and the characters featured within this painting. 

Landscape with swallows, Spring Fresco, clearly uses motifs from nature. Categorized as Minoan art it was created around 1650 BCE and it is one among many that adorn the walls in a private house. It is one of the earliest examples of a pure landscape. No piece of art can have more ties to nature than a landscape but a landscape has so much more to it than just nature. In Spring Fresco the artist tried to portray more than the rocky terrain by capturing the essence and emotion of the land. This landscape is very whimsical and very much spring. The lilies sway in the cool island breezes of Cyclades, Greece as the swallows dart around the vividly colored rocks. Curving lines help create the flow and delicacy of spring in this painted wet fresco. The essence of spring is very much captured within this fresco by a Theran painter.

The art of the human body

Menkaure and Khamerernebty from Gizeh, Egypt is a stylized version of a king and his wife. The figures are melded to the block of stone from which they were formed. This statue could be called a high-relief sculpture. Menkaure stands in a rigid pose with his arms straight by his sides and his fists clenched with his thumbs facing forward. His left leg is slightly advanced but the unbalance of weight amongst his legs is not recognized in his body. This rigidness was the norm in Egyptian art. Khamerernebty stands in a similar pose but with her right arm wrapped around her husband and her left hand on his arm. This pose shows their marital status. This statue was not created to show emotion but to  "suggest the timeless nature of the stone statue that was designed to provide an eternal substitute home for the ka." This statue of a king and his wife was stylized with the Egyptian standard.  

Polykleitos exemplified his ideas for the perfect human body in the statue Doryphoros (Spear Bearer). In Polykleitos's eyes it was the ideal version of a nude male athlete. Contrapposto is used in this statue but the artist wanted more than the perfect balance of weight. He aimed to impose order on human movement. This seemingly relaxed pose is actually quite complicated. The balance between the person's parts is complex in order to create this casual look. The figure is in motion yet not moving. Polykleitos mastered what he believed to be the ideal nude male athlete or warrior in his statue, Doryphoros.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Letter Box

A mailbox began as only a simple box to hold letters, it slowly turned into a decorative street ornament for each individual house. Mailboxes made the journey from the wall next to the front door to their own freestanding spot by the street in front of the house. Some people choose a simple metal box but others have quite extravagant mailboxes. Recently I was in Naples, Florida where I saw quite a few mailboxes in the shape of a dolphin. Some people even have mailboxes made to resemble their own houses. There are mailboxes made to look like planes, trains and automobiles. Some simple metal mailboxes are painted to be made into so much more. When you drive down the street you no longer see the same plain mailbox instead you see many different takes on the once simple letter box. Mailboxes are used to signify major events. They are decorated for holidays, parties and the birth of a child among other things. A mailbox has become a way to identify a house not only by the numbers that signify the address but also by the make of the mailbox. Something so simple and everyday has become modern day art.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Body Art

Tattoos have become fairly common within our current world. For some people they are only a mistake but to others it means the world. It is a permanent expression of art upon ones body. It sounds a little crazy to have art inked within your body with needles but it is a beautiful way to express love for something. The television show L.A. Ink follows the life of Kat Von D and her tattoo shop obviously located in L.A.. On the show you see people getting tattoos, some people get portraits of loved ones, others get flowers. There is no limit on what you can get. When each person gets a tattoo on the show they tell the story behind the tattoo. Each one has a beautiful meaning. Kat Von D and her crew of misfit tattoo artists create beautiful works of art on skin. Anything a person can imagine can be transpired onto skin. Masterpieces are made on every inch of the body. Whether it be a cross or a word each tattoo is a modern work of art.


Dance is a type of artistic expression that every single person can use. Everybody can express themselves through dance from Brady, my five-year-old sister, to Chris Brown, famous artist with dance moves to match. Dance can come from your head, your hands, your toes or your feet. Movement is dance. Dance is art. It takes no skill to dance, simply bob your head or tap your toes and you're expressing yourself through art. There are those who work at it and accomplish moves that I can only dream about. Dance can be taught or made up. It can be done in a group or solo. Art is an expression of self, something that tells a story. Dance always tells a story. Sometimes its the story of a song and sometimes its the story of one's feelings. Shapes are made and emotions are portrayed. Dance can be beautiful and elegant or it can be dark and rough. Dance is one of the best expressions of art because anybody and everybody can do it. The only problem with dance is you can't hang it on your wall like you can a painting or stand it in your yard like a statue. Dance is in the moment art, expressed differently each time it's redone. It can never be perfectly duplicated, everybody's body moves differently. Dance is specific to each person, their very own expression of art.