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Final Project: Paper Proposal

Topic: Humanism throughout history.

Thesis Statement: Although the humanism movement started during the time of ancient Greece and Rome it is still seen portrayed in artwork today.

Introduction: Humanism is the a movement in art history that shifted the  focus of art works from deities and worshiping the deities to a focus on humans, more specifically the ideal human. Instead of valuing a God or religion during the movement people began to focus more on valuing humanity therefore making themselves gods. equal to gods by putting themselves at the center of all social and moral concerns. Prior to the humanism movement art was typically made to worship the deities. An example of this can be seen in the photograph of the Standing Male Worshiper.
Prior to the humanism movement art was typically made to worship the deities. The Standing Male Worshiper is an example of a piece of artwork that was created before the humanism movement. As it can be seen in the photograph the creator of this sculpture did not put much effort into adding detail to the human represented in the sculpture. The artist of the sculpture created it to serve one purpose which was to be a praying stand in for the person it represented.  

                                                     Artist: N/A
Title: Standing Male Worshiper   
Date: 2900–2600 B.C.                   
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

As time began to progress so the idea of humanism began to form and the shift from making art that focused on deities and worshiping them to making art that worshiped humanity and focused on the ideal human body. An example of an artwork that showed the start of the transition from focus on deities to a focus on humans is the Statue of Kouros. Unlike the Standing Male Worshiper which had almost no detail on the human body, the Statue of Kouros focuses soley on the human body. It is a representation of a young nude male. The artist of this sculpture adds small but noticeable details such as the outlining of the mans abs and chest. Another faint but drastic difference between the two sculptures is the sense of movement that can be seen in the legs of the Statue of Kouros. As seen in the photograph below, the left leg of the statue strides forward giving the sculpture a feeling of movement.
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Artist: N/A
Title: Statue of Kouros
Date: 600 BCE  
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As more time passed the humanism movement became larger and lead to much more drastic changes in the art world. An example of a artwork that shows drastic a drastic change due to the humanism movement is the statue of Polykleitos. Similar to the statue of Kouros, the Doryphoros has a sense of movement but different to the Kouros, the Doryphoros has no symmetry. Instead the statue of Polykleitos has contrapposto. Contrapposto is the use of counter balancing to form "an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing those of the hips and leg."(Google definition).By giving the statue contrapposto it the artist was able to show that the statue is suppose to represent a person walking.


Artist: Polykleitos
Title: Doryphoros (Roman copy)
Date: 450-440 BCE
Museum: Museo Archaeologico Nazionale (Naples)

Proposal/Task: The student is to select five modern pieces of artworks and explain how they represent/show that the humanism movement is still a part of art to this day.

Requirements: Assemble a minimum of five works of art that relate to the thesis statement. Images should have the following information: artist, title, date.

Conclusion: After gathering and explaining the 5 artworks you have chosen the reader/ grader of this assignment should be able to easily tell how each individual piece of art relates to the humanism movement and how it is similar or different to the 3 artworks that I have listed above.  

Work Cited:Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, "Standing Male Worshipper (Tell Asmar)," in Smarthistory, December 16, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/standing-male-worshipper-from-the-square-temple-at-eshnunna-tell-asmar/.

“Standing Male Worshiper.” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/40.156/.

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Marble statue of a kouros (New York Kouros)," in Smarthistory, December 20, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/marble-statue-of-a-kouros-new-york-kouros/.

“Marble Statue of a Kouros (Youth).” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/32.11.1/.

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Polykleitos, Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer)," in Smarthistory, August 8, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/polykleitos-doryphoros-spear-bearer/.
“Marble Statue of a Kouros (Youth).” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/32.11.1/.

 

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