Final Project

Ariel A. Benzur 

Professor Shaw 

Art 1010 

December 7th, 2018 

Renaissance & Baroque Ideology: A Tour at The Met Fifth Avenue 

          After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Italy learned of cultures outside of its country. This led to what’s known as the Renaissance & Baroque periods & Baroque periods. The Renaissance & Baroque periods & Baroque periods went through the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries that focused on the idea of humanism. However, humanism in the Renaissance & Baroque periods were different compared to Ancient Greek Humanism. Including the belief that humans should be focused more on themselves instead of gods, the Renaissance & Baroque periods created the belief that we had the potential to become excellent though studying. The Renaissance & Baroque periods changed the world in many ways. Furthermore, one of the most prominent changes in modern art is the art of the Renaissance & Baroque periods. 

The first painting, Ancient Rome by Giovanni Paolo Panini painted in 1757 which can be seen in Gallery 629, shows us what Rome was. The painting depicts famous pieces of art created in the times of Ancient Rome, some of these pieces include famous Italian landmarks, Trajan’s column, the Farnese Hercules, and the Laocoön. The color and tone of the painting is bright as well as its linear design gives everyone a better view of Rome’s beautiful art history. This painting changed the world by showing everyone the true beauty of Ancient Roman art but at the same time using “modern” techniques. 

The second painting, Federico Gonzaga by Francesco Francia painted in 1510 which can be seen at Gallery 643, exemplifies what the Renaissance & Baroque periods changed. The painting is a portrait of a boy named Federico who was ten at the time of the painting. The color is bright for the background however the child is wearing a dark outfit. The linear pattern along this painting is 2D but in some angles looks as if it were 3D. It is a normal sized portrait size at 19×14 inches. What makes this painting so great is how different the style is against the older times as it is more intricate and detailed versus a painted from the Renaissance & Baroque periods. 

The third painting, Lute Player by Valentin de Boulogne painted in 1625 & 1626 which can be seen at Gallery 634, shows the integration of other cultures into Italian culture. The painted depict a lute player playing his lute. The painting is in dark colors with an entirely black background. The lines on this picture is linear which is a commonality in all Renaissance art. The use of oil painting in this piece allowed Boulogne gave him the ability to place more delicate features on the player’s face & body.  Boulogne who was a French painter followed famous Italian artist Caravaggio, which allowed Boulogne to bring new art ideas into Roman art. 

The fourth painting, Man with a Magnifying Glass by Rembrandt painted in the early 1660’s which can be seen at Gallery 964, shows the idea of humanism being integrated into Roman culture. The painting depicts an Amsterdam auctioneer who sold off one of Raphael’s pieces. The color is ominous giving the tone of the piece a darker feel. This may be due to the auctioneer’s old age which can be seen due to the use of oil painting. Rembrandt used oil painting to provide intricate details like wrinkles. The use of a regular person as the main feature instead of a god-like human or an actual god in the piece shows off what the Romans have learnt through the Renaissance & Baroque periods. 

The fifth painting, Curiosity by Gerard ter Borch the Younger painted in the early 1660’s which can be seen at Gallery 964. This painting depicts three women writing a letter, which is very odd due to the fact that most people weren’t literate and in turn couldn’t write. The color and tone of the picture is dark with only the women’s dresses painted with light colors. Dutch women who were rich were able to read and write because of the way the Dutch were raised. Unlike the Dutch, European countries wanted women to only do housework and not to learn anything else. The furniture in the background gives the picture a Renaissance & Baroque feel due to it being modern-like. 

This museum tour which you can go on in The Met on Fifth Avenue exemplifies the Renaissance & Baroque periods showing the past Roman art via Ancient Rome and the present through the other four pictures. Showing off the art of the Renaissance & Baroque periods is important because many current paintings are inspired through painting done in the Renaissance & Baroque periods and without the Renaissance happening, art in this world would look completely different and less intricate unlike what we have today.

Blog Post #10: The Met Visit

The Metropolitan Museum is one of the largest museums in the world with an encyclopedic amount of art inside. When going through the museum’s Renaissance and Baroque paintings, some were very intriguing and made me very interested. So, here’s some of the art that I looked at.

The Renaissance sculpture of Saint Jerome in the Wilderness done by Antonio Rossellino in 1470s, which can be seen in The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 500. It was breath taking that I couldn’t resist looking at it. First off, the way that everything pops out as well as the border on the sculpture makes it seem like a 3D image. Even though it is done in one color (Tan), you can tell what everything is. Also, the marble that is used to make it gives it a glossy texture when seen in real life. 

The Baroque artwork of Wentworth House Made in American during the late 1690s, can be seen in The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 711. The artwork is made with Oak and Pine Wood which made the artwork seem more rustic. The colors are very tame either than that green chair which pop out. The tone of the picture seems dark and the size isn’t too big.

The big difference I see in these two artworks and throughout all of Renaissance and Baroque art is what is being painted. Where the Renaissance seems to be going back to the old ages where people paint gods and allusions to holiness, Baroque art is more towards the Greek humanism standpoint where it is more involving man and his things.

Final Project: Outline

I have decided that I will be doing a museum tour as my final project.

Thesis: Throughout the Renaissance it’s art culture emphasized it’s turn to Greek Humanism with some Roman influence.

  1. Ancient Rome by Giovanni Paolo Panini, 1757 at The Metropolitan Museum
  2. Curiosity by Gerard ter Borch the Younger, ca. 1660–62 at The Met
  3. Man with a Magnifying Glass by Rembrandt, early 1660s at The Met
  4. Lute Player by Valentin de Boulogne, ca. 1625–26 at The Met
  5. Federico Gonzaga by Francesco Francia, 1510 which can be seen at at The MetFederico Gonzaga (1500–1540), Francesco Francia (Italian, Bologna ca. 1447–1517 Bologna), Tempera on wood, transferred from wood to canvas and then again to wood

Blog Post #9: Unit 2 Summary

In the ancient world there were many civilizations and each and every one had their own ideologies in art. Mesopotamian art mostly consisted mythological creatures or realistic depictions of people. While Egyptian art illustrates the deities of the Egyptians. As well, the Greeks portray their mythological creatures; however, they mostly portrayed their nude athletic bodies. The Romans produced art involving real people especially their emperors. Every civilization had their own depictions of art which poses some similarities and some differences. 

First off, Egyptian and Mesopotamian art are similar due to both of these civilizations thriving in close time periods. The architecture of both cultures is humongous. The layout of their paintings is also similar with most body parts including the heads, hands, and feet were facing towards the side but the torsos are shown facing towards the viewer. Another similarity between the two cultures is that they were polytheistic and their art depicted all of their gods. 

Also, Greek art is tied with Roman art due to the Greek Empire existing before and during the Roman Empire. As well, the Romans loved Greek culture and would replicate many of their pieces and would learn from the Greeks and use their techniques in creating their own art. They both depict mythological creatures in their art. During the Hellenistic era of Greek art there was a boost of naturalistic art which the Romans used throughout their empire. Both cultures used white marble to create some of their sculptures. 

But, all four have several things in common. All of the mentioned civilizations spent long times making sculptures which are detailed to the smallest points. They depict mythological beings with unearthly body parts doing unbelievable things. They’ve created large monuments and buildings who were dedicated to their gods in some way (I know pyramids were made for the resting place for royalty but the Egyptians believed they were gods). 

However, each culture has their own characteristics in their choice of art. All of the cultures used different materials from mud brick to sandstone and from marble to bronze. They all depicted their own mythological creatures/deities, some would be standing, guarding, or/and judging while others would be doing things like handing things out, helping people, or/and hurting people for doing something wrong. 

The Romans built on Greek art and arguably made it more modern. Even though both civilizations made similar structures in the Pantheon which the Greek built to honor the god Athena, the Romans built the Pantheon to honor all of the Roman gods. The Greeks would show off their nude and athletic bodies but after the Roman saw this, they believed covering themselves up was better due to being unproper. As well, the Romans depicts regular people unlike the Greeks. 

Both the Mesopotamian and Egyptians designed their art in different ways. The Mesopotamians created ziggurats, temple in which they served their gods which were created by sun dried mud-blocks, which made them less resistant to erosion. However, the Egyptians created pyramids to bury their royalty which were built with sandstone, which makes it very resilient and why we are able to see them today. There were Mesopotamian painting that depicted regular people. Unlike the Egyptians who mainly focused on their gods and goddesses in their paintings. The further time goes, the more art changes and morphs and even though this happens, there will always be some staple to what art truly is.

Blog Post #8: Humanism in Ancient Arts

In the times of the Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian, it was believed that everything on Earth should be based around God. Whatever you do in life, God should be your influence from what job you should have to what tree you should plant. As time passed by this ideology was tossed over for the idea of humanism. The idea that the world revolves around the man. No longer should your doings be based by gods but you decide what you do. This gave man more value and more independence from a higher power.

From the perspective of art, Mesopotamia’s human sculptures usually depicted an ordinary man with a normal physique. But due to the Greeks love of sports and athletes all of their human sculptures are men with god-like attributes, a nearly inhuman physique due to their humanism.

The gods of Mesopotamia were deities who were never compared to human and don’t live among humans. As well only priests were allowed to serve them directly and others would have to come to a place of gathering to ask things from them. Unlike the Mesopotamian, the Greeks saw gods as human-like featured creatures with extraordinary abilities. There are stories that these gods would assimilate with the humans even become animals, also they have human emotions and desires like every other human. Any Greek could pray to the gods from any place. Through the Greek’s adaption of humanism, they were able to focus on the world versus the deities they worshiped.

Blog Post #7: Brooklyn Museum – Soul of a Nation

When you go through this Soul of a Nation gallery, many pieces draw you in with its colors, design, & intrigue. One of these pieces is Trane, created in 1969 by William T. Willams, I chose Trane because when I walked through the gallery this is the picture that drew me in. The piece was jaw-dropping, it just seems just some lines on a large canvas but through formal analysis you can see it’s much more.  

The lines on the painting are abstract, placed unusually but most are diagonal. Some of the shapes remind me of the Penrose Triangle which makes the painting sort of 3D but some parts are 2D. The tonal range has a broad range of highlighted colors. The color of the painting has a gold backdrop with lines that consist of colors: Yellow, Purple, Blue, Green, Black, Red, & more with different tones of those colors. The colors are vibrant & sort of glowing when you see it. With some lines it looks like it has rhythm but others look like it sticks out of nowhere. 

Trane seems a perfect fit into the exhibition, the colors of the piece match well with the other pieces. The lighting of the hall where the exhibition lies brings out all of the exhibits including Trane. The way Trane was placed & how it was designed was perfect for me to use formal analysis to explain the piece.

Blog Post #6: Brooklyn Museum Ancient Egyptian Art

When I was walking on the third floor of the Brooklyn Museum, I saw a sculpture that was intriguing, the Shabty of Sati was mesmerizing: it’s colors, unique hieroglyphics, all of the detailing on that piece that is probably smaller than a foot. After seeing this glorious piece of art, I decided that I wanted to write about the Shabty of Sati. 

The Shabty of Sati is wearing a headdress that has many thick, bold, & repeating lines, as well the necklace and bottom of the artwork has parallel & repeating lines. The shape of the sculpture was done with masterful detail, the sides are shaved perfectly to be molded as a human body and it looks smooth throughout. The tone of the painting is lighter and more vibrant than I expected with an arrange of colors; however, it isn’t reflective. The main color of the piece is tan but that isn’t all it is, the colors are beautiful from blue to red and from yellow to green. Out of these colors the most prominent is blue with it being the color of the lines in the headdress and the color of the hieroglyphics. When you look at the piece it looks like it is paper thin and that is just a drawing on a paper rather than a sculpture. It isn’t that big compared to other things in the gallery. It is a very intriguing & beautiful piece and formal analysis just made it an even more pleasurable experience. 

Blog Post #5: Unit 1 Summary

So we survived the first unit of Art History. It was fun, from the groups placed together on day one and writing about how this blog works to looking at pieces of art and describing them in depth and I just wanted to talk about what has impacted me the most from Art History 1010.

First off, The Banking Method of Education explained by Paulo Freire could be compared to drinking water from a fountain. How this method works is by the person who is teaching talks about the information needed for the student’s curriculum. The student just sits there and takes in all of the knowledge that the teacher is giving. I’ve excelled in school with this learning method because my memory is pretty good. However, it hasn’t been productive in real life for me due to the world not being a place were just memorizing facts can help advance you in life but taking action does. For example if a teacher knows facts about their subject it is helpful but how you portray and present the facts towards the students is what will decide how good of a teacher you are.

A piece of art may not be clear due to it’s inability to have a clear story written on the art but knowing where it came from and what is happening at that time may shine a new perspective onto that piece of art. When we look into things like the Standard of Ur or the Steele of Hammurabi the context of that painting may not be fully clear but knowing that the Standard of Ur was created in the times of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt (it’s golden age) you can tell it was not depicting itself but of earlier Sumerian times when there was war in Egypt and knowing that it was made in Egypt’s golden age tell us it was made with it’s finest lapis lazuli.

The main point that I’ve learnt from Art History is how to look at art in a newer light, with more insight and I’m excited for my visit to the Brooklyn Museum to look at all of it’s art with all of the new skills I learnt.

Blog Post #4: Formal Analysis

When a regular person wanders through a museum, they glance at art, get drawn to paintings with memorizing colors & after thinks it was a nice experience & call it a day but when someone who knows a bit about art & how it’s critiqued, they use Formal Analysis to look & understand art. This procedure helps someone describe a painting in detail through different steps & ideas. First off you look at the content of the picture (which most people do). Then you would look at it’s formal properties, including how it’s lines are drawn, what colors are in the painting, the composition of the art, how items are placed in the picture, in what way are the people modeling, how big it is through it’s scale and mass,  how it is designed, as an oil painting, sculpture, cinema, or others. Also, you would look at it’s historical context because where it was made can explain many things like a theme that would be unknown if it’s time of creation is unknown as well the technique used in a painting or sculpture could be unknown if there were two places which used similar art techniques but with two different outcomes, there could be a mix up. Without the knowledge of where a piece comes from, we won’t be able to figure out the full idea of the picture.

Blog Post #3: Pedagogy & Power – How the Banking Method is Harmful to Many

When Friere published Pedagogy of the Oppressed in 1968, he explained how people pass ideas from one person to another, especially from teacher to student through the person who talks & the person who receives the knowledge should listen, memorize, & repeat this new found knowledge. Friere despised this idea because of it’s lack of creative thinking. This method is detrimental to teachers due to an abundance of young teachers who use the banking method end up despising what they do & quitting as most people who do if their job is just relaying words to young children with no fun. As well, banking method of education hurts the students because once you memorize a fact & use it for whatever you needed it for, the idea will just maneuver to the depths of your memory & will probably forget it unlike other methods where students can write things down & read them in the future or the ideas are relayed in a way where students will enjoy remember them for example many students like to memorize the 50 states & their capitals as a song for a test & plenty of people memorize songs. This method may be the best way to memorize work but if you end up just forgetting about it after your done with it.