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Extra Credit

For my extra credit assignment I attended an art related event on campus. The event was located in the Brooklyn College Library near the front entrance hosted by Dr. Jean Eddy Saint Paul the founding director of CUNY Haitian Studies Institute and Professor of Sociology. The art exhibit was called Beyond Vertieres which contained art works because of French historiography and the history of Haitians. The art works were based on the events that happened during the Battle of Vertieres on November 18, 1803 between the Indigenous Army of Saint Domingue (Haiti) and the French Expeditionary Army of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Battle of Vetrieres resulted in the Haitians defeating the French because they fought for their freedom and would not allow white supremacy to take over the black race. The Haitian people were determined to fight for what was right and would not have their freedom taken away from them. They were unflinching, undaunted, and united to abolish slavery and challenge the French, through their self-sacrifice and tenacity they fought for the respect for human dignity and a decolonial racial justice.
In the beginning of the exhibit it asks “Why, even today, after 215 years, are Haitian citizens unable to access a dignified life?” and “What are we to do beyond Vertieres?” The exhibit then explains and invites the viewer “to re-appropriate/ embrace the core values of freedom, justice, and equality that made Vertieres possible in order to rethink a new system compatible to an emancipated citizenship” The exhibit then expresses through all the art works that represent freedom and the struggles of the battle. The first two pieces was the Pourqoui Vertieres and L’enfant Restavek: Pourquoi Vertieres by Tara Boirad which was created in 2018, it was an acrylic of a small child in each of the art works. In the Pourqoui Vertieres it was a little boy and in L’enfant Restavek: Pourquoi Vertieres it was a little girl both of them seem to have a blank expression and the artworks were both close up images of their faces in black and white. In the next three pieces created by Patricia Brintle were Catherine Flon (2011), Defille la folle (2008), and Marie Jeanne Lamartiniere (2012), in the three pieces it depicted hard working women transitioning from sewing clothes and washing it to holding up a flag and in the midst of battle, there was more color and you could see the contrast in the colors form bright to dark, the colors in each of the works were similar but used in different places.
There were many works of art shown in the exhibit which showed and represented the Haitian culture traditions and their struggles. Their struggles and stakes have been conveyed through these artworks by showing what they had to risk for the sake of freedom and it showed the importance of remembering the history of the Battle of Vertieres and what all those men and women fought for by putting their lives on the line. The event contained many wonderful pieces and works of art, from abstract pieces to spiritual and human expression, overall I enjoyed the exhibit and would like to stop by the library to see all of the art works again.

Final Project: Gods and Humans in Art History

Eric Zheng

Professor Shaw

ARTD 1010

12 December 2018

Gods and Humans in Art History

Throughout history, the interactions between humans and gods have been represented through sculptures and paintings by using symbolism and humanism to show how humans and gods have flourished. Gods and goddesses have always been a part of the human society, in order for humans, such as the Greeks and Romans, to express their beliefs and the way they worshiped their gods was through the form of art. Greek and Romans made these artworks so that they can honor the gods as a reminder for future generations that there is someone that will lead them, but without humans, gods cannot influence these civilizations. Humans and gods have had several interactions in Greek mythology, it all begins with the King of all gods, Zeus. He is the one that is the creator of the conflicts among humans and gods, because he decides whether or not the humans have to work hard to survive, while the gods can live at ease and care free.

Artist: Unknown/ Gift of the Hearst Foundation, 1956 (56.234.15)
Title: Marble statue of Hermes
Date: Roman, Imperial period, 1st or 2nd century A.D
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Marble statue of Hermes, Copy of work attributed to Polykleitos, Marble, Pentellic, Roman

This art piece located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is known as the Marble Statue of Hermes. Hermes was the god of trade and was also known as the messenger of the gods, he was often interacting with humans such as travelers, herdsman, merchants, and etc. He is depicted in this statue naked with a robe on his arm showing his masculinity. Hermes was said to be quick and cunning and he was able to move freely between the mortals and the divine, such as the Underworld, with out consequences. He would protect the mortals and ancient myths say that he was a trickster by outwitting the gods for his own amusements or to help humankind. He was also known for his love affairs with many goddesses and mortals. Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia and he had several siblings. Zeus also had many affairs with mortals, goddesses and other beings, he also had many children that were gods, demigods, or etc. Hermes takes after his father with his affairs and the way they intervene with mortals lives, like father like son.

Artist: Unknown/ Gift of Mrs. Fredrick F. Thompson, 1903 (03.12.13)
Title: Marble Statue of a youthful Hercules
Date: Roman, Flavian period, A.D. 68-98
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Marble statue of a youthful Hercules, Marble, Island ?, Roman

This sculpture represents the hero known as Hercules, and it belongs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art along with the statue of Hermes. The structure’s name is the Marble statue of a youthful Hercules, it shows Hercules holding a club or a weapon in one hand and the skin of the Nemean lion in the other while he leans against what seems to be a tree which is used as a support for the structure. The Greek and Romans portrays their gods nude to show how muscular they where and they believed that the male nude is the highest form of beauty showing athleticism and exercise by representing not only athletes but heroes and gods as well. Hercules was also the son of the god Zeus like Hermes, however his mother was a mortal women named Alcmene. Zeus had many affairs with women which made his wife Hera furious because he had so many children that wasn’t hers. Hercules was known as a demigod, a being that is half god and half mortal, he was gifted with great strengths and stamina because he was a demigod. He grew up becoming a hero that fought in wars with the goddess Hera and he traveled to the Underworld. However, his life was not all care free compared to other gods. Hercules came across struggles as a human suffering like a man even though he had powers of a god.

Artist: Unknown/ Lent by Antikensammlung, Stacchiche Museen zu Berlin (AvP VII 24)
Title: Marble statue of Athena Parthenos
Date: Greek, Hellenistic period, ca. 170 B.C.; after the mid-5th century B.C.
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum

Statue of Athena Parthenos, Marble, Greek

This statue is known as the Marble statue of Athena Parthenos also located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is known for being the goddess of wisdom and war and several other important things. In this statue Athena is portrayed in clothing with a helmet, unlike the sculptures of Hermes and Hercules, she also has no arms or legs shown compared to the other two sculptures. Athena was represented as a companion to heroes or a patron goddess of heroic endeavor protecting civilizations and cities. She was the protector of Athens and fought in the Trojan War against Paris. Athena was said to have gone to war with humans and mythical beings as ally and as foe such as helping Hermes on a quest to kill Medusa or Hercules on driving away Stymphalian birds. Zeus was also Athena’s father however she did not have a mother like Hermes and Hercules, she was said to be born from Zeus’ head after he experiences a headache and she emerged from his forehead fully grown and clothed in armor.

In Greek mythology, gods and humans have had many interactions that have been represented in art history. These art works of gods created by humans are their way of showing the symbolism and meaning of the gods and humans relationship. The Marble statue of Hermes was created by humans to express their beliefs and the way they worshiped their gods for others to see such as future generations or other civilizations. Hermes was a messenger god often crossing paths with humans and helping them or guiding them to their destinations safely. The Marble statue of a youthful Hercules was created by the mortals so they could show the beauty of the male physique and how much they took pride in athleticism. Hercules was a demigod meaning he was half human so he suffered consequences and struggled like a human and was known to be a hero among the mortal world. The Marble statue of Athena Parthenos was made so humans could portray a goddess that could either protect or destroy mortals as to not infuriate her. Athena was the goddess of war, so she often interacted with humans in conflict or as a guardian. Humans and Gods share a relationship that goes way back to the B.C. and A.D. eras, these works of art depict that bond and what the gods meant to the mortals, humans whether it be their worship or conflict.

Works Cited

“The Interaction Between the Gods and Mankind.” UNIV 200, rampages.us/okayyoo/2016/10/19/the-interaction-between-the-gods-and-mankind/.

“Hermes • Facts and Information on Greek God Hermes.” Greek Gods & Goddesses, greekgodsandgoddesses.net/gods/hermes/.

“The Enduring Art of Marble Sculpture.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/getty-museum/getty-sculpture/a/the-enduring-art-of-marble-sculpture.

“Athena • Facts and Information on Greek Goddess Athena.” Greek Gods & Goddesses, greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/athena/.

“The Greeks Interaction with the Gods.” An Introduction to Greek Mythology, anintroductiontogreekmythology.weebly.com/the-greeks-interaction-with-the-gods.html.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/254925

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/247000

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/259354

 

 

 

Annotated Bibliography

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/grlg/hd_grlg.htm

The information provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art helps me to understand more about how Greeks worshiped the Gods. It helps me explain in my project the relationship between humans and gods and the way they are expressed in art. It provides extra information about religion on the Greeks and their Gods, such as how many Gods there are, the religious practices on worshiping the Gods, and the sacred places and rituals performed.

http://www.ushistory.org/civ/5c.asp

Based on the US History website, it provides a lot of information on the Gods and the ways humans, the ancient Greeks, saw them and worshiped them. It also explains how the Gods fought like humans and were in conflicts like humans. Human interactions with Gods lead to conflicts and wars because the Gods were emotional, immoral, and their behavior was inconsistent. It helps my project by providing information on how the Gods were in conflicts with humans and had human characteristics.

https://anintroductiontogreekmythology.weebly.com/the-greeks-interaction-with-the-gods.html

This site provides information on the Gods and how they punished humans for showing “unacceptable behavior, such as indulgent pride, extreme ambition, or even excessive prosperity”. The Gods are also representations of humans and the Universe, by representing human life, love and war. They believed Gods interfered with human affairs and the humans sought the aid and guidance of the Gods. This is useful information for my project when explaining the relationship between the Gods and humans and their interactions.

The Interaction Between the Gods and Mankind

In this article it explains how humans are never alone and always depending on someone which leads to the interactions with the Gods. Because of the humans interactions with Gods society is developed into the way it is today. Humans worshiped the Gods by creating statues and art works that are a reminder to mankind that there is someone to guide us and how mankind needs gods and gods need mankind. This article is useful since my project consists of finding the connection between art and the interaction of humans and Gods.

The article from the NY Times describes how the Gods interact with humans and how the King of Gods Zeus makes it hard for humans because in order to survive they must work hard while the Gods live freely with ease. This article is useful for my project because it provides background information on how the Gods felt interacting with humans.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

During my visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art it was a confusing experience and the exhibits were enjoyable. At the Metropolitan Museum there were so many lines of people, tourists, and crowds everywhere getting lost, looking at art works, and taking photos. The Metropolitan Museum was a different experience for me compared to the Brooklyn Museum. At the Brooklyn Museum there weren’t as many people every where compared to the Metropolitan, also things at the Brooklyn Museum were easier to find compared to the Metropolitan. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art I had to constantly rely on a map or ask someone that worked at the Metropolitan for directions on where specific pieces of art would be located. However, the overall experience was great and I wouldn’t mind going back but they should try to come up with a better system for people instead of people constantly crowding at the help desks.

Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi)- The Denial of Saint Peter 1610

Pompeo Batoni- Diana and Cupid 1761

The 16th century “The Denial of Saint Peter” 1610 by Caravaggio which is Renaissance art and the 17th century “Diana and Cupid” 1761 by Pompeo Batoni which is Baroque art share many similarities and differences. They are similar in ways such as being paintings from Italian artists, both paintings are oil on canvas and the eras are very close. However, they have many differences such as the different centuries that they were painted and the depictions of the subjects from the different artists. Caravaggio painted a more darker background with more light towards the main figures in his painting depicting a woman, a soldier and a man, Peter. In his painting “The Denial of Saint Peter” it is Peter in front of a fire place and the woman and the soldier is accusing him of being a follower of Jesus. In Pompeo Batoni’s painting it depicts a natural lighting, there is nature in the background, and it shows trees, dogs, a woman, and cupid. In his painting it is the Roman countryside showing the goddess of the hunt holding the cupids bow away from him. Both paintings highlight the differences between the Renaissance and Baroque era by showing the differences in painting styles, color contrast, shadows, and the way it depicts the emotion of the subjects in the paintings.

Final Project Outline/Background

Theme: Humans and Gods
Thesis Statement: Throughout history many historical artworks have been related to the Gods interacting with humans by showing symbolism and meaning through sculptures and paintings.
These art works relates to my final project because it shows how Gods and humans have flourished and represented through out time in the forms of art. These works of art illustrate gods and how they are viewed by people, it makes me want to explore and learn more about why these gods are portrayed this way and how they interact with humans and to seek out the history behind these art works.

Artist: Unknown/ Gift of the Hearst Foundation, 1956 (56.234.15)
Title: Marble statue of Hermes
Date: Roman, Imperial period, 1st or 2nd century A.D
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Related: Hermes was the god of trade and was also known as the messenger of the gods, he was often interacting with humans such as travelers, herdsman, merchants, and etc.

Artist: Unknown/ Gift of Mrs. Fredrick F. Thompson, 1903 (03.12.13)
Title: Marble Statue of a youthful Hercules
Date: Roman, Flavian period, A.D. 68-98
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Relation: Hercules was a demi-god and a hero, son of Zeus, King of all gods, and Alcmene, a mortal woman. Hercules suffered and went through many problems in his life like a mortal does, even though he was a god with incredible strength and speed. He was a symbol for the phrase “a man may be destroyed, but not defeated”.

Artist: Unknown/ Lent by Antikensammlung, Stacchiche Museen zu Berlin (AvP VII 24)
Title: Marble statue of Athena Parthenos
Date: Greek, Hellenistic period, ca. 170 B.C.; after the mid-5th century B.C.
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum
Relation: Athena was a Goddess of wisdom and war, daughter of Zeus, she participated in wars with heroes and have had conflicts with humans.

 

Artist: Charles Joseph Natoire (French, Nimes 1700-1777 Castel Gandolfo)
Title: The Rebuke of Adam and Eve
Date: 1740
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Relation: Adam and Eve were the first humans to live and were created by God however they were punished by God because they disobeyed Him and sinned by eating an apple from the tree when they were told not to.

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696-1770 Madrid)
Title: Allegory of the Planets and Continents
Date: 1752
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Relation: This painting portrays the course Apollo takes across the sky which shows deities around the sun god symbolizing the planets and allegorical figures on the cornice represent the four continents. The earth and heavens are imagined as having changed places with the sun and the sky.

Unit 2 Summary

In Unit 2 of the Art History course we have learned about and seen many artworks from the Ancient World. The Ancient World is comprised of several civilizations such as Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman societies each having their own different pieces of art work that has been viewed throughout the ages. However, these ancient civilizations may be different but they do share some similarities with one another through their art works.
Greek and Roman Art are statues and figures of young nude warrior men and how their physique and body is idealized and supposed to look like. However, Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art is different from the Greek and Roman Art because Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art are not statues and figures of muscular nude young men instead they have paintings and statues of pharaohs, their hierarchy system, and gods. The Greeks originally created their statues and works of art out of bronze using the lost wax technique so it could later on be melted down if necessary for weapons, tools, and etc. The Romans copied the Greeks works of art but instead of bronze the Romans made their statues out of marble which weighed much more. The Mesopotamian and Egyptian made statues but they were made out of stone and it was not as human compared to the Greeks and Romans, instead the statues were of Gods including human figures mixed with animal parts or pharaohs in loin cloth and fake beards.
Greek and Roman Art and Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art have several similarities and differences. Some examples of Greek and Roman Art is Kouros which represents the ideal physically fit male warrior of the time and later on changes into a more tone, smooth and better looking figure with a difference in hair and stance otherwise known as Doryphoros. Unlike the Greek And Romans, Mesopotamian and Egyptian art portrays figures like Anubis and the Sphinx which are part human and part animal figures, Anubis has the head of a jackal and the body of a man and is the god of the dead. The Sphinx has the head of a human and a body of a lion. Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art also show the hierarchy and the social status with the pharaoh shown to be the biggest and on the top while accompanied by his followers who are of similar or smaller size and the slaves which are the smallest and the lowest of the hierarchy in the pieces of art.
The cultures of the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations were similar due to the way they worship gods and rulers through some of their art works. The artworks reflects the society of the ancient civilizations and shows how they might have been culturally as people. Mesopotamian and Egyptians also portrayed their society through ceramics and stone showing others how the ruler is the highest and the slaves and people were the lowest and also depicts how the ruler is the biggest while the others are smaller. Greek and Roman also portray this among their culture by creating six foot plus tall statues of athletic men even though they were not as tall. This shows how both cultures liked to show their hierarchy and civilizations through their art works to be passed down from generation to generation even though some of these pieces have been through a lot due to the ravages of time it still remains to show how these civilizations strive.

Humanism in Greek and Roman Art

Humanism is a system or a way of thinking that emphasizes the value, interests and dignity of human beings. Humanism is illustrated through Greek and Roman Art because the art of Greece and Rome are statues and figures of young nude warrior men and how their physique and body is idealized and supposed to look like. However, Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art is different from the Greek and Roman Art because Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art are not statues and figures of muscular nude young men instead they have paintings and statues of pharaohs, their hierarchy system, and gods. The Greeks originally created their statues and works of art out of bronze using the lost wax technique so it could later on be melted down if necessary for weapons, tools, and etc. The Romans copied the Greeks works of art but instead of bronze the Romans made their statues out of marble which weighed much more. Disparate from the Roman statues made of marble and bronze and representing figures of young fit male warriors the Mesopotamian s and Egyptians also made statues but they were made out of stone and it was not as human as the Greeks and Romans, instead the statues were of Gods including human figures mixed with animal parts or pharaohs in loin cloth and fake beards. Greek and Roman Art and Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art have several similarities and differences when portraying humanism. Some examples of Greek and Roman Art is Kouros which represents the ideal physically fit male warrior of the time and later on changes into a more tone, smooth and better looking figure with a difference in hair and stance otherwise known as Doryphoros. Unlike the Greek And Romans, Mesopotamian and Egyptian art portrays figures like Anubis and the Sphinx which are part human and part animal figures, Anubis has the head of a jackal and the body of a man and is the god of the dead. The Sphinx has the head of a human and a body of a lion. Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art also show the hierarchy and the social status with the pharaoh shown to be the biggest and on the top while accompanied by his followers who are of similar or smaller size and the slaves which are the smallest and the lowest.

Brooklyn Museum Part 1 And Part 2

Part 1, Ancient Egyptian Exhibit:
When I walked into the Brooklyn Museum and went to the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit located on the third floor, I saw many interesting artifacts and ancient pieces of art work that had caught my attention. One thing that stood out for me and caught my eye when I was looking around the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum was the Wreath. The Wreath was on display and it was a wreath made out of gold. It was a golden crown like ring surrounded with leaves and flowers which made it look like the wreath was a golden vine that was formed into a ring to fit onto someones head. The golden Wreath is said to have been from the Ptolemaic Period, circa third to second century B.C.E and a Gift of George D. Pratt. The golden Wreath is described to be “Formed to resemble flowers and leaves to crown athletic victors throughout the ancient Greek World.” These wreaths were used at lavish dinner parties and worn by the guests in the Egyptian capital, Alexandria, as explained by Athenaeus of Nitocris an Egyptian born Greek writer. The Wreath caught my eye because it had made me confused at first since I was visiting the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit and something Ancient Greek was among the collection.

Part 2, Soul of a Nation:
When visiting the Soul of a Nation located on the fifth floor in the Brooklyn Museum, there were many art pieces in the exhibit that could be related to modern art unlike the Ancient Egyptian Exhibit. The piece that stood out the most for me when seeing all the art works representing black power and the civil rights movement was the sculpture art piece Black Unity, 1968 by Elizabeth Catlett. I chose this piece because it can be related to society today with police shooting black people and black people raising their fists in the air yelling black lives matter. Out of all the pieces in the museum, the art piece Black Unity is like the center piece and relates to the rest of the artworks on display due to it being so meaningful in the era of the civil rights movement and also modern society. The piece seems to be made out of wood because of the wood grain look with a dark brown finish making the sculpture look smooth and waxy. The art piece is formed into the shape of a hand making a fist and the dark brown wood color represents a black person, so the sculpture must represent a black person holding up their fist. The dark brown wood is a mahogany which is a straight grained reddish brown wood which depicts the skin color. Visiting the Brooklyn Museum has been an amazing and enlightening experience which allowed me to learn more about both Ancient Egyptian Art and society and Black Art and Culture and I would definitely go back again with family or friends to see the exhibits again to learn more.