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Annotated Bibliography

“Baroque Art, an Introduction.” Smart History, 17 Dec. 2018, www.smarthistory.org/a-beginners-guide to-baroque-art/
This article gives an overall history course on the Baroque period. Using this information will give the necessary background to set the paper proposal.

“Baroque period.” New World Encyclopedia, 17 Dec. 2018, www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Baroque_period
The facts in this article are also about the history of the Baroque period but are more detailed which will elaborate on this background information in my paper proposal.

“Baroque vs. Rococo: Similarities and Differences, Explained.” In Good Taste, 17 Dec. 2018, www.invaluable.com/blog/baroque-art-rococo-art/
The differences of the Baroque and Rococo periods are highlighted and explained. This article will give an understanding to the final stage of Baroque period.

Stechow, Wolfgang. “Definitions of the Baroque in the Visual Arts.” The American Society of Aesthetics, vol. 5, no. 2, 1946, www-jstor-org.ez- proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/stable/pdf/425798.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3Ac0bc0e46251359f5497b 468886a954b3. Accessed 17 Dec. 2018.
Wolfgang digs deeper into the characteristics of the Baroque period. Particularly the proper way how defining the term baroque which also coincides with how baroque should be identified. When outlining the key components in the selected artworks, this article will be able to give a deeper analysis to the shared components.

Pijoan, Jose. “Romanesque Baroque.” The Art Bulletin, vol. 8, no. 4, 1926, www-jstor-org.ez- proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/stable/pdf/3046523.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3Af3ef2c4683467544fbd 28940dc2cd82b. 17 Dec. 2018.
This article makes a point in claiming that different art period throughout history are often a reaction to its precedent art period and can show a blend of the itself and the precedent art period in the beginning and blend of itself and its subsequent art period. This main point can aid in following the time events of the Baroque period.

Final Project Outline/Background

Jan Steen
Merry Company on a Terrace
Ca. 1670
Metropolitan Museum of Art

 


Attributed to the Master of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian
Hercules and Achelous
Approx. mid-17th century
Metropolitan Museum of Art

 


Jean Cornu
Venus Giving Arms to Aeneas
1704
Metropolitan Museum of Art

 


Domenichino
The Lamentation
1603
Metropolitan Museum of Art

 


Adriaen Brouwer
The Smokers
Ca. 1636
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Something that is noteworthy within all the artworks above is the exaggerations of the postures and facials expressions of the subjects used to covey drama and strong emotions within the viewer. The way the subjects are “moving” in the works makes for well-intended illustration of theatrical drama. In addition, the use of the contrast of light and dark color brings attention to the certain parts or characters. These key components are most prominent in the chosen artworks as well as the majority of Baroque art.

Unit 1 Summary

In Unit 1, we discussed the importance and components of formal analysis and examined different artifacts from ancient Neo-Sumerian civilization. Formal analysis is often used by art critic and interpreters to determine the purpose of the artwork and overall motivation behind the artist. Components that are studied to analyze the artwork include: composition, historical context, color scheme, contrast, and symbolism. Interpreting most of the elements of the artwork will give the viewer a better understanding of artist and his intentions behind the artwork. Most of the artifacts examined in class from ancient Sumeria held a significant amount of spiritual and class symbolism. In statues like the Statue of Gudea (2150 BCE), the depiction of the divine and spirituality is blatantly shown. The statue is a depiction of Gudea in a vulnerable and accepting position showing his openness to listen to his subjects. The crown placed on his head is symbolic for the divine. From this, we can conclude that the spiritual aspect of life had a huge influence on lives of Sumerians. In other artifacts, there was a display of class status in their civilization. For example, the Standard of Ur was a piece that showcased this class division. The artifact showed the distinct separation of the upper, middle, and lower class. The division is further illustrated through the difference in the attires worn, the occupations expected, and the responsibilities they performed. Not only was spirituality important in Sumerian society, but also class distinction.

Banking Model

In the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire pedagogy as the “banking model of education”. From Freire’s definition, the banking model of education aligns students of the educational system as containers for disposing knowledge into. This way of educating student he explains, enforces the process of oppression, with the students being the oppressed and the teachers the oppressors unknowingly. Despite being in a position of doing the oppression, the teachers also experience dehumanization. Both students and teachers lose their creativity and artistic expression. I don’t recall a specific experience, but I did notice something when I was younger. Something that I have recognized within myself was my need to follow directions at a young age. At some point, I was still able to freely express myself. However, I found my creativity not well-received by others because it was different from what was expected. Realizing this, I started to become stricter on my actions and eventually became comfortable with schoolwork how it was expected to be. As I grew up, I was encourage more frequently to show my creativity, even if others didn’t appreciated it. Thinking about my experience, I realized how banking model of education truly does enforce oppressive influence.

Formal Analysis

Formal analysis is the interpretation and explanation of an artwork. When referring to formal analysis, the analyst considers different components identified in the work, and then draws out a summary of their findings. There are many components to formal analysis. Some examples include: historical context, materials, color schemes, and composition. Historical context is one the most important part in conducting a formal analysis. Understanding circumstances surrounding the time period the art was created, can give an indication to the analysis what exactly the artist was trying to convey and why certain elements, such as colors, expressions, and/or techniques, were used in the final product. Colors in general play a huge part in influencing the emotions of the viewer. Depending on the intended emotion, the artist will use specific colors that correlate with said emotion. For example, when using dark, dreary colors in art, this often gives the viewer a sense of sadness or even tragic, depending the contexts of artwork. Composition is arrangement of elements in an artwork. It can be used to bring attention to a specific element, contrast the context, convey depth in 2-dimensional art, or to bring the whole painting together. These components and many others when interpreted together, give a formal analysis that provides a better understand of the artwork as well as the artist and their mindset.

Unit #2 Summary

From the artworks discussed in Unit 2, ancient civilization implemented their culture and important aspects of their society into their art. The distinction between ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, and Mesopotamia artwork is shown to the various symbols and expressions presented. However, despite existing during separate time periods, some of these civilizations, such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, display similar importance over beliefs and tradition.
When comparing the Standing Male Worshipper (2900 – 2600 BCE) and the Statue of Khafre (approx. 2500 BCE) from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the posture of the statues and symbolic features give mention to the spiritual side of their culture. The Standing Male Worshipper was used by Sumerians in place of themselves to consistently pray to the deities. The way the eyes, arms, and shoulders are positioned on the worshipper displays an attentive and non-threatening stance which was meant to show the intended god the person’s dedication and humbleness. Same with the Statue of Gudea, Gudea is positioned towards his subjects in a humble, non-threatening stance. This can be deducted from his hands clasped in front of him; a sign of being peaceful and respectful. His eyes, while not as open of the Standing Male Worshipper, gives the viewer a sense of understanding and makes them feel like they have his undivided attention. Another feature that these statues have is their design. Both have an idealistic look to them that makes them appear unhuman like. It gives the statue a divine feel to them.
The subject that has been brought up during this unit is humanism. Humanism became prominent in ancient Greek and Roman artwork unlike ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia artwork. Especially in Greek art, humanism showed more emphasis on the physical, emotional side to human nature while Mesopotamia based their art on the religious, spiritual side of human nature. When comparing the Statue of Khafre (2750 BCE) to the Dying Gaul (230 – 220 BCE), their differences can be easily pointed out. The Statue of Khafre, a burial statue for the Pharaoh Khafre, lacks any naturalistic features. The statue presents a powerful, godly display of the pharaoh. This was done purposely to present him as a divine-like being. The Dying Gaul however is a stark contrast. This statue presents this Gaul in a compromising position. He’s looks to be injured and the pain and exhaustion is clearly shown in his face. His body’s position on the floor gives a state of vulnerability and tiredness. The observations from these artworks shows the human side of the Greek and Roman art and the spiritual side of Egyt and Mesopotamia art.
Something that was very distinct between the Greek and the Romans was their architectural style. All the temples in ancient Greece and ancient Rome served the purpose of paying tribute to the gods. However, the sizes of their temples were different. Greek temples were built huge to house the statues of their deities in addition to conducting ceremonies and rituals. In contrast, Roman temples were built much smaller as the ceremonies and deities statues took place outside in front of the temples. To make a comparison, take for example The Parthenon (447 – 432 BCE) versus the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor (50 – 40 BCE). From a quick glance, one can determine that the Parthenon is enormous. On the inside, the temple looks like it was meant for the purpose of holding functions of sorts. However, the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor was meant to create a bigger landscape within a small confined room. Using linear perspective, the Roman accomplished the goal of giving the illusion of being in another landscape. The way the artwork aligns with the vanishing point gives the flat surface of the wall a new 3-dimensional viewpoint.

Humanism In Greece

Humanism is the importance of emotional and physical aspects of human nature over the spiritual and metaphysical aspects. In Greek and Roman art, humanism had a significant influence on ancient Greece and Rome. Upon observing their art, the Greek and Romans placed more emphasis on the physical human condition. For instance, the sculpture Seated Boxer (100-50 BCE), shows the boxer in a moment of vulnerability. While his posture displays a look of content resting, his actual emotions are shown in his facial expression. Despite having no eyes, the position of his head and eyebrows gives an indication of tiredness and/or tiredness. Like most Greek and Roman art, the artists’ use of somewhat exaggerated facial expressions and body postures makes viewers concentrate more on how the subject is feeling and what they might be thinking. In doing so, the focal point is the human condition. In contrast, ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian used religion as the focal point of most of their art. The majority of their art included important deities and other supernatural subjects such as the afterlife and the divine.  Artwork such as the Statue of Gudea (2150 BCE) and the Last Judgement of Hunefer showcases the topic of the metaphysical. The Statue of Gudea shows Gudea in a non-threatening and open position. Along with crown on his head, we can conclude that he has the backing on the divine and leads through listening and understanding. The Last Judegement of Hunefer displays Hunefer’s judgement. The illustrations of deities associated with death and the afterlife and his interactions with them shows that the subject of afterlife is illustrated in this scroll. From these two ancient artworks, ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia believed religious and spiritual situations were more important in their everyday lives compared to ancient Greece and Rome who held humanism as important to their everyday lives.