Blog Entry: Week 1 (Jackie)

All of the values of art were interesting, but the one that resonated with me the most was the psychological value. Art has the amazing power to make us feel certain emotions. Artists are able to depict emotion in their artwork through many different elements, such as facial expressions, color, scenery, symbolism, etc. I have not had the opportunity to visit art galleries in my life. Being in Italy, I was able to make up for lost time. The architecture and artwork are so detailed and breath-taking.  I remember looking up at Michelangelo’s sculpture of David and feeling stunned at how meticulous each part of it was sculpted. The impact art has psychologically is incredible. It allows people to reflect on how the artwork makes them feel and why.

The methodologies of art history were all equally insightful. The types that stood out to me the most was iconography and iconology. This method is heavily based on the idea of symbolism. It explains the meaning of the artwork through the descriptions of certain objects in the picture/sculpture. The example the textbook uses, Tower of Babel painted by Bruegel. It is such a great piece to use to describe this methodology of art. There were many examples of symbolism in every painting and sculpture. By using this method of art history, people are able to understand art in a more meaningful way. Iconography and iconology help deepen people’s interpretations of artwork.

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 7.50.30 PM.pngParmigianino, Madonna and Child with Angels (Madonna of the Long Neck), Ch. 17 p. 308

The painting I chose to analyze is Parmigianino’s, Madonna and Child with Angels (Madonna of the Long Neck). The painting is of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus with six angels admiring the child. Parmigianino uses vertical lines and planes to emphasize the height and length of Mary’s features. The artist did not use the usual symmetrical balance commonly used in paintings. He placed all six angels on Mary’s right side of her body to probably showcase her height. Her hand along her collarbone area draws the eye to her long neck. Jesus’ proportions are larger than normal. The angels are half the size of Mary and the column behind her is slightly shorter than her. Everything in the painting is structured in a way to make Mary and Jesus stand out. The hues are darker besides Mary’s face and Jesus’ body. The contrasting color of red compared to Mary’s dusty blue cloak allows attention to be attracted to Mary.

7 thoughts on “Blog Entry: Week 1 (Jackie)”

  1. Your analysis of this painting was very insightful! It really is a beautiful painting. Isn’t it surreal to see some of this artwork and architecture in real life, like in Italy? I wonder why Mary was depicted with such height and with such a long neck. The neck is usually seen as a vulnerable location. Maybe the length of her neck was supposed to depict her innocence and vulnerability? I would love to hear of some other pieces of art and architecture you saw in Italy!


    1. It is so surreal learning about artwork I saw in Italy! It is one of the main reasons I picked “Madonna of the Long Neck” for my blog post. I feel like I didn’t see some of these pieces in person. I remember learning about this piece of artwork in my jr’s abroad class and someone did mention the neck to be a place of vulnerability, so I think you are right! There is many pieces to pick from, but I think Michelangelo’s sculpture of David is one of the highlights from my trip.


  2. The layout of this painting is very intriguing! At first I was thrown off by the asymmetry of angels; a lot of paintings put an even number of things on both sides of the main attraction. However, after reading your analysis of the painting and evaluating the it again, I began to think that Parmigianino put the angels all behind/to the side of Mary to show her leadership and strength. Her posture is very confident and she is quite large compared to everything else, like you said. What do you think is the purpose/meaning of the figure holding to scroll in the bottom-right corner? Also, is there any significance in the pillar, or is it just included as a background element?


    1. The layout is very intriguing! I was wondering about the prophet in the bottom right-hand corner as well and what it represented. I believe it was to emphasize how huge Mary is. Due to being so small, the prophet is seen as being far away, but is still at the same level as Mary’s feet. I had to zoom in really close, but pillar in the background is actually a row of columns. You can see the shadowing of the line of them on the ground. I think it is harder to detect because it is one of the areas like the sixth angel that Parmigianino did not get to finish.


  3. I really loved what you had to say about how Italy has really grown your development in gallery visits. I think any experoence like that is sure to take your breath away. I would love to hear more about what symbols stood out to you, and also what personal emotions you felt evoked from seeing some of Michelangelo’s pieces–the psychological value it brought to you so to speak.


  4. I totally agree with. Experience really do help you grow. Visiting Italy sparked in me a new appreciation for art. There was a lot of symbolism in many of the piece of art. The main paintings that I saw a lot of symbolism were ones of the Virgin Mary and/or Jesus. Some of my favorites were the ones that laid out Jesus’ life in multiple images. In Florence, we went to the Uffizi Gallery that had many of these types of paintings, such as Bonaguida Pacino’s “Tree of Life.” When seeing Michelangelo’s pieces, I was surprised at how detailed they were in person compared to what I have seen in pictures. I felt very content/relaxed like I could stare at each of them for hours and find something new to fixate on every few minutes.


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