Week 8 (Asteria)

I think that coming out of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance was a whole new society. The idea of humanism is so inspiring – the ability to rely on oneself and not on other gods (Zeus, rain gods, etc.). I think that, with the halt of depicting humans with naturalistic looks, the artworks from the Renaissance look astonishing. The sculptures are created so wonderfully that they reflect reality. The great detail displayed in Donatello’s David contains great accuracy. During the Renaissance period, human anatomy was of major importance. In David, the proportions of the limbs reflect that of a real-life person. Unlike the Greek sculptures from the Classical period, the muscles in this sculpture are subtle and not overly accentuated.

 

David was actually one of the pieces I used for my curation project and is probably my favorite one. My theme was the “Ideal (hu)man” and it illustrates how various cultures have different standards of beauty. There were some details about David in the lecture, but here is some more information about it.

David Source

David is a sculpture that was created during the Italian Renaissance and has a lot of the Classical-era features such as the S-curve with the hip pop. Between the Classical period and the Renaissance, there was a drastic decrease in artwork of the human body, due to the belief that such artwork would be considered a form of idolatry.

This work would be very shocking during that time as the sculpture may have been very provocative – while David is not completely nude, the only garments he is wearing is a hat and boots. Mentioned in the lecture, the feathers extend well above the knee towards the inner thigh. This is a drastic change compared to the conservative Middle Ages when Christians believed that the body was corrupt and thus focused more on the soul and geometric designs. Although this sculpture depicts a Biblical story, the overall artwork is very sensual.

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Vitruvian Man Source

Coming out of the Dark Ages, there had not been a lot of advancements in science and the study of the human body. A more popular sketching is Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci which really goes into detail about the proportions of man. The Renaissance artwork provided a lot of insight to the natural human body. The pose that David is in is called contrapposto, with the majority of his weight focused on one leg. This pose allows the shoulders and arms to be off-axis from the waist down. It allows the body to appear more natural and less archaic. It is clear that the sculpture was influenced by the Greek and Romans. Composed of bronze, this statue is hollow and was sculpted using lost-wax casting.

 

The study of anatomy is also seen in this sculpture – the proportions of the body reflect that of a real-life person. Unlike the Greek sculptures from the Classical period, the muscles in this sculpture are subtle and not overly accentuated. While David shows subtle muscle definition, they are not exaggerated.

The details in this sculpture are also extraordinary. The sword that David yields contains indents along the blade. The wrist and toes also show minuscule detail that reflects reality. The facial expression on David shows a hint of pride, and the sculpture as a whole not only reflects the Bible story, but also the political situation in Italy at that time.

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Florence Cathedral Dome Source

Additionally, I was awestruck while learning about the dome of Florence Cathedral. Not only was Brunelleschi able to create the largest dome in history (and still is the largest dome today), but he did so as an amateur with no formal training. For me, something like that is like failing all my chemistry classes my senior year and switching to engineering and producing something great without all the engineering classes.

I think that we are currently living in a renaissance time. There have been so many changes in the past several years, and there is so much vision for the next few years too. Technology has rapidly changed in the past decade, and there is so much more to be done. New policies with net neutrality and data gathering are still at debate. There also has been major political change, such as legalization of gay marriage and marijuana, and Trump as our new president.

It seems we have not reached an equilibrium – a fine balance within our society. There are great things that we have accomplished in the fields of medicine and communication. Yet, there are still so many things we need to work on, such as education and social justice. Racism is still a large problem in the southern United States, especially with the more recent issues about deportation and DACA. Additionally, there are many outdated textbooks still being used in public schools.

I think we are in the midst of a renaissance, yet there are still areas in which we need one. The idea of self-education is available with the help of internet search engines, but there are so many things we can improve on as a society.

 

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Baumann, Paul. “Donatello’s David.” SUNY Oneonta 

Harris, Beth, and Steven Zucker. “The Study of Anatomy.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Harris, Beth, and Steven Zucker. “Donatello, David.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 20 Nov. 2011

Week 7 Asteria

During my trip to Ireland and England, I went to a lot of cathedrals. For the first few times, I was excited to enter in each cathedral and look at the amazing architecture. Near the end of the trip, however, I was not excited to go into more Cathedrals. However, when I stepped foot into any cathedral, no matter now uneager I was, I was always in constant awe of the grand architecture dedicated to God.

The main thing I think I am in constant awe of is the beautiful stained-glass windows. These amazing feats of architecture took generations to build. The amount of precision needed to build these sturdy cathedrals is amazing, given the lack of technology they had. The new architectural design of the flying buttress forming an arch with the wall provided more support, allowing for taller and bigger buildings. The force of the ceiling is not only supported by the walls, but also by the flying buttress, thus providing less stress on the wall itself. The lowered stress allowed for larger window panes and stained glass to illuminate the church and thinner walls.

The stained glass provides depictions of passages found in the Bible. These ginormous feats of architecture required a lot of manpower and planning. I think putting in hard work for a building dedicated to God is an act of worship. The stained glass, similar to the illuminations, provide an artistic reflection of Scripture to showcase God’s greatness.

Creating these masterpieces calls for a lot of calculations and measurements. I have a minor in math, and sometimes I wonder how math can help others and be used to give God glory. With chemistry/pharmacy, I can use that to provide service for others. But after learning more about the Gothic architecture and the cathedrals, I see that math and engineering can be used to create these amazing buildings dedicated not only to God, but also provide a place for others to worship.

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Exterior of the Salisbury Cathedral

I decided to look up more about the Salisbury Cathedral, since I was there to fully experience the view. The Magna Carta is currently housed there, and the spire on the cathedral is the tallest in Britain. To preserve the Magna Carta, no photographs were allowed to be taken, unfortunately. The Salisbury Cathedral was built with the English Gothic style, which can be recognized by numerous pointed arches and lancet shapes everywhere. The differing weight distribution allows this cathedral to contain more windows than most other cathedrals. Another difference between the Salisbury Cathedral and other typical Gothic style is that the ribs spring from the corbels rather than the floor (seen in the photograph below).

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A nice view of how the ribs are from the corbels

 

 

 

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Doves above the reflection pool

 

 

I honestly love this cathedral due to the vast number of nooks and sections within the cathedral and the amount of stained glass. There have also been many renovations both within and outside the cathedral. When I went, there were hundreds (maybe even a few thousand) folded white doves hanging from the ceiling. I think looking inside cathedrals, I love looking at the intricate design of the ceilings as well. The mix of old and new was an interesting sight to see. It was amazing – both the grandness of the cathedral and how much time and effort the builders placed into this building.

 

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Ceiling of Salisbury Cathedral, with views of the ribs

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Gothic Architecture.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 9 Nov. 2017

“Gothic Architecture.” Victoria and Albert Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, 10 Sept. 2013

Spanswick, Valerie. “Gothic Architecture: an Introduction.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Week 6 (Asteria)

Looking at both the Lindau Gospel’s cover and the Gero Crucifix, both have depictions of Jesus Christ on the cross. But between the two pieces of art, there is a stark difference in the representation of Christ. The Lindau cover depicts Christ of Carolingian means – he is on the cross as if he is standing upright. His arms are outstretched as if he is floating/defying gravity or standing tall and mighty. It conveys the idea that Christ does not suffer – the only pain that He may experience is the signs of the pierced palms with small amounts of blood. This is in stark contrast to the Christ depicted in the Gero Crucifix. This piece of work has a more realistic touch to it – the only thing keeping Christ up are the nails hammered into his hands and feet. He hangs limp on the cross, with his head hung low. There is a lot of suffering and defeat in this depiction of Christ.

Cover of the Lindau Gospels Source

The upper cover of Lindau Gospel was created around 875 and is decorated in gold and precious stones. The cover was created in the eastern part of current-day France. While the cover was created around 875, the manuscript itself was not created until about 10-20 years later. Adding to its complexity, the manuscript is laced with silks from the Middle East. The manuscript includes the four gospels.

The precious stones and gold may seem like a concern for idolatry; however, since this piece of art is located on the front cover of the manuscript, it is used as a means of connection to the text. The intricate placement of the stones (pearls, rubies, emeralds) and the gold are meant to represent the treasured scenery mentioned in the book of Revelation. The 12 gates with the twelve pearls and the city of gold decorated in precious stones are all depicted on the front cover. The outline of the cross also has a physical representation. The cross looks like the outline of a church.

The style of art used in this piece seems to have been influenced by the Classical Greek art. The drapery over Jesus shows the detailed wrinkling of the drapery. The figures themselves were hammered from the inside. This is a complete change of style from the Byzantine era where the depictions were all 2-D.

Gero Crucifix Source

The Gero Crucifix, sculpted around 970, was the first sculpted depiction of the crucified Christ. Much larger than the cover of the Lindau Gospel, the Gero Crucifix stands at almost six and a half feet tall. Like the cover, it has the drapery over Christ with the ruffling. There are elements of the Byzantine style, with the halo with the cross in the middle behind Christ.

The style in which the body of Christ is depicted is something that is new. It does not resemble Greek or Roman sculptures where the bodies are muscular, nor does it fit into the Byzantine flat style. This crucifix has a lot of naturalism in how the body hangs and how the body is carved.

While looking at the two different pieces of work, I personally liked the Gero Crucifix more. While the cover of the Lindau Gospels was very captivating, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stones embedded. I felt like it was a little too much for me to look at all at once. Noticing the differences between how Christ is portrayed, I liked how the Gero Crucifix encapsulates the pain and suffering Christ endured. It makes the crucifixion a lot more tangible and why Jesus gave up His life and suffered for us all. The simplicity of the Gero Crucifixion allows me to focus on Christ and not the “materialistic” stones on the cover. I understand the reasoning behind the jewels on the cover of the Lindau Gospels, but to me that just detracts away from Christ. I also didn’t particularly enjoy how Christ was depicted, as if the cross did not cause suffering.

For the illumination project I’m not quite sure which verse to do yet, but I’m thinking about Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Those two aren’t my two favorite verses of all time, but I still like them. I think if I do Matthew, I might have some imagery of a crown and symbolisms of a kingdom. As for the verse from Isaiah, the imagery of strength and a strong rock comes to mind.

 

References

Ashmole, Bernard, and John R. Spencer. “Western Sculpture.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Feb. 2018

Norman, Jeremy. “The Magnificent Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels (Circa 875).” History of Science, 8 June 2018

Lauer, Rolf. “Gero Crucifix, circa 970.” Koelner-Dom Cologne Cathedral 

“The Lindau Gospels in Brilliant Light .” Medieval Histories, Medieval Histories, 2 Mar. 2016

Ross, Nancy, and Steven Zucker. “Lindau Gospels Cover.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 9 Apr. 2013

Week 5 (Asteria)

Rome and Greece are only a short distance away from each other – undoubtedly, there are many similarities between the two art styles. Rome, being the melting pot, encapsulates many different cultures into one. A lot of the sculptures found in Greece and Rome are composed of marble or bronze. While the art forms/styles, such as marble sculptures, look similar in style, the subjects being depicted are vastly different. Greek art often depicted myths and provided an idealistic figure of the subject, whereas Roman art pieces were more commemorative and based on history.

 

Kouros (left, taken at the British Museum)
Agustus of Prima Porta (right) (Source)

Pictured above is a statue of a male citizen of Greece. Many types of these statues, Kouroi (boy of noble rank) are on display in public spaces. The sculptures are not carved out naturalistically, but rather they are modified to symbolize beauty and excellence. The idealistic sculptures enhance the muscles to portray the ideal human physique.

In Augustus of Prima Porta, the statue carved out still shows muscular features; however, they are not extremely defined. The arms of Augustus show that he has muscle, but the depiction of his arms show that they are not lean – there is not a lot of detail/ridges to show the raw muscles. Although the muscles are not as defined, this statue is still slightly idealized – the youth of Augustus is maintained.

 

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Pantheon exterior Source
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The architecture between the two cultures are quite similar, but the Roman architecture contains more rounded shapes such as domes and arches. The Parthenon from Greece utilizes the 4:9 ratio. The Pantheon has a similar exterior; however, the whole building contains a dome called the rotunda. Another notable architectural piece from the Romans are the arches, such as the Triumphal Arch and the Arch of Constantine. While the arch contains elements of Greek art, such as the columns, the arch itself is unique to Roman art. The element of arches can also be seen in the Roman aqueducts.

Like Rome, Byzantine art is a mixture of different cultures/regions spanning from the Middle East to North Africa and the Eastern Slavic world. Byzantine art is full of religious expression and often depicts a scene relating to Christianity. The icons and mosaics were displayed on the interior of the churches. The depictions are usually not of this realm. While the artistic styles may reflect that of the Romans, the scenery depicted is often spiritual.

The subjects often look suspended between the view and the wall, with large eyes gazing forward. The background behind the subject is typically gold, which enhances the effect of suspension.

In contrast to the cement/plaster that was used for the mosaics, ivory was also used as a medium for the wealthier people. The small ivory figurines were often used to decorate book covers and reliquary boxes.

The Apse at San Vitale
The Apse at San Vitale Source

The mosaic found in San Vitale is on display on the east side of the church. Right above three window panes, a mosaic can be found. The Apse mosaic of Christ with San Vitale, Bishop Ecclesius, and two angels can be seen at the center of the image above.

A close up of the Apse Source

The appearance of the figures in front of the golden backdrop make it seem like all the figures are floating and looking down. The wide eyes looking down provide a sense of connection between the viewer and the figures in the “different realm”. Christ is seated at the center dressed in a royal purple robe and is in front of a halo with a cross in the middle. The effects of the figures being suspended in air is clearly seen when looking at Christ – he appears to be sitting on the blue sphere, which represents the universe/globe. He seems as if he is sitting on the sphere, however, due to the positioning, it appears that he is only hovering over the sphere. In this mosaic, Jesus is seen handing a crown over to San Vitale, who is the primary martyr. On the right side, Bishop Ecclesius (the founder of the church) is handing over a model of the church.

Naturalism is not a huge priority in Byzantine art. Looking closely at the feet of the angels, Bishop and San Vitale, it does not seem that they are standing. This mosaic lacks naturalism which helps distinguish Byzantine art from Roman art.

Christ Source

The early Christian Byzantine Era can be confused with the later Byzantine era art because they show a lot of similarities. Christ, which is part of the deësis (meaning prayer) mosaic is located at Church of Hagia Sophia. This church was reserved only for the emperor and the imperial family. This mosaic was created during the Later Byzantine period; however, it still holds elements of the Byzantine style. The background is gold, giving the illusion that the three figures are suspended between the wall and the viewer.

 

The subjects depicted are Virgin Mary (left), Jesus Christ (center), and John the Baptist (right). The penetrating gaze forward from Jesus is contrasted with the gazes from Mary and John, which are focused on Christ. It is clear that Jesus is the main subject in this mosaic. Contrary to the mosaics of Justinian and Theodora at San Vitale, there are no black outlines around Christ.

The halo behind Christ is flat and contains a cross, similar to the mosaics of San Vitale.

Sources

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Atchison, Bob. “Discovery, History and Conservation – the Christ Deesis Mosaic in Hagia Sophia.” Hagia Sophia

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Byzantine Art.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1 June 2018

Farber, Allen. “Justinian Mosaic, San Vitale.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Farber, Allen. “San Vitale and the Justinian Mosaic.” Smarthistory, Smarthistory, 8 Aug. 2015

Hurst, Ellen. “A Beginner’s Guide to Byzantine Art.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Week 4 (Asteria)

I really like the art pieces from the Hellenistic period. The sculptures have such amazing detail like all the ridges and curves of the body. In the video lecture, Boxer (chapter 7, page 111) had such intricate grooves that show a full story. You can imagine what the subject in Boxer had just experienced. The despair and the exhaustion conveyed through his slight slouch shows his defeat. Likewise, Winged Nike (chapter 7, page 110) is filled with motion as shown by the ruffling of her garment.

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Boxer

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The depictions of the subject are also very naturalistic and not altered to make the subject more youthful or in better shape. Unlike the classical period, where the subjects have a “S-shape” posture, the sculptures from the Hellenistic period have their limbs outstretched. The limbs are slightly bent, making the limbs seem elongated and elegant.

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Lacoön and His Two Sons

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Additionally, the sculptures are filled with a variety of expression and drama. In addition to The Boxer, the Lacoön and His Two Sons (chapter 7, page112) also expresses a deep sense of emotion. In this sculpture, Lacoön and his two sons are being devoured by a pair of serpents. Once again, even though the limbs of Lacoön are bent, they seem stretched out and elongated.

 

Barberini Faun

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Outside of the textbook, a sculpture I looked at was Barberini Faun, also sometimes referred to as the Drunken Satyr. Although this was found in Rome, it is believed to have been stolen from Greece. The body is slouched, and the subject is not sitting upright; however, the limbs do seem stretched. The relaxed position of the head resting upon the shoulder that’s hanging on the chair shows the exhausted state the satyr is in. The ivy around his head is intricately carved with great detail.

Learning about the Parthenon and all the great calculations needed to erect it was incredible. I am in awe of all the calculations and the thought process that it was necessary to “fix” the flawed human sight by making the Parthenon more visually pleasing. All the elements to make the building aesthetically pleasing from various angles were done so to exact measurements/ratios. The Parthenon was considered as the house of Athena. The triangular space on the sides of the Parthenon are decorated with scenes of the gods called pediments (Cartwright). Below is a picture I took of the East Pediment of the Parthenon found in the British Museum.

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East Pediment Sculptures
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Parthenon exhibit in British Museum

The pyramids were built to honor their pharaohs, ziggurats were for the moon god, and Stonehenge was to honor the dead. All great architectures have a trend that they are to honor an important figure. In America, a lot of the monuments are in remembrance of past presidents. For example, Mount Rushmore honors four important presidents. Additionally, the Lincoln memorial is also similar to the monumental structures. The important figures on Mount Rushmore all helped establish something important during America’s history: The establishment of independence from Britain (Washington), the Declaration of Independence (Jefferson), abolition of slavery (Lincoln), and leadership through world war two (Roosevelt).

Most of the monuments are out of honor. For a more religious monument, cathedrals were built as a place of worship. The design of the building often resemble a cross and the ceilings are full of beautiful murals.

 

Cartwright, Mark. “The Parthenon Sculptures.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 14 Dec. 2014

Week 3 (Asteria)

The art piece I chose to look at was the Palette of Narmer (found on page 50 in chapter 5). The palette is about 2 feet tall and 1.3 feet wide.

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Source: Tiradriti, Egyptian Treasures, pp. 40-41

Palettes in ancient times were decorative but were also most commonly used as a cosmetic plate. The ridges from the carvings would be used to grind or mix makeup. Since this specific palette was double sided, it would be used more as a ceremonial piece rather than a functional tool (Kinnaer).

There are many things depicted on this palette. In a lot of the art, the size of the depictions correlate to importance.

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The king, Narmer, is the largest figure, and is placed in the center of the palette to highlight his importance. The carvings of humans are not completely anatomically correct and are depicted for aesthetics.  The positioning of the body, unique to Egypt, depicts his profile and his eye, with the front of his torso in view, and the profile of his legs. His knees are decorated for aesthetic purposes (Adams 50).

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King Narmer is holding the head of an enemy at his feet. The enemy is depicted as smaller in size. The mace in Narmer’s hand brings this piece to motion. Beneath the king and his captured foe are two dead enemies. The two defeated men foreshadow the fate of his captured prisoner.

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Next to the king’s head is the falcon god, Horus (Adams 51). This palette was originally found in a deposit in an early temple of the falcon god (Calvert). The falcon god identifies with the king during his lifetime, as suggested by it having human arms rather than a bird claw. It is clear that artwork from Egypt is not organic, and does not depict the subject as it is, but rather in a way that highlights the strengths/weaknesses of the subject. The falcon depicted on the palette is unusually big compared to Narmer. The size of its body is bigger than the king’s servant (depicted on the left), showing the sheer importance of the falcon god.

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Looking on the opposite side of the palette, once again, King Narmer is the largest amongst his bearers and decapitated enemies. His power and victory are made highlighted with the contrasting scene of the defeated. His crown is different than the one on the opposite side. The crown he is wearing now is the red wicker crown of Lower Egypt. The one on the opposite side is the white war crown of Upper Egypt.

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Below the action scene are two beasts with their necks outstretched, forming a circle. This deep crevice is where the grinding of makeup would occur if this palette was not a ceremonial/decorative piece. The taming of the beasts symbolizes the power of the king.

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Below the two animals, a bull is depicted. Contrary to before, where the two animals were tamed, the bull symbolizes the strength and vigor of the king. The man next to the fallen walls show the bull’s triumph (Kinnaer).

Reading more on the history of King Narmer, he was the first king during the first dynasty in Egypt; thus, his power and glory are highly celebrated due to his military conquests (Mark).

It was really interesting to read and look through the different styles of art from Egypt. There are some where the body is not depicted naturally, some where the body is sculpted as if the rulers had a perfect body, and there are some where the rulers had physical flaws just like all humans do. I think it’s interesting to compare how we perceive photoshopped photos in modern day as fake and unrealistic, whereas the style of art in Egypt was highly praised. Even when kings die at an old age, all depictions of them are youthful and they are in great shape.

It is also very interesting to see that a lot of the artwork is monuments/tributes to the rulers. The pyramids and the sphinx are enormous monuments for the deceased rulers, and are still kept today on the outskirts next to the city. Even though we have large monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, the pyramids (serving as tombs) are enormous.

Adams, L. S. (2011). A History of Western Art (5th Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Calvert, Amy. “Palette of King Narmer.” Smarthistory, 5 Aug. 2015

Kinnaer, Jacques. “The Narmer Palette.” The Ancient Egypt Site, The Ancient Egypt Site, 17 Jan. 2017

Mark, Joshua J. “Narmer Palette.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 4 Feb. 2016.

Week 2 (Asteria)

On my junior’s abroad trip, one of the places I got to visit was Stonehenge. Prior to being there, however, I didn’t have the historical background of why Stonehenge was made. The time I spent at the actual Stonehenge was also quite short, so I never really got to learn the full history of it.

Below are a few pictures I took while at Stonehenge.

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Stonehenge
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Aubrey Hole along the path of Stonehenge
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Post-and-Lintel structures

Reading about Stonehenge, it seemed like this architecture really resonated with the living, dead, and nature. It seems like Stonehenge was a burial site for the dead, especially with the Aubrey holes (as seen above), for burying cremated bones. The megaliths seem like a common use for a burial ritual, similar to modern day tombstones. The stones during the Neolithic age, however, seem to place a lot of emphasis on the alignment of the sun. Not knowing what comes after death, the stones were positioned based on the patterns of celestial objects such as the sun and moon.

I think that the theme of celestial bodies was due to the fact that the sun provided life for the people in the Neolithic era. With the decline of nomadic life, agriculture and livestock heavily relied on the sun and rain. While Stonehenge functions as a burial site, it also incorporates important values such as astronomical observatories and a time keeper.

In modern day, these megaliths aren’t prevalent; instead, tombstones are a parallel to the megaliths. The tombstones are engraved with the name of the deceased and usually a special trait/tribute to them. There are other great works, such as buildings, music, or even park benches that are a memorial for the dead.  Despite the cultural and time difference, it seems like a memorial of dead incorporate mementos from the living.

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A view of the restored Ziggurat of Ur

Source

I chose to do more research on Ziggurat of Ur, because the seals and impressions from Uruk caught my attention (located on page 35). With the numerous Mesopotamian Gods, the Ziggurat of Ur was built as a place of worship for the moon goddess, Nanna (Petricevic). I find this interesting, that in so many different cultures and locations, the sun and the moon were heavily worshiped. The pyramid structure is also oriented to true North (“Ziggurat”). This “pyramid” does not have smooth sides, but three different tiers, in which a shrine/temple is located at the highest point.

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Early image of Ziggurat of Ur from 1920

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I think it’s amazing that the lower tiers of the pyramid were crafted in such a way that it would survive varying seasons. Drains were even created to remove winter rains (“Ur”). It’s amazing how the ziggurat was created with such ingenuity, with the little technology they had.

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Staircase at Ziggurat of Ur which aligns to the summer solstice sunrise

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From the importance of the sun and the moon, it seems like many cultures heavily see the sun as the provider of life. With the end to nomadic life, a stable vegetation was heavily relied on for life support. It is clear that the sun was of importance to numerous cultures, as seen from Stonehenge, the Ziggurat of Ur, Pyramids in Aztec, and many more. The important dates, such as the summer solstice are relevant to the building’s orientation as well.

I really enjoyed reading through these two chapters and seeing the gradual change in forms. I also thoroughly enjoyed reading more about Stonehenge and seeing different things/artifacts I have seen in the museums I’ve been to.

 

References

Petricevic, Ivan. “The Great Ziggurat Of Ur, An Ancient Temple Honoring The Anunnaki.”
Ancient Code, 5 Dec. 2017

“Ur. The Ziggurat.” Odyssey Adventures in Archaology, 17 Feb. 2017

“Ziggurat of Ur.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Week One (Asteria)

Reading through the various values, the psychological value stands out the most to me. While the material value seems interesting because art can be used in a practical manner like bronze statues, I think the psychological value is something that everyone can relate to. Beauty is completely subjective. A piece of art may be a masterpiece to some, but for another, it may be considered trash.

Personally, I love photography and taking candid photos of my friends/family. While I enjoy capturing a posed photo in front of beautiful scenery, I also like taking “raw” pictures of my favorite people just as they are. Photographs give me the ability to relive a specific moment in my past – a real moment.

Art is highly subjective, and all types of methods could be applied, but it really depends on the context of the piece. I thought it was very interesting that even though Marxism appeared in the 1800s, the methodology can still be applied for works of art prior to 1800, such as Bruegel’s The Tower of Babel. The idea of the Marxism approach, however, might be not be applicable in all aspects of art. A piece of art might not have “two sides” in which one can be labeled as proletariat or bourgeoisie.

All methodologies can be applied appropriately to a variety of work, depending on the context in which the art piece was created. Of all the methodologies, it seems like the Biography and Autobiography method closely relates to the psychological value in that the meaning of art is reflective of the artist and their life. An art piece may be dedicated to God and is a form of worship, or it may symbolize something that the artist holds close to their heart.

I really enjoyed flipping through the textbook and looking at the variety of art pieces. I was able to recognize some of the architecture from the places I’ve traveled to, which was great. One piece that particularly stood out to me was Joseph Mallord William Turner’s Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 1834 which is found in chapter 22 on page 406 (in the 4th edition textbook).  Source

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834 exhibited 1835 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

The colors used in this piece of work are the complementary colors blue and orange. The stark contrast between the orange flames and the muted waters and boats draws attention to the fiery flame. The repetition of the bridge also provides a line, guiding viewers toward the fire as well. I also like the reflection of the blazing smoke from the sky and into the waters. I like that the intensity of the warm colors gradually gets more saturated as it leads to the core of the flame. The artist does a great job of drawing attention to the fire, and I like the added detail of the silhouette of the house in the flames.

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Hello all!

My name is Asteria. I just turned 21 and I will be a senior this coming fall. I am majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology and math. For the summer, I will be living at Le Shana while doing research in the chemistry department! My research works with polymers to create a drug delivery system. This is my 3rd and final summer working on this project and we’re hoping to publish a paper on it soon. I also work at Walgreens (right across the street from GFU) in the pharmacy. My goal after graduation is to go to pharmacy school and become a pharmacist. Working at Walgreens so far has not deterred me from my goal.

I was born and raised from Redmond, WA. I have an older sister who graduated from Washington State University a few years back. Both my parents are immigrants from Hong Kong. I am bilingual, though I feel that I am slowly becoming less fluent in Chinese while being away from home.

I love traveling – I have been to nine different countries so far (13 if you count layovers). My favorite place I have been to so far is Mt. Sinai. Going up the mountain as the sun sets is absolutely breath taking. I loved being able to look at the numerous starts without any light pollution. It also brought to perspective what Moses had gone through himself.

In my free time I like to run, go on hikes, play volleyball, and eat! I do have a preference for sushi, but I love trying new things and will basically eat anything that’s edible. The most bizarre thing I’ve ever eaten would probably be crocodile meat (from New Orleans).

I also love watching television shows on Netflix/Hulu. Some of my favorite shows include: Grey’s Anatomy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. This summer, I hope to go on many hikes, go canoeing, and do some stargazing.

Below, are a few pictures of me. The first one was taken on a trip to New Orleans with the chemistry faculty and several students. The second picture was taken at the Pyramids of Giza – if you’re wondering, limestone does not taste like lime. The last one is a picture of my sister (left) and I.