Western art history spans many years. It’s important to understand the context of a work of art to get an idea what the work is really about. The culture, economy, and government of the era affect an artist and have an impact on the art that the artist creates. Art and life are inextricably linked. At one time, patrons controlled the art world because artists relied on these individuals who commissioned their work. A patron paid for the artist to live and work. Without a patron, it would have been very difficult to be an artist. Then, things changed. In the 19th century, artists began to organize their own exhibitions. Artist became more independent (Bowness, 1972). This meant that they were less concerned with pleasing a particular individual and they could explore their work with more freedom.
In most works, we can see the era reflected through style, concept, and even media. For example, a film certainly would not have been created prior to the invention of photography. It can be trickier when it comes to identifying the era through style and concept, but there are obvious clues to that as well if you think about it. A painting that seems to have more risquÃ© or intellectual subject matter is more likely to have been created during a recent time period. Modern artists are able to push boundaries without fear unlike in previous times. Take the work of Andy Warhol, he went “beyond the conventional boundaries of painting: he made numerous films, he directed a night-club entertainment, the Velvet Underground” (Lucie-Smith, 1969, p.152). When we see an Andy Warhol painting, we can tell that it was made after 1900 quite easily.
There are works that are less easily categorized though. The sculptor, Rodin could be compared to Michelangelo. Even though they lived and worked hundreds of years apart, their work has similarities. Through careful examination though, we can see differences in media, style, subject, and even title. Rodin took a more casual approach to his titles which allowed metaphor and symbolism to lead the viewer to their own interpretation of the work (Bowness, 1972). Michelangelo’s titles are much more literal.
Helpful tips for this week’s assignments: dueSaturday, November 30.
Discussion 1: directions below
Discuss the Baroque art movement in each of the regions. Address details about the movement like religious ideals and common subject matter artists used for each region. In Chapters 19 and 20 of the textbook, the Baroque period is discussed in depth. Within that movement, there were varying implications to the art in regions of Italy, Spain, and Northern Europe.
Examine these three regions during the Baroque period. Using the questions art historians ask and the words that art historians use, what are some key similarities and differences between the three regions in terms of media (materials), methods, and subjects? Why might these differences between regions exist?
Refer to the assigned reading from the textbook and required videos as examples of how to interpret works of art.
Kleiner, F. S. (2017). Gardnerâ€™s art through the ages: The western perspective (15th ed., Vol. II). Retrieved from https://ashford.instructure.com/
RzepiÅ„ska, M., & Malcharek, K. (1986). Tenebrism in Baroque painting and its ideological background. Artibus et Historiae, 7(13), 91-112. doi:10.2307/1483250
Baroque art in Europe, an introduction (Links to an external site.) (n.d.). Retrieved https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/monarchy-en… This article discusses the subject of artworks and techniques used by Baroque artists in relation to the intellectual, religious, and cultural context. It may assist you in both discussions, the Journal assignment, and the â€œOutline Movements of Artâ€ assignment for this week.
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