EX: Art History 101 week 1 notes
EX: Art History 101 week 1 notes ARTH 330
Popular in Studies in Early Modern European Art
Popular in Art History
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kennedy Ghibellini on Thursday August 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARTH 330 at Northern Illinois University taught by Mary Quinlan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Studies in Early Modern European Art in Art History at Northern Illinois University.
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Date Created: 08/11/16
Kennedy Ghibellini HUM 210 A 3 November 2015 Catalog Proposal: Portraiture through Time, Ancient to Modern Throughout history, one of the greatest and most important subjects of painting was portraiture; this practice has continued from the days of the ancients into modern times as well, but has consistently been evolving. The exhibit I have put together intends to capture the gist of that evolution through the ages, starting with Ancient Egypt to Gothic (medieval), the Renaissance, PostImpressionism, Analytical Cubism, and finally to Photorealism. Two portraits from each artistic era have been chosen, one male and one female, to capture the change in portraiture between the sexes as well as the idea of equality also changed through time. From the era of Ancient Egypt, the New Kingdom to be exact, I chose a mural painting of the Goddess Isis. This painting is located in the Valley of the Kings in the tomb of Horemheb. The second is a limestone relief painting of the Osiris, the Lord of the Dead, which is also located in a tomb somewhere in the Valley of the Kings. The artists for both portraits are unknown due to the fact that these types of things were not well recorded as paintings of the gods and goddesses were quite literally everywhere that was important. In these places, tombs in this case, there were stories depicted all over the walls with images of numerous gods and goddesses and the important person occupying the tomb showing their safe passage into the Afterlife. Egyptian art is riddled with symbolism, and they did not have a very advanced idea of how to portray the human body in twodimensional art, so the figures come out looking flat, with usually only one side of the body visible to the viewer. The eyes are overstylized, something that also symbolizes divinity as the eyes can be called “windows to the soul”. Religious paintings were the most common, usually showing the connection of the divine with a pharaoh, priest, or member of higher society. The dry and arid climate in Egypt preserved these paintings extremely well so that we may look at them still today, thousands of years later. The Gothic era of art was a bit of a transition from the art of the ancients. Occurring through most of the Twelfth Century, it spread through Western Europe and made a big mark in Italy specifically, only to be replaced by the Renaissance. Though it was often called barbaric, most Gothic painting was done in the form of religious frescoes in churches but it also made way for painting on panel. The first painting from this era is entitled Madonna; it is a tempura on panel painting executed by Gentile da Fabriano and is roughly 41 by 36 cm. It currently hangs in the Museo Nazional di San Matteo in Pisa, Italy and depicts the Virgin Mary with Christ as a child. This was a fairly common subject for paintings in this era and held throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well. The male portrait is painted by Bartolome Bermejo titled St. Dominic Enthroned in Glory and it currently hangs in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Also a religious painting, its dimensions are 242 by 130 cm and it is an oil on panel painting. Artists in this time and also throughout the next few centuries were often commissioned by churches or patrons to paint such religious paintings to be displayed as Christianity and religion was a part of everyday life. The next era on the timeline for the exhibit is The Italian Renaissance, which also happened to be a time for religious and Christian art commission and production. There were many artists that made their way to fame in the Renaissance and were experimenting with the idea of the human form in their works. Many artists in this time were also extremely interested in the sciences as well as the arts and humanities. The image of the human body in painting was getting more and more realistic and often times looked like the sculptures that were also being created. Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Woman is an oil on panel painting where the woman’s body resembles that of a sculpture in its detail and shape, but that was part of Raphael’s personal style. This painting currently hangs in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. The male portrait painting is Perugino’s 170 by 117 cm oil on wood panel St. Sebastian which hangs in the Louvre in Paris, France. The next era I chose for this exhibit through the ages is PostImpressionism, where the artists of the period were experimenting with color and light and developed very individual styles that followed in the footsteps of the great Impressionists. Paul Gauguin’s subjects for his paintings came from his many visits to the island of Tahiti, it is here that he executed the oil on canvas painting Woman With a Flower, which is vibrant with color. This painting hangs in Copenhagen, Denmark at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and is roughly 70 by 46 cm. Gauguin also worked very closely for a time with Vincent van Gogh, who had a very individual style of painting that showed distinctive brushstrokes that were the product of added a great amount of paint to the canvas and consequently scraping it off to show texture. This is visible in his 57 by 68 cm oil on canvas painting Portrait of Doctor Gachet which hangs in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. The era of Analytical Cubism was started and executed mainly by two artists who worked so closely with one another that they were known to paint on the other’s works as well as their own. These two artists were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The Cubist style was extremely unique as it looked at art in a whole new way; the artists were no longer arranging their works in the way that nature had intended, and were faceting the picture plane, almost as if the image was reflected from a shattered mirror. Picasso’s Portrait of Ambroise Vollard, a 92x65 cm oil on canvas painting, is done in this style and hangs in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Art in Moscow, Russia. Braque, though not as famous as Picasso, created similar art but sometimes pushed it even further, distorting the picture to the point that it must be studied greatly to really see what the subject is. His oil on canvas painting Head of a Woman is easier to look at than most of his work. This painting is 41x33 cm and hangs in the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in Paris, France. The final era on the portraiture timeline is Photorealism, which is portraiture that is so detailed and so well executed that it usually looks exactly like a photograph and is sometimes also called Hyper Realism. Kent Bellows created a portrait painting for Rolling Stone magazine entitled Philip K. Dick; the medium is acrylic on canvas and it is about 47x35 cm. While this painting is not as realistic as most, it is still fairly reallooking. Another, that looks almost like a senior portrait, is Ken Danby’s Sunbather which is 55.9x81.3 cm and is painted with egg tempura. The detail in the girl’s body and the landscape behind her is as if captured by a camera. Reproductions of this painting hang in many homes all over Canada, which is where the artist is from. These eras definitely have their differences but they also have many things in common. From ancient times up throughout the Renaissance the majority of portrait paintings were of religious figures or of those in power. When the idea of who was ‘important’ changed slightly to include everyday people, the subjects of portraits also changed. From through Post Impressionism, Cubism, and Photorealism, the subjects for portrait paintings were more often regular, average people walking around. While people could still commission and artist to paint their portrait, that practice has been left in the ages of the ancients and through Gothic and Renaissance eras. The subject of portraiture itself as a painting practice has not died out but many aspects that surrounded it have, and the change throughout history is interesting to see when spread out through these eras. Many people do not realize how important portraiture used to be in earlier eras and how it has changed throughout time. This exhibit and catalog would strive to get people to realize the impact that portraiture has had throughout history and the changes that it has gone through to get to where it is today.
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