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AP Art History Contextual Analysis Contextual Analysis.

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Presentation on theme: "AP Art History Contextual Analysis Contextual Analysis."— Presentation transcript:

1 AP Art History Contextual Analysis Contextual Analysis

2 Contextual Analysis 2 Essential Questions when looking at works of art and architecture

3 Contextual Analysis 3 Why does this work of art look the way it does?

4 Contextual Analysis 4 Why is the work significant ? How does it speak for its time and generation ?

5 Contextual Analysis 5 How do ideas or beliefs shared by the artist, their immediate community or society shape the work of art ?

6 Contextual Analysis 6 What influences the artist’s and patron’s choice of subject matter?

7 Contextual Analysis 7 What role do historical and political events (including religious, cultural and economic developments) influence the presentation of that subject matter ?

8 Contextual Analysis 8 How do issues of gender, class, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation influence the choice and presentation of the subject matter ?

9 Contextual Analysis 9 How do buildings and architectural programs (including sculptural decoration) express the values and political agendas of their patrons ?

10 Contextual Analysis 10 Four ways to think about “context” 1:Physical location of the work of art in its original setting Where was the work of art originally situated?

11 Contextual Analysis 11 Four ways to think about “context” 2: Artist and patron of the work of art Who was the artist? Who was the patron or the work?

12 Contextual Analysis 12 Four ways to think about “context” 3: Historical events which influence the work of art What is the subject matter of the work of art and is it historical relevant ?

13 Contextual Analysis 13 Four ways to think about “context” 4: Concepts and ideas which surround the work What religious, social or philosophical ideas within the culture influence the content or presentation of the work of art? the work of art?

14 Contextual Analysis 14 Function: Context determines function, or plays a significant role in shaping the intended purpose of a work of art or architecture.

15 Contextual Analysis 14 Function: The purpose / function the work of art is intended to serve within the society or audience is best understood by understanding the context of the work of art, artist and patron.

16 Contextual Analysis 15 Content: Content (what the work of art is about – specifically it’s subject matter) is often determined by the function or the intended purpose of the work of art within the culture.

17 Contextual Analysis 15 Content: Works of architecture do not have “content” but architects choose architectural styles and building motifs to support the buildings function

18 Contextual Analysis 16 Modeling the concept the concept of context of context Sumerian Votive Offerings

19 Contextual Analysis 17 Making connections between: Contextual issues Contextual issues Function of the work of art Function of the work of art Appearance of the work of art Appearance of the work of art (formal analysis /style)


21 Passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh Enkidu slept alone in this sickness and he poured out his heart to Gilgamesh. “ Last night I dreamed again, my friend. The heavens moaned and the earth replied; I stood alone before an awful being; his face was somber like the black bird of the storm. He fell upon me with the talons of an eagle and he held me fast, pinioned with his claws, till I smothered; then he transformed me so that my arms became wings covered with feathers. He turned his stare towards me, and he led me away to the palace of Irkalla, the Queen of Darkness, to the house from which none who enters ever returns, down the road from which there is no coming back. >

22 Passage from the Epic of Gilgamesh continued There is the house whose people sit in darkness; dust is their food and clay their meat. They are clothed like birds with wings for covering, they see no light, they sit in darkness. I entered the house of dust and I saw the kings of the earth, their crowns put away for ever; rulers and princes, all those who once wore kingly crowns, and ruled the world in the days of old…..O my brother, let some great prince, some other, come when I am dead, or let some god stand at our gate, let him obliterate my name and write his own instead”

23 Contextual Analysis 18 Style: Style is the presentation of content

24 Style Formal analysis is the foundation of Stylistic analysis

25 How to Analyze Sculpture What to look for and talk about when looking at works of sculpture Formal Analysis

26 Formal Analyzing -- Sculpture Stance / presentation Stance / presentation Proportion (of the figure) Proportion (of the figure) Anatomical detail / correctness Anatomical detail / correctness Movement / gesture Movement / gesture Facial expression Facial expression

27 Formal Analyzing -- Sculpture Negative / Negative / positive space Organic / Organic / geometric form Material / technique Material / technique

28 Formal Analyzing -- Sculpture Function Function Meaning / content Meaning / content Context Context


30 Contextual Analysis 20 Egyptian Art 1: Geographic isolation 2:Economic security 3:Deeply held religious traditions 4:Hierarchical society 5:Geological substructure 6:Belief in afterlife

31 Devices used to declare sacred space 1: the concept of exclusivity How do you make a building or parts of at building “exclusive” ?

32 Devices used to declare sacred space 2: material wealth / decoration What is the role of ornament and/or “luxury” ?

33 Devices used to declare sacred space 3: ritual and ceremony (liturgy) How does the building’s design reflect religious events and liturgy of the religion it is built for ?

34 Devices used to declare sacred space 4: history / iconographic symbolism How is the design of the building shaped by historic and religious symbolism ?

35 “Education doesn’t make you happy. Nor does freedom. We don’t become happy just because we’re free, if we are, or because we’ve been educated, if we have – but because education may be the means by which we realize we are happy. It opens our eyes, our ears; it tells us where delights are lurking, convinces us that there is only one freedom of any importance whatsoever – that of ht mind. Iris Murdock “ The Importance of Education”

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