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Role of an Art Historian Determine the original context of artworks. Determine why the work of art looks the way it does? Why was it even created? Just.

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Presentation on theme: "Role of an Art Historian Determine the original context of artworks. Determine why the work of art looks the way it does? Why was it even created? Just."— Presentation transcript:

1 Role of an Art Historian Determine the original context of artworks. Determine why the work of art looks the way it does? Why was it even created? Just a few preliminary questions would be the following. How old is it? What is its style? What is its subject? Who made it?

2 How old is it? Chronology – the dating of art objects and buildings View of Arles with Irises 1888 (140 Kb); 54 x 65 cm Irises 1889 (280 Kb); Oil on canvas, 71 x 93 cm (28 x 36 3/4 in); Payson Gallery of Art, Portland, Maine (or Getty Museum, California) Irises 1890 (240 Kb); Oil on canvas, 92 x 73.5 cm (36 1/4 x 29 in); Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam

3 How old is it? Physical evidence – an indicator of an objects age. Some materials and techniques can “date” the object

4 How old is it? Documentary evidence – written information Visual evidence – people, clothing, hairstyles, etc, can give information about the date of the work

5 How old is it? Documentary evidence – written information Excerpt from Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists: Michelangelo BUONAROTTI of Florence, Painter, Sculptor and Architect ( )

6 How old is it? Stylistic evidence – an artists distinctive manner of producing an object. The way a work looks is the art historian’s special skill. (This is the most unreliable evidence, and is resorted to when other evidence is not available.)

7 What is the style? Period style – the characteristic artistic manner of a specific time, usually within a distinct culture Peplos Kore (c530 BC) polychromed (painted) marble Berlinghiero (Italian, Lucchese; act. by 1228; d. by 1236),ca Tempera on wood, with gold ground 31 5/8 x 21 1/8 in. (80.3 x 53.6 cm)

8 What is the style? Regional style – the term art historians use to describe variations in style tied to geography 13 th century French 13 th century Italian

9 What is the style? Personal style – the distinctive manner of individual artist or architects

10 What is the subject? Is there a narrative? What scene is presented: the action’s time and place, the persons involved, and the environment and its details?

11 What is the subject? Some work is abstract or non-representational. If the subject is recognizable it will fall into one of the following categories: religious, historical, mythological, genre (daily life), portraiture, landscape (a depiction of a place), still life (an arrangement of inanimate objects.)

12 What is the subject? Iconography refers to the content and the subject of an artwork, including the study of symbols, images that stand for other symbols or represent ideas, or people (personifications.)

13 Who made it? Not all artwork is signed. In cases such as these the art historian might try to reconstruct the the career of an artist suspected of creating a particular artwork. The art historian might be able to identify an unsigned painting by the way the artist has drawn or painted drapery, flowers, earlobes, or other details.

14 Who paid for it? Patrons often commissioned artists to work for them. Many of them did this without getting any recognition. They worked for the patron like a carpenter might work for a builder these days. Patrons, monks or other churchmen dictated what that artist would depict and often how they would depict it.

15 Words art historians use. Form composition Material technique Line Contour Line Color Texture Space, mass, and volume Perspective and Foreshortening Proportion and scale Carving and casting Relief sculpture Architectural drawing


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