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Why Do We Study the History of Art?.  The Artistic Impulse ◦ The study of art teaches us about our own creative expressions ◦ In art there are three.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Do We Study the History of Art?.  The Artistic Impulse ◦ The study of art teaches us about our own creative expressions ◦ In art there are three."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Do We Study the History of Art?

2  The Artistic Impulse ◦ The study of art teaches us about our own creative expressions ◦ In art there are three broad artistic categories:  Pictures—Latin pingo, “I paint”  Sculpture—Latin sculpere, “to carve”  Architecture—literally “high (archi) buildings (tecture)” ◦ Chronological notation  B.C. “Before Christ”  A.D. anno Domini—Latin meaning “year of our lord”  B.C.E.—before common era; equates to B.C.  C.E.—common era; equates to A.D. ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.2

3  Why Do We Value Art? ◦ Material value: value derived from the precious material used to create the object; i.e. gold, bronze ◦ Intrinsic value: value depends on the artist and his or her work; i.e. da Vinci’s Mona Lisa ◦ Religious value: value to a group of people who identify with the object ◦ Nationalistic value: valued for their expression of pride and accomplishments of a culture ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.3

4  Why Do We Value Art? ◦ Psychological value: our emotional reaction to a piece of art; pleasure, fright, amusement, avoidance, outrage ◦ Brancusi’s Bird: manufactured metal or a work of art?  Photographer Edward Steichen purchased the bronze sculpture and wished to imported it into the U.S. duty-free  Customs officials did not see it as art but as a kitchen utensil, which required a $600 import duty ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.4

5  Art and Illusion ◦ Illusionistic—representational pictures and sculptures so true to life they may be mistaken for the real thing  The grapes of ancient Greek artist Zeuxis  René Magritte’s The Betrayal of Images  The lifelike sculptures of American Duane Hanson ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.5 René Magritte The Betrayal of Images (This is Not a Pipe), 1928, oil on canvas 23 ½ X 28 ½ inches Duane Hanson, Tourists II, 1988, Autobody filler, fiberglass and mixed media, with accessories Life-size

6  Art and Illusion ◦ Traditions equating artists with gods  Both are seen as creators  Gods have been represented as artists ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.6 Peter Bruegel the Elder, Tower of Babel, 1563, tempera on panel God as Architect (God drawing the universe with a compass) 13 century illuminated manuscript.

7  Art and Identification ◦ Reflections and shadows: legends of how art began  Tracing a shadow or reflected image  Narcissus – fell in love with his own image in a reflection  Inspired not only to create, but also capture existing forms ◦ Image magic  Some cultures believe harming an image of someone will hurt the actual person  Certain religions forbid the making of images of their god(s)  Especially apparent in the Jewish and Islamic religious traditions  In Whistler’s famous depiction of his mother, we see a keen likeness. Whistler said about his work: “One does like to make one’s mummy just as nice as possible.” ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.7 James Abbot McNeil Whistler, Arrangement in Black and Gray, oil on canvas

8  Art and Identification ◦ Architecture  The most utilitarian of the three broad artistic categories  Must fulfill a function, versus being just aesthetically pleasing  Unique in that appreciation for the work is incomplete until one has experienced it physically  Identification with being inside a structure begins in utero; thus some postulate there is an intuitive relationship between motherhood and architecture ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.8 Jan Van Eyck, The Virgin in a Church, , oil on panel

9  Archaeology and Art History ◦ Archaeology is the study of beginnings ◦ The primary aim of archaeologists: to reconstruct history from the physical remains of past cultures ◦ In the recent past archaeology was the province of amateur explorers and collectors of antiquities ◦ Art history is the study of the history of visual arts, in contrast with art appreciation, which is primarily about aesthetics ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.9

10  Methodologies of Art History ◦ Formalism  “Art for art’s sake” ◦ Iconography  Emphasizes the content of art ◦ Iconology  Studies the rationale behind a group of works ◦ Marxism  Explores the relationship between art and economic factors ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.10

11  Methodologies of Art History ◦ Feminism  Assumes that the making of art is influenced by gender ◦ Biography and autobiography  Interpreting works as expressions of the artists’ lives and personalities ◦ Semiology  An attempt to identify universal and meaningful patterns in various cultural expressions ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.11 Meret Oppenheim, Fur-Covered cup, Saucer and Spoon, 1936

12  Methodologies of Art History ◦ Deconstruction  Questions the assumptions about works ◦ Psychoanalysis  Explores the personality of the artist through the study of his or her work ©2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.12


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