Art -Many questions.

Discuss at least two works by Whistler. Why was his art controversial? What are characteristics of his style? Discuss the lawsuit against him.

James Abbot McNeill Whistler had many works done during his lifetime (1834-1903). His first series of artworks was known as The French Set. After this recognition, he gained wide spread popularity with Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl. Whistler was best known for his controversial abstract art known as nocturnes. Whistlers Nocturne: Blue and Gold was highly critiqued by John Rushkin. John Rushkin criticized Whistler’s art convicting John Whistler “was throwing a pot of paint in the publics face.” Because of the statement made, Whistler sued John Rushkin for slander. Whistler won his court battle, but not without a price. The costly trial had left him bankrupt. After the trial, he sold the contents of his studio and left England to work in Venice.

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2.Discuss at least three works by Goya. Is he a Romanticist or a Realist? Give reasons for your answer.

Francisco Goya was known as one of the greatest artist of Spain. Goya’s life fell pessimistic, when a journey to southern Spain left him deaf. Goya’s realist style artwork is found in his first great print series Los Capriches (1797-1799). This etched series mocked the social mores and superstitions of his time. Goya’s etchings were marked by satirical humor, as compared to the more violent observations in Dessastres de la guerra (Disasters of War, 1810) and Disparates (Absurdities, 1820-1823). Disasters of War, and Absurdities depicted Goya’s first hand accounts of French soldiers battling the Spanish during the rise of Napoleon in Spain.


3.Discuss at least three sculptures by Rodin. Give specific characteristics of his style. What woman artist trained in his studio? What happened to her?
Auguste Ren Rodin is known for his amazing sculpting ablity. His texture and modeling style were used mostly through organic shapes. His most influencial works included The Thinker, The Kiss, and his most challenging work, The Burghers of Calais. He used bronze, stone, and marble on many of his well-known works. Rodin had a under study who helped him on his work The Gates of Hell, her name was Claudel. Claudel had much talent, but a woman having talent in the early part of the century was seen as nothing. Because how society viewed women, Claudel had to be an understudy – instead of working on her own. Rodin took advantage of the young Claudel, and supposedly had an affair. Claudel lay ruined after the Rodin returned to his wife, and was committed to a hospital for insanity. She then died there, making no artwork the last 30 years of her life.


4.Discuss at least three works by Degas. List characteristics of his style. Why is he considered an important modern artist?
Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was a painter and a sculptor. His father urged him to be a businessman, but Degas abandoned his father’s dream for painting. Degas did man works including Woman with Chrysanthemums, and Jockeys Before the Race. Both of these works were daring in style. Degas differed from other artists who used balanced arrangement. Degas used an innovative style with many of his works. He was the first to introduce cutoff views, off-center subjects, and unusual angles. Degas’ work seemed to be accidental, but in all actuality was very carefully planned. Because of his pioneering art, one could look at Edgar Degas as one of the most influential modern artist off the ninetieth century.


5.Name three Pre-Raphaelite artists and discuss at least four major influences on their art.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was created in 1848 by seven artists: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, James Collinson, John Everett Millais, Frederic George Stephens, and Thomas Woolner. The Pre-Raphaelite artists were influenced by Romantic style, great beauty, complex realism, and a fondness for Greek legend.


6.Discuss major characteristics of Egyptian art. Give examples of at least two works from the Old Kingdom; one work from the Middle Kingdom; and two works from the New Kingdom.

Egyptian art is one of the world’s oldest arts, and helped to form one of the greatest empires of the earth’s history. The three divisions of Egyptian art are known as: The Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and The New Kingdom. Many artworks came out of these three periods. The artwork from The Old Kingdom was primitive. The Egyptians used the relief process for sculpture and painting. The human figure was usually represented with the head in profile; the eye and shoulders in front view. The reliefs were shallow, and intaglios were often found in the same piece. Color was applied in flat tones, and there was no attempt at linear perspective. Some outstanding artworks include: Great Chephren, Prince Ra-hetep and Princess Neferet, and in limestone Sheik-el-Beled. In The Middle Kingdom, formalism was combined with craftsmanship. The paintings of the rock-cut tombs Slaves Feeding Oryxes and Cat Stalking Prey, are an example of this divine craftsmanship. One can see the skill level in Egyptian sculpture with the portrait of Sesostris III. The New Kingdom can be seen as a well-rounded combination of The Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom. The New Kingdom had an overall emphasis on size, solidity, and impersonality. An example of this boldness can be seen in the limestone bust of Queen Nefertiti and the massive statue of Ikhnaton.


7.Discuss three works by Matisse. Give dates and characteristics of his style. Why was he considered a revolutionary? What is Fauvism?
Henri Matisse was a French painter, sculptor, and lithographer. He had much success during the 20th century. His use of Fauvism helped his popularity after his unsuccessful exhibit in 1896. Fauvism is basically an expressionist style, using bold distortion of forms and lively color. He began using this pure primary color known as fauvism as a significant structural element in his paintings. The bold color nearly catches the viewer off guard, as does the usage of the color red in Harmony in Red, 1908-1909. The great 1935 oil painting Large Reclining Nude is also shocking using royal blue, and peach.


8.Discuss Howard Carter and the discovery of Tutankamen’s tomb.

Howard Carter (1873-1939) was a famous English Egyptologist. He had many famous excavations one being of King Tutankamen’s tomb. Carter’s search for the tomb was long and tedious. The tomb of Tutankhamen was finally found in 1922 almost intact in the Valley of the Tombs near Luxor. Its great wealth of objects afforded a new store of knowledge on Egyptian sculpture and life of the XVIII dynasty. The contents of the tomb, including the mummy and the gold sarcophagus, are now in Cairo. Carter then wrote a book about his huge discovery in titled: The Tomb of Tut.ankh.amen.


8.Discuss the Epic of Gilgamesh. How is it reflective of Mesopotamian culture?
The Epic of Gilgamesh tells of the adventures of Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu. When Enkidu suddenly dies, Gilgamesh became obsessed by a fear of death. His ancestor Ut-napishtim (who with his wife had been the only survivor of a great flood) told him of a plant that gave eternal life. After obtaining the plant, however, Gilgamesh left it unguarded and a serpent carried it off. The hero then turned to the ghost of Enkidu for consoling knowledge of the afterlife, only to be told by his friend that a gloomy future awaited the dead.


9.Compare and contrast the figure in Egyptian and Mesopotamian art.

There are many similarities and differences when comparing Egyptian and Mesopotamian art. Egyptian art is large scale, intaglio process, and the artwork of Pharaohs. In contrast with Egyptian art, Mesopotamian use clay, and the additive method. Usually Mesopotamian figures are small with large eyes and in prayerful positions. Mesopotamian art was in a cone shaped. The Gods were the main focus of Mesopotamian art, rather than Pharaohs.


10.Discuss the art of Rene Magritte. Discuss at least three of his works and show how they reflect Surrealist concerns. Discuss at least one other Surrealist artist and one work by this artist.
Rene Magritte was a surrealist painter. Magritte developed a style in which a misleading sort of realism is combined with irony. His paintings are dominated by an intense calmness and self-control. In Magritte’s oil painting La Trahison Des Images, words are scrolled across the botton: “ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”). One begins to think, if this is not a pipe? What is it? Magritte wants the viewer to see that it is just a painting. Ray, Man (1890-1876) was an American photographer, painter, and sculptor, born in Philadelphia. He was a surrealist artist known for such paintings such as The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows.


13.Discuss four characteristics of Gothic architecture. Use specific examples in your answer.

Gothic architecture is lightness and soaring spaces. The overall effect of the Gothic cathedral is combined this lightness with and countless parts and multiplicity of forms. Great windows were set into walls, so light could shine through large pains of stained glass. The spiritual excellence of light is an important element of the religious symbolism of Gothic cathedrals.


14.Discuss an important movie director of the early 20th century. Discuss the innovations and at least one film by this director.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most innovated directors of the 20th century. Hitchcock directed many films during his lifetime. In 1940 he began working in the United States. In his suspense thrillers, Hitchcock unsettled audiences through the idea that normality is defined masks humanity’s truth. His best films include Strangers on a Train (1951), a tennis player is invited by a fellow rail passenger to trade murders; Vertigo (1958), an obsessive necrophiliac romance; and Psycho (1960), a mother-obsessed transvestite murders a thief. Hitchcock’s style is so distinctive that any filmmaker working in the suspense genre always risks comparison to him.


15.Do a time line from Egyptian and Mesopotamian art to the twentieth century. (Attached*)
16.Discuss major characteristics between archaic, classical and Hellenistic Greek art.

The archaic period (c.660–480 B.C.) depicted mythological scenes. The classical period (c.480–450 B.C.) was when artists began aesthetic expression. Classical Greek art is when artists were trying to find the “perfect person.” The Hellenistic period was different from archaic and classical. Hellenistic art was full of emotion. Hellinstic figures have furrowed eyebrows, and open mouths.
16.Discuss Laocon. What period does this fit into? Why?
In Greek mythology, priest of Apollo who warned the Trojans not to touch the wooden horse made by the Greeks during the Trojan War. While he and his two sons were sacrificing to Poseidon at the seashore, two serpents came from the water and crushed them. The Trojans interpreted this event as a sign of the Gods’ disapproval of Laocon’s prophecy, and they brought the wooden horse into the city. Subsequent events vindicated Laocon’s judgment, however, since the horse was filled with Greeks, who waited until night and then attacked Troy.


17.Compare and contrast two works by Gauguin and Van Gogh. What are major themes of these artists? What are characteristics of their styles?
18.What do we mean by the “middle ages”? What are distinguishing characteristics of the art of this period? Give specific examples in your answer.

The middle ages was a period in Western European history before the Renaissance. Middle Age art is also very important part of this period. Nearly the entire working class in society was living in poverty, while the Nobility lived lavishly. This gave way to art being for the nobles, rather than the people. The middle ages produced much artwork about Christianity as in The Tree of Jesse. Also artwork was focused to the patrons: the Kings and Queens.


21.Discuss at least two works by Frank Lloyd Wright. Why is he an important modern architect?
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was an American architect. At a time when poured reinforced concrete and steel beams were generally all commercial structures used, Wright did pioneer work in incorporating machine methods into his works. He was the first architect in the America to produce an open planning in houses. Some of his important works included: The Larkin Office Building (1904; destroyed 1950), Buffalo, and Oak Park Unity Temple (1908), the Imperial Hotel (1916–22, destroyed 1967), Tokyo, Japan, and “Falling water” (1936–37), Bear Run, Pa., which is dramatically over a waterfall.


22.What is the difference between Early Christian and Byzantine art? Give examples.


23.Discuss four characteristics of Romanesque art. Give examples.

The art of the Romanesque period was characterized by four characteristics: sculpture, metal work, fresco, and manuscript illumination. Sculptures during the Romanesque period were of large relief process mainly for the churches (i.e. Last Judgement). Another aspect of the Romanesque characteristic was metal work. Metal work such as crucifixes were made for alters and shrines from bronze. An outstanding example of bronze casting is in front of the St. Barthelemy in Lige. This is a large piece supported by 12 oxen and decorated with scenes in high relief. Fresco was used in Byzantine art. The large expanses of wall space within Romanesque buildings presented an excellent ground for the work of the painter using fresco. The basic forms of Romanesque fresco painting are typically monumental in scale and bright in color. The last characteristic of Romanesque art is manuscript illumination or scriptorium. The Romanesque scriptorium also produced large editions of the Bible, often extending to several volumes.
23.Discuss major themes and styles of Diego Rivera’s art. Why was it so controversial in the United States?
In 1921 Mexico was struggling over a ten-year civil war. Mexico was thriving on nationalism. There was now more money for education, employment for artists. Diego Rivera saw that art was a key to transform Mexico. He was influenced by the paintings of El Greco, Goya, and knew Picasso personally. Rivera was known for his large-scale murals. He took pleasure in his artwork on public buildings because he knew that the common people could view them there. Rivera saw his people of Mexico strong, and was proud to be a part of the society. Rivera worked on many frescos outside Mexico. In America, he painted in the Fine Arts Building, both in San Francisco, and in the Detroit Institute of Arts. The controversy began with a mural Rivera painted in Rockefeller center. The mural in New York City was destroyed by order of his sponsors because of the addition of a portrait of Lenin. He then returned to Mexico and reproduced it on a wall in the Palace of Fine Arts. Rivera’s well known works include: Flower Festival Feast of Santa Anita and Portrait of Mexico.


26.Discuss at least two works of Edward Hopper that demonstrate major themes and his stylistic characteristics.

Edward Hopper excelled in creating realistic pictures of clear-cut, sunlit streets and houses, often without figures. In his paintings there is a frequent atmosphere of loneliness, an almost menacing starkness, and a clear sense of time of day or night. His work in oil and watercolor is slowly and carefully painted, with light and shade used for pattern rather than for modeling. The viewer can see these characteristics in Gas and House by the Railroad.


27.Discuss the “Woman” series of Willem de Kooning.

Willem de Kooning was an American painter who was a leader in abstract expressionism. In his monumental series of the early 1950s entitled Woman, he reintroduced a representational element. Woman I. The women in his works look furious, carnivorous, and overall livid.
29.Name primary and secondary colors. Are colors reflective of different periods? If so, give examples.

The primary colors include red, yellow, and blue. Mixing primary colors together can make secondary colors. They included green, purple, orange.
30. Discuss at least three works of Edvard Munch. What are characteristics of his style and influences on his work? Discuss also the Frieze of Life by Munch.

Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter who was known as the father of expressionism. Munch used isolation the themes of death, fear, and anxiety in nearly all of his works. Among his strongest and best-known works are The Scream (1893), Vampire (1894), and The Kiss (1895). Reaction to his stark, fearsome images caused the closing of an important Berlin exhibition of 1892. In 1909, after a severe mental illness, Munch returned from Germany to Norway, where he painted murals. Munch’s work is in leading collections everywhere.

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