Friday, November 11, 2016

The Seduction of Yusuf- Description

    The painting, Seduction of Yusuf, was done by Persian painter Bihzad. The lines in this painting are subtle but straight. This painting has a contrasting tone, all of the rooms have different colors and patterns within them. The texture seems to be smooth as if was painted on a canvas or some sort of paper. One thing that stuck out to me the most was the shape of the picture; it is very geometric. Throughout the picture there are squares, triangles, and rectangles that basically build the whole painting.

   I would describe the movement of this art piece to be flowing because when you look at it your eyes are automatically drawn to look through the rooms as if the people were moving through them. The colors of this painting are quite vibrant, multiple color combinations are used. It does seem to be a little worn making the colors slightly faded.  My favorite part about this painting is the visual variety it contains. Each rooms have their own detail, some with beautiful patterns and others with elegant calligraphy. Every room is like its own individual piece and then all put together making a very elaborate painting. 

The Founding of Tenochtitlan Description

The Founding of Tenochtitlan is an Aztec-Spanish style painting of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico. This painting involves many elements. For example, the lines are simple and the thickness seems the same in all the lines in the painting. There are many shapes and forms that make up this painting, there are some that stand out the most. The shapes that are most obvious are rectangles, squares and triangles. The colors in the painting vary, the most outstanding color is blue. The painting is painted from a two dimensional view. The canvas looks like it is aging and it appears to be that way from the coloring and the space in the background.

In the painting, many of the images appear repetitive, some look mirrored. The painting details on the eagle are more complex than the details on the humans. The painting itself does not have much shading, if any at all. There is very little negative space as well. This painting is simple and shares a history of the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico.

Amida Description

    This piece is a Buddha figure created in 1053 by the artist Jocho.  There is a lot of line quality in this piece. There is an intricate line design in the part behind the main Buddha; this leads your eye right to that detail. There is also line quality in the shapes that the figure is sitting upon. The shapes the lines make up look like the figure is resting on some leaves. The color is a gold gild. The gild lays on top of wood which the statue is made of. With the different layers of gilding you can see value. Areas around the Buddha's head and shoulders make it seems as if there is a shadow being cast on the piece. The texture of the piece looks smooth, except for the outline of the robe on his chest, that almost looks rough or uneven. That also has to do with form, you can see the many different aspects of this statue, from the arms being defined, to the form of the head. 
    There is lots of contrast to this piece, from the design on the back of the "throne" to how that contrasts with the figure to make it appear as if he is sitting on something. There is also balance in the piece to where the colors balance with the texture. You can separate the piece into sections; one being the figure and the other being the throne. Along with that the piece is symmetrical. There is a pattern in the part behind the Buddha; its almost as if its abstract. On both sides the line pattern is the same. The proportions fit very well in this piece. The throne is just big enough so the figure sitting in it does not look too big or too small. The artist placed a lot of emphasis on the line detail and the leaf shapes. Even though they are not the main focus of the statue, attention is drawn to that area. 

Porcelain Vase Description

Porcelain Vases in an under glaze of cobalt blue.
Ming Dynasty, Xuande period (1426-35)
        These pieces are a pair of porcelain vases created during the Ming Dynasty in China around 1426-35 or also known as the Xuande period. The line quality of these pieces is very curvilinear which is prominently shown by the S curves that are used to form the shape of the pot it's self. The very shape of the object makes it out to be smooth in texture even though the pots them selves have cracks more than likely due to the age and handling of the pieces. Though some of the coloring does make the piece look rough. The coloring it's self is a cobalt blue. The blue is put on thicker in some areas and this has caused variations in the way it looks such as tinting and shading in some areas. This aspect also shows value in the piece. It is shown by the mere fact that even though it is one color it has many different forms of the color shown in different places enforcing detail.
         The pieces are very well balanced and symmetrical in both design and in structure. The structure works with the coloring to almost bring the viewer right to the dragon as if it was the main point of the piece. Part of this is the design on the bottoms of both pieces. They seem geometric in a sense but move up and get sharp as if in a way pointing, but both pieces share the same patterns in the clouds and heads in the center of the pots. When it comes to the pattern and the shape of both pots they flow with one another. As the pot gets larger in some areas the patterns match the change in size and it is the same when it shrinks. this causes a fluid motion that is soothing and harmonious as well as proportionate.

Paradise Under The Sea Description

Shigeru Aoki was a Japanese painter, best known for his work in combining Japanese religious and cultural subjects, like legends and gods, with Western art, a movement which was thriving in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Paradise Under The Sea describes a legend in which a prince visits the kingdom under a sea and falls in love with the princess there. The painting technique, the tall frame, and the visible brushstrokes makes clear Shigeru's dedication to Western ideals. The brush strokes are visible, the paint is thick and not smoothed completely, and the features of the characters, especially the figure in red, is very similar to popular Western profiles at the time. Nevertheless, it is still a work based on Japanese mythology and legend.

After research I discovered that Shigeru did more than take inspiration from Western Impressionists. He also used a diving helmet and suit to make sketches on the play of light under water. The prince has shadowy skin and the light can be seen on the women's wet, translucent dresses. This is a brilliant example of the combination of Japanese work, Western impressionist ideals, and an almost mathematical and scientific obsession with reality and the play of light and shadow. This piece is currently housed in the Ishibashi Museum of Art in Kurume, Fukuoka.

Killer Whale Description

     Bill Reid uses designs drawn from the Haida culture. There is a use of large crescent shapes in this piece, mainly shown in the curvature of the main body mass. The color is is a dark neutral bronze that has a few areas of more intense shines on it due to the material it is made of. The low relief on Killer Whale follows the curvature of the form rather than contrasting with it. 

Killer Whale is divided into three main sections: the head, the top fin, and the back fins. This allows the piece to follow the rule of thirds. There is also equally complementing negative spaces that correlate to the three main sections. The contrast in this piece lies in the relation of the background to the actual piece. There is a stark difference in the smooth metallic form of this piece and the lush natural scenery that surrounds it.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Young Woman Reading A Letter

Initial Reaction:
The first thing that stuck out to me was the line quality that is somewhat unique to Japanese art.  The lines are thin and delicate.  They are black on the face of the young woman, and white on her hair to ensure that the lines are still seen.  The lines of her clothing are thicker and more dramatic than the lines of her body, though this is offset by the fact that the lines are also less stark colours than white or black, which keeps the line work balanced.  The woman's hands and body both seem far too small for her face and head, which emphasizes her face and her expression of unhappiness.  There is much negative space, though perhaps less in traditional Chinese art.

After Research:
I discovered that this was a piece in a collection of women in various stages of being courted; all the images center around romance.  Her look into the distance and tight grip on the letter indicate longing.  This image was painted during the Edo period in Japan and is a highlight of that period.  Edo art is characterized by ukiyo-e art, dramatic works (such as kabuki theatre) and a certain amount of irreverence.  This explains the large head, dramatic eyebrows, and odd expression.  It was painted by Kitagawa Utamaro, as was the rest of the set.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Two Fridas

The Two Fridas
Initial Reaction:
The lines in the painting Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas, are delicate. The lines are not too bold, that makes it easier to look at the painting for its meaning, opposed to judging it on its artistic quality. I found the texture to be somewhat smooth, showing qualities of an oil painting. The way the women in the painting are presented makes the painting look longer even though it is supposed to be more of a square. I would describe the background of this setting as “swirling”, I feel as though it makes the painting look busy.  The colors in this painting are vibrant and the multiple colors really stick out. The focal points for me were the hearts of the women, how they are connected and visible.

After Research:

After researching this painting I found that Frida completed it shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivera. After reading that I had a different outlook on the painting and it made more sense. It made more sense that she was going through a heartbreak and that is possibly why the hearts are the focal point. She made this painting as a statement about the way she was feeling. This is an oil painting done on canvas. I also learned that Frida often included human anatomy in her work, because before bus accident she was studying to be a doctor.  This painting was created in 1939 and is currently on display in Mexico City. This is considered one of Frida Kahlo’s most notable painting.

Image result for the two fridas

La Gran Tenochtitlan

Initial Reaction:
La Gran Tenochtitlan, The Great City of Tenochtitlan is a painting by Diego Rivera. This is a painting with much detail. He has a lot of background and not very much blank space. The colors are realistic and bright. The faces all look slightly different, which is incredible with all the different faces, most of them are unique. This is a traditional painting and really helps depict what the city would have looked like. It is very creative and has plenty of detail.

After Research:
The painting depicts the city of Tenochtitlan in 1345. This city was built by the Aztecs in the spot where they saw an eagle on a cactus that was eating a serpent. The eagle is on the Mexican coins and the flag. Tenochtitlan is now Mexico city, the capital of Mexico and the largest city in Mexico. This painting is a mural in the Palacio Nacional de México. The painting is specifically a depiction of the marketplace in Tenochtitlan. It really does have an incredible amount of detail. In the background, you can even see specific mountains. Diego Rivera’s attention to details such as faces, clothing and the shading is very diverse and unique. It is an incredible mural and would be amazing to see in real life.

La Gran Tenochtitlan
Male Chi Wara Antelope Headdress. 19-20th century
 Initial Reaction.
This figure is a wooden sculpture of an antelope. The medium used is wood. It was carved slowly and precisely as to a keep a smooth texture and then it would have carvings etched into the sides. All of this figure is made with a mantle that is then used to support it as a head dress. As it looks it might have been made from a hard wood and been treated after it was done. It is very symmetrical and geometric at the same time. It has very distinct and abrupt edges and angles that attract attention and seem shocking but pleasant to the eye.

After Research.
Though it is African it can only be described as that. Each headdress is different depending on the area and the master wood carver working on it. It can come in one of three styles horizontal, vertical or abstract. For this object it has one major use and that is ceremony. One ceremony is to honor Chi Wara himself who was a deity of sorts and he came and taught the people to farm. They would make these headdresses for both men and woman and place them on top of baskets placed on the heads of the people so they can dance in the ceremony. When it comes to making this headdress the men and women stand separate due to the fact that the males headdress has curved horns and the female's tends to carry a young antelope on its back. Other than its use to the people who make them it is seen as a nice primitive art to most of western Europe and is bought or made to be an show peace.
Related image   This piece created by Chen Hongshou, a Chinese artist of the 16th century.

Initial reactions: Known as Magnolia and Erect Rock, created in the Ming Dynasty. This piece is lightly colored, subtle. The lines are faint around the actual main flower and leaf, while the stem is a bit more defined. It is a lovely piece of artwork, with a type of watercolor tone and the way the flower stems from nowhere (from the corner rather than from the direct bottom) is similar to many other pieces we have seen, including the bamboo.

Research: This piece is kept in the Palace Museum in Beijing, and was created in his life time between the years of 1598-1652 AD. I could find almost no backstory to the lovely painting other than the artist's background. The piece is described thought o be washed painting.

I logged on with the wrong email: Cheyenne Wilson

Throne of King Nsa'ngu

INITIAL REACTION: There are many colors in this piece that play very well together. The blue accentuates the red very nicely. The hints of white give nice details to the piece. The lines in the piece allow the viewer to know what piece of the sculpture belong to which subject. There are multiple subjects of this sculpture, but the ones at the top seem most important as they are the biggest.

RESEARCH REACTION: While looking through the book I discovered that this sculpture was made by a Cameroon artist. The two figures in the back are twins, the court guardians. They are both fertility symbols as well. There is a male (on the left) and a female (on the right); the male holds a drinking horn, and the female hold an offering bowl. Njoya's footrest is made to look like armed guards which stand over images of councilors, which symbolizes wisdom. The serpents on the seat symbolize his strength in battles. Thrones like this were kept inside the palace and moved by throne bearers when the king held audiences in front of the palace.

O'Riley, Michael Kampen. "The Pacific." In Art Beyond the West, 260-261. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.
      This is a reproduction of the Greta Goddess of Teotihuacan, in Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology. This photograph of the mural, taken by Thomas Aleto from Riverside, PA shows one section of the reproduction.

     The lines in this piece are mostly rounded, and the colors are all very bright and not blended. There seem to be several layers to the painting, as if it is telling a story rather than just depicting a scene. It looks like there is a lot of nature in the mural; the tree, the animals, and the dress of the figures in the foreground.

     The figures in the paintings represent deities. The Great Goddess can by identified by the feathered headdress and the pendant in her nose, which she is seen with in Tepantitla and Tetitla murals as well. The Great Goddess was initial interpreted as a male deity. It was until1974 that Peter Furst inspired other researchers to believe that this was a goddess instead.

Kongo Rikishi

Initial Reaction
     This figure seems to be large and menacing, holding a hand out as if too ward off something. The figure is in a contrapposto position. The hips are tilted and seem to jut forward, bringing the center of balance to mainly the (viewers) left foot with the manubrium directly above that food. There are two main diagonals that cut across in this piece. The first is the drapery and the legs that move from the bottom right to the upper left. The second is the angle of the torso and the club, moving from the upper right to the lower left.
After Research
     Kongo Rikishi was made by Unkei for the Grand South doors of the Todai-ji temple in Nara. This sculpture was made in 1203 using multiple sections of wood. This allowed for Unkei to have the freedom to make more dramatic movements within the piece, as it was 26'6". This guardian was paired up with another to help guard the temple. They are manifestations of a wrathful god in the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon.

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