Looking at works of Art (paintings)

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Looking at works of Art (paintings). 4 guidelines that may help us look at art in an analytical way. 4 guidelines . Subject and Symbolism Technique and Technology Space, Light and Colour Historical Context Philosophical cultural social economic. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Looking at works of Art (paintings)4 guidelines that may help us look at art in an analytical way

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • 4 guidelines Subject and SymbolismTechnique and TechnologySpace, Light and ColourHistorical Context Philosophical cultural social economic

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • MasterpiecesThe miracle of the loaves and fishes Basilica San Apolinare NuovoRavennaA.D. 520The Wilton Diptych National GalleryLondonc. 1400

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • The Betrothal of the Arnolfini Jan Van Eyck 1434National Gallery, London

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • The Last SupperLeonardo Da Vinci Dining hall at Santa Maria delle GrazieMilan1498

    The birth of VenusBotticelli Sandro1485

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Sketch for Composition IV Kandinsky Tate GalleryLondonThe Gare St. Lazare in ParisMonet 1877Musee D OrsayParis

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Subject and SymbolismMost of the paintings or sculptures have a specific subject, each with a meaningful message and symbol.In symbolic representations, objects dont just represent themselves but concepts of much deeper and abstract meaning In the pre-modern period artists assumed that the viewers were familiar with the specific subject represented.In the modern period sometimes colour, forms and the composition became the subject.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Subject and Symbolism Pope Gregory the Great (end A.D. 6th century) , believed that pictures were useful because they helped remind the congregation of the teachings they had received (painting for the illiterate).

    In Botticellis painting the subject is Venus. The commissioner needed a painting symbolising love and fertility because he had just got married.

    Leonardos is a religious subject commissioned by a religious order. The monks wanted this mural (wall painting) to remind them about one of the most sacred moments of Christianity.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Subject and SymbolismIn Monets painting the train is not the main subject. In fact pictorially speaking its part of the scene.

    However, in the artists eyes and his contemporaries it still represented progress.

    In Kandinskys painting the colour and composition are the main subjects.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Technique and Technology

    Understanding the differences between artistic mediums, skills involved in the production and being aware of technological innovations may help us understand the differences in aesthetic values.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Technique and TechnologyVan Eyck substituted the egg-based liquid with an oil-based one which permitted him to blend colours subtly and apply layers upon layers of paint.

    Renaissance architects studied arch-making technology to depart from the elongated forms of the Gothic period.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Space, Light and ColourWorks of art has its own illusion of space and light; in some works it remains 2- dimensional but in some others the artist creates a 3-dimensional space on a flat one

    In the Renaissance, space and light became fundamental whereas in the Medieval and Modern period 3-dimentionality was not essential.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Space, Light and Colour 5th century mosaics had a clear didactic function so the scene was made as simple as possible.

    The predominant brilliant blue and gold background in gothic paintings give a precious and heavenly quality.

    In Leonardos was as if another hall was added to the real monastery hall because the physical world became important.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Historical Context Every historical period develops a recognizable style which was determined by philosophical, cultural, social and economic factors of that time.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Philosophical Plato believed that artists should only represent the Ideal form, because those are the true forms.

    Aristotle attributed the origin of art to the human affinity for imitation. He concluded that it is natural for humans to "delight in works of imitation.

    Medieval artists (craftsmen) believed that art should represent the other world and should serve a didactic purpose.

    Renaissance artists combined humanism and secularism with Christian theology.

    Modern artists believed in the subjective reality of the artist.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • Social Greek and Medieval artists had the status of craftsmen.

    In North Italy, there was a new form of political and social organisation: Italy had already exited from Feudalism and was anti-monarchical. E.g. Florence. The artists social status grew and their work was no longer considered as merely a manual activity.

    Modern artists acquired the prestigious status of free intellectuals who provided artefacts or performances that made the viewer grow

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010

  • EconomyIn the Medieval period the main political/economic system allover Europe was Feudalism.

    In the Renaissance the economy was based on merchants, commerce and capitalism.

    In the Modern period the economic systems alternated between capitalism, which favoured a liberal and private system, and socialism, which favoured socially conscious art and state support for the arts.

    Mr. Samuel Stellini SOK 2010


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