With Change, Nothing stays the same

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While I was looking for images for my paper assignment during my visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I came across this painting, The Card Players by Hale Woodruff. The picture reminded me of Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
The medium for both paintings is oil on canvas. Pablo and Hale incorporate cubism which is the reduction of natural forms to their geometrical equivalents and the organization of the planes of an object.

Additionally, both artists were inspired by African Art, which is evident from the way Picasso painted the two women’s faces on the right (modeled after masks) and the two card players face as well.
The paintings’ subject is different. In Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the work portrays five nude prostitutes from the alley. The women appeared as slightly menacing and rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes, with no depth. On the contrary, in Woodruff’s painting, the subjects are two male-like figures sitting at a table and playing cards. The red table looks flat, much like the cards the characters are holding.

We learned about the turning of the era (century) and how artists went against traditional conventions. Similarly, in Classics, we talked about how the Augustans and the Julio-Claudians went against the conventions the founding fathers laid down for sculpturing emperors. They neglected the veristic form of sculpture and made sure their self-portraits emphasized youth, beauty, and idealized forms. By doing this, they created a different style to be represented by in statue and did not align themselves with revered predecessors.

Richard David Gyimah, Team Vulcan.

 

 

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Unit 4: Toward The Modern

 

24259530_911754582308959_1455839923_oThe photo displayed above was taken at a Mexican Restaurant in Manhattan, New York. I thought that this picture was relevant to unit four’s ‘Ecstasy of Saint Theresa’ and ‘Judith slaying Holofernes’ because of the empowering image women receive from the three art works. Saint Theresa, Judith and the woman above all have something in common, and that is a weapon and they all seem like strong women in general. The function of the three works are all symbolizing the power of women and how strong they can be, which makes them similar. What is different different about the photo and the works in Unit four is that Judith and Saint Theresa are both depicted slaying another character, but the photo taken above seems more about justice and is less brutal. Additionally, the form of the artwork for each piece is different, the ‘Ecstasy of Saint Theresa’ is a sculpture, ‘Judith Slaying Holofernes’ is an in depth painting with artistic techniques and the picture above seems like it was created with paint.

The photo above is also similar to the Greek Goddess Athena. Athena is the goddess of Wisdom and military victory. The woman shown above stands straight and proud with a a weapon in her right hand which does seem to show some sort of authority. She also reminds me of Aphrodite because of her beauty. Although her eyes aren’t showing, she seems beautiful.

Sunzida Mahbub, Team Athena.

Light and Dark

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As I was walking through the MET museum I came  across this painting which is known as Rembrandt, Aristotle with a bust of Homer.  This painting really portrays the contrast between light and dark which is known as tenebrism which is a form of chiaroscuro. This technique comes from the artist Caravaggio that he used in his famous painting which was the Calling of St.Mathew which we went over in class.  The painter shows the light coming across Homer’s head where as the background is mainly dark and creates this tenebrism affect just like the Calling of St.Mathew’s. Although they have similar techniques both paintings have different meanings to them. Both artists used light and shadows to add drama in different ways to help create their story in their paintings. Both paintings had different levels of intensity and a different moods toward each other due to the contrast between light and dark. Now that I am taking Art 1010 it has made me more aware of the architecture around me and my mind is now open to realizing the beauty of art. This also relates to our classics course when we talked about Homer in the beginning of the semester. This painting shows the relationship between Aristotle and Homer and it highlights how people and artists view it from another perspective.

Anthony Mancuso,

Team Venus

Polybius’ Constitution

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Fun fact: As I was looking for pictures I came across an arcade version of Polybius. This was a fictional arcade game from 1981 that hasn’t been proved to ever exist. Though it did start an urban legend that it was a psychology experiment ran by the government to see what effects the of addiction the game had on players. Eventually, this arcade game supposedly disappeared from the arcade market.

The search return that I received from using OneSearch was an article called “Polybius and the American Constitution“. The appropriate MLA citation format that I used is Chinard, Gilbert. “Polybius and the American Constitution.” http://www.jstor.org.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/stable/pdf/2707009.pdf. Jan., 1940. The primary intended audience for this publication are American Architects. “This theory, however, had not originated with Swift, and the Doc- tor himself had quoted his authority-no less than Polybius-who tells us, ‘the best government is that which consists of three forms, regis, optimatium et populi imperitum’ ” (pg 43). This quote is connected to the search term by saying that Polybius had the best way to describe the best government. Polybius tells us that the best government consists of three forms, which translates to “King, conservatives, and inexperienced people”. What Polybius could be saying is that there should a King or some type of leader to guide us in the government. The conservative people could be for good traditions to keep going and don’t make changes to certain things. Inexperienced people could be for more energy in the government, someone who has ideas that are outside of the box for the government. “Nor again can we style every oligarchy an aristocracy, but only that where the government is in the hands of a selected body of the justest and wisest men” (Polybius, On the Form of States). This quote from the ancient texts explains how Polybius knows that the government can get messed up and how selecting the wisest and adjustable candidates are best for the government. This reminds me of the three orders from Art History. The three orders are columns called Ionic, Corinthian, and Doric. Each of these orders consists of specific bases, shafts, capitals, friezes, etc. If one of the parts of an order get mixed into a different order, it wouldn’t look right. This connects to government in a way that the government, itself, can get mixed up if we choose the wrong candidates. The government also has a lot of orders like the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches.

Chinard, Gilbert. “Polybius and the American Constitution.” http://www.jstor.org.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/stable/pdf/2707009.pdf. Jan., 1940.

Caroline, Team Cronos

Little Church in Manhattan

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I found this picture relevant and interesting because it is a church in Manhattan and it seems look very similar to the churches that we learned in Unit 2. I think that it is a Catholic Church, according to the crosses on the side of the building and on top of the roofs. It also seems very old and maybe abandoned. This church seems to have a nave, which is like aisle in the center of the church. It also seems to have a transept, which is the rectangular space that is horizontal from the nave and makes the church seem to have a cross shape from the sky point of view. It also seems to have Spolia, which is structure made of stones and that located on the left on the picture where those two tall structures are. This church seems to be shorter in width than most churches from the Early Christianity times. The location of this church seems to be in a Kallipolis-like location. Kallipolis is from Classics in Sparta and other Utopias and it means “beautiful city” in Greek. Manhattan is a beautiful city and the church is beautiful too.

Baby Ionic Column!!

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I found this miniature column in front of my cousin’s house and it was always used as a holder for some plants.The material that the column was made out of is marble most likely.  It’s interesting how a column is minimized and instead of holding up the roof, it is now holding other stuff for the owner. They both serve as a purpose to hold up something but it’s always mesmerizing that Greek influences has spread to the point that they designed mini column as Ionic. The scrolls are indicators that this is a Ionic column. In the “Excerpts of Vitruvius”, the passage explains the difference of each column that the Greeks had created. According to the passage, it explains that the Ionic column was made with the proportion and characteristic of a women. Also the base and the shaft  of the column in the photo looks similar to the original Ionic column shown in the passage. So if you have a regular tall column and have it minimized, it would probably look like this.

If you think of a beautiful being in mythology, Aphrodite pops up in my mind. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty has a temple in Cyprus. In Classics, we learned that Aphrodite went back to her temple to get dressed. Even though this might seem like it’s not relatable, it is. How? The temple of Aphrodite was built on an Ionic order structure. My photo shows a ionic column, since the temple of Aphrodite is the home to Aphrodite and she is a gorgeous woman that can seduce any mortals. It is clear to say that the Ionic column used to symbolize the characteristic of Aphrodite.

Wrongful Convictions

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A social issue is any problem which affects a good number of people in any given society. Its an undesirable condition that people believe should be corrected. Several contemporary social issues such as terrorism, child marriages and corruption have been witnessed in the Game of Thrones but the scene below portraits a wrongful conviction and execution.

In this video Ned’s execution, The Lord of Winterfell Eddard Stark who is pictured above was wrongfully convicted and executed due to the influence of higher authority. He knew about the illegitimacy of the Queen, Cersei’s children and was stopped in his tracks before he could prove himself. He believed in himself and fully knew who was to be crown King after the death of Robert I Baratheon. Because of this, Cersei ordered his arrested and made sure he agreed to her terms that Joffrey Baratheon is the one and only true heir to the Iron Throne.

Antigone suffered the same fate for what she believed in. She believed the Divine law always over rules the State law . She felt Creon did not have the authority in the matter of burial in lines 441 to 445,

Creon,

“You! you there, hanging your head to the ground, do you say

you did these things, or do you deny them outright?”

Antigone,

“I say I acted. I do not deny acting.”

Creon,

“You may remove yourself wherever you wish,

free of a heavy charge.

Now you, tell me, not at length but concisely,

did you know that these were forbidden by proclamation?”

Antigone,

“Yes. Why would I not? It was public.”

Creon,

“And you dared anyway to transgress these laws.”

Antigone,

“Yes, Zeus was not the one who issued these proclamations

for me, nor did Justice, who dwells with the gods below,

define such laws among mankind.

I did not think your proclamations so strong

that you, a mortal, could overstep

gods’ unwritten and unshakable traditions.”

Creon was a dictator and used his power like Queen Cersei and ordered that since Polyneices attacked the city, he will not be given a proper burial. Anyone who buries him will be punished by death which is evident in the lines above. Even though Antigone knew this, she said in a conversation with Ismene that,

Antigone,

“For my brother, certainly, and yours, if you will not.

I for one will not be caught betraying him”

Ismene,

“Headstrong! When Creon has forbidden it?”

Antigone,

“He has no part in keeping me from what is mine.”

Creon did not listen to counsel from Teiresias, the priest even though he predicts his actions will lead to his death and suffering (in lines 988-1090). He still would not change his mind after Haemon, his son pleaded not to execute his fiancee (in lines 635-765). Creon also refused to recognize the family love that is shared between Antigone and Polyneices. Both rulers displayed poor judgement and leadership without thinking of long-term consequences of their decisions. Creon threw away the laws of the gods (Divine Law) in favor of rational laws of men (State Law).

Antigone was imprisoned for what she believed in and decided to commit suicide something the Greeks believed was noble to do than allow your enemies finish you. An artistic comparison can be done with the use of the sculpture below, Ludovisi Gaul Killing Himself and His Wife.

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The picture above, shows a Gaul (an enemy/barbarian) in the act of committing suicide by piercing his sword into his chest looking backwards while he supports his lifeless wife with his left arm and leg. His enemies, the Greeks were closing in on him and thus he killed his wife, to prevent her capture and violation as she could’ve been raped, and will be a slave. Due to the remaking of these sculptures and time, the blood can not be seen. This, compared to Antigone hanging herself shows how the Greeks were ruthless with their enemies. Antigone the law breaker and the Gaul an intruder preferred death by their own hands than at their enemies hands.

Ned Stark also died for standing for his beliefs to doing what is right and for his daughter. Sansa Stark and Catelyn Stark in the video are reflections of Eurydice and Ismene when they found Antigone dead.

Richard, Team Vulcan.