I was walking in the Metropolitan Museum and I found this piece relevant toward unit 5 because the style of art is still life. This painting is called Still life with Teapot and fruit created by Paul Gauguin in 1896, oil on canvas. At first the painting looks like a regular still life painting but as I closely looked at the painting, I found that the spoon looks like it was floating in a awkward position. This is related to Unit 5 because the basket of fruit looks out of place and Paul Cezanne purposely made errors on this piece of art. The same goes with The Still life with Teapot and Fruit because the artist purposely made the spoon appear to be floating, due to the shadowing. The placement of the shadow allowed the audience to perceived this piece in a new light. This subject was an expression of freedom and was the opposite of traditional art. This was a very illusionist style of art, the way the artist played with the shadows and the proportion of the fruits and apple had a big impact on both artwork. Also, they are both artworks that have no purpose except for being decorations. The painting were just ordinary stuff that people see in the real life. The Still Life with Teapot and Fruit is not a contemporary still life, so on the bottom is another piece to show the contrast between a contemporary and the source material.

Paul Cézanne, The Basket of Apples, c. 1893, oil on canvas, 65 x 80 cm (Art Institute of Chicago)Image result for contemporary still life                      Paul Cezanne , The Basket of Apples      Jan Miller, Still Life with Nectarines, 1979.


Both artwork shows that they are a drawing a still life. On the left, is Paul Cezanne, The Basket of Apples, 1893. On the right, is Jan Miller, Still Life with Nectarines, 1979. The contemporary piece of art is different from the source material because both these art show a different view of still life. The still life on the right looks more realistic and is significantly different than the Basket of Apples.  One of them only have shades and the other have color. Also the Basket of Apples is more illusionist painting and the Still Life with Nectarines seems more realistic. The Still life with Nectarine’s medium is different than the Paul Cezanne because one is charcoal and the other is oil on canvas.

-Jia Gao, Team Athena

Caesar’s Bay

Cassius Dio – “When they had begun to honour Julius Caesar (now Dictator), it was with the idea, of course, that he would be reasonable; but as they went on and saw that he was delighted with what they voted…”

“whether he will go across the great Alps,
seeing the great monuments of Caesar,
the Gallic Rhine or those monstrous men,
the furthest Britons” -Catullus


These two quote describes Julius Caesar to be ambitious and self-centered because in Catullus, he mentioned Caesar having a monument because of all his hard work. In Cassios Dio’s passage, Julius expects the people to vote for him because he is reasonable. However, in truth, Julius wanted people to like him and vote for him. I chose these two quote because in the story it had a connection. Both stories are sexual because the senate wanted Caesar to have numerous mistress while the poem talks about love, sex and rivalries. So I figure that both story can be a great comparison to each other.

The two stories are different because Catullus poem feels more passionate, for example, “Let us live, my Lesbia, and love”. While the other one is more like a history book in my opinion. There is more facts and information about Caesar too, compared to Catullus’s poem. IMG_1188

This image shows Caesar’s Bay in Brooklyn, Ny. Caesar’s Bay was named after Caesar Salama. He was a entrepreneur that opened a business called the bayside Bazaar in 1982. I suspect that the name for both Caesar Salama and Caesar’s Bay is deprived from the Julius Caesar because the place Caesar’s Bay had became a place where people love to relax, exercise, and travel. Also, because of Caesar Salama, this place became know as Caesar’s Bay. So it became famous because of the person name Caesar.


-Jia, Team Athena

Dramatic pose


I found this painting when I was walking in the Metropolitan Museum. It caught my attention right away because of the harsh lighting and dark contrast. My mind went straight to the Baroque art style explained in class and unit 4. You can see where the light is coming from because the light source is directly on top their head. The bald man’s head is shown to be bright because of the light source. The drapery is also shown to be bright and heavy. This oil on canvas is called Saints Peter and Paul, drawn by  Jusepe de Ribera, a Spanish painter in 1612.  The drawing depicts the apostles and protectors of the city of Rome, and the Papacy disputing.  It can be related to Classics because in Classics, we learned about the Romans and how the place took place in the city of Rome. So this is a very important factor that connects Classics to Art.

This is a contemporary baroque art called Cockaignesque because of the light and dark contrast. The style is very Baroque because of the intense drama, deep color, play of light and shadow. This differ from the source material because this is a photography and Saint Peter and Paul is oil on canvas. So the medium is different but the function is the same. In the contemporary art, the woman appears to be more sexual than the old man in Saint Peter and Paul. Saint Peter and Paul shows two old, rustic man fighting about something. However, in the photography there is only one person sitting there with her hands folded together. There is a sense of intense drama because of the way she tilt her head and the dark atmosphere. Also, her hair contribute to the intense drama too.  The function of both these picture is similar because they depict drama.

-Jia Gao, Team Athena

The Winged Child


I found this sculpture, while walking around the Metropolitan Museum and it seemed interesting because it was related to the renaissance in Italy. Also I got lost in the Met and it led me to this piece of art. This piece is called the Winged Child:Fountain Figure. It is interesting how the renaissance affected this piece like all the other pieces that was created in the Renaissance. For example Donatello’s David was one of the early pieces of the Renaissance. The Renaissance in Italy brought back Greek and Roman style of sculpture that the church was so against. This picture is relevant to our class discussion because it turns out that this piece was created by an artist close to Donatello in Florence. Therefore, this piece of art is relatable to Unit 3 because the birth of this sculpture was at the epicenter of the Renaissance. Also in the lecture, Professor Simon spoke about Donatello’s David and other sculptures related the Renaissance. Some similarities is that the two sculpture is naked in the private part but they have something on their foot. For example, David has boots and the child has winged ankles. This piece of art differ from David because the position that they are standing is different, David is standing there having a calm posture and facial expression, while the Winged Child feels more enthusiastic and there is more action in the figure. They both have a different function in the society of Florence. David was a representation of the biblical hero that is seen to be similar to Florence. The Winged Child was used as a fountain figure because the puffed cheek was where the water came out. Thus, both was born in the Renaissance period but had two different functions. This is why, this piece of art was relevant and interesting.

Controversy of Columbus


Columbus Circle is located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South (West 59th Street), and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. I found this monument, when I was walking to the Apple store in manhattan. At that time, I thought that this piece can be connected to Art History. I found this piece of monument to be interesting because it reminded me of the sarcophagus, and how Professor. Simon spoke to the class about the controversy of iconoclasm. The image shows the voyage of Christopher Columbus and the new world. It was the beginning of a new civilization similar to the Sarcophagus because it was the birth of Christianity in the form of a Sarcophagus. Just like how the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus was a symbolic form of Christianity and the representative of the New Testament, The Columbus Circle was to commemorate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus. However, in class, Prof. Simon explained the controversy of this monument. Many believed that the monument should be brought down and be destroyed because he caused the deaths of the natives in the New world.

The contemporary example is different from the source material because the image shown here, is made of bronze but the Sarcophagus is made of marble. The function of the Columbus circle is to commemorate Columbus’s achievement, while the the Sarcophagus was to represent the New Testament. I really found this piece to be interesting because it’s so controversial .Columbus was always shown as good but if we research more about this individual, we find that he killed many Natives. He turned them into slaves and used violence. So should this monument remain here or taken down?

Alexander Who?


Willie Gao, my older brother, age 20, at our home. I asked him, “Do you know who Alexander the Great was?”. He replied yes. He knows that Alexander the Great  conquered a lot of lands and was the king of the Ancient Greek. When I asked him where you learn about Alexander the Great, he said in 6th grade. My brother also said that he had to write a paper on Alexander the Great. He was such a big figure in history and the teacher had to make the whole class learn about it. There was also a movie on Alexander the Great.
Jiang Xiao Hong, my mother, age 47, at our home. I asked her if she knew who Alexander the Great was? She said she didn’t know. I showed a picture and she said “is that David”! So she does not know who Alexander the Great .
Ingrid Zhao, my friend, age 18, online. I asked her, “Do you know who Alexander the Great was?” She learned about Alexander the Great in Middle School. She said that Alexander the Great was the king of Greece or Rome. Also she said that he has curly hair.
The similarities between these answer is that most people don’t really know much about Alexander the Great. They probably learned about him but forgot about it.
The younger generation knows more about Alexander the Great than the older generation. However, the younger generation such as my brother and my friend, still does not know much about Alexander. What we learned in class is definitely more in-depth than the answers given to me. We learn that the cities he conquered, were renamed to be Alexandria and he went as far as Indus River. His cities faced prosperity such as Alexandria, shown in this quote, “Every day’s a holiday for people with nothing to do”. Therefore, the people of Alexandria had peace and prosperity because of Alexander the Great.

Baby Ionic Column!!


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.

Senseless Murder

The word “OTHER”, has a sense of feeling that this person is different and unusual. In this article, A University of Santo Tomas law freshman was killed in a hazing incident. So the “Other” is the criminal from the Aegis Juris Fraternity because the article explained that they blamed the people from the Aegis Juris Fraternity. The tone of their writing made it sound like, the people of Aegis Juris Fraternity is a bunch of low-lives. Even though the death of Atio is still under investigation, the article is telling me that the criminal is from Aegis Juris Fraternity. The target of the audience is to tell people of the injustice that is happening and support the justice for the death of Horacio Castillo III.
The social value in this case is that if someone commits injustice, the victim’s family should have the right’s to do justice. The family of the deceased wrote a statement to bring forth the killer, so justice can take place. In class, we discussed about how barbarian are people who are foreign to the land and speak a different language. Just like in the Herodotus of the Persians, “For Asia,  with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhibit it…”. This quote explained that the Greeks treated Asia as the Other because of their language. So the Greeks invaded Asia and destroyed the kingdom of Priam. To me it looks like the Greeks are Barbarians because they went in to destroy the kingdom just because they took one woman. However, when the Greeks took their woman, the asiatic did nothing. So in my opinion, I felt that the barbarians were the Greeks.

News, ABS-CBN. “’Barbaric’: Family of UST Student Killed in Hazing Cries for Justice.” ABS-CBN News, 18 Sept. 2017,

Sweden’s downfall

The author of this article believes that Sweden has lost the ideal society on the way because of the tensions in the land. For example, Anna Lindh, Sweden’s Foreign Minister died of a stab wound and a 5 year old child was abducted and stabbed to death by a inmate. The two death brought sorrow into this land and people started started to lost hope that Sweden will ever become great. It even says that the lost of the Foreign Minister, they lost part of the future. In this article, it tells us that the history of the land played a big role in shaping this society. It’s rural land and harsh weather was a long confrontation that many people living in Sweden had to combat. Also in the rural area, there is lakes and dark forest that could be an effect to their society. An ideal society in Sweden where a land so inflicted of pain and so lost of hope when their Swedish foreign minister died can probably never forge a road to a perfect society. In the recent occurrence, the mentally unstable have been attacking people. So if they get rid of these people then they would feel more secure and safe in this land. I agree that getting rid of the mentally unstable is a good idea because if combining normal people with the mentally unstable, then the violence will escalate and therefore it will cause more harm to the society.

“He believed that if this habit were cultivated it would enable them to climb hills more easily and descend steep inclines with less danger, and that a youth who had accustomed himself to go barefoot would leap and jump and run more nimbly than a boy in sandals.” This quote is from the Xenophon explaining that training people in their young age could be a great effect to Society. To support my case if they get rid of the mental people now, no more younger people would need to be affected by the massacre inflicted onto the nation. Mental people that cannot control their violent side should be the first to be locked up somewhere far away from normal society. In order to not bring harm to the nation, the nation should develop a law that locks up the mental unstable, so they have no chance to ever bring harm to innocent people. In a different area the mentally unstable could learn and be teach the proper way of society before ever going back to society. This is what I believe because the mentally unstable is too unstable shown in the article that they killed and abducted a child no less than 5 years of age. Plato would probably agree that the mentally unstable should live differently. In their own way of justice they would ignore the consequences of their action but this is how to bring justice to criminals. Also the practice of justice isn’t for a good reason, it is a necessity. Therefore that if criminals are locked up and sent away, then this justice is a necessity because the criminal will bring harm to the people if he stays.  

Cowell, Alan. “Sweden’s Brooding Dramas, and Deadly Puzzles.” New York Times, 17 Sept. 2003, p. A4. New York State Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Death of Tadashi (BigHero6)



In the movie, Big hero 6, Hiro just lost his own brother and doesn’t know how to face it. The pain of losing someone important is just terrible to feel, especially since Hiro is just a child. The scene i’m picking is the aftermath of Tadashi’s death(Hiro’s brother). Hiro started to close in and the movie shows him shutting out everything. The movie’s color scheme really showed the great sorrow that Hiro was going through too. The mood was dark, gray and dull making the scene, just so overly emotional and depressing. The audience watching this would feel the same and even cry a little for Hiro. In this society, when people die, it’s normal to feel sad because they were important. So like the norms in society, when people watch this part of the scene, they will either feel sad or pity for Hiro. 


In contrast to Oedipus, he saw his mother/wife die and he had a total meltdown. He was extremely sad that he was so foolish and ignorant. The same with Hiro, he went into a total meltdown mode and couldn’t stand up until he met Baymax. When compared to social contemporary, both are sad and tragic. The tragedy of losing someone precious is something no one wants to feel. However in their case, Oedipus realize he can’t run away from fate and Hiro have to face his problem. Everyday in this world there is tragedies and sadness, it will never disappear because if there is light then there is darkness too. It’s the whole yin and yang factor of the world that makes it balance. I believe that there is no such thing as a perfect world because this is reality. Reality can be very cruel and people have to accept reality. Just like Oedipus, he accept his fate at the end and Hiro too. By blinding himself, it symbolize his foolishness and inability to escape fate. Therefore, both Oedipus and Hiro was hurt because of the death of their love ones. Since Tadashi died in a fire, which was caused by somebody and Oedipus’ wife done taboo. Both are issues and they are related to the modern world because people have different opinion on taboo relationship especially with family. Also criminality can be justified as evil for a lot of people. So in perspective both are evil and hurtful. 

The Heart of the Cards


I chose the ace and the 5 of hearts because it has a very strong connections to Aphrodite. The ace and 5 of hearts was found in the deck of cards in my house. People might think it’s just a card and how does it have relation to Aphrodite? Playing cards are not just cards that we play with. If you don’t know the meaning of Ace of Heart, it means Love. The number 5 represents the perfection of the five senses, since Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty, it explains that a heart is the best description of her.

This quote from the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite translated by Gregory Nagy, “After she said these things, she put sweet desire in his THUMOS, Anchises was seized with love.” (143-144), it shows that the young man has fallen in love with Aphrodite. This quote characterizes Aphrodite because she is a beauty, that can enchants any mortal man’s heart in a instance. Just a blink of an eye, Aphrodite can make anyone fall in love with her or someone else, except the three goddesses mention in the Hymn. This part of the quote,“After she said these things”, can characterize Aphrodite as a master at seducing and lying. According to the tale, Aphrodite didn’t want this to happen but it was her fault for causing so much trouble to other gods. However, her desire got the best of her and those sweet desires, possessed both the minds of Anchises and Aphrodite. So they can be both characterize as someone that’s easily influenced by fake desire.

Just like the ace of heart, she is basically love in the shape of a human figure. Her son Eros(cupid) is also depicted as a love or sexual desire because he is the god of love in Greek mythology. Also his arrow is a symbol of love, passion and desire. So whoever was shot by his arrows, they will fall in love. So both mother and son are characterized by the ace of hearts because of their incredible abilities for making others fall in love. Also this kind of abilities are usually used for mischievous purposes. For example, Aphrodite likes to play with other people feelings and eventually got a taste of it too. So she is also characterized as mischievous for playing around with other people’s heart as she wish too.   

Something that’s different is that Aphrodite’s love is different from true love. I don’t mean that she never had fallen in love but her sense of love is different. But since both the ace of heart and Aphrodite is connected to romance, I believe that they are similar too.

#Aphrodite #CLAS1 #SeeninNYC #Jia, Team Athena