Saving Grace

The image below is of Lucretia, a woman famous among the Roman tales for taking her own life after being raped by the then Prince of Rome. This version of her was done by artist Rembrandt van Rijn in 1664, the painting was done in a lot of earthy dark tones. In the painting her body, especially around her head seems to be creating a cast shadow, everything together seem to e blending the light and dark in the background which creates chiaroscuro. The reading extracts from Livy Book 1 mentioned that “at the arrival of her own family, tears welled in her eyes.” And in the portrait below there are no tear tracts on her face but her eyes are red which could be because she was crying before but wiped her tears and that “she took a knife that she had hidden in her garments and plunged it in her heart.” There is a knife in her hand that looks like it is aimed at heart. The description in the text is mostly consistent with the image, but there are some differences, for example how there are no tears in her eyes and the way she is holding the dagger. I suspect that the artist had these differences on purpose, the original description of the scene makes the sorrow so blatant, that it would be hard to miss, but in the artist’ version, you would have to pay attention to the details to understand what could the subject been thinking about as she tries to take to her life. Based on the details in her expression, I would say that the artist may have been more drawn to the emotional aspects of the event than the outcome.

Image result for lucretia 1664

MLA Citation: Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch. Lucretia. 1664. The National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Andrew W. Mellon Collection. Web. 12 Dec 2017.

Sherique, Team Artemis

Sabine women:)


MLA format: 

Orley, Nikolaus van (Netherlandish (before 1600) – Flanders, act.1550-ca.1586/91) (author of design) [painter]; Herzeele, Joost van (Netherlandish (before 1600) – Flanders, act.1570-1585) (workshop) [Weaver]. Romans admiring Sabine women, Story of Sabine women, Story of Romans and Sabines, Cleveland/Metropolitan Museum of Art set. c. 1570-1586. United States, Ohio, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art,, French & Co. purchased from Henry Symons, Inc., received 9/15/1927; sold to John L. Severance 8/7/1928.. Web. 11 Dec 2017.

This is  Flemish textile designed by Nikolaus Orley. Because it was made during the 16th century this work may represent a Renaissance style. Orley illustrated here Sabine women. Figures on this piece look so idealistic and smooth. In addition, the fact that designer was inspired by Roman stories suggest that this work was made in Renaissance style. Women here looks so calm and gentle. The textile is decorated with lots of flowers which make this work even more beautiful. In the title, it says: “ Roman soldiers admire Sabine women” which could mean that Sabine women were really beautiful and Roman soldiers so they look at them with enthusiasm. I think that’s not only because they are gorgeous, but also, that they did something important for Rome.

In the reading Vergil’s Aeneid, Book 1. It says: “Then it was that the Sabine women, whose wrongs had led to the war, throwing off all womanish fears in their distress, went boldly into the midst of the flying missiles with disheveled hair and rent garments. Running across the space between the two armies they tried to stop any further fighting and calm the excited passions by appealing to their fathers in the one army and their husbands in the other not to bring upon themselves a curse by staining their hands with the blood of a father-in-law or a son-in-law nor upon their posterity the taint of parricide.” Here in the reading main focus is on war and effect of Sabine family on it. Therefore these women helped soldiers at war and in this painting they are depicted as glorifying women.

-Yuliya K, Team Minerva

Interviews at Brooklyn College

I have interviewed three of my friends at Brooklyn College, and have gotten similar ideas and answers based on their cultures.

The first person I interviewed was my friend Robert G. in the Brooklyn College library Thursday afternoon. Robert has been one of my close friends ever since a young age but I have never really interviewed him like this before so it was a one of a kind experience.  As I started asking him questions about what he identifies himself as, he responded that he considers himself Russian even though he was born in the United States. Both of his parents and most of his family was born in Russia and he can speak the language fluently. As I started asking him questions about the origins and history of Russia he said that he remembered his parents telling him that there was a lot of fighting going on at the time. He began to tell me a story about how in Russia it was every man for himself and that there was not much help from other people. He also remembers that the economy was very poor at the time and that this caused a lot of fights because of a corrupt government. He was saying that the president was Boris Yeltsin at the time and that he was the most dominant figure to the people.

Another person I interviewed was my friend Youngjae Bok Wednesday morning in the Brooklyn College Cafeteria. My friend Youngjae was actually born in Korea and came to the United States when he was around six years old. I have also gone to high school with Youngjae so we have been friends for several years already. As he was growing up in Korea the main thing he remembered was the corrupt government and the poor functioning economy. He told me how his parents worked hard morning and night shifts just to support the family receiving very little pay. He was also saying that many families were working very hard but were not doing anything to change or stand up for themselves and that was the main reason they came to the United States.  Their parents wanted a better life for their family and realized the United States would be a better place for them.

The last person I interviewed was my friend Damion K. in the Student Center Friday afternoon. Damion was born in the United States but came from an Italian family where most of his older relatives were born in Italy. As he spoke about his parents growing up in Italy, he began to speak about how the education really did not help them get the job they wanted because there was very few openings. He began to explain that the economy was also very weak and it was very hard to find jobs at the time. However he told me that religion played a major role in his family’s life and that is why they continue to stay positive and be the best people they can be.

There was many similarities in the answers I got explaining a lot about the weak economy and the corrupt government. All families came to the United States for a better life and for more opportunities. A quote from the Roman founders also had many similarities to responses from the interviews. One of the quotes I found stated ” The less man had, the less their was greed”.  This really shows that even though families did not have a lot of options they still worked very hard to get to where they are today. It also shows that since they didn’t have much they began to appreciate their life much more which is very inspiring.


Anthony Mancuso,

Team Venus

Lucretia’s Downfall

Screenshot 2017-12-10 at 10.57.53 PM

Citation: Crespi,Giuseppe Maria. Tarquin and Lucretia. c. 1695-1700. Web. 10 Dec 2017.

This image is called Tarquin and Lucretia by Giuseppe Maria Crespi. This painting was created c. 1695-1700 during the Baroque art period. The Baroque period in art was a period in art where artists depicted biblical and mythological stories and used dramatic realism and illusionism to engage the viewers looking at these paintings. Many of these painting achieved this effect by using dramatic lighting and tightly cropped compositions. This painting depicts the scene when Sextus Tarquininus rapes Lucretia, the wife of Tarquin’s fellow soldier and who later killed herself after being raped by Tarquin. An indicator that this painting is from the Baroque period is its use of chiaroscuro lighting. Chiaroscuro lighting is an extreme contrast between light and darkness. It can also be identified as a Baroque painting because of its vibrant use of color. This can be seen in the gold of Tarquin’s clothes and the blue of Lucretia’s dress. This painting also uses tightly cropped composition to show the struggle between Lucretia and Tarquin.

This image depicts a scene from Livy’s Book 1. In this book, Livy tells the story about Tarquin and Lucretia. In the story, Tarquin becomes obsessed with Lucretia after her husband describes her beauty and lets him watch her weaving with her maids. He then sneaks into her room when she is sleeping, threatens her life by saying that he would kill her and a slave and say she was an adulterer, rapes her, and then leaves. After the rape, Lucretia sends a messenger to her father and her husband to come home because something terrible happened. When they come, she tells them what happened and makes them swear to avenge her. They agree to avenge her and inconsolable in her grief, she pulls out a knife and kills herself by stabbing herself in the heart. Before she kills herself, she says, “Nor henceforth shall any unchaste woman continue to live by citing the precedent of Lucretia” (Livy 11). This means that she does not want to be seen as an unfaithful woman and to prevent from being seen as one, she killed herself.

There are many similarities and differences between how the painting and the story depict the scene. One similarity between the depictions is that both depict the rape in Lucretia’s bedroom. Another similarity is that both depict and convey the feeling of fear that Lucretia was feeling and the aggression of Tarquin. One difference is that in the story Lucretia is woken up from her bed and was frozen in fear. In the painting, Lucretia appears to be wide awake and fighting Tarquin’s advances. This appears to be the artist’s own invention to make the painting more dynamic, rather than having Lucretia just sit there while Tarquin threatens her with a sword. By making the painting more dynamic, the viewer is more engaged in the story and the painting. Another difference is that Tarquin threatens Lucretia with a sword in the story and in the painting, Tarquin doesn’t have a sword. The struggle between Lucretia and Tarquin is what interests Crepsi the most. Livy is more interested in the threats that Lucretia received from Tarquin and the after effects of the rape rather than the actually rape itself. Through these details, Livy and Crepsi are able to vividly describe the rape and death of Lucretia.

-Emily Ryan, Team Mars

A Modern Conception of Romulus and Remus


James Barsness. Romulus and Remus. 1993. Web. 7 Dec 2017.


The piece above is found at the Frumkin/Adams Gallery in Manhattan on the first floor. It is a contemporary piece depicting Romulus and Remus the brothers who founded Rome and were raised by the she wolf. This painting is similar to the ideas we viewed in class because Academic art was often limited creativity and would be realistic and have us as the viewers thinking we are looking through a window. This is a non-academic piece because the figures are blurry and the strokes are very defined and not well blended. Their bodies are also crunched up and in the nude. Also like some of the contemporary art we looked at the figures are looking at us and making us realize we are looking at a painting. How ever it differs because the figures can be depicted and not so abstract that we have to imagine their shape. Also like some of the pieces we looked at there is no use of cubism, the figures have soft curves that are more realistic than sharp angular shapes.

The quote I chose for this photo is from Livy Book one section four paragraph two, “She gave the infants her teats so gently that the master of the royal flock found her licking them with her tongue.” This quote relates to the image because the two boys have this wild look in their eye and have an animal like feature to them because they were nurtured by a she wolf. However it differs because the quote is describing that event and the painting seems to be after that event because they look like they have grown and they aren’t nursing off of the wolf anymore. The artist intentions could have been to show how the animal instinct still lingered in the boys. Also the way they are so close together and in a timid pose is how two wolf could act when being watched. It shows how the finders of Rome were rough and tough and had an amazing bringing up. She also could have left the brush strokes like she did to almost look like hair or fur. I feel the artist was most interested in this aspect to make them look like they have that animal instinct still in their eyes. In the text the interest was describing them in their later years and how they shaped Rome and what happened later; unlike the artist who wanted the animal instinct to be remembered. Emma, Team Saturn

When in Rome, Do as Infants do.


Peter Paul Rubens. Romulus and Remus. Pinacoteca capitolina (Rome, Italy). Web. 6 Dec 2017.


Peter Paul Rubens is one of the artists discussed in Art 1010. The painting we discussed exclusively was “Elevation of the Cross” that showed the religious power during the time. As Professor Simon repeatedly says: “A change in era/time/politics equals a change in the form of art.  This work of art, similar to the “Elevation of the Cross” is also a piece of Baroque work, identified by its use of chiaroscuro (the contrast of light and dark in a painting to give a dramatic effect). The painting is given depth using a form of linear perspective where the two infants are in the center (center point) while everyone else takes to the background. The babies, both pale and pink are clean, protected by the she-wolf which tells the story of the twins, Romulus and Remus.

Then one, Romulus,
reveling in the tawny pelt of a wolf that nursed him,
will inherit the line and build the walls of Mars
and after his own name, call his people Romans.

Excerpts from Vergil’s Aeneid
Book 1

This image is literally the story of Romulus and Remus. Were twin brothers. Legend has it, they were the founders of Rome. Their mother, a Vestal Virgin, claimed she had been violated by Mars, the god of war. She was thrown into prison and the children were ordered to be drowned in the Tiber River for the sin her mother committed (breaking her vow not have sex). Rape was overlooked and women were thrown in jail for making such accusations. The twins survived. They were brought to a sacred fig tree and were protected by a she-wolf and a woodpecker that watched over them and brought them food.

The wolf is seen lying under a tree giving suck to an infant, while another plays nearby. The herdsman, Faustulus, who discovered them, is approaching. The god of the River Tiber reclines on his urn. Under the rule of Romulus the city of Rome grew in size and strength. Ruben highlights the survival of the twins being a great and wondrous gift. They are the center and bright part of the image so he wants them to be noticed.

The reason this image is the most important to me and for the homework is because it give a direct approach and visual to what the twins looked like when they were found by the huntsman in the woods. Romulus is reaching to the sky as if he knows that he is the kin of Mars- the Roman god of war. This supports how Rome got it’s name although it is a mere myth.

Cameron Team Jupiter