Non-Western Art

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Photographer and date unknown

When most people think of Afghanistan it conjures up images of the war that has been ongoing since 2001 or perhaps even Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Afghanistan is often portrayed as an impoverished and backwards nation, which it largely was under the Taliban who would severely punish those caught with Western or what they considered un-Islamic art. Despite its modern troubles, Afghanistan has a rich history of art and architecture going back centuries. Sitting along the Silk Road. Afghanistan has long been a both a strategic nation for outside powers to control as well as a cultural center . Due to the contact with numerous civilization and conquerors in ancient times Afghanistan has been influenced by everyone from the Greeks, Arab Muslims, Genghis Khan, to the western nations of today. Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of the earliest known use of oil based paints in Bamian caves used by Buddhists that predates their use in Europe by at least a century.

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Photograph courtesy NRICPT-Japan: Date Unkown

Possibly my favorite example of Afghan architecture is that of the Shrine of Hazrat Ali or the Blue Mosque in Mazar-i-Sharif. The shrine was originally built during the 12th century, but was later destroyed by Ghangis Khan and later rebuilt in the 15th century. Restoration on the mosque has occurred more recently and accounts for the majority of the shrines decorations.

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Unknown Photographer

Unfortunately following the rise of the Taliban anything that was deemed “un-Islamic” came under attack, which sadly was the case to the Bamian Buddhist statues that the Taliban

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Unknown Photographer: Photo on left taken in 1963; Photo on right taken in 2008

Despite the Taliban, art managed to survive with artists painting over their actual work with watercolors in order to hide anything the Taliban would take offense to. Artists in Afghanistan, through the help of multiple international organizations have founded the Afghan Center for Contemporary Art and the Women’s Art Center. Female artists have quit literally taken to the street in order to both get their work out and to bring attention to women’s issues in an ultra-conservative society. Though Afghans have access to internet and the ability to travel abroad in order to study art, the Afghan consumer of art prefers art with a high degree of realism as art patrons want something exactly as represented on the canvas with no room for interpretation. Even though Afghans prefer realistic art, there are artists that create works in other styles, two such artists will be discussed below.

One such street artist is Shamsia Hassani, from Kabul is considered the first female street artist in Afghanistan. Shamsia Hassani was born in Iran to Afghan parents and had wanted to study art in Iran, but was unable to as she could not due to her nationality. She picked up street art after a street artist traveled to Afghanistan and taught a workshop on the subject. Now, she works to organize similar across the country as well as attempting to change her societies views on outspoken women who refuse to keep their opinions to themselves. The following two pieces by Shamsia Hassani were chosen as I like the style in which they were done as well as the wonderful colors used in the second piece.

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Shamsia Hassani, ‘Russian Cultural Centre’, Kabul, 2011. Photograph by Kabul at Work.

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Shamsia Hassani, ‘Sound Central Festival’, Kabul, 2013

Malina Suliman, another female street artist splits her time between Kabul and Kandahar. Street painting can be a dangerous undertaking, but regardless of the risks she still creates art on the streets even if it’s by flashlight in the middle of the night. Though she often works in street art the below were chosen as I felt that they are good representations of her work..

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The Game: Malina Suliman

Artists description of The Game: Description: The game board in this painting represents the eye holes of the Burqa. It has two chess game pieces on it, signifying a game. I feel like in Afghanistan women’s lives are made into a game, a game where men try to control them and play as they please.

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Untitled: Malina Suliman

Artists description: my first graffiti piece and symbolizes that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

Links:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/nagashimaaki/works/5335401-blue-mosque-mazari-sharif-afghanistan?ref=work_main_nav

http://islamic-arts.org/2012/blue-mosque-in-mazar-e-sharif-afghanistan/

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/208

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_Hazrat_Ali

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/02/photogalleries/Bamian-pictures/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhas_of_Bamiyan

http://www.vice.com/read/the-enduring-art-of-afghanistan

http://artradarjournal.com/2013/07/19/art-is-stronger-than-war-afghanistans-first-female-street-artist-speaks-out/

http://www.about-afghanistan.com/afghanistan-art-history.html

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/02/02/263938.html

http://maloaa3.com/?page_id=13

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By brentb907

Politics in Art

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R.J. Matson Roll Call June 10, 2013

Artists within the United States have long taken advantage to their 1st Amendment right of free speech in order to lampoon or skewer the political world of the time. The political cartoonists seek to question authority, draw attention to corruption, or other societal problems by combining artistic skill, hyperbole, and satire in a way that requires little explanation to the viewer.I enjoy seeing the work of political cartoonists, many of whom have the ability to take the complex issues of the day and portray them in a simple panel and make light of serious topics. All panels for this assignment were taken from recent events in the United States so that they would be easier to understand by people that have not studied political science or history would be able to easily interpret them. The above panel was created by R.J. Matson, who is syndicated by caglecartoons.com and his work appears in more than 800 publications. The cartoon was chosen as it fits in well in a non-partisan way and reflects the common perception of Americans that their elected representatives as well as those at the federal level do not listen to their concerns and contrasts it with the recently revealed information regarding the NSA spying programs that shows that someone may in fact be listening after all. Other examples of non-partisan political art serve to illustrate the impression of the dysfunction in Washington D.C. by the countries leadership.

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 Gary Varvel October 11, 2013

The above panel rather speaks for itself as this is an accurate depiction of how government officials have been acting, regardless of party affiliation.The following panels by Gary Varvel, the editorial cartoonist for the Indianapolis Star were chosen for their non-partisan nature and for their reflection of the general feeling that things are quite literally broken and in need of repair. I appreciate the first ones portrayal of the GOP fighting each other for control while the Democrats car is up on blocks and just not operational. The second piece is great in that it shows both parties broken from recent spats and despite it all remain adversarial.

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Gary Varvel November 07, 2013

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Gary Varvel November 08, 2013

While many panels are overtly partisan, such as this one by Adam Zyglis, the staff cartoonist at The Buffalo News. Adam lampoons the common GOP talking point regarding the cost of Health Care Reform being too expensive while defending the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Image

Adam Zyglis The Buffalo News, 2009

The following panel was done by Daniel Kurtzman, a journalist, author, and humorist from DC  whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and the San Francisco Times as well as numerous other publications. Though politicians are usually the brunt of political satirists work they are not the sole subject matter as the next panel shows. The American public is notorious for having both a short memory as well as being  naive about the world around them as this cartoon so effectually illustrates with the guy at his computer being more concerned with the latest headline about pop culture than atrocities being committed half-way across the globe.

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Daniel Kurtzman, Miley Cyrus Coverage, Week of Aug. 25-31, 2013

 

Links:

http://www.rjmatson.com/personal.htm

http://www.adamzyglis.com/bio.html

http://www.indystar.com/section/opinion09

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editorial_cartoon

http://politicalhumor.about.com/bio/Daniel-Kurtzman-8621.htm

By brentb907

The Great Depression

The early 20th century was a time of tremendous social and political change in the United States. For the first time since the pilgrims began arriving on its shores more Americans were living in cities than on farms. The nations GDP more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, an era dubbed the “Roaring Twenties.” This economic growth and change from a more agrarian society into a consumer based one brought many uncertainties as people on either coast were now listening to the same music, buying the same goods thanks to department stores, and seeing the same advertising. Unfortunately the economic growth that marked the 1920’s did not last. The Great Depression started in the United States with a dramatic fall in stock prices in September of 1929 and beginning in earnest during the stock market crash on 29 October 1929, the day that became known as “Black Tuesday.”

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Police Officer Standing Guard

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Dies Irae,  James N. Rosenberg

 Black Tuesday resulted in investor panic that saw sixteen million shares traded and $30 billion simply vanish from the US economy within 48 hours. With the buildings in the process of toppling over and people stampeding in the streets, the illustration by Rosenberg perfectly captures the collapse of Wall Street and the panic that resulted. In an effort to save their money before it was gone people withdrew everything they had out of the banking system further worsening the problem as banks collapsed as they had no cash reserves  on hand to continue to stay in business. In the picture above a New York City police officer stands guard outside of a closed bank to prevent customers from breaking in in an attempt to clean out whats left of their savings accounts.  By the time the Great Depression had reached its halfway point, half of the countries banks had failed.

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The Bonus Armies March on the Capital, UNK Photographer

Veterans returning from World War I discovered that they were the victims of gross economic  inequality in the way the draft program worked. The draft was organized into 4 categories, with one category exempting people that worked in industrial jobs deemed critical to the war effort. Veterans soon discovered that those exempted from deploying due to their jobs in industry made considerably more than they did fighting on the front lines lobbied Congress to adjust their levels of compensation to match those of the factory workers. After many years of lobbying Congress finally passed a bill that would compensate these veterans by giving them government bonds that would collect interest and be paid out 20 years later in 1945. President Calvin Coolidge vetoed the bill upon passing congress declaring that “Patriotism which is bought and paid for is not patriotism.” Thankfully for the veterans, Congress had the votes to override the President’s veto. However, by this time the Great Depression was already underway and those veterans who were unable to find work faced increasing financial hardship and sought to have their bonuses paid out early.  The above photograph was taken during one such demonstration attempting to get their bonus paid early, which they eventually did, but not before having to face down US Army troops summoned to keep them peace got out of hand.

With unemployment at record highs the people all over the country were suffering with many having to travel great distances to find work, only to have to sell their belongings in order to get by when job prospects elsewhere did not pan out. Dorothea Lange captures just such a story in her picture of a migrant family would had been forced to sell their tent to feed themselves after the pea crop had failed. The pictures in the series show the absolute despondency of the family and the uncertainty her future holds reflected in the mothers face as she holds her baby and the two other children appear to be crying on her shoulder.

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 Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lang, California

The below picture of a family from Alabama further illustrates  the effects the depression had, even on families that were lucky enough to retain their homes. In this photo you can see a family who is certainly more well off than the migrant mother, but they are still clearly struggling. The adults and the older child appear as if they have lost all hope while the child in the arms of his presumed mother appears lifeless. The only one in the picture with a since of life left in him is the half naked boy with what appears to be a smile on his face while his father is behind him looking as if he has survived a concentration camp. Countless photographs of destitute families exist from this era and look like they belong in a developing nation and not the United States, but sadly this was the time in which they lived.

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Bud Fields and his Family, Walker Evans, Alabama

Much of the hardship that farmers as well as migrant workers felt was not only due to the economic collapse, but also because of a severe drought and over farming in some of the nations most fertile farming lands. As a result the top soil dried up and blew away further compounding the nations suffering. The bleak landscape not only is an apt portrayal of the state of agricultural land, but also that of the US economy at the time. In the pictures you can see signs of civilization and production under an overcast sky surrounded by the once fertile windblown soil that economic prosperity once grew.

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Joe Jones Wasteland 

 

Links:

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/artgallery.htm

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/photoessay.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression

http://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i

http://www.history.com/topics/great-depression

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/11/142224795/the-bonus-army-how-a-protest-led-to-the-gi-bill

http://www.authentichistory.com/1930-1939/1-hoover/2-bonusarmy/

By brentb907

Reflection on Impressionism

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London, Houses of Parliament. The Sun Shining through the Fog, Claude Monet, 1904

Though it is  not my favorite style of art, I do enjoy the works of Impressionist artists and the optical tricks that the artists utilized in order to create their works. While the paintings of the Impressionists are beautiful in their own right, as someone that likes to spend time outside hiking I prefer the works of those from the Hudson River School, such as Thomas Moran whose works in addition to George Caitlin, and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted were partly responsible for swaying the US Government to create National Parks.

The Impressionist use of color to create such vibrant, light filled paintings was a stunning rejection of the more formal schools that came before. In another break from tradition, the Impressionists often worked outside paintings things that they saw around them unlike the artists that came before them, who for the most part worked in studios painting portraits or scenes from history. As a result of this break from tradition early Impressionist artists such as  Claude Monet, August Renoir, Edgar Degas, and Berthe Morisot received an enormous amount of criticism from the established art community of the time. Many artists were forced to band together and hold their own exhibitions in order to drum up business since the Salon jury had rejected their artwork in previous years. 

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Starry Night, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

The Post-Impressionists took the use of colors that the Impressionists utilized so well to create an impression of the transitory effects of light and weather by going even further. Post-Impressionists recognized that color and shapes could also be used to invoke emotion creating a more cerebral experience for the viewer in a rejection of the Impressionist preference to paint pleasant moments which did not involve much interpretation when viewed. Due to this preference to paint pleasant scenes the art of the Impressionists seem shallow while the Post-Impressionists gave the viewer a glimpse into their mental state.    

Though the works of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists are beautifully done they do not illicit anything beyond an appreciation of the skill that was required to produce them. I’m wondering if this is because I have only seen a copy in a textbook or on a computer monitor and as a result cannot fully appreciate their work. In contrast, the art of Thomas Moran and his depictions of American landscapes are far more appealing. When I see art from Moran, I get a feeling of the power of nature and the forces that created it. As a hiker I now want to add the places that he painted with such breathtaking detail to my list of places to see.    

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Cascade Falls, Yosemite, Thomas Moran, 1905

 

Links:

http://19thcenturyusapaint.blogspot.com/2012/05/thomas-moran-ctd.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Law_Olmsted#U.S._park_designer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Catlin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism

http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/impressionism-france.html

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/imml/hd_imml.htm#slideshow13

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/icon/hudson.html

http://www.keithgarrow.com/modern-art-styles/post-impressionism-art-movement.html

http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg84/gg84-main1.html

By brentb907
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Industrial Revolution and Art

The 1700s was a period of extremely rapid change with movements such as The Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, The American and French Revolutions, and advances in the sciences causing tremendous upheaval throughout Europe and the Americas in all spheres of life from political to the social realms. For this I will be focusing on the Industrial Revolution and some of the ways that it influenced the world of art during this period. The Industrial Revolution is characterized by the transition away from hand tools toward newly produced labor saving devices , advances in chemical manufacturing, new methods for producing iron, more efficient methods of producing water power, and the increasing use of steam power. No longer were people dependent on the land and nature to ensure a steady income for their families or limited to producing what they could with hand tools. Now people could move into a large town or city in order to work in factories or those brave enough to take risks to build their own businesses in either producing their own goods or providing the resources and services that a capitalistic society needs to thrive. As a result of the increase in economic activity and increased incomes of the working and middle classes

Paint, the most basic tool needed by visual artists to produce their art was also forever transformed during the Industrial Revolution. Prior to this period paint pigment was often made by hand by using a mortar and pestle, crushing whatever the source of the pigment the artist desired. This process also exposed the artist or his assistants to lead poisoning because of the white-lead powder used in the process. Marshall Smith in 1718 developed a machine that was capable of grinding the pigment with more efficiency and more reliable results than doing it by hand. Shortly after the invention of this machine paint became more affordable which made painting more accessible to the amateur artists of the day.

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Coalbrookdale by Night, 1801, Philip James De Loutherbourg

Though the Industrial Revolution quite literally changed everything there were those who were not fans of the rapid changes in society and what industrialization brings which is why I chose the above painting by Philip James De Loutherbourg. The piece Coalbrookdale by Night is a depiction of Shropshire in western England which had recently been industrialized. I like how the painting contrasts the more traditional way of life surrounded by forests with the rustic home in the background with the factory and all of the change that brings. Though the artist may have not intended to depict the industrialization of England in a negative light that is what I see when I look at this piece. The people in the front of the painting are painted in a darker color than the fiery orange of the factory in the background that seems to overwhelm them and burn away the traditional way of life.

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Depiction of a Eidophusikon. Date and name of artist unknown

Though Philip James De Loutherbourg was an accomplished painter he was also known for his set designs for London theaters, as well as his creation of a mechanical theater called the Eidophusikon.  I chose this piece simply because not only is it  a rather imaginative piece of art, but also engineering. The machine made its debut in Leicester Square in February 1781 and was the pride of the city for many years. The device was truly ahead of its time and worked by using controlled lighting, clockwork automation, 3-dimensional models, and an accompanying sound effects to draw the audience in. During its lifespan the Eidophusikon showed scenes of London, a storm at sea, and even a scene from Milton called “Satan arraying his troops on the banks of the fiery lake, with the raising of the Palace of Pandemonium.” The creation of this mechanical theater was a huge leap forward in visual storytelling though it did not become widespread. The Industrial Revolution may have not been solely responsible for its creation though the advancement in materials science did aid in the making of this sophisticated new form of entertainment.

Musical instruments also went through a period of dramatic change during this period and possibly none more so than the piano. The piano evolved from the harpsichord in the early 1700’s and was largely unchanged until 1790 through the mid 1800’s during which piano technology improved by leaps and bounds. Due to the improvement in manufacturing methods and materials from higher quality steel wire to the cast iron frames allowed pianos to be mass produced and more affordable which in turn made music more accessible to a much larger consumer group. With the improvements made to the piano during this time the tonal range increased from the five octaves of the early pianos to the seven or more that modern piano’s are currently capable of.  I chose the below piece, Fur Elise by Ludwig Van Beethoven as it is written as a solo piano piece which was written around 1810 and is roughly halfway through the improvements in piano technology at the time. Fur Elise has always been one of my favorite songs even though I did not know what is called until a few years ago. I have always found it to be a great song to unwind to or to listen to while I work.

 

LINKS:

http://historytradeart.blogspot.com/2010/05/art-and-artistic-reactions-to.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint

http://www.historyextra.com/qa/eidophusikon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_James_de_Loutherbourg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano

http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions/a/piano.htm

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/enlightenment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BCr_Elise

By brentb907

Apollo and Daphne

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Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne is a life sized marble statue created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini with the aid of a worker from his shop between 1622-1625. The statue was commissioned by Cardinal Borghese, who was a past patron of Bernini. As with Bernini’s sculpture of David, Apollo and Daphne can be viewed from multiple angles. However, unlike the statue of David this particular piece is best viewed head-on as it allows the viewer to observe the reactions of Apollo and Daphne at the same time. Bernini did this so that the viewer could understand the story being told in  Ovids Metamorphoses, in which Cupid exacts revenge on Apollo for telling Cupid that his arrows are not manly. Cupid, out of anger ” shoots Apollo with a golden arrow designed to enflame love in him; he then shoots Daphne with a lead-tipped arrow that causes her to be repulsed by love.” As Apollo closes in on Daphne she prays to Peneus, her father,  a river god to save her. Peneus answers her prayer by turning her into a laurel tree right before Apollo is about to touch her. In Ovid’s version of the tale Apollo reacts by declaring the tree to be sacred and that laurel leaves are perfect for victory wreaths. Like other works of Bernini Apollo and Daphne appear to be in the midst of the chase with all of his weight supported by his right leg with his left leg lifted as he finally catches up with Daphne who is already turning into a tree.

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The use of classical figures and stories as inspiration for art was a well established tradition in Italy by the time Bernini was commissioned to create such a stunning sculpture. As a result of this tradition it was not uncommon to see other works of art bearing figures from the pagan myths of old as artists had been doing so during the revitalization of Rome under Papal decree and if someone were to object that this statue was in villa of a Cardinal he had inscribed ” Those who love to pursue fleeting forms of pleasure, in the end find only leaves and bitter berries in their hands.” on the base of the statue. The guidance out of the Council of Trent for artists and their patrons was that art should be open and easy to understand to those that view it. Due to the level of detail that Bernini and his skilled assistant gave to the forms of the two characters from their facial expressions, poses, and the transformation of Daphne it is possible for the viewer to interpret the statue even if one is only vaguely familiar with Ovid’s story. The inscription on the base serves to re-enforce Church doctrine that those who seek only earthly pleasures are doomed to find themselves with nothing in the end. 

 

LINKS:

http://repainterdiaries.com/2010/01/31/a-portrait-and-a-transformation/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ApolloAndDaphne.JPG

http://e-arthistory5.blogspot.com/2013/01/berninis-apollo-and-daphne.html

http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/b/bernini/gianlore/biograph.html

 

 

By brentb907

Albrecht Durer and His Massive Woodblocks

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The Triumphal Arch is a 16th-century monumental woodcut print, created by Albrecht Durer for his patron, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The print at 9ft 8in by 11ft 8.5in remains one of the largest such woodcut prints ever created. It took a total of 192 separate wood blocks in order to complete the print. Maximilian I intended for the Triumphal Arch to grace the walls of city halls or the palaces of royalty. Maximilian I commissioned two other such woodcut prints. The other two are Triumphal Procession (1516-18, 137 woodcut panels, 54cm long) which is being led by a Large Triumphal Carriage (1522, 8 woodcut panels, 1 1/2′ high x 8′ long). Maximilian I did not live long enough to see the final two parts of his three part commission completed.

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The architect Tyrolean and court painter Jorg Kolderer are responsible for designing the arch and giving it its form. Maximilians court historian and mathematician further aided in the creation of the Triumphal Arch and all three looked to the past and modeled their design off of triumphal arches built by the Roman Emperors of Ancient Rome. Three arches comprise the design  with the central arch called “Honour and Might”, the left arch “Praise”, the right arch is named “Nobility”.  Depictions related to Maximilian are illustrated on all three arches. Above the central arch is a family tree outlining Maximilians supposed lieange from such notable figures as Juilius Ceasar, Alexander the Great, and Hercules flanked by heraldic devices known as escutcheons. Above the two side arches are 12 historical scenes. The left side depicts emperors and kings and the right side bears Maximilians ancestors.

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From the sheer size of the Triumphal Arch to the incredible detail and amount of symbolism that went into its design leaves little room for doubt that Maximilian I meant this piece and its related pieces to be a lasting monument to his greatness and as well as that of the Hapsburg family to which he himself was a member. Maximilian I is not alone among emperors that have used or claimed ancestry to great historical figures or mythical ones giving the impression that he is the heir of such figures and as a result strengthen his claim to the throne. By this time artists had already been looking to the past during the Reinvention of Rome for inspiration for their works and it is no surprise that Maxmilian I, as the Holy Roman Emperor would not continue this trend by utilizing the design of the triumphal arch design of the ancient Romans in designing this particular propaganda piece that glorifies his family’s history, but also his own personal one as well as making dubious claims about his ancestry.  Royal influence is reflected in nearly every part of Triumphal Arch as Maximilian dictated much of the design requirements himself. Even though the Triumphal Arch was never meant to be made into marble or some other more permanent structure this monument to himself was easily distributed and reproduced since to make another it was simply printed onto paper allowing  for a far greater audience than a permanent monument would have received. As a printed piece of art it also ensured that whoever had this installed in their palaces or government buildings that people could not hope to have the same pedigree as Maximilian.

LINKS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht_D%C3%BCrer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Triumphal_Arch

http://www.artbma.org/paintedprints/html/pp11_moretext.html

http://www.learner.org/courses/globalart/work/212/index.html

By brentb907

About Me

Hey there! My name is Brent. After taking a few years off, things have finally calmed down enough between 2 deployments to Afghanistan and other general Army shenanigans for me to return to school and finish my BA in History. I’m currently stationed at FT Campbell, KY and will soon be transferring to FT Hood, TX where I will be constantly reminding them that as much as they may wish otherwise they live in the second largest state in the US. I am originally from Skagway, AK and also lived for a few years in southern Oregon before attending college at UAF.

My experience in the arts is rather limited with the exception of perhaps the performing arts in which I occasionally dress up as a giant canine and making a fool out of myself at charity events, costume parties, or attending the occasional furry convention. Though I don’t play an instrument, music has become a much bigger part of my life than it was prior to my first deployment and I found myself listening to classical music to help formulate my thought while making products for my Battalion Commander or while winding down after work so I could get some sleep.

Afghan garbage truck

Art site that I visit once in awhile: http://www.deviantart.com

By brentb907