Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Facade of the Gothic Cathedral

Rose Window, Chartres Cathedral

The glory of the Gothic Cathedral - I consider these architectural structures to be incredible testaments to man's ambition, devotion and pride. They are truly incredible structures, ever soaring, reaching higher and higher into the sky. Man's engineering skills were astonishing considering the tools and technology they had back in the time we call the Middle Ages.

The link in this post's title will take you to a wonderful video that explains how to "read" the facade of a Gothic Cathedral. Very nice and enlightening. Check it out...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Smarthistory - An overview of the period 1848-1907 - AP Art History Assignment Due 2/1/09

Works Discussed:
William Holman Hunt, Strayed Sheep (Our English Coasts), oil on canvas, 1852 (Tate Britain)
Claude Monet, Boulevard des Capucines, oil on canvas, 1873 (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City)
Vincent Van Gogh, Potato Eaters, oil on canvas, 1885 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)

Art History students - remember the timeline I gave you that mapped from the Renaissance to Contemporary art movements? Well, Smarthistory has 3 podcasts that give a brief overview of the dates listed above. I want you to listen to the first podcast and respond. Please click on this Post title to navigate to the blog site, listen to the podcast then come back to my blog and post a comment about what you learned. Be sure to have your timeline with you and chart the progress.

For your added pleasure (& entertainment!), I added links to the individual artists. You can learn all about them and see the body of their work. Just to help you track them on your ISM Timeline, Holman was a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, Monet was instrumental in the Impressionism movement, and Van Gogh is inseparable from the Post-Impressionism movement.

(This is a 4th 6 weeks homework blog assisgnment #1)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Art History DMA Late Night Modern Art Adventure

"Cathedral", 1947, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas, 71 1/2 x 35 in., Dallas Museum of Art

I HATE not getting to go to a party that I planned! And that's how it turned out for this month's DMA Late Night excursion with my Art History class. Kudos to those who went and poor me that I had this stupid virus for two days. Oh well. Anyway, I have NO IDEA what Jenny took you to see, what you did, what you said or what you thought! So I'm dying to know! As extra credit for the next six weeks, make a comment to this post and tell me about YOUR experience! What did you learn? Inquiring minds want to know.

Since I wasn't there, I decided to create my own experience and chose the Jackson Pollock that the museum owns. If you are in the mood for something fun, click on the post headline for an interactive Pollock site - you can make your OWN Pollock painting. Every time you click the mouse, the color changes. Try it - it's fun! Technology is soooooo cool - and this is a fun, fun blend of technology with an art history story!

Jackson Pollock certainly rocked the art world in the mid-twentieth century. A student of Thomas Hart Benton, Pollock tapped into his own energy for painting in a literal way. He believed that new times (this was shortly after the dropping of the bomb) required new techniques and ways of expressing ourselves. As so many other art movements, Impressionism, Cubism, Dadism, Pollock's radical way of painting and it's end result (someone dubbed him "Jack the Dripper") stirred controversy. But he was in a group of other change makers - Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning - the Abstract Expressionists. Check out this great, informative website about Pollock to get a better sense of his place in art history. To see Pollock in action check out this video made in 1951 that Pollock narrates. There is another video that features clips from the 2002 movie "Pollock" starring Ed Harris.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Pantheon

How this place thrills me! Even before I traveled to Italy last summer and got this picture of the coffered ceiling, when I would get to the page in my art history textbook about the Pantheon, I would shiver. The innovative thinking and the flawless execution just blow me away when I think back to the building of this temple in the 2nd century A.D.

And to think I might not have made it! We had been touring Rome all day (can you imagine Rome in a day?) - the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's, the Forum, the Colosseum - I called it the Roman march. And it was hot! Marching, marching in the heat - pressing on to the next fabulous place to see. By the time we got deposited into some square, my group was exhausted. There was another group from our bus that was going to walk the few blocks to see the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. My group was pooped and wanted to have a gelato and sit. I didn't blame them one bit - I wanted to do the same.

But - this might be my only chance to see the Pantheon. How could I live with myself if I got back home and didn't make the supreme effort (that it seemed at the time) to go there? Would I ever forgive myself? NO! In a split second I knew I had to go - and was it ever worth it! The marble, the light, the sacred geometry enveloping me in its glory. It was truly a high point of my trip to Italy. The link in the Post title from the blog of is quite delightful - check it out! And, for my students, it also touches on the Hagia Sophia and the dome of Brunelleschi. Very nice!