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How Art Works: Week 3 What makes Art Different? Comparative Analysis

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Comparative Analysis

Publicada em: Arte e fotografia, Educação
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How Art Works: Week 3 What makes Art Different? Comparative Analysis

  1. 1. How Art Works Week 3 What makes Art Different? Comparative Analysis
  2. 2. This lecture: Formalism Theories of Heinrich Wöfflin (1864-1945) on progression of formal qualities in history of artistic representations Iconography, iconology, attributes (symbolism) Theories of Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) Tools of the Trade: Comparative Analysis Writing a Compare/Contrast Art History Essay
  3. 3. Magic Lanterns and Slides The roots of art history teaching are to be found in the lectures given at the various art academies beginning in the 16th century. Either the lecture was not illustrated and so the lecturer had to rely on the assumption that his audience would be familiar with the works he mentioned or the painting was at hand, which meant that everyone in the audience could see with their own eyes what was being talked about.
  4. 4. Sir John Soane's Museum The desire to find some way to illustrate art history lectures in some cases resulted in the laborious production of enlarged drawings and diagrams.
  5. 5. Magic Lanterns and Slides In 1850, two Daguerreotypists in Philadelphia, William and Frederick Langenheim, invented a transparent positive image of a photograph in the form of a glass slide that could be projected onto a wall or screen using a Magic Lantern.
  6. 6. Heinrich Wölfflin • Widely influential professor of art history, major exponent of formalist methodology • Wölfflin’s interest focused on the principles for analyzing works of art as much as the art itself • Wölfflin's most significant contribution to art-historical methodology may be in his side-by- side comparison technique of images. Throughout his writings, he used comparison to demonstrate polarities in art
  7. 7. Content/Meaning • Formalism • Theories of Heinrich Wöfflin Principles of Art History… 1-Linear vs. painterly 2-Plane vs. recession 3-Closed form to open form 4-Multiplicity to unity 5-Absolute clarity to relative clarity – Developed for 16th-17th art but applicable to later art – Examples: Ingres vs. Delacroix in 19th c. French painting
  8. 8. Heinrich Wölfflin’s Principles of Art History • Art history before this book consisted largely of anecdotal narratives and lists of art works • He investigated the roots of style in isolation and sought laws, which would be applicable throughout all the changes, which the visual arts developed
  9. 9. 1. Linear and Painterly
  10. 10. 2. Planar and Recessional
  11. 11. 3. Closed Form and Open Form
  12. 12. 4. Multiplicity and Unity
  13. 13. The Wölfflin Principles linear/painterly: Linear: Imagine a painting that was outlined first, like a coloring book, and then filled in. Painterly: Fluid, outside of the lines. If you tried to cut each color swatch out you would not be able to because they flow together.
  14. 14. The Wölfflin Principles plane/recession Planar: The entire image is on one plane. Recessional: The image is on various planes, going back and forth, in and out. Depth.
  15. 15. The Wölfflin Principles closed/open form Closed: The piece has a closed for, something visual is enclosing it in a way that you cannot imagine anything outside of the picture plan. Many times something architectural will frame the pieces. Open: Something in the picture plane suggests a world outside of the painting. A line of prospective that shoots right off of the page or subjects walking in and out of the piece.
  16. 16. The Wölfflin Principles multiplicity/unity Multiplicity: This is very closely related to linear. These painting were made in parts in a way that each part of the painting could stand alone. This is a bit more of a conceptual play on linear. Each part is capable of standing as a free member. Unity: Again, closely related to painterly. The subjects in Baroque paintings can not be separated from one another. They depend on each other to exists, you cannot tear them apart.
  17. 17. The Wölfflin Principles absolute/relative clarity Absolute Clarity: You can tell exactly what is going on. No questions asked. The artists did not leave a lot of room for artistic interpretation by the viewer. Relative Clarity: The artist left some information in the painting up to the viewer. There are some solid ideas but room for intellectual movement.
  18. 18. Michelangelo The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel (1511) Linear: Very solid lines between colour planes and figures. Planar: This is all technically on one plane Closed: This painting is technically a snippet from an entire mural (Sistine Chapel). Each set of figures, Adam on the left and the other on the right, are in their own closed little pods of the mural. The lines of the ground and the shell frame each area. Multiplicity: You can cut each figure out, they could all stand on their own. Absolute Clarity: God and Adam bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth.
  19. 19. Raphael, The School of Athens, 1511
  20. 20. Artemesia Gentileschi Judith Slaying Holofernes linear/painterly? planar/recessional? closed/open form? multiplicity/unity? absolute/relative clarity?
  21. 21. Panofsky: Meaning & Iconology
  22. 22. Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) Key questions for Art Historians • Can artworks be judged objectively? • How much can we understand about a time period by looking at individual works of art? • What methods should we use when studying art?
  23. 23. • Aesthetic Experience • Intention of Creator • Environment • Time/Era Vincent Van Gogh Bedroom in Arles c. 1888 Oil on Canvas
  24. 24. Michelangelo The Pieta c. 1499 Carved Marble • Iconography • Iconology • The Humanities – Value – Limitation • The Notion of Culture • Organic Situation
  25. 25. Leonardo Da Vinci Mona Lisa c. 1506 Oil on Poplar • Art Connoisseur vs. Art Historian – Emphasis and explicitness – Aesthetic value – Intention • Art Theory – Subjectivity • Naïve Viewer
  26. 26. Studies in Iconology • Published in 1939 • Discusses – Themes in renaissance art – Classical and medieval relations • Addresses 3 “layers” of art – Primary subject matter – Secondary subject matter – Intrinsic Meaning
  27. 27. Panofsky’s achievement was to shift attention to content and meaning
  28. 28. Primary Subject Matter • Natural Subject Matter – Most basic understanding – Perception of form • The 3rd of May 1808 – Row of men shooting – Group of men being shot The 3rd of May 1808 – Francisco Goya c. 1814 Oil on Canvas
  29. 29. Secondary Subject Matter – Conventional subject matter • Iconography • Cultural Knowledge – Environment – Historical happenings – The 3rd of May 1808 • Knowledge of Spanish History The 3rd of May 1808 – Francisco Goya c. 1814 Oil on Canvas
  30. 30. Intrinsic Meaning • Iconology • Content – Artist’s personal history – Technical Abilities – Environment • The 3rd of May 1808 – Commemorate resistance – Focal figure mimicking crucifixion The 3rd of May 1808 – Francisco Goya c. 1814 Oil on Canvas
  31. 31. Writing a Compare/Contrast Art History Essay Identity • Who is the artist or is the artist unknown? • What period or style is it? • What is the name of the artwork? • To what culture does it belong? • Of what material/medium is it made? • What is its subject matter?
  32. 32. Writing a Compare/Contrast Art History Essay Style • How big is it? Does its medium affect the quality? • What are its formal elements (line, color, composition, etc.)? • Is it abstract, naturalistic, idealistic, realistic, or a combination? • How is the subject being depicted? • What is the origin of the style? - Is it a combination of cultural styles?
  33. 33. Writing a Compare/Contrast Art History Essay Function/Symbolism(Often relates to cultural context) • What was it used for? Why was it made? • It is sacred or secular? • Does it communicate a message? Is it asking for something? • Does it contain symbolism? What does it mean?
  34. 34. Writing a Compare/Contrast Art History Essay Cultural Context • What was happening historically, politically, socially, religiously, intellectually, and/or economically at the time it was made? • What were qualities of life at the time and place the piece was made that may have affected its function and style? • Do historical events or overall aesthetic tastes relate to the image/story depicted?

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