Choon Yong-ACE Class Report – History of Great Art 2

Author of Book: Instructor: Professor Sharon Latchaw Hirsh.
Date Read:

Book Report

ACE Class Report – History of Great Art Part 2.
Begin: 3/6/2024
Finish: 5/22/2024
Title: How to Look at and Understand Great Art.
Instructor: Professor Sharon Latchaw Hirsh.
Rosemont College

Why I choose to take this class:

To understand and how to look at great art. The knowledge will allow me to learn more of the history of Art and the culture.

What I learned from this class:

Sculpture – Salt Cellars to Monuments:
Sculpture is so much a part of our lives that we often take for granted learning to read the various forms, techniques, and media of sculpture will help us better appreciate our everyday surroundings. Much of the 19th Century and early sculptures was figural; the 20th Century saw an explosion of different themes, forms, and techniques that revolutionized what we think of as sculpture.

Development of Painting – Tempera and Oils:
Early Renaissance panel and Fresco painting gave way to painting on canvas with the development of oil paint in the 15th Century. Oil paint offered artist more opportunity to play with transparency, texture, and tools than ever before. The development of portable paint – First watercolor, then oils in tubes – led to the development of Plein-Air painting and opened the art world to more female artist.

Modern Painting – Acrylics and Assemblages:
The late 19th Century was an era of experimentation in painting. The pre-Raphaelites looked back toward the Renaissance, while groups like the Impressionists and Symbolists aimed to invent something new. The detailed Realism of the past gave way to expressive, abstract new styles and mixed -media composition that pushed the limits of what paint could do.

Subject Matters:
The Iconography, or subject matter, of a work of art can be described on many levels: literal, symbolic, even personal. Works need not be religious to be symbolic; portraits, still life, even landscapes can be considered not only for their surface content but for their deeper meanings.

Signs-Symbols, Icon, and Indexes in Art:
All art is signs and symbols, from depictions of people to color and line. Some signs are obvious, and most are best appreciated in relation to the complete work. Other signs are more subtle and depend on the viewers knowledge of cultural or historical context. An object that seems out of place is a work is often a symbol. A work of art may contain many different signs at multiple different level.

Portraits – How Artist See Others:
The traditional function of portraits has changed over time from conveying likeness to being a vehicle for symbolic meaning. In addition to color, line, shape, texture, point of view, and symbol, body language and direction of gaze are immensely significant to portraiture.

Self-Portraits – How Artists See Themselves:
self-Portraits tell you a lot about individual artists, but they also tell you a lot about the changing role of the western artist from the Renaissance to the 20th Century, from craftsman to genius to superstar. Self-portraits can also reflect the times and circumstances in which the artist lived.

Landscapes – Art of The Great Outdoors:
Landscapes were considered least important subject for art. Some used landscape as background for other subjects; other painted what their clients wanted. Romantic movement of the 19th Century made landscape a major genre. meaning in landscape is expressed through line and colors, but composition may play the strongest role in how we react to a landscape.

Putting It All Together: We consider works in terms of all the elements of Art: Color, line, shape or mass and composition; time and motion; light and texture; space, point of view, focal point, and gaze; and iconography. We will look at how all these elements work in relation to one another.

Early Renaissance – Humanism Emergent:
Renaissance art has its roots in 14th Century Italy, where we find the influences of Humanism and Classicism in works of art. We can identify work of this period through three major features: human figures portrayed as individuals, rather than type: attention to the forms of nature, particularly the human anatomy; and attempts with mixed success, at linear and atmospheric perspective.

Northern Renaissance – Devil In The Details:
The 15th and early 16Th Centuries is the period of Northern Renaissance art, it has similarities with the Italian Renaissance namely in interest in Humanism and everyday life and Mysticism. Northern Renaissance art is particularly noted for early mastery of oils, attention to details and a unique quality of light. Disguised symbols were a common tactic in the period for combining Mysticism and Humanism.

High Renaissance – Humanism Perfected:
High Renaissance is the brief period in Italy particularly Rome and the Vatican – at the turn of the 16th Century. Great Artists perfected Humanism, Classicism, Illusion and Composition in painting and sculpture. They perfected the observation of nature, especially the human anatomy, and were able to translate these observations into their art. Everything they did aimed at the imitation and perfection of nature.

How will this class contribute to my success upon release:

Understanding great fine arts improves my analytical and critical thing skills. The knowledge will be conveyed to the communities which I hope to volunteer my services through teaching, tutoring and mentoring.