Thursday, February 2, 2017

intro notes | art history

art history:
-requires knowledge of the historical context of an artwork
-central aim: determine original context of artworks
-can shed light on the peoples who made the art & on the times of their creation
-art historians study visual & tangible objects that humans make/build
-what unique set of circumstances gave rise to specific artworks for specific places?
-works can be:
  • architecture
  • sculpture
  • pictorial acts (painting, drawing, printmaking, photography)
  • craft arts (ceramics, metalwork, textiles, jewelry)
questions art historians ask:
-how old is it?
  • chronology: determine age to find historical context
  • physical evidence: (types of materials) can indicate age 
  • terminus post quem: "point after which"- earliest date possible
  • terminus ante quem: "point before which"- latest date possible
  • documentary evidence: when a dated written document mentions the work
  • internal evidence: identifiable person/clothing/hairstyle/etc. 
  • stylistic evidence: analysis of an artist's distinctive manner of producing an object
-what is its style?
  • period style: characteristics of a specific era/span of years w/in a distinct culture
  • regional style: variations in style tied to geography
  • provenance: place of origin
  • personal style: distinctive manner of individual artists 
-what is its subject?
  • categories/themes in art:
-allegory: literature w moral
-sacred: religion
human figure
living animal
still life: arranged objects
genre: scene of everyday life
vedute: urban view
  • iconography: "writing of images," study of content & symbols in artwork
  • attributes: figure identifiers, SUBJECTIVE
St. Luke: ox
St. Matthew: winged man
St. Mark: lion
St. John: eagle
  • personifications: abstract ideas codified in human form
-who made it?
  • if an artwork isn't signed, art historians can attribute it to an artist
  • base attributions on internal evidence
  • connoisseur: expert in assigning artworks to "the hand" of one artist
  • school: group of artists that work in the same style at the same time & place
-who paid for it?
  • patrons: those who pay artists to make individual works/employed them on a continuing basis
  • patrons often get to say how artists will represent the subject
  • corona civica: civic crown 
words artists used- formal analysis
-form & composition
  • form: object's shape/structure
  • composition: how artist composes/organizes forms in artwork
-material & technique
  • medium
  • artists shape materials (pigment, clay, gold, marble, etc.) w tools (pens, brushes, chisels, etc.)
  • technique: processes that artists employ & distinctive, personal ways they handle materials
-proportion & scale:
  • proportion: size relationships btwn parts of people, buildings, objects
  • canons: systems of "correct"/"ideal" proportions
  • modules: basic unit of measure
  • hierarchy of scale: enlarging of elements considered most important
-line: a path of a point moving in space/on a plane
  • diagonal
  • vertical
  • horizontal
  • curvilinear
  • serpentine
-space: bounded or boundless "container" of objects
  • mass: bulk/density/weight of matter in space
  • volume: space that mass organizes/divides/encloses 
  • 2-D: depicted 3D space on 2D surface (illusionistic)
  • 3-D: real space occupied by artwork
  • perspective: create illusion of depth or space on 2D surface
linear: convergence of diagonal lines
foreshortening: representing something at angles to the picture plane, illusion that one part of subject is further away than other part 
  • atmospheric 
  • implied
  • ambient (outside light on a cloudy/normal day)
  • direct (spotlighting)
  • ideal
  • transcendent (refers to religious)
  • chiaroscuro (articulation from light to dark)
-color: revealed by light
  • additive light: natural/sunlight 
  • subtractive light: reflected from pigments & objects
  • hue: property giving a color its name
  • value: variables in color 
  • tonality: degree of lightness or darkness
  • intensity: purity of a color
  • saturation: brightness or dullness
  • primary triad (red, blue, yellow)
  • secondary triad (orange, green, purple)
  • tertiary triad
  • cool palette (blue, green, purple)
  • warm palette (yellow, red, orange)
  • complementary (opposite colors on color wheel)
-texture: quality of a surface
  • true texture: tactile, can feel w touch
  • represented texture: depicted as having texture
  • symmetry
  • asymmetry
  • relieved (approximate symmetry)
  • radial
-emphasis: place/point of most importance
  • focal point: bullseye spot in the composition
-repetition: effect of multiplication to create emphasis
  • rhythm: cadence or sequence of form in a composition
-unity: style or motif unique to a body of work
-variety: mixture of components to create visual dynamism 

architectural drawings:
  • plan: map of a floor/placement of a structure's masses
  • section: a vertical plan
  • lateral sections: slice across structure's width
  • longitudinal sections: cut through building's length
  • elevation drawing: head-on view of external/internal wall
  • cutaway: combines in a single drawing an exterior w interior view of part of a building
carving & casting:
  • carving: subtractive, reduction of original mass/block
  • casting: fluid substance put inside a mold (hollow form for shaping)
  • relief sculpture: subjects project from the background but still remain part of it 
fig. I-9
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse- Albrecht Durer
ca. 1498, woodcut
representations of death, famine, war, pestilence

fig. I-16
unfinished statue- Michelangelo Buonarroti
1527-1528, marble

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