Thursday, May 19, 2011

Symbolism and the High Renaissance

Symbolism in Renaissance Art, Leonardo da Vinci, and MIchelangelo

Dear Humanities Kids,

I LOVE YOUR 'INFERNO' Assignments! Your punishments are incredibly clever. The Greeks and Dante would be so proud of your thought processes.  I have completed grading the visual portion of your assignment, and will begin correcting the written portion over the weekend.

What did you do in class on Friday, May 20th?
1. We continued looking at the pieced entitled "THE ARNOLFINI WEDDING" by Jan van Eyck for its symbolism and deeper meaning.

2. Students were then introduced to Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo

Symbolism in Renaissance Art
Due Date________________________

Instructions: Your assignment involves researching one of the following Renaissance art pieces in association with allusions and symbols used within the chosen piece, and how these allusions and symbols add understanding to the work.
·        Primerva by Sandro Boticelli
·        The Last Judgement by Micelangelo
·        The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein
·        The School of Athens by Raphael

1. Your paper needs to discuss a minimum of three allusions and/or symbols present within the piece, and how the artist’s choice to use them heightens the understanding of the viewer regarding the artist’s intent.

2. Your paper must include an introduction, conclusion and three body paragraphs. If you wish to discuss more than three symbols then clearly you would have more than three body paragraphs.

3. You must include a “Works Cited” page indicating your THREE sources. You may use the Internet for two of the three, but one source needs to come from a quintessential text. Please do not consult Wikipedia as a source. You are welcome to obtain information from any of my books pertaining to Renaissance art, but you can’t check them out.

4. An image of the artwork must appear either in the body of your paper or prior to the introductory paragraph. Extra-credit will be given if additional images of the work are incorporated in your paper. Please make sure that your additional images correlate with information within your paper.

5. You must include a minimum of two quotes within the body of your paper, which help to support the points included within your paper.

6. Please use ACADEMIC VOICE!

Citation Examples:
Crampton, Kori. Why I think My Humanities Students are so Intelligent. Orem, UT: Timpanogos

           Publishing Co., 2010.

Van Gogh, Vincent. The Sunflowers. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Simeon, Daniel. The Mona Lisa. 2005, 7 August, 2006

The following is a paper that was written by a student who took Humanities in 2000! You may use it as an example to follow when writing your own.

Jennae Harding         
Mrs. Kori Crampton

Symbolism found in “The Arnolfini Wedding” by Jan van Eyck

The Renaissance represented a time of great change and discovery in all areas of learning. For example, Johannas Guttenberg created the printing press, which allowed the spread of ideas to become accessible to more people. In the area of science, Nicolas Copernicus discovered the revolution of the Earth around the Sun. Prior to his discovery, the Earth was considered stationary and the Sun and the planets rotated around the Earth. Pieces of literature from the classical time period became widespread and artists created realistic forms in their work. The “rebirth” in all areas of learning inspired great change and inspired a thirst for knowledge. This desire to learn not only existed with the “inventors” of the Renaissance time period, but also with those that observed their work. Artists, for example, did not simply create purely to create, but also to challenge the mind of their audience. This idea became obvious in “The Arnolfini Wedding” by Jan van Eyck, as he  placed  many different symbols within his work, which challenged the viewer, but also helped them to fully understand this significant piece of Renaissance art. The placement of figures and items  play a large part in the symbolism of the painting.
This painting illustrates a wedding “contract” between Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife Giovanna Cenami.  Renaissance couples would ask an artist to “prove” the validity of their wedding through art. Basically, this piece of art acted as a “wedding certificate.” It acted as a legal record proving that the marriage took place. The artist has signed it as a legal document.  The viewer witnesses the “contract” through observing the hands of the couple.  The man uses his left hand to support his wife’s hand, but he does not grasp her hand. He raises his right hand up as if taking an oath.  The positioning of the hand symbolizes that the couple have to the “contract” of marriage.
Another interesting point concerning the symbolism of the characters’ placement involves the fact that the male stands next to the window, while his wife stands next to the bed. The husband has access to the world, and his wife‘s responsibilities pertain to the home and the creation of children. The location indicates their roles not only in society, but also in their home.
  God watches over the couple and he plays an important role in their lives.  To illustrate this point, a mirror hangs at the back of the room with ten images of Christ placed around it. In addition, a chandelier hangs in the center of the couple with one lit candle symbolizing the "eye of God" watching over the couple.  According to art historian  Claire d’Harcourt, “The artist, van Eyck consciously placed the chandelier candle and the mirror in the center of the couple to symbolize the religious significance of God and Christ in their lives."
In the“The Arnolfini Wedding,”  Jan van Eyck uses different symbols to represent a higher meaning to the audience. He wants the viewer to recognize that the couple has protection from God and Christ, and that their marriage will have fulfillment through their faith. The symbols used and their placement within the piece also indicate the holiness of the event.

  MOVING ON.......
1. We then proceeded to discuss artists of the "HIGH RENAISSANCE" primarily Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. We will continue discussing influential  Renaissance artists and their art on Tuesday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Introduction to Gothic Era

Dear Humanities Kids,
If you missed class on Thursday, May 12th, we completed the following:
1. We reviewed Dante's "Inferno" specifically the Cantos covering the "Lustful," "Suicides" and "Satan himself."
2. We then read the directions for your "Underworld" assignment. If you missed class the instructions are located in your red handout detailing the "Inferno." THE DUE DATE FOR YOUR UNDERWORLD is due on Wed. the 18th!  Please note the student example included in your red packet.

3. We then proceeded our discussion regarding the Gothic time period. If you missed class, please obtain this information from a friend, as you will have a QUIZ covering the Romanesque and Gothic time periods on Monday.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Welcome to "The Inferno!"

Dear Humanities Kids,

Students were introduced to the "The Inferno" by Dante Aglieri, a 12th century poet. Each student was given a copy of "The Inferno" to use in the creation of their underworld assignment.

The Underworld"....according to Dante......
If you missed class today, you were introduced to a new assignment entitled "Creating your own Underworld."Your Underworld will be due on Monday, May 16th. I will go into details regarding the requirements soon.

For your underworld assignment, I am asking you to consider your value system, and then devise punishments, just as Dante did in his "Inferno."  He developed his concepts for the punishments based upon the ancient Greeks' punishments for the sinners in Tartarus. I have included some images below of Dante's Inferno

This image depicts those that committed suicide. Dante felt that because they had not valued their human form while living, they would therefore be turned to trees.

The following example was submitted several years ago by a previous student.
He placed those that COMPLAIN at the top of his Inferno. I have included this example for you to follow. Notice that you must indicate the sin, why you consider it to be a sin, a suitable/ punishment, and then why the punishment is symbolic of the crime. Just as the Greeks devised suitable punishments for their criminals, your punishments need to be symbolic as well. Your punishments are not to be sadistic, and you can not punish the sin with the sin.
You will have seven paragraphs, each one pertaining to a different sin. 

Wesley's Well of Woes
Circle 1: Complainers/Pessimists: The individuals at the top of my “well of woes” are those that never seem to be happy. They moan and complain about tasks that are part of life, and simply must be completed. They also enjoy starting arguments, purely to witness a flight. Due to this, they remind me of the Greek god Ares. They are cowards, just as Ares, who have no concept of self-respect. They not only disrespect themselves, but those that are around them. I have included them in my “well,” because I feel they “infect” their “sin” upon other people without considering anyone but themselves. I also find that they waste so much time complaining, rather than using their time in a constructive manner.
PUNISHMENT: These sinners will be required to make lemonade for eternity. This will not only be a boring task, but a painful one as well, because they will have paper cuts over their finger tips. This punishment fits the crime. These sinners were unable to find anything positive about their existence; consequently, they will be required to take lemons, which are sour and bitter, as they chose to be while alive, into lemonade, which is sweet and refreshing. The paper cuts are symbolic of the many times they moaned or were negative about living, now while they make lemonade, they will be reminded of their sour and painful attitudes.

1. Please read Canto I pgs. 67-71
                      Canto II pgs. 89-93
                      Canto III pgs. 109-113
2. Create a list of your sins and symbolic punishments to accompany them.
3. Don't forget that CER #2 is due on FRIDAY, May 20th!
Let me know if you any questions!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Introduction to Romanesque Architecture, Art and Literature

Dear Humanities Kids,

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! If you missed class, we completed the following:

1. Each student indicated their appreciation to Rizwain, Shams and Smita through signing a "thank-you" card to each of them. We also discussed the possibility of going to the mosque in Sandy some time next week.

2. We  began our introduction to the Romanesque time period. The information regarding the Romanesque time period is located on your handout; however, I did give each student an additional handout to assist in identify certain architectural forms.

1. I need you to develop some schema regarding "The Inferno" by Dante. I asked each student to locate/annotate/notate and Internet source that would assist them in locating answers to the following questions:
             a. What is the primary plot line for Dante's "Inferno?"
             b. How many circles of Hell exist within the "Inferno?"
             c. Please identify four of the nine types of sinners and their corresponding punishments.
             e. Who is Dante's guide through the nine levels of Hell? Why?
             d. Identify the symbolic meaning to the "leopard," "the lion," and the "she-wolf."

Monday, May 2, 2011

We worked on our Five Pillars Assignment!

Dear Humanities Kids,
If you missed class, we worked on the following:
1. I gave each student an article concerning the following young woman. This article related to Muslim extremist treatment of women.
2. We then had the rest of the period to work on the "Personal Pillars" assignment.

. Journal #18 "Afghan Woman Punished"
                Tell me how this article made you feel and why you experienced those emotions. List five of the total questions that you considered the strongest. Basically, which questions, in your opinion, would cause another individual to think about, or even question, events indicated within the article.

1. Five Pillars assignment is due on Wed.
2. Please read and annotate the article concerning the woman from Afganistan.
3. Plan on a quiz covering Byzantine and Islamic culture.