Ceramics: Christ and Thomas

Luca della Robbia, Christ and Thomas 
Ceramics
By MARY MARGARET SIMS

Luca della Robbia was an Italian sculptor from Florence. He was born in 1399 and died in 1482. He is remembered mostly for his tin-glaze technique that he passed down for many generations. He not only sculpted out of stone but also used a clay called terracotta. Terracotta means “baked earth” and it is a type of earthenware that is used to make durable and sustainable pieces. 

His most famous terracotta sculpture is Christ and Thomas. He was commissioned by a political party named Guelphs. It depicts Thomas doubting the resurrection of Christ. The sculpture carries a lot of feelings of sorrow and doubt. The Guelphs were not pleased with this piece because the glaze was from a different sculpture in the city.
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Ceramics: Horus Falcon Vessel

Unknown, Horus Falcon Vessel
Ceramics
By MARY MARGARET SIMS

Horus is a god of the sky, war, and hunting. It the first god to be worshiped by all of Egypt. Egyptians made pottery before they started building the pyramids. We know that because the drawings on the stones of the pyramids had large vessels and pots. There were two types of clay that was from the Nile river red/brown clay, and marl clay. 

This Horus FalconVessel was made for a functional purpose rather than decorative. It was most commonly used as a vase. It was made and a range of different sizes from three inches to three feet. The end of the vase comes to a point so it can be stuck into the ground for storage. It mostly stored water, oil, wine, and grain. Later on the Horus Falcon Vessels were painted with beautiful golds, blues, and reds.
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Ceramics: Unika Classic Vase in Blue Glaze

Tortus Copenhagen, Unika Classic Vase in Blue Glaze 

Ceramics
By MARY MARGARET SIMS

Eric Landon, also known as Tortus Copenhagen, is a professional potter and designer. He is the Co-Founder of Tortus Copenhagen located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Erics love for pottery started when he was just 16. He graduated from the Danish school of Design in Copenhagen, and has received numerous awards for his ceramics. Tortus works with a grog-free stoneware and every piece that he sells is handmade in his studio in Denmark. 

Eric likes to focus more on fluid vases with a simple glazing technique. His glazing is mosting made up of the primary colors. This vase is called Unika Classic Vase in Blue Glaze. The body and form is very minimalistic. The blue glazes helps to bring out the overall beauty in this piece by not overpowering the feminine form.
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Ceramics: Oval Basin


Bernard PalissyOval Basin, 1550

Ceramics
By MARY MARGARET SIMS

Bernard Palissy was a French ceramicist and scientist in the 1500s. He was known for his rusticware, and was inspired by nature. He mostly made large oval platters with animals and vegetation on it. Palissy would design casts of dead animals and attach them onto his basins, ewers, and platters. He casted these precise clay animals because he was interested in close observation. He would then paint them natural colors with a shinny lead-based glaze on top to make it look more realistic. In the Oval Basin, Palissy used snakes, frogs, fish, lizards, crawfish, and shells to make his clay casts. He used a warm yellow orange glaze to make the animals pop and bring the whole piece together.
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Ceramics: Summer Sun/ Inlaid Nesting Bowls

Andrew Molleur, Summer Sun/ Inlaid Nesting Bowls

Ceramics
By MARY MARGARET SIMS

Andrew Molleur is a ceramicist and designer that was born in rural Connecticut but now lives and works in Kingston, New York. He was immediately drawn towards ceramics. Andrew uses multiple techniques that range from traditional to modern. Most of his works are functional pieces with geometric shapes. He went to Rhode Island School of Design and studied architecture, industrial design, and ceramics.
Andrew designs and creates all of his molds to produce all of his forms and uses a technique called slip casting. In this nesting bowl set the geometric designs are not painted on but rather individual hand laid pieces of colored porcelain. And the textures on these bowls are from the constant use of each mold. Andrew likes to use very minimalistic colors in all his pieces. Mostly using a grey scale with a pop of color.
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Color Theories: Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, Black on Grey, 1970

Color Theories
By  NAYOUNG KWON

Black on Grey portrays the life of the world renowned abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. He became well known for the ability to swiftly create modern pieces that expresses the way he sees the world. From multiple unbearable depressions and unstable pressure that Rothko's art career becomes a long ride of a roller coaster. In his earlier time of his career in art was moving steady and different transitions can be seen through the colors that he use.

The painting consists two colors of black and grey, but the grey is layered with fine layers of different tones. It can also be noticed that there are no concept of space which creates a feeling of isolation and loneliness. The color black itself can be seen through the personality of Rothko. The color feels secretive, serious yet it holds power and control, but releases sadness and these colors portray how Rothko felt over the years of his life and his career. It can be sensed from the painting that Rothko could have needed to break away from the pure pressure and frustration that he had built up. Self-denial and not being able to enjoy the little things even though he wishes to. However, it takes strong mind to create pieces that show one's true void of emotion because it's difficult to find out how one truly feels about themselves. Being able to express his sorrowful lives by choosing and laying out desired colors without being scared of those who critic is truly incredible.
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Color Theories: Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt, The Park, 1909-10 
Color Theories
BY NAYOUNG KWON 

Gustav Klimt, an Austrian Symbolist painter became successful for his gentile female portraits and using materials such as gold leaf. His delicate touches within the paintings give calming effects to those who see it. From his childhood Klimt was gifted with artistic talents that enabled him to grow as a fine artist despite living in poverty. With his dedication to use his skills efficiently, Klimt observed other artist's techniques and tricks to create his very own style. His observation and practice has provided him with success after success in the world of art. 

Green, the color of nature - symbolizing growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility -  becomes a part of Klimt's art career. Green shows few characteristics in Klimt, such as stability and endurance of competitors, and the ability to move forward with out hesitation or flinching. His development of his own style quickly grows like the trees in this painting, The Park. This painting consists of different cool tones of analogous colors (Yellow, Green, Blue) where green and blue provides the focal points and yellow used as a touch of highlights to show warmth. The painting is symmetrically pleasing and the collaboration of colors come together and create satisfaction when looking at it.
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Color Theories: Franz Marc

Franz Marc, The Yellow Cow,  1911 
Color Theories
By NAYOUNG KWON

Born in Germany, Franz Marc became an iconic figure during WWI, for his courageous actions in the battlefield. Not only he successfully gained honor in the war, he was famous for his bright, and colorful paintings. Over the years of his art career he developed his own code to portray his emotions and thoughts through color. The color blue is used to portray masculinity while the color Yellow was to show feminine, joy, and softness, and finally red portrayed the blocking the sound of violence. These three primary colors are simple yet at the same creates an odd but sad feeling when looking at his works.

When looking at most of Franz Marc's paintings he uses mostly blue, to show the masculinity within himself, and the expectations from the society that he has to bare. The animals that he paints could mean that he's comparing the humans with wild animals that are experiencing the same emotions and violence. That us humans are nothing more than animals and we don't have the choice but to live with it. In The Yellow Cow, yellow it portrays femininity but it also shows unsuitability. The cow in the painting moves freely but it looks as if its running from something. The bright color combination of red, blue, and green sets off as a background while creating a focal point of yellow. The urge to escape from noises of violence, and masculinity that he has dealt with portrays in the cow running through the fields -- just like Franz Marc.
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Color Theories: Matisse

 Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911
Color Theories
BY NAYOUNG KWON

Henri Matisse, successfully covered three movements: Fauvism, Modernism and Post-Impressionism, and helped define the world of visual arts during 20th century. During his childhood, Matisse became interested in painting to the disappointment of his father, while his mother supported his career in art. His dedication towards art grew strongly, as he describes it being "A kind of paradise" and could be an escape from chaos events in his life.

The color red is passionate, powerful,vibrant and eye-catching. Matisse loves using vibrant colors like red because it shows dominance. His strive for success and desire to move forward in the world full of competition can be seen through the color. Matisse is courageous in terms of using red because he was able compliment red with other colors but also created it as a focal point instead of making it into distraction. In The Red Studio, the color red accomplished the resist of illusion of a visually cramped studio. Although the symmetric walls give satisfaction, Matisse throws off the boring and consistent flow by adding crooked chairs and table. His use of red is energetic but also calming, the style that he has developed over the years with the use of red, have attracted millions of individuals to fall in love with this painting.


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Color Theories: Van Gogh


Color Theories
By NAYOUNG KWON 

Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch painter who focuses on post-impressionism became world renowned for creating pieces that reflects the every day life of what he sees. However his use of bold textures, themes, and the mood seems to give the feeling of mystery, especially in his choices of color. In mid point of his artistic career, Van Gogh's characteristics can be viewed through not the textures or themes but his colors. The colors show different emotions, and psychological behaviors that he suffered over the short years of his life.

The most common color that can be seen through out his art collections are blue. Psychologically speaking, people who use the color blue more often go through personal rejection, lack of communication and social skills, and they are easily discouraged. And the reason why the color fits well with Van Gogh is because he went through all those common traits. Even from his childhood, he could not have functioning relationships with friends or family. All the trauma and anxiety that he has experienced, he shuns them by painting.

Van Gogh successfully radiates the feeling of mellowness and melancholy in Starry Night with the use of yellow. The of warmth of the color reveals Van Gogh's distant relationship with the people around him, and how the sources of the light in the painting are far away. On a deeper level, the painting reveals Van Gogh's inner loneliness and the frustration towards himself and society.
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Brawlin' Broads: The Death of Orpheus

Émile Bin, The Death of Orpheus, 1874
Brawlin' Broads
By BLAIR HUXMAN

In his 1874 work, The Death of Orpheus, Bin focuses on Orpheus, an iconic member of Greek mythology. Bin primarily worked in France and Reims as a decorative artist for hotels, but also gained acclaim through his portrayal of mythological scenes. Here he shows the brutal murder of Orpheus by jealous women. Orpheus is most famous for his tragic love of Eurydice. Many people know the story of his wife dying and getting to come back - if only he does not look back when they escape the underworld. He looks back and she vanishes forever. 

After this event, Orpheus swore off woman and instead chose to cope with his grief through music. Known as the "first pederast," he strictly took on male lovers, which created fervid jealousy among women. Finially, a group of women from Thrace attacks and murders the grieving man. They tore his limbs apart and threw them in a river. His head sang as it floated down the river. The emotional scene depicting in this painting shows a range of feeling. From passion, lust, and fear, Bin dramatizes each on the characters' faces. He heavily stylizes the event to induce drama, intensity, and emotion. The women violently attack, looking determined and a little giddy. One woman aggressively holds Orpheus's head back as she prepares to decapitate him with a sickle while Orpheus looks to the heavens helplessly. Bin's rendition of the vengeful murder uses fluid movement, bright colors, and defined human forms to bring the painting to life as he captures the dramatic moment directly before the murder.
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Brawlin' Broads: Jael and Sisera

Artemisia Gentileschi, Jael and Sisera, 1620
Brawlin' Broads
By BLAIR HUXMAN

The Italian baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi depicts a murderous biblical scene in Jael and Sisera. The scene comes from the Book of Judges and shows Jael's decision to murder Sisera, a Canaanite general who is a threat to her people. Sisera was a cruel leader who ruled the Israelites for over 20 years. During one battle, Sisera escapes and Jael, the wife of Herber the Kenite, welcomes him into her tent. She feeds and comforts him, even possible seducing the warlord. While he rests, she drives a tent peg into his brain. Jael appears almost serene before the act. She is determined to do what will save her people. Gentileschi chose to show the moment directly before the climax of the scene. Her arm carefully aiming above his head before crashing down leaves the viewer with a gut feeling of suspense and impatience. What happens next? Is she successful? By showing the moment directly before the murder, Gentileschi leaves the viewer in a suspended state of anticipation.

Gentileschi was inspired by Caravaggio and was influenced by his unique style. This work is similar to Judith Beheading Holofernes, in that a biblical woman acts independently to murder a military leader to preserve her people. Caravaggio's work was praised and set a precedent for depicting female independence. Without it, Gentileschi's painting of a woman not acting under the influence of a man would have been met with fervent criticism. Gentileschi's style shares many similarities to Caravaggio. Clothes have soft folds and fall gracefully and characters are softly illuminated by an outside light source. Many art historians have noticed a resemblance between Caravaggio's face and Sisera's. Some believe she is symbolically disgracing her long time idol by killing him in this painting. However, historians do not know what caused this seemingly sudden disdain for her primary influencer. It almost appears like Jael is sculpting marble - which could hold and entirely different meaning. No one knows exactly what feelings she is conveying towards Caravaggio. No matter the meaning, Gentileschi intentionally draws the viewer into this dramatic scene with her skillful depictions of human emotion and form.
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Brawlin' Broads: Plate 9: No Quieren

Francisco Goya, No Quieren, 1810
Brawlin' Broads
By BLAIR HUXMAN

Goya's series of 82 prints, The Disasters of War, expose the raw brutality of war. Personally, I find them more impactful than most anti-war art because of the lack of a political agenda from Goya. He created the plates to show the horrors of war, not to send a political message or glorify war. Early on in this series of plates that depict the Peninsular War between France and Spain, it is clear what side each soldier fights for. However, as the series progresses, this distinction becomes increasingly convoluted until it is impossible to identify a French civilian or soldier from a Spanish one. The plates do not glorify the violence because they do not dramatize the events and depict Spaniards as some kind of hero. He indiscriminately shows the atrocities committed by both sides. 

This particular plate shows a young women being attacked by a soldier. An elderly women lunges at the man from the side with a knife to prevent what will likely become a sexual assault. The lines are rough and stiff, but still convey fluidity and intensity within the scene. The viewer can feel the woman's anguish as she desperately attempts to push her attacker away. We can see the determination on the man's face as he forcibly grabs her. Goya chose to not use color in the series of plates. He believed it was unnecessary, and black and white was all he needed to show what he desired. Because Goya sketches the scene, it feels candid and unplanned. It is not staged with models. Instead, he viewed the event first hand and cared more about showing the brutality off the event instead of stylizing it and showing off his painting skills. He does not romanticize the event; he shows it unfiltered and without bias. Goya's series, The Disasters of War, boldly captures the chaos and terror of war from an onlooker's perspective.

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Brawlin' Broads: Judith Beheading Holofernes

Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1599-1602
Brawlin' Broads
By BLAIR HUXMAN


Countless artists have depicted the beheading of Holofernes since the original recounting of the story. Caravaggio's rendition has attained acclaim for centuries and inspired countless artists. He chooses to take the unique perspective of depicting the event at its dramatic climax, while other artists of the day chose a more passive, somber approach. A popular topic of the time, Judith Beheading Holofernes is a classic story of the bible. Judith saves her people by seducing the Assyrian general Holofernes. Holofernes rests vulnerably in bed, power damped by nudity and intoxication. Judith severs his head to put in her sack and force his people to retreat. Judith became known as a symbol of triumph over tyranny for her dramatic role in the bible. Her purity and calamity contrasts with the savagery and pain of Holofernes as Caravaggio divides the work in half. Caravaggio allows the viewer to watch this violent act unfold, unable to intervene and haunted by Holoferne's inhuman screams and contorted face frozen in time.

Caravaggio's masterfully depicts human emotion through his beautiful use of color, depth, and shadow. He shows Judith's ambivalence towards the gruesome act. The viewer feels her repulsion, but also her desperation and willingness to sacrifice for her people. Caravaggio perfectly paints these contrasting emotions within Judith's face. Her body language and facial expressions show her unwavering determination but also reservations about the beheading. Her servant stoically holds her bag open in anticipation to aid her master. The firm, emotionless figures of the right sharply differ from the man in excruciating pain on the left. His eyes show not only surprise, but shock of the unexpected betrayal of Judith. He has no time to think or react consciously; his face contorts to express his despair and hopelessness until his death.
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Brawlin' Broads: Charlotte Corday

Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry, Charlotte Corday, 1860
Brawlin' Broads
By BLAIR HUXMAN

Baudry memorializes Charlotte Corday's little-known role in the French Revolution in this 1860 work. Corday hides in the corner after murdering radical political activist Jean-Paul Marat. The scene became iconic in France and artists have made countless renditions. Corday opposed Marat's role during the Reign of Terror and tragic September Massacres where thousands of prisoners were preemptively executed in fear of uprising. Corday initially planned on killing Marat in front of the National French Convention, but Marat's health had deteriorated from a skin condition. She went to his house feigning insight on a planned uprising, found him in his bath where he spent most of his time, and plunged a knife into his heart. For days after his murder, Corday was executed by guillotine. Corday quickly became an iconic figure of the revolution and empowered women across France.

This work was Baudry's only attempt at a historical painting as he found fame primarily in portraits and murals. Corday calmy stares across the room after killing Marat. Her striped dress falls gently and provides elegance to a chaotic room. Corday stares pensively across the room, knowing she will be found guilty of murder and likely executed, but she does not show her fear. The soft light illuminating from the window highlights Corday as the subject of the work as the eye sees Marat in the shadows secondly. His hand still grasps the corner of the tub and his face grimaces in pain, giving live and emotion to a corpse. Behind Corday, one sees a map of France on the wall which helps provide the viewer with the necessary historical context. Corday is an all-too-often forgotten heroine of the revolution who sacrificed her life to save thousands, and Baudry captures the emotion and energy in Marat's room directly after his murder with ease and poise.
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Mythic Art: Cuauhtemoc Against the Myth

Cuauhtemoc Against the Myth, David Alfaro Siqueiros, 1944

Mythic Art
By MISSY ROSENTHAL 

Artist David Alfaro Siqueiros created Cuauhtemoc Against the Myth to illustrate the downfall of Mexican culture due to the arrival of Europeans. Cuauhtemoc, the last ruler of the Aztecs, is synonymous to the death of native culture in Mexico. In the bottom right of the piece sits Quetzalcóatl the serpent G-d, another symbol of the defeat of indigenous Mexicans. Cuauhtemoc Against the Myth attempts to interpret the idea that Europeans and Natives can subsist on the same land in harmony. The horses fused with their riders illustrates the inhuman way Europeans annihilated the Aztecs. The Europeans rationalized their actions through the guise of converting these "savages" to Christianity, as exemplified by the cross and rosary beads. As Cuauhtemoc battles for freedom, his deceased relative Moctezuma prays for salvation.

Siqueiros paints this mural towards the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the rise of fascism in Central and Latin America. Siqueiros himself fought in the Spanish-American war and joined the National League Against Fascism and War as a result. The artist creates this piece as an protest to Fascist regimes and to warn his fellow countrymen to be wary of foreign imperialism especially from the United States.

Cuauhtemoc Against the Myth uses artistic tactics that make the piece successful in meaning. The artist places the central light in the work on Moctezuma in order to express his hope for the peace and prosperity of his descendants. The platform that raises Cuauhtemoc illustrates that the ruler and the Spanish conquistadors are on the same level literally and metaphorically. The Spanish battle using the lord as their weapon whereas Cuauhtemoc uses a mixing of colors to fight symbolizing his cultural identity. Although the pursuits of Cuauhtemoc are not myth, Siqueiros work incorporates blending of colors and three dimensional-looking shapes in order to showcase a deeper meaning than just the subject itself, which makes this piece a work Mythic Art. 
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Mythic Art: Perseus Rescues Andromeda

Perseus Rescues Andromeda, Piero di Cosimo, 1510 
Mythic Art
By MISSY ROSENTHAL

Andromeda was the beautiful daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiope of Joppa. Cassiope boasts to the Nereid sea nymphs about that Andromeda was far more beautiful than them. As an act of revenge, Poseidon ( G-d of the seas) sent a sea monster to Cepheus and Cassiope's kingdom. Only the sacrifice of Andromeda would appease the monster and the g-ds, leaving her to be chained to a rock and eaten by a horde of sea monsters. Perseus happened to be flying overhead on his Pegasus, upon seeing Andromeda he falls madly in love and proposes marriage. She accepts his proposal, leading Perseus to then slaughter the sea monster. 

Cosimo's rendition of the classic story adds drama to the piece through its intricate details. Unlike other depictions of the story, Cosimo includes figurines of the towns people to convey that Cassiope's reckless taunting did effect not just her daughter but the whole town. The artist highlights the immense size of the monster through perspective, such as the small housing atop the hill. The artist also shows perspective by using a rock in the foreground of the piece as a vanishing point. Additionally, Cosimo portrays the monster’s sheer size through the low water level. 

Cosimo incorporates a variety of cultures in the work, showing that though this story appears in Greek mythology it can be appreciated and its messages can be heeded by all. Perseus Rescues Andromeda preaches the negativities of gossip through the use of sinister mythological creatures, making this piece Mythic Art. 
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