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Essay/Term paper: Quick history of art

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Humanities: Quick History Of Art, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

Before the portrayal of the human body can be critiqued,

you must understand the artist's culture. As man evolved

over centuries, his views of the body also transformed. Our

tour definitely showed the drastic changes in different

cultures' art. Each culture and era presents very distinct

characteristics. Through time and experimentation, we have

expressed our views of the human body clearly with our

art. Egyptians were the first people to make a large impact

on the world of art. Egyptians needed art for their religious

beliefs more than decoration or self- gratification. The most

important aspect of Egyptian life is the ka, the part of the

human spirit that lives on after death. The ka needed a

physical place to occupy or it would disappear. Most of

the important men of Egypt paid to have their body carved

out of stone. That was were the spirit would live after the

man dies. They used stone because it was the strongest

material they could find. Longevity was very important. The

bodies are always idealized and clothed. Figures are very

rigid, close-fisted, and are built on a vertical axis to show

that the person is grand or intimidating. Most of the figures

were seen in the same: profile of the legs, frontal view of

the torso, and profile of the head. Like most civilizations,

Egyptians put a lot of faith in gods. The sky god Horus, a

bird, is found in a great amount ! of Egyptian art. Little

recognition was ever given to the artists. The emphasis was

on the patron. Early Greek art was greatly influenced by

the Egyptians. Geography permitted both cultures to

exchange their talents. The beginning of Greek art is

marked by the Geometric phase. The most common art

during the Geometric phase was vase painting. After the

vase was formed but before it was painted, the artist

applied a slip (dark pigment) to outside. Then the vase was

fired and the artist would incise his decorations into the

hard shell. It was important to incise humans into the fired

slip and not paint with slip. The people in the pictures

needed light colored skin, which was the color beneath the

slip, because Greeks wanted to make their art as realistic

as possible. Much like Egyptian art, the Greeks idealized

the bodies of the people in their works. As the Archaic

Period evolved, Greek sculptures were almost identical to

the Egyptians'. Unlike Egyptians, the Greeks refined their

techniques. Greeks used marble to construct their

sculptures. It was considered more valuable and beautiful

than any material available. They softened the lines of the

body. Greek sculptors slowly perfected every contour in

the human figure. Greek people viewed the human body as

something beautiful and so they depicted nude men.

Women were eventually nude but only when there was a

reason, they needed to be bathing or something where they

would be naked. They people that are sculpted are always

young and their bodies are still idealized. The Greeks

invented contrapposto, the relaxed natural stance of a

sculpture. A figure that is standing in contrapposto

becomes a sculpture in the round, meaning that the

emphasis is not only on a frontal view but also from all

angles. The Hellenistic Period emerged as the Romans

began to produce some of the finest art in history. This new

revolutionary style was incredible. Figures weren't confined

to the unnatural or boring positions they had for centuries.

All body parts were in perfect proportion. These statues

came alive as their limbs reached out into space. Vacant

stares evolved into human emotions, which were easily

recognized on their faces. I think this renaissance portrayed

the way people were thinking. They were exploring

philosophy, religion, and politics. This was a time for

rebirth. Christian art was introduced during the middle of

the second century. In many cases the only difference

between Christian art and Hellenistic art is the religious

subject matter. After a slow start the Christians introduced

something new, the mosaic. Mosaics became a favorite

medium for decorating churches. Man was viewed in

religious scenes due to the spread of Christianity. Byzantine

and medieval art was very representative. The artists' ability

to produce lifelike figures had regressed. The emphasis was

not on man anymore. Their art was made to glorify God.

The fifteenth century marked the arrival of the Renaissance.

Artists have finally recaptured the amazing detail and

realism that the Greeks and Romans perfected. Artists

pushed the limits with new exciting mediums and bright

colors. Filippo Brunelleschi, allowed artists to determine

the relative size of each figure by inventing the vanishing

point perspective. With that tool it was possible to put

everything in perfect proportion. Humans were not always

idealized as they were in earlier centuries. Many elderly

people are found in the paintings. Neoclassical paintings

commonly showed contemporary garments and scenes.

History painting became very popular. A larger transition

was made when color was used to set a mood or express

inner feelings. Nothing like this had ever been considered.

Man viewed his experiences as important stepping stones.

To assure that experiences aren't forgotten they were

preserved in artworks. Humans are often used in modern

art. Although the people may appear very large or

important, they are usually just vehicles used to convey a

message to the audience. In Segal's Red Light, we saw a

man walking alone in front of n old truck. The man was not

colored at all. He seemed to be sauntering across a street

at night. A feeling of depression or sadness surrounds the

man. The human is not important but the emotion is. Most

of the modern art uses the human body to portray a feeling

or emotion. Rarely will you find any new art that displays a

humans because they extraordinary. Romantic landscaping

is incredible. The idea of most of these pieces is to show

how insignificant man is. Before humans were always the

center of attention but now here they are almost trivial.

Artists like Thomas Cole show us what is pure and simple.

The paintings use a lot of color to create very natural,

unaffected scenes. It seems that we come upon these

landscapes almost by accident. They depict ideal settings

that are unscathed by the injustices of the world. In my

opinion, the beauty of these works is unsurpassed by any

other art. Through the ages each culture had its own

interpretation of what the human body means. I have briefly

explained a few of the broadest views of the human body.

In order to explain one in great detail would take volumes.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mona's tour of the museum and I

hope to see her there again.  

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