WELCOME! My name is Kelsey and this my art history blog :) I hope that whatever I share can be helpful to you but this also my way of studying for my own AP art history exam. But in the end I hope that I am not the only one benefitting from it.
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/

So I went to the Norton Simon today! It was absolutely beautiful! I wanted to touch everything! I’m not even kidding my face was less than an inch away from Van Gogh’s “The Mulberry Tree.” And they had some of Peter Paul Rubens art! AND I got up close and personal with some of Degas’s portraits and sculptures of little ballerinas. I even got to see some Rodins who is one of my all time favorites! It was a gorgeous museum. It was not my first time there and it most certainly will not be my last.

(Sorry I’m typing this on my phone so bear with me.)

N: The Slave Ship
D: 1840
P/S: Romanticism
A: J. M. W. Turner
Pa: none
L: Britain
M/T: oil on canvas
F: landscape portrait
C: criticizing slave trade
Dt: painterly
Ideas: political comment
Innovative: thick brush strokes

So The Slave Ship. Some of you might recognize this as a cover to a Vampire Weekend album but that isn’t why the painting is important. It was painted during the time of rising sectionalism before the civil war and comments on the slave trade. 

What would happen is that life on boats was very unsanitary and difficult for slaves that were being transported to the states. If by the time the boat was docked in the US and there were dead or severely sick slaves on the ship the captain and slave trader would be taxed and charged heavily for those slaves. What is happening in the painting is that those sick and dead slaves are being TOSSED OVERBOARD so that in the end there would be no charge for them. 

Turner painted what he imagined these scenes to look like. For those of you taking the AP exam you know that Turner was the attribution question last year. But too many people thought the painting was a Monet so the question was tossed out. Turner is described as being painterly because of how thick his brush strokes are. Which is also why this was confused for a Monet.

(Sorry I’m typing this on my phone so bear with me.)

N: The Slave Ship
D: 1840
P/S: Romanticism
A: J. M. W. Turner
Pa: none
L: Britain
M/T: oil on canvas
F: landscape portrait
C: criticizing slave trade
Dt: painterly
Ideas: political comment
Innovative: thick brush strokes

So The Slave Ship. Some of you might recognize this as a cover to a Vampire Weekend album but that isn’t why the painting is important. It was painted during the time of rising sectionalism before the civil war and comments on the slave trade.

What would happen is that life on boats was very unsanitary and difficult for slaves that were being transported to the states. If by the time the boat was docked in the US and there were dead or severely sick slaves on the ship the captain and slave trader would be taxed and charged heavily for those slaves. What is happening in the painting is that those sick and dead slaves are being TOSSED OVERBOARD so that in the end there would be no charge for them.

Turner painted what he imagined these scenes to look like. For those of you taking the AP exam you know that Turner was the attribution question last year. But too many people thought the painting was a Monet so the question was tossed out. Turner is described as being painterly because of how thick his brush strokes are. Which is also why this was confused for a Monet.

N: Allegory on the Outbreak of War
D: 1638
P/s: Baroque
A: Peter Paul Rubens
Pa: Fernando II
L: Florence
M/T: Oil on Canvas
F: Relay a story
C: pagan references
Dt: Chiarascuro, slope
Ideas: Legacy of the internationalists
I or T: traditional

Where do I begin on this piece…. hmmmm…. Let’s start with the seemingly insignificant door in the background. HA! Yeah right. Like it’s anything but significant. That is actually the door to the Temple of Janus. During the Roman era the door to the Temple of Janus remained shut in times of peace. If the door was left open then it meant the Romans were in a time of war. This is a visual representation of on what the outbreak of war looks like.
The man in the middle with the fancy helmet and and shield is actually Mars, the God of War. According to the story Mars is actually the person that left the door open. (Thanks a lot Mars -__-). As you can he is trampling books which is a reference to the fact that at this time in history during times of war all forms of education would be temporarily forgotten and excused. Also you see the man in the bottom right corner. We can tell by the utensils in his hands that he is an architect. He is also being trampled because during times of war buildings are normally destroyed and brought to ruin. We can also see some monsters above the people being trampled. They are plague and famine breaking out into the world.
Let’s talk about the women in the picture next. First the naked woman wrapped around Mars. Yeah, that’s actually his woman, Venus. She is desperately trying to hold him back from war and her little love bug cherubs are trying to assist her (that is pretty cute if you ask me). In front of Mars there is Fury Alecto who is pulling him into war. The woman in black is Europa, who has suffered time and time again. The last woman I would like to point out is the woman on the ground next to the architect. Although we do not know who she is she carries a broken lute , which symbolizes harmony cannot exist in times of war.

N: Allegory on the Outbreak of War

D: 1638

P/s: Baroque

A: Peter Paul Rubens

Pa: Fernando II

L: Florence

M/T: Oil on Canvas

F: Relay a story

C: pagan references

Dt: Chiarascuro, slope

Ideas: Legacy of the internationalists

I or T: traditional

Where do I begin on this piece…. hmmmm…. Let’s start with the seemingly insignificant door in the background. HA! Yeah right. Like it’s anything but significant. That is actually the door to the Temple of Janus. During the Roman era the door to the Temple of Janus remained shut in times of peace. If the door was left open then it meant the Romans were in a time of war. This is a visual representation of on what the outbreak of war looks like.

The man in the middle with the fancy helmet and and shield is actually Mars, the God of War. According to the story Mars is actually the person that left the door open. (Thanks a lot Mars -__-). As you can he is trampling books which is a reference to the fact that at this time in history during times of war all forms of education would be temporarily forgotten and excused. Also you see the man in the bottom right corner. We can tell by the utensils in his hands that he is an architect. He is also being trampled because during times of war buildings are normally destroyed and brought to ruin. We can also see some monsters above the people being trampled. They are plague and famine breaking out into the world.

Let’s talk about the women in the picture next. First the naked woman wrapped around Mars. Yeah, that’s actually his woman, Venus. She is desperately trying to hold him back from war and her little love bug cherubs are trying to assist her (that is pretty cute if you ask me). In front of Mars there is Fury Alecto who is pulling him into war. The woman in black is Europa, who has suffered time and time again. The last woman I would like to point out is the woman on the ground next to the architect. Although we do not know who she is she carries a broken lute , which symbolizes harmony cannot exist in times of war.

N: Justinian and Theodora mosaics

D: 526-547 CE

P/S: Early Byzantine

A:Unknown

Pa: Julian the Banker (I really can’t with this name)

L: Ravenna, Italy

M/T: Brick and glass

F: church remembrance of St. Vitales

C: the political and spiritual reach of Justinian and Theodora

DT: mosaics, insitu

Ideas: Christ’s “right hand man”

I or T: (I have no notes on whether or not it’s innovation or tradition)

So let me set the stage. The Roman Empire has already fallen (along with their artistic skill and architectural technology). The conversion to Christianity has been long in the process and the leader of the Byzantine world is Justinian and at his side is his wife Theodora. The two mosaics are found at San Vitale (keep in mind Theodora’s is found outside the church. She may be royal but she’s still a woman *sad face*). I’m sorry for the quality on Theodora’s. But I am focusing more on the Justinian mosaic. There’s so much symbolism in this piece I can’t even take it. Okay maybe I can. (Before I begin I’d just like to say I wrote an AMAZING comparison essay on this piece about symbolism in art for my first semester final. If anyone would like to read it just message me and I’ll post it.) Let’s start with the positioning of the piece. In the church it is found immediately to the right of a huge mosaic of Christ. By accident? I think NOT! It was placed there to show Justinian’s devotion to Christ as placing him as Christ’s “right hand man.” Next up there are twelve men in the mosaic, including Justinian. A reference to the twelve apostles? I think YES! Just another way of Justinian showing his devotion. Now let’s think about this. San Vitale is a long way from where Justinian ruled. And not once did Justinian visit the church after the mosaic was finished. This is because he didn’t need to! His power and authority could be felt from miles away just because of this one mosaic. I don’t know about you but I wish one of my selfies had that much power.

PLEASE KEEP UPDATING YOU CAN SAVE MY LIFEAASDKFJHASKLDFJHAKLJSDF. I NEED YOU TO MAKE ME UNDERSTAND APAH. UPDATE EVERYDAY 10 TIMES A DAY, I NEED TO MEMORIZE 500 WORKS OF ART IN 3 MONTHS AND I KNOW 2. PLEASE. YOUR BLOG FELT LIKE AN ORGASM WHEN I FOUND IT.

Ohmyogsh you’re welcome! I was worried no one would follow my blog lol. I’ll try to update as much as I can. People like you will keep me motivated so if you have to spam my inbox please do!!!!! Also if you have any requests with certain styles of art, certain eras, (sorry this list is about to go on) key terms, artist, events, or just any questions at all please ask. I want to post not just what I need but what other people need too. I just posted another art piece so I hope you’ll like it :) I’m about to go start another one just because you just made me really excited :D

Just one of my all time favorite  pieces of art

N: Laocoon and his Sons

D: Early first century

P/S: Hellenistic Baroque

A: Athanadorus, Hagesandros, and Polydoros

Pa: Unknown

L: Rome, Italy

M/T: Marble

F: Illustration of a story

C: a priest of Troy

Dt: scupture, emotion, theatricality

Ideas: Immense detail

I or T: Traditional

Now I could go on and on about what an amazing piece this is (not just because it’s a favorite of mine) but I’ll spare you from my rambling. Laocoon and his sons is back from the ancient greek era of the Hellenistic Baroque. Now you may be asking if it’s Greek then why is it located in Rome. That’s because it’s located at the Vatican museum today and we are unsure of exactly where in Greece it was made. Before I continue the hard facts about the piece let me give you a quick spiel on exactly who Laocoon was. Now if I get this wrong I’m sorry, I’m not exactly a history buff on ancient Troy. Laocoon was a priest of Troy who warned the city to beware the Trojan horse. Of course no one believed him and for spewing lies Laocoon and his two sons were sentenced to death. The sculpture depicts the scene of of their death. 

Now your next question may be how can it be a considered a baroque piece if the baroque happened centuries after the hellenistic era. It is considered hellenistic baroque because of the emotion the sculpture evokes, which is a prime characteristic of baroque art. Also the immense amount of detail found in the piece is extraordinary. Just looking at one of his sons faces there is so much sheer emotion that is being shown. I love this piece for so many reasons and the amount of detail has to be one of them. The skill of the three sculptors is remarkable and should be recognized. Especially since not long after this came the fall of the Roman empire and all of this skill and technology would be lost for centuries until the renaissance.

The Venus of Willendorf

 

Say hello to the oldest known women in the world.

N: Venus of Willendorf

D: 28,000-25,000 BCE

P/S: Paleolithic

A: Unknown

Pa: Unknown

L: Austria

M/T: Limestone, red paint

F: Fertility charm?

C: Unknown

Dt: fertility figure

ideas: physical features of what is considered what fertile women would be like

I or T: Unclear.

The Venus of Willendorf is one of the oldest artifacts ever found. She is nearly 30,000 years old and although we believe she is a fertility charm there’s just no way of ever truly knowing without stealing a time machine (maybe the Doctor will let us borrow his ;D ) but back to business. We only believe she is a fertility figure because of her fairly large….. endowments. It is unclear of whether she is innovative or traditional because because again we just don’t have any way of knowing what kind of world she lived in. She is just too old for us to ever truly know her.

The best art history study method (in my opinion).

Let’s face it. There’s a shit ton of art in the world! As much as I’d like to think that all it takes is memorizing the title and artist of a piece that is just not the case. Thanks to my own amazing art history teacher I have the perfect study  method (again in my opinion). They’re called Art Cards. Sorry the title isn’t catchier. Basically it’s a index card with all the information you could need about an piece. From the materials it’s made out of to the piece’s original location you have a complete over view of the piece. Here is the basic layout of an art card. 

N: name of artwork

D: date the work was produced

P/S: art historical period or style of the work (i.e. a high renaissance piece         in the mannerist style.)

A: artist or architect

Pa: Patron (basically the person paying for the piece. If they’re not signing a check they’re not a patron)

L: original location (no the museum they’re in does not count)

M/T: materials and technique used to create the piece (i.e. pigment and plaster orrrrr fresco)

F: Function of the artwork (how it’s used or why it was produced)

C: context that the piece was created for (this is NOT the same as function. Context is sort of like what the piece means. For instance context could be the skill that is being shown by the artist or how the piece is used as a symbolism for someone’s faith or power and authority)

DT: descriptive terms or vocabulary words associated with the piece

Ideas: relevant ideas of the work (terms and themes) this spot isn’t always filled out

I or T: Innovative or traditional (does the artwork offer something new to the table or does it use innovations from previous artists?)

I’ll be using this layout when talking about any art piece I share on this blog.

First post :)

Welcome! My name is Kelsey and this is my art history blog :) I’m a high school senior and am currently taking AP Art History. It has been my favorite class out of four years of high school. My hope for this blog is that not only will it help me to study for the art history exam in May but that it can help someone else too! It is only the beginning of this blog so bear with me as I get my life together lol.