The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:

  • written by Steve Conrad
  • directed by Ben Stiller
  • released in 2013

I first watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in the movie theater and have since purchased and watched it multiple times. I even hosted a “Walter Mitty” themed birthday party for my husband in which all of the guests came dressed wearing blue.

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Why blue?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is filmed with an overall blue hue. Not only is it recognizable in the way the movie is filmed, but also in the characters eyes– specifically the eyes of Walter Mitty– and in the way the rooms are decorated and in how the people dress.  The blue is very exaggerated and at the same time very subtle. It is beautiful. The extra features in the movie briefly mention the blue theme, yet fail to give an explanation. My thought is that it adds to the artistic flare and symbolism of the movie. Blue often represents LIFE.

I chose this film because it an artwork masterpiece in every way.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty had a $125,000,000 budget and received a $189,101,030 worldwide profit. Compare this to the Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s  $340,000,000 budget and $1,398,442,727 worldwide profit for reference. Please note, I do not think that the finances negate the quality and success of the movie. I believe The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an extremely successful movie– watch it, and I believe you will agree. Quite simply, it is every adventurous person’s dream exposed in a movie. Not every person clings to their adventurous side; no worries, the movie is filmed in the most exquisite way, appealing to photographers, filmographers, and those who appreciate beauty.

If you do not feel drawn to adventure or beauty… sorry… the movie also has a great storyline:

Walter MItty works in the photo developing department for LIFE magazine. He is single, soft spoken, and lacks confidence. When advised to “spice up” his dating website profile, Mitty struggles. He has no adventuresome stories or exciting life-experiences to share. When Mitty’s job is threatened, he sets out on the most adventurous escapade of his anyone’s life.

The film offers many transitions between reality and imagination. The transitions are instant, as if they are in fact reality, but soon revealed to be only imagination. You see the camera slowly zooming closer into Walter Mitty, blurring out the background, confirming the illusion that he is day dreaming.

Here is a clip that exemplifies these transitions: (NOTICE the blues- imagine all of the work from the costume, decorating, set team that went into that!)

Eventually, there is no need for imagination, and Walter Mitty experiences adventure without transition.

After watching that scene, you will also notice the strong use of special effects. Now, that scene is one of the most “cheesy” scenes in the film, as an idea, but visually, it is amazing. To create that scene in the midst of an office building is incredible.  In this particular scene, we see Walter Mitty fade in and out of the scene, revealing that he is in fact, day-dreaming. The snow is falling inside of the office, while the rest of the visual effects take place outside of the office wall.

Here is another scene in which Mitty and a man are being chased by volcano smoke. Oh, and notice the man standing on the airplane as he photographs the eruption. Aww, the power of visual effects!

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Patton Oswalt plays Mitty’s eHarmony representative throughout the movie. His character is unique in that we only HEAR his voice until he makes his first on-screen appearance at the very end. Oswalt has a very distinct voice and the entire movie you are left wondering where you recognize it from. (King of Queens, I presume.) There is humor when Oswalt (Todd Maher in the movie) phones Mitty to check up on him while Mitty is in the most unusual of places to ever imagine answering your phone, let alone having cell phone service.

 The use of sound manipulation via foley artists is present throughout the entire film. The “clickety-clackity” of the train passing over Mitty as he speaks with Todd Maher for the first time is most definitely created by the talents of Marko A. Costanzo. Not to mention the “ping” of the coin thrown at Mitty to get his attention while “zoned out” in one of his day dreams or the ice that “crackles” down from the office ceiling in the height of his day dream.

This movie symbolizes the idea of stepping out of comfort zones, embracing passions, letting go of constraints, and experiencing life to its fullest. Mitty’s “zoning out” allows him to experience all of these things, while still being in the reality of his mundane life. His day dreams symbolize suppression. His real life adventure symbolizes the freedom one can experience when stepping out.

Listen to this song as you continue.

“Stay Alive” was specifically written for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by Ryan Adams and performed and recorded by Jose Gonzalez.  Jose Gonzalez’ music is featured multiple times in the soundtrack, including the tracks “Dream,” “Far Away,” and “Step Out.” The soundtrack is definitely worth listening to and accurately embodies the heart of the movie. It also includes well-known artists such as Jack Johnson, Of Monsters and Men, David Bowie, and more.

This movie is extremely inspirational and encourages me to live life to the fullest and write my own adventure. It is inspiring, touching, and simply beautiful. It is an extremely unique movie for Ben Stiller to produce and be featured in, but it is one of his best. Do not depend on the movie’s average ratings; rather, experience it for yourself. You will be amazed by the BEAUTY it portrays.

Work Cited

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” The Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc, n.d. Web.
15 Dec. 2013. 4 August 2015.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0359950/

 “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (PG.)” Box Office Media. pro.boxoffice.com, Inc, 15 Dec. 2013. Web.                                4 August 2015 http://pro.boxoffice.com/statistics/movies/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-2013

Wikipedia contributors. “José González (singer).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Aug. 2015. Web. 5 Aug. 2015.

 

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A Post Modern Take on Art

This is a TRAVELING art exhibit.

Please make sure to wear your walking shoes.

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Post Modernists seek to challenge some of the factors that had come forth in the evolution of Modernism– specifically referencing the avant-garde and paradox that embodied the era. Post Modern artists tend to take styles from previous eras and blend them together, completely redefining the styles original intention. Artists use humor, imitation, and irony rather than one firm stance, in order to protect critique and revision of the art from taking place.

Julian Beever is a great example of this Post Modern mentality. He is a well-known British artist whose canvas of choice is… none other than… pavement. His pieces are often light-hearted and humorous and always unique. He graduated from Art at Leeds Met. University and began painting on pavement in the 90s.

Beever speaks of his beginnings and inspiration– “I got started when I was in a pedestrian street in Brussels where an old garden had been removed. This left an unusual rectangle of paving slabs which gave me the idea to convert this in to a drawn swimming pool in the middle of the high street! It worked so well I tried other variations such as a well with people falling in. I soon realized that if you could make things appear to go into the pavement you could equally make them appear to stand out of it.”

In his early days of pavement painting, Beever focused on well-known men and women in order to draw attention, but after gaining recognition, his focus shifted to fulfilling commissions from corporate businesses and political campaigns.

A couple interesting things to note as we prepare to view some of Beever’s work..

  • His pieces are drawn with chalk and are therefore washed away in the rain.
  • His pieces only appear 3-dimensional when viewed from the perspective of a camera at a specific angle.

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Beever created “Meeting Mr. Frog” in Salamanca, Spain. The year is not documented. As you see, this piece depicts an over-sized frog in a pond on top of a lily pad. The little girl in this photo is not part of Beever’s chalk artwork, rather; it is Beever’s daughter. She is often seen posing in his artwork. The utilization of an actual person in the piece brings the perspective to another level. It allows us to visualize the size and 3-dimensionalism of the piece more accurately. The details of the flowers appear to pop out of the piece, as well as the frog itself. The ripples in the pond bring a new level of dimension for the viewer.

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Ballantine’s wanted in on the fun and commissioned Beever to chalk up a piece for the “Leave an Impression” campaign. Beever definitely left an impression, all right! “Leave an Impression” became a play on words, as Beever illustrated the bottle to be literally making an impression in the ground. The piece was completed on December 18, 2009 and would be present until Christmas (so long as it did not rain, of course.) The Ballantine Scotch Whiskey bottle was displayed at the Hearthrow airport in London. His use of detail is impeccable. The shadowing of the impression in the ground, the realness of the bottle’s seal, and the matte finish of the label, definitely make this a notable piece. Here is a photo of an actual Ballantine’s Whiskey bottle:

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“Make Poverty History” is another campaign that Beever was requested to shed light on; however, this campaign was more political than commercial. Live8 contacted Beever to chalk up this image with the hopes that it would draw a lot of attention. And draw attention it did. Over 225,000 were able to observe this piece in July of 2005, in Edinburgh, Scotland– not to mention the amount of people that would be able to view the piece online due to the fact that, despite the inevitable disappearance of the piece, a photo lasts forever. Notice Beever himself standing on the top of the earth, giving even more dimension for the viewer to take in. The shadow and the ribbon take this piece to the next level, as they add an even more realistic perspective to the entire piece.

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Kurt Wenner is another well-known 3-D pavement artist. He may be best known for his employment with NASA (drawing conceptual art); however, his street art not only is a crowd favorite, but was the inspiration for Julian Beever himself. Wenner is from the United States but has spent a lot of time in Italy further developing his trade. He was first commissioned to do an art piece at the age of 16. He utilizes a computer program to map out the 3-D images before painting them. Like Beever, his painting are often used for personal inspiration, business advertisement, or political campaigns.

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Wenner’s “Flying Carpet” is an astonishing piece that was displayed in Bettona, Italy in 2009. The two children on the “flying carpet” really exaggerate the 3-Dimensionalism of the piece. Notice the people on the city grounds seem hundreds of yards away. The building appear to go above the grounds of Bettona. It is as if an onlooker could jump on one of the buildings and climb down– or join the two children for a magical ride.

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Dunkin Donuts commissioned Wenner to do this piece in 2006. It was displayed in Boston, Massachusetts. This photo is particularly humorous as the Dunkin Donut employees are huddled around. The use of butterflies (with strawberries in the middle), bananas, and a picnic blanket, allow the viewer to imagine the fresh and summery flavors that may be noted in the smoothie. The banana peels may be the best part of this one. This piece is great for advertisement!

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“Greenpiece- Million Signatures” was chalked up in Brussels, Belgium. This is an example of Wenner’s ability to draw attention to political issues. In this piece we see a man holding a sign that says “1 Million for GMO Sieze.” This piece was used as a grounds for other protesters to stand on with their signs. This specific piece does not seem to be quite as 3-Dimensional as the previous chalk pieces I have noted above, but it does still get the point across.

Here is a clear shot that allows you to see some of the joining protestors.

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In this exhibit we have taken a look at two very unique 3-D painters who have used their art not only for personal use, but to help in advertisement as well as political campaigns. This proves that art can go beyond oneself and help further the causes of others. The uniqueness of these artists definitely stands out in a crowd and leaves a lasting impression on all who see it.

Rogers, Mike. “Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings Of Julian Beever.” Library Journal 136.3 (2011): 107. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 July 2015.

Lappe, Steve. “Masterpieces In Chalk.” Arts & Activities 139.5 (2006): 20-21. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 July 2015.

Wenner, Kurt. “Pavement Gallery.” Kurt Wenner. N.P., N.D. Web. 28, July 2015 http://kurtwenner.com/pavement_gallery_1.html

Beever, Julian. “Julian Beever’s Official Website.” Julian Beever. N.P., N.D. Web. 28, July 2015 http://www.julianbeever.net/

“3D Pavement Illusions By Kurt Wenner.” Bored Panda RSS. N.P., N.D. Web. 28, July 2015 http://www.boredpanda.com/3d-pavement-illusions-by-kurt-wenner/

Early Modern Art in regards to The Great Depression

Soon after the stock market crashed in October of 1929, the Great Depression began. America had been facing recession before this point, but it could not have been prepared for the drastic consequences that would quickly unfold. Up to 15 million people found themselves unemployed. Compare this 25% unemployment rate to the current 5% that our country now faces. It is almost unimaginable.

The Great Depression was characterized by hunger, destitution, job loss, business loss, and a dissatisfaction of the government. It effected the country at large, the family, and the individual.

Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933 and quickly developed a strategy to fight the economic downfall. The New Deal was put in place to help restore America, and in the process of doing so, mended the relationship between the government and the people. The Works Progress Administration was a created as a result of the New Deal and proved to be the most determined agency of the likes, successfully administering millions of jobs to the unemployed, as well as giving opportunities to artists, through the Federal Project Number One. One of the five divisions of the project was the Federal Art Project.

Here is a very exciting piece to feature in my exhibit.

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The “Alaskan Landscape” painting was commissioned by the WPA Federal Art Project. The mural was painted in 1942 by Arthur Kerrick and currently resides on the first floor at the courthouse in Anchorage, Alaska. The mural depicts a piece of land covered in grass and trees, centered in a lake. Upon closer examination, the realistic touches of homes and boats prove to be an added delight to the painting. Mountains are captured as a forefront to the piece. The mountains feature many dimensions, creating a unique and standout finish. The colors are rich and deep and were created using oil paints. Although the mural is in fact beautiful, I believe that it cannot compare to the mountains that I recently experienced on a road trip to Denali. Nonetheless, it depicts what is reckoned to be a in a small community within Alaska, and accurately so.
Enjoy a closer look:

Alaskan-Landscapes

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California benefited from many art pieces as a result of the Federal Art Project. San Francisco, in particular, is well-known for its many WPA commissioned art pieces. “Noah and His Ark” was painted in 1938 by Dorothy Puccinelli, with assistance from Jay Risling and John Collier. It is a mural located on the north and east walls at “Mother’s House.” This piece was painted using egg tempura on plaster. I am reminded of the felt boards from Sunday School, not only in subject matter, but in painting style.  The definition of the clouds and light shining down from heaven, is very unique when compared to the art pieces that we have studied in previous eras. It is very animated. There is beauty in the “childlike” memories that come with reviewing this painting.

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Lest we not forget the challenges that America and other effected countries faced in these times.

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Dorothea Lange is responsible for this photo which was eventually titled, “Migrant Worker.” The quality of this photograph is brilliant and speaks to the advancements in technology, especially when considering the year it was taken- 1936.

Please watch this video to hear more about Dorotha Lange as well as discernment that led taking of the “Migrant Worker.”

Here is a note on the photo from Dorothea Lange:

I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it. (From: Popular Photography, Feb. 1960).

In one photo, the hardships of the time are captured. No words are needed to describe the piece, yet so many come to mind in observing it. I notice the beauty of the mother and the love for her children that is reciprocated by her children, regardless of the turmoil surrounding them. There are a few other photos from this scene that I will attach, as I feel this specific photo is very intriguing and brings understanding of the times.

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In my initial choosing of this topic, I imagined that all of the art pieces that I would find would be similar to Lange’s photographs.However, I believe that the pieces commissioned by the Federal Art Project via WPA capture part of the heart of America. America was able to pull itself out of one of its most difficult times by capturing and creating beauty.. all at the same time.

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Wikipedia contributors. “New Deal.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Jul. 2015. Web. 20 Jul. 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal

http://www.history.com/topics/new-deal

Natanson, Barbara O. “Exploring Contexts: Migrant Mother” in American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States. Web site: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/awhhtml/awpnp6/migrant_mother.html (accessed: July 19, 2015)

Cole, John Y. “Amassing American “Stuff”: The Library Of Congress And The Federal Arts Projects Of The 1930S.” U.S. Library Of Congress Quarterly Journal 40.4 (1983): 356-389. America: History & Life. Web. 20 July 2015.

http://www.newdealartregistry.org/rendercities/AK/

http://www.newdealartregistry.org/renderartworks/SanFranciscoZoo/SanFrancisco/CA/

My Impression of Impressionism

Greetings and WELCOME to my art gallery extraordinaire!

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You all look a little lost. Come now, follow me.

Right this way.

Ah hah, here we are!

I present to you,

Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son.

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This beautiful piece was painted by Claude Monet in 1875. You may be familiar with him.. you know, the FATHER of impressionist painting.

What is impressionism, you might ask?

Well, take a close look at this painting. Notice the brush stokes are notably small, yet visible. The perspective of this piece is captured from a unique angle. The subject matter is ordinary and there is a large possibility that you may be able to relate with the scene. It is also very clear that there is movement taking place. Well, there you go! Impressionism at its finest.

*checks watch

Come, come…

Now, as we walk, I must point out that Impressionism was yet another “rebellion” .. or,  break away, rather, from previous European painting tradition. Remember, with Classical art, we saw curved lines and pastel colors. Well, upon applying “science” to art, artists discovered a powerful technique that characterized a brand new style of painting, Impressionism. By applying these new methods of utilizing pure colors and broadening the strokes, artists keyed in on the ability to control the perception that would be perceived by the audience.

Let’s stop right here.

Garden at Sainte-Adresse

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Garden at Sainte-Adresse is another impressionist piece by Claude Monet, painted in 1879. The piece resembles a photograph, possibly taken from a overlooking balcony. The flags are in movement, but notice as well, the  movement of the smoke from the ships in the background. Once again, an ordinary scene is captured; nothing special, yet, beautiful, indeed. This particular scene depicts people enjoying the sun, on what appears to be a very warm day, all the while, enjoying the slight breeze. Impressionism art is known for capturing the weather in its own unique way. The choices of color are brilliant, calming, and oh, so convincing!

Now, simply turn your bodies and draw your attention to one of my FAVORITE impressionist paintings:

The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest

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Yet ANOTHER painting by Claude Monet from 1865. Notice the date. (1865 compared to 1875 and 1879) This was one of Monet’s earlier Impressionism styled paintings. This was an extremely radical painting for the time. This painting strikes all of impressionism’s core characteristics; emotion, perspective, detail, nature, color, angle, and movement. There is a great youtube video that would be worth watching when you get home:

Again, we see yet another distinction between Classical and Impressionist Art. Classical Art had a great focus on Greek and Roman mythology; whereas, the impressionism style focuses a lot on nature.

As our tour comes to an end, I know what you all must be wondering, “Impressionism – love it, or hate it?” Although I have shared my obvious answer to that question throughout this tour, I will expound a little more. Just like you, before I so graciously snagged you from your slumber, I found myself staring at paintings, struggling to relate. One thing that I enjoy about Impressionism painting is that the scenes, or views of nature, are relatable. A woman and her son, a gorgeous day on the pier, a beautiful spot in nature; some of the most beautiful moments in day to day life.. captured. Not only is the scene captured, but the weather is as well, allowing the viewer to connect even further into the piece. Also, the pure colors, allow the pictures to come to life even more. Unlike the charming pastel colors we frequently see in art, the utilization of natural hues is refreshing. The rapidly applied brush strokes create a unique and distinct look that is very engaging and leaves a lasting impression on all who see. Impressionism is one of the most unique styles of paintings I have found thus far.

Alas, our time has come to an end. Please feel free to stick around and view more of the paintings in my gallery.

Until next time,

Alana

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Berlin, Jeremy. “The Dawn Of Impressionism.” National Geographic 227.4 (2015): 31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 July 2015.

Wikipedia contributors. “Impressionism.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 Jul. 2015. Web. 12 Jul. 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism

Carroll, Colleen. “Clip & Save Art Notes.” Arts & Activities 143.4 (2008): 27-30. Art Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 12 July 2015.

“Claude Monet: The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest” (64.210) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/64.210.(December 2008)

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/64.210

Morality.. and the lack there of

Rococo Art was birthed as a rebellion towards the strict regulations that had been placed upon Baroque Art. It was a style displayed in sculptures, architecture, music, literature, theater, and other artistic avenues, yet was formed in a much different manner than that of Baroque. The artists used notably more grace, humor, and ornate embellishments. It can be identified by its soft and light shades, frequent illustrations of cherubs, and even by its sexual symbols. Rococo Art is well-known for its extravagant depictions of the leisures enjoyed by the aristocracy.

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The Toilette of Venus, painted by Francois Boucher in 1751, is a wonderful example of Rococo Art and its strong distinction between other art forms of its time. The painting was commissioned by Madame de Pompadourr and was placed in her dressing room at Bellevue. Venus, the goddess of love, is nude; not a surprise as Boucher was very familiar with depicting nude characters. She is also surrounded by male cupids, with soft skin and blonde hair, another common characteristic to distinguish the art form. Venus is sitting on a Rococo styled upholstered seat and surrounded by extravagant ornaments and decor. The soft tones in Boucher’s painting, paired with beautiful choice of colors, create a very dreamy finish. The painting is notably elegant, and in fact, defined luxury and a life of wealth, for women of the time. Boucher’s excellence in art can be seen through his attention to detail and through his sense of judgement applied to WHOM he was creating the piece for. It is the perfect piece for a dressing room and for the likes of Madame de Pompadourr!

However, many did not approve of this style. The immoral foundations of Rococo Art did not go unnoticed and the Neoclassical Era can be described as opposite to that of Rococo. Neoclassical art took a stand FOR morality and clung to the strong values held on to by the Enlightenment philosophy.  Artists used classical styled painting styles in order to push their agenda. Jacque Louis David was one of the most popular artists in the Neoclassical Era and marked a distinctive move away from Rococo art.

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The Oath of the Horatii, painted by Jacque Louis David in 1784, is a well-known painting that effectively represents the Neoclassical Art style. Like many Neoclassical pieces of the time, it depicted a scene from history. This particular painting illustrated the tension between Rome and Alba-Longa, and the heroic sacrifice that three brothers made for their country. Notice, the background is not a focal point in this painting, rather, the people in front demand the attention. This painting is not characterized by its soft tones, technique, and light brushstrokes, rather its invisible strokes and ability to allow the viewer to focus on the subject matter of the picture. Unlike the illogical rationalization of Rococo art, the frozen state of each person, illustrates sound reason. The story line is very moral and encourages and inspires the viewer. The women display great emotion, while the men show masculinity and patriotism.

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Antoine-Jean Gros’, Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa, is another great example of Neoclassical Art. The piece was painted in 1804 and was commissioned by Napolean Bonaparte himself. Bonaparte, one of the greatest leaders in history, visited a scene of countless bubonic plague victims, putting himself in danger, but revealing his patriotism and love for his country. Once again, a historical moment was depicted, utilizing many techniques as seen in Jacque Louis David’s, The Oath of the Horatii. There is great detail, once again, in the forefront of the piece, drawing the viewer to the moral focus and allowing attention to be drawn to the unique moment in history. Note the man dressed in expensive attire, passing out food to the victims. There are doctors, soldiers, officers, servants, victims, and the general, all in once scene. It is no wonder Bonaparte wanted this moment to be captured.

The distinction between Rococo and Neoclassicism Art is very clear through the moral conclusions the viewer is left with, as portrayed in these three pieces. In The Toilette of Venus, the reaction was to hang it up in the dressing room and dream of life as a wealthy women of the time. In The Oath of the Horatii and Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa the focus is patriotism and standing up for what is right. The power of art is so beautiful in that it has the ability to be interpreted in so many ways and inspire. The leaders of Neoclassicism believed in this power.

Cokeley, Sarah R. “Brushes With Conflict.” Military History 31.6 (2015): 52-57. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 June 2015.

Hyde, Melissa. “The ‘Makeup’ Of The Marquise: Boucher’s Portrait Of Pompadour At Her Toilette.” Art Bulletin 82.3 (2000): 453. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 June 2015.

Kljaich, Lisa. “4.4- Visual Arts in the Classical Era.” Art Music Theater F200 RSS. Kljaich, Lisa (UAF), n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013.

https://amtf200.community.uaf.edu/2009/04/24/03-visual-arts-2/

Wikipedia contributors. “Bonaparte Visiting the Plague Victims of Jaffa.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 1 Jul. 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonaparte_Visiting_the_Plague_Victims_of_Jaffa

http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/435739

The Piece That Pleased the Council

The Protestant Reformation caused an uproar within the Catholic church in the early 1500s. Doctrine, traditions, and even the integrity of prominent leaders, were questioned. The church was forced to reevaluate major issues in order to maintain its high power.

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Thus, the creation of the Council of Trent.

The Council of Trent sought to define the faith and practice of the Counter Reformation Catholic Church. In doing so, the Council dictated that art should reflect the heart of the Catholic Church. Metaphorical and complex works of art would be discouraged, so as to ensure the understanding of the piece and clearly establish its religious purpose.

The Council was looking to draw people back into the church.

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A clear and convicting piece of art may be just the trick!

Feast in the House of Levi by Paulo Veronese

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No, that will not do! This picture contains “buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such scurrilities…”

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

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To this the Council said: Every superstition shall be removed … all lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting to lust… there be nothing seen that is disorderly, or that is unbecomingly or confusedly arranged, nothing that is profane, nothing indecorous, seeing that holiness becometh the house of God. And that these things may be the more faithfully observed, the holy Synod ordains, that no one be allowed to place, or cause to be placed, any unusual image, in any place, or church, howsoever exempted, except that image have been approved of by the bishop.

The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio

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Ahh.. PERFECTION!

The Supper at Emmaus clearly depicts Jesus revealing his identity to two of his disciples, and an apparent stranger, after the resurrection. This piece of art met all of the guidelines set by the Council of Trent and became the epitome of Counter Reformation Art. It is as if time is frozen, thus allowing the viewer to slowly take in every angle of the painting. Jesus is portrayed without a beard which was very contrary to the times, yet beautifully captures his restoration to life. Caravaggio captured a beautiful moment in his interpretation of Luke 24:13-35 and the Council was well-pleased.

To hear a full reaction of the piece from Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, click the link below:

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/monarchy-enlightenment/baroque-art1/baroque-italy/v/caravaggio-the-supper-at-emmaus-1601

Work Cited

Buettner, Jamie. “Embracing Jesus: Mystical Union With Christ In Seventeenth-Century Art And Imagination.” International Journal Of Religion & Spirituality In Society 3.4 (2014): 13-27. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 June 2015.

Mukern, Daniel J. “Supper At Emmaus.” Priest 67.4 (2011): 10-28. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 June 2015.

“Supper at Emmaus” Encyclopedia of Art Education. web. 18 June 2015.

URL: http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-paintings/supper-at-emmaus.htm

The Birth of Venus

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The Birth of Venus painting by Sandro Botticelli truly stands out in a crowd. The painting was created in 1486 in Florence, Italy. The Birth of Venus is mysterious, in that, there are no recorded documents identifying its exact meaning or by whom it was commissioned by. The first noted connection with the Medici family was in 1550 in Giorgia Vasari’s book of artist biographies entitled, The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. The Medici family greatly favored Botticelli’s paintings.

The painting comes to life as some of its interpretations are told. Notice, Venus, rising from the sea. On the viewers left the god of winds blows her to shore as he carries the gentle breeze in his arms. On the right, the goddess of seasons spreads out a robe of flowers to welcome her to shore. Some interpretations represent truth and wisdom, while others represent mystery and divinity. Venus is often a symbol of pagan and Christian love.

Botticelli, an Italian artist in the Early Renaissance, was best known for this beautiful painting, as well as Primavera and Spring. The colors used to create The Birth of Venus do not catch the eye by accident. Botticelli created the colors using tempura pigments; implementing a unique blend of egg white to the mixture. Note the beautiful gold tone of Venus’ hair. Botticelli was known for his use of heavy outlines and for keeping the use of chiaroscuro to a minimum.

I was drawn to this painting by the use of beautiful and unique colors as well as the mystery of the meaning behind it. It is a mystery that awakens interest and desire; a characteristic that artists strive for in their work. Botticelli puts great detail into each of his pieces and I greatly appreciate the intricacy– especially in The Birth of Venus.

Work Cited

“Renaissance Art And Architecture.” Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2014): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 8 June 2015.

“Botticelli, Sandro.” Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2014): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 8 June 2015.

“Birth of Venus” Artable 2015. web. 8 June 2015.

URL: http://www.artble.com/artists/sandro_botticelli/paintings/birth_of_venus

“The Birth of Venus” Italian Renaissance Art 2015. web. 8 June 2015.

URL: http://www.italian-renaissance-art.com/Birth-of-Venus.html

My Life According to Art

Well, hello there!

My name is Alana and I can already tell that this class will be my most enjoyable class of the semester! But before we get too excited… a little about me.

  • I am a first grade teacher on summer break.
  • I became Mrs. Du Vall on October 11th, 2014.
  • Mr. Du Vall is a graphic designer by day and a very talented musician.. (by night?)
  • I need more hobbies. But recently, I love cooking, gardening, and going on walks with my dog Sebastian.
  • We are blessed with great friends and family! (Check out the fun wedding picture below!)

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Now, the question is… what is my relationship with art?

I am by no means an artist in the sense of creating masterpieces with a pencil and pad! Also, I am no Meryl Streep (favorite actress!) I do however LOVE creating (and even acting out) skits for children. And finally, another do, I DO love music. I grew up in a musical family and have been performing since I was 11. A random fact that I just calculated.. in my 24 years of living I have had the honor of singing at NINE weddings! Does that make me a bonafide wedding singer?!

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What are some of your experiences in viewing art, music or theater as an audience member?

My husband and I love attending the Fairbanks Concert Association events and think that they are some of the best events that Fairbanks offers. We also love to attend plays and other musical events. Off the top of my head, I have loved the Wailing Jennies, the California and Montreal guitar trios, Annie, Willie Wonka, and the Lion King (traveling Broadway show in Anchorage years ago.)

I look forward to getting to know my fellow classmates more as well as develop a greater appreciation of the arts!