Art of the Eternal

Parkstone International
Free sample

Since the first funerary statues were placed in the first sepulchres, the ideas of death and the afterlife have always held a prominent place at the heart of the art world. An unlimited source of inspiration where artists can search for the expression of the infinite, death remains the object of numerous rich illustrations, as various as they are mysterious. The ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the forever sleeping statues on medieval tombs, and the Romantic and Symbolist movements of the 19th century are all evidence of the incessant interest that fuels the creation of artworks featuring themes of death and what lies beyond it. In this work, Victoria Charles analyses how, through the centuries, art has become the reflection of these interrogations linked to mankind’s fate and the hereafter.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Parkstone International
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Published on
Sep 15, 2015
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Pages
371
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ISBN
9781783107780
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Body Art & Tattooing
Art / General
Art / History / Ancient & Classical
Art / History / General
Art / History / Medieval
Art / Subjects & Themes / Religious
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Whether it is being studied or critiqued, the art canon is usually understood as an authoritative list of important works and artists. This collection breaks with the idea of a singular, transcendent canon. Through provocative case studies, it demonstrates that the content of any canon is both historically and culturally specific and dependent on who is responsible for the canon’s production and maintenance. The contributors explore how, where, why, and by whom canons are formed; how they function under particular circumstances; how they are maintained; and why they may undergo change.

Focusing on various moments from the seventeenth century to the present, the contributors cover a broad geographic terrain, encompassing the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Taiwan, and South Africa. Among the essays are examinations of the working and reworking of a canon by an influential nineteenth-century French critic, the limitations placed on what was acceptable as canonical in American textbooks produced during the Cold War, the failed attempt to define a canon of Rembrandt’s works, and the difficulties of constructing an artistic canon in parts of the globe marked by colonialism and the imposition of Eurocentric ideas of artistic value. The essays highlight the diverse factors that affect the production of art canons: market forces, aesthetic and political positions, nationalism and ingrained ideas concerning the cultural superiority of particular groups, perceptions of gender and race, artists’ efforts to negotiate their status within particular professional environments, and the dynamics of art history as an academic discipline and discourse. This volume is a call to historicize canons, acknowledging both their partisanship and its implications for the writing of art history.

Contributors. Jenny Anger, Marcia Brennan, Anna Brzyski, James Cutting, Paul Duro, James Elkins, Barbara Jaffee, Robert Jensen, Jane C. Ju, Monica Kjellman-Chapin, Julie L. McGee, Terry Smith, Linda Stone-Ferrier, Despina Stratigakos

Dürer is the greatest of German artists and most representative of the German mind. He, like Leonardo, was a man of striking physical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conversation, and mental accomplishment, being well grounded in the sciences and mathematics of the day. His skill in draughtsmanship was extraordinary; Dürer is even more celebrated for his engravings on wood and copper than for his paintings. With both, the skill of his hand was at the service of the most minute observation and analytical research into the character and structure of form. Dürer, however, had not the feeling for abstract beauty and ideal grace that Leonardo possessed; but instead, a profound earnestness, a closer interest in humanity, and a more dramatic invention. Dürer was a great admirer of Luther; and in his own work is the equivalent of what was mighty in the Reformer. It is very serious and sincere; very human, and addressed the hearts and understanding of the masses. Nuremberg, his hometown, had become a great centre of printing and the chief distributor of books throughout Europe. Consequently, the art of engraving upon wood and copper, which may be called the pictorial branch of printing, was much encouraged. Of this opportunity Dürer took full advantage. The Renaissance in Germany was more a moral and intellectual than an artistic movement, partly due to northern conditions. The feeling for ideal grace and beauty is fostered by the study of the human form, and this had been flourishing predominantly in southern Europe. But Albrecht Dürer had a genius too powerful to be conquered. He remained profoundly Germanic in his stormy penchant for drama, as was his contemporary Mathias Grünewald, a fantastic visionary and rebel against all Italian seductions. Dürer, in spite of all his tense energy, dominated conflicting passions by a sovereign and speculative intelligence comparable with that of Leonardo. He, too, was on the border of two worlds, that of the Gothic age and that of the modern age, and on the border of two arts, being an engraver and draughtsman rather than a painter.
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