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Intro Classicism

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Intro Classicism

  1. 1. Classicism Definitions and Purposes, Relationship to Early Christianity, Classical Truth & Classical Beauty
  2. 2. How are values expressed in art and architecture? <ul><li>Iconography? </li></ul><ul><li>Technique? </li></ul><ul><li>Other? </li></ul><ul><li>A combination of issues? </li></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Classicism is generally expressed with <ul><li>Clearness - order </li></ul><ul><li>Symmetry - stability </li></ul><ul><li>Elegance - gracefulness </li></ul><ul><li>Repose - ease </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes synonymous with: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excellence </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Epitome of style (the perfect representation of something) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Artistic quality of high distinction </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What is expressed through the language of Classicism? <ul><li>What ideas, assertions, identities are expressed through Classical design? </li></ul><ul><li>When does it appear? In what context? When is it needed? </li></ul>
  5. 6. More precisely, it refers to . . . <ul><li> . . . an admiration and imitation of Greek and Roman ideas and principles. </li></ul><ul><li>What were those? </li></ul><ul><li>Our initial focus will be on these Antique (Greco-Roman) concepts and subsequent applications of the ideas that were derived in Antiquity. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Classical Truth <ul><li>SYSTEM of thought – coherent way of making sense of the universe - governed thinking up through the Renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Not limited to art and architecture, also philosophy, natural sciences, astronomy, language, math, politics </li></ul><ul><li>Essential for success: Two truths MUST support each other and CANNOT conflict </li></ul><ul><li>(explains seriousness of heresy as a terrible crime: Classicism explains the universe and you don’t destroy the universe) </li></ul>
  7. 8. Classicism and Christianity <ul><li>Have an intertwined past…. </li></ul><ul><li>Medieval and Renaissance thought saw the two issues (Classical thinking and Christian beliefs) as complementary aspects of Divine Truth ( working together ) </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophical adaptation of Antique ideas of Truth, Beauty, Idealization- ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Physical and conceptual adaptation of Antique types and figures- images </li></ul><ul><li>The Break-up: In sixteenth century, The Council of Trent decided to formally distance itself from tradition of “paganism” </li></ul><ul><li>(obsolete propaganda/do not use; working separate ) </li></ul>
  8. 9. Adaptation : Nikes of Victory become Angels of God
  9. 10. Adaptation : River Gods appear at scenes of Jesus’ baptism
  10. 11. Adaptation : Tellus, the Earth Goddess becomes the Personification of Charity
  11. 12. Insight into Classical Beauty <ul><li>Different from personal taste, may conflict with taste actually </li></ul><ul><li>Thought that exposure to it would train us to love it, shape us </li></ul><ul><li>Images seen: will lodge into your soul to ennoble or demean you </li></ul><ul><li>Beauty manifested God </li></ul><ul><li>Three properties: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geometry or proportions that can be expressed in whole numbers (2:1, 1:3 …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bright color or strong light </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smooth finish and/or perfect condition </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Insight into Idealization <ul><li>Ideal and Real are opposites </li></ul><ul><li>A product of Divine design – perfect </li></ul><ul><li>It is the best and there can be only one best; our human differences (reality) are proof of imperfect nature (humanity) </li></ul><ul><li>Signals or Visual Cues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing to hide : Nudity or near nudity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease: Contrapposto stance (hip-shift pose) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease: Face and body at rest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity : Geometric qualities to face </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity: Smooth skin, without details </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Birth of Venus, Botticelli, 1486
  14. 15. Applications of Idealization <ul><li>Ancient Greeks </li></ul><ul><li>used idealization to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>internal (spiritual, intellectual, emotional) </li></ul><ul><li>qualities of a figure </li></ul><ul><li>That he/she was in some way ideal or perfect (heroes, victorious athletes) </li></ul><ul><li>That he/she were favored by the gods </li></ul><ul><li>That he/she was in some way divine (gods, goddesses) </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Similarly adapted it </li></ul><ul><li>That he/she was in some way ideal or perfect (Christ, V.M., saints, angels) </li></ul><ul><li>That he/she were in a state of grace (David before confronting Goliath) </li></ul><ul><li>That he/she was in some way divine (Christ) </li></ul>

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