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Art History Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ShinigamiAuthor
Words 1299
Pages 6
Soeteria Winters

April 18, 2014

FAS202-Introduction to Humanities II

Art History Analysis Paper

When we think of art, we rarely focus on its origins. Art itself dates back to the early modern humans that lived thirty-five thousand years ago. This includes carvings on Mammoth tusks, cave paintings, sewn beadwork on clothing, carved Venus statues from bone, and baked clay. The created art often depicted the animals that were hunted and the seasons. In many cases the animals could not be recognized as the depictions were distorted, thus it was concluded that said depictions were of religious significance, making this the first type of “religious” art. Two examples of such art is the cave art in Lascaux, France and Altamira, Spain. Through these ancient depictions of the past, we are able to improve in all matters of society. This is just one of many examples that prove, art reflects the human journey through the past, present and into the future.

The artists surrounding my art history analysis are the works of Juan Bautista Maino and Alessandro Turchi.
“The Resurrection”, painted by Juan Bautista Maino in Spain, in 1612. The Baroque style art depicts the strong Christian values of the time, as Christianity had become a major religion in Spain. Christianity was introduced to Spain in 62 AD but was later rejected by the Visigoths whom rules Spain in 711 AD. In this time, the religion of Islam began to spread due to lack of taxation of citizens and the lack of forced conversion on non-Muslims, which lasted until the late fifteen century. Catholicism began to take root after the two royal families of Spain, the Argon and the Castile created a union between Ferdinand of Castile of Western Spain and Isabella of Argon of Eastern Spain in 1496. Their union being political was backed and controlled by the Catholic Church. Due to much social strife between the rich and the poor in the late fourteenth century, many non-Christians were encouraged to convert to Christianity. Those whom refused were exiled to prevent upheaval in the kingdom. Today Spain is religiously diverse but Catholicism is still the majorly dominant religion.

“The Resurrection”, painted by Alessandro Turchi in Italy, in 1621, for French cardinal François de Sourdis, depicts a strong since of respect for the resurrection of Christ but the painted theme clashes with the suggested theme of the painting.
The history of Christianity in Europe began with the Apostle Paul in Rome, Italy. After his imprisonment and death, Rome became a major center for the development of Christianity in 70 AD. The values of Christianity stated of the time, that to become a Christian, one must not only have a deep faith in the message of Christ but to also live a Christian lifestyle and to repent. Before the end of the first century, Christians were very wealthy and held political influence in their territory and that of their distant Christians. The matter of wealth made it easier to send financial aid to their distant Christians, which also helped in the spread and practices of Christianity. By 400 AD, the Apostle Creed was developed for baptismal candidates to battle the Gnostic crisis within the church. By this time, the canon Script came from Rome. Due to the apostles association with the Church of Rome, it gained a place of leadership and prominence.
By 200 AD, the Roman practices in Christianity were dominant. It was common practice to attend church on Sundays, hold or attend a meeting for prayer and a meeting for an ending meal. Also known as the Lords Supper which communion was often given. Easter was also a practiced custom in observance of Christ. By 300 AD, Christianity was the dominant religion throughout the Roman Empire including Italy, Southern Gaul, and Spain. Finally, around 313 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantin, whom was a Christian, declared Christianity to be a legal and equal religion. All seized property was restored to all churches affected throughout the empire. Today the largest and most wealthy religious organization in the world is the Vatican Catholic Church, located in Vatican City, Rome, Italy. Each year the Vatican helps millions of people around the world through financial and religious aid. The Vatican contains its own city with laws to match, a library, bank, and art gallery. It also contains the largest and oldest ancient collection of art and literature artifacts in Europe.

Similarities and Differences

In both pieces, I found far more differences than similarities. What I found to be similar between these pieces was the way the painters depicted their version of Christ. In both pieces Christ is shown wearing a white cloth about the hips to give the subject modesty and respect. The skin is eerily creamy, almost a divinely white hue. Long, brown hair cascades to the shoulders while a full beard covers the face and chin. The eyes of Christ are directed upwards to heaven. A golden halo surrounds the crown of the head, which suggests divinity of the mind while the chest is facing upwards to heaven, which could also suggest the subject has a divine heart or spirit.
Now, for the differences. In Maino’s piece, the depiction of Christ resurrected fits the theme evenly. Christ contains the marks of his crucifixion, spike of the foot and the spear through the rib. He is standing upon a golden or holy alter while his resurrection is met with peace and suplicance. Various races of a British Knight, an Indian Traveler, a slave, and a Spanish Conquistador are shown together in praise of Christ. The scene takes place in a forest or wooded area while he is welcomes with praise and peace. There are no angels present but the strong physical stance completes the divine depiction.

In Turchi’s piece, the depiction of Christ is very different. There are angels present but the scene takes place in a publically crowded street. Christ does not bare the marks of his crucifixion which suggests the theme clashes with the actual depiction. On lookers point and gawk at Christ instead of praising him. Christ’s hands are bound to a whipping post while he is met with violence and hostility by various stations of society. A Nobleman strikes Christ while a peasant waits in anticipation to strike Christ but the slave on the ground gripping the whip cannot bring himself to strike Christ. The other subjects in the painting are not in praise and welcome of Christ but seem to be against him. Lastly, his weak physical stance suggests defeat.

The two major differences that stand out in both pieces, is in Turchi’s version of The Resurrection, is that Christ is depicted in suffering. The Title, “The Resurrection” suggests the depiction to be in praise of Christ but instead the piece focused on a moment of suffering for Christ before his crucifixion and resurrection. In Maino’s version of “The Resurrection”, the title does not clash with the theme, as the depiction shows Christ in high praise by all. The depiction of the marks from his crucifixion and his being praised by various races whom, Christianity has affected, also plays into the theme. It suggests the joyful re-entrance of Christ.

Cited Resources:
Bryan, Michael (1889). Dictionary of Painters and Engravers: Biographical and Critical (Volume II: L-Z)
Digitalized May 18, 2007: George Bell and Sons. Pp. page 591
York Street #4, Convent Garden, London; Original from Fogg Library

Wilken, Louis Robert. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity
November 2012
Yale University Press, New Haven, CT

EyeWitnessBooks: Early Humans
Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
April 1989. Knopf Books for Young Readers
New York, New York 10019

Oppenheimer, Stephen. The Real Eve: Modern Man’ Journey Out of Africa
August 2004
Basic Books, New York, NY 10016

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