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Time Traveling

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mikephoenix06
Words 1854
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Since the beginning of recorded history many different types of artwork have been discovered around the world, and the study of all the art forms have provided much history that leads up to the modern times. The facts surrounding each piece of art tell me a story, but I want to know the entire story about every famous piece of art around the world. What if I could travel back through time to each period in which every famous artwork was created? I could tell a firsthand experience about why it was created, and what the purpose was for the piece. What if I told you that I already had, and that I have already wrote a book about my first hand experiences? Here is a few of my favorite chapters in my new book for you to preview.
Roman Civilizations

I traveled to Rome around 80 C.E. and I witnessed a firsthand experience of the famous amphitheater, “The Flavian Colosseum.” I could not believe the beauty of this architectural structure at its young age. Since visiting it in modern times is nothing like seeing it in action, and watching the shows there was extremely entertaining. Many theaters were created in the state around this era because of the states policy to provide entertainment to the public, and in the Colosseum specifically the people were entertained with shows of bloody battles between two humans, humans and animals, and two animals (Benton & DiYanni, 2007).
The cost for this architectural wonder is still unknown, but the Emperor Titus raided the city of Jerusalem around 70 C.E. gaining many treasures from the city. The raid of Jerusalem was the main income that funded the construction of the Colosseum, and it was complete sometime around 80 C.E. Estimates of around 100,000 prisoners from the Jewish war were brought back to Rome as slaves to help build the Colosseum, and they were tasked with much of the manual labor like carrying stones for miles from Tivoli (Roman Colosseum, 2008).
The Colosseum was made out of concrete, stone, and other materials like limestone. Since concrete was a new material in this era the Romans were not sure how durable it was or how long it would last, and so they mixed the concrete with stone just to make sure that it was somewhat durable just in case. The theater had four tiers which were made out of arches all the way around it, and half of the outer edge of the structure was half of a ring around the arena. The theater could seat 50,000 people at once, and it could hold up to 80,000 people maximum (Roman Colosseum, 2008).
During the rule of Nero the city of Rome caught fire, and the city had pretty much been destroyed. Following the destruction of the city the ruler Nero died, and the cities morale was at an all time low. Then Vespasian the Emperor following the rule of Nero had a plan to get support back from his people by building a magnificent arena to entertain them. As stated previously his son Titus raided Jerusalem, and funded the construction (Roman Colosseum, 2008). Vespasian obviously loved his people, and wanted to bring back the morale to his city. I also think if he had not tried to do something for his people then Rome would have fallen, and probably would be where they are today.
The Colosseum to me represents how the culture of the Roman Empire developed an innovative way to entertain one another, and there was also a development between the relationship of the kingdom and its people which increased within this era. The gladiators would fight to the death to entertain the people of Rome, and the kingdom would seek out beasts to fight amongst each other just for the sheer entertainment. The kingdom would also use the Colosseum as a sacrificing ground for prisoners who were punished to death publicly.
Greece had an influence in the making of the Colosseum, and it shows through the architecture of the building. The Romans used the design structure of the pillars that the Greeks used, and they used all three orders combined into this one structure. They used the Doric order on the lowest level, above it is the Iconic, and the third level is Corinthian (Benton & DiYanni, 2007). Today the Colosseum is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and it is a piece of history to the city of Rome.
Early Japanese Civilizations
When I traveled to Japan I went to a city called Kyoto around the 1660’s. I went there to find one of the most beautiful architectural structures in Japan, and it is also one of the largest tea houses in Japan as well. This tea house is called the Shokin-tei, and it is named after the sound of wind in the pines that surround it (Benton & DiYanni, 2007).
The tea house was built as a villa of Hachijonomiya Imperial Family around the 17th century. Prince Toshihito who started the construction of the villa passed away in 1629, and 10 years went by the villa was not touched. Then a newly royal Prince Toshitada regained wealth after his marriage to a wealthy woman, and then completed the construction in 1649 (Asano Noboru, 2010).
The Shokin-tei is made almost as a normal house in Japan, but possesses some of the early structural support of bamboo. It is also decorated with calligraphy, scroll paintings, and it has a large Zen garden. The tea house was most used for cha-no-yu or the tea ceremony, and this ceremony still exists in much of the Japanese culture today. The tradition of the tea ceremony is to be within a tranquil tea house like shokin-tei to experience wabi or “lonely seclusion” (Benton & DiYanni, 2007).
The cultural development this piece represents is that the early Japanese cultures wanted to be peaceful, and they wanted to relax to come to a sense of awareness in the world. Many other cultures did this as well, but the difference here is that instead of having a temple or being spiritual in their meditations they used tea to satisfy them, and this helped them to reach a relaxing state.
The culture from India helped influence this piece by the spread of Buddhism throughout much of Asia, and then it finally reached into Japan. Buddhism is based on meditating and trying to reach nirvana, and the Japanese culture started using Buddhism as a new practice. Thus Zen Buddhism was formed, and it is the inspiration for the tea ceremony and the Japanese gardens that are very Zen. Still to this day the Shokin-tei stands and it is open to the public for view. The modern culture uses the building as a small tourist attraction, and as a historical land mark as the Katsura Imperial Villa (Asano Noboru, 2010).
The Italian Renaissance

I travelled back to Rome during the 15th century to see the original St. Peter’s Basilica, and now I can see why Pope Julius II wanted to rebuild. St. Peter’s Basilica was a church that was built on Vatican Hill which was said to be where Saint Peter was buried in 64 A.D., and there used to be a shrine marking the burial site. Now this site is where the first church was built in 349 A.D., and it was then considered the new shrine for Saint Peter’s burial grounds (A view on cities, 2010). The first church built on Vatican Hill was ordered by Constantine back in his rule in 349 A.D., and in 1506 Pope Julius II ordered to tear it down to rebuild a new St. Peter’s Basilica that would give the papacy more dignity (Benton & DiYanni, 2007).
Pope Julius II ordered Donato Bramante as the first architect to rebuild the St. Peter’s Basilica, and Donato had plans to create the floor plans as a Greek cross instead of the traditional Latin cross. Following the death of Pope Julius II Donato would not continue to be the architect for the St. Peter’s Basilica, and instead the progress would stand still until 1546.
Michelangelo was the next appointed architect for the project in 1546 since the death of Pope Julius, and he decided to keep the style of the architect Donato as the Greek cross. Michelangelo unfortunately did not get to see the final results of the church, and the next architect Carlo Maderno decided to reconstruct the style into a Latin cross floor plan which was ironically more convenient for larger crowds of people inside. The new St. Peter’s took such a long time to build since dealing with the death of Pope Julius II in 1513 that three architects separately worked on this structure even others were considered like Raphael, and finally in 1590 the Dome was completely constructed (Benton & DiYanni, 2007).
The many architects that worked together to make this building happen had a passion for art, and they used that passion to do something spiritual with their talents. Between the architecture, the sculptures, and all the paintings around the ceiling and walls honestly makes this church look like you are in heaven. The cultural development this piece represents is how the civilization was led by their spirituality to build something so beautiful from the ground up.
The current structure was influenced by the original St. Peter’s that was ordered to be remodeled by Pope Julius II, and before that the building was built where a shrine was placed believed to be the burial site of Saint Peter. The church is now known as the largest church in the world, and is a famous tourist spot where many go to visit daily to see the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and architecture. Services are still held during certain times, and if you plan a visit there is a dress code that is enforced.
I hope you enjoyed the preview of my new book, and maybe some of you will pick it up to learn more about all the facts that surround the art forms around us. I have to say since visiting all these locations and seeing them all firsthand I understand so much more about the art and the cultures of the ancient times, the early and middle ages, and about the renaissance. So much more is in my book about all the firsthand encounters I have had with many different types of art, and the culture of the people thriving around the arts. So what would you do if I told you I could time travel back in time to get a firsthand experience on all the famous art pieces around the world?

References Asano Noboru. (2010). An Imperial Villa. Retrieved from http://kyoto.asanoxn.com/places/katsura_matsuo/katsurarikyu.htm#photos A view on cities. (2010). St. Peter's Basilica. Retrieved from http://www.aviewoncities.com/rome/sanpietro.htm
Benton, J.R., & DiYanni, R. (2007). Arts and Culture (3rd ed.). : .
Roman Colosseum . (2008). Building the Colosseum. Retrieved from http://www.roman-colosseum.info/colosseum/building-the-colosseum.htm

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