History of Art from Middle ages to Modern Times

History of Art from Middle ages to Modern Times

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Question 1:

This week we have studied art that is produced by cultures very different from our own. Without a cultural frame of reference it is often challenging for us to gain an understanding or even an appreciation of a work of art that reflects a visual aesthetic that is different. In 3 well developed paragraphs, discuss:

  1. In what specific ways is our understanding of a work of art dependent on an understanding of the religious and cultural beliefs from which the work arose?
  2. What can we assume about a work of art without such knowledge?
  3. Looking at a work of art such as the Taj Mahal, which is the world’s most recognized building, how does not knowing the story or context for its construction shape our perception of this as a master work of art? How does your perception change of this structure once you know the story and reasons for its construction?

Be sure to explain your ideas clearly and support them by discussing specific works of art that you have read about this week, talking about how they illustrate and support your ideas.

Question 2:

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All of the cultures that we have looked at this week built architectural monuments, but few have survived intact. Often these monuments embody the social, spiritual, political and religious ideas of the culture that created it. One of the few to have survived is the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. In 3 well developed paragraphs, discuss:

  1. What was the function of the Forbidden City?
  2. How was it designed to reflect the social hierarchies of the Ming dynasty?
  3. What other monumental work of architecture did you learn about this week that also reflects these concerns and how?

Be sure to explain your ideas clearly and support them by discussing specific works of art that you have read about this week, talking about how they illustrate and support your ideas.

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