The Ming Dynasty

Empire of the Great Ming or simply the “Ming Dynasty”, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty. The Ming Dynasty was “one of the greatest eras of government in human history”, though this dynasty came a lot of artwork that showed the unique styles and products that art was made of during this era in the Chinese arts.                                 

Medallion with Return from a Spring Outing: Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Artwork dated from between 16th century China.

This medallion is an Ivory carving, which is found in some of China’s earliest cultures, but also flourished during the Ming dynasty, which was a direct result of an increased supply of material and widespread popularity of the arts. This medallion is one of the few carvings that can be dated back to the Ming dynasty. This carving encompasses a scene of a man riding in a compound with four young attendants carrying supplies, while a fifth attendant rushes to open the gate of the compound. This can of scene represents the return of spring, with it various flowers and activities.    


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Emakimono- Short Emaki

The Tale of Genji, Painted in 12th century Japan and credited to Murasaki Shikibu.

Emakimono simply called “Emaki” is a horizontal illustrated narrative form created in 11th to 16th century Japan. Emakimono combines pictures, texts, and is drawn, painted, or stamped on a handscroll. They depict battles, romance, religion, and folktales. The Tale of Genji, is an ancient artwork of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the 12th century. It is often refered to the worlds first novel, although this is widely debated. The Tale of Genji tells of the life of a Japanese emperor, known as Hikaru Genji. The tale revolves around Genji’s romantic life and describes the customs of the aristocratic society of the time. This is just one of the many pieces to this beautiful series of artwork.


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Young Modern Talent

The theme that I chose is more of a young modern talent theme. This theme invokes the modern technique and ideas applied to the field of paintings.

The First Artist portrayed here is Jean-Michel Basquiat, who became an artist while still a teenager and was world-famous by the age of 23. He is considered an exceptional creative talent and became a cultural hero to young artist though this artworks. Basquiat had a short life though, he died at the age of 27 from a drug overdose.

Per Capita by painted by Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1981.

This is a prime example of some of the excellent work that black artist were creating during this time period, the boxers represent a battle for principles, embodying strength, and the ability to preserve in the presence of overwhelming odds. The phrase” Per capita” refers to the income a person earns in a year.

Notary painting in 1983 by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Jean-Michel Basquiat loved jazz and hip-hop, which he repeats a lot in this painting by combing and overlapping different lines, colors, images, and words which create a fast tempo and urban rhythm.

Basquiat used the letters CPRKR to represent the jazz musician Charlie Parker. Charlie Parker was one of the greatest jazz saxophonists. He helped create bebop, which redefined jazz during his time, when most music was swing. The crown Basquiat uses appears in many of his paintings, which the includes as a sign of respect for his heroes, marking them as members of a royal family.

The second artist i chose is Kurt Wenner, who also started off at a young age and became a world renown artist. Wenner began street painting in Rome in 1982, and by 1984 was one of the few recognized master street painters in the world. Inspired by anamorphism a technique use to create an illusion of height brought to the street surface.

Ghetto was painted in 2007 by Wenner.

This painting shows a modern yet classical scene of a poor slum or ghetto as the title puts it in a modern setting with classical figures. 

Dies Irae was painted in 2007 by Wenner

The illusion in this painting show the kind of modern 3D artwork Wenner likes to create, again he uses a modern technique yet he paints his figures in a classical point of view.

Apollo was painted by Wenner in 2007

This is a modern take of a classical figure of the God Apollo, painted into 3D street art. The illusion shows Apollo coming out of the ground with such force as if he’s breaking though the ground.

Sources:,, and

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Aaron Douglas, Idylls of the Deep South, 1934

During the early 20th century, between 1920 and 1930 a movement of creative explosion in music and art came about in the art community in America. This African-American cultural movement was known at first “The New Negro Movement” and then later became known as “The Harlem Renaissance”. The Harlem Renaissance attracted the prosperous and stylish of the black middle class to the north to create an extraordinary amount of artistic appeal. Like what was happening in Europe with the Avant-Garde movements, the Harlem Renaissance embraced all art forms, which included dance, music, theatre, and other artworks. The Harlem Renaissance highlighted the unique culture of African-American and in a way redefined African-American expression of that unique culture. One of the important artist of this time is Aaron Douglas, who painted the Idylls of the Deep South in 1934. In the Idyll of the Deep South, Douglas portrays a different kind of “happy southern plantation blacks” by showing the central theme of the painting being cheerful and content African-Americans who are singing, dancing, and playing music. The star and ray of light in the left-hand corner of the painting has been perceived as a representation of the north star,  but was later found out to be Douglas version of the red star of Communism, which Douglas  included to illustrate the hopes of some black intellectuals as the only hope for black equality in America.


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Impressionism- love it, or hate it?

Impressionism, is major art movement that developed chiefly in France during the late 19th and early 20th century. Impressionist painting comprises of work produced between about 1867 and 1886 by a group of artists who shared a set of related approaches and techniques to painting. The most common characteristic of Impressionism painting was an attempt to accurately and objectively record visual reality in terms of transient effects of light and color. The principal Impressionist painters were Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, and Frederic Bazille. The founders of this society were animated by the will to break with the official art, such as that of the Realistic Era. This is one of the reason why I enjoy their artwork compared to those such as the Realistic era, they seem to have a different take of reality and how it can be painted. Some of the characteristics of Impressionist paintings that make their work enjoyable include small, thin brush strokes, every accurate light depiction, and the subject matter in which they paint, which usually is normal life matters and environmental scenery. A good example of Impressionist artwork is one that actually lead to the name of the movement, a painting by a man Claude Monet entitled Impression, Sunrise in 1872 painted in France(seen above). This painting depicts normal scenery of a harbor in Le Havre, France. Monet uses light small brush strokes that suggest whats happening in real-time. The sun seems to be painted with a bright spot on the canvas suggesting that the brightness is directly related to the real world sunlight. This in its self allows the painting to have very realistic qualities that allow the viewer to precieve and figured out what the actual scenery looked like. I prefer this type of realistic artwork compared to that of the Realistic era because Impressionist artwork allows you to examine the various shades and objects of a painting to figure out for yourself what’s really going on in a painting.


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Die Israeliten in der Wüste by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach(1714-1788)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German musician and composer, who was a crucial composer in the transition between the Baroque and Classical periods, and one of the founders of the Classical style, composing in both Rococo and Classical periods. During his time, musical culture was caught at a in between two different styles, the professionals of older style had the technique and skill, but the general population wanted something new. This is one of the reasons why C.P.E Bach was did so well in his time, he knew how to present his older style in a new way, thus enhancing the music he produced. The piece i chose to discuss is an oratorio he produced titled Die Israeliten in der Wuste( The Israelites in the Desert), which he started in 1768 in Hamburg, Germany. This oratorio is based on the Old Testament story of the pain and suffering of the Israelites in the Desert. This piece abandons Bach’s typical styles, using different styles of movement to promote drama and sounds, to more fully engage the listener. Each separate section of this piece has a mood, which if you listen to has a feeling of its own emotions, but together form a true uniformed sound. Thought-out the oratorio each piece creates its own mood, the first part creates a feeling of sadness and depression, as the Israelites seem hopelessly lost in the desert. They are depressed over their misfortune and begin to lose faith as their situation becomes more grim. As the oratorio goes one though the mood becomes more brightened and up beat as the Israelites find a spring to drink from in the desert. In this time this piece allowed for a more enhanced type of entertainment which the middle class could enjoy, other than just music in one style or another. The fact that a story was being told and one could feel the emotions though the music, allowed this type of music to be enjoyed by the middle class, as well as appeal to the aristocratic population as well.

Sections of this piece can be streamed at the URL:

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Ecstacy of St. Teresa

The Ecstasy of St. Teresa is is a sculpture designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini, (1598-1680) in Italy between the years 1645-52. It was built to be 11 ft 6 in. in a Baroque style made out of marble. This is a great example of Bernini’s work that helps us understand the Baroque style of artwork. He created this piece for the Cornaro Chapel of the church of Santa Maria Della Vittoria in Rome. Bernini designed the entire chapel alongside the church for the Cornaro Family which shows the influences of the royalty and wealthy during this time period. Saint Theresa is the focal point of the chapel. Some of its important features include soft white marble surrounded by a polychromatic marble framing, which works to support and hide a window that lights the statue. The statue is made in the image of Saint Theresa of Avila who was a popular saint of the Catholic Reformation. The statue represents some of her writings in which she described the love of God as piercing her heart like a burning arrow. Bernini uses the statue’s image to represent an angle who instead of plunging the arrow into her heart, is actually pulling it out and the ecstatic relief can be seen on her face. I like this piece because of its religious background and story behind it. It is also a statue, which i enjoy viewing and interpreting in its 3 dimensional aspects.


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