Art · History · Latin · Musings · Question

Submission: Art and Art History


With your recent return, I thought I’d take it upon myself and get the ball rolling (I won’t just be part of the party, I shall begin it). I will apologize in advance for my inquisitive nature. First let me begin that I am not just some history, art, and Latin geek. I have read yours (and the others) books. It was just pure dumb luck that I discovered your little internet world while trying to get through my Latin I class. So forgive me if my future questions are going to be a mix of the various topics. However, my first question is for my own happiness. I am an art history major and I just have to ask, who is your favorite artist? Is it still Botticelli? Do you still paint? How do you feel about modern art? Do you like conceptual art? I can’t really get into anything too conceptual but would love your opinion. Favorite style or period? Like anyone else, I love renaissance and counter-reformation art but have recently discovered that I utterly adore medieval art. The scribes then were extremely naughty with their penis tree doodles (if you have never seen these drawings and need a good laugh, google “medieval art penis trees”) Feel free to talk my ear off on any and all art related topics because this is what I live for. Art history majors are few and far between where I live, so if I find someone with a similar passion than a conversation is bound to erupt. Okay I’ll stop talking now. 🙂

I am sure you know that the answer to the question of who is my favorite artist is quite lengthy and complicated. Botticelli is very important to me, and yes, I would say that he is my favorite artist. I found Botticelli during a very dark period of my life.  I felt as if beauty and splendor were gone, and I don’t say this dramatically.  I could scarce stand the sight of the “Middle Ages”; it was sick, impoverished, and frightening.  There was no beauty there.  But then I awoke and I saw Botticelli– vivid and innocent.  I had almost lost color.  Does this make sense?  I could scarcely see or appreciate the colors of the world around me.  Everything was hazy and dull.  Gazing at Botticelli, there was color again, beautifully rendered.

Though, I love a great many artists for different and unique reasons. I feel that no one can render color like Botticelli; however, I do not think him the master of all technique and emotion. For example, Caravaggio is infinitely more seductive, darker, and his religious themes less allegorical.

I do not enjoy modern art.  I understand each one by definition, meaning I know what impressionism and expressionism are.  I do not like them, though, because I feel that they lack the depth of a story or allegory.  I cannot “read” an expressionist painting the way that I can read the story of the allegory of the spring in La Primavera by Botticelli.  I can read what the Renaissance was, it’s true nature, in those images.  I do not like any of the movements after Realism to the 20th century.

It has to be said.  I have to be honest with you and the rest of my wonderful visitors: I do not like Van Gogh.

I have to say, the penis tree is an interesting find.  I don’t think that I can match that, but I can give you random images of men fighting large snails and other assorted hybrids.

How did you fare in your Latin course?

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