Virtual Museum Tour Essay

2683 words - 11 pages

Vanessa FloerkeWestern International UniversityHUM/201 World Culture and the ArtsRuth ToddSeptember 24, 2006IntroductionHello, and welcome to this Virtual Museum Tour. In this tour are pieces from different types of art forms, including Visual Art, Architecture, Music and Literature. The six selected pieces span historical eras from Classical Greece of 500 - 323 B.C., the Late Roman Republic era of 509 B.C. - 27 B.C., and all the way up to the Early gothic and the Baroque time periods. These selections were chosen because of both their cultural significance, cultural cross-currents, and their beauty and craftsmanship. Enjoy the tour.Calyx-Krater With the Death of Aktaion - Visual Art PieceThis piece comes from the Classical Greece time period (500 - 323 B.C.), was created in 430 B.C., and is from Greek Mythology, mainly the death of Aktaion. In Greek Mythology, Aktaion was the son of Aristaeus and Autonoe in Boeotia, and the nephew of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. The legend states that Aktaion was bragging one day that he was a better hunter than Artemis. Atermis, infuriated by his claims, turned him into a stag (deer), to be eaten by his hunting dogs. There are 2 other stories, one being that Aktaion walked in on Artemis while she was bathing, and upon staring at her nude body, infuriated Artemis to the point that she punished him by forbidding him to speak. If Aktaion spoke he would be turned into a stag, thus eaten by his own dogs. Yet another story dictates that Aktaion was courting Semele, who was also his aunt, and incurred Zeus's wrath because Aktaion made Zeus jealous.This piece was created using the Attic Red Figure Technique, which was quite a complicated process. To create a finished piece of red-figure pottery the potter and the painter join forces. The potter would shape the sculpture out of clay and deliver it to the painter while the clay was still damp. The painter would then paint the vase using a tool similar to a pastry bag with a syringe-like nozzle of bone or wood to illustrate the fine detail lines and background colors. The tricky part is that the paints color only came into being once the sculpture was fired in a kiln, so the painter had to recreate the scene almost entirely from memory, unable to see the work they had done before. In addition, the colors could only be applied while the clay was still wet, so the painter had to work very promptly.When creating the large kraters painted with the red-figure technique, tens of thousands of undetectable lines had to be applied, each ending specifically at a certain point to prevent overlying lines in the complex detail work, in an extremely brief period of time. Despite these limitations, red-figure painters developed an elaborate and specific technique. Humans and animals were portrayed in naturalistic poses with graphic but precise anatomy, and techniques of foreshortening and illusionistic viewpoint were created to make the most of the relative freedom of the...

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