Do Men Like Poetry?

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Whether or not men like poetry seems to be a trivial question at first. And also highly dependent on the character of each individual. I want to point out right away that this is not meant to be a generalisation of things that are clearly a matter of personality. However, there are some key features that – generally, not always – tend to be very specific to one gender and we’re going to take a closer look at those concerning the interest in poetry.

Women love words. I know this is a cliché, but any woman who is honest to herself will admit, that communication via language is as important to her to create intimacy as nothing else. Talking makes women feel a strong bond to the person she’s talking to and through words she can express and experience herself.

Poetry is the art of adding up words in a way that they form emotions. So at first it would appear only natural that women are especially drawn to this form of art.

Men to not usually connect emotions as much with words as they do with actions. Yet, man of the greatest writers of poems in history were men.

So, how do we explain men’s interest in poetry even though it does not usually move them emotionally as much as it does women?

The answer to that may lie in another feature that distincts poetry from other forms of writing. Poetry is also highly loyal to structure. While poems are very much directed towards feelings, expressions and emotions they also follow – sometimes very strict – patterns. This is something that has a large appeal to the male brain.

Poems capture something in a structure that otherwise might even appear to be inexplicable or hard to capture in writing. The clarity of poetry allows for a deep understanding of situations, feelings or things that otherwise would be hard to grasp.

Considering this, I believe that men and women can enjoy poetry equally but for very different reasons.

While women admire the feelings poetry brings out in them and makes them feel, men like poems for the exact opposite reason: Because they capture and tame something that to them would otherwise feel like too much of a chaotic collection of sensations.

Poems trigger an experience for women while they offer a point of view that is a great starting point for analyses for men. Again, I’m not saying that both of those things can’t be experienced by both genders equally, but this is a general observation based on the average of what I’ve encountered.

So to sum up my argument and answer the question: Yes, men do enjoy poetry, but not for the same reasons as women do.

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Source by Ava P. Reynolds

Egyptian Art

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If you’re looking for a travel destination where you can view a very different form of art than anything you are used to, Egypt just may be the place. With their pyramids, architecture, statues, paintings, pottery, jewelry, and more you really can’t go wrong.

The art found in Egypt is known to be highly stylized as well as very symbolic. A lot of the ancient Egyptian art has come from tombs and monuments. Geometric shapes and nature play a key role in Egyptian art.

One of the most well-known art galleries in Egypt resides in Cairo. This is the Egyptian Modern Art Museum. It is a very common destination for art enthusiasts. This museum houses the works of many artists such as Mohamed Owasis, Bab Zuweila, Zakana El Zieny, Mahmoud Afify, Shafig Shaborream, Mohamed Hussan, Marguerite Nakhla, Hussein Fawzy, Mohamed Nagy, Ragheb Ayad, Mohamed Raief, Fatheya Zouhny, and many more. All of the artists houses in the Egyptian Modern Art Museum are all very talented. Many of which are also very well-known among Egypt and even around the world.

Another art gallery available to view in Egypt is the Cairo-Berlin Art Gallery Exhibits. It is a much smaller gallery than the Egyptian Modern Art Museum. However, it is still work taking a peak. The gallery features both local and regional artists. There are mostly sketches, paintings, and watercolors.

As you can see, Egypt has a lot to offer as far as the display of their ancient Egyptian art. Egypt is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. So, if you are an art lover, put Egypt on your list of desired destinations.

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Source by Penelope Saxe

A Brief History of Cuban Art

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Throughout history, Cuban art has been influenced by the rich history of the island itself and can be divided into several distinctive periods.

There is not much evidence of Pre-colonial Cuban art. A handful of cave paintings that have survived to this day do not give us a lot of insight when it comes to the artistic expressions of Taino Indians, the first inhabitants of Cuba.

In the earlier period of colonial rule, especially in the 15th and 16th century, there was almost no art created on the island, instead, paintings and other decorative objects adorning churches and palaces of the wealthy Spaniards were brought from Spain and other European countries. The first Cuban artists adopted Spanish style and it was not until the 1800s that a distinctive Cuban style started to emerge. The leaders of this new movement were José Nicolás de la Escalera and Vincente Escobar who were both self-taught.

Neo-classical style from the Italian and French schools was introduced by the French artist Jean Baptiste Vermay, who, in 1818 opened the first art school in Cuba-Escuela de Pintura y Escultura de San Alejandro. The most acclaimed painter in the second half of the 19th century was Esteban Chartrand, who created beautiful landscapes for wealthy landowners.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Cuban painters were influenced by the European avant-garde and many traveled to Europe to immerse themselves in the vibrant European art scene. Some of the most talented artists from this period, who adopted postimpressionist styles, created art using recognizable Cuban themes-local farmers, mulato girls and lush tropical landscapes. One of the most talented painters from this period was Victor Manuel García who was greatly influenced by Gauguin. His contemporary, Wilfredo Lam, Cuba’s most famous painter, was primarily influenced by Picasso’s surrealism, but at the same time, embraced his Afro-Cuban heritage in the timeless and magical art he created.

In the 1970s, a new generation of artists started to emerge. New times brought new mediums: serigraphy, sketches and graphic art. Some artists embraced pop art, some painted in deliberate primitivism style and others created photorealistic landscapes. The group of the most notable artists from this period includes Roberto Fabelo, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Zaida del Río, Nelson Domínguez and Eduardo Roca.

In the 80s, Cuban art started opening up to the world and many artists were exhibited in North America and Europe. The first Havana Art Biennial was held in 1984 and to this day remains one the most important showcases of Latin American art.

The contemporary Cuban art scene is more vibrant and alive than ever with many talented artists yet to be discovered by a worldwide audience.

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Mono No Aware: The Essence of Japan

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Mono no aware: the Japanese beauty aesthetic

Meaning literally “a sensitivity to things,” mono no aware is a concept describing the essence of Japanese culture, invented by the Japanese literary and linguistic scholar scholar Motoori Norinaga in the eighteenth century, and remains the central artistic imperative in Japan to this day. The phrase is derived from the word *aware*, which in Heian Japan meant sensitivity or sadness, and the word mono, meaning things, and describes beauty as an awareness of the transience of all things, and a gentle sadness at their passing. It can also be translated as the “ah-ness” of things, of life, and love.

Mono no aware gave name to an aesthetic that already existed in Japanese art, music and poetry, the source of which can be traced directly to the introduction of Zen Buddhism in the twelfth century, a spiritual philosophy and practise which profoundly influenced all aspects of Japanese culture, but especially art and religion. The fleeting nature of beauty described by mono no aware derives from the three states of existence in Buddhist philosophy: unsatisfactoriness, impersonality, and most importantly in this context, impermanence.

According to mono no aware, a falling or wilting autumn flower is more beautiful than one in full bloom; a fading sound more beautiful than one clearly heard; the moon partially clouded more appealing than full. The sakura or cherry blossom tree is the epitome of this conception of beauty; the flowers of the most famous variety, somei yoshino, nearly pure white tinged with a subtle pale pink, bloom and then fall within a single week. The subject of a thousand poems and a national icon, the cherry blossom tree embodies beauty as a transient experience.

Mono no aware states that beauty is a subjective rather than objective experience, a state of being ultimately internal rather than external. Based largely upon classical Greek ideals, beauty in the West is sought in the ultimate perfection of an external object: a sublime painting, perfect sculpture or intricate musical composition; a beauty that could be said to be only skin deep. The Japanese ideal sees beauty instead as an experience of the heart and soul, a feeling for and appreciation of objects or artwork–most commonly nature or the depiction of–in a pristine, untouched state.

An appreciation of beauty as a state which does not last and cannot be grasped is not the same as nihilism, and can better be understood in relation to Zen Buddhism’s philosophy of earthly transcendence: a spiritual longing for that which is infinite and eternal–the source of all worldly beauty. As the monk Sotoba wrote in *Zenrin Kushū* (Poetry of the Zenrin Temple), Zen does not regard nothingness as a state of absence, but rather the affirmation of an unseen that exists behind empty space: “Everything exists in emptiness: flowers, the moon in the sky, beautiful scenery.”

With its roots in Zen Buddhism, *mono no aware* is bears some relation to the non-dualism of Indian philosophy, as related in the following story about Swami Vivekananda by Sri Chinmoy:

*”Beauty,” says [Vivekananda], “is not external, but already in the mind.” Here we are reminded of what his spiritual daughter Nivedita wrote about her Master. “It was dark when we approached Sicily, and against the sunset sky, Etna was in slight eruption. As we entered the straits of Messina, the moon rose, and I walked up and down the deck beside the Swami, while he dwelt on the fact that beauty is not external, but already in the mind. On one side frowned the dark crags of the Italian coast, on the other, the island was touched with silver light. ‘Messina must thank me,’ he said; ‘it is I who give her all her beauty.'” Truly, in the absence of appreciation, beauty is not beauty at all. And beauty is worthy of its name only when it has been appreciated.*

The founder of *mono no aware*, Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), was the pre-eminent scholar of the Kokugakushu movement, a nationalist movement which sought to remove all outside influences from Japanese culture. Kokugakushu was enormously influential in art, poetry, music and philosophy, and responsible for the revival during the Tokugawa period of the Shinto religion. Contradictorily, the influence of Buddhist ideas and practises upon art and even Shintoism itself was so great that, although Buddhism is technically an outside influence, it was by this point unable to be extricated.

Meaning literally “a sensitivity to things,” mono no aware is a concept describing the essence of Japanese culture, invented by the Japanese literary and linguistic scholar scholar Motoori Norinaga in the eighteenth century, and remains the central artistic imperative in Japan to this day. The phrase is derived from the word aware, which in Heian Japan meant sensitivity or sadness, and the word mono, meaning things, and describes beauty as an awareness of the transience of all things, and a gentle sadness at their passing. It can also be translated as the “ah-ness” of things, of life, and love.

Mono no aware gave name to an aesthetic that already existed in Japanese art, music and poetry, the source of which can be traced directly to the introduction of Zen Buddhism in the twelfth century, a spiritual philosophy and practise which profoundly influenced all aspects of Japanese culture, but especially art and religion. The fleeting nature of beauty described by mono no aware derives from the three states of existence in Buddhist philosophy: unsatisfactoriness, impersonality, and most importantly in this context, impermanence.

According to mono no aware, a falling or wilting autumn flower is more beautiful than one in full bloom; a fading sound more beautiful than one clearly heard; the moon partially clouded more appealing than full. The sakura or cherry blossom tree is the epitome of this conception of beauty; the flowers of the most famous variety, somei yoshino, nearly pure white tinged with a subtle pale pink, bloom and then fall within a single week. The subject of a thousand poems and a national icon, the cherry blossom tree embodies beauty as a transient experience.

Mono no aware states that beauty is a subjective rather than objective experience, a state of being ultimately internal rather than external. Based largely upon classical Greek ideals, beauty in the West is sought in the ultimate perfection of an external object: a sublime painting, perfect sculpture or intricate musical composition; a beauty that could be said to be only skin deep. The Japanese ideal sees beauty instead as an experience of the heart and soul, a feeling for and appreciation of objects or artwork–most commonly nature or the depiction of–in a pristine, untouched state.

An appreciation of beauty as a state which does not last and cannot be grasped is not the same as nihilism, and can better be understood in relation to Zen Buddhism’s philosophy of earthly transcendence: a spiritual longing for that which is infinite and eternal–the source of all worldly beauty. As the monk Sotoba wrote in Zenrin Kushū (Poetry of the Zenrin Temple), Zen does not regard nothingness as a state of absence, but rather the affirmation of an unseen that exists behind empty space: “Everything exists in emptiness: flowers, the moon in the sky, beautiful scenery.”

With its roots in Zen Buddhism, mono no aware is bears some relation to the non-dualism of Indian philosophy, as related in the following story about Swami Vivekananda by Sri Chinmoy:

“Beauty,” says [Vivekananda], “is not external, but already in the mind.” Here we are reminded of what his spiritual daughter Nivedita wrote about her Master. “It was dark when we approached Sicily, and against the sunset sky, Etna was in slight eruption. As we entered the straits of Messina, the moon rose, and I walked up and down the deck beside the Swami, while he dwelt on the fact that beauty is not external, but already in the mind. On one side frowned the dark crags of the Italian coast, on the other, the island was touched with silver light. ‘Messina must thank me,’ he said; ‘it is I who give her all her beauty.'” Truly, in the absence of appreciation, beauty is not beauty at all. And beauty is worthy of its name only when it has been appreciated.

The founder of mono no aware, Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), was the pre-eminent scholar of the Kokugakushu movement, a nationalist movement which sought to remove all outside influences from Japanese culture. Kokugakushu was enormously influential in art, poetry, music and philosophy, and responsible for the revival during the Tokugawa period of the Shinto religion. Contradictorily, the influence of Buddhist ideas and practises upon art and even Shintoism itself was so great that, although Buddhism is technically an outside influence, it was by this point unable to be extricated.

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Source by John Paul Gillespie

Paintings and Art in the Online World

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Art has been spontaneous expression of human emotion, since the pre historic age. Since then it has come a long way travelling through different phases of history, nourished by the renaissance, cradled by the great artistic hands of Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso to contemporary artists like David Aberg. It stages itself in the Louvre as well as Madam tuso and in the personal collection of millions of art collectors. It has made its way from the caves of Ajanta to the dynamic world of internet. Now it has its new kingdom of painting and art online.

The online world of painting and art has an aspiring effect on thousands of contemporary artists. Through this modern technology millions of patrons of art and painting can reach the art works of distant artists. This in turn encourages more and more people to take up art as a profession and work on inspirational projects. This has enriched art as a whole.

Painting, art online has now faded out all the geographical boundaries, breaking the cultural barriers and making a unified world of a divine culture and spiritualism. The online world of painting has provided for an increased privilege for both the artists and art admirers. Previously the art collectors had to travel far beyond to get their choice of painting from painters whom they admired. But now, it is to their great convenience the online world of painting and art has proved to be advantageous and beneficial for the art collectors. They are now able to enjoy and purchase exquisite pieces of art from home only through the internet.

Hence, it is well preferable to opt for online art and painting without any delay. The online art and paintings of great painters guarantees an art collector with the availability of unique and brilliant creation of art.

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Source by Moutushi Banerjee

Rumiko Takahashi – Inuyasha Manga Artist

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For one of the richest women in Japan, life hasn’t been one of sitting back and basking in her glory. It has been constant work, constant success, and constant joy. Rumiko Takahashi, who created the original manga of Inuyasha, grew to heights unheard of in popularity and demand from the start of her career. An incredible 100,000 of her works have been sold the world over, making her not only one of the richest women in Japan, but making her the best selling female comic artist in history.

She didn’t even start out obsessed with cartooning. She did love manga all her life and even founded a manga appreciation society in her high school. It was in her next-to-last year of high school that she decided to make manga art a career, and embarked on it with intensity until two years later she found some success. Her story, Katte Na Yatsura (Overbearing People), appeared in the magazine, Shonen Sunday. Almost all of Takahashi’s work was thereafter featured exclusively in this magazine.

In Shonen Sunday, along with her work, there are also featured comments from the author herself. She has a favorite baseball team which is the Hanshin Tigers, and her favorite music group is Shazna. Sometimes she talks of her childhood. It’s a great way to get to know her.

Studying comic drawing at a Japanese college and working as an assistant to another well-known cartoonist, Kazuo Umezu, she became the original artist that she is in heart, drawing her stories from an unlimited imagination.

Late in 1978, Rumiko worked on her first full-length series entitled Urusei Yatsura. It became one of the most loved manga and anime comedies in Japan. And in 1980, when she began to publish regularly, she began her second major series, Maison Ikkoku This series is now considered to be one of the all-time best manga romances.

As her stories appeared and attracted many fans, she grew in popularity as an artist while improving her own writing and artistic abilities. In 1987, a huge year for her career success, three of her most well known stories ended and she began work on Ranma ½.

This story is about a teenage martial artist named Ranma Saotome. He ends up getting changed into a girl each time he gets splashed with cold water. This series ran the longest of all her series and finally came to a conclusion in 1996.

One of her early short stories called Fire Tripper was a model for Inuyasha. Both have a high school girl as the main character, both contain time travel. There are also many similarities in the personalities and the clothes of the main characters.

All of Rumiko Takahashi’s work has become popular throughout the world, and with over 20 years of publishing her manga art, she earned the title of The Princess of Manga. She’s won many awards, including the New Comic Artist Award in 1978 and in 1994 the Inkspot Award in America.

There is no sign of her stopping her artistic endeavors and her fans await not so patiently for what will come next.

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Source by Andrew Wills

A Review of Michael Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in 15th Century Italy

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Baxandall’s Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style was first published in 1972. Although relatively short it has subsequently been published in numerous languages, most recently Chinese, with a second edition published in 1988. Since publication it has been described in such favourable terms as being ‘intelligent, persuasive, interesting, and lucidly argued’ to ‘concise and tightly written, and being found to ‘present new and important material’. It may have been published as a book with three chapters. In reality it is three books in one.

Baxandall brings together many strands of previous art historical methodology and moves them forward in Painting and Experience. As the history of art was emerging discipline Art came to be seen as the embodiment of a distinctive expression of particular societies and civilisations. The pioneer of this was Johann Joachim Winckelmann in his History of the Art of Antiquity (1764). Baxandall is certainly not the first to consider how an audience views a painting. He is not the first to discuss patronage either given Haskell published his Patrons and Painters in 1963. Lacan created the concept of the ‘gaze’ and Gombrich the idea of ‘the beholder’s share’ before Baxandall published Painting and Experience. Baxandall does describe chapter two of Painting and Experience as ‘Gombrichian’. Baxandall spent time with anthropologists and their exploration into culture, particularly that of Herskovits’ and his ideas on cognitive style. Baxandall’s approach focuses on how the style of paintings is influenced by patrons who commission and view paintings. The patron’s view is culturally constructed. For Baxandall ‘a fifteenth-century painting is the deposit of a social relationship’. This quote is the opening sentence of the first chapter in Painting and Experience; ‘Conditions of Trade’.

Baxandall’s first chapter in Painting and Experience on the ‘Conditions of Trade’ seeks to explain that the change in style within paintings seen over the course of the fifteenth century is identified in the content of contracts and letters between patron and painter. Further to this that the development of pictorial style is the result of a symbiotic relationship between artist and patron. However, this relationship is governed by ‘institutions and conventions – commercial, religious, perceptual, in the widest sense social… [that] influenced the forms of what they together made’. Baxandall claims his approach to the study of patron and painter was in no way impacted by Francis Haskell’s seminal 1963 book, Patrons and Painters nor by D.S. Chambers’ Patrons and Artists in the Italian Renaissance.

Baxandall’s main evidence to support the development of pictorial style is demonstrated by the change in the emphasis to the skill of the artist over the materials to be used in the production of a painting as shown by the terms of the contract between artist and client. This is the unique element that Baxandall introduces to the examination of contracts between patron and painter and one that had not previously been explored. He supports this argument by referring to some contracts where the terms show how patrons demonstrated the eminent position of skill over materials. In the 1485 contract between Ghirlandaio and Giovanni Tornabuoni, the specifics of the contract stated that the background was to include ‘figures, building, castles, cities.’ In earlier contracts the background would be gilding; thus Tornabuoni is ensuring that there is an ‘expenditure of labour, if not skill’ in this commission.

Baxandall states that ‘It would be futile to account for this sort of development simply within the history of art’. Indeed to ensure his argument is placed in the domain of social and cultural history Baxandall refers to the role, availability and perception of gold in fifteenth-century Italy. Baxandall uses the story of the Sienese ambassador’s humiliation at King Alfonso’s court in Naples over his elaborate dress as an example of how such conspicuous consumption was disparaged. He cites the need for ‘old money’ to be able to differentiate itself from ‘new money’ and the rise of humanism as reasons for the move towards buying skill as a valuable asset to display.

Herein lies the main difficulty with Baxandall’s approach to identifying the influence of society on pictorial style through the conditions of trade. How would the viewer of a painting recognise that skill had been purchased? Baxandall asks this question himself and states that there would be no record of it within the contract. It was not the usual practice at that time for views on paintings to be recorded as they are today consequently there is little evidence of this. Additionally, there is nothing in the contract that Baxandall presents us with that mentions the actual aesthetic of the painting; expressions of the characters; the iconography, proportions or colours to be used.

Joseph Manca was particularly critical of this chapter in stating that ‘Baxandall’s early discussion of contracts has us imagining a dependent artist who is ever-ready to echo the sentiments of his patrons or public’. We know this is not true. Bellini refused to paint for Isabella d’Este because he was not comfortable painting to her design. Even though Perugino accepted the commission from Isabella he ‘found the theme little suited to his art’.

Baxandall makes no accommodation for the rising agency of the artist and the materials to which they have access as influences on style. Andrea Mantegna’s style was heavily influenced by his visits to Rome where he saw many discoveries from ancient Rome, often taking them back to Mantua. Furthermore, Baxandall does not examine the training that artists received during fifteenth-century Italy to ascertain whether this could be an explanation of their style or how it developed. All of the painters Baxandall refers to were part of workshops and were trained by a master. As such there would be a style that would emanate from these workshops. It was recognised that pupils of Squarcino, including Mantegna and Marco Zoppo, ‘came to have common features in their art’. In 1996 he said ‘I didn’t like the first chapter of Painting and Experience. I had done it quickly because something was needed, and it seemed to me a bit crass’.

The central chapter of Painting and Experience is about the ‘ whole notion of the cognitive style in the second chapter, which to me is the most important chapter, [and] is straight from anthropology. This chapter is Baxandall’s idea of the ‘Period Eye’.

Baxandall opens the ‘period eye’ by stating that the physiological way in which we all see is the same, but at the point of interpretation the ‘human equipment for visual perception ceases to be uniform, from one man to the next’. In simple terms, the ‘period eye’ is the social acts and cultural practices that shape visual forms within a given culture. Furthermore, these experiences are both shaped by and representative of that culture. As a consequence of this patrons created a brief for painters that embodied these culturally significant representations. The painter then delivers paintings in such a way as to satisfy the patron’s requirements including these culturally significant items within their paintings. Baxandall’s chapter on the ‘period eye’ is a tool for us to use so that we, the twenty-first-century viewer can view fifteenth-century Italian paintings through the same lens as a fifteenth-century Italian businessman. The ‘period eye’ is an innovative concept that embodies a synchronic approach to the understanding of art production. It moves away from the cause and effect ideas that were taking hold of art historical enquiry in the early 1970s. But how was it constructed?

Baxandall’s asserted that many of the skills viewers acquired when observing paintings were acquired outside the realm of looking at paintings. This is where he examines the economic machinations of Florence’s mercantile community and notes that barrel gauging, the rule of three, arithmetic and mathematics were skills much required by merchants, and these gave them a more sophisticated visual apparatus with which to view paintings. Baxandall believes that the ability to do such things as gauge volumes at a glance enabled the mercantile classes to perceive geometric shapes in paintings and understand their size and proportion within the painting relative to the other objects contained within it.

Baxandall also refers to dance and gesture as further examples from the social practices of the day that enabled viewers of paintings to understand what was happening within them. Baxandall asserts that the widespread engagement in the Bassa Danza enabled the courtly and mercantile classes to see and understand, movement within paintings.

One of the major questions posed by the application of the ‘period eye’ is evidence that it has been applied correctly. Using Baxandall’s approach how did you know if you got it right – is it ever possible for a twenty-first century Englishman to view a painting as a fifteenth-century businessman even with an insight into Italian Renaissance society and culture? The evidence that Baxandall relies on to demonstrate that the pictorial style of fifteenth-century Italian painting developed seems extremely tenuous. Goldman, in his review of Painting and Experience, challenges Baxandall on this by saying that there is no evidence that modern-day building contractors and carpenters are especially skilled at identifying the compositional elements they see in a Mondrian. Likewise, the argument put forward by Goldman can be extrapolated into the other examples that Baxandall uses such as dance being reflective of movement in paintings. An example is Botticelli’s ‘Pallas and the Centaur’ where Baxandall describes it is a ballo in due which Hermeren, in his review, says this is not a useful piece of evidence as most paintings can be described in that way.

The final chapter turns attention to primary sources as Baxandall refers to Cristoforo Landino’s writings on the descriptors used during the fifteenth-century in Italy for various styles seen in paintings. The reason for doing so is that Baxandall claims this is the method through which the twenty-first-century viewer can interpret documents about paintings that were written during the fifteenth-century by those not skilled in describing paintings. With this tool, it is then possible to gain a clearer understanding of what was meant by terms such as aria and dolce. Baxandall uses this approach to interpret the meaning to the adjectives contained within the letter to the Duke of Milan from his agent within chapter one of Painting and Experience.

Although this chapter is detailed and provides a ‘meticulous analysis of Landino’s terminology of art’ Middledorf believes it does little to ‘throw any light on the style of Renaissance painting’. As it is always difficult for words to capture what a painting is conveying this chapter, although worthy, does not provide sufficient information that is of value to a contemporary viewer in entering the mindset of the fifteenth-century viewer. It is unlikely a patron used such language when commissioning paintings. It is also questionable whether this was the type of language that was used amongst artists themselves to discuss their styles and approaches. Of course, there is material from artists of that time that describe how paintings can best be delivered, but even these seem too abstract to be of practical value as per the example of Leonardo da Vinci writing on ‘prompto’.

On publication Painting and Experience received less attention that Baxandall’s Giotto and the Orators. ‘when that book came out many people didn’t like it for various reasons’. One of the main reasons was the belief that Baxandall was bringing back the Zeitgeist. This leads us to other problems identified in response to the question of what kind of Renaissance does Painting and Experience give us. It gives us a Renaissance that centres on Italy in the fifteenth century, on the elite within society as a group and men only. It is a group of people that represents a fraction of society. They do commission most of the paintings hung in public, but they are not the only viewers of it. The full congregation at Church would view these paintings, and they came from all walks of life. For this reason, Marxist social historians, such as T.J Clark, took issue with the book claiming that it was not a true social history as it focused only on the elite within society without ‘dealing with issues of class, ideology and power’.

Baxandall also rejects the idea that the individual influences pictorial style given each experience the world in a different way. He acknowledges that this is true but that the differences are insignificant. This is in stark contrast to ‘the Burkhardtian idea that individualism in the Renaissance changed subject matter (the expansion of portraiture, for example)’. Four years before the second edition of Painting and Experience Stephen Greenblatt published Renaissance Self-fashioning, a book devoted to the methods through which individuals created their public personas in the Renaissance.

There are additional problems raised by Baxandall’s method. The evidence that Baxandall relies on to support his theses is literary. For example, in addition to chapter three’s use of Landino’s writings in chapter two made much of the sermons as a source of information through which to build the ‘period eye’ and in chapter one all of the evidence exists within written contracts. This begs the question of how Baxandall’s approach is applied to a society in which the art survives, but the writing does not. For example, the Scythians of Central Asia, where scholars admit there is a lot that will not be understood of this ancient people because they had no written language. It appears that in this instance that Baxandall’s approach is impossible to adopt and herein we see another of its limitations.

Perhaps the most glaring omission in Painting and Experience is any reference to the role that the revival of classical art played in the creation of Renaissance paintings and their style. The Renaissance was the rebirth of antiquity. Burkhardt writes a chapter on the revival of antiquity in The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy. It must be argued that the revival of antiquity is a contribution to the pictorial style of fifteenth-century Italy.

Painting and Experience had its many supporters who viewed it has an important guide to bringing out the direct causal relationships between artistic and social change. It was met warmly and was influential in disciplines beyond just art history such as anthropology, sociology and history as well as being credited with the creation of the term ‘visual culture’. In 1981 Bourdieu and Desault dedicated a special issue of Actes de la recherché en sciences sociales to Baxandall.

Baxandalls’ analysis of the conditions of trade, despite some shortcomings, has not been without influence. Baxandall refers to money and the payment mechanism in this chapter saying that ‘money is very important for art history’. His focus on the economic aspect of the production of painting garnered favourable reactions from ‘those drawn to the notion of economic history as a shaper of culture’. In the field of sociology: ‘His interest in markets and patronage made him a natural point of reference for work in the production of culture perspective, such as Howard Becker’s (1982) Art Worlds’. However, Baxandall was very critical of this first chapter.

Andrew Randolph extends the idea of the ‘period eye’ to the ‘gendered eye’ in an exploration of how the period eye can be applied to women. Pierre Bourdieu creates the concept of the ‘social genesis of the eye’ which is the revision of his concept of ‘encoding/decoding’ after having encountered Painting and Experience which allowed Bourdieu to ‘place a proper emphasis on particular social activities which engage and train the individual’s cognitive apparatus’. Clifford Geertz was an anthropologist who was able to refine the early structuralist model in anthropology that had been created by Levi-Strauss by incorporating ideas from Painting and Experience. In the field of history of art, Svetlana Alpers applied aspects of Painting and Experience in her book on Dutch art, The Art of Describing and credited Baxandall with creating the term ‘visual culture’. For historians, Ludmilla Jordanova posits that the approach contained within Painting and Experience highlights to historians the importance of approaching visual materials with care and that it can assist in identifying the visual skills and habits, social structure and the distribution of wealth within a society.

Painting and Experience was described by Baxandall as ‘pretty lightweight and flighty’. It was not written for historians of art but was borne out of a series of lectures that Baxandall gave to history students. As we have seen it has had an exceptional impact not only in Renaissance studies and history of art but across many other disciplines too. It has spawned ideas of the ‘social eye’, the ‘gendered eye’ and even gone on to create new terminology in the form of ‘visual culture’. It is a book to be found on reading lists at many universities around the world today. Painting and Experience may have its problems but remains important because it highlights how interconnected life and art have truly become. What Baxandall tries to give us is a set of tools to rebuild the Quattrocentro lens for ourselves; not only through the ‘period eye’ but analyses of contracts between patrons and painters. Along with that and an understanding of the critical art historical terms of the time, Baxandall enables us to identify the social relationships out of which paintings were produced by analysing the visual skill set of the period. We are left wondering whether we have been able to do that. There are no empirical means of knowing whether we have successfully applied the ‘period eye’. We are in fact left to ‘rely on ingenious reconstructions and guesswork’. The visual skills Baxandall attributes to the mercantile classes he believes are derived from their business practices, such as gauging barrels, impacting their ability to appreciate better forms and volumes within paintings is nothing less than tenuous. Not only that but the approach is specific to a single period and has to be rebuilt each time it is applied to a different era. Baxandall’s approach allows for no concept of the agency of the artist, their training or in fact the importance of antiquity to fifteenth-century Italians.

The question remains as to whether it is possible to write a ‘social history of style’. Baxandall has tried to do so but his assumptions and extrapolations and the inability to prove success leave an approach that is too shaky to constitute a robust method.

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Source by Charles Barber

Magic Rituals For Communicating With Sylphs and Other Elementals

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Sylphs are wonderful magical allies to call upon in these times, when the world is topsy-turvy and you need immediate information to make quick decisions. Sylphs are the magical elementals associated with the element Air.

Sylphs are living beings made of pure air, and they specialize in communication and knowledge. That makes them very handy to have around in this day and age.

More About Magical Sylphs

A sylph is a living being, pure air, 3 to 18 inches in height, twisty in shape, and can be seen in dust devils or swirling smoke from cigarettes. They are clumsy and curious like young kittens, and hang around people a lot. Watch for sylphs around light objects like tinsel on a Christmas tree. You may also experience them as a light brush on your face. They are very quick, like to dart around and to move in spirals.

Sylphs love to communicate. They are very quick with short attention spans so you must be in their state to converse with them. It’s best to communicate with mind because the spoken word is too slow. When you’re traveling, you can talk to sylphs to get weather and road reports.

A Magic Ritual to Help You Communicate with Sylphs

So how do you communicate with a sylph? It’s pretty easy. You follow a magic ritual similar to that of calling upon angels. Here’s how:

1. Sit quietly and close your eyes, if possible.

2. Think the words, “I request the help of a sylph for [state your reason].”

3. Wait a second and the sylph will be there, though you may not be able to see it.

4. Quickly communicate your request with a thought, such as, “I need a weather report on the next 50 miles of this road. Thank you advance in for your help.” Appreciation in advance of the sylph’s help is key.

5. Wait a few more seconds. The sylph will return quickly with your answer. The answer will be a thought in your mind, possibly in your own voice. Don’t dismiss it, trust it.

6. Thank the sylph again for its help.

The key to communicating with sylphs is to use your mind rather than spoken words to communicate. Sylphs are fleeting creatures with short attention spans. Your mind communicates much faster than your mouth, so “think” your requests when communicating with sylphs.

As always, appreciation is key when working with powers and beings in magic rituals. Always thank the sylph after you make your request and after you receive your response. The more appreciation you express, the better the results of your magic ritual.

You can also communicate with other elementals associated with Fire, Water, and Earth. These are salamanders, undines, and gnomes. The communication methods are different, and each serves a different purpose. All are useful to have as magical allies.

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Source by Alan Joel

Bad Pool Caller Error – How to Fix the Bad Pool Caller Blue Screen Error on Windows

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The "BAD POOL CALLER" error is actually one of the most damaging errors known to Windows users – as it's renowned for restarting your PC and showing a fatal "blue screen of death". Many people receive this error but don't even know what causes it. This means that if you want to repair this problem, you first need to know why it shows and then how to fix the various parts of your computer that often cause it. Here's what you need to do …

This Bad Pool Caller error is actually shown because of your PC's "data pool". The data pool is a small collection of files & settings which Windows computers use to help them call various settings instantly on your system. It's like having a small pool of information that your computer can "dip into" in order to quickly gain settings / information about your PC. Not many people even know the data pool exists, but the fact is that it's continually causing errors which often include the "BAD POOL CALLER". This particular error is caused when your system tries to "call" / "load" a certain setting from the data pool, but finds it cannot. This sends your computer into a blue-screen crash, making it unable to proceed.

There are various reasons why this error will show, and to be honest, no-one really has a set checklist of exactly what causes it. The best thing to do is to first check the "hardware" of your PC is functioning correctly, then that your programs are working well, and that Windows is running as smoothly as possible.

The initial step you must take to repair this problem is to ensure the hardware of your PC is working well. To do this, you should do this by checking all the cables and connections that your various hardware components require, are all secure and working. This can be done by just looking at the various parts of your computer and taking a mental note to see if everything's okay.

After that, you should then look to reinstall any program which could trigger this error. It's often the case that resource-intensive programs, such as "Photoshop", will often call so many data-pool components that it will trigger this error. To ensure this is not a problem, you should reinstall any programs which trigger the issue.

Finally, and this is probably the most effective way to fix the Bad Pool Caller error, you should look to repair any issues that are inside the "registry" database of your PC. The registry database is a central storage facility which keeps all the files, settings & options that Windows requires to run each day. Unfortunately, this database is used so much by your system that it's continually being damaged, leading your computer to become unable to read the files it needs to run. To ensure this is not causing the bad pool caller problem, you should look to clean out the registry by using a "registry cleaner" application.

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Source by James Henry Johnson

Vietnamese Painting – Brushing Excellence On Canvas

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There is nothing more beautiful than an artwork that stimulates aesthetic pleasure. Such aesthetic experience acts as a catalyst to enhance our happiness. Earlier, the classical works of art drew heavily from nature's beauty. But of late, modern art work chiefly draws inspiration from the mundane life of man. In other words, modern art captures both material and the spiritual on an equal plane. This trend of depicting the various aspects of human life is clearly evident in the paintings of Vietnam.

From a historical perspective, Vietnamese painting is not a very old art form. It's been only seventy years since the first official art academy of Hanoi, the Ecole de Beaux Arts, opened its doors to local students. However, the cultural origin of Vietnamese painting dates back much further. There has been a consistent effort on part of the Vietnamese people to devote themselves in serious artwork. When the first lessons in line, drawing, anatomy and landscape painting were offered in the early decades of the twentieth century, the art students began taking inspiration from the religious and cultural background of Vietnam. These new learners of art sketched their native villages and fellow farmers in the canvas following the lacquer and silk traditions. During the French colonial period, the students of art took to painting readily as they already possessed the materials needed to create a painting. Once the means to convey their artwork was secured, the new generation of painters began to produce an amazing variety of exquisite paintings. The vision of the past has changed but even today, artists of Vietnam keep on drawing inspiration from the past.

Connoisseurs of art, especially from the West, often complain of the deep influence of Europe in Vietnamese paintings. However, it is surprising to note that modern Vietnam artists still prefer to paint in the age of digital images and multimedia! Yet, if we analyze closely the environment in which the Vietnam artists live and work, we would conclude that painting suits the sensibilities of the Vietnamese artists as it incorporates the century-old cultural and religious motifs of the people. Besides, this expression of art is most immediately available to them. The European touch in Vietnamese painting is by no means accidental, but deliberate. A majority of Vietnamese painters love and appreciate the Western art and hence try to apply some of their techniques in their paintings so that the world would look up to them and give equal weightage to Vietnamese art. The West has not inspired the subject matter of Vietnamese paintings; rather the latter conveys the intricacies of the cultural and social life of Vietnam. Vietnamese artists, like other artists of the world, are moved by their environment and have taken recourse to a delicate way to voice their sentiments through color and poetic imagery.

For a great many years, Vietnamese painters struggled to give free rein to their expression on canvas. Lack of opportunities and adequate funds had created great obstacles to the success and recognition of Vietnam painting. Scarcity of information from the West set their imagination free and Vietnamese art thrived with luxuriance. Overcoming all these obstacles, the Vietnam artists showed their skill to paint under any adverse circumstances. Their resilience and determination are clearly mirrored in the originality and freshness of Vietnamese paintings .

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Source by Suzanne Macguire

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