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Posts tagged ‘ArtSmart Roundtable’

Shocking Paintings of Martyred Saints

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Death & Darkness!  Take a look at all the creative interpretations of his topic at the bottom of the page.

Peter Paul Rubens - "St Sebastian

While images of St. Sebastian were often an excuse to paint the human figure, not all martyred Saints were this “elegant”. Peter Paul Rubens – “St Sebastian”, 1614, Staatliche Museen, Berlin (Photo)

November 1 was All Saints Day which got me thinking about this pantheon of holy men and women.  The Saints can be grouped based on their spiritual achievements, like the Scholars, Leaders, Mystics and the Martyrs.  For frightening, chilling stories, Halloween’s monsters have nothing on this last group!  While they are revered as holy people, the lives of these Saints contain some gruesome tales of torture and execution.  Since images have historically been used to educate viewers, may of the most disturbing images in art history depict the various grisly deaths of the martyr Saints.

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Changing Paintings After They are “Finished”

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Concepts in Art!  Take a look at all the creative interpretations of his topic at the bottom of the page.

Art museums are sometimes criticized for being stale and distant.  Mill about, look at the pieces, and under no circumstances do you touch the art!  Paintings haven’t always received this degree of reverence.  While today we analyze the artist’s intent and interpret the underlying meaning of the work, for centuries paintings we just decorations.  Owners could change something as easily as we repaint a bookcase or substitute a bathroom light fixture.  So today I want to think about the concept of “finished” art and what it means when paintings are changed by people other than the original artist.

"A Dominican, with the Attributes of Saint Peter Martyr" by Giovanni Bellini

(left) “A Dominican, with the Attributes of Saint Peter Martyr” by Giovanni Bellini and (right) a digitally created image based on scientific data illustrating what the original Bellini painting would have looked like. Later alterations transformed the naturalistic portrait into a devotional religious painting. National Gallery, UK (Images)

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Peter the Great Trendsetter: National Change through Fashion

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Fashion!  Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.

Peter the Great statue

A Monument to Peter the Great in Taganrog, Russia (Photo)

Peter the Great (1672 – 1725) is a legitimate candidate for the the Most Interesting Man in the World.  Physically impressive at 6 foot 8 inches tall, he disregarded his royal status and sought out hands-on experience with the military, international trade, and sailing technology.  Realizing this country needed an Atlantic shipping port, he planned and constructed St. Petersburg from absolutely nothing.  Peter I’s reign was a revolutionary time for Russia; he brought the nation from medieval neglect to the Age of Enlightenment.  Emblematic of the massive political and technological changes he made, Peter’s reforms included forcing Russians to completely update their wardrobe – which was not nearly as easy as it sounds.

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Bern’s Fantastic Fountains

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are discussing Water!  Take a look at all the great stories at the bottom of the page.

Bern old town and fountain

The Zytglogge clock tower and a sculptural fountain in the historic center of Bern, Switzerland

So you already know that Bern is a beautiful city.  The well-preserved, historic center definitely earns this capital its UNESCO World Heritage designation.  But what I didn’t describe in detail last time were the incredible fountains.  These 16th century works of art add to the charm and atmosphere of the old town and are an integral part of the experience.

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Till Death Do We Part: Love, Art, and Funerary Monuments

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  Something must be in the air this month because we’re discussing LOVE in art.  Check out all the stories below!

Maria Theresa's tomb

The Tomb of Maria Theresa & Francis I, Kaisergruft, Vienna. Despite his infidelity, Empress Maria Theresia of Austro-Hungary was deeply devoted to her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She designed their dual tomb with portrait busts that would forever gaze at each other. (Photo: Gregg, flickr)

Romantic pursuit, courtship, and love in general whether between Gods and Goddesses, royals, or peasants, is a common theme in art history.  Universally appealing and understood, it crosses cultures and time periods.  While it’s interesting to infer attitudes from the images used, we have to extrapolate from these ideal pictures to see what “love” was like for everyday people.  Studying mortuary monuments are one little glimpse into these romantic relationships.  Some memorials are so personal and meaningful, we can’t help but feel the love these couples shared.

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