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Friday, July 26, 2013

Can you tell the summer session started?

I've disappeared from my usual Internet haunts and have been spending much of my day reading a hefty text book or working on the College Website listening to Video lectures, taking copious notes on the chapter outlines, and writing essays about Art History for assignments or quizzes.

Yep, my summer semester started and I'm taking an accelerated, 5-week class to meet the degree requirement that I pass Art History II.
The class is very interesting - and {blessings be} it does not require me to memorize the stats of 50 artworks each week to be quizzed about 10 of them. {Why yes, I may have been a little scarred from the Art History I full-semester experience (years ago).}
Granted this class does not require extreme memorization but it does require a lot of study/writing - which works much better with how my brain functions.

The teacher has been to several of the places we're studying and I like her perspective, comments beyond the text book stuff, voice and style.
({grin}I think her voice sounds a bit like The Yarn Harlot.)
We've been through my favorite period of Art History - the Renaissance. Proto-Renaissance, Early Northern, Early Italian and Italian High Renaissance - it turns out there was a lot more Renaissance than I realized.
We've just covered the Italian & Spanish Baroque and Rococo periods (a bit fussy and busy for me art-wise) and we have also just reviewed the beginning of Neo-Classicism (where the United States turns up in Art History).

Thus far, it appears the majority of historical art seems to have been created per the request of a Patron or for political or social-standing reasons. Hmmm - I might be a little cynical on that perspective.
I have been surprised and delighted at some of the humor or cleverness built into some of the paintings we've reviewed. Some of the art is startlingly beautiful or sad and sometimes the effort expended to complete the artwork is overwhelming (Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel - 'nuf said.)

I'm going to restrain my urge to ramble on about the many amazing paintings, statues, architecture and early mixed media to which I've been exposed. I have a quiz to take for this week and I need to get started on next week's reading. But here is a portrait I hadn't seen before - Jan Van Eyck's portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Bride. The National Gallery's website will allow you to zoom in and ogle  the clever details of this portrait. I'm particularly fond of the mirror reflection and signature ("Jan van Eyck was here") on the far side of the room past the couple.

Overall, I am finding there is a great deal I don't know - which doesn't surprise me. But I am stretching my brain and learning a lot...and I'm enjoying the process despite the time crunch.
Speaking of which - it is time for me to head back to the books!

Postscript: Not much knitting has been happening over the last few weeks because school has been the top priority. However, there are some Jayne Hats being knit upon at Dr. appointments or as I'm reading a chapter. I have offered to donate two Jayne Hats to the Arizona Browncoats to use for fundraising at the upcoming Can't Stop the Serenity Event at the Fox Theater on August 17th at 6 PM.
Oh...and there are some preemie hats I need to knit!

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