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Danielle’s October Post

31 Oct

This is the Astor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It is based off the Garden of the Master of the Fishing Nets, which was a Ming Dynasty garden built between the 14th and 17th centuries.  What I like about this garden is how peaceful it looks.  I have always been drawn to structures like these.  When I looked at this photograph, I immediately thought of  the Snug Harbor Chinese Scholar’s garden that is on Staten Island, New York.  Although the Astor Court is a recreation of the early Ming Dynasty garden, when looking at pictures of the Scholar’s Garden, I can see Astor Court’s influence in the lines and textures that surround the garden.


Danielle Austin’s Art Pic from the Art Institute

31 Oct

“Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints”


The painting I chose is called the Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints.  It is an oil on panel that was done about 1505/1515.  When I first saw this painting I noticed how vibrant it was.  The colors were very saturated and they had a sheen to them.  That’s what I believe made it stand out from the other paintings I saw before finding this one.  I really liked the use of color and how it was able to show depth and texture.  I was most impressed visually with the shading of the clothing; the shading of the colors were able to portray draping so accurately and clear.  I found it to be very beautiful.

This painting was rather a large one.  Despite the fact that it is 3 paintings large, it seemed to me that each part of it was large itself.  Upon looking at each piece, I noticed that at the top they had golden arches.  They reminded me of gold leaf.  I also noticed how the same arches matched the halos over the heads of women in the painting. When I looked at the small caption that was placed next to it, I read that the gold framing was a “common feature of German altarpieces of the time.”

In this painting, the virgin is surrounded by women while holding a baby.  They all are sitting in a field, and holding various objects.  Some are holding books, another is holding a chalice.  The baby is holding what looks to be an apple.  To either side of the center painting, there are separate paintings, each with a woman depicted.  To the left Saint Ursula is depicted , surrounded by women that are half her size.  To the right, Saint Agnes is depicted, holding onto a leashed animal.

When looking at this painting, I could tell right away that this was a religious painting.  I could tell right away that in the center painting the Virgin was the one in the center, wearing the crown.  And I assume that the baby she is holding is Jesus.  After reading the caption, I confirmed my thoughts as it said that the Virgin was “crowned as the Queen of Heaven.”  When looking at the women surrounding her and looking up towards her, I got a sense that they were looking up to her and trying to learn from her, like one would study the Bible.  I felt like the background surroundings of this painting was a place of learning.  I felt that this space was a place of peace.

When I read the caption, it said that this painting “suggests that it was made for a community of nuns.”  I agree with this caption.  I feel that such a painting would be commissioned for nuns to be placed where they live and study.  In a convent, nuns have devoted their life to God and His teachings.  In that painting, I feel that it gives tribute to God and what the nuns have dedicated their lives to doing.  Also, I feel that it could have been a source of strength for the nuns.  It could have been something that they could have come to for solace and reaffirmation, should they have found their faith challenged.

This painting, was a rather thought provoking one for me.  I was never one to really look at a religious painting in depth, but this one struck me.  At first I was not sure as to what I was going to get out of it, but the more I looked at it, the more I was starting
to form an opinion as to what this painting could mean. However, from an artistic standpoint, I was very impressed with the vibrancy of the colors.  I found them to be more saturated than other oil paintings I’ve seen before.  This painting encourages me to go even deeper to find out more of what this painting could mean.

– Quotes were taken from the caption next to the painting at the Art Institute of Chicago

Danielle’s September Post

3 Oct

For as long as I can remember, art has been a part of my life.  I have always been an artistic person and I credit that talent to my father.  He is the first artist I have ever known.  Because of him, I am at Columbia.  From him, I learned to draw and how to take photographs.  I can’t even remember the first time I held an SLR camera, I was that young.  As a child, I remember drawing random things and as I got older I remember my drawings getting better and better.  I would watch my dad in amazement; I would be in awe at how well he could draw, and I remember wishing I could be as good as him.  I didn’t really begin to focus my talent until the fourth grade, when I realized that I loved to design clothing.  It was then that I really tried to become better at what I did.  I would draw every day, sometimes for hours.  I still have my original drawings to this day.  I discovered how serious I was about designing once I got to high school and took a fashion design class there. I was encouraged by both parents to pursue designing.  My parents showed me old magazines and old fashion photography books for inspiration, and by my senior year I was certain that art school was for me. I realize now, after a few years of growth and misguided decisions, that art will always be a part of me.  It’s not just a fad, or something I can just turn my back on.  It is something that I can incorporate into my life every day and something that I can be proud to make a career out of.