Upcoming Art Historical Workshop Series:
Week 1: Ateliers of the Pharaohs
If we are to understand and appreciate Classical art, we must first go back to its roots in ancient Egypt. The formal, somewhat static, strangely abstract, and often blocky nature of much Egyptian imagery has, at times, led to unfavorable comparisons with later, and much more ‘naturalistic,’ Greek or Renaissance art, but one is unlikely to have existed without the other. Dr. Miano will take us on a journey back in time, providing us with the historical context for Egyptian art, highlighting its purpose and unique features, and introducing us to artists and the artistic profession in that mysterious and ancient land.
Week 2: The Greeks and the Beginnings of Classical Art
There is no better introduction to Western artistic conventions than with an exploration of the art of ancient Greece. Greek art was an expression of humanism, and it refined the naturalistic representations of the material world. It was not art for the sake of mere decoration or for the expression of the artist’s individual philosophy, but it was a medium for the ennoblement of the human being. Much of the style, and many of the techniques of the Greek artists provide the foundations of realist art today. Dr. Miano will take us on a tour through Greek painting, sculpture, and architecture, highlighting the purpose and unique features of each, and introducing us to famous Greek artists and the artistic profession in that remarkable and ancient society.
Week 3: The Roman Contribution to Art
The elements of Greek sculpture – realism, idealism, harmony of form – held a great appeal to the Romans. Where the Greeks treated art almost as a form of religious expression, the Romans seem to have treated it more like a commodity. This lecture and discussion, however, is not about the uniqueness of Roman art, so much as the importance of the Romans for the continuation and propagation of the Greek art style and its eventual incorporation into the later artistic traditions of Europe. Chances are, the building you are sitting in, or some museum or civic building you have been to borrows elements of Roman architecture. The great demand for art in Rome, especially among the Roman elite, means that the sheer volume of Roman art dwarfs that of any previous civilization.
Week 4: Italian Renaissance Art
This session will survey Italian Renaissance art with a revival of classical ideals but with an accompanying transition to a new style with an emphasis on humanism, and the rise in the status of artists. We will look at important innovations in composition and interpret works within their historical context, examining a series of masterpieces that reveal artistic forms that were intrinsic to culture both in Italy and to the north. The stylistic characteristics of different artistic centers will be identified, and key theoretical concepts surrounding the creation of art will be discussed.
David Miano earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of California, San Diego. He is the proprietor of the ancient history YouTube Channel, World of Antiquity, which features him traveling around the world investigating ancient ruins. He is the author of Shadow on the Steps: Time Measurement in Ancient Israel as well as several anthologies designed for classroom use, including Pen, Stylus, and Chisel: An Ancient Egypt Sourcebook, and Ideas in the Making: A Sourcebook for World Intellectual History to 1300. Dr. Miano has taught at the University of San Diego, the University of California, San Diego, San Diego Mesa College, and the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota.