The Return of the Prodigal Son is an iconic representation of Baroque style painting. The theatrical lighting is painted in, contrasting light and dark, with an overall feeling of darkness in the painting, but with a spot light of sorts on the focal point of the piece. This technique brings a calming presence to the piece. Not only is Rembrandt portraying a tender moment, a reunification between father and son, with much grace and vulnerability present, but also Rembrandt’s use of light and shadows invokes a feeling of tranquility in the work. Many who view this painting at the Hermitage, in Saint Petersburg, come away believing it to be the best painting ever created. The Baroque influence is present also in the subject matter of the piece; the Catholic Church created artistic regulations following the Council of Trent, to determine that the creation of art was to be with the intention of bringing focus to Biblical events and fundamental ideals. Rembrandt created many works with a very clear Biblical focus.
1. Rembrandt Life and Work
2. State Hermitage Museum
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The Portrait of King Henry VIII is a piece commissioned by King Henry VIII, painted by Hans Holbein the Younger. This work was done as a palace mural in 1536. The English Reformation was taking place during these years, and when King Henry determined to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, he also left the Catholic Church as the pope refused to grant his annulment. Embracing Protestantism, King Henry also embraced forms of Renaissance art, including employing artists in court. Hans Holbein the Younger was affiliated with humanism, and painting in the style of the Northern Renaissance. when hired by King Henry as the King’s Royal Painter. Holbein is known as one of the most celebrated artists of his time. Holbein furthered the realism favored by Renaissance artists with clear and precise likenesses of his human subjects. Many historical figures, such as King Henry VIII, are remembered by the portraits drawn and painted by Holbein.
Although The Portrait of King Henry VIII was lost in a fire in 1698, it is an example of how the Reformation influenced the Renaissance, as there were great changes taking place in Europe, as religious loyalties were dividing. Royals were great commissioners of fine art, and their religious leanings were guaranteed to influence the nature of art.
I find this painting specifically, and other works by Holbein to be persuasive, as though he was painting with the intention to give one an impression of the subject’s character. I believe this was a notable feature of Holbein’s portraits, and it is quite evident in this painting of King Henry VIII. The portrait strikes me as astute and formal.
Hans Holbein the Younger’s, Portrait of King Henry VIII
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My name is Katie, and I am taking this required course with anticipation – I am looking forward to new perspectives on the arts. I have used this blog in the past, both for school assignments as well as personal blogging. I will only be posting updates that relate to this course, for the semester. I have two little girls pictured above, and we live in Homer, Alaska. As the summer comes to an end, I am looking forward to settling in for the winter.
I play the violin, and enjoy the experience of music in various forms, but as far as my own relationship to ‘art’, I consider it to be very tangible and accessible. I find that art holds the most value when it is an innate aspect of our daily experiences; when art is essential to the business of living. For instance, preparing a meal, picking an apple, or lighting a candle. Life, along with art, is about truth, goodness, and beauty, and these ought to be found in the most simple and sincere moments. When it comes to high forms of art, I am receptive as a reader, and am interested to learn how art reflects humanity. This is a splendid source for relevant insights on the existence of art in all aspects of life.
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Pretty Princess Pea is the name Judah gave to the worm she found and captured today, after informing the small creature that she was to be “him’s mom”. She has been caring for the worm for hours, providing sustenance and friendship (apparently they are best friends). Alas, during nap time, Pretty Princess Pea executed a Great Escape from ‘him’s’ mason jar home. The distress. The sadness. The feeling of loss one experiences, when one loses one’s child…I mean, recently acquired worm…evidently the emotions are of similar magnitude, regardless of the actual loss.
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I’d prefer not to acknowledge the fact that there appear to be large gaps in my blogging. It is hard to ignore, as the gaps are so…large.
I am both gleeful and a little embarrassed for my child that she has such a lack of awareness around pop culture for toddlers. For instance, Zach and Judah recently took a trip to Soldotna where they had a drive-thru lunch for the first time in Judah’s tiny life. A few days later, Judah informed me that she wanted “poop chicken” for dinner. After telling her that I did not know what poop chicken may be, she said, “you know, that poop chicken that Zach always buys me in Soldotna…with ketchup”! (if by always, she means, once…) Oh yes, Judah. Chicken nuggets. You want chicken nuggets for dinner? I don’t think she had ever previously encountered chicken nuggets…only the other non chicken type of nuggets that are not food and might also be known as, “poop”.
So, also never having been to McDonald’s until a friend recently took her there, she told me the other day that she would like to have lunch again at “Old McDonald had a farm – that really nice restaurant with the tables”.
And…she had a big argument with her small friend about a fish. Her friend said, “hey that’s Nemo!” and Judah said, “no, that is not a Nemo, that is a fish!” and the arguing ensued.
She is well versed, however, on many relevant topics pertaining to children and the world.
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Zach, Judah and I have been in Anchorage this week – luckily enough our trip coincided with an Andy Warhol exhibit at the Anchorage museum. Aside from an interesting but unfortunate mishap, about which I don’t think I can speak of on such a public forum, the museum trip was a giant success. I was excited to view Art that did not fall under the exclusive title of Alaskan Landscapes and Judah loved the children’s portion of the Warhol exhibit, which included about 50 pairs of sunglasses for trying on.
And! Judah and her little Homer friends were extra pleased to visit the Imaginarium. Who knew Anchorage could be such a good time?
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