Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Public Service Announcement - Big Shoe Graphics

A couple posts ago I posted an interview with a local artist by the name of Tyler Tolle. One aspect of the interview mentioned was the organization on campus he is involved with named Big Shoe Graphics. From the information he provided me and a little extra research I was able to create a PSA/radio commercial for the organization! Here is what I created.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Original King James Discovery

I found this article appropriate because it deals with the Renaissance. This article is not directly correlated to art but still I found this to be very important and very interesting.

Here is what happened. A small church in England by the name of St. Laurence Church has had a Bible sitting on a table next to the last row of pew for longer than anyone in the church can remember. Come to find out it is an original King James Bible, possibly the most important book to be printed in english. The Bible's age dates all the way back to 1611, the very end of the Renaissance. Here is the story. Also here is the link to a video of the story in case you don't feel like reading. VIDEO!!!!

Hilmarton, England (CNN) - A little English village church has just made a remarkable discovery.
The ornate old Bible that had been sitting in plain view on a table near the last row of pews for longer than anyone could remember is an original King James Bible - one of perhaps 200 surviving 400-year-old original editions of arguably the most important book ever printed in English.
In fact, the Bible at St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, was sitting right under a hand-lettered sign saying it was an original.
The sign said it had been found in "the parish chest" in 1857, that the cover had been added, and that it was the second of the two impressions published in 1611 - the year of first publication.
But no one knew whether to believe it, parish council member Geoff Procter said. As the anniversary of publication in 1611 approached, they decided it was worth investigating.
"We had no way of knowing whether it really was a 1611 Bible so we had to get it verified somehow," he said.
He and two other church members took it to a specialist, the Rev. David Smith at the Museum of the Book in London.
Smith knew immediately what he was looking at, Procter said.
"We put it on his table and he opened it and immediately he said, 'Yes, this is a 1611 Bible,'" Procter remembered.
Geoff Procter of St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, reads from the church’s King James Bible.
Smith identified it thanks to a printing error - a place in the Gospel of Matthew that should say Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane and spoke to his disciples instead says that Judas, who betrayed Jesus to the Romans, entered the garden.
That the St. Laurence Bible had that error, but not another one in the Book of Ruth, enabled Smith to pinpoint exactly when the book had been printed, Procter explained.
"We realized that this is quite an important find," he said, and last month the church quietly announced the discovery in the diocese newsletter.
They hesitated before going public, Procter said.
"It was one of those discoveries that we wondered if we should tell everybody or tell nobody," he said. "And we thought that as it was the 400th anniversary, we should talk about it."
St. Laurence Church is far from the only one talking about the King James Bible this year - the Globe Theatre in London is planning a reading of the whole thing in the days before Easter, and a literary festival has already done one. Cambridge University has an exhibition, and the King James Bible Trust lists dozens of special events planned this year to mark the anniversary.
The reason is simple, said Moira Goff of the British Library.
The King James Bible is "so embedded in us that we can't overstate the significance of it," she said.
It's the source of dozens of phrases and concepts that have become part of the English language - "an eye for an eye," "born again," "eat, drink and be merry," "God forbid."
The church recently discovered that its old Bible was a rare 400-year-old original King James Bible.
Experts point out that the King James is based on at least two earlier major English translations, so its creators were editors as much as originators of these phrases, but it is the King James Bible that the great English writers knew, Goff said.
"It's passed entirely into the English language, into the thinking of English speakers around the world," she said.
Its influence has been greater than that of Shakespeare, she argued.
"I think it's permeated the language in ways that we can't count as we can count Shakespeare, influencing people's religious thinking, influencing people's social thinking in a way that Shakespeare probably does now - but that's a more recent development," she said.
"It's the Bible that was read to people in church every week," she explained. "The great literary figures from the early 17th century onwards, this was their daily reading. It passed into their works," she said, citing John Milton and John Bunyan among others.
But the King James Bible shouldn't be reduced to merely its influence on writers, she said.
"I think we have to be very careful in looking at the Bible only as a work of literature. It is also Holy Scripture and I think that makes it a different sort of book than the great works of literature," she said. "It will be read by people who will possibly never read Shakespeare or Milton."
The St. Laurence discovery is very unusual, she said. Perhaps 200 copies of the 1611 printings of King James Bibles are known to exist, she estimated. No one knows how many were printed, she added, but she guessed that the number was probably around 1,000.
Most of the surviving copies are in institutions, such as major libraries at universities, colleges and cathedrals in the United Kingdom and United States, she said.
"Some of them may be in private collections," she added, saying there is no way to know how many such copies there might be.
The sign hanging above the Bible, announcing its origins.
The St. Laurence discovery is technically a fragment, not a Bible, since it is missing a few pages (including most of the first pages of Genesis, up to chapter 4, verse 17) and has been trimmed at the top to fit the wooden cover added in Victorian times.
But it fits a pattern, she said. As King James Bibles got old and needed to be replaced, many were tucked away as church treasures, as seems to have happened with the St. Laurence Bible.
The people of St. Laurence Church are now trying to raise money to build a special case so they can keep their Bible in use and on regular display.
That would make the church more or less unique so far as Goff knows, although she speculated that there just might be a few village churches still using their 400-year-old Bibles.
"It's possible there are one or two churches that have gone on doing it and they just haven't thought to say," she said.
"People are now beginning to realize the value of this particular edition. This is the 400th anniversary and there is a lot more emphasis on it," she said.
"They value it. They want to keep it and they want to use it."

Monday, March 7, 2011

Florence Baptistery

The Florence Baptistery located in Florence, Italy serves as a religious structure. This building is one of the oldest in Florence with its octagonal figure. This building is simply stunning especially for being built 1059. Up until the 19th century nearly all florentine catholics were baptized in this building. What the baptistery is best know for is the bronze set of doors located on the south, north, and east doors. The most famous of the doors being constructed by Lorenzo Ghiberti. These doors feature reliefs created by Ghiberti and have been described by other artists and famous Renaissance personal as "the Gates of Paradise."

In the year 1401 a competition was to be had between artists to design the bronze doors. Seven artists competed including the likes of Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Ghiberti. Ghiberti who was 21 years of age at the time won the commission and was set to make the north and east doors. At the time of the judging it was unclear who had won and it was up to both Brunelleschi and Ghiberti to work on the project together. Brunelleschi decided to leave for Rome, so the task was solely bestowed upon Ghiberti.

It took Ghiberti 21 years to complete the project. The bronze doors consist of twenty-eight panels, twenty of which depict the life of Christ from the New Testament. The lower eight panels depict the evangelists and the Church Fathers, Saint Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory, and Augustine. The most famous of the panels is said to be the "Sacrifice of Isaac."

The School of Athens

This painting is one of the most famous paintings by Rapheal of the High Renaissance. It was painted in between the years of 1510 and 1511 as a part of Rapheal's contribution to the paintings depicted inside the Vatican. The painting is a fresco, and it has the dimensions of 200 in. X 300 in. Within this painting Rapheal put the great thinkers of this time period in a Greek setting, many figures or characters in this piece can be identified as great Greek thinkers or Renaissance figures. Watch the video to find out more about this painting!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Codex Leicester

Since we have recently been talking about Leonardo da Vinci's many drawings and research I thought we could keep the ball rolling by talking about this next topic : The Codex Leicester.

The Codex Leciester is a journal of Leonardo da Vinci's that consists of a large collection of this scientific writings and findings. This journal is named after Thomas Coke who was later named the Earl of Leicester. Coke purchased the codex in 1717. Among 30 some scientific journals, this is quite possibly the most famous written by Leonardo. The codex not only provides scientific insight into this Renaissance thinkers mind but also provides through illustration, a link between science and art.

The codex is made up of 18 pages, which were written on both sides and folded in half thus creating this 72 page document. It is handwritten by Leonardo himself in Italian and is accompanied by multiple pictures and diagrams. The manuscript describes many scientific theories about multiple items including fossils, plate tectonics, erosion, the moon, and the flow of water.

A look at some pages from the Codex Leicester
It is astonishing to see how great this man's mind worked. He provides scientific explanation which clearly surpasses the thinking of this time. He describes how fossils can be found on mountains because of his theory that mountains once formed sea beds and were gradually lifted up (plate tectonics anyone?).  He also explained his theory of the moon in which he explained that the pale glow on the dark portion of the crescent moon is caused by sunlight reflected by the Earth. Leonardo successfully described planetshine 100 years before it would be proven. This dude was a genius!  

The Codex was purchased in 1980 by Armand Hammer, a wealthy art collector. He renamed it Codex Hammer. In 1994, none other than Bill Gates purchased the then Codex Hammer for $30.8 million, making it the most expensive book ever sold. Gates decided to rename the codex, Codex Leicester. He would later make scanned digital images of the book and distribute them as screen savers for Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Leonardo da Vinci's Drawings

A drawing of a flying machine
If you didn't take my advice about joining Stumble upon you really honestly should! It is an awesome website that piles all of your interests in one spot and takes you from website to website of your interest. It is a great way to pass the time and to procrastinate from doing homework!

Drawing of studies of the shoulder and neck
Actually this website has helped me with my homework including my blog. Recently I stumbled upon a gallery of all of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings. Not only is this really sweet but it directly correlated to by blog topic! One of his more famous drawings is actually depicted in the background of my blog; The Vitruvian Man. Check out some of others and click the link for more!

A lot of these drawings are of human beings and the internal aspects of our bodies. Some historians say that da Vinci would actually rob graves in order to dissect the human body while others declare that he paid grave robbers to bring him his subjects to study.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Arnolfini Marriage

This piece is truly amazing, but not to the untrained eye. The Arnolfini Marriage is an oil painting created by Jan van Eyck in the year 1434. This is a painting is a portrait of a wealthy Italian merchant named Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife in their home in the Flemish city of Burges.

This piece is considered to be one of the most original and complex paintings in Western art history. The illusionism and detail of the painting is incredible for the time. What many artist are in awe about this painting is the use of light to create interior space (I know you probably don't understand that if you aren't artsy fartsy).

Particularly where I notice the most detail the foreground of the piece is the woman's dress. But what really blows my mind about this piece is mirror placed behind them. Here take a look for yourself.