When Michelangelo’s David was unveiled in 1504 in Florence, it was seen to symbolize the civil liberties of the Republic of Florence, which were threatened by the surrounding city-states and the powerful Medici family who wanted to rule. The republican government had only been in place since 1494. The republic’s concerns were well-founded: Giovanni de’ Medici re-conquered the republic in 1512 and restored Medici rule.
The second Florentine duke, Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici decided to commission Cellini’s Perseus With the Head of Medusa, which was unveiled exactly 50 years after David in 1554. Composed of bronze, Perseus was deliberately placed opposite the David. Medusa’s gaze appeared to have turned David to stone.
Technically, she was known as Diego Rivera’s partner – an exotic eccentric. Her own work, while selling in her final decade, was often overshadowed by her Bohemian reputation, and her dressing in traditional Mexican costume. She could not live off her art until late in life.By 1953, such was her declining physical state that for her first Mexican solo show, her four poster bed was taken from her house to the gallery. Kahlo arrived by ambulance and was transferred from the ambulance to a stretcher to her bed.
She died in 1954, and her work as an artist was left to languish until it was rediscovered in the 1970s by art historians and political activists. As you know, she is now a worldwide household name. Quite a life-after-death.
From Jaina Island’s cemetary, where archaeologists have found figurines cradled in the arms of the deceased.
This figurine is special because rather than depicting the deceased as a robust young adult, it shows a proud elderly warrior. He is definitely a warrior because he holds a flexible, rectangular shield in his right hand and wears a quilted armor tunic, both being requisite for Maya warriors during this period.
Earthenware figure, crafted sometime between 550 CE and 850 CE.
Part of the uniform of
Her Majesty Empress Maria Fyodorovna’s Cavalry Guards Regiment. With a three-headed eagle on top, almost the size of the helmet itself! Must have been ceremonial. Because only a fool would wear that unwieldy thing into battle
Serious American artists during the Early American Period (1789 – 1815) thought that genre scenes were too mean and lowly for
their talent. So major painters such as John Vanderlyn and Samuel Morse
scorned the depicting of ordinary folk – except, said Vanderlyn, Italian
peasants. With their lack of “fashion and frivolity,” Italian peasants,
Vanderlyn declared, were close enough to nature to possess a
neoclassical universality that was worth depicting.