Writing Prompt & Instructions
Please answer the following questions with a minimum word count of around 300 and double-spaced. Make sure to reference the resources often to back up your points and provide a link to where your information is coming from.
In this discussion forum, you will be spending some time looking at art and artifacts from the Middle Ages. Please search on the internet for one piece of Middle Ages art or culture between the 5th and 15th centuries AD that you find interesting. It could be visual art, illuminated manuscripts, jewelry, mosaics, fashion, architecture, poetry – really anything related to art that comes from the time period of the Middle Ages.
Briefly tell me some of the basic information – date, location, origin, purpose (if you can figure this out), artist, etc. Make sure to tell me where you found your information!
Explain what made you choose this piece over others (please be thorough in why you found it interesting – don’t just say “I found it interesting because I had never seen it before.”)
Connect your artifact to something specific you learned from the art section resources you read/watched this week.
Below are link to the art section resources read/watches this week to help answer number 3 part of the question:
****I have added a sample analysis below!
I have chosen to analyze the famous Venus of Willendorf (https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/prehistoric-art/paleolithic/paleolithic-objects/a/venus-of-willendorf), which is one of the oldest surviving works of art in the world! This little lady is referred to as a Venus figurine and was among hundreds of similar figurines found in Paleolithic sites across Europe. The carvings date back to around 40,000 – 10,000 BCE!!!! They are usually small – around 1 – 4 inches – and are often made from mammoth tusk, but “teeth, antlers, bone, and stone, were also used.” This figurine was made out of limestone.
These figurines are usually nude and very voluptuous – in contrast to the smaller frames of skeletons found from around the same time. These figurines led some anthropologists (Marija Gimbutas in particular) to theorize that our prehistoric ancestors participated in goddess worship. Her theories were majorly controversial, but what I think is more fascinating than wondering whether or not she is right (because how can we ever know) is pondering the incredible power of story and interpretation. Because we have so little to go on, a lot of our theories are conjectures and that makes this time period very mysterious. I chose this piece because I used to dislike this image because it was so commonly used and I never really stopped to take a moment to ask myself why it was so important. Knowing the background, as I noted above, opens my eyes to the fact that there is so much that we do not know about our past (or even our present, honestly) and I personally like entertaining the mysteries of life.
In the Goodbye Art Academy video, the narrator mentions that these figurines were common in Stone Age art and that they most likely represented fertility. The video hypothesizes that fertility was a “popular Stone Age theme probably because it represented prosperity and expansion of the tribe.” Again, these are our best guesses, when we look at art today, there are so many reasons why people create, but it seems safe to say that whatever these ladies represented, they were pretty popular!
I got my information from the Goodbye Art Academy video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdlQxISNpwY), Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/prehistoric-art/paleolithic/paleolithic-objects/a/venus-of-willendorf), and Ancient History Encyclopedia, (https://www.worldhistory.org/Venus_Figurine/) which is an EXCELLENT resource, but the Met Museum and the British Museum are great places to look as well.
Writing Prompt & Instructions Please answer the following questions with a minim
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