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Full-Text Articles in Art and Design

The Crucified Christ, Risd Museum, Susan Ashbrook Harvey Feb 2017

The Crucified Christ, Risd Museum, Susan Ashbrook Harvey

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This figure of the crucified Christ was originally attached to a cross and suspended above a church altar where it was visible to all during the celebration of Mass. In this version, Christ’s body appears upright with arms outstretched, as if in resurrection, in contrast to representations that depict him sagging from suspended weight. Instead of conveying suffering, his gaze expresses acceptance. The carved sculpture was originally painted in lifelike colors, traces of which remain in the wound below Christ’s ribs. Other details are more abstract, such as the patterns of parallel incisions that define his hair and ...


Portrait Of Hadrian, Risd Museum, Stephen Shaheen Nov 2014

Portrait Of Hadrian, Risd Museum, Stephen Shaheen

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Hadrian was emperor at the very height of the Imperial Period (117–138 CE). He was selected to rule the Roman Empire because of his personal skills rather than his ancestry. One of the most well-traveled and cosmopolitan Roman emperors, he made two journeys around the empire during his reign. He is remembered for his love of the Greek world, particularly its arts and architecture. Portraits of reigning emperors ensured that Roman citizens knew what their ruler looked like, and were widely distributed throughout the empire. This portrait of Hadrian would have been inserted into a carved bust and prominently ...


Home On The Run, Risd Museum, Brian Chippendale Nov 2014

Home On The Run, Risd Museum, Brian Chippendale

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2006


Saint George, Risd Museum, Sheila Bonde Nov 2014

Saint George, Risd Museum, Sheila Bonde

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Saint George was a soldier of the Roman Emperor Diocletian who accepted martyrdom rather than denounce his Christian faith. This carved and painted sculpture was likely to have been pulled or carried outdoors in religious processions commemorating his feast day, now celebrated on April 23. He was frequently depicted astride a horse, holding a shield and an upraised sword, symbols of both protection and sacrifice. During the Middle Ages, Saint George was the subject of widespread devotion, from Russia and Greece in the east to as far west as the British Isles. Perceived as defender of the Crusades and the ...


Untitled Film Still, Risd Museum, A. Will Brown Nov 2014

Untitled Film Still, Risd Museum, A. Will Brown

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When making his prints, animations, and light boxes, Ezawa looks for source images on the Internet, manipulates them, and distills them to their essentials. Untitled Film Still belongs to a series of works for which Ezawa appropriated several famous photographs in order to deal with the questions of why some images become icons and how one looks at and interprets imagery. It is a playful appropriation of Cindy Sherman’s photograph with the same title from 1978. Sherman’s seminal Untitled Film Still series was in fact single photographs in which a female character (always played by Sherman herself) is ...


Rock Head, Risd Museum, James Montford Aug 2014

Rock Head, Risd Museum, James Montford

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One of contemporary art’s most compelling and elusive figures, David Hammons draws upon his identity as an African American for his sculptures, performances, and installations. He was also inspired by the 1960s Italian Arte Povera (Poor Art) movement with its use of everyday materials to create metaphorical imagery. Rock Head embodies a strikingly elegant human form with remarkable simplicity, roughness, and asymmetry. Reminiscent of both archeological remains and Brancusi’s Modernist ovoid heads, the smooth boulder is thatched with hair swept up from the floor of a Harlem barbershop. Hammons began using human hair from barbershops in the 1970s ...


Lucent, Risd Museum, Sebastian Ruth, Toots Zynsky Aug 2014

Lucent, Risd Museum, Sebastian Ruth, Toots Zynsky

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Toots Zynsky is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative figures in studio glass. Lucente is a vibrant example of her signature ‘filet de verre’ (net of glass) technique, in which she fuses thousands of intensely colored hair-thin threads of glass together on a flat surface and then allows them to slump into a bowl-shaped mold. The colors undulate and evoke feathers, flames, or woven textile designs. Zynsky’s glass-layering technique has a painterly quality unique for the medium. In Lucente, the exterior wash of green and yellow threads gives a misty appearance to the oranges and reds seen ...


Maternity Dress, Risd Museum, Deborah Johnson, Hilary Treadwell, Judith Tannenbaum Aug 2014

Maternity Dress, Risd Museum, Deborah Johnson, Hilary Treadwell, Judith Tannenbaum

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1966


Goddess Maat, Risd Museum, Gina Borromeo, Ingrid Neuman Jun 2014

Goddess Maat, Risd Museum, Gina Borromeo, Ingrid Neuman

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This depiction of Maat appears to be cast in three pieces: the altar, the figure, and the feather. Smooth, highly polished surfaces contrast with the concentrated detailing of the feather, wig, broad collar, and openwork altar. The goddess embodying truth, balance, and proper action, Maat pervaded all aspects of Egyptian culture. Traditionally represented as a woman with an ostrich feather headdress, Maat here sits in a characteristic pose. Similar bronze figures of Maat suggest that this piece is incomplete, and was most likely part of a group composition in which the goddess was juxtaposed with a larger figure of the ...


Head Of Buddha Shakyamuni, Risd Museum, Gregory Schopen, Vazira Zamindar Apr 2014

Head Of Buddha Shakyamuni, Risd Museum, Gregory Schopen, Vazira Zamindar

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The earliest images of Buddha are found in modern-day Pakistan at sites along ancient trade routes. The region once known as Gandhara was familiar to the Greeks as early as the fourth century BCE. Traces of their influence are visible in the classicizing features of this head of Buddha (top), combined with all the traditional attributes of Buddha—the skull protuberance, the spot or tuft of hairs between the eyebrows, and the elongated earlobes of ancient Indian nobility. The simplified and youthful facial features and the coiled knots of hair are typical of Gandharan representations. This head would probably have ...


The Hand Of God, Risd Museum, Ken Horii, Stephen Shaheen Feb 2014

The Hand Of God, Risd Museum, Ken Horii, Stephen Shaheen

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Rodin’s The Hand of God has been viewed not only as a metaphorical representation of the creation of man but also as a commentary on the sculptor’s role as creator. The emblematic hand that emerges from a block of roughly hewn marble represents the Divine Creator forming the bodies of Adam and Eve interlocked in a primal embrace. In contrast to the figures’ slender, attenuated limbs, the sinewy hand was perceived by critics as that of a working man. Together, the well-defined hand and the ephemeral figures bridge Rodin’s interests in both realist and symbolist art. One ...


Funerary Stela Of Heni, Risd Museum, Antoine Revoy, James Allen Aug 2013

Funerary Stela Of Heni, Risd Museum, Antoine Revoy, James Allen

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Offered symbolically, the images and hieroglyphics depicted on the right of this funerary stela ensured that Heni, a local high official, would never experience hunger or thirst in the afterlife. The slightly awkward proportions of Heni’s figure are typical of monuments of the First Intermediate period, when there was no centralized government in Egypt. The lack of royal control over artistic production during this time allowed artists to experiment, as seen in the multiple levels of relief on Heni’s kilt, the particular green of the hieroglyphs, and the striped border. 2134-2040 BCE


Chair And Table, Risd Museum, Tony Cokes, Rosanne Somerson Apr 2013

Chair And Table, Risd Museum, Tony Cokes, Rosanne Somerson

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Richard Artschwager was a scientist and a furniture maker before becoming an artist. Through a witty transformation of material and scale characteristic of Pop Art, his work considers the relationship between art and everyday objects as it explores ideas about both sculpture and furniture. The exaggerated thickness of the chair and table negates their traditional function: the narrow space between the seat and tabletop make it impossible to sit there. Artschwager’s use of Formica® with a simulated wood-grain pattern raises questions about what is real, fake, or a simulation of something else. In the case of his Exclamation Point ...


Portrait Of Agrippina The Younger, Risd Museum, Natalie Kampen, Lisa Anderson Sep 2012

Portrait Of Agrippina The Younger, Risd Museum, Natalie Kampen, Lisa Anderson

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Agrippina (15–59 CE), the subject of this portrait, was related to four different Roman emperors: she was granddaughter to Augustus, sister to Caligula, mother to Nero, and niece and later wife to Claudius. It is therefore not surprising that many portraits of her survive. They invariably depict her with a broad forehead, a square jaw, large eyes, thin lips, and a sharp chin, all features shared by many members of the imperial family. Ancient pieces were sometimes combined with other sculptural elements to create “new” composite sculptures. This ancient portrait head was inserted into a bust composed of different-colored ...


Model Of A Funerary Boat, Risd Museum, Peter Dean, Peter Johnson Jun 2012

Model Of A Funerary Boat, Risd Museum, Peter Dean, Peter Johnson

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During the funeral, the deceased took a last earthly journey, traveling by boat to the cemetaries on the west bank of the Nile. The next voyage then began: a spiritual pilgrimmage to Abydos, the religious center and burial place of the god Osiris. For this reason, wooden model boats were often placed within tombs as substitutes for large-scale vessels in the afterlife. This model boat mimicked papyrus funerary barks. The wedjat-eyes painted on the hull were meant to guide the vessel safely through the perilous journey to the afterlife. 2100-1900 BCE


Grand Arabesque, Second Time, Risd Museum, Julie Strandberg, Jeff Hesser May 2012

Grand Arabesque, Second Time, Risd Museum, Julie Strandberg, Jeff Hesser

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Transitional poses such as this one were constant themes of Edgar Degas’s numerous sculptural studies made in wax, wire, and plastilene. Collected from his studio following his death, these models became the sources of small editions cast in bronze, including this one of a dancer posed in a grand arabesque. In the classic ballet position, the dancer bends forward while standing on one straight leg, with the opposite arm extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backward. In the 1890s the British artist Walter Sickert visited Degas in his studio and was shown the wax model for ...