One of the most serious (- seriously determined) journey started in January, which was of Art History. The core logic of my Art History follows Advanced Placement syllabus. One huge milestone was AP Art History Exam, which happened in May. By the time I am writing the blog, I have finished nine of the ten units in AP syllabus.

Here are two of the last three units.

The general characteristics of the two periods (see the last two columns)

In the previous blogs, I have documented, organized, and synthesized my learning materials, outputs, and reflections. Upon the impending end of the semester, which, as I see it, another important milestone, here is my universal formula of learning. The formula is refined from the self-study experience of AP Art History, AP US History, and AP Human Geography.

(AP) Art History Learning Reflection: https://shimo.im/docs/JVwrxXvTC3H3WjXV#anchor-acl2

Learning Formula: https://shimo.im/docs/JVwrxXvTC3H3WjXV#anchor-3G0i

*While, the Learning Formula my XA artifact for 2020 MSA Defense, the lit&art project is my HA artifact. I will link to more details after uploading my portfolio and artifacts.

At some degree, AP syllabus is of great use to me. Through its logic and numerous FRQ practices with standard rubrics, I walked into the gate of Art History the steadily.

“像专业人士一样学习规则,这样你就可以像艺术家一样打破规则。”–Pablo Picasso

My works of learning “the rules” thus lead to art.

AP Art History Self-Study Experience and its Aftermath

“Art History has became my intuitive habit. Like, I have to drink few drops of it each day.”

Press the following figures to view the files

Remaining AP Art History Art Works for 2020 | House in New Castle County – Robert Venturi, John Rauch
FRQ Practices | Palace of Westminster
2020 AP Exam Timed Essays (wrote during the exam) | The Saint-Lazare Station 
Reflection on AP Self Study Experience | The Burghers of Calais
Learning a new unit based on Reflection – Unit 7 Artworks | Liberty Leading People
Learning a new unit based on Reflection – Core ideas | The Court of Gayumars

Defining “Art History” Along with AP Art History self-study — Early Europe

Art History, U.S. History and Human Geography.

In rounds of self-questioning, I figured “myself” out by asking them three questions respectively

For the History of Art: Who am I? Why? How?

To U.S. History: When am I? Why? How?

At last, encountering Human Geography: Where am I? Why How?

This is a rhetorical saying. Yet these questions indeed are the key to know them.

Then they will be a part of me.

This is how I know Art History

Press the following figures to view the files

Catacomb of Priscilla | Artworks
Alhambra | Review
Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres | FRQ Guide
School of Athens | FRQ Practice

Pool with two figures

Contemporary art  

David Hockney <Pool with two figures>, 1970s, a painting: acrylic on canvas  


David Hockney is an English artist. Last year, on 15 November,  <Pool with two figures> was sold as the most expensive work by an living artists.  

On the huge canvas, a man is staring at a half-naked man in front of the swimming pool. Assume that a person, namely, I stand in front of the panting, the position of me and the two men in the painting would be a cross-dimensional triangle. The water in the pool is rippling, likely, this feeling is accord with my perception of the whole painting. Like excellent writers are not limited with language—the words, distinguished painters are far beyond superficial brush stroke could express. As I stare at the painting longer, the border of the characters and me is blurred. Hockney described the swimming pool as “the very thin film, the shimmering two-dimensionality”. It is the composition, including the conflict in style that endow the painting fullness and strong emotional expression.  

Hockney has progress in many field in art, because of his multiple talent, he was able to discover more possibilities during the creation of art. This painting, <Pool with two figures>, is inspired by two serendipitous events. The first, started in 1971, juxtaposition of two photographs in different style on the studio’s floor. Armed with his Pentax camera, Hockney then travelled to a villa outside Saint-Tropez, where he staged hundreds of photographs following his original composition. 

Hockney was born in England, who’s father was a conscientious objector of Second World War. Later, he attended London College of Art, where Hockney said he felt at home and took pride in his work. In 1964, he moved to Los Angeles. At there, Hockney was struck by what he saw. “I looked down to see blue swimming pools all over, and I realized that a swimming pool in England would have been a luxury, whereas here they are not.’ Without realizing it, he had discovered his greatest subject matter, and LA’s pools would become the setting for many of his major works of the 1960s and ’70s. Viewing across his oeuvre, his paintings and drawing are like illustration where readers could feel emotional appeals in symbolic poems.  

I’m someone in the history


我是某个希腊传统哲学学派的学徒,我想用艺术表达我学到的东西,用艺术探索、实践和宣传我们学派的哲思。苏格拉底被提名审判其中一项罪名就是 提倡自由信仰。而我们认为,希腊传统宗教和神话是至高无上的。想要强调这一点,我打算建造一座雕塑 还原宙斯。我想,这个雕塑的比例一定是匀称的、曲线也要自然。这样才能让世人意识到 神的完美形象,并且永远铭记。

Where does art come from? What could art do?

Through–Prehistory & Ancient Mediterranean Art

艺术是怎么来的?不妨先结合一些非艺术领域事物提几个大胆的猜测。数字起源的故事很多人都熟知,人生活中有需要记录事务的需求,于是不同地方的人们根据自己所处环境的条件 想尽办法来满足这个需求。有人通过在绳子上打结计数,而生活在海岸边的人用收集到的贝壳数当作记录。我认为,艺术起源可能也来自人们在生活中对记录的需求。其次,根据我自己的经历 我天生有想用艺术表达自己的欲望。如果往更深层次去挖掘,但我在这条路上继续走下去的时候,我发现艺术能够在自己孤独和痛苦时启发我给予自己强大力量,使我更加看清我自己(探索“自己”)。两种猜测相比较,第一种更加实用,后者是精神层面的解释。猜测需要证据支持,于是我开始在各个有实际作品和研究为基础的来源上进行调研。我发现,一共有六种有相应证据和理由的主流学说。我之前的猜测大概对应其中的两种,分别是劳动说和表现说。其他的四种分别是:巫术说、模仿说、游戏说 和多元决定论。

表现说的一部分支持者有诗人Shelly和Leo Tolstoy。托尔斯泰认为:“艺术起源于一个人为了要把自己体验过的感情传达给别人,于是在自己心里重新唤起这种感情,并用某种外在的标志表达出来。” 法国人维隆在《美学》(1873)中把艺术界定为情感的表现,认为艺术的价值全在于它表现情感的范围的广度和深度,这是艺术与科学的主要区别。


巫术说是所有学说中最有影响力的一种。根据这个学说的支持者(比如人类学家Edward Burnett Tylor),原始人认为任何事物的形象与实际的该事物本身有一种实在的联系。在这个情景里,古人类相信通过画受伤的动物来祈得收获充实的猎物(艺术的实用价值来源于他们精神上对某些事物的信仰)。艺术的作用也是艺术产生的原因。它和民间故事里面的一些元素有联系,就像通过扎小人的方式来诅咒某个人。由此可见,古人类的一些想法直到最近的几百年仍有痕迹,但是他们之间的因果关系并不明确。所以 还有一种可能是,由于这种思想在最近几百年依然存在,学者们推测原始人也会有相应的想法。

模仿说最早源自古希腊哲学家,他们认为模仿是人类的天性 古人类对自然的模仿产生了艺术。小孩子在成长的过程中,说话、走路都是通过模仿。在我自己的经历里,写出经久不衰的作品之前 是通过不断阅读、模仿经典作品;这样的方法也是由于人本身对自然的探索而总结出来的。所以,艺术也是人对自然觉察和探索的表达。



根据以上的六种学说,我看到了一个共同点。他们都和人的天性、人与人之间的相互反应、和人对自然(内在世界、外在世界)的探索有关。在史前画作中,也不乏很多和人本身相关的作品。(见前面一个有关Human Figure的post)在我自己的经历中,艺术的确起到了相对应的作用。

随着时间推移,人生理结构的变化带来了文明的进化。古地中海 (Ancient Mediterranean)文明中,Mesopotamia 、Egypt、Aegean、Greece、Rome的艺术比较显著。在不同文明中,不同艺术产生的原因和作用与这个文明本身的文化、历史背景有关。      

Mesopotamia的很多艺术作品中,体现对战争的记录,但是里面受伤的士兵全部都是敌方的士兵。可见和史前艺术起源的巫术说类似的一点,事物的象征和事物实体本身存在某种联系。在Standard of Ur中, 正反两面分别表现了和平与战争,者反应了当时的艺术对一些显著事迹的表彰记录。在这个作品中,可以通过人物身高的对比明显看出对统治者的突出。统治者身下多出了一条腿的细节,展现了古人的精神信仰。

Standard of Ur

埃及人相信通过保存实体 (保存法老尸体),可以使得法老的灵魂永存。他们所有的努力,基本都围绕着这个精神信仰–比如发明各种防腐的办法;埃及艺术也由此产生。古埃及人认为,制造所埋葬法老的雕像是一种永恒的象征。信仰也决定了艺术的特点–因为强调“永恒”,埃及艺术的形态很少发生变化;因为对精神、灵魂的相信,在一些画作中常常会通过和Mesopotamia艺术类似的方式 (放大人物身高) 展现出对神强调。



Pompeii-House of Vetti中带有希腊神话故事的图像


Try to describe an art work… #pre-history

<Beaker with ibex motifs>

 Form: a vessel.

Style: Simple geometric images and lines painted on the vessel. The wholistic pattern is an example of animal stlyle. This style is a decorative approach in art with an emphasis on animal motifs

Material: painted terra cotta (brownish-red ceramic). 

Technique: simple lines shows what animals exactly look like.  

Content: The work is originated from Susa, an important city in the Ancient Near East, located in modern-day Iran. The piece is thought to have been made during the Susa I period, sometime between 4200 and 3500 BCE.The upper register of the beaker is filled long-necked birds, thought to be a kind of wading water bird seen in the region’s plains during the winter. The next register features reclining dogs, thought to be of hunting dogs typical in the region. The most notible motif is the ibex (aka, the mountain goast), as composed of triangles.

Human Figures in Petroglyph

Non-White, Non-Male | Red Stare

Jenny Saville喜欢画各种各样的人像,人们总结说,她尤其喜欢画裸体的女人,这幅画不是裸体的女人。它叫Red Stare Head。想象这是在一幅被挂在空旷的展览空间里的巨大的画,我第一眼就就被它震撼到。画中女孩的眼睛和在和看这幅画的人似乎是对相对视的,却好像又在凝视着其他的地方,和看画的人不在不一个世界,使得这个女孩有些痴呆或是有精神障碍。如果仔细看向她的眼睛,会发现她的眼睛里的反光,你会想象她看到了什么。在一个展览中,有很多游客经过这幅画;有真实,疑惑,不屑… Saville用整个画布像照片里的照片,把女孩的眼睛当作相机,看到了画外、或是整个世界一些纷繁虚无之物,还有一些人们并不容易看见的东西。