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Norfolk State University

Museum Visit

Submitted by: Natasha Powell

November 16, 2013

Humanities 210-90
Mr. Frank T. Elliott, Instructor

I had the opportunity to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts located
in Richmond. There are three floors of some very interesting art. I particularly
looked at art from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and
Contemporary time periods. There various pieces of art to be reviewed.
The Renaissance period was from 1400 1600. The first exhibit I
reviewed for this time period was The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence by
Giovonni Balducci. St. Lawrence was a deacon in Rome who was burned on a
grid-iron in 258 by order of the Roman perfect after refusing to surrender the
treasures to the church. The artist style was typical of the late Renaissance
movement known as Mannerism. The torturers poker draws the eye to the
principal, St. Lawrence. St. Lawrence is gazing toward the heavens,
seemingly waiting for deliverance. The source of light in this painting is
implied. It seems as though the sun is shining on St. Lawrence. The next
painting was The Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist by
Francesco dUbertini. This piece is a 1540 domestic altarpiece that has
elements from Mannerism and the High Renaissance. References to
Michelangelo are in the costume and the hairstyle of the virgin. The overall
coloring also shows a debt to Michelangelos Sistine Chapel ceiling but the
whitish light compares to the work of Agnolo Bronzino. The infant Christ is
probably a witty recasting of an ancient river god, Tiber. The plants and
flowers in the foreground attest to the artists interest in natural history.

The Baroque time period was from 1600 -1750. I viewed the The
Three Musicians by Rembrandt Van Rijn. This painting detailed a group of
three musicians (a young man in a beret, a middle aged man wearing
spectacles, an older woman in a turban. The scene is intended to invoke the
sound of their singing. Rembrandt represented the sense of hearing and he
was probably influenced by Dutch followers of the Italian artist Caravaggio.
Rembrandts distinctive style consists of contrasts of light and dark, thick
impasto, broad application of paint, and expressions of character through
physiognomy.
The Classical time period was 1750 1825. The painting viewed was
The Judgment of Paris by Francois Xavier Fabre. The artist depicts an
ancient story that eventually resulted in one of the greatest conflicts of the
ancient world, The Trojan War. Zeus sent Hermes to ask Trojan prince Paris to
decide which of the three goddess (Athena, Hera, or Aphrodite) were the
most beautiful. Fabre shows Paris making his unwise decision while the three
goddesses, each representing a different type of female beauty, pose before
him as if in a beauty pageant.
The Romantic Impressionistic time period was 1825 -1900. The
painting viewed was A Groom Holding an Arab Stallion by Carle Vernet. The
painting of the barley tamed Arabian stallion demonstrates the Romantic
Movements interest in both the exotic and the supremacy of nature over
man. It is believed that the artist included the groom, dressed in rich red and

gold Eastern garb, to allude to the breed of the stallion. The clothing also
provides a striking visual contrast to the white of the stallions mane and
coast as well as to the green of the landscape that recedes into the distance.
The contemporary time period is from 1900 present. The painting
viewed was Salute by Walt Kuhn. The figures bright red, white, and blue
ensemble instills a traditional note of patriotism, punctuated by a crisp
salute. He undermines conventions by featuring such an audacious model
which is heavily made up, scantily dressed showgirl, who looks out with a
bold, disquieting gaze.