Aurora, The Journal of the History of Art

Articles

Vol. 11, Annual

Painting Laura: Petrarch's Renaissance Painting
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] Art historians know that Francesco Petrarca commissioned Simone Martini to paint a portrait of his beloved Laura sometime between 1335 and 1341. (1) No such painting survives, but two sonnets in the Canzoniere, Rerum vulgarium...
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The Painter as Evangelist in Caravaggio's Taking of Christ
For Leo Steinberg Although the fleeing figure on the extreme left of Caravaggio's Taking of Christ (1602) (Fig. 1) has been called the Apostle John, this identification, beginning with Walter Friedlaender's note in Caravaggio Studies, (1) has more...
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The Queen's Predicament: Christina of Sweden as Virgo, Virago, and Femme Philosophe
During the Early Modern era, Europe saw an unprecedented number of women ascend the throne either as monarchs in their own right or as regents to their sons. Among them were Margaret of Scotland (regent to James V of Scotland from 1513 to 1514), Mary...
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The Elephant in the Living Room: Jan Steen's Fantasy Interior as Parodic Portrait of the Schouten Family
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] Introduction. The Dutch painter Jan Steen (c.1626-1679) is well known for his topsy-turvy comic genre pieces. Steen's handful of portraits, however, is typically viewed as conventionally flattering to his sitters. Even in his...
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More Than "A Preposterous Neo-Classic Rehash:" Elisabeth Vigee le Brun's Sibyl and Its Virgilian Connotations
Often defined by her role as the court painter to Marie-Antoinette, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun is generally known for her flattering, modish, and sometimes superficial representations of Europe's elite. The preponderance of stylish portraits in her oeuvre...
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Enchanting the Intellect and the Eye. A. Georgievska-Shine, Rubens and the Archaeology of Myth, 1610-1620: Visual and Poetic Memory
"Enchanting the Intellect and the Eye." A. Georgievska-Shine, Rubens and the Archaeology of Myth, 1610-1620: Visual and Poetic Memory, Burlington: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2009. In the tradition of the great European scholars at the beginning...
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Vol. 10, Annual

The Louvre Triumph of Venus Panel: A Satire of Misogynists
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] What early modern Europe males first challenged endemic misogyny and what was the means for doing so? Answers to these questions can make important contributions to the understanding of how endemic bigotry can best be supplanted....
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Leonardo Da Vinci and Workshop Practice: The Role of the Dated Notation
The written words of Renaissance artists are highly prized for two fundamental reasons. First, they provide additional, often substantive, data about their lives and careers. They can serve as a record of an artist's location, his activities, or his...
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Poussin's Philadelphia Marine Painting: New Evidence for the Neptune and Amphitrite Theory
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] It would be wrong to think that before the debate beginning in the 1960s over its subject Poussin's marine painting in Philadelphia was universally known as a Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite (Fig. 1). The picture had been called...
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Remedios Varo, the Artist of a Thousand Faces
"... she is the only real painter of mountain peaks that I know. She has truly understood that the view from a high peak does not fit into the same perceptual framework as a still life or an ordinary landscape. Her canvases admirably express the circular...
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Vol. 9, Annual

Botticelli's Birth of Venus as Wedding Painting
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] Vasari's 1550 edition of the Lives contains the earliest description of Botticelli's Birth of Venus: "... today still at Castello, in the villa of the Duke Cosimo, there are two paintings, one the birth of Venus and those breezes...
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Severed Torsos and Metaphorical Transformations: Christina of Sweden's Sale Delle Muse and Clytie in the Palazzo Riario-Corsini
Art collecting in Rome during the second half of the seventeenth-century was punctuated by an enhanced interest in excavations, the trade of antiquities, and the publication of antiquarian studies. (1) Queen Christina of Sweden, who abdicated the...
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The Last Supper by Marcos Zapata (C. 1753): A Meal of Bread, Wine, and Guinea Pig
A large painting entitled The Last Supper can be found today in the Cathedral of Cuzco, Peru. It features an image of Christ surrounded by the apostles, all of whom flank a platter holding what is traditionally considered a roasted guinea pig, which...
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Allegorizing Aryanism: Fernand Cormon's the Human Races
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] At the end of the nineteenth century, Fernand Cormon created ten wall paintings depicting prehistoric animals, the beginnings of human industries, and the development of humanity from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age for the...
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Women, Agriculture, and Civilization in Diego Rivera's Murals of Chapingo
The association of farming and women is very old and widespread. For some scholars, women, who are biologically linked to nourishing and the provision of food, are to be held responsible for the transcendental discovery of agriculture, and consequently,...
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Falling/failing 9/11: Eric Fischl's Tumbling Woman Debacle
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] The following essay is an attempt to grapple with the representability of 9/11 through the supposed failure of one sculpture commemorating the New York attack, Eric Fischl's Tumbling Woman of 2002 (Fig. 1). Fischl's sculpture,...
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Ann Roberts, Dominican Women and Renaissance Art: The Convent of San Domenico of Pisa
Ann Roberts, Dominican Women and Renaissance Art: The Convent of San Domenico of Pisa, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008. Ann Roberts' Dominican Women and Renaissance Art belongs to the school of thought that celebrates the achievements of female writers,...
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Luke Syson, Ed., Renaissance Siena. Art for a City
Luke Syson, ed., Renaissance Siena. Art for a City, London: National Gallery, 2007. Fabrizio Nevola, Siena: Constructing the Renaissance City, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007, "The Sienese Renaissance was the real thing" (43). This ...
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Kelly Donahue-Wallace, Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521-1821
Kelly Donahue-Wallace, Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521-1821, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. Art historians of all areas, time periods and persuasions ought to acknowledge this work as a significant milestone...
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Vol. 8, Annual

Saintly Beauty and the Printed Portrait
Two portraits of religious persons were engraved eight years apart by the same artist working in viceregal Mexico City. The first pictured Sor Maria Ynes de los Dolores (Fig. 1), a mystic poetess from the Augustinian Convent of San Lorenzo in Mexico...
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Transition and Transformation in John Everett Millais' Ferdinand Lured by Ariel
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED] John Everett Millais' Ferdinand Lured by Ariel (Fig. 1), painted during the early years of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, takes its subject from William Shakespeare's The Tempest. The painting occupies a prominent place among...
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The Pictorial Trans-Rationalism of Kazimir Malevich
Introduction. Trans-rationalism or Russian zaum' (literally "beyond reason") formed the most radical tendency in Russian Futurism and was the leading artistic and literary movement in the Russian avant-garde in the early 1910s. Embodied in an absurd...
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Wild Western Lesbian Feminist Asian American Artist: Hanh Thi Pham's Expatriate Consciousness and the Unpacking of Identities
... it is Asian Americans themselves who ate turning back to see what was left behind, not only in history, but in their childhoods or in the present lives of relatives in the homelands or the Chinatowns or Japantowns of this country. (1) Some scholars...
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Vol. 7, Annual

Botticelli's Venus and Mars and Other Apotropaic Art for Tuscan Bedrooms
Botticelli's Venus and Mars (Fig. 1) exemplifies apotropaic art produced for Tuscan bed chambers, a neglected category that reveals much about early modern popular culture. Little attention has been given to evidence that Quattrocento Tuscan bedrooms...
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Conceiving the Child: British Illustrator Kate Greenaway's Determining Influence on the Graphic Work of Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt's canonical graphic imagery of children has traditionally been interpreted as the result of her interest in Japanese ukiyo-e prints, received through direct exposure to Japanese objects and second-hand awareness from contemporary artists...
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La Creacion by Diego Rivera
The mural cycle, La Creacion, painted by Diego Rivera (1886-1957) (Fig. 1) between December 1921 and March 1923, (1) is the inaugural work of the celebrated Mexican art movement of the twentieth century. Sponsored by Jose Vasconcelos (1882-1959), Secretary...
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Vol. 6, Annual

The Masturbating Venuses of Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Ovid, Martial, and Poliziano
According to David Freedberg, self-censorship of emotional responses often shortcircuits openness to the potential power of images. Repression remains a problem in our open society, he insists, even though it takes the form of treating our responses...
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Sex, Lies and Anecdotes: Gender Relations in the Life Stories of Italian Women Artists, 1550-1800
Jan Steen's c.1665 painting of The Drawing Lesson (Fig. 1) is one of the few visual representations of a female art student in the studio of a male artist in the early modern period, and thus sheds interesting light on this complicated gender dynamic....
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George Luks, "Hogan's Alley," and Ashcan School Social Thought
It is repeated as a truism in the literature of American art history that newspaper illustrations created by George Luks and his cohorts from Philadelphia (William Glackens, John Sloan, and Everett Shinn) formed the foundation for their developing...
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Gender Representation in the Art of Jaune Quick to See Smith
In her seminal book The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, literary critic Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna Pueblo/Sioux) argued that American feminism has "red roots." (1) By this she meant that the egalitarianism between...
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On Michael Baxandall's Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy
Michael Baxandall's Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (1972) has been widely hailed as a major contribution to the field of Renaissance studies. (1) Baxandall did not invent the central...
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Vol. 5, Annual

Reconfiguring the Primavera: Battistina Appiano as Patron
The Primavera (Fig. 1) is one of the few surviving secular paintings from the Renaissance era for which we have no documented patron. Its iconography has frequently been analyzed in the hope that it may provide a possible link to the patron. Diverse...
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St. Jerome and Pope Damasus: A Wishful Glimpse at the Past *
Guercino's St. Jerome Sealing a Letter (Fig. 1) constitutes a striking departure from the seventeenth-century iconography of this saint. He is commonly known as a penitent. But never before had he been represented as a penitent occupying himself with...
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Louis XVIII's Cult[ural] Politics, 1815-1820 *
In the course of the last ten years or so, our knowledge of visual culture produced in France during the Bourbon Restoration (1814/1815-1830) has increased considerably, thanks to the ground-breaking efforts of several scholars. (1) Of these contributions,...
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Dystopia: Goya's Cannibals
... and what now? I'll have you know I'm not afraid of witches, spirits, phantoms, boastful giants, rogues, knaves, etc., nor do I fear any kind of beings except human ones ... they not only scratch and fight, they bite and spit, sting and pierce;...
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Thomas Jefferson and His Books on Architecture and Landscape Gardening *
Thomas Jefferson's (1743-1826) architectural library is of great interest for the study of his architecture, and for the knowledge of the architectural culture to which he belonged. The purpose of this article is to give a general account of Jefferson's...
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Vol. 4, Annual

From the Editors
Female art patronage and collecting is a topic that has received great attention lately, but which did not become part of mainstream scholarship until the end of the twentieth century. In 1991, Kathleen McCarthy published her groundbreaking Women's...
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Engendering Space: Octavia's Portico in Rome
In a recent essay, Diana Kleiner wrote, "The scholarship on the early Roman empire has largely ignored the power of women and the impact of their monuments ... The evidence exists, but it has not been sufficiently explored." (1) Despite plentiful literary...
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Abbess Uta of Regensburg and Patterns of Female Patronage around 1000 *
Having composed eight metrical legends, six plays, one visionary poem, and three historical epics, Hrotsvita of Gandersheim is justly known to students of the Middle Ages as one of the most prolific and compelling writers of her age. Editions and translations...
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Euphrosenia of Polacak: Patroness of the Arts in the Polacak Principality of Eastern Europe *
Saint Euphrosenia of Polacak was the patron saint of today's Belarus. She was a woman of strong will, sound education, and exceptional leadership qualities. She was indisputably sharp of mind and a key figure in the cultural development of medieval...
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'Heaven's Particular Instrument': Isabel la Catolica's Public Projects, 1477-1504
In 1992 much attention was paid to the Spanish monarchs, Fernando and Isabel because of their sponsorship of the first voyage of Columbus, an event celebrated in that quincentennial year. Countless studies focused on Columbus and his sponsors, adding...
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Isabella's Mother: Aspects of the Art Patronage of Eleonora d'Aragona, Duchess of Ferrara
Eleonora d'Aragona has a special place in the history of patronage in the Renaissance period because of the notable amount, quality, and innovative subject matter of the works she sponsored. She came to Ferrara from Naples in 1473 at the time of her...
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Petronella De la Court and Agneta Block: Experiencing Collections in Late Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam
The enigmatic Woman in a Study (Fig. 1) by Johannes Voorhout (1647-1723) illustrates the difficulties surrounding the study of female collectors in seventeenth-century Holland. The subject, wearing loose, generalized, antique clothing, sits in a book-lined...
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"Je Ne Suis Plus la Reine, Je Suis Moi": Marie-Antoinette at the Salon of 1783 *
Of the two hundred or so paintings exhibited at the French Royal Academy's Salon of 1783, those of Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, who had just been received into the institution as one of only four female members, generated the greatest excitement. (1) While...
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The Tactics of Fashion: Jewish Women in Fin-De-Siecle Vienna *
Much has been written on Viennese culture at the turn of the twentieth-century, the site of a remarkably verdant intellectual and artistic modernism that claims, among others, Sigmund Freud, Josef Hoffmann, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Gustav Klimt, Oskar...
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Constructing a Matrilineal History of Women Artists in Interwar France *
In 1987, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, a prominent art collector and wife of a wealthy publishing magnate, founded the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Many critics wondered in response whether the Museum, as a sex-segregated art...
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'Feminine' Anatomies of Taste and Cultures of Collecting in Early Twentieth Century Britain: Gwendoline and Margaret Davies as Women Art Patrons
While the literature on art patronage in the first half of the Twentieth century in Britain has focused primarily on wealthy male collectors and their public acts of benevolence, the activities of two Welsh sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies have...
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"A Vital and Integral Part of Society:" Women Patrons of the Arts in the South (1)
Women in the South have a rich history of patronage and leadership in arts and culture. However, unlike their Northeastern peers, such as Isabella Stewart Gardner, Louisine Havemeyer, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Southern women are little recognized...
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Collecting and the Cultural Politics of Race and Community Survival: Samella Sanders Lewis
We are a people. A people do not throw their geniuses away. And if they are thrown away, it is our duty as artists and as witnesses for the future to collect them again for the sake of our children and if necessary, bone by bone. (1) Los Angeles-based...
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Vol. 3, Annual

Sacrae Rei Signum: The Appropriation of Nuptial Iconography for Representing the Spiritual Marriage of Mary and Joseph in Medieval Scandinavia and Spain *
Images of Mary and Joseph's spiritual marriage during the late twelfth and early part of the thirteenth century are generally considered rare in western art, (1) even though the ecclesiastical model of their spiritual union was well documented and...
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Setting the Record Straight: Titian's Pieta and Vittoria's Zane Altar
Titian's Pieta of 1570-1576 in the Galleria dell'Accademia (Fig. 1) is one of the most admired, studied, and enigmatic paintings by the artist, and has repeatedly drawn scholars' interest. The main focus of the various studies offered has been the...
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The Transatlantic Nature of Louise Abbema's Columbian Exposition Mural Sketches *
It could be rough sailing for women artists in the nineteenth century and it was no easier for Louise Abbema (1858-1927; Fig. 1). A popular painter in Paris in the later nineteenth century, recipient of numerous awards, and one of actress Sarah Bernhardt's...
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The Phallic Club: The Iconography and Symbology of Pablo Picasso's Ace *
In his long and varied career, Pablo Picasso experimented with numerous media and motifs, some of which spanned his entire oeuvre, others which appeared for only a few years. One motif, which is limited to the second decade of the twentieth century,...
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Tanning's Pictograph: Repossessing Woman's Fantasy *
Since the publication of "Women of Surrealism" by Gloria Orenstein in 1973, there have been many critical studies on women Surrealists, bringing their previously much neglected works to light, particularly in the 1990s. (1) One of the artists who has...
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Vol. 2, Annual

Illicit Arousal: The Erotic Subtext of Tintoretto's Tarquin and Lucretia
As told and retold in the Classical era and on through the Renaissance by authors such as Livy, Ovid, Salutati and Machiavelli, the narrative of the rape and subsequent suicide of Lucretia has held a significant place in cultural mythology. (1) The...
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Lavinia Fontana: A Woman Collector of Antiquity *
In the self-portraits of the sixteenth century, the image of the female painter differs from previous historical portraiture in that it emphasizes a single image portraying the artist's occupation, and in the representation of the female artist as...
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Stepping out on a Limb: Questioning Masculinity in Girodet's Scene of a Deluge (1806)
After four years of concentrated labor conducted in secrecy, Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson's (1767-1824) painting, Scene of a Deluge (Fig. 1), was unveiled at the Salon of 1806 where it received much critical attention. It was a landmark painting...
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Mobile Foundations: A Reading of Complex Surfaces in Gottfried Semper's Treichler Laundry Ship
"Only through the different ways of wearing clothes does the building art begin." (1) The focus of this paper is a strange artifact. Between 1861 and 1864 the architect Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) designed the Treichler laundry ship, an excessively...
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Brassai's Minotaure Nudes: Woman, Homosexuality and the Involuntary Nation
At the heart of the Paris Surrealist project of the 1930s was an attempt to defamiliarize the ordinary, everyday experience. Writer and poet Andre Breton, one of the critical leaders of the Surrealist group, called this defamiliarization depaysement,...
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Vol. 1, Annual

Il Cavaliere Di Cristo: Peter Martyr as Dominican Role Model in the Fresco Cycle of the Spanish Chapel in Florence *
Adorning virtually every surface of the Spanish Chapel, Andrea di Bonaiuto's frescoes are unquestionably among the most important cycles of painting from the second half of the fourteenth century in Florence. (1) Executed in 1365-1366, these frescoes...
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Piety and Agency: Patronage at the Convent of S. Lucia in Selci *
As recent scholarship has demonstrated, early modern women exercised an active role as patrons of ecclesiastical art and architecture. (1) These traditions of female patronage extended also to cloistered women, who frequently functioned as patrons...
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Into the House of Mirrors: The Carnivalesque in Las Meninas
In Interpretation without Representation, Svetlana Alpers contests various scholars' interpretation of Diego deVelazquez's Las Meninas (Figure 1) in their privileging of a Cartesian perspectival system, noting how this image can equally be interpreted...
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The French Revolution and the Round Houses of Pierre-Adrien Paris (1745-1819)
Discouraged and frightened in the winter of 1792-1793, one of the most brilliant architectural and scenic designers of the ancien regime court found himself in exile from Paris in the scenic but isolated Lomont mountains of extreme eastern France....
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Exoticism and Androgyny in Gauguin *
Paul Gauguin clearly wanted to lead the life of a savage. The enormous oeuvre of this prolific artist not only encompasses all media, but also many writings that reflect his innate desire to escape the constraints of French bourgeois society. Although...
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Lucky Pierre Gets into Finger Paint: Grace Hartigan and Frank O'Hara's Oranges
The Oranges (1952) is Grace Hartigan's (b. 1922) and Frank O'Hara's (1926-1966) early 1950's series of collaborative poem/paintings. (1) From a Bakhtinian point of view, the aesthetic value of this work lies to a great extent in its archaeologic aspects:...
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