The work of art from the Baroque era that I selected is The Elevation of the Cross, by artist Peter Paul Rubens in 1610, in the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp. One of the influences of this artwork was The Council of Trent. The ideas The Council of Trent stressed was Realism and Emotion, which are heavely depicted in this work of art by Rubens.

            I find the piece of artwork saddening, due to the event being depicted, but the ability to capture it in a painting is truly visionary.  I think it has a part in summarizing the art of the Baroque era as it shows realism and more humanism.




 Italian Interior, by Jean-Honoré Fragonard in 1760. This piece shows the warmth and security that were becoming more common in households with the growing economic power of the Middle Class. 




Reunion en plein air (Meeting in the Open Air), by Jean-Antoine Watteau. The reason this picture stands out to me as showing the economical groth of the middle class is the way everyone is dressed for a casual small gathering. It shows that even at these low eventful times of the day, people wore somewhat lavish clothings. 

Northern Renaissance

One work of art in specific that I found to help summarize the Northern Renaissance and its association with Humanism was Albrecht Durer’s self portrait. It seemed like many artists of the time felt the necessity to create self-portraits as so many of them did. I believe Durer’s self portrait, as well as every other artist of the Northern Renaissance who created self portraits, followed the concept of humanism because they were embracing the human image, instead of creating visuals of angels and other spiritual and religious figures.


When first looking at Impressionism style paintings, I find them to be new, and very intriguing. It seemed, in my opinion that they were trying to show the emotion and life behind everyday scenery just by changing the perspective and point of view. I like paintings of realistic natural scenery, and I felt impressionism really set the bar for paintings of scenery works.

One work that I specifically found appealing was View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm by Thomas Cole, 1836. I like contrasts of light and dark, whether its natural organic events/scenery, or religious settings. I think impressionism is different than all the forms before it because of its deep focus on more subjected and non idealized concepts.


Non Western Art: Asian Art


The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Katushika Hokusai

– It was created sometime between 1830-1833

– The art work depicts a threatening wave to Japan and the fishing boats near Kanagawa.

– This is one of the most recognizable art works of Japan.




Cypress Tree Byobu, by Kano Eitoku

– Created in 1590, originally as a folding screen

– This style uses bold and rapid brushwork,

– This work is created with ink and gold leaf on paper

– Eitoku produced for many similar screens for the castles of shoguns and the Japanese nobility.




Shoki zu by Okumura Masanobu

– It was created between 1741-1751

– The art work is of a figure in Chinese mythology, thought to be a traveling warrior who fights evil, and able to command 80,000 demons simultaneously.




Sudden Shower at the Atake Bridge by Hiroshige

– It was created in 1856

– Depicts a flash rain shower taking place of the Atake Bridge in Japan.



I personally have always been intrigued with Asian artwork; I think it is very unique and different than any other kind. My interest in it lies mostly with the culture present in Asia that is depicted through their art works. The four art works selected for this exhibit of Non Western art illustrate a deep social and lifestyle culture because a lot of the things depicted in art from hundreds of years still exhist, such as “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” and how it threatened fishing and boating on the coast, that Japan still faces during tsunamis and hurricanes.

Cultural Identity

The theme for this Virtual Exhibit is Cultural Identity. In the 1980s, and 90s, America was a lot more judgmental and less acceptable of one another, whether it was due to race, gender, etc. Its historically accurate to say African Americans in this time were still dealing with levels of segregation, and lack of social acceptance by some people. Two people who helped shape the identity of African Americans at this time through artworks, were painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Hip-Hop rapper Tupac Shakur. They pushed their personal life experiences and lessons through their own respective forms of art, and made an impact on society.


Tupac Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996)  was an American rapper and actor. His music was based on the struggles of poverty, racism, and other social problems of the time. He was a major influence in the social society, as a lot of musicians are.

             His music is inspirational, thought provoking, and eye opening. Regardless of race, gender, and age, his music is a form of art that can be appreciated, or at least evaluated by anyone. Three works by Tupac Shakur that I believe fully captivate his views and opinions would be “Brenda’s Got a Baby” (1991), “Pain,” and “Dear Mama” (1995). Each are linked below:


Brenda’s Got a Baby:




Dear Mama:



Jean-Michel Basquiat (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988), was an American painter who began his artistic career with graffiti. His works, although over a short span of time as he died at the age of 27, focused around cultural Identity, justice, and to attack structural powers and racism. Three works of Basquiat that reflect on the oppression of African Americans in the 1980s and 1990s include:



 Per Capita, 1981

For more in-depth information:



Gold Griot, 1984

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Irony of the Negro Police, 1981

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The Early 20th Century: The Age of Anxiety

Early modernism during the beginning of the 1900s was a time of extreme social reforms by means of pushing the norms of art. The Avant-garde, meaning “advance guard,” was a growing movement by artists that tested the waters of acceptability in art, culture, and politics. Avant-garde music seems to be controversial as the entire purpose of the avant-garde movement was to push boundaries and acceptability, many people speculate whether or not many music composers were filling the requirements. I believe visual artist carried the biggest influences of this time as well as film/theater. Three works by the Avant-garde artists that encapsulate this movement in my opinion would be: Helen Frankenthaler’s Mountains and Sea, 1952, El Lissitzky’s “Proun”s , and Alexander Rodchenko’s “Dobrolet,” 1923.

“Mountains and Sea” by Helen Frankenthaler, an American artist from 1928-2011, is so appealing to me because, for the last couple eras of art prior to early modernism, environment and nature has been significant in paintings. Although abstracts paintings such as this are just that, abstract, and open to individual interpretations, Helen Frankenthaler, by naming it “Mountains and Sea” has made it relevant to comparison.

El Lissitzky, a Russian artist from 1890-1941, had created his own sub genre of 3 dimensional arts on a single canvas, allowing a new way of interpreting art all together, which he called “Proun”. His work is appealing to me because it perfectly defines the goal of the avant-garde movement to break traditional art standards and to create new perspectives and opinions. I also think it is unique how his visual art of 3 dimensions carried over into his later life of architecture.

Alexander Rodchenko, also a Russian artist, from 1891-1956, who illustrated the most war related theme in art of the three artists in discussion. At first glance its easy to see how it would relate to war, as it has the Russian revolution propaganda appearance. At the top of his art piece “Dobrolet” reads “BCEM…BCEM…BCEM…” which is an abbreviation for the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine.



Helen Frankenthaler’s Mountains and Sea, 1952




One of El Lissitzky’s “Proun”s




Alexander Rodchenko, “Dobrolet,” 1923