Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art. Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art


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Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art.

  • Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art.

  • Discuss some of the issues surrounding power as it affects women.

  • Define colonialism and outline some of the ways that artists have addressed it.



Explain how the museum wields power.

  • Explain how the museum wields power.



In 2009, British photographer Edmund Clark was given access to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for his project to explore three notions of "home."

  • In 2009, British photographer Edmund Clark was given access to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for his project to explore three notions of "home."

  • Camp Five, Detainee's Cell shows the kind of cell that one of the released detainees (the focus of Clark's project) lived in.



The conditions of Camp Five reflect the mechanisms of power that Jeremy Bentham devised, in 1791, for his ideal prison, the Panopticon.

  • The conditions of Camp Five reflect the mechanisms of power that Jeremy Bentham devised, in 1791, for his ideal prison, the Panopticon.

    • It was a circular building with a surveillance house at its center, allowing a single guard to observe all the inmates.


It is this condition of visibility and the power that it exercises that is the subject of this chapter.

  • It is this condition of visibility and the power that it exercises that is the subject of this chapter.







Power is inherent in rule.

  • Power is inherent in rule.

  • Rulers have, as a result, consistently turned to art to portray themselves in as positive a light as possible.



Rulers in every culture and age have used the visual arts to broadcast their power.

  • Rulers in every culture and age have used the visual arts to broadcast their power.

  • In the ninth century BCE, the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II built a capital surrounded by nearly 5 miles of walls.

    • Alabaster reliefs decorated many of the walls including a depiction of Ashurnasirpal II Killing Lions.


In the ninth century BCE, the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II built a capital surrounded by nearly 5 miles of walls.

  • In the ninth century BCE, the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II built a capital surrounded by nearly 5 miles of walls.

    • These reliefs were specifically designed to celebrate and underscore the military prowess of the Assyrian army and their king.




When the emperor Qin Shihuangdi was buried in 210 BCE, he chose to assert his military might by burying an army of more than 6,000 ceramic infantrymen in pits surrounding his tomb.

  • When the emperor Qin Shihuangdi was buried in 210 BCE, he chose to assert his military might by burying an army of more than 6,000 ceramic infantrymen in pits surrounding his tomb.





Nearly 1,800 years later, Napoleon Bonaparte created his official state art program with the same aim of asserting his power by celebrating major events by commissioning paintings, sculpture, and architecture.

  • Nearly 1,800 years later, Napoleon Bonaparte created his official state art program with the same aim of asserting his power by celebrating major events by commissioning paintings, sculpture, and architecture.





Jacques-Louis David established himself as one of Napoleon's favorite artists when he painted Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard.

  • Jacques-Louis David established himself as one of Napoleon's favorite artists when he painted Napoleon Crossing the Saint-Bernard.

    • In truth, Napoleon was at the back of the rally riding a mule.
    • David's work is pure propaganda, designed to create a proper myth for the aspiring leader.




Napoleon on His Imperial Throne, by David's student Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, captures Napoleon's true sense of himself.

  • Napoleon on His Imperial Throne, by David's student Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, captures Napoleon's true sense of himself.

    • Ingres depicts him as a monarch who embodies the total power of his country.


Perhaps the single most powerful figure in the ancient world was Alexander the Great.

  • Perhaps the single most powerful figure in the ancient world was Alexander the Great.

  • During his lifetime, but especially after his death, sculptures celebrating him.



Alexander hired Lysippus to do all his portraits.

  • Alexander hired Lysippus to do all his portraits.

  • Alexander is easily recognizable—his disheveled hair long, his gaze intense, his mouth slightly open, his head alertly turned on a slightly tilted neck.



His eyes look past us, as if he is looking beyond the present to greater things—a look called the "imperial gaze."

  • His eyes look past us, as if he is looking beyond the present to greater things—a look called the "imperial gaze."

  • The gaze is repeated in art throughout history.

  • Chairman Mao en Route to Anyuan, painted by Lin Chunhua, is another example.







The vast majority of world cultures are patriarchies.

  • The vast majority of world cultures are patriarchies.

  • In ancient Rome, toward the end of the first century BCE, the republic declared itself an empire and the emperor was called pater patriae, "father of the fatherland."

  • Augustus was the first emperor to be called this.



The Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace), had its exterior walls on the south decorated with a retinue of Augustus' own large family, a model for all Roman citizens.

  • The Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace), had its exterior walls on the south decorated with a retinue of Augustus' own large family, a model for all Roman citizens.

  • The Ara Pacis Augustae is preeminently a celebration of family.







Roman women possessed some rights of citizenship, although they could not vote or hold public office.

  • Roman women possessed some rights of citizenship, although they could not vote or hold public office.

  • Married women retained their legal identity.

    • They controlled their own property and managed their own legal affairs.


In Nigeria, among the Yoruba people the highest-ranking woman is called Iyalode, or "mother of all."

  • In Nigeria, among the Yoruba people the highest-ranking woman is called Iyalode, or "mother of all."

  • The Iyalode position is one of particular power, as the elefon helmet mask suggests.

    • Perhaps most important is that the Iyalode stands upon the head of a male, thus exercising her power over him as well.




A primary focus of the contemporary feminist movement has been to address the imbalance of power that exists between men and women.

  • A primary focus of the contemporary feminist movement has been to address the imbalance of power that exists between men and women.

  • In her Kitchen Table Series, a collection of 20 photographs and 14 short texts, Carrie Mae Weems explores the dynamics of what is a most female place—the kitchen.





One of the most compelling examples of colonial power in Mexican art is casta painting.

  • One of the most compelling examples of colonial power in Mexican art is casta painting.

  • Casta paintings exist in sets of 16, recording the process of race-mixing in the Americas.

    • Each portrays a man and a woman of different races with one or two of their children.




Shahzia Sikander's video animation The Last Post explores colonial trade relations between the British East India Company and China in the nineteenth century.

  • Shahzia Sikander's video animation The Last Post explores colonial trade relations between the British East India Company and China in the nineteenth century.

    • The central character in Sikander's video is an East India Company Man who travels throughout India and then ventures into China.


Shahzia Sikander's video animation The Last Post explores colonial trade relations between the British East India Company and China in the nineteenth century.

  • Shahzia Sikander's video animation The Last Post explores colonial trade relations between the British East India Company and China in the nineteenth century.

    • The moment the Company Man explodes into a thousand pieces, suggests a future in which Western influence in China and the Indian subcontinent has ended.




William Kentridge's stop-motion video work is a direct reflection of European colonial adventuring in Africa.

  • William Kentridge's stop-motion video work is a direct reflection of European colonial adventuring in Africa.

    • In History of the Main Complaint, the comatose Soho Eckstein hits an African woman with his car—rehearsing the entire history of apartheid in South Africa, the history of which he comes to recognize as his own.




Yinka Shonibare, MBE, has addressed the British colonial enterprise directly in Nelson's Ship in a Bottle.

  • Yinka Shonibare, MBE, has addressed the British colonial enterprise directly in Nelson's Ship in a Bottle.

  • It has come to suggest that the result of Britain's imperial adventuring has been the creation of one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world.





Slavery proves to be a subtle, but pervasive subtext in depictions of the nude in nineteenth-century art.

  • Slavery proves to be a subtle, but pervasive subtext in depictions of the nude in nineteenth-century art.

  • One thing that viewers found most disturbing about Édouard Manet's Olympia was that her gaze seemed to dominate the viewer, reversing the traditional relations of power.



Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's Grande Odalisque exploits the deep-seated Western male belief in and envy of the Orientalist male dominance of the female in the harem.

  • Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's Grande Odalisque exploits the deep-seated Western male belief in and envy of the Orientalist male dominance of the female in the harem.





Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi's work is about the impact of the Western gaze on Arab culture.

  • Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi's work is about the impact of the Western gaze on Arab culture.

    • In her series of photographs Les Femmes du Maroc (The Women of Morocco), she covers her model and the space surrounding her with Arab calligraphy.


Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi's work is about the impact of the Western gaze on Arab culture.

  • Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi's work is about the impact of the Western gaze on Arab culture.

    • The texts that cover everything are written in henna and they originate with a personal story from Essaydi's youth.


Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi's work is about the impact of the Western gaze on Arab culture.

  • Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi's work is about the impact of the Western gaze on Arab culture.

    • The women are no longer Western stereotypes, but real people with stories to tell—a reality emphasized here by the dirt on the feet of the model.




Museums have great power to control not only what we see but how we see it.

  • Museums have great power to control not only what we see but how we see it.

    • The Aztec headdress is a treasure of extraordinary beauty and can be appreciated in purely aesthetic terms, as the museum presents it.




Museums have great power to control not only what we see but how we see it.

  • Museums have great power to control not only what we see but how we see it.

    • But, the headdress's history, the tale of Cortés and his betrayal of Motecuhzoma, does not, but perhaps should, enter into the museum display.


Kerry James Marshall, in his works like Many Mansions, challenge the museum's sense of history by offering the viewer an alternative kind of space in the canvas itself, one not normally seen on the museum's walls.

  • Kerry James Marshall, in his works like Many Mansions, challenge the museum's sense of history by offering the viewer an alternative kind of space in the canvas itself, one not normally seen on the museum's walls.





Up until the 1990s, it was very difficult for women to enter the art world.

  • Up until the 1990s, it was very difficult for women to enter the art world.

  • In 1985, an anonymous group of women who called themselves the Guerrilla Girls began hanging posters in New York to draw attention to the problem.

    • The figure is a parody of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's Grande Odalisque.


In 1985, an anonymous group of women who called themselves the Guerrilla Girls began hanging posters in New York to draw attention to the problem.

  • In 1985, an anonymous group of women who called themselves the Guerrilla Girls began hanging posters in New York to draw attention to the problem.

    • Specifically called out were the sexist collecting practices of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.




By the late 1990s, the situation had changed somewhat.

  • By the late 1990s, the situation had changed somewhat.

  • More women were regularly exhibited in New York galleries and their work was given more major retrospectives.

  • But, internationally especially, women continued to get short shrift.



Jenny Holzer's creates text-based artworks.

  • Jenny Holzer's creates text-based artworks.

  • She is famous, particularly, for aphorisms that twist clichés into powerful and disturbing truths ("Truisms").



In Thorax, text scrolls by on multiple screens in purple–blue colors arranged in a tower that is an abstracted reproduction of the human thorax.

  • In Thorax, text scrolls by on multiple screens in purple–blue colors arranged in a tower that is an abstracted reproduction of the human thorax.

    • The text of this work comes from conflicting descriptions of an incident in which an Iraqi combatant was killed by American forces.
    • The power of the text is deliberately at odds with the beauty of the color.




Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art.

  • Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art.

  • Discuss some of the issues surrounding power as it affects women.

  • Define colonialism and outline some of the ways that artists have addressed it.



Explain how the museum wields power.

  • Explain how the museum wields power.



Каталог: World%20of%20Art


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