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Arts, Volume 11, Issue 3 (June 2022) – 15 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Stylistic differences between animals and humans in ancient Egyptian art are often emphasized to support the argument that animals and their environs encapsulate ancient Egyptian ideas of “chaos”, while humans and their cultivated world encapsulate “order”. A closer look at animal imagery shows that the same artistic restraints were placed on both human and animal representations. This article examines predynastic and early dynastic material and surveys depictions of desert animals from Egyptian tombs from the Old Kingdom until the New Kingdom. The formal and iconographical analyses presented here problematize the assumption that animals were represented with greater artistic freedom, and that there were binary categories of “order” and “chaos” in the ancient Egyptian mindset. View this paper
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28 pages, 2116 KiB  
Article
Determinants of the Price Paid at Auctions of Contemporary Art for Artworks by Twelve Artists
by Mike Bowman
Arts 2022, 11(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030066 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2247
Abstract
The use of regression modelling to understand how characteristics of artworks, of artists, and of the circumstances of sale affect the price paid at auction is well-established among cultural economists. Drawing on auction sales data provided by Artprice (accessed on 20 March 2022) [...] Read more.
The use of regression modelling to understand how characteristics of artworks, of artists, and of the circumstances of sale affect the price paid at auction is well-established among cultural economists. Drawing on auction sales data provided by Artprice (accessed on 20 March 2022) I use regression modelling to investigate the determinants of the price paid for artworks by twelve artists at auctions of contemporary art over the period from 1984 to 2019. Each of the artists is modelled separately. For nine of the twelve artists, there was a clear preference among collectors for paintings with specific titles rather than untitled paintings or paintings with generic titles such as ‘abstract’ or ‘composition’. For the other explanatory factors included in the models, my analysis complements and re-contextualizes previous scholarship, showing how collectors’ preferences differed between the contexts examined. Size was a stronger driver of the price paid than in the contexts examined in other studies, and for most artists, collectors were not deterred by the largest artworks. Paintings in oil have continued to appeal to some collectors. Although the number of artists looked at is small, there are some suggestive patterns in how the age of the artist at execution affected the auction price, which might merit further investigation. My models also give some insights into change within the auction market for contemporary art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Visual Arts)
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16 pages, 2671 KiB  
Article
1905 and Art: From Aesthetes to Revolutionaries
by Christina Lodder
Arts 2022, 11(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030065 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 3297
Abstract
This article examines the impact that the experience of the 1905 Revolution had on the political attitudes of professional artists of various creative persuasions and on the younger generation who were still attending art schools. It inevitably focuses on a few representatives and [...] Read more.
This article examines the impact that the experience of the 1905 Revolution had on the political attitudes of professional artists of various creative persuasions and on the younger generation who were still attending art schools. It inevitably focuses on a few representatives and argues that Realists as well as more innovative artists like Valentin Serov and the World of Art group became critical of the regime and began to produce works satirizing the Tsar and his government. These artists did not, however, take their disenchantment further and express a particular ideology in their works or join any specific political party. The author also suggests that the Revolution affected art students like Mikhail Larionov and Natalia Goncharova, who subsequently became leaders of the avant-garde and developed the style known as Neo-Primitivism. The influence of 1905 can be seen in their pursuit of creative freedom, the subjects they chose, and the distinctly anti-establishment ethos that emerged in their Neo-Primitivist works around 1910. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slavic and Eastern-European Visuality: Modernity and Tradition)
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38 pages, 30947 KiB  
Article
The Waiting-Servant Motif in a Late Antique Textile in Chicago: Iconography, Visuality, and Materiality
by Katharine A. Raff
Arts 2022, 11(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030064 - 14 Jun 2022
Viewed by 3357
Abstract
This article explores the use and adaptation of the iconographic motif of the waiting servant, known primarily from late Roman wall paintings, mosaics, and other media, within the sphere of Late Antique furnishing textiles. Taking as a case study a fifth- to sixth-century [...] Read more.
This article explores the use and adaptation of the iconographic motif of the waiting servant, known primarily from late Roman wall paintings, mosaics, and other media, within the sphere of Late Antique furnishing textiles. Taking as a case study a fifth- to sixth-century CE hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection, the first section argues that the addition of elaborate, multihued architectural settings and floral motifs in this hanging and several comparable examples built upon the existing waiting-servant iconography offer an enhanced message of “the good life” within the household. Such compositional elements were rooted in earlier Greek and Roman artistic traditions, namely architectural polychromy and the visual interplay between artifice and reality. However, they also exemplify the Late Antique “jeweled style”, an aesthetic characterized by dazzling visual and polychromatic effects and an interest in artistic mimicry of other media. Striking visual parallels between the waiting-servant hangings and contemporary painted interiors suggest that textiles were considered on par with permanent media and operated in a system of cross-media artistic exchange. The article concludes with a consideration of the materiality of the Chicago hanging and its potential functions within a Late Antique residence, exploring how its portability as a woven object encouraged its flexible use within the home and allowed it to convey and even amplify particular messages through its juxtaposition with other objects, architecture, or people. Full article
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21 pages, 9800 KiB  
Article
Perspective Studies on Perugino’s and Raffaello’s Painted Architecture
by Fabio Colonnese
Arts 2022, 11(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030063 - 13 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2415
Abstract
The architecture that the Renaissance artists depicted in their works constitutes a vast reservoir of formal solutions that influenced (and were reciprocally influenced by) built architecture. Generally painted according to a rigorous perspective structure, most painted architecture can be restituted and modelled to [...] Read more.
The architecture that the Renaissance artists depicted in their works constitutes a vast reservoir of formal solutions that influenced (and were reciprocally influenced by) built architecture. Generally painted according to a rigorous perspective structure, most painted architecture can be restituted and modelled to become part of the Virtual Heritage that develops and extends its knowledge to a wider range of people and scholars. These procedures are here applied to some of the works of Pietro Perugino and Raffaello, a master and his student, in order to define their specific approach to composition, perspective, and architecture. The application of these procedures produced some primary results—the architecture restitutions in plan and elevation or section—and some secondary results concerning the way painted architecture was conceived, represented in perspective, and received as well as it was related to actual architecture. Full article
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14 pages, 4316 KiB  
Article
Visual Art and Propaganda Ecologies in the Basque Country: A Sample of Guernica Motifs from the Benedictine Sticker Archives (1978–1989)
by Iker Arranz Otaegui and Kevin C. Moore
Arts 2022, 11(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030062 - 8 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3857
Abstract
The Benedictine Archives at Lazkao contain a multitude of propaganda stickers and related visual media that provide a snapshot of the Basque region’s artful political culture in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the most compelling examples include several items that remix Pablo [...] Read more.
The Benedictine Archives at Lazkao contain a multitude of propaganda stickers and related visual media that provide a snapshot of the Basque region’s artful political culture in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the most compelling examples include several items that remix Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, referencing the famous antiwar painting to become a form of mass-circulated pastiche. This move was somewhat unusual amid the strong nationalist bent of public discourse and art in the Basque Country during this period. Almost entirely unknown outside the region, these materials capture political performance during the decade-long period between the instauration of Spanish democracy (1978) and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), when separatist sentiment reached a peak in the Basque Country. This artful visual platform, rendered in the small, focused format of stickers, constitutes a useful index of rhetorical currents within the Basque Country and Spain, as well as an interesting analogue prototype of what we might call, in the twenty-first century, meme culture. Circulated in bars and other public places across the Basque region, and frequently worn upon clothing, the stickers demonstrate a propaganda principle described by Jonathan Auerbach and Russ Castronovo, whereby participants in movements of mass persuasion actively partake in the dissemination and consumption of propaganda. The stickers normally refer to very concrete events (for instance, a one-day celebration, a protest for a concrete situation, etc.). When organized on topics and themes, they create a nonlinear visual account of post-Franco Basque history, providing propaganda narratives that invite performative acts from the audience. This account documents the significance of the vast Benedictine collection for future scholars, analyzing, in detail, four stickers that employ Guernica in their design. It also considers several other representative items from the collections that play on other art forms, as well as pop culture, in their attempt to influence public opinion, politics, and media consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A 10-Year Journey of Arts)
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17 pages, 3510 KiB  
Article
Miniature Painting in Eighteenth-Century England: The Case of William Pether (1739–1821)
by Dominika Cora
Arts 2022, 11(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030061 - 27 May 2022
Viewed by 2799
Abstract
William Pether (1739–1821) was a painter and skilled draftsman, whose abilities led to his becoming a master of engraving in the mezzotint technique—his prints reproducing works not only by the Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn and his pupils Gerrard Dou and [...] Read more.
William Pether (1739–1821) was a painter and skilled draftsman, whose abilities led to his becoming a master of engraving in the mezzotint technique—his prints reproducing works not only by the Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt van Rijn and his pupils Gerrard Dou and Willem Drost, but also by English artists such as Joseph Wright of Derby, Edward Penny, and Richard Hurlstone. An eminent British mezzotint engraver, he was also an underrated painter of miniatures. His artistic activity in this domain has been overlooked by scholars, who have focused on his print production; this study considers all extant miniatures produced by the artist during the period 1760–1820. The aim of this article is to present as many as possible known miniatures painted by this artist and to determine their proper attribution and dates through the use of stylistic analysis, the graphical-comparative method and handwriting research using available works of art and archival materials in the form of letters written by Pether. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Visual Arts)
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18 pages, 3699 KiB  
Article
Body and Mind, and Vice-Versa, or the Continuing Performative Sexual Revolution in Portuguese Arts
by Claudia Madeira
Arts 2022, 11(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030060 - 27 May 2022
Viewed by 2729
Abstract
In Everyday Life in the Modern World, first published in 1968, Henri Lefebvre presents the sexual revolution as the first instance of the cultural revolution. This aspect has remained one of the central themes of contemporary activism, often reflecting the relationship between [...] Read more.
In Everyday Life in the Modern World, first published in 1968, Henri Lefebvre presents the sexual revolution as the first instance of the cultural revolution. This aspect has remained one of the central themes of contemporary activism, often reflecting the relationship between social and artistic performance, between art and life or even presenting life as art. Hinged on this relationship, we will discuss some Portuguese art works produced between the 1960s and the present: from dictatorship into democracy. These works build a continuing thematic thread related to what has been termed the “intensification of bodies” but also, as we intend to explore in this article, to a necessary “intensification of minds”, concerning eroticism, sexuality and love. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A 10-Year Journey of Arts)
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16 pages, 4787 KiB  
Article
Curated Desertscapes in Ancient Egyptian Tombs and Investigating Iconographies of the Wild
by Jennifer Miyuki Babcock
Arts 2022, 11(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030059 - 26 May 2022
Viewed by 5460
Abstract
Because of a long-standing bias toward examining human representation in Egyptian art, scholars have overlooked many details of how wild animals are rendered, at least until recently. Usually, the stylistic differences between animals and humans in ancient Egyptian art are emphasized to support [...] Read more.
Because of a long-standing bias toward examining human representation in Egyptian art, scholars have overlooked many details of how wild animals are rendered, at least until recently. Usually, the stylistic differences between animals and humans in ancient Egyptian art are emphasized to support the argument that animals and their environs encapsulate ancient Egyptian ideas of “chaos”, while humans and their cultivated world encapsulate “order”. A closer look at animal representations shows that the same artistic restraints were placed on both human and animal representation, such as with the use of the canon of proportions, strict register lines, and iconicity. This article examines predynastic and early dynastic material and surveys representations of desert animals from Egyptian tombs from the Old Kingdom to the New Kingdom to demonstrate that their artistic treatment is still rule-bound and conforms to a sense of visual order. This paper challenges some of the scholarly interpretations, which assert that dichotomous ideas of chaos and order were represented stylistically and iconographically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 3))
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24 pages, 8724 KiB  
Article
The Art and Architecture of Victor Bohm (1900–1981)
by Éva Lovra
Arts 2022, 11(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030058 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 3099
Abstract
The art and architecture of modernist architect and architectural theorist Victor Bohm (Bőhm Viktor, Böhm Viktor) are rare examples of modernism. At the same time, they were unusual for a provincial city—Miskolc (Hungary)—far from the modernist hub Budapest. Bohm worked in Miskolc during [...] Read more.
The art and architecture of modernist architect and architectural theorist Victor Bohm (Bőhm Viktor, Böhm Viktor) are rare examples of modernism. At the same time, they were unusual for a provincial city—Miskolc (Hungary)—far from the modernist hub Budapest. Bohm worked in Miskolc during the 1930s, created numerous extraordinary buildings and shaped the skyline of this industrial town. He emigrated to the United States in 1939. The architectural language of his Hungarian designs followed modernist trends, a tendency less evident in his American projects. His buildings received architectural awards, and he has become known as a designer of medical and commercial buildings. He was a pioneer in the study of the relationship between architecture and psychology and sought to understand how an architectural design affects people and how the architect’s identity is manifested in their works. None of Bohm’s Hungarian buildings are protected; most of his buildings in Miskolc were demolished. The present study attempts to preserve his modernist, Hungarian legacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A 10-Year Journey of Arts)
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18 pages, 2477 KiB  
Article
Disruption, Digitalization and Connectivity: Asia’s Art Market in Transformation
by Sue Hua
Arts 2022, 11(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030057 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 8418
Abstract
This study investigates the ongoing transformation in galleries, auctions, and museums in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Singapore, where new models for art transactions and exhibiting practices lead to unprecedented evolution in the global art market. While the pandemic hit the art market [...] Read more.
This study investigates the ongoing transformation in galleries, auctions, and museums in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, and Singapore, where new models for art transactions and exhibiting practices lead to unprecedented evolution in the global art market. While the pandemic hit the art market unprecedentedly, art organizations in Asia are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the digitalization of online auctions and virtual art-viewing technology has made up for the cancellation of art events. We are also seeing increased cross-regional and cross-national collaborations in marketing and exhibiting activities. Whether or not it is part of their active strategy, to keep up with the rapid market changes, galleries and auctions must now devote more resources to their digital platforms. Affluent art collectors in this region see art consumption not only as a socially conditioned, symbolic mechanism manifesting wealth and cultural capital but also as an attractive investment vehicle with an increased appetite for the financialization of artworks. What are the benefits and complications of the digitalization of online art transactions and art viewing? How do multi-sited auctions and exhibitions indicate the increased demand for collaboration between commercial art organizations and art institutions? Based on fieldwork and semi-structured interviews with actors in the art markets and secondary Chinese resources, this research generates insights into organizational behaviors in Asia’s art scene and how the art market players actively adapt and persevere via taking on new, entrepreneurial models of operation and speeding up trans-regional and trans-national connectivity with their Western counterparts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Art Market in the Aftermath of COVID-19)
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15 pages, 5999 KiB  
Article
From Lugano to Krakow: The Career of Giovanni Battista Trevano as a Royal Architect at the Vasa Court in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
by Piotr Józef Janowski
Arts 2022, 11(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030056 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4216
Abstract
Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, many builders, artists, and architects living on the shores of Italian lakes decided to settle in Poland. Upon arrival, they pursued brilliant careers in various areas of life. Over time, they became Polonized. This was also the [...] Read more.
Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, many builders, artists, and architects living on the shores of Italian lakes decided to settle in Poland. Upon arrival, they pursued brilliant careers in various areas of life. Over time, they became Polonized. This was also the case for Giovanni Battista Trevano, who was active in Krakow in the first half of the 17th century and whose lifetime achievement was to become the royal architect of the Vasa kings. This article presents Trevano’s artistic oeuvre and provides insight into his social, economic, and intellectual status in the new community, including the architect’s offspring, who pursued successful careers in army, church, and state offices throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. These new findings are based on manuscripts that have recently been discovered by the author of the article in both Polish and Swiss archives. They allow for expanding the knowledge of the Trevano family’s genealogy and biography, and correcting some unjustified views in the discourse. On the basis of research on new archival sources, one can conclude that Giovanni Battista Trevano was a prominent architect, who is credited with introducing in Poland the early Baroque style, which soon became dominant in northern European art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A 10-Year Journey of Arts)
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18 pages, 7098 KiB  
Article
Tracing the Oval—Characterisation and Construction of Original Danish Eighteenth-Century Strainers from Portraits by Jens Juel
by Tine Louise Slotsgaard
Arts 2022, 11(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030055 - 27 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Few examples of original strainers for paintings from the eighteenth century or earlier still exist as they have commonly been replaced due to their often-weak construction and inability to expand. Several original strainers, however, are still present in paintings by Danish portrait painter [...] Read more.
Few examples of original strainers for paintings from the eighteenth century or earlier still exist as they have commonly been replaced due to their often-weak construction and inability to expand. Several original strainers, however, are still present in paintings by Danish portrait painter Jens Juel (1745–1802). These preserved strainers provide rare evidence of shape, construction, availability, format, and the production of strainers in the late eighteenth century. By visual analysis of twenty-two paintings, of which seven strainers are preserved, this study characterises the original strainers and their tool marks. Rare markings found on the surface hypothesised to be related to their construction is evaluated in relation to theory of polycentric ovals and layouts on the construction of oval shapes in treatises from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The strainers are very similar and of simple construction with tool marks that correspond with the development in the late eighteenth century. The oval strainers are a construction with given symmetry axes, with two 60° equilateral triangles that the centres of the arcs form when aligned with the major axes. Such a layout would have been published by Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) and Amédeé François Frézier (1682–1773) by the time of construction by someone in the wood working crafts in Copenhagen, who supplied strainers to Juel’s studio. Full article
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6 pages, 532 KiB  
Communication
The Minóy Machine
by Joseph Nechvatal
Arts 2022, 11(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030054 - 22 Apr 2022
Viewed by 2175
Abstract
The author provides a first-hand account, as a founding editor of Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine and contributing writer with Punctum Press, of his discovery of the early noise music of Minóy (pseudonym of the sound artist Stanley Keith Bowsza), and its significance within [...] Read more.
The author provides a first-hand account, as a founding editor of Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine and contributing writer with Punctum Press, of his discovery of the early noise music of Minóy (pseudonym of the sound artist Stanley Keith Bowsza), and its significance within the history of Machine Art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Review of Machine Art)
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17 pages, 915 KiB  
Article
The Art of Southern Arabian Daggers: An Emblem of Pride Masculinity and Identity
by Khadeeja Althagafi
Arts 2022, 11(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030053 - 22 Apr 2022
Viewed by 7033
Abstract
The long-held tradition of wearing daggers in southern Arabia is in decline. This research examines the rich history of the southern Arabian dagger, outlining its story over time, craftsmanship, and changing use, from a weapon to a ceremonial piece. A significant contribution in [...] Read more.
The long-held tradition of wearing daggers in southern Arabia is in decline. This research examines the rich history of the southern Arabian dagger, outlining its story over time, craftsmanship, and changing use, from a weapon to a ceremonial piece. A significant contribution in the field of visual art is offered, firstly by demonstrating the beauty of this metal artwork form, and secondly by examining the notions of pride, masculinity and identity with regard to southern Arabian dagger wearing. It is argued here that men in this region continue to attach meaning to the dagger. Additionally, existing critical studies, including the various efforts being made to respect and preserve the dagger’s cultural significance, are highlighted. It is contended here that for these reasons, the southern Arabian dagger will not be lost to history. Full article
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13 pages, 3428 KiB  
Article
“Wings of Freedom”: Petr Miturich and Aero-Constructivism
by John E. Bowlt
Arts 2022, 11(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11030052 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2563
Abstract
The article focuses on the aerodynamic experiments of Petr Vasil’evich Miturich (1887–1956), in particular his so-called letun, a project comparable to Vladimir Tatlin’s Letatlin, but less familiar. Miturich became interested in flight during the First World War, elaborating his first flying [...] Read more.
The article focuses on the aerodynamic experiments of Petr Vasil’evich Miturich (1887–1956), in particular his so-called letun, a project comparable to Vladimir Tatlin’s Letatlin, but less familiar. Miturich became interested in flight during the First World War, elaborating his first flying apparatus in 1918 before constructing a prototype and undertaking a test flight on 27 December 1921—which might be described as an example of Russian Aero-Constructivism (by analogy with Italian Aeropittura). Miturich’s basic deduction was that modern man must travel not by horse and cart, but with the aid of a new, ecological apparatus—the undulator—a mechanism which, thanks to its undulatory movements, would move like a fish or snake. The article delineates the general context of Miturich’s experiments, for example, his acquaintance with the ideas of Tatlin and Velemir Khlebnikov (in 1924 Miturich married the artist, Vera Khlebnikova, Velemir’s sister) as well as the inventions of Igor’ Sikorsky, Fridrikh Tsander, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and other scientists who contributed to the “First Universal Exhibition of Projects and Models of Interplanetary Apparatuses, Devices and Historical Materials” held in Moscow in 1927. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slavic and Eastern-European Visuality: Modernity and Tradition)
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