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Human Expression
A Fine Arts Exhibit

Human Expression
  • Poems by Emily Dickinson (by )
  • Life of Beethoven (by )
  • Beethoven : The Man and the Artist, As R... (by )
  • Symphony No. 5, Movement 1 (by )
  • Leonardo Da Vinci (by )
  • Zhao Wenmin gong Songxue zhai quan ji; V... (by )
  • The Art of Rodin (by )
  • Picasso His Life and Work Roland Penrose (by )
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Human Expression: A Fine Arts Exhibit

Man has always expressed a need for expression of all kinds: speech, acrylic paintings, literature, architecture, song...even the food that we eat. Theories and opinions regarding the greatest of these expressions are showcased in our collections.

Art is everywhere we look. Someone conjured these works out of their imaginations. The books in our dozens of collections (representing hundreds of books) bring beauty to the world. Explore topics such as cookbooks, audio book recordings, fine arts, technology, mathematics, film, television and poetry. 
An Artist in Royal China
An Artist in Royal China
The mystery behind artistic creation has held sway over the masses in every era and in every society since the dawn of Man. Although books written on the subject of artists and their various styles tend to explore artists’ works as conceits, the significance of art is no longer based on its popularity, but in the intention of the artist to share their inner life in an image that speaks volumes to audiences ("High Culture,"  World Heritage Encyclopedia). Therefore, art (in all its forms) is able to tell a different story to each of us, like the bundles of bending lights of a prism. Artistic expression, however, can be very controversial, even dangerous, to an artist.  World history has no shortage of stories about “Starving Artist” and "Suffering Artist", for even those whose work catapulted them to prominence seemed to have experienced tumultuous, existential hardships in their souls.  “The Expressions of Humanity: A Fine Arts Exhibit” explores some of the stories from artists and how their interpretation of the human experience moved people to believe in their work. 

Influential Chinese artists were often members of the royal class; people who could afford to have time on their hands. One such princely Creative was named Zhao Mengfu, who lived during the reign of Kublai Khan during the Yuan Dynasty around the year 1286. Mengfu was not awarded a position under Khan’s administration, however, however Mengfu’s work was appreciated by Khan’s great-grandson, Emperor Renzong, who accepted the artist into China’s most prestigious school: the “Academy of Worthies" ("Zhao Mengfu,"  World Heritage Encyclopedia).  

Zhao Wenmin gong Songxue zhai quan ji:  Volume 1 showcases Mengfu’s poetry and paintings, which rejected the refined, gentle brushwork of his time, and favored a cruder style to depict horses, animals, and the natural environment. His technique was to layer middle grounds at various heights to create a sense of depth. Despite initial rejection by Kublai Khan, Mengfu’s work ended up creating a revolution in modern Chinese Painting.

An Artist's Family
An Artists Family
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath who was praised for his paintings. His work epitomized the humanist ideals of the Renaissance. Maurice Walter Brockwell, author of Leonardo Da Vinci, reveals the human side of Leonardo as the first son of a wealthy notary named Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman named Caterina. After that first marriage, the painter’s father married four more times and raised eleven children.

From 1496 to 1498, Leonardo da Vinci painted the famous “Last Supper” depicting the eleven Apostles, with Jesus in the center. This piece captures the moment when Jesus said “one of you will betray me,” a prediction that one of his apostles would surrender him to Pontius Pilot. Could it be that this piece reflected Leonardo’s feeling of betrayal by his father? This, other postulations about Leonardo Da Vinci are explored by Maurice Brockwell, in his book.

An Artist Mentored to Fame
An Artist Mentored to Fame
Ludwig van Beethoven was a child prodigy who wrote his first piano concerto at the age 6. The book, Life of Beethoven, by Ludwig Nohl details Beethoven’s influences under the mentoring eyes of teachers Joseph Haydn and Antonio Salieri. As a result of these associations, Beethoven had many aristocratic patrons. In 1800, Beethoven’s hearing began to deteriorate and by the last decade of his life he was almost completely deaf. Beethoven gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose, and out of this period in his life came works like Symphony No. 5, Movement 1, one of his most admired works. Conversation books, notes and sample sheet music that documented his communication with friends during this time are compiled book, Beethoven: The Man and the Artist, As Revealed in His Own Words.

An Artist Who Defied Academe
An Artist Who Defied Academe
According to writer Louis Weinberg, Auguste Rodin was artistically trained according to France’s traditional schools, and took a careful, craftsman-like approach to his work and desired academic recognition. However, the Academia—from the Paris’s leading school of artdisliked his work because they taught their students (primarily) to follow formula that tended to institutionalize beauty by hindering new forms and techniques of artistic expression. Weinberg wrote that Rodin modeled the human body with realism, celebrating the individual character and physicality, which clashed with the predominant figure sculpture tradition that was often decorative, formulaic and highly thematic. Rodin was not consciously a revolutionist. Rather, Rodin has written that he felt the beauty of the human form like an empathic, and to be judged or intuited.  Author Weinberg writes of Rodin's aesthetic as similar to "the modern masters...[he] discovered beauty in the intimate, the immediate, the familiar...the unobserved aspects of life (The Art of Rodin, Louis Weinberg). 

An Empathetic Artist
An Empathetic Artist
Another trail-blazing artist who describe himself as “intuitive” was the 20th-Century Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso. Picasso: His Life and Work retells how the death of Picasso’s seven-year-old sister stirred him to create melancholic works, such as poor, gaunt subjects. His later works took a turn for depicting happier themes, and the period became known as “The Rose Period.” Picasso is best known for being one of the two founders of the visual art style of “Cubism,” reflecting fragments of wall paper or newspapers pasted into collage forms using paper media in an abstract form ("Cubism," World Heritage Encyclopedia). 

During the years of upheaval during World War I, Picasso’s work expanded into “Surrealism” which is a form that embodies imagery associated with war, fear and eroticism ("Pablo Ruiz Picasso," World Heritage Encyclopedia).  "Guernica," one of his famed Surrealist works, is an example of this fine art form ("Guernica,"  World Heritage Encyclopedia).

Works Cited

"Antonio Salieri."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  2014.

"Auguste Rodin." World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.

Beethoven, Ludwig Van. Beethoven: The Man and the Artist, As Revealed in His Own Words.  Ed. Friedrich Herst.  Project Gutenburg Consortia Center.  Web.  2002.

Beethoven, Ludwig Van. (n.d.)  "Symphony No. 5, Movement 1."  (n.p.)  The Sheet Music Archive.  Web.

Brockwell, Maurice Walter.  Leonardo Da Vinci.  BlackMask Online.  Blackmask.Com.  Web.  2003.

"Cubism."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.   Web.  2014.

"Emporer Renzong of Song."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.

"Guernica.World Heritage Encyclopedia.   Web.  2014.

"High Culture."  World Heritage Encyclopedia. Web.  2014.

"Joseph Hayden."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.

Leonardo Da Vinci.”  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.

Nohl, Ludwig.  Life of Beethoven.  Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1881.

"Pablo Ruiz Picasso." World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.

Penrose, Roland.  Picasso: His Life and Work.  New York:  Harper and Brothers, 1958.

"Picasso's Rose Period."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.

"Surrealism."  Web Heritage Encyclopedia.   Web.  2014.

Weinberg, Louis.  The Art of Rodin.  New York:  Boni and Liveright, Inc., 1918. 

Zhao, Mengfu.  Zhao Wenmin gong Songxue zhai quan ji   Shanghai:  Shanghai Tong Wen Tu Shu Guan, 1916.

"Zhao Mengfu."  World Heritage Encyclopedia.  Web.  2014.  
Fine Arts Collections
Many modern authors have written that distinction between “fine art” and “low art” produces unnecessary distinctions that obscure the complex depth of an artist’s lived experience, and are words that evolved for the purpose of informing audiences of peer-perceived quality of artists’ self expression. The “Human Expression: A Fine Arts Exhibit” features Asian and European fine artists and authors who express their own cultural and class perceptions of the worldviews through art.

Explore other books on artistic expressions in these collections:

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