You will prepare and submit a term paper on Human Form versus Nature. Your paper should be a minimum of 2000 words in length. The Romans were influenced by these thoughts and also sought to portray man as a superior being. Here the emphasis is on man’s power as opposed to the lesser importance of people as seen in Eastern art where nature has a much more dominant role. The sculptures of Michalangelo are famous for the way the human body is treated. With his excellent skill at carving the marble his work stands as some of the greatest ever created in this style.
In China, the philosophical principles of Daoism and Confucianism play a big role in the way of life and the way of thinking is a guide to live by. One of the facets of Daoism is the relationship of nature in relation to its various elements and to man. Man is taught to follow the principles of nature. Nature in art is illustrated as the central element in a great many pieces. Nature as a dominant theme has lasted more than a thousand years. By the late Tang Dynasty, landscape painting had evolved to depict man as seeking an escape from everyday life to commune with nature in all its beauty. The influence of China spread to Japan, as did the philosophy of Buddhism. In Japanese art people are often portrayed as a small part of the vast landscape. They are only a part of the world and the powerful forces of nature are seen as great in comparison. Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji beautifully illustrate this theme. “A hint to solving our current questions of what nature is, how it should be faced and how to coexist with it should be hidden within these art pieces that have viewed nature.” (Sakagami 1) References 1. Nature in Japanese Art after the Experience of the Earthquake, Keiko Sakagami, Web. 10 Nov. 2011. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/adv/wol/dy/reviews/110422.htm Writing Assignment: The Afterlife Across Cultures The afterlife has long been a theme in art. From Ancient Egypt, Greece, Africa and other Far Eastern cultures the attitudes and beliefs about a supernatural transformation that takes place after a person dies has inspired many objects to be placed with them at the time of their death. In Ancient Egypt people were buried with objects that they might have used in their life on earth. This practice stems from the belief that the person will be living in another realm after their death in a similar fashion. They therefore will need the things they had with them in their former life. Depending on the place in society and economic class the things they will need vary. A member of the royal family may have statues of soldiers and musical instruments buried with them while a farmer might have animals and tools and pottery with them. These things relate to their lifestyle as it was. The idea of immortality was also ceremonial zed in the elaborate coffins the dead were buried in. The Egyptians believed that these complex burial rituals help to ensure the person would arrive safely in the afterlife. The coffins themselves were decorated with symbolic images that were believed to guarantee this passage into the next life. Many of these artifacts have been uncovered in tombs of the dead and survive in museums today. In Ancient Greece they believed that the spirit of a person left the body at the time of death and went to a place known as Hades. In the Underworld all of the dead resided. In honor of the deceased elaborate preparations of the body were made and large stone structures marking the grave sites were built. Sculptures and other objects also decorated the graves. In addition to the actual site of burial, vases were decorated with scenes commemorating the person’s life in homage to them.