In Death in Documentaries: The Memento Mori Experience, Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter suggests that documentaries are an especially apt form of contemporary memento mori; that is, documentaries offer transformative experiences for a viewer to renew one’s consciousness of mortality.
Are images and spectacles fundamental mediators of power relationships in the West? This book draws upon the language of cultural studies to investigate a contemporary hypothesis in the shifting ideological landscape of early modern Europe. Apparently aesthetic choices by artists may also have been the means to consolidate and subvert institutionalized or non-institutionalized bodies of power. Meanwhile, communities in Europe reacted to the intrinsic power of the image in literature and letters, commenting upon both its use and abuse. Both diachronic and geographic connections are made among disparate but important moments of image making in the twelfth through seventeenth centuries. The influence of Descartes is traced from La Rochefoucauld and the communal spectacles of the Ancien Régime salon, to the Netherlands and Rembrandt’s sketch, Death of the Virgin. Shakespeare bears similar anxieties about Joan of Arc’s transgression of gender boundaries in Henry VI, as does Castiglione’s Courtier when serving the Renaissance Prince. Spenser’s dilemma about the (non)difference between fiction and history resolves itself in the same way as does the Byzantine rejection of iconoclasm. Other articles in the collection examine anomie in Vatican frescoes by Giorgio Vasari, corporeal decay and the supernatural as spectacle on the early modern English stage, and affective self-perception and subjectivity in the scoring of Italian opera. ""[..] not as "just" a conference volume, but [as] an organic group of essays on early modernity. The essays span an impressive number of cultures – from "Byzantium" to England, Italy and Spain to the Netherlands – and theorize the image from a number of disciplinary vantage points. Not surprisingly, art history and theatre are well-represented, but so are music history and literary studies. Most of the essays are short, but sufficiently developed to allow for thoughtful arguments on the status of the visual in early modern culture: on the stage, on the page, and as artistic and musical representation. […] "they [do] deliver fine close readings and leave me sufficiently intrigued to want to return to, or familiarize myself with, the original "texts." I come away from this collection encouraged about the state of graduate studies in Europe and North America." —Jane Tylus, Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, New York University "The essays are interdisciplinary and touch upon many themes that lie outside my own field of specialization. I was therefore surprised and pleased to find them not only original and instructive, but also inviting and accessible to the non-specialist. Although they range far with respect to chronology and theoretical suppositions, they are coherently united in their concern for the functioning of the image in the conservation, revision or critique of socio-political power in their respective cultural contexts. I will mention three essays, representing three different fields, as striking examples of disparate images used to consolidate, reconstruct or overthrow the dominant powers of their times. Kathryn Falzareno's essay, "Mother's Milk and Deborah's Sword," is a close reading of Shakespeare's portrayal of Joan of Arc in Henry VI. It is a close analysis of the paradoxical status of Joan, Saint of the French, strumpet for the English, Christian warrior maiden, contrasting with Deborah in the Ancient Testament. The dominant and totally unexpected image which brings together the contradictions embodied by Joan are the breasts, the source of nurture in the figure of Mary, but an encumbrance for the mythological amazons who removed one breast to facilitate their use of the bow. Ljubica Ilic's "Echo and Narcissus: Labyrinths of the Self," is an elegant reading of "echo music," the apparently impossible "translation" of the Ovidian story into music and opera. Ovid's story represents the nymph Echo as the auditory equivalent of Narcissus' reflection -- echoing sound as reflecting light. Ovid's echo myth undoubtedly influenced opera by Jacopo Peri (during the time of the Medici) and then, Monteverdi in the musical setting of "Orfeo." Finally, Elissa Auerbach's "Taking Mary's Pulse: Cartesianism and Modernity in Rembrandt's 'Death of the Virgin' " is a brilliant commentary on the Dutch painter's rendering of an ancient theme, the "dormition" of the Virgin, but at the center of the painting is the figure of a physician taking the pulse of her limp hand. The intrusion of this "scientific" element in the ancient iconography of the event of Mary's death is the unmistakeable sign of the wave of modernity that swept over the Netherlands with the popularity of Cartesian philosophy and science." —John Freccero, Professor of Italian and Comp. Lit., NYU
On the banks of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon stands, with its iconic portico boasting breathtaking views and with a landscape to rival the great gardens of Europe, as a monument to George Washington’s artistic and creative efforts. More than one million people visit Mount Vernon each year—drawn to the stature and beauty of Washington’s family estate. Art historian Joseph Manca systematically examines Mount Vernon—its stylistic, moral, and historical dimensions—offering a complete picture of this national treasure and the man behind its enduring design. Manca brings to light a Washington deeply influenced by his wide travels in colonial America, with a broader architectural knowledge than previously suspected, and with a philosophy that informed his aesthetic sensibility. Washington believed that design choices and personal character mesh to form an ethic of virtue and fulfillment and that art is inextricably linked with moral and social concerns. Manca examines how these ideas shaped the material culture of Mount Vernon. Based on careful study of Washington’s personal diaries and correspondence and on the lively accounts of visitors to his estate, this richly illustrated book introduces a George Washington unfamiliar to many readers—an avid art collector, amateur architect, and leading landscape designer of his time.
This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Baroque Art and Architecture contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 600 cross-referenced entries on famous artists, sculptors, architects, patrons, and other historical figures, and events.
This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Renaissance Art contains a chronology, an introduction, and a bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on artists from Italy, Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Portugal, historical figures and events that impacted the production of Renaissance art.
This novel, cross-disciplinary collection explains how dying, death, and grieving have changed in America, for better or worse, since the turn of the millennium. • Shows how high health care costs; concern for the environment; and a diverse, aging population necessitate rethinking the care of those who are at the end of life • Discusses controversial topics such as extending life versus quality of life and the politics and laws governing assisted suicide and integrating our final resting place into the urban landscape • Addresses the effects of the Internet and social media on customs surrounding dying and mourning • Includes cross-disciplinary insights from fields as diverse as psychology, religion, medicine, law, and popular culture
Backpacker brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine, and the only magazine whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured.