At least 200 words per question.
The Idea of Craft Asks the class to try to define the word “craft.” What items do the students associate with the word “craft”? Are these items cheap or expensive? Does it conjure images of utilitarian goods like vases, pots, and rugs or items that are meant to be appreciated as beautiful objects? What is the difference between fine art, decorative arts, crafts, and design? During the Renaissance, craft objects were degraded as mere handiwork, not designed for serious contemplation or for aesthetic value. This distinction did not exist in other parts of the world, such as in Japan where a teacup could be considered a priceless work of art. How did the Industrial Revolution impact attitudes towards crafts and design?
Japanese Tea Ceremony The tea ceremony, a ritual performance in which the audience takes part, is a unique aspect of Japanese culture. The setting, the ceremony, the artwork, and the utensils are all supposed to conform to the principles of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility, and wabi, the principle of quiet simplicity. Discuss images of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Are these aforementioned aspects present in the ceremony and the design of the tools used? What is the significance of calligraphy in the ceremony? What is the significance of the floral arrangements?
Focus on the Figure This chapter contains a variety of figural artwork. Choose several images of figurative work, such as Justinian and Attendants, Walking Buddha, and Gislebertus, Last Judgment. How are the figures included in these works similar? How are they different? Are they realistic or naturalistic? What are the figures most prominent features? What is their purpose? What culture and/or time period are they from? How can you tell? What stylistic differences or similarities do you notice? What types of beliefs could be embodied by these figures?
Over on the Dark Side Lewis and Lewis refer to the Northern Renaissance as “The Darker Side.” What is meant by the dark side? What does it imply? The lack of images in Protestant churches is also referred to as the “darker side of the Reformation.” Does this imply that the liberal use of imagery and decorations in a church would be the “lighter side?