SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2007

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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SchoolArts May/June 2007 Nancy Thompson, associate museum eductor, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh, or king, was a man. However, Hatshepsut was a female pharaoh. How is Hatshepsut represented here? What change, or metamorphosis, has she undergone in this statue? Activity ple of Amun-Re that Hatshepsut had built. She is shown with a masculine, muscled torso and in royal dress. In order to work out the kneeling pose, the sculptor made her legs much longer than they would have been in reality. Imagine how tall she would be if she stood up! SchoolArts May/June 2007 Georges de La Tour (French, 1593–1652), The PenitentMagdalen, 17th century. Oil on canvas, 52½ x 40¼" (133 x 102 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1978 (1978.517). sets the mood and adds theatricality to this otherwise quiet scene. The scene refers to the spiritual conversion of the biblical figure Mary Magdalen. The skull symbolizes mortality and the jewelry and the mirror allude to luxury, while the light of the candle may be a symbol of spiriGeorges de La Tour creates a moving vignette tual presence or awakening. Thus, we find in for our discovery in this painting. Light, mood, the picture's elements the story of Magdalen's figuration, and symbol coalesce to tell us a embrace of spirituality above earthly pursuits. story of redemption. La Tour positions his subject so that we gaze into the scene, as Magdalen does, toward Activity the light of the candle, which has transfixed Experiment with the play of extreme light her. On her lap she holds a skull and jewelry and dark (chiaroscuro) in drawing and lies at her feet. The sumptuous pearls on painting. Discuss the effects achieved. the table are beautiful to the eye yet fail to capture her attention. She appears inert yet John S. Welch, museum educator in charge of actively engaged with the light. Each element youth programs, the Metropolitan Museum seems to add another aspect of drama to the of Art. story, compelling us to find meaning in this hushed space. La Tour's high contrast between light and shadow (chiaroscuro) in the picture GalleryCard Metamorphosis The ancient Egyptians saw their pharaoh, or king, as being both a god and a priest, roles that were masculine by definition. Hatshepsut, however, was officially recognized as a female pharaoh. Nonetheless, to conform to the Egyptian concept of rulership, she was represented as a man in paintings and sculptures, although the hieroglyphic inscriptions that identified her used the feminine gender. This colossal (over eight feet tall and weighing more than four tons) kneeling statue of Hatshepsut presenting offering jars containing maat (order, truth, or justice) to the god Amun was one of a series that adorned a tem- HatshepsutOffersMaattoAmun. Egyptian, early 18th dynasty, joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III (1479–1458 bc). Granite, 8' 7" x 31½" x 54" (261.5 x 80 x 137 cm). From Thebes, Deir el Bahri, Metropolitan Museum of Art excavation. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1929 (29.3.1). GalleryCard Metamorphosis master of the feast. The scene in the painting is based on the biblical story of the Marriage at Cana, which recounts how Christ performed his first miracle. Although the event took place long before the sixteenth century, Juan de Flandes painted the scene as if it took place in his own time. SchoolArts May/June 2007 SchoolArts May/June 2007 format: three or four squares, positioned concentrically. Borders on either side are equal, but margins at the top and bottom differ subtly. Flat expanses of unmodulated color take on evocative powers because of the transformative and relative properties of color itself. Do the concentric squares appear to nest within one another? Overlap? Recede into Josef Albers described his work as to "educate space? Oscillate? Any or all of those effects others to see." In classroom exercises, he care- are caused by the interaction of the colors. fully introduced students to the extraordinary quirks and ploys of perception. He said: "in Activity order to use color effectively, it is necessary Using cut colored papers, make one color to recognize that color deceives continually." appear as two. Make two compositions. Albers described color as the most relative Place the same colored patch on different medium in art: "colors present themselves in background colors to create different continuous flux, constantly related to changeffects. ing neighbors and changing conditions." He maintained that colors act differently dependStella Paul, museum educator in charge of ing on context. exhibitions and communication, the MetroAlbers made over 1,000 works organized politan Museum of Art, New York. around a rigorously controlled compositional Josef Albers (American, born Germany, 1888– 1976),HomagetotheSquare:WithRays, 1959. Oil on Masonite, 481/8 x 481/8" (122 x 122 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1959 (59.160). © 2007 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. GalleryCard Metamorphosis This small painting is one of forty-seven small panels that were commissioned by Isabella, Activity the Catholic queen of Spain, for her private What story is being told? Did the artist devotion. include any significant or symbolic The marriage feast takes place in an open objects? How much does he leave it up loggia. Outside, at the far left, we see the proto us to create our own story? file of a man looking out toward the viewer. It is thought that he may be either the artist or Rosa Tejada, associate museum educator, the a court functionary. At the head of the table, the newly married couple is depicted with ges- Metropolitan Museum of Art. tures similar to those of Christ and the Virgin Mary, who are seated at left. Christ blesses the water, which a servant pours from a pitcher into one of four large jars. They are attended by a man who may be either a disciple or the Juan de Flandes (Netherlandish, active in Spain by 1496, died 1519), TheMarriageFeastatCana, ca. 1500–1504. Oil on wood, 8¼ x 6¼" (21 x 15 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 (1982.60.20). GalleryCard Metamorphosis

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