Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno in the Republic of Venice). During his lifetime he was called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth. Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars", Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, mythological and religious subjects, his painting methods in the application and use of colour, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the late Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art. His career was successful from the start, he became sought after by patrons from Venice and its possessions joined by the north Italian princes, the Habsburgs and papacy. Along with Giorgione, he is considered a founder of the Venetian School of Italian Renaissance painting. During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong interest in colour.
Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone were without precedent in the history of Western painting. The exact date of Titian's birth is uncertain; when he was an old man he claimed in a letter to Philip II, King of Spain, to have been born in 1474, but this seems most unlikely. Other writers contemporary to his old age give figures that would equate to birthdates between 1473 and after 1482. Most modern scholars believe a date between 1488 and 1490 is more though his age at death being 99 had been accepted into the 20th century, he was the son of whom little is known. Gregorio was superintendent of the castle of Pieve di Cadore and managed local mines for their owners. Gregorio was a distinguished councilor and soldier. Many relatives, including Titian's grandfather, were notaries, the family were well-established in the area, ruled by Venice. At the age of about ten to twelve he and his brother Francesco were sent to an uncle in Venice to find an apprenticeship with a painter.
The minor painter Sebastian Zuccato, whose sons became well-known mosaicists, who may have been a family friend, arranged for the brothers to enter the studio of the elderly Gentile Bellini, from which they transferred to that of his brother Giovanni Bellini. At that time the Bellinis Giovanni, were the leading artists in the city. There Titian found a group of young men about his own age, among them Giovanni Palma da Serinalta, Lorenzo Lotto, Sebastiano Luciani, Giorgio da Castelfranco, nicknamed Giorgione. Francesco Vecellio, Titian's older brother became a painter of some note in Venice. A fresco of Hercules on the Morosini Palace is said to have been one of Titian's earliest works. Others were the Bellini-esque so-called Gypsy Madonna in Vienna, the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth, now in the Accademia, Venice. A Man with a Quilted Sleeve is an early portrait, painted around 1509 and described by Giorgio Vasari in 1568. Scholars long believed it depicted Ludovico Ariosto. Rembrandt borrowed the composition for his self-portraits.
Titian joined Giorgione as an assistant, but many contemporary critics found his work more impressive—for example in exterior frescoes that they did for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Their relationship evidently contained a significant element of rivalry. Distinguishing between their work at this period remains a subject of scholarly controversy. A substantial number of attributions have moved from Giorgione to Titian in the 20th century, with little traffic the other way. One of the earliest known Titian works, Christ Carrying the Cross in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, depicting the Ecce Homo scene, was long regarded as by Giorgione; the two young masters were recognized as the leaders of their new school of arte moderna, characterized by paintings made more flexible, freed from symmetry and the remnants of hieratic conventions still found in the works of Giovanni Bellini. In 1507–1508 Giorgione was commissioned by the state to create frescoes on the re-erected Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Titian and Morto da Feltre worked along with him, some fragments of paintings remain by Giorgione.
Some of their work is known, through the engravings of Fontana. After Giorgione's early death in 1510, Titian continued to paint Giorgionesque subjects for some time, though his style developed its own features, including bold and expressive brushwork. Titian's talent in fresco is shown in those he painted in 1511 at Padua in the Carmelite church and in the Scuola del Santo, some of which have been preserved, among them the Meeting at the Golden Gate, three scenes from the life of St. Anthony of Padua, The Miracle of the Jealous Husband, which depicts the Murder of a Young Woman by Her Husband, A Child Testifying to Its Mother's Innocence, The Saint Healing the Young Man with a Broken Limb. In 1512 Titian returned to Venice from Padua, he became superintendent of the government works charged with completing the paintings left unfinished by Giovanni Bellini in the hall of the great council in the ducal palace. He set up a
Mannerism known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style replaced it. Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century. Stylistically, Mannerism encompasses a variety of approaches influenced by, reacting to, the harmonious ideals associated with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and early Michelangelo. Where High Renaissance art emphasizes proportion and ideal beauty, Mannerism exaggerates such qualities resulting in compositions that are asymmetrical or unnaturally elegant; the style is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial qualities. It favors compositional tension and instability rather than the balance and clarity of earlier Renaissance painting. Mannerism in literature and music is notable for its florid style and intellectual sophistication; the definition of Mannerism and the phases within it continue to be a subject of debate among art historians.
For example, some scholars have applied the label to certain early modern forms of literature and music of the 16th and 17th centuries. The term is used to refer to some late Gothic painters working in northern Europe from about 1500 to 1530 the Antwerp Mannerists—a group unrelated to the Italian movement. Mannerism has been applied by analogy to the Silver Age of Latin literature; the word mannerism derives from the Italian maniera, meaning "style" or "manner". Like the English word "style", maniera can either indicate a specific type of style or indicate an absolute that needs no qualification. In the second edition of his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects, Giorgio Vasari used maniera in three different contexts: to discuss an artist's manner or method of working. Vasari was a Mannerist artist, he described the period in which he worked as "la maniera moderna", or the "modern style". James V. Mirollo describes how "bella maniera" poets attempted to surpass in virtuosity the sonnets of Petrarch.
This notion of "bella maniera" suggests that artists who were thus inspired looked to copying and bettering their predecessors, rather than confronting nature directly. In essence, "bella maniera" utilized the best from a number of source materials, synthesizing it into something new; as a stylistic label, "Mannerism" is not defined. It was used by Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt and popularized by German art historians in the early 20th century to categorize the uncategorizable art of the Italian 16th century — art, no longer found to exhibit the harmonious and rational approaches associated with the High Renaissance. “High Renaissance” connoted a period distinguished by harmony and the revival of classical antiquity. The term Mannerist was redefined in 1967 by John Shearman following the exhibition of Mannerist paintings organised by Fritz Grossmann at Manchester City Art Gallery in 1965; the label “Mannerism” was used during the 16th century to comment on social behaviour and to convey a refined virtuoso quality or to signify a certain technique.
However, for writers, such as the 17th-century Gian Pietro Bellori, "la maniera" was a derogatory term for the perceived decline of art after Raphael in the 1530s and 1540s. From the late 19th century on, art historians have used the term to describe art that follows Renaissance classicism and precedes the Baroque, yet historians differ as to whether Mannerism is a movement, or a period. By the end of the High Renaissance, young artists experienced a crisis: it seemed that everything that could be achieved was achieved. No more difficulties, technical or otherwise, remained to be solved; the detailed knowledge of anatomy, light and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, the innovative use of the human form in figurative composition, the use of the subtle gradation of tone, all had reached near perfection. The young artists needed to find a new goal, they sought new approaches. At this point Mannerism started to emerge; the new style developed between 1510 and 1520 either in Florence, or in Rome, or in both cities simultaneously.
This period has been described as a "natural extension" of the art of Andrea del Sarto and Raphael. Michelangelo developed his own style at an early age, a original one, admired at first often copied and imitated by other artists of the era. One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, subsequent artists attempted to imitate it. Other artists learned Michelangelo's impassioned and personal style by copying the works of the master, a standard way that students learned to paint and sculpt, his Sistine Chapel ceiling provided examples for them to follow, in particular his representation of collected figures called ignudi and of the Libyan Sibyl, his vestibule to the Laurentian Library, the figures on his Medici tombs, above all his Last Judgment. The Michelangelo was one of the great role models of Mannerism. Young artists stole drawings from him. In his book Lives of the Most Eminent Painters and Architects
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, architect and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing. Vasari was born on 30 July 1511 in Tuscany. Recommended at an early age by his cousin Luca Signorelli, he became a pupil of Guglielmo da Marsiglia, a skillful painter of stained glass. Sent to Florence at the age of sixteen by Cardinal Silvio Passerini, he joined the circle of Andrea del Sarto and his pupils Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo Pontormo, where his humanist education was encouraged, he was befriended by Michelangelo. He died on 27 June 1574 in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, aged 62. In 1529, he visited Rome where he studied the works of Raphael and other artists of the Roman High Renaissance. Vasari's own Mannerist paintings were more admired in his lifetime than afterwards. In 1547 he completed the hall of the chancery in Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome with frescoes that received the name Sala dei Cento Giorni.
He was employed by members of the Medici family in Florence and Rome, worked in Naples and other places. Many of his pictures still exist, the most important being the wall and ceiling paintings in the Sala di Cosimo I in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, where he and his assistants were at work from 1555, the frescoes begun by him inside the vast cupola of the Duomo were completed by Federico Zuccari and with the help of Giovanni Balducci, he helped to organize the decoration of the Studiolo, now reassembled in the Palazzo Vecchio. In Rome he painted frescos in the Sala Regia. Among his other pupils or followers are included Sebastiano Flori, Bartolomeo Carducci, Domenico Benci, Tommaso del Verrocchio, Federigo di Lamberto, Niccolo Betti, Vittor Casini, Mirabello Cavalori, Jacopo Coppi, Piero di Ridolfo, Stefano Veltroni of Monte San Savino, Orazio Porta of Monte San Savino, Alessandro Fortori of Arezzo, Bastiano Flori of Arezzo, Fra Salvatore Foschi of Arezzo, Andrea Aretino. Aside from his career as a painter, Vasari was successful as an architect.
His loggia of the Palazzo degli Uffizi by the Arno opens up the vista at the far end of its long narrow courtyard. It is a unique piece of urban planning that functions as a public piazza, which, if considered as a short street, is unique as a Renaissance street with a unified architectural treatment; the view of the Loggia from the Arno reveals that, with the Vasari Corridor, it is one of few structures that line the river which are open to the river itself and appear to embrace the riverside environment. In Florence, Vasari built the long passage, now called Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi with the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the river; the enclosed corridor passes alongside the River Arno on an arcade, crosses the Ponte Vecchio and winds around the exterior of several buildings. It was once the home of the Mercado de Vecchio, he renovated the medieval churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. At both he removed the original rood screen and loft, remodelled the retro-choirs in the Mannerist taste of his time.
In Santa Croce, he was responsible for the painting of The Adoration of the Magi, commissioned by Pope Pius V in 1566 and completed in February 1567. It was restored, before being put on exhibition in 2011 in Rome and in Naples, it is planned to return it to the church of Santa Croce in Bosco Marengo. In 1562 Vasari built the octagonal dome on the Basilica of Our Lady of Humility in Pistoia, an important example of high Renaissance architecture. In Rome, Vasari worked with Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola and Bartolomeo Ammannati at Pope Julius III's Villa Giulia. Called "the first art historian", Vasari invented the genre of the encyclopedia of artistic biographies with his Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori, dedicated to Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, first published in 1550, he was the first to use the term "Renaissance" in print, though an awareness of the ongoing "rebirth" in the arts had been in the air since the time of Alberti, he was responsible for our use of the term Gothic Art, though he only used the word Goth which he associated with the "barbaric" German style.
The Lives included a novel treatise on the technical methods employed in the arts. The book was rewritten and enlarged in 1568, with the addition of woodcut portraits of artists; the work has a consistent and notorious bias in favour of Florentines, tends to attribute to them all the developments in Renaissance art – for example, the invention of engraving. Venetian art in particular, is systematically ignored in the first edition. Between the first and second editions, Vasari visited Venice and while the second edition gave more attention to Venetian art, it did so without achieving a neutral point of view. There are many inaccuracies within his Lives. For example, Vasari writes that Andrea del Castagno killed Domenico Veneziano, not true, given Andrea died several years before Domenico. In another example, Vasari's biography of Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, whom he calls "Il Soddoma," published only in the Lives' second edition after Bazzi's death, condemns the artist as being immoral and vain. Vasari dismisses Bazzi's work as being lazy and offensive, despite the artist's having been named a Cavaliere di Crist
Sistine Chapel ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the Sistine Chapel, the large papal chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV, for whom the chapel is named, it was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for many other important services; the ceiling's various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Pietro Perugino, a set of large tapestries by Raphael, the whole illustrating much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which The Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equaled only by Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations.
The complex design includes several sets of individual figures, both clothed and nude, which allowed Michelangelo to demonstrate his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure and which have provided an enormously influential pattern book of models for other artists since. Pope Julius II was a "warrior pope" who in his papacy undertook an aggressive campaign for political control to unite and empower Italy under the leadership of the Church, he invested in symbolism to display his temporal power, such as his procession, in the Classical manner, through a triumphal arch in a chariot after one of his many military victories. It was Julius who began the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in 1506, as the most potent symbol of the source of papal power. In the same year 1506, Pope Julius conceived a program to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; the walls of the chapel had been decorated twenty years earlier. The lowest of three levels is painted to resemble draped hangings and was hung on special occasions with the set of tapestries designed by Raphael.
The middle level contains a complex scheme of frescoes illustrating the Life of Christ on the right side and the Life of Moses on the left side. It was carried out by some of the most renowned Renaissance painters: Botticelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio and Cosimo Rosselli; the upper level of the walls contains the windows, between which are painted pairs of illusionistic niches with representations of the first 32 popes. A draft by Pier Matteo d'Amelia indicates that the ceiling was painted blue like that of the Arena Chapel and decorated with gold stars representing the zodiacal constellations, it is probable that, because the chapel was the site of regular meetings and Masses of an elite body of officials known as the Papal Chapel, it was Pope Julius' intention and expectation that the iconography of the ceiling was to be read with many layers of meaning. Michelangelo, not a painter but a sculptor, was reluctant to take on the work, he was occupied with a large sculptural commission for the pope's tomb.
The pope was adamant. However, a war with the French broke out, diverting the attention of the pope, Michelangelo fled from Rome to continue sculpting. In 1508 the pope summoned Michelangelo to begin work on the ceiling; the contract was signed on 10 May 1508. The scheme proposed by the pope was for twelve large figures of the Apostles to occupy the pendentives. However, Michelangelo negotiated for a grander, much more complex scheme and was permitted, in his own words, "to do as I liked", his scheme for the ceiling comprised some three hundred figures and took four years to execute, being completed and shown to the public on All Saints Day in 1512 after a preliminary showing and papal Mass on August 14, 1511. It has been suggested that the Augustinian friar and cardinal, Giles of Viterbo, was a consultant for the theological aspect of the work. Many writers consider that Michelangelo had the intellect, the biblical knowledge, the powers of invention to have devised the scheme himself; this is supported by Ascanio Condivi's statement that Michelangelo read and reread the Old Testament while he was painting the ceiling, drawing his inspiration from the words of the scripture, rather than from the established traditions of sacral art.
A total of 343 figures were painted on the ceiling. To reach the chapel's ceiling, Michelangelo designed his own scaffold, a flat wooden platform on brackets built out from holes in the wall near the top of the windows, rather than being built up from the floor. Mancinelli speculates. According to Michelangelo's pupil and biographer Ascanio Condivi, the brackets and frame that supported the steps and flooring were all put in place at the beginning of the work and a lightweight screen cloth, was suspended beneath them to catch plaster drips and splashes of paint. Only half the building was scaffolded at a time and the platform was moved as the painting was done in stages; the areas of the wall covered by the scaffolding still appear as unpainted areas across the bottom of the lunettes. The holes were re-used to hold scaffolding in the latest restoration. Contrary to popular belief, he painted in a standing position. According to Vasari, "The work was carried out in uncomfortable conditions, from his having to work with his head tilted upwards".
The Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam is a fresco painting by Italian artist Michelangelo, which forms part of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, painted c. 1508–1552. It illustrates the Biblical creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in which God gives life to Adam, the first man; the fresco is part of a complex iconographic scheme and is chronologically the fourth in the series of panels depicting episodes from Genesis. The image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam has become iconic of humanity; the painting has been reproduced in countless parodies. Michelangelo's Creation of Adam is one of the most replicated religious paintings of all time. In 1505 Michelangelo was invited back to Rome by the newly elected Pope Julius II, he was commissioned to build the Pope's tomb, to include forty statues and be finished in five years. Under the patronage of the Pope, Michelangelo experienced constant interruptions to his work on the tomb in order to accomplish numerous other tasks. Although Michelangelo worked on the tomb for 40 years, it was never finished to his satisfaction.
It is located in the Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli in Rome and is most famous for his central figure of Moses, completed in 1516. Of the other statues intended for the tomb, two known as the Rebellious Slave and the Dying Slave, are now in the Louvre. During the same period, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which took four years to complete. According to Condivi's account, working on the building of St Peter's Basilica, resented Michelangelo's commission for the Pope's tomb and convinced the Pope to commission him in a medium with which he was unfamiliar, in order that he might fail at the task. Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the Twelve Apostles on the triangular pendentives that supported the ceiling, cover the central part of the ceiling with ornament. Michelangelo persuaded Pope Julius to give him a free hand and proposed a different and more complex scheme, representing the Creation, the Fall of Man, the Promise of Salvation through the prophets, the genealogy of Christ.
The work is part of a larger scheme of decoration within the chapel which represents much of the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The composition stretches over 500 square metres of ceiling, contains over 300 figures. At its centre are nine episodes from the Book of Genesis, divided into three groups: God's Creation of the Earth. On the pendentives supporting the ceiling are painted twelve men and women who prophesied the coming of Jesus. Among the most famous paintings on the ceiling are The Creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Deluge, the Prophet Jeremiah and the Cumaean Sibyl. God is depicted as an elderly white-bearded man wrapped in a swirling cloak while Adam, on the lower left, is nude. God's right arm is outstretched to impart the spark of life from his own finger into that of Adam, whose left arm is extended in a pose mirroring God's, a reminder that man is created in the image and likeness of God. Another point is that God's finger are not touching, it gives the impression that God, the giver of life, is reaching out to Adam who has yet to receive it.
Many hypotheses have been formulated regarding the identity and meaning of the twelve figures around God. According to an interpretation, first proposed by the English art critic Walter Pater and is now accepted, the person protected by God's left arm represents Eve, due to the figure's feminine appearance and gaze towards Adam, the eleven other figures symbolically represent the souls of Adam and Eve's unborn progeny, the entire human race; this interpretation has been challenged on the grounds that the Catholic Church regards the teaching of the pre-existence of souls as heretical. The figure behind God has been suggested to be the Virgin Mary, the personified human soul, or "an angel of masculine build"; the Creation of Adam is thought to depict the excerpt "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him". The inspiration for Michelangelo's treatment of the subject may come from a medieval hymn, "Veni Creator Spiritus", which asks the'finger of the paternal right hand' to give the faithful speech.
Michelangelo's main source of inspiration for his Adam in his Creation of Adam may have been a cameo showing a nude Augustus Caesar riding sidesaddle on a Capricorn. This cameo is now at Northumberland; the cameo used to belong to cardinal Domenico Grimani who lived in Rome while Michelangelo painted the ceiling. Evidence suggests that Grimani were friends; this cameo offers an alternative theory for those scholars who have been dissatisfied with the theory that Michelangelo was inspired by Lorenzo Ghiberti's Adam in his Creation of Adam. Several hypotheses have been put forward about the meaning of The Creation of Adam's original composition, many of them taking Michelangelo's well-documented expertise in human anatomy as their starting point. In 1990 in Anderson, Indiana physician Frank Meshberger noted in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the background figures and shapes portrayed behind the figure of God appeared to be an anatomically accurate picture of the human brain.
On close examination, borders in the painting correlate with m
Ancient Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted the external language of classical Greek architecture for the purposes of the ancient Romans, but was different from Greek buildings, becoming a new architectural style. The two styles are considered one body of classical architecture. Roman architecture flourished in the Roman Republic and more so under the Empire, when the great majority of surviving buildings were constructed, it used new materials concrete, newer technologies such as the arch and the dome to make buildings that were strong and well-engineered. Large numbers remain in some form across the empire, sometimes complete and still in use to this day. Roman Architecture covers the period from the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 BC to about the 4th century AD, after which it becomes reclassified as Late Antique or Byzantine architecture. No substantial examples survive from before about 100 BC, most of the major survivals are from the empire, after about 100 AD. Roman architectural style continued to influence building in the former empire for many centuries, the style used in Western Europe beginning about 1000 is called Romanesque architecture to reflect this dependence on basic Roman forms.
The Romans only began to achieve significant originality in architecture around the beginning of the Imperial period, after they had combined aspects of their original Etruscan architecture with others taken from Greece, including most elements of the style we now call classical architecture. They moved from trabeated construction based on columns and lintels to one based on massive walls, punctuated by arches, domes, both of which developed under the Romans; the classical orders now became decorative rather than structural, except in colonnades. Stylistic developments included the Composite orders; the period from 40 BC to about 230 AD saw most of the greatest achievements, before the Crisis of the Third Century and troubles reduced the wealth and organizing power of the central government. The Romans produced massive public buildings and works of civil engineering, were responsible for significant developments in housing and public hygiene, for example their public and private baths and latrines, under-floor heating in the form of the hypocaust, mica glazing, piped hot and cold water.
Despite the technical developments of the Romans, which took their buildings far away from the basic Greek conception where columns were needed to support heavy beams and roofs, they were reluctant to abandon the classical orders informal public buildings though these had become decorative. However, they did not feel restricted by Greek aesthetic concerns and treated the orders with considerable freedom. Innovation started in the 3rd or 2nd century BC with the development of Roman concrete as a available adjunct to, or substitute for and brick. More daring buildings soon followed, with great pillars supporting broad domes; the freedom of concrete inspired the colonnade screen, a row of purely decorative columns in front of a load-bearing wall. In smaller-scale architecture, concrete's strength freed the floor plan from rectangular cells to a more free-flowing environment. Factors such as wealth and high population densities in cities forced the ancient Romans to discover new architectural solutions of their own.
The use of vaults and arches, together with a sound knowledge of building materials, enabled them to achieve unprecedented successes in the construction of imposing infrastructure for public use. Examples include the aqueducts of Rome, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla, the basilicas and Colosseum; these were reproduced at a smaller scale in most important cities in the Empire. Some surviving structures are complete, such as the town walls of Lugo in Hispania Tarraconensis, now northern Spain; the administrative structure and wealth of the empire made possible large projects in locations remote from the main centers, as did the use of slave labor, both skilled and unskilled. Under the empire, architecture served a political function, demonstrating the power of the Roman state in general, of specific individuals responsible for building. Roman architecture reached its peak in the reign of Hadrian, whose many achievements include rebuilding the Pantheon in its current form and leaving his mark on the landscape of northern Britain with Hadrian's Wall.
While borrowing much from the preceding Etruscan architecture, such as the use of hydraulics and the construction of arches, Roman prestige architecture remained under the spell of Ancient Greek architecture and the classical orders. This came from Magna Graecia, the Greek colonies in southern Italy, indirectly from Greek influence on the Etruscans, but after the Roman conquest of Greece directly from the best classical and Hellenistic examples in the Greek world; the influence is evident in many ways. Roman builders employed Greeks in many capacities in the great boom in construction in the early Empire; the Roman Architectural Revolution known as the Concrete Revolution, was the widespread use in Roman architecture of the little-used architectural forms of the arch and dome. For the first time in history, their potential was exploited in the construction of a wide range of civil engineering
Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts. The study includes painting, architecture, ceramics and other decorative objects. Art history is the history of different groups of people and their culture represented throughout their artwork. Art historians compare different time periods in art history; such as a comparison to Medieval Art to Renaissance Art. This history of cultures is shown in their art work in different forms. Art can be shown by attire, religion, sports. Or more visual pieces of art such as paintings, sculptures; as a term, art history encompasses several methods of studying the visual arts. Aspects of the discipline overlap; as the art historian Ernst Gombrich once observed, "the field of art history much like Caesar's Gaul, divided in three parts inhabited by three different, though not hostile tribes: the connoisseurs, the critics, the academic art historians". As a discipline, art history is distinguished from art criticism, concerned with establishing a relative artistic value upon individual works with respect to others of comparable style, or sanctioning an entire style or movement.
One branch of this area of study is aesthetics, which includes investigating the enigma of the sublime and determining the essence of beauty. Technically, art history is not these things, because the art historian uses historical method to answer the questions: How did the artist come to create the work?, Who were the patrons?, Who were his or her teachers?, Who was the audience?, Who were his or her disciples?, What historical forces shaped the artist's oeuvre, how did he or she and the creation, in turn, affect the course of artistic and social events? It is, questionable whether many questions of this kind can be answered satisfactorily without considering basic questions about the nature of art; the current disciplinary gap between art history and the philosophy of art hinders this inquiry. Art history is not only a biographical endeavor. Art historians root their studies in the scrutiny of individual objects, they thus attempt to answer in specific ways, questions such as: What are key features of this style?, What meaning did this object convey?, How does it function visually?, Did the artist meet their goals well?, What symbols are involved?, Does it function discursively?
The historical backbone of the discipline is a celebratory chronology of beautiful creations commissioned by public or religious bodies or wealthy individuals in western Europe. Such a "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection of objects present in art history textbooks. Nonetheless, since the 20th century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of non-Western art, art made by women, vernacular creativity. Art history as we know it in the 21st century began in the 19th century but has precedents that date to the ancient world. Like the analysis of historical trends in politics and the sciences, the discipline benefits from the clarity and portability of the written word, but art historians rely on formal analysis, semiotics and iconography. Advances in photographic reproduction and printing techniques after World War II increased the ability of reproductions of artworks; such technologies have helped to advance the discipline in profound ways, as they have enabled easy comparisons of objects.
The study of visual art thus described, can be a practice that involves understanding context and social significance. Art historians employ a number of methods in their research into the ontology and history of objects. Art historians examine work in the context of its time. At best, this is done in a manner which respects imperatives. In short, this approach examines the work of art in the context of the world within which it was created. Art historians often examine work through an analysis of form; this approach examines how the artist uses a two-dimensional picture plane or the three dimensions of sculptural or architectural space to create his or her art. The way these individual elements are employed results in representational or non-representational art. Is the artist imitating an object or image found in nature? If so, it is representational; the closer the art hews to perfect imitation, the more the art is realistic. Is the artist not imitating, but instead relying on symbolism, or in an important way striving to capture nature's essence, rather than copy it directly?
If so the art is non-representational—also called abstract. Realism and abstraction exist on a continuum. Impressionism is an example of a representational style, not directly imitative, but strove to create an "impression" of nature. If the work is not representational and is an expression of the artist's feelings and aspirations, or is a search for ideals of beauty and form, the work is non-representational or a work of expressionism. An iconographical analysis is one. Through a close reading of such elements, it is possible to trace their lineage, with it draw conclusions regarding the origins and tra