1. Topic: Love in Ancient Art [this could focus on Aphrodite/Venus, Eros/Cupid or on representations of amorous couples, homosexual or heterosexual...]
Assignment: Write a thematic research paper revolving around a minimum of FOUR objects of Ancient Art (4th c. AD or earlier) that are on view in Paris (Louvre, Cabinet des Medailles...), from at least THREE different style-periods (for example, Archaic Greek, Hellenistic, Etruscan and Roman). When you are selecting your objects, think about which ones would work well together as a small museum exhibition! Describe each object carefully and vividly in a formal analysis, and please attach sketches, photocopies, print-outs, or photographs of these objects to your paper. Make sure to ALWAYS include the identifying information for the objects, including the museum accession numbers. You are also encouraged to make comparisons to similar objects that are in other museums/locations.
Make sure your paper has a clear structure: 1) an introductory paragraph that includes a clear thesis statement, 2) an extended body with your analyses of the objects and their contexts, and each paragraph should follow a specific theme, and 3) a strong conclusion that brings all of your ideas together!
Research: you must consult a minimum of SIX printed (i.e., non-Web) sources, reference them in your footnotes or endnotes, and list them alphabetically by author on your bibliography (note: 1; you do not have to have read the entire book or article to include it on your bibliography. 2; you must use the MLA style). No Wikipedia or “.com” websites!! Oxford Art Online should be your “back-up” source if you have any factual questions.
Length: ca. 10 pages typed, double-spaced (including footnotes or endnotes, but excluding bibliography and image attachments).
2. Subject: The goddess Venus:
Giulio Romano, Venus and Vulcan (Denon Wing, Grande Galerie, INV. 424)
Lucas Cranach, Venus Standing in a Landscape (Richelieu Wing, 2e étage, German Painting, Room 8, INV. 1180)
Base your analysis on both close personal scrutiny of the works in the Louvre, Paris and library research on the artists, iconography, and contexts of the pieces selected. Only scholarly websites with proper authority should be cited. A good point of departure could be the Grove Dictionary of Art (AUP library, on-line)
A personal thesis should drive the development of your ideas, allowing you to integrate careful observation into a broadly framed analysis.
Your paper should be 10 pages long. A dynamic title, a proper bibliography, and credits (MLA format) are essential.
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Love in Ancient Art
In ancient Mediterranean cultures the artistic representations of the “Love” Goddess changed slightly with the cultural and stylistic changes of the period. The Greek culture worshiped the Goddess Aphrodite. The changing Greek ideals can be seen in her artistic depiction. The later Etruscan culture worshiped the Goddess Turan and although the characteristics of Turan remained the same as the previous Greek Aphrodite deity, the artistic style and cultural changes can be seen in her depiction. Finally the Romans, who borrowed much of the Greek myths into their own culture, worshiped the Love Goddess Venus. Venus held many of the same characteristics found in her previous incarnations, yet she too showed cultural and stylistic changes of the indicative of the Roman culture. These female figures all represented beauty, love, fertility, and sexuality and through ancient artists, live on in the imaginations of today....
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