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Week 1 – Timeline of Western Art


September, 4 2015

As the opening for the lecturing session, my lecture asks us about “How the time represented in Western perspective?” At first, some of us thought that it was a kind of culture heritage such as sculptures, pictures, cave paintings, etc. No, it was not those things. He said that in Western perspective time was represented in a line, which is what we know as a timeline.

In this “Timeline of Western Art”, we discuss about how and why the western culture was formed. So firstly, it mostly effected by the Classical Greek and Classical Roman (480 BC – 400 AD). In classical Greek human figure (male) is a kind of measurement for many aspects. The reason Greeks made a naked man sculpture is because they idealized the perfection of human body. Moreover, in Geek mythology, the gods they have are represented in a form of man. Most of us maybe know about the Olympic game. It only allows mans for joining and not woman, even they will ask the participant to be naked so that they can make sure if there is no woman participant in the game. It is a part of the Greek culture where the perfection of human body idealism is more in man form rather than woman.


Next to the Classical Roman, where it also adopted the classical Greek culture, such as the way they represented the political leaders as gods, so like the Greek, Roman also had several gods. Roman Empire was very big included French, Germany, UK, Spain, and any other Europe area, even also extended to the North Africa. In the fourth century, the Roman king, Constantine, converted Roman Empire or also known as the Byzantine Empire to Christian, and adopted Christian as its official religion. In that time, the political and religious aspects in Roman Empire were mostly influenced by Christianity.


Different from the other, Spain has a period when Islam being a dominant there, and about 492 years Spain tolerance both Islam and Christian. This situation influenced the Spain culture in art. One of the examples is the form of mosaics. In Christian type, the mosaics have a natural visualization or the same as the objects; in contrast for mosaics in Islam culture have an abstract form which is not the same as the real object.

From that explanation, I can conclude that the western art from the origin mostly influenced by Classical Greek and Roman. Then, it also influenced by Christianity until now and in certain places such as in Spain influenced by Islam heritage.

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