Tag Archives: Bernini

How to Pick Up a (Straight and Female) Art History Major

Let’s face it, Art History majors are really awesome. They are looking at a future of designing really great class powerpoints, wearing funky jewelery, and lamenting to no one who cares about people who just can’t see the difference between Baroque and Rococo (or Modern and Contemporary art). Plus they generally have very good taste in nail polish, have good hair, dress really well, and think in a different way than pretty much any other undergraduate major.  So who wouldn’t want to date one?

So here is a list of things to do and things to avoid in order to pick up your feisty art historian.

DO

1. When choosing between staying over night at an aquarium or a museum, choose the museum. Take note, Jim Halpert. (See S2E18 “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” of The Office)

2. It might help to look like one of these Art History hotties

Theodore Gericault

Once called the “Justin Bieber” of the Romantics by a hilarious University of Pennsylvania art history professor.

Raphael's Self-Portrait

The boy wonder of the Renaissance. Also according to the world’s biggest fangirl, Giorgio Vasari, Raphael died from having too much sex. Just going to leave that tidbit right there.

Lewis Paine by Alexander Gardner

One of the conspirators in the Lincoln assassination, Paine (real name Powell) was convicted and hung for an assassination attempt of Secretary of State William Seward. And he was widely considered the most attractive man in the images from my History of Photography class.

Albrecht Durer Self Portrait

Albrecht Durer: Jesus Face

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Bernini managed to be a sasspost and a sexpot. And he is single handedly responsible for 70% of the sex appeal of the Catholic Church.

For more hotties from art history check out these blogs: Hotties of Art History and My Daguerrotype Boyfriend

3. Get to know her specific interests in art. Art History majors love Judy Chicago, Clement Greenberg and Jasper Johns. You know why? Because the Art History professor that she aspires to be, who has cool coats/vests/jewelry, likes these people.* And until she graduates these interests are as important if nor more so than her personal art interests.

4. Learn to appreciate scarves. Art History classes are often in the dark. And often early in the morning. Sometimes the only thing keeping you awake and paying attention to Borromini subverting the classical orders is the warmth around your neck and being able to think “my scarf is way more awesome than anyone else’s in the room. Except maybe the scarf that the professor with the cool coats is wearing.” So Art History majors love scarves. This is potential topic of conversation.

While bored, I made this collage of scarves I like, as evidence of how awesome they are and how much art history majors love them.***

Bitches Love Scarves
5. Use Netflix for good. There are some killer art history documentaries on there, with dopey reenactments and interviews with lots of white old men. Worth it, if you can recommend one to her.
Recommended by this Art History Major to you: Exit Through the Gift Shop, Empires: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Van Gogh: Brush with Genius, The Art of the Steal, Art 21: Art of the Twenty-First Century, Herb and Dorothy and seriously so many more.

DON’T

1. Don’t call him “da Vinci.” Just like in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it’s Leonardo. No need to complicate things with errors.

2. Related, don’t let cartoons be your source of art history knowledge.

Like this, this is completely ridiculous. (artist: yours truly)****

3. Don’t go to a museum and then make fun of the art. If you know less than her, this is not the time to show off your humor chops. Listen and discuss things. That’s why museums are fun. Also: museum dates are not a must. If you cannot handle museums (seriously, not everyone can), it would be better to not go, then then to go and make a fool of yourself. Art History majors have hobbies. Anyways, she’s probably been to the local museum bunches of times, so if you do go, make sure there is a special exhibit in town. It especially helps if it is one you are interested in.

So good luck! And of course there is something else you could do…register for art history classes! They are amazing and unlike any other class offered in an undergraduate program.

*This list may or may not be satirical.
**This may be Agnes Scott specific. Find the professor with the best coat/jewelry combo on campus. Odds, that one is the one she is idolizing.
***We also love collages of our own creation.
****Apparently Botticelli had ADD. And hated non-Italian Renaissances as much as I do.

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nepotism and tapestries: Pope Urban VIII

Am I the only person who thinks that nepotism and tapestries sounds like an album name?

Maybe not. But still, they are the source of my interest in Pope Urban VIII. That’s right, folks, I have chosen my first research topic of the year (unless you count the research paper about Frank Churchill’s use of Latin derived words in Emma that I’ve been dying to write forever). The topic: The Barberini Tapestry Cycle and the Self and Familial Editing of Papal History in Roman Baroque Art.

The Barberini Tapestry Cycle is a self of three tapestries that depict the lives of three important Christian figures: Constantine, Jesus Christ and Pope Urban VIII. The first seven tapestries of Constantine were designed by Peter Paul Rubens for the House of Bourbon and then later given to Cardinal Francisco Barberini during a visit to France. Pietro da Cortona completed the Constantine cycle, replacing the French coat of arms with that of the Barberini Family.

The last two cycles, of Christ’s and Pope Urban’s lives, were completely Italian made. The choices of which Christ episodes were depicted were heavy on the Papal imagery, and Pope Urban’s life is shown as one of an intellectual pope who has brought relics to Rome.

Thing about Pope Urban VIII: not that great of a pope. He really liked Bernini and da Cortona and he really liked making his nephews Cardinals.

So I am looking at the iconography/events/spectacles represented in the Italian made tapestries to see how Urban VIII and his nephews edited the story of the Barberini pope, directly within the cycle of his life and indirectly with that of Constantine and Christ.

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Filed under Art, College