Hey guys and girls, this is a thing I've been wanting to do for a while. Sure it's easy to list the different movements in art through the ages, but what I find most illuminating and interesting, is when you put a piece of information in context. Not just in relation to what comes before and after the fact, but what happened at the same time in the world, outside the world of painting. Only then can you really understand what an artwork means and meant in that time. Everyone should feel free to contribute to this thread and in that way help us all learn.
I'm not gonna post any rules, but it would be a good thing if the contributions would follow a loose format or standard. For one, pics of GTFO! And links to the stuff you're talking about. Other than that, posts can be about a single artwork, an artist, or a whole movement. Or anything else related to art history.
All right I'll start this one off with:
Philip IV in Brown and Silver
by Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velázquez
Oil on canvas
National Gallery, London
Here you can zoom in veery far on this painting.
This was painted in 1631-32. At the same time the Taj Mahal's construction is started, John Locke is born and King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden is killed in the Battle of Lützen. A year later the Roman Catholic church forces Galileo Galilei to recant his heliocentric view of the solar system. A few years before Fransisco de Zurbaran painted this. Anthony van Dyck painted his self portrait at the same time, and Rembrandt did this kind of famous painting.
The city of Boston was founded at about the same time.
Just a few years prior, Dr. Alexander Leighton is sentenced by Archbishop William Laud's High Commission Court to public whipping, branding, and having his ears cut off for a paper in which he criticizes the bishops. Ears cut off! Man.
And the painting itself: Philip IV was king of Spain, and Velázquez was his court painter. You can clearly see his under bite, or Habsburg lip. This is a deformation caused by royal inbreeding. His son, Charles II had it so bad he was unable to chew properly. The joys of incest...