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Romanesque Sculpture – A Tryst With Creative Excellence

Posted on February 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

“Romanesque” is a term used to describe Western European Art from the late tenth to twelfth century AD. During this period, the end of barbaric invasions and a period of economic growth brought about an era of religious revival, led by the reform movements springing from ‘Monasticism.’ This interest in religion by the masses manifested itself in pilgrimages and a competition between various communities to build impressive new churches. Romanesque sculpture was figurative in style, and can be discussed under two heads, the architectural sculptures for adorning the buildings, and the standard ones involving ivory, metal, or enamel works.

Romanesque Architectural Sculpture
The most fulfilling spiritual act for a devout Christian in those times would be a pilgrimage to Rome, or to one of the many shrines in Europe, housing holy relics. Romanesque architectural sculpture sprung up as decorations in these pilgrimage centers and churches.

There were many different subjects that were depicted, both secular and religious, such as scenes from the “life of Christ,” stories from the “Bible” & “the book of Genesis,” scenes from “common everyday life,” “hideous monsters,” and “geometric forms.” The facades of the cathedrals and churches were adorned with the scenes from the “New and Old Testament.” The images of “Christ in Majesty” and the “Last Judgment” were the commonest subjects. With Romanesque churches, relief sculpture emerged to be as important to the church as the building itself.

The main idea behind the complete sculptural scheme was to convey that the pilgrims should recognize their mistakes, repent, and redeem themselves; and to preach a moral and religious message, which the general population would have otherwise failed to comprehend. The Romanesque sculptures, which reminded the sinners of their sins was more often than not, alarming and aimed to shock more than awe. These reliefs, since they did not depict Christ, were not very grand, but were fearsome or at the best entertaining. Therefore, Romanesque sculpturing became a visual medium to spell out the tenets of the Christian faith. One of the most commonly repeated motifs of sculpture is the ‘spiral.’ Another is the depiction of ‘entwined animals.’

Metalwork became very sophisticated during this period. Many spectacular Romanesque shrines, decorated with enamel, designed to hold relics, such as “The Shrine of the Three Kings,” provide us ample proof. The excellence of the Mosan enamel art is evident from the “Stavelot Triptych” and “Reliquary of St. Maurus.” Smaller caskets were generally all made of metal and enamel. A few non-religious pieces, such as jewelry and brooches have been discovered, which point towards the fineness of metalwork during this era. “Gloucester Candlestick” made of bronze, doors & other sculptural works at “Hildesheim Cathedral,” and the doors of the “Basilica di San Zeno” in Verona, are some other fine examples of metalwork Romanesque Sculpture. Ivory sculpturing includes “Cloisters Cross,” a large ivory crucifix and moderate in size, “Lewis Chessmen.”

This label, “Romanesque,” while hinting at its key creative influence belonging to the Roman Era, fails to inform of its two other key inspirations, the ornamental Insular style of Northern Europe and the Byzantine Art, especially painting. These influences come to the fore in many earlier designs of this period. Romanesque period gave way to the Gothic Art form in the thirteenth century.

Ideas For Cottage House Plans

Posted on January 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Small cottage house plans are ideal in the present economic and climatic situation since they are inexpensive to build, heat, and maintain. In an era in which frugality and wise use of resources is replacing boastful strutting and ostentatious display, the cottage lifestyle is coming more and more into its own. Here are some ideas which you can incorporate into your own cottage house plan, or improve your existing cottage home.

The essence of cottage interiors is the blending of the familiar with the fresh – with matching your grandmother’s heritage silverware with your contemporary style plate or an antique chiffonier with up-to-date casements. Mixing the old with the new adds patina and personality to a cottage home and makes a unique statement about the owner. It says “home” instead of “look how rich I am!” In the same way, bold wallpaper and paint styles can be used to create a feeling of open space in smallish rooms, especially when the walls reflect decorative patterns repeated on rugs and furnishings. Again, the idea is not to create a mishmash but rather a blending of disparate elements. Bookshelves, knick-knacks, small decorative elements – even children’s artwork – can be brought together to make cottage living feel as comfortable and familiar as wearing an old favorite jacket or hat. Old style pictures in old style frames, collectible plates, even quilts can be hung on walls. Dried flower arrangements in vases or folk art sculptures can be used to decorate table tops.

The small spaces inherent in cottage house plans can be offset in part by using light, bright colors on walls to give the illusion of extra space. Using light, gauzy materials to cover window areas which allow maximum light to flood the room, and which flutter in the breeze, also help to create a sense of airiness and space. A feeling of increased height can be obtained by tasteful choice of beaded board wall coverings, vertical design wallpaper, and tall bookshelves and furnishings. The sense of the cottage lifestyle is laid-back, inviting you to slouch on the sofa, put up your feet, and rest a spell. Furnishings are unpretentious, casual, and cozy rather than stiff. You can choose a sofa for its relaxed, overstuffed attitude. The coffee table should invite people to put their feet up on it. You can just cut down a kitchen table to size, or add a glass top to a chicken coop. Wicker settees, like those used on porches, also give a feeling of relaxation and naturalness. Easy chairs should generally follow the style of the sofa, but not be exactly matching. Keep the style relaxed, eclectic, and inexpensive-looking rather than formal and intended to impress. Use casual table lamps with fabric shades in floral prints or gingham. Lamp bases can be terra-cotta, wicker, or ceramic and nothing need match anything else, as long as there is a sense of blending. The essence of cottage home plans is ease, relaxation, and feeling good about who and where you are.

Western Painting – Demoscene – The Cultural Art Sculpture

Posted on January 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

Demoscene – The Concept
Demoscene is a computer art program that helps produce demos. Demos are real time non-interactive audio-visual presentations executed on a computer. The purpose of creating them is to display programming, artistic, and musical skills.

The History
The idea of Demoscene Art appeared in 1980, from the early ‘cracking scene.’ It started gaining popularity at the time of Commodore 64 and the first Amiga computers. Then, it was mainly used for software cracking. During that period, software development was at peak and with the copy protection, such as demo version limit, CD check, serial numbers, hardware key, and embedded advertisements it became even more protected. The purpose of designing the ‘software cracking’ was to remove those protection techniques.

With the emergence of Internet, the cracking became easy and soon gained popularity worldwide. The cracking groups wanted some recognition for their work and therefore they started adding small artwork known as ‘crackto,’ to each of their works.

The Competition
The Demoscene artists faced large competition among group and against other artists, in artistic and technical superiority. Earlier, the competition was in the form of setting records, such as the number of blitter objects (‘bobs’) on the screen per frame, or the number of different Y Character position (DYCP) scrollers on a C64. Now, these competitions are more organized or ‘compos,’ mostly held in demo parties. However, there are some online competitions too. In demo parities, a ranking list of the best coders, musicians, demos, graphic artists, and other related specialists are selected on voting based charts. In 1990s, the voting based charts also diminished.

The artists or the group had to be present in these party oriented competitions and a public polling among the people present in the party would choose the winner. There were no rules for the voters. They generally voted for the entries, which made the biggest impression on them. Earlier, the artists were selected on their programming techniques, record- breaking performances, and new effects. However, now the emphasis changed from technical excellence to artistic values, like audiovisual impact, overall design, and mood.

In the recent times, an alternative way was found to award the demo artists or group by the name of Scene.org Awards. The concept was introduced to avoid the biased mass voting at the parties and to choose a renowned jury to select the artists or group for the year’s best production on various aspects like Best 64k Intro or Best Graphics.

The Demoscene is still used on many platforms, with the C64, PC, ZX, MSX, Amstrad, CPC, Amiga, Atari, Game Boy Advance, and Dreamcast. 3D benchmark programs also provide a demo, which originate its roots from the old 16-bit platforms.