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Donatella Bottero • Viola Invernizzi • Veronica Polichetti • Nadia Sanità

Shades and Shapes


English for the Visual Arts, Design and Architecture

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Donatella Bottero • Viola Invernizzi • Veronica Polichetti • Nadia Sanità

Shades and Shapes


English for the Visual Arts, Design and Architecture
Shades and Shapes
Editorial realization:
– Project editor: Raffaele Polichetti
– Language and Art consultant: Deborah Rushton
– Graphic Art director: Manuela Piacenti
– Page and layout design: C.G.M. – Napoli
– Quality controller: Lunella Luzi
– Audio recording: Ivano Atzori

The plan and the contents of the book were jointly realized by the authors. However, in particular, Viola
Invernizzi e Veronica Polichetti worked on Module 1; Donatella Bottero on Modules 2 and 3; Nadia Sanità
on Modules 4, 5 and 6.

In line with the provisions of the law and the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, we attest to the
publication of this book in paper as well as in digital form (“forma mista”).
On its website, EDISCO offers the free use of various didactic online resources: extra material for in-
depth analysis and practice activities, partly freely accessible and partly reserved for teachers.

The book is also available in a digital edition for disabled students and their teachers. The Publishing
House places the PDF files in which the pages of the book are memorized at the disposal of students
who are sightless or partially sighted, physically impaired or with specific learning disorders. The file
format enables the user to enlarge the text characters and to read with screen-reader software.

All rights reserved


Copyright © 2016 Edisco Editrice, Torino
Via Pastrengo 28, 10128 Torino (Italy)
Tel. 011.547880 – Fax 011.5175396
e-mail: info@edisco.it • sito web: www.edisco.it

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without the
prior permission of the publisher. The purchase of this book neither implies the transfer of the above-
mentioned rights nor annuls them.
All reasonable efforts were made to trace the copyright holders to obtain the relevant permission
to publish texts, illustrations and photographs. Should any rightful copyright holder wish to claim
ownership of the relevant reproduced textual or iconographical material, they are requested to kindly
contact the Publishing House directly. The same applies to any inadvertent omissions, inaccuracies or
errors in the quotation of the sources of passages, illustrations and photographs published in this book.

Printed on behalf of the Publishing House by


Stamperia Artistica Nazionale, Trofarello (TO), Italy

Reprints
5 4 3 2 1 0 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
PRESENTATION

• Shades and Shapes is a book for students at “Liceo Artistico” with its six different
courses:
1. Figurative Arts
2. Architecture and the Environment
3. Design
4. Graphic Arts
5. Audiovisual
and Multimedia
6. Scenography.

The wide range of materials


is meant to provide an
insight into the topics
of the main subjects the
students have to deal with
in the 2nd “Biennio” and 5th
year at B1-B2 levels of the
CEFR.

• Shades and Shapes gives students the opportunity to practise the four
language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) in a structured
and integrated way, through a great variety of authentic or semi-authentic
materials from the Internet, magazines, newspapers and books.

• Shades and Shapes is planned to:


– strengthen cognitive skills necessary for general and detailed comprehension of
subject-related texts;
– develop and practise receptive and productive skills;
– widen students’ vocabulary;
– consolidate and deepen knowledge of useful grammar structures;
– arouse students’ interest in topic-related issues and actively involve them.

Scegliere tra esercizi di varia tipologia: true/false, questionari, tabelle da riempire, esercizi di
abbinamento, ascolto, scrittura, parlato (Pair Work ad es.), un esercizio preso da Grammar.

3
• Shades and Shapes consists of 6 Modules organised in 3 sections:

1. CONTENT-BASED SECTION
It is arranged in Units with texts and activities related to the main “Triennio” curricular
subjects. Each Unit is further divided into Chapters which help students to access the
materials in a structured manner. At the same time, teachers can easily select the topics to
be used in class.
The texts are approached gradually, through Before Reading, While Reading and Vocabulary
activities. Comprehension activities are both about gist and are detail and are based on
written or recorded texts. Some of the activities provided are marked with the symbols PET
and FCE as they have the same format as the real exam tasks.
There are special sections entitled Moving Deeper which explore relevant topics and issues.

Each text is integrated with a rich array of illustrations which often play an active role in
the suggested activities. An extensive glossary is also provided.
GLOSSARY

to achieve: to succeed in finishing fresco: painting on wet plaster outstanding: excellent


something (= mixture of sand, lime and prominent: very well known and
altarpiece: artistic work placed water) on a wall or ceiling important
on altars to lay (laid, laid): put down to sketch: to make a simple,
amazed: extremely surprised lifelike: appearing real or very quickly-made drawing which does
exquisite: very beautiful; delicate similar to reality not have many details

4
2. REVISION AND PRACTICE SECTION
It focuses on vocabulary, language structures and skills. It is divided into:
– V ocabulary – with activities which provide practise and consolidate relevant terms met
in the Module.
– G rammar – with activities which revise some of the most frequent grammar structures
found in the texts treated.
– C ommunication – with topic-centred activities which give further practice in the four
skills.

5
3. CLIL
Language is enriched by exploring non-linguistic subjects through the CLIL approach:
different topics, related to curricular subjects – Literature, History, Philosophy, Mathematics,
Chemistry and Physics – are explored through a Content and Language Integrated Learning
methodology. This is meant to promote cross-curricular learning, teaching and planning,
according to the new guidelines from the Ministry of Education.

ONLINE RESOURCES
nline Resources available on www.edisco.it with extra Unit-related materials and
– O
activities (several listening exercises can be found here).
eacher’s Guide with teaching tips, FCE and CLIL overview, suggestions for further
– T
activities (online resources and sites, movies, books and readers), answer keys to all
the activities, Unit tests, Module tests and “Terza Prova” tests.
P3 audio files for the listening activities.
– M

6
CONTENTS

1
M O D U L E

C. Great Masters ....................................................... 54


D. Renaissance in Europe ....................................... 60
HISTORY OF ART E. Baroque .................................................................. 62

Unit 4 From Neoclassicism


to Post-Impressionism
A. The Ideal Beauty .................................................. 66
B. The Romantic Age ............................................. 70
Unit 0 Tools and Rules
C. Realism and Social Art ...................................... 74
A. An introduction to the Visual Arts ................. 12
B. Materials and techniques .................................. 14 D. Impressionism ....................................................... 78
C. Colours, space, light and shade ...................... 18 E. Post-Impressionism ............................................ 82
D. Subject and representation .............................. 20 Unit 5 The Twentieth Century Art
E. How to read an artwork ................................... 22
A. Avant-Garde ......................................................... 86
Unit 1 The Ancient World B. Abstraction and Surrealism .............................. 92
A. Prehistory ............................................................... 24 C. Post-war Art .......................................................... 96
B. Ancient Egypt ....................................................... 26 D. Contemporary Art ............................................... 100
C. Ancient Greece ..................................................... 28
D. Ancient Rome ....................................................... 32 REVISION AND PRACTICE
VOCABULARY ...................................................................... 104
Unit 2 Medieval Art
GRAMMAR (Main verb tenses) ..................................... 106
A. Early Christian and Byzantine Art .................. 36
COMMUNICATION
B. The Romanesque ................................................. 38
Listening (An interview with
C. The Gothic ............................................................. 40
Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)) ................................... 108
D. Cimabue, Giotto and Simone Martini .......... 44
Speaking (You’re spoilt for choice…) .............. 109
Unit 3 Renaissance and Baroque Reading (Henry Fuseli: The Nightmare) .......... 110
A. Florence and Humanism ................................... 48 Writing (The museum experience) ................... 111
B. Van Eyck and the Flemish painters ................ 52 CLIL Literature • When Literature meets Art .......... 112
M O D U L E

2
B. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) ................... 136
ARCHITECTURE AND C. Walter Gropius (1883-1969) ........................... 138
THE ENVIRONMENT D. Le Corbusier (1887-1965) ................................ 140

Unit 4 Contemporary Architecture


A. From 1970s to present ...................................... 142
B. Frank Gehry (1929-) .......................................... 144
Unit 1 Landscape and the Environment C. Norman Foster (1935-) ..................................... 146
A. The concept of landscape ................................. 116 D. Renzo Piano (1937-) .......................................... 148
B. Green building ...................................................... 120
C. Sustainable architecture .................................... 122 REVISION AND PRACTICE
D. Land conservation ............................................... 124
VOCABULARY ...................................................................... 152
th
Unit 2 Architecture of the 19 Century GRAMMAR (Connectors) ................................................ 154
A. The eclectic century ............................................ 126 COMMUNICATION
B. Chicago School of Architecture ...................... 128 Listening (The eclectic genius of Antoni Gaudí) 156
C. Art Nouveau in architecture ............................ 130 Speaking (Sightseeing modern architecture) ... 157
D. Spanish Modernist movement ........................ 132
Reading (Art Deco in America) ......................... 158
Unit 3 The Masters of Modern Architecture Writing (How to write an application letter) 159
A. From 1900 to 1970 ............................................ 134 CLIL Maths • Proportions: the golden ratio ............ 160

7
M O D U L E

B. Philippe Starck – a global designer

3 DESIGN (1949-) .................................................................... 178


C. Automotive design .............................................. 180

Unit 4 Design is Fashion


A. What is Fashion Design? .................................. 182
B. What does a fashion designer do? ................ 184
Unit 1 Design is History
A. When was design born? ................................... 164
B. The Arts and Crafts movement ...................... 166 REVISION AND PRACTICE
C. Peter Behrens – a founder of industrial VOCABULARY ...................................................................... 186
design ...................................................................... 168 GRAMMAR (Prefixes and Suffixes) ................................ 188

Unit 2 Design is Technology COMMUNICATION


A. What is industrial design? ................................ 170 Listening (Becoming an industrial designer) 190
B. The Bauhaus movement ................................... 172 Speaking (The use of CAD in design) .............. 191
C. American design .................................................. 174 Reading (A beautiful mind: Adriano Olivetti) 192
Writing (The icon of Fashion Design:
Unit 3 Design is Life Coco Chanel) ......................................................... 193
A. The “Made in Italy” ........................................... 176 CLIL Chemistry • Solar textiles .................................. 194

Unit 3 Graphic Design Practice


M O D U L E

4 GRAPHIC
ARTS
A. Branding and positioning .................................. 208
B. Branding identity and graphic design ........... 210

REVISION AND PRACTICE


VOCABULARY ...................................................................... 212
Unit 1 A New Style for a New Culture GRAMMAR (Articles – Indefinite adjectives and
A. Art Nouveau style ............................................... 198 Pronouns – Comparatives and Superlatives) ..... 214
B. From Bohemian artists to modern graphic COMMUNICATION
design ...................................................................... 200 Listening (Graphic design in a digital age)............ 216
Speaking (Social activism and graphic design) . 217
Unit 2 Choosing and Using Type Reading (Pop Art) ................................................. 218
A. Typography: a brief overview ......................... 202 Writing (Logos and ads) ....................................... 219
B. Fonts ........................................................................ 204 CLIL History and Graphic Arts • Design as a social
C. A new typography .............................................. 206 and political commitment: Albe Steiner ......... 220

8
Unit 2 The Seventh Art
M O D U L E

5 AUDIOVISUAL
AND MULTIMEDIA
A.
B.
C.
Adapting History and Literature into films .. 242
What is a logline? ................................................ 244
Writing compelling screenplays ...................... 246
D. What a director of photography does .......... 248

Unit 1 The History Behind the Pictures REVISION AND PRACTICE


A. “You push the button and we do all the VOCABULARY ...................................................................... 252
rest” ......................................................................... 224 GRAMMAR (Compounds) ................................................ 254
B. Eadweard Muybridge – What’s in a bet ...... 226 COMMUNICATION
Listening (The right soundtrack) ....................... 256
C. Photojournalism and its heroes ....................... 228
Speaking (Spare the pain, spoil the gain?) ..... 257
D. Slightly out of focus ........................................... 232 Reading (The History Boys) ............................... 258
E. When photographs make things happen ... 236 Writing (How to write a film review) .............. 259
F. Documenting the bitter years ......................... 238 CLIL Physics • What is sound? ................................... 260

Unit 2 Theatre, Performance

6 SCENOGRAPHY and Technology


A. What a set designer does ................................. 274
B. Digital Scenography – bringing the theatre
M O D U L E

into the information age ................................... 276

REVISION AND PRACTICE


Unit 1 Looking at the Stage VOCABULARY ...................................................................... 278
GRAMMAR (The Passive Voice) ...................................... 280
Throughout the Centuries
COMMUNICATION
A. Stage design and scenographic art – Listening (An interview with a successful
the origins .............................................................. 264 set designer) ........................................................... 282
Speaking (Set designer résumé) ........................ 283
B. Historical interrelation of Architecture
Reading (Scenography and production) .......... 284
and Scenography ................................................. 266 Writing (Elizabethan theatre conventions) .... 285
C. The Elizabethan theatre .................................... 270 CLIL Philosophy • What is Beauty? ........................... 286

9
1
E
L
U
D
O

HISTORY OF ART
M

UNIT 0 Tools and Rules


A. An introduction to the Visual Arts
B. Materials and techniques
C. Colours, space, light and shade
D. Subject and representation
E. How to read an artwork

UNIT 1 The Ancient World


A. Prehistory
B. Ancient Egypt
C. Ancient Greece
D. Ancient Rome

UNIT 2 Medieval Art


A. Early Christian and Byzantine Art
B. The Romanesque
C. The Gothic
D. Cimabue, Giotto and Simone Martini

UNIT 3 Renaissance and Baroque


A. Florence and Humanism
B. Van Eyck and the Flemish painters
C. Great Masters
D. Renaissance in Europe
E. Baroque

UNIT 4 From Neoclassicism


to Post-Impressionism
A. The Ideal Beauty
B. The Romantic Age
C. Realism and Social Art
D. Impressionism
E. Post-Impressionism

UNIT 5 The Twentieth Century Art


A. Avant-Garde
B. Abstraction and Surrealism
C. Post-war Art
D. Contemporary Art
“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather,
it makes things visible.”
Paul Klee

• Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a


Swiss-German painter, who is
also remembered for his writings
about colour theory. His works
reflected his humour and his
personal perspective. He worked
in many different media often
combining them. He was close to
Wassily Kandinsky with whom he
taught at the Bauhaus School of
Art, Design and Architecture.

Why study this Module?


In this Module you will examine
the History of Art, first learning
what it is and the tools for
E. Manet painting C. Monet in his studio-boat (1874)

understanding it. Then, you will


travel along it, discovering its
roots from the Ancient World to
the age of symbols and stones
– Medieval Art. After that, you
will reach Renaissance and
Baroque, meeting some of the
greatest masters of all time.
Finally, from Neoclassicism to
Post-Impressionism, you will
understand how differently the
same reality can be represented,
to the extent of going beyond it
in the 20th century’s art.
TOOLS AND RULES
01
U N I T

In this Unit you will ind a primary introduction to the Visual Arts: what an
artwork is, how it is composed, the main techniques and materials used and the
most important subjects represented during the centuries. By putting all of these
elements together, you will acquire the tools needed to analyse and understand
an artwork.

A. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE VISUAL ARTS


Sandro Botticelli, Venus and Mars, 1483 c.,
National Gallery, London.

“Visual Arts” is a term for a broad


category of art which includes a
number of artistic disciplines. In
general, this expression includes
those artworks created for both
aesthetic reasons (“art for art’s
sake”) and commercial or func-
tional use.
The Visual Arts include the traditional Fine Arts (Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture) as well as
new media and contemporary forms of expression, such as Assemblage, Collage, Conceptual,
Installation, Performance Art and Design (graphic, fashion, scenic, industrial, interior, etc.).
Also Photography and film-based disciplines, like Video Art and Animation, fall within this
broad category of art. Another type is the new Environmental Land Art; finally, Architecture
encompasses both aesthetic design and functional use.
Definitions of art vary over time and from one society to another. Much of what we now study as
Art (medieval manuscript decoration, for example) was not considered art at the time it was made.
The concept of an artist has also changed during the centuries: the idea of a “genius” developed only
during the 14th century; before that, artists were considered as artisans or craftsmen. Therefore, it
is important to underline
that the Visual Arts are
a wide field which is
difficult to reduce to one
definition.

Damien Hirst, The Physical


Impossibility of Death in the
Mind of Someone Living, 1991,
Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York.

GLOSSARY

assemblage: the process in making objects value that something has, not
of joining or putting things to encompass: to include, because of the advantages it
together to embrace may bring
broad: very wide for something’s sake: media: the materials or the forms
craftsman: a person who is skilled because of the interest or that an artist uses.

12
???
Say something about your ideas and opinions of art,
by answering the following questions.
a. a. Do you find studying History of Art easy or difficult? Give reasons.
??????????????
b. How many kinds of art expression are you familiar with?
c. Do you visit art exhibitions? Do you think that it is important to visit
them, in order to learn about art?
d. What characteristics should a work of art have, in order for it to be
considered an artwork?

Auguste Rodin, The Thinker,


1902, Rodin Museum, Paris.

1A PET Decide if the following sentences are true or false.


T F
a. There are many possible definitions of the Visual Arts.
b. The term Visual Arts is especially related to useful objects.
c. Sculpture is one of the Fine Arts.
d. Architecture has only aesthetic reasons.
e. In the Medieval Age, illuminated manuscripts were not considered art.
f. Before the 14th century, an artist was synonymous of genius.

1B Now correct the false sentences.

2 Find and circle the art words hidden in the puzzle choosing from the ones listed below.

V E G N T V S Z L E
ART SHAPE
T Y L P T L R W K N
COLOR MOOD
N M O O D B B A H I PAINT TINT
I M O I L S L R D L DRAW OILS
A M N Q B M X D I G LINE FRAME
P O E J E C N P G T
D D P R O L O C O H
R C A T H C F E H B
A I H R F R A M E M
G H S A F T I N T N

3 Now use at least three of these words


to describe The Kiss by Gustave Klimt.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1908-1909.


Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna.

ONLINE RESOURCES
• Art for art’s sake

13
module 1

B. MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES


When you approach a work of art for the
first time, one of the most important aspects
to notice is the technique with which it has
been made; that means to recognize the
materials, the tools and the process used to
create the object you are looking at. There
are many reasons why artists choose certain
materials: for their formation, their wealth
and the message they want to transmit to
the onlookers. We can take as an example
the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Gian Lorenzo
Bernini, where gold rays and a metallic
arrow in the hand of the angel were added
to increase the drama and emphasis of the
episode. However, it is not just a matter of
style: the use of specific types of materials
changes according to the period and to the
geographic locations, for instance, the wood Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647-52,
of altarpieces and crucifixes made in Italy Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome.
during the Middle Ages are different from
those used in Northern Europe. Identifying analyses, but they must be supported by a
the materials is also useful to distinguish false deep knowledge of the history of techniques.
from original, especially for painting, because For that reason, it is very helpful to study
modern colours and varnishes do not have the the books written by artists that record and
same chemical composition as the old ones. teach the secrets of their art, such as The
Nowadays, the most important instrument to Book of Art by Cennino Cennini (from the
recognize materials is represented by scientific first decade of the 15th century). In the past
for each technique there were strict rules
and a limited number of materials: wood,
bronze and marble for statues, metals, gold,
silver, precious stones for goldsmith art, etc.
Since the materials were expensive and the
compositions were very complex, artists used
to spend most time realizing preparatory
drawings before starting the final piece. On
the contrary, from late in the 19th century and
during the 20th century, a new idea of art and
technological development allowed the artists
to use a great variety of materials, including
industrial and ordinary ones.

Leonardo Da Vinci, Preparatory drawing for


the Last Supper, 1492, Academy of Venice.

GLOSSARY

altarpiece: a painting or other onlooker: someone who watches tool: a piece of equipment used
work of art designed to be set something that is happening in to make or repair something
above and behind an altar a public place but is not involved varnish: a liquid which protects
goldsmith art: the art of making with it the surface of wood or paintings
objects from gold and precious to record: to keep information for wealth: a large amount of money
metals the future, by writing it down or or valuable possessions that
to notice: to see or become aware storing it on a computer, etc. someone has
of something or someone

14
TOOLS AND RULES
unit 0

4A PET Decide if the following sentences are true (T) of false (F).
T F
a. Materials and tools are part of an art technique.
b. To recognize a technique, it is only important to date an object.
c. Every historical period distinguished itself by the use of a particular art technique.
d. Scientific analyses are not enough to recognize a technique.
e. Since the late 19th century artists have stopped using traditional techniques.

4B Now correct the false sentences.

5 Match the tools and the materials in the list with the techniques they are used for. Then
decide whether they are two-dimensional or three-dimensional.

brush • paper • camera • mallet • chisel • egg tempera • marble •


stamp • canvas • pencil • plaster • palette • silver • film • wood

TWO- THREE-
TECHNIQUE TOOLS MATERIALS
DIMENSIONAL DIMENSIONAL

Drawing

Goldsmith Art

Mural Painting

Painting

Photography

Sculpture

Masaccio, The Tribute Money, 1425, Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.

15
module 1

6 Listen and fill in the blanks.

The fresco technique


Fresco is a technique of (1) ............................
executed upon wet plaster, and it can
be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco
mural painting techniques, which are
applied to (2) .................................... plaster.
At first, the wall is covered with a layer
of (3) .................................... material, called
arriccio, then with the intonaco, on which
the sinopia – the (4) ....................................

is realized. In the end, the pigment is


(5) .................................... with water, and
put on the intonaco; as the plaster dries,
the painting becomes an integral part of
the (6) .................................... .
This technique has been used since
Levels of a fresco painting.
antiquity, and the (7) ....................................

examples can be found on the island of (8) .................................... and date back to around
(9) .................................... BCE.

Restoration
Finding solutions against the damage of art materials has always been a great issue for artists, patrons
and critics, but the idea of restoration has considerably changed over the centuries. At irst, the aim of
all interventions on ancient works was restoring the original beauty, which very often meant to cover
or to replace ruined parts. Instead, in 20th century, critics and art historians established that the prior-
ity of restoration is the preservation of the original material for the future, following the guidelines of
minimal interventions, reversible
methods and full documentation.
For these reasons, the most com-
mon interventions are nowadays
washing, consolidation of bro-
ken elements and integration of
missing parts. Integrations made
by modern restorers should al-
ways be recognizable. One of the
greatest examples of these meth-
ods is the restoration of the Sistine
Chapel frescoes, started in 1980
and completed in 1999.

The restoration of the Sistine Chapel.

16
TOOLS AND RULES
unit 0

7 Look at the images below and for each one choose the material used from the following list.

wax ...................... pencil .................. oil paint .............. blankets .............. plaster .................

paper ................... rags ...................... wood ................... bronze ................ acrylic ..................

A. Medardo Rosso, Mother and Child, 1886-1889. B. Auguste Rodin, Three Shades, 1902.

C. Robert
Rauschenberg,
Bed, 1955.

D. Pablo
Picasso,
Siphon, Glass,
Newspaper
and Violin,
1912.

E. Michelangelo Pistoletto,
Venus of the Rags, 1967.

8 PAIR WORK. Ask and answer the following questions with a partner.

a. Which piece of art is more realistic and why?


b. Which art work seems to be the most precious?
c. Which is the strangest material for a work of art?

17
module 1

C. COLOURS, SPACE, LIGHT AND SHADE


Colours have always been used both to reproduce realistic hues of objects and to suggest a
symbolic meaning. In religious art, for instance, gold represents Heaven, while red symbolizes
the sorrows of martyrs. Colours can also transmit specific states of mind: ‘cool’ colours are
normally associated with negative emotions, like melancholy or sadness, while ‘warm’ colours
with positive ones, like joy or passion.
The basic elements of every palette are primary colours, which are combined to create secondary
colours and tertiary colours (which are the result of the mixing of a primary and secondary
colour). Furthermore, hues can be modified by adding neutral colours.
The composition and the organization of space is an important theme for two-dimensional works. As
with colours, space is not always represented in a realistic way; it may happen for symbolic reasons,
as in religious or celebratory art, where the scale of objects and characters indicate their importance.
In the same way, in modern art, flat spaces are often used to suggest the impression of closure or
anxiety. On the contrary, to
create the illusion of depth,
artists employ mostly the
overlapping of planes and
vanishing points, which are
the points on the horizon
where parallel lines seem to
converge, as shown in the
illustration on the right.
The use of light and shade
is another important way
to define space and the
volume of things. The
position of the light in a
scene underlines the shape
of objects, and the shadow
projected indicates their
presence in space. The vanishing point in a painting (Piero della Francesca,
Furthermore, light colours The Flagellation of Christ, c.1453).
give the impression of
distance, while dark elements seem nearer. Look at the other two illustrations: in the first one,
the faces and the gestures of characters are defined by the light arriving from the left side;
in the second one, as in
most landscapes, we
can see how the closer
elements have more
intense colours, while
they become brighter
as they approach the
horizon.

Caravaggio, Supper at
Emmaus, 1601.

18
TOOLS AND RULES
unit 0

Canaletto, The
Molo looking
West, 1730.

9 Look at the colour wheel: define each colour and then group them in primary, secondary,
tertiary, cool and warm colours.
1. .......................... 7. ..........................
1 2. .......................... 8. ..........................
12 2
3. .......................... 9. ..........................
4. .......................... 10. ..........................
11 3
5. .......................... 11. ..........................
6. .......................... 12. ..........................
10 4 GLOSSARY

bright: full of light, luminous


depth: the distance from the top to the bottom
9 5 of something
flat: level and smooth, with no curved, high, or
hollow parts
8 6
hue: a particular shade of a colour
7
overlap: to cover something partly, by going over
its edge

PRIMARY: .................................................., .................................................., .................................................. .

SECONDARY: .................................................., .................................................., .................................................. .

TERTIARY: .................................................., .................................................., .................................................. ,

.................................................., .................................................., .................................................. .

WARM: .................................................., .................................................., .................................................. ,


.................................................., .................................................., .................................................. .

COOL: .................................................., .................................................., .................................................. ,

.................................................., .................................................., .................................................. .

10 Answer the following questions.

a. Which neutral colours are not represented in the wheel?


b. Between violet and yellow, which colour is more appropriate for the dress of a happy girl,
and why?
c. In religious art, why is space often represented in a non-realistic way?
d. What techniques can be used to represent depth in a two-dimensional piece of art?
e. In a landscape, why are elements on the horizon normally lighter?

19
module 1

D. SUBJECT AND REPRESENTATION


The term subject in Visual Arts refers to the main idea represented in the artwork. Subjects in
History of Art can be divided essentially into four macro-categories:
• still life – a collection of inanimate objects arranged together in a specific way;
• landscape – natural scenery such as mountains, cliffs, rivers, views, panoramas, etc.;
• portrait – an image of a particular person, animal, or group;
• abstract – a non-representational, non-figurative work of art.
However, from the 20th century on, the idea of the subject itself changes and evolves, but this
will be thoroughly dealt with in Unit 5.

11 Match each macro-category to the right image.


abstract • landscape • portrait • still life

1. .................................................................................................. 2. .....................................................................

3. ............................................................... 4. .........................................................................................................

12 Now connect each picture to the right author and title.

a. Caravaggio, Basket of fruit, c. 1599


b. Wassily Kandinsky, On White II, 1923
c. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Ville d’Avray, 1867
d. Gilbert Stuart Williamstown, Portrait of George Washington, 1797

20
TOOLS AND RULES
unit 0

13 Listen and fill in the blanks.

Symbols in art
Symbols have been important to (1) ............................ since the earliest of times. They often represent
an idea or (2) ............................; for example, the colour white usually stands for (3) ............................ .

Because works of art don’t usually include (4) ............................ , symbols are used in order to
tell the viewer a (5) ............................ or even a story. When we look at a (6) ............................, we
may sometimes miss part of its meaning. This is especially true today, as we are not always
aware of (7) ............................ which were understood in the (8) ............................ .

14 Look at The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais


and try to guess the right answer.

1. Why is there a rainbow in the painting?


a. To symbolise rich people.
b. To tell us about the weather. John Everett
Millais, The Blind
c. As a symbol of hope. girl, 1854-56,
Birmingham
2. What do the birds symbolise here? Museums and
Art Gallery,
a. Freedom. Birmingham.
b. Warning of death.
c. Messengers of happiness.

3. What does the butterfly on the woman’s veil represent?


a. Poverty.
b. Homelessness.
c. Rebirth.

15 Now look at the Mérode Altarpiece by Robert


Campin and try to match each symbol to
the correct meaning.

a. the scroll and the book


b. the lilies
c. the candle
d. the small lions on the bench
e. the arrangements for washing on the back

1. Mary’s virginity
2. The place where the priest washes his hands
during the Mass
3. The Throne of Solomon in the Bible
4. The Old and the New Testament
5. Divine love and eternal light Robert Campin, Mérode Altarpiece, particular,
1427, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
GLOSSARY

bench: a long, usually hard seat Mass: a religious ceremony in thoroughly: in detail
for two or more people Christian churches veil: a piece of thin material worn
cliff: a high area of rock with a scroll: a long roll of paper with by women to cover their face or
very steep side, often on a coast script or similar material head

21
module 1

E. HOW TO READ AN ARTWORK


Formal art analysis involves several steps.
1) Description. A technical description should include:
• artist’s name
• title of work
• type of artwork
• date the artwork was produced
• size and scale of the painting
• subject of the painting (scene)
• objects in the painting
• first impression – the characteristics of the artwork
that first strike you
• art elements: colours, shapes, lines, texture, form,
space, composition
2) Analysis. A deeper examination of how
• technical elements are utilized by the artist
• subject and art elements work together
3) Interpretation. This part is more subjective than the
others. It includes:
• description of what you think the artist is trying to
say through the work of art, its “message”
• description of what the artwork means to you
personally and why
• examination of the reasons why the artist chose
Leonardo Da Vinci, The Lady with
certain techniques, materials and subject matter an Ermine, 1489-1490, Czartoryski
• identification of symbols in the artwork. Museum, Kraków, Poland.

4) Evaluation. This is a summary to draw conclusions and reach judgments about the artwork.
In this phase it is necessary to evaluate:
• how well the medium relates to the subject matter and purpose of the artwork
• the design quality
• how well the work expresses its subject, idea, or theme
• originality
• comparison – how the work compares with other artworks of a similar kind
• the personal and community response.

In short, these are the questions you have to ask yourself and the actions you have to perform
in order to read an artwork:
1) Description: What objects/characters are in the artwork? How are they placed? What colours
are used? What techniques, medium or media is utilized by the artist?
2) Analysis: Explain what art elements the artist employed in their artwork and then decide
why they used these particular elements. How does the artwork communicate its meaning?
3) Interpretation: Using the information from Description and Analysis, consider the artist’s
intention and the message within their work. How GLOSSARY
did they achieve this? achieve: to succeed in finishing
something or reaching an aim
4) Evaluation: In this step you decide if the previous
strike: to cause someone to have
three steps were used appropriately, creatively, a feeling or idea about something
intelligently, etc. This is where you can make a final texture: the characteristic visual
evaluation of the artwork. and tactile quality of a surface

22
TOOLS AND RULES
unit 0

16 Analyze The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh using the four steps explained on the
opposite page.

Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Salvador Dalì,
The persistence
of memory, 1931,
Museum of
Modern Art,
New York.

17 Look at The persistence of memory by Salvador Dalì and discuss the following questions
with a partner.

a. Using the first two phases of formal art analysis, what can you see in this picture?
b. Imagine you can have a conversation with the artist, think of at least three questions you
would ask him.
c. If you were responsible for creating a new title for this painting, what would it be? Explain
the reasons for your choice.

ONLINE RESOURCES
• Vincent (also known as Starry, Starry Night), song by Don McLean (a tribute to Vincent van Gogh).

23
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY ART
5
U N I T

In the 20th century there was an explosion of new ideas and discoveries. As a result,
the challenges to accepted artistic conventions became even more inevitable, frequent
and revolutionary. From the Avant-garde to Abstraction and Surrealism, crossing Post-
War Art, this Unit will guide you through 20th century art, until the doorway of the
21st century.

A. AVANT-GARDE
The Avant-garde are a movement of people or works that are experimental or innovative,
particularly with respect to art.
The term first appeared with reference to art in France in the first half of the nineteenth century,
and is usually credited to the influential thinker Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the forerunners
of socialism. He believed in the social power of the arts and saw artists, together with scientists
and industrialists, as the leaders of a new society. The most important artistic movements
categorized as avant-garde are Fauvism, Cubism and Expressionism.

• MATISSE (1869-1954) AND THE FAUVISTS


Henri Matisse is often referred to as the “master of colour”. In 1905 he exhibited at the Salon
d’Automne with André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and others. Their works broke with the
tradition of trying to represent the natural world: they used distorted colours and shapes to depict
emotions. Visitors were shocked and the art critic Louis Vauxcelles commented that the artists
painted like wild beasts (“fauves”), giving the new style its name: Fauvism. Matisse became the
recognized leader of this group. Indeed, although intellectually sophisticated, he always emphasized
the importance of instinct and intuition in the production of a work of art. Matisse argued that an
artist did not have complete control over colour and form; instead, colours, shapes and lines would
tell the artist how they might be used and combined.

• GERMAN EXPRESSIONISM
Expressionism was a modernist movement origi-
nating in Germany and Austria at the beginning of
the 20th century, especially inspired by Vincent van
Gogh, Edvard Munch, James Ensor and Fauvism.
Expressionist artists try to express the meaning of
emotional experience rather than physical reality.
In order to express emotion, the subjects are often
distorted or exaggerated. At the same time, colours
are often vivid and shocking.
This style was especially represented by the
collective of artists “Die Brücke” formed in Dresden
in 1905. The name Brücke (“bridge”) reflects the
artists’ youthful eagerness to cross over into a new
future. The most well-known members of this
group are Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Five women


on the street, 1913, Museum
Ludwig, Cologne, Germany.

86
Henri Matisse, The dance, 1909,
Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Answer the following questions.

a. In your opinion, what does the term


“avant-garde” refer to?
b. Do you know any artworks by Picasso?
c. Can you name any abstract artists?
d. What is Andy Warhol famous for?
e. What do you think of contemporary art?

• PICASSO (1881-1973) AND CUBISM


In 1900, Pablo Picasso moved to Paris, where
he started to paint mournful, elongated sub-
jects inspired by El Greco with the prevalence
of blue – his “Blue Period”. Three years later,
still in Paris, he became part of a circle of writ-
ers, actors, musicians and artists and his palette
turned into pinker tones – his “Rose Period”.
After seeing the work of the Fauvists at the
Salon d’Automne in 1905, the prehistoric Ibe-
rian sculptures at the Louvre and Cézanne, he
began to simplify his figures and faces. His
exploration culminated in Les Demoiselles
d’Avignon, a painting that distorted every-
thing that had previously been valued in a
picture, or composition, and prefigured Cub-
ism. Picasso’s deformation of the women’s
faces in this painting is a famous example of Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907,
the influence of primitivism in modern art. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

In Cubism, Picasso and Georges Braque (1882-1963) challenged the principles of perspective
that had been practised since the Renaissance, by painting from different angles simultaneously.
Because objects shown at different angles take on geometric shapes, a critic called them “little
cubes”, creating the term Cubism. There were two main types of Cubism:
– Analytical Cubism – in this style, artists analyzed the subject and broke it into different blocks;
– Synthetic Cubism – the second stage of Cubism introduced the idea of adding other materials
in a collage; artists used coloured paper, newspapers and other materials to represent the
different blocks of the subject.

• ITALIAN FUTURISM
The most important Italian avant-garde art movement of the 20th century was Futurism, which
celebrated advanced technology and urban modernity. Devoted to the new, its members wished to
destroy older forms of culture and demonstrate the beauty of modern life – the beauty of the machine,
speed, violence and change. Their enthusiasm for modernity and the machine finally led Futurists to
celebrate the arrival of the First World War and several of them went on to embrace Fascism, making
that movement the only twentieth century avant-garde to have supported far-right politics. The most
important Futurist artists were Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and Carlo Carrà.

GLOSSARY

credited: to attribute something far: (here) extreme mournful: very sad


to somebody forerunner: something or someone palette: a thin board used by
eagerness: enthusiasm that acts as an earlier, initial model artists to mix their paints
for what will appear in the future

87
module 1

1 Answer the following questions about


the Avant-garde.

a. What does the term avant-garde mean?


b. Where and when was the avant-garde
conceived?
c. Who invented this term?
d. What did he mean to say by this term?

Giacomo Balla, Dynamism of a dog on a leash, 1912,


Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA.

2 Write questions to the following answers about The Joy of Life by Henri Matisse.

a. ...................................................................................................................................................................................

It is a large scale painting: the dimensions are 176.5×240.7 cm.


b. ...................................................................................................................................................................................

Some art historians have speculated that this euphoric scene of The Joy of life is an allegory
of a mythological world.
c. ...................................................................................................................................................................................

The most important peculiarities of this work are the employment of vivid colours and the
distortion of shapes.
d. ...................................................................................................................................................................................

Matisse uses colours to express emotions.


e. ...................................................................................................................................................................................

This painting can easily be compared to Cézanne’s famous Large Bathers, not only for the
similar subject matter but also for the triangular composition.

Henri Matisse,
The Joy of Life,
1905-1906,
The Barnes
Foundation,
Philadelphia,
USA.

88
TWENTIETH CENTURY ART
unit 5

3A Identify the main differences between Impressionism and Expressionism by ticking (ü) each
feature under the correct art movement.

IMPRESSIONISM EXPRESSIONISM
focused on mood and emotions
focused on composition
neutral colours
bright exaggerated colours
originated in late 1800s
originated in early 1900s

3B Now complete the following sentence about the main difference between Expressionism
and Fauvism.

Where .................................. used colour to express joy, .................................. manipulated it to convey


the darker side of human emotions.

4A PET Decide if the following sentences about Picasso and Cubism are true or false.
T F
a. The first paintings by Picasso were sad and sorrowful.
b. The term “Pink Period” is not connected with colour.
c. Picasso was not influenced by Matisse’s work.
d. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a revolutionary painting.
e. Cubism artists repaint the same subject from different angles.
f. The collage of different materials was called Analytical Cubism.

4B Now correct the false sentences.

Pablo Picasso,
Bottle
of Vieux Marc,
Glass,
Guitar and
Newspaper,
1913, Tate
Gallery,
London.

89
module 1

5 Listen and fill in the gaps of the following text about the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid.

Guernica is one of the world’s (1) .............................. anti-war paintings. It is a very (2) ..............................
work (a mural) which shows the bombing of the Spanish town of Guernica in 1937 during
the Spanish Civil War. Picasso does not paint any bombers; instead, he paints their victims.
The (3) .............................. colours of the artwork are black, grey and white.
There is a large, (4) .............................. room with people and animals who are suffering. A bull
stands over a woman crying with a dead child in her arms. A horse falls in (5) ..............................
pain as it dies after being hit by a spear. A (6) .............................. soldier lies under the horse, his
right arm has been cut off, but the hand holds a sword from which a flower grows, expressing
hope. A light bulb shines strongly like an (7) .............................. eye (the Spanish word for “light
bulb” is “bombilla” which sounds like “bomb”). A (8) .............................. figure on the right holds
a lamp which is a symbol of hope. In Guernica light becomes an instrument of violence: the
cone of light in the centre is not meant to illuminate the stage – on the (9) ..............................,

it “tears off” the horse’s legs. The cone also divides the woman (10) .............................. on the
ground, who can only hold up her hand in accusation of this violence.

6 Fill in the gaps of the following text about The City Rises by Umberto Boccioni, using the
following words:
buildings • construction • figures • influences • painting • progress • space • tension
The City Rises is often considered to be the first Futurist (1) ............................... Here, Boccioni
illustrates the (2) ..............................of a modern city. The chaos and movement in the piece
resembles a war scene as indeed war was presented in the Futurist Manifesto as the only means
towards cultural (3) ............................... The large horse races into the foreground while several
workers fight to gain control, indicating (4) .............................. between humans and animals. The
horse and the (5) .............................. are blurred1,communicating rapid movement while other
elements, such as the (6) .............................. in the background, are rendered more realistic. The
work shows (7) .............................. of Cubism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, revealed
in the brushstrokes and fractured representation of (8) ............................... 1
blurred = unable
to be seen clearly
90
TWENTIETH CENTURY ART
unit 5

Umberto Boccioni, The City


Rises, 1910, Museum of
Modern Art, New York.

GLOSSARY

angst: strong
anxiety and
unhappiness,
especially about
personal problems

The angst of life: The scream by Edvard Munch and Self-portrait by Egon Schiele.
Expressionists expressed emotional experience, often focusing their art on angst whether in reaction
to the modern world, to alienation from society, or in the creation of personal identity.
The angst that Expressionism communicated arises from the inability of modern society to meet real
human needs, which are spiritual as well as materialistic. Munch and Schiele expressed their own
vision of angst, each of them in a very personal way.

Egon Schiele, Self-portrait, 1910, Private collection. Edvard Munch, The scream, 1893, National Gallery, Oslo, Norway.

91
module 1

B. ABSTRACTION AND SURREALISM


◆ ABSTRACTION art, of which Kandinsky is considered one of
Two of the main abstract painters of the the founding fathers.
20th century are Wassily Kandinsky and Kandinsky felt that he could express feelings
Piet Mondrian. Although they were con- and music through colour and shapes. The
temporaries and explored similar formal shapes he was most interested in were the
concepts, they did so, independently of circle, triangle and the square. He thought the
one another. triangle would cause aggressive feelings, the
square calm feelings, and the circle spiritual
• WASSILY KANDINSKY (1866-1944) feelings.
Wassily Kandinsky grew up in Russia From 1914 to 1921, he returned to Russia.
where he enjoyed music and learned to When his art was rejected in his mother
play the piano and the cello. Kandinsky country, he moved back to Germany to teach
would remark later that, even as a child, the at an art school called the Bauhaus. Later, in
colours of nature inspired him. Both music 1934 he left Germany because of the Nazis
and colour would have a huge impact on and moved to Paris where he lived until his
his art. death in 1944.

• PIET MONDRIAN (1872-1944)


Piet Mondrian, one of the founders of
the Dutch modern movement De Stijl, is
recognized for the methodical practice by
which he arrived at abstraction. He radically
simplified the elements of his paintings to
reflect what he saw as order.
In some of his best known paintings of
the 1920s, Mondrian reduced his shapes
to lines and rectangles, and his palette to
the fundamental basics of primary colours,
pushing reference of the outside world
toward pure abstraction.

Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VIII, 1923,


Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Kandinsky’s early paintings were heavily


influenced by Impressionist artists as well as
Pointillism and Fauvism. The most famous of
these works is The Blue Rider, which he painted
in 1903, when he was in Munich. The Blue
Rider (Der Blaue Reiter) was also the name of
the group he formed with other artists, such as
August Macke and Franz Marc.
The group’s aim was to express spirituality
through their work.
About 1909, Kandinsky began to think that
painting did not need a particular subject,
but that shapes and colour alone could be
art. Over the next years, he would start to Piet Mondrian, Broadway boogie woogie, 1942-43,
paint what would become known as abstract Museum of Modern Art, New York.

92
TWENTIETH CENTURY ART
unit 5
◆ SURREALISM which objects were depicted in detail and
Surrealism grew principally out of the earlier with the illusion of three-dimensionality,
Dada movement, which, before World War I, emphasizing their dream-like quality.
had embraced chaos and the irrational and Instead, artists such as Miró and Ernst used
rejected traditional artistic values. However, various techniques to create amorphous or
unlike Dada, Surrealism’s emphasis was not biomorphic non-representational shapes; for
on negation but on positive expression. example, collage, frottage (rubbing a pencil
The Surrealist movement was founded in over an irregular, raised surface) or grattage
Paris by the poet and critic André Breton, who (scraping dry paint off a canvas).
published The Surrealist Manifesto in 1924.
Disdaining rationalism and literary realism,
Surrealists believed that the conscious mind
repressed the power of imagination, making
it heavy with taboo.
The work of Sigmund Freud was profoundly
influential for Surrealists, particularly his
book, The Interpretation of Dreams (1899).
Freud legitimized the importance of dreams
and the unconscious as valid revelations of
human emotions and desires.
The major Surrealist painters were Max Ernst,
René Magritte, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.
There were two styles that distinguished
Surrealist painting. Artists such as Dalí and Joan Mirò, The Hunter (Catalan Landscape), 1924,
Magritte painted in a hyper-realistic style in Museum of Modern Art, New York.

GLOSSARY

founding father: a person people are thinking and talking with a circular or up and down
who starts or develops a new about repeated movement
movement, institution or idea to question: to contest to scrape: to remove an
to disdain: to think that someone something is not good enough to unwanted covering from
or something is not good enough deserve your interest or respect something, especially using
to deserve your interest or respect a sharp edge or something
to rub: to press against something rough
issue: a subject or problem which

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917,


replica 1964, Tate Gallery, London.

Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French Dada artist, whose controversial
contribution had a strong inluence on the development of 20th-
century avant-garde art.
In 1913, Duchamp created his irst “ready-made”, the Bicycle
Wheel. This was the irst of a limited number of everyday objects
which Duchamp selected, rather than made by hand. In these,
he questioned conventional ideas about the artist’s role in the
creation of art and about original and unique artistic products, he
relected about issues such as the value of art, the market, and the role of the art
gallery. The most famous ready-made was his Fountain, which shocked the American public in 1917
when they saw an ordinary urinal displayed in an art exhibition.

93
module 1

7A PET Decide if the following sentences about Wassily Kandinsky are true or false:
T F
a. Music and colour were the main sources of Kandinsky’s art.
b. The Blue Rider was both the name of an artist organization and of a painting.
c. For Kandinsky there was no art without a specific topic to paint.
d. In Kandinsky’s art, shapes and colours communicate emotions.
e. For Kandinsky the square provokes hostile emotions.
f. The Nazi regime appreciated Kandinsky’s art.

7B Now correct the false sentences.

8 Looking at the paintings by Kandinsky and Mondrian, decide if the following characteristics
are related to one of the two artists or to both of them.

Wassily Kandinsky, Painting with White Border, 1913, Piet Mondrian, Composition With Red, Yellow
Guggenheim Museum, New York. and Blue, 1937-42, Tate Gallery, London.

a. Abstract art: ........................................................................................................................................................

b. Basic colours: ......................................................................................................................................................

c. Geometric shapes: .............................................................................................................................................

d. Very strict compositional order: .....................................................................................................................


e. Focus on colours, instead of objects or people: .......................................................................................

f. Distinction of landscape elements: ...............................................................................................................

9 If you were an art curator, which


of the two abstract artists would
you choose in order to organize
an exhibition? Explain the
reasons for your choice to your
partner.

Wassily Kandinsky, Yellow-Red-Blue,


1925, Musée National d’Art Moderne,
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

94
TWENTIETH CENTURY ART
unit 5

10 Choose the correct option for each of the following questions about Surrealism.

a. Dadaism was a:
1. very positive movement.
2. movement based on irrational art.
3. synonym of the Surrealist movement.
b. Andrè Breton was:
1. against Surrealism.
2. the creator of Dadaism.
3. the writer of The Surrealist Manifesto.
c. Psychoanalysis
1. was a source of inspiration for Surrealism.
2. was born many years after Surrealism.
3. is not mentioned in the text.
d. The hyper-realistic style in Surrealism
1. recalls the world of dreams.
2. is typical of Ernst’s works.
3. doesn’t care about particulars in depiction.
e. Frottage
1. is the name of an art movement close to Surrealism.
2. was invented by Salvador Dalì. Max Ernst, Attirement of the bride, 1940,
Guggenheim Foundation, Venice.
3. is an art technique for expressionism.

11 Listen and complete the following text about The Human Condition by René Magritte.

The Human Condition displays an easel1 placed inside a (1) .............................. and in front
of a window. The easel holds an unframed painting of a (2) .............................. that seems in
every detail contiguous with the landscape seen outside the (3) ............................... At first, one
automatically assumes that the painting on the easel
depicts the (4) ..............................of the landscape outside
the window that it hides from view. After a moment’s
(5) .............................., however, one realizes that this
assumption is based upon a false premise: that is that
the (6) .............................. of Magritte’s painting is real, while
the (7) .............................. on the easel is a (8) ..............................
of that reality. In fact, there is no difference between
them. Both are part of the same painting, the same
artistic fabrication. It is perhaps to this repeating cycle,
in which the (9) .............................., even against his will,
sees the one as real and the other as a representation,
that Magritte’s (10) .............................. makes reference.

1
easel = a wooden frame, usually with three legs, that holds a picture,
especially one which an artist is painting or drawing.

René Magritte, The Human Condition, 1933, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
95
REVISION AND PRACTICE

1
E

These are some of the key words you have met in this Module.
L
U

UNIT 0 • brush – canvas – depth – draw – fresco – goldsmith – hue – light – paint – shape – space
D

UNIT 1 • cave painting – column – display – marble – relief – ruin – statue – sharp
UNIT 2 • apse – catacomb – cathedral – capital – masonry – manuscript – mosaic – smooth –
O

sketch – vault
M

UNIT 3 • to accomplish – drapery – engraving – foreground – former – gesture – movement –


naturalism – perspective – rationalism
UNIT 4 • beauty – bold – brushstroke – clue – dot – feeling – heroism – imagination – landscape –
snapshot
UNIT 5 • abstract – concept – to drip – expression – identity – innovation – installation – modern
– optimism – performance
VOCABULARY

1 Complete the sentences by using some of the words above.

a. Archaeology is based on the study of ancient ............................ .


b. Classic architectures were characterized by different types of ............................ .
c. Before Christianity was acknowledged as an official religion, most of rituals were set in
............................ .
d. Since early Middle Ages, every cathedral has ended with an ............................ where the altarpiece
was located.
e. Romanesque buildings were supported by heavy ............................ .
f. In Flemish portraiture the subjects were represented surrounded by............................ objects to
show their wealth.
g. Caravaggio distinguished himself for the ............................ of his works of art.
h. In their compositions, Romantic artists gave a great importance to ............................ and
............................ .
i. For centuries, artists and students have copied ancient statues and made ............................
reproductions.
j. Impressionists used ............................ to recreate effects of light in their paintings.
k. Wassily Kandinsky is considered the founder of ............................ Art.
l. Starting from the 1970s many artists, such as Marina Abramovich and Joseph Beuys, used
............................ as a new form of art expression.

2 Give the opposite of the words below.

a. to accomplish: ...........................................................................................................................................................

b. bold: .............................................................................................................................................................................

c. depth: ..........................................................................................................................................................................

d. to dry out: ..................................................................................................................................................................

e. upright: ........................................................................................................................................................................

f. keen: ............................................................................................................................................................................

g. sharp: ...........................................................................................................................................................................

h. smooth: .......................................................................................................................................................................

104
REVISION AND PRACTICE

Complete the following crossword puzzle about Art.


3
1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8

9 10 11

12 13 14

15

16

17 18 19

20

21

ACROSS
1. Large public building where the Romans practised
martial arts.
7. A drawing, a plan to be followed.
9. A quick picture, sometimes used as a model for a more
“finished”piece.
10. Painting done on a wall.
12. What this crossword is about.
13. The opposite of “figurative” in art. Marc Chagall, Le paisage bleu, 1949.

16. Picture of a person.


17. A painter’s workshop.
20. The art of moving to the sound of music.
21. Something that an artist does with a brush.

DOWN
1. Preposition hidden in “master”.
2. Person who knows a great deal about a particular subject, such as antiques.
3. Two letters that often follow a date (example: 1650 _ _)
4. A series of moving pictures, usually shown in a cinema or on television and often telling a story.
5. Water-colours are usually done ...... paper.
6. Artist who works with clay, or stone, or bronze, etc.
8. Places where artworks are presented to the public.
9. Figures in stone, or bronze, for example.
11. Behaviours or opinions that are produced or held with the intention of being different from something else.
14. A type of play about death or suffering with a sad end.
15. The art capital of Britain.
18. This one has nothing to do with art, or do the British have a special art when it comes to making this drink?
19. Instrument used with ink.

105
module 1

MAIN VERB TENSES


AFFIRMATIVE INTERROGATIVE NEGATIVE
TENSES
(1ST PERSON SING.) (2ND PERSON SING.) (3RD PERSON SING.)
SIMPLE
PRESENT SIMPLE I study Do you study? He does not (doesn’t)
(base form) study
PAST SIMPLE I studied Did you study? He did not (didn’t) study
(past form)
FUTURE I will (I’ll) study Will you study? He will not (won’t) study
(will + base form)

CONTINUOUS (to be + ing form)


PRESENT CONT. I am (I’m) studying Are you studying? He is not (isn’t) studying
(am/is/are + …ing)
PAST CONT. I was studying Were you studying? He was not (wasn’t)
(was/were + …ing) studying
GRAMMAR

PERFECT (to have + past participle)


PRESENT PERFECT I have (I’ve) studied Have you studied? He has not (hasn’t)
(have/has + past part.) studied
PAST PERFECT I had studied Had you studied? He had not (hadn’t)
(had + past part.) studied

Remember that:

• The Present Simple is used to express regular routines and habits. It is often used with adverbs of
frequency: always, usually, often, sometimes, occasionally, seldom, rarely, never, etc.
• The Present Continuous is used to talk about things that are happening at the present moment. It
is often used with: now, at the moment, currently, today, etc.
• The Present Perfect is used for something which has happened recently, or at an unspecified point
of time in the past.
• The Past Simple is used to talk about actions that happened at a specific time in the past. You
state when it happened using a time adverb: yesterday, last week/month/year, in 2012, etc.
• The Past Continuous is used for something that was happening at a precise moment in the past. It
is often used to express an interrupted action in progress.
• The Past Perfect is used for an action that finished before another action in the past.
• The Future with ‘will’ is used to make promises and predictions, and to express a decision made
about the future at the moment.
• It is also very common to express Futurity with ‘going to’ and the Present Continuous. The future
with ‘going to’ is used to speak about future intentions; the future with the Present Continuous is
used to speak about arrangements and plans.

106
REVISION AND PRACTICE

Complete the sentences with the suggested forms of the verbs in brackets.
1
a. Traditionally, Fine Arts ............................ (include – Past Simple) drawing, painting and sculpture
especially. Since the 20th century, the concept of Visual Art ............................ (absorb – Present
Perfect) new contemporary art expressions.
b. In September 2015, while archaeologists ............................ (excavate – Past Continuous) near the
Stonehenge area, they ............................ (find – Past Simple) another huge site, called Durrington
Walls.
c. Archaeologists ............................ (still discover – Present Continuous) Greek artworks these days.
d. Medieval art in Europe ............................ (grow – Past Simple) out of the artistic heritage of the
Roman Empire and the iconographic traditions of the early Christian church.
e. Some people ............................ (believe – Present Simple) that Botticelli’s La Primavera
............................ (represent – Present Simple) the coming of spring, or the four seasons.
f. Historians ............................ (learn – Present Perfect) many things about Leonardo da Vinci as an
artist and as an engineer, an inventor and scientist from his notebooks.
g. The name Impressionism ............................ (come – Present Simple) from the title of one of Claude
Monet’s works, which the critic Louis Leroy ............................ (coin – Past Simple) to satirise the
artist.
h. Marilyn Monroe’s myth ............................ (last – Future) forever thanks to Andy Warhol canvases.

2 Now you decide the suitable tense of the verbs in brackets to complete the sentences.

a. Colours ............................ always ............................ to both reproduce realistic hues of objects and
suggest a symbolic meaning. (be used)
b. The amphitheatre and the baths ............................ a major part in ancient Roman culture and
society. (play)
c. ............................ about Byzantine art before? (you – ever – hear)
d. How ............................ you ............................ the term fresco? (define)
e. During the Renaissance, young and talented artists very often ............................ in wealthy people’s
houses. (live)
f. Constable’s pictures ................................ people’s
favour today, but during his lifetime critics
................................ them particularly.
(enjoy – not appreciate)
g. If I ............................... to Madrid,
I ............................... Reina Sofia Museum,
in order to see Guernica. (go – visit)

h. ............................ art still ............................ new


media and expressions nowadays? (discover)

107
module 1

LISTENING

AN INTERVIEW WITH FRIDA KAHLO (1907-1954)


Linked to art movements such as Surrealism, Primitivism and Magical Realism, Frida Kahlo’s work
emerges primarily from both the events of her life and her Mexican heritage. Frida married the
famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera, who had a great influence on her painting style.

1 Listen to this interview with Frida Kahlo and write the questions that you hear from the
interviewer.

a. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... ?
COMMUNICATION

In 1925 a bus accident left me semi-invalid. I had to stay at the Red Cross Hospital for weeks and
then stay on bed rest at home. I began to paint during my recovery because I was immobilized
and it was all I could really do. I painted my first self-portrait for the boyfriend of the time who
was on the bus with me, but he was soon tired of my illness and moved on from me.
b. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... ?
Oh, God no. At the age of six, I contracted polio. I tried to hide my deformed leg by wrapping it
in bandages. This led to further complications later in life such as spinal malformation.
c. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... ?
One of my most famous works, Broken Column, represents the spinal malformation I was left
with as a result of the polio.
d. ...................................................................................................................................................................................... ?
The pain… the pain of heartbreak, the pain of sickness. I take this pain, I express this pain, and
I change it into something positive and beautiful. In these paintings, I’m free of my suffering. I
try to represent myself much like an animal. Animals can only be true to who they are. That’s
why I so often paint them.
e. ......................................................................................................................................................................................... ?
We married on August 21st, 1929. He encouraged me to continue painting and he introduced
me to people who played a vital role in making my work known and appreciated. Although we
have an affectionate relationship, we both have had many secret affairs. Our marriage has been
tumultuous and painful.
f. ...................................................................................................
As a half-Jewish, Mexican, Communist woman,
I feel a strong sense of support for all these groups.
Many people find it easy to identify with some part
of me. I am brave and I am a fighter for what I
believe in. While I am all of these things, none of
them exclusively defines me. I will, however, fight
for the rights of these people always. I will fight for
the rights of all forever.
GLOSSARY

bed rest: a medical treatment in which a person lies in


bed to gain health benefits
heartbreak: a strong feeling of sadness
to wrap: to cover or enclose something with paper,
cloth or other material

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,


1940, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, USA.

108
REVISION AND PRACTICE

SPEAKING

YOU’RE SPOILT FOR CHOICE…


Imagine to be the confidential counsellor of a rich patron living in Italy during the 16th century. He
would like to enrich and decorate his residence with new paintings and frescos. He can call one or
more of the following artists: Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
Give your opinions and explain the reasons of your suggestion/s, using the expressions below.

GIVING OPINIONS GIVING REASONS FOR OPINIONS


I think / believe / feel ... ... because ...
Personally, I think / believe / feel ... as/since ...
In my opinion / view, ... because of... / owing to ... (+ noun)
It seems to me that ... The main reason why I think that is
I’m convinced that ... because ...
From my point of view, ... One of the reasons why I think that is
As I see it, ... because ...
My opinion / view is that ...

Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1482,


Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin of the Rocks,


1483–1486, Louvre Museum, Paris.

Michelangelo, Tondo Doni, c. 1507, Raphael, Madonna della Seggiola, 1513-14,


Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

109
module 1

READING

HENRY FUSELI: THE NIGHTMARE


Although he painted during the age of the Enlightenment (the so-called “Age of Reason”), the
Swiss-English painter Henry Fuseli chose instead to depict dark, irrational forces in his famous
painting The Nightmare (1781). In this composition, a woman illuminated with white light
stretches across a bed, her arms, neck and head hanging off the end of the mattress. A figure
sits on her chest (maybe a nocturnal demon) while a horse with shining eyes emerges from the
background.
The painting has had many interpretations and is seen as prefiguring late nineteenth-century
psychoanalytic theories regarding dreams and the unconscious (Sigmund Freud kept a
reproduction of the painting on the wall of his apartment in Vienna).
Fuseli’s painting is suggestive but not explicit, leaving open the possibility that the woman is
simply dreaming. Yet, her dream appears to take frightening, physical form in the shapes of the
demon and the horse.
The work A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) defines the word “nightmare”. A mare
or “mara, [is] a spirit that was related to torment or to suffocate sleepers. An oppression in the
night resembling the pressure of weight upon the chest.” Therefore, Fuseli’s painting may in
fact be understood as the physical experience of chest pressure felt during a dream-state.
Through his use of composition and chiaroscuro – the strategic juxtaposition of contrasting light
and shadow – Fuseli underlines the drama and uncertainty of the scene.
The Nightmare became an icon
of Romanticism and a defining
image of Gothic horror, inspiring
the writers Mary Shelley and Edgar
Allan Poe among many others.

GLOSSARY

chest: the upper front part of


the body of humans and some
animals, between the stomach and
the neck
hanging: suspended from a fixed
point
to stretch: to spread over a large
area or distance

Answer the following questions.


1
a. What are the protagonists of The Nightmare? Can you describe them?
b. Do you think that it is frightening? Why do you think so?
c. What is the word “nightmare” referred to?
d. How is the meaning of this word connected to the painting?
e. Can you describe the use of the light in this painting?
f. This painting was a source of inspiration for several well-known figures: can you name any of
them?

110
REVISION AND PRACTICE

WRITING

THE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE


Visitors are an essential component of museums: without them these buildings would only be
warehouses or archives. Understanding visitors is a necessary component for understanding
museums. From the second half of the 20th century, art historians, critics and curators elaborated
several learning theories that have shaped the development of programs and exhibits. Accessibility,
learning styles and the social responsibility of museums are the most important topics of these
studies.
In recent years, many museums have had difficulties with visitations, so they have been forced
to rethink marketing and fundraising. One of the biggest changes in museums is that they are
becoming “communities” instead of places to visit. The change from location to community has
changed the process of stimulating attendance to museums by:
• using social media to build an online community for the museum;
• using online community to drive visitors to museum;
• having in-person events, lectures, music, drinks, films at museum;
• replicating the in-person experience for online visitors who can’t visit the museum;
• museums can now be thought of as “clubs” instead of places.
In addition, to ensure that visitors feel welcome and well-served, many museums require their
employees to attend customer service training and reward good performances with salary raises.

1 The text above contains about 200 words; reduce it by one half by eliminating those words,
phrases or sentences that do not supply essential information.

2 Write a short text describing your last visit to a museum. Say what you liked and what you did
not like in your visit. Focus on the reasons why you chose the museum, the information you had
before visiting, the display of works of art and the visitor services. Write at least 200 words.

Thomas Struth,
Louvre 4,
Paris, 1989.

111
LITERATURE
CLIL

WHEN LITERATURE MEETS ART


Through the 20th century, art became one of the main themes of historical fiction and inspired
several famous novelists. Among them, two women from different periods and with different
approaches emerged: Gertrude Stein and Tracy Chevalier.

Gertrude Stein and the modern art


Gertrude Stein was an American writer of novels, poetry and plays. She moved to Paris in
1903, and made France her home for the rest of her life. As a literary innovator, Stein’s work
broke with the narrative, linear and temporal conventions of the 19th century. From 1903 until
1914, Gertrude and her brother, Leo, lived near the Luxembourg Gardens on the Left Bank
of Paris, where they accumulated a great collection of works of Modern Art. In 1906, Picasso
made a portrait of Gertrude Stein; when someone commented that she didn’t look like her
portrait, Picasso replied, “she will”. This quotation, as many others about modern artists
living in Paris in those years, is reported in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, published
CLIL

in 1933. It was a kind of chronicle of her Paris years, written in the voice of Toklas, her
life partner. In spite of her usual complex and
hermetic writing, for this book Gertrude used
an accessible style in order to appeal to a wider
audience. Effectively, the book became a literary
bestseller, and, in 1998, Modern Library ranked
it as one of the 20 greatest English-language non-
fiction books of the 20th century.
Being based on direct experience, the book has
been also used as a reference in studying the
development of Modern Art. Gertrude Stein often
underlined her important role as illuminated
art collector, as we can read in one of the most
interesting parts of the book:
It is very difficult now that everybody is accustomed to
everything to give some idea of the kind of uneasiness
one felt when one first looked at all these pictures on
CLIL

these walls. In those days, there were picture of all


kinds there, the time had not yet come when there
were only Cézannes, Renoirs, Matisses and Picassos,
nor as it was even later only Cézannes and Picassos”1. Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1906,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Tracy Chevalier: Girl with a Pearl Earring


Tracy Chevalier was born on October 19th, 1962, in Washington, D.C. She is an American-
British historical novelist who has written seven novels until now. Tracy Chevalier pulls stories
from paintings and historical episodes, finding the human side behind opaque images.
Her most famous novel, entitled Girl with a Pearl Earring, was published in 1999. The work,
which was based on the famous painting by Jan Vermeer (1665), has been translated into 38
languages. In 2003, a film based on the novel, starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth, was
realized and received three Academy Award nominations in 2004, along with two Golden Globes.

1. Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Harcourt, Brace and Company, United States,
1933.

112
CLIL

Observing the painting, Chevalier notes that the “ambiguous look” on the girl’s face left the “most
lasting impression” on her. She describes the girl’s expression “to be a mass of contradictions:
innocent yet experienced, joyous yet sad, full of desire and yet full of loss.” She began to think
that the girl had directed all these emotions to the painter, and began to think of the “story
behind that look”. Rather than writing a story of Vermeer having an illicit relationship with
a domestic, Chevalier builds tension with the depiction of their restraint. As Time magazine
critic Sam Sheppard writes, Chevalier presents “an exquisitely exercise that illustrates how
temptation is controlled for the sake of art”.
Chevalier’s research included reading the history of the period, studying the paintings of Vermeer
and his colleagues and spending several days in the Netherlands.

GLOSSARY

accustomed to: familiar with.


lasting: continuing to exist for
a long time or forever.
loss: when you no longer have
something or have less of
something.
quotation: a phrase or short
piece of writing taken from
a longer work of literature,
poetry, etc.
restraint: calm and controlled
behaviour.
starring: if a film, play, etc.
stars someone, or if someone
stars in a film, play, etc., they
are the main actor in it.
uneasiness: anxiety.

Scarlett Johansson in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003).

1 Answer the following questions about Gertrude Stein.

a. Where did Gertrude Stein live for most of her life?


b. Who helped her collect modern art works?
c. Why was Stein’s collection so significant?
d. Who was Alice Toklas?
e. What distinguishes The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas from other Gertrude Stein’s writings?
f. Why has this book become so famous?

2 Decide if the following sentences about Tracy Chevalier and the novel Girl with a Pearl Earring
are true or false and then correct the false sentences.
T F
a. The novel Girl with a Pearl Earring is based on a painting of the 18th century.
b. Readers from almost all over the world can enjoy Girl with a Pearl Earring.
c. Scarlett Johansson is the protagonist of the film Girl with a Pearl Earring.
d. The expression of the girl in the painting is vacuous.
e. The protagonists of the novel started a secret relation.
f. Tracy Chevalier made deep investigation in order to be accurate in her description.

113
Shades and Shapes is designed for students who have already taken
an elementary English course and study in the field of Visual Arts.
The wide range of materials in this book aims to provide an insight
into the typical topics students meet in their studies at different levels
of the CEFR (from B1 up to B2).

Shades and Shapes is planned to:


• strengthen cognitive skills necessary for general and detailed
comprehension of subject-related texts;
• develop and practise receptive and productive skills;
• widen students’ vocabulary;
• consolidate and deepen knowledge of useful grammar structures;
• arouse students’ interest in topic-related issues and actively
involve them.

Shades and Shapes consists of 6 Modules organised in three sections:


1. Content-based section. It is arranged in Units divided into various,
brief Chapters with texts and activities related to the main curricular
subjects.
2. Revision and Practice. It focuses on thematic vocabulary, recurrent
language structures and the four skills.
3. CLIL. Different topics, related to curricular subjects (History,
Literature, Philosophy, Maths, Chemistry, Physics), are explored
through a Content and Language Integrated Learning approach.

NLINE RESOURCES • Teacher’s Guide • mp3 audio file • Further Activities