Dojoji (Non-Western Part 2)

26 Apr

For my second Non-Western blog I decided to write about the noh play Dojoji by an unknown author.  I have included the 5th and final section of the play below. If you wish to watch the play from the beginning, you can find parts 1-4 on Youtube.

Gojoji is a very popular Noh play. The play was said to have been traditionally written by Kan’ami but this is unsure. The year it was created is also unknown. The earliest known form was in a Buddhist collection of stories called Honcho Hokke Reigenki in 1040. There are many variations of the story and it is performed differently in theatres. Dojoji has also been adapted for kabuki theatre. The video the I have included is a kabuki variation. This play is one of the only ones that use a very important prop (the bell).

The play is about the temple of Dojoji. For many years the temple did not have a bell and the play is about a great day that a new bell is being risen. For some reason that I cannot find an explaination for, women were not allowed to attend this service of the bell being risen. That being said, a female dance approached the gate and dances in order for the servant to let her attend. As she dances, she strikes the bell viciously. While standing underneath of the bell, it comes crashing down on top of her.

The servants are then yelled at and told the story of what had happened to the previous bell. Many years before, a priest from the north would take trips to the shrine of Kumano, stopping by the steward’s house each time, bringing gifts for the steward’s daughter. She very quite fond of the priest and wanted to be his wife when she got older. Jokingly, her father told her some day this would really happen. She did not realize that this was a joke and one year demanded the priest for his hand in marriage. He snuck out of the house when he saw that she would not take no for an answer.

He crossed the river to Dojoji and asked them to hide him, which they did, under the bell. The girl ran after him, but not being able to cross the river, became angry and transofrmed into a giant serpent and swam to the temple. She coiled around the bell and set it on fire, burning the priest to death.

After hearing the story, the servants resolve to perform an exorcism of the woman’s spirit. With great difficulty, they then lift the bell and the deamon jumps out from underneath of it. Using prayer and their rosaries, they then succeeded in driving the serpent away. She jumps into the River Hitaka and disappears.

I chose this work because I lived in Japan for six years and am still very amazed with the story telling and ways of the Japanese. I have also taken kabuki dancing classes as a young child and thought that this was an interesting story and play.

Work Cited

Hana-no-Kai. 2005. Photograph.

Kyō-Kanoko Musume Dōjōji 【京鹿子娘道成寺】 5/5. Dir. Osbourn15. Youtube. 12 Oct. 2010. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. <;.


The Three Horses by Xu Beihong (Non-Western Part 1)

22 Apr

Xu Beihong's The Three Horses

The Three Horses by Xu Beihong was done in watercolor.  Beihong was normally an ink painter so the fact that he used this material makes the painting exceptional.  The subject matter of three running horses was a rare one.  Similar to his other compositions, the painting consists of a black horse, a white horse and a young mare, galloping through a pasture.  Although the piece is undated, it is believed that it was created around 1930.  The “wetness” from the watercolor brings out the energy of the horses and the lush grass. The infinite backbround adds depth and preception to the painting.  His son was born a couple years before this was painted and it is not suprising that this painting presents a familt of three horses.  This was created at a time of great joy and success for Xu.  The work refects enthusiasm and ambition, so that viewers feel a sense of harmony and warmth in the painting.  This piece was kept in Huang Junbi’s, a well known artist, collection.  I chose this painting because I find it to be very beautiful and has a feeling of happiness.

Works Cited

Beihong, Xu. The Three Horses. 1930. National Palace Museum, Taipei. China the Beautiful. Web. 22 Apr. 2011. <;.

Anamorphic Illusion Street Art

19 Apr

The theme that I have chosen for my exhibit is anamorphic illusion street art.  Anamorphosis is a distorted projection that requires whoever is viewing the object to be at an exact place in order to see the art as it is meant to be seen.  In other words, the piece can only be seen as its true self from one angle.  Sometimes the art can only be seen through a device.  I enjoy how the art seems to pop out and look like the drawn object is actually real.  I find it deeply interesting that these can only be seen from one direction and the artist must constantly step back away from their art to see what needs to be drawn next.

Kurt Wenner

Kurt Wenner makes works all over the world.  He is a master artist who interprets Renaissance classicism.  Wenner fuses the past with contemporary imagination unlike any other artist of our time.  His works do not copy or imitate the masters, but reinvent classicism for our age.  He creates premanent pieces and architecture along with his stunning and amzing illusions.

Artist: Kurt Wenner

Title: Tower of Babel

Date Created: 2007

Location Created: Unknown

I find this work to be breathtaking. To think about how much thought and calculating had to go into the piece is insane.  It looks as if the work go on for miles and miles into the ground.

Kurt Wenner's Tower of Babel

Arist: Kurt Wenner

Title: Mermaids

Date Created: 2007

Location Created: Unknown

I absolutely love this chalk painting.  The detail is gorgeous and stunning.  Everything looks unbelievable realistic.

Kurt Wenner's Mermaids

Artist: Kurt Wenner

Title: Echo and Narcissus

Date Created: 2007

Location Created: Unknown

This was drawn on pavement with chalk, just like Wenner’s other works.  The bright colors draw me into this work. The details in all of Wenner’s works make me want to keep looking at them.  They are amazing.

Kurt Wenner's Echo and Narcisssus

Julian Beever

Julian Beever is an English chalk artist who has been creating three dimentional chalk drawings on pavement surfaces since the mid-1990’s.   He is famous for his pieces in created all over the world: Germany, The Netherlands, USA, France, Belgium, England, and Australia.  Some of his pieces are 30 feet long but only were meant to appear to be 3 feet long.  Beever is an Internet phenomenon with his pieces being seen by literally tens of millions of people via email and You Tube.  He is often hired to create pieces murals for companies.

Artist: Julian Beever

Title: Times Square in Times Square

Date Created: May 15, 2008

Location Created: New York, New York

This piece of art was created for the opening of a Levi’s store in New York.  I think this drawing is interesting because it is looking down on Times Square.  I love that there are tiny people and cars included that make it look more real.

Julian Beever's Times Square in Times Square

Artist: Julian Beever

Title: Two Worlds

Date Created: Unknown

Location Created: Unknown

This piece drawing on the pavement looks as if you are looking miles and miles under the sea to see all the creatures that live beneath the surface.  I very much like this work because I am fond of the ocean and this shows beautiful sea creatures and coral reef.  In my opinion, this is Beever’s best work.

Julian Beever's Two-Worlds

Manfred Stader

Manfred Stader began street painting and pavement art during his art studies at the Stadel Artschool in Frankfurt, Germany at the beginning of the 1980’s.  By 1985, he already became one of the most famous street painters.  His works are now being sold as stickers.

Artist: Manfred Stader

Title: Day of glory

Date Created: 2009

Location Created: Zhuhai, China

A large real estate company in Zhuhai invited investors to see their new city so Stader created this work for the ocassion inside of a building.  I think that it is somewhat amazing that the floor is not visible through the art itself.  I think that the shark looks very realistic and looks as if he is going to jump out of the “water”.  The floor really looks like it is about to cave in.

Manfred Stafors's Day of glory

Works Cited

 Beever, Julian. Times Square in Times Square. 2008. Photograph. New York, New York, New York. Cardiogirl: 19% Body Fat and 100% Fun. 18 June 2009. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.

Beever, Julian. Two Worlds. Photograph. Blow The Scene. 16 Dec. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.

Stader, Manfred. Day of Glory. 2009. Photograph. Zhuhai, China, Zhuhai. 3-d Street Art. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.

Wenner, Kurt. Echo and Narcissus. Photograph. Phombo. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.

Wenner, Kurt. Mermaids. Photograph. Art-spire. 24 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.

Wenner, Kurt. Towel of Babel. 2007. Photograph. Pyramid Visuals. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.

Pablo Pacasso’s “The Bathers”

6 Apr

The Bathers by Pablo Picasso

The painting , The Bathers by Pablo Picasso, shows three woman sunbathing on the beach. This painting was done in 1918 in Paris, France and is currently located in Musée Picasso. Swimming in the sea was very rare, and sunbathing was unheard of, until after World War I. You can see the physical freedom and unselfconsiousness the woman have. This display of freedom was new and these woman are considered early examples of the “flapper”. Picasso’s painting shows a change in the manner of how people acted socially, though that may not have intentionally been done. The painting was inspired by a trip to Biarritz, where he spent his summers by the sea. Even though I an not a big fan of a large amount of abstract works of art, I find this one to be different and beautiful. The distortions of the human form add a more playful feel to the painting. The bright colors of the womens suits draw me in and keep me interested. The color details are beautiful. I enjoy the rough edges of the paint also. All of this are unique to me in Picassco’s works. I liked this one far beyond his many, many others.

Works Cited

Picasso, Pablo. The Bathers. 1918. Musée Picasso, Paris, France. Rate It All. 22 Nov. 2007. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. .


29 Mar
Some impressionism paintings I love, but others I do not like so much.  There are qualities about different works that catch and hold my attention, while others are not so great to me.  I love the fact that artists dabbed primary colors together, making it appear that it is one color from a distance.  The style began with the “unfinished” painting Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet that was created in 1872 in Paris was said to be an impression of a sunrise.  This comment gave the movement of Impressionism its name.

Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet

Impressionism was influenced by the rise of photography in the late 19th century.  The style was also influenced by Japanese printmaking and Japanese decorations.  The quick, thick brustrokes that makes up this style are still popular in artworks today.  I enjoy the works of Impressionism that are more detailed instead of the very think brushstokes.  A painting that catches my eye is Le Moulin de la Gallette painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Paris in 1876.

Le Moulin de la Gallette painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

In general, I am not a fan of the Impressionism style.  There are a handful that I found that were eye catching and interesting, but most are not very interesting to me.  You receive a different feeling/appriciation in Impressionism that you do not get from other periods of art.  The techique used in Impresionism is an art form in itself.  Impressionism art is more free feeling and you do not have to worry about figuring out with the art is about, when almost all other art you do have to in order to know what it going on.  Impressionism art is typically landscapes so there is no need to wonder.  I personally enjoy analysing art so I prefer works from other eras.  An example of a painting that you have to think about in order to understand it is The Meeting by Jean-Honore Fragonard in 1771 from the Rococo period.

The Meeting by Jean-Honore Fragonard

You can see well defined lines and detail in this painting that you do not see in Impressionist works.  There is a story behind the painting that is unknown just from a quick glance.  My final example is a peice from the Renaissance era.  It is Lady With the Ermine by Leonardo DaVinci and was created in 1489-90 in Krakow.


Lady With the Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci

The painting is a portrait and leave you wondering who the woman is and what makes her so important to have a painting made of her.



Work Cited

DaVinci, Leonardo. Lady With the Ermine. 1489-90. The Princes Czartoryskis’ Museum, Krakow. Krakow Info. 2001. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Fragonard, Jean-Honore. The Meeting. 1771. Frick Museum, New York City. Ancien Regime. Boston College. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Monet, Claude. Impression: Sunrise. 1872. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. Art Renewal Center. Art Renewal Center, 25 Jan. 2005. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste. Le Moulin De La Gallette. 1876. Musée Du Louvre, Paris. The Art Wolf. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.


Jean-Honore Fragonard’s “The Swing”

8 Mar
"The Swing"

Jean-Honore Fragonard's "The Swing"

The Swing (also known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing) by Jean-Honore Fragonard was created in 1767.  It is located in the Wallace Collection in London.  The painting is considered to be one of the major masterpieces of the rococo era.  The painting is of a woman on a swing that is being pushed by her husband.  There is another man hiding in the bushes in front of her watching.  Her husband is in the background of the painting and is unaware of the other man watching.  The paint was originally requested to be a portrait of the Baron’s mistress on a swing being pushed by a bishop, but Fragonard replaced him with a smiling husband instead.  When the lady goes high on the swing, the man can see under her dress.  She is flicking her own shoe off in the direction of the statue of Cupid and he back is turned from the statue of two angels that is beside her husband.  It was said in the memoirs of French dramatist and songwriter, Charles Colle, that the painting was asked to be done by Gabriel Francois Doyen of him and his mistress, but he was too embarrassed and passed the commission onto Fragonard.  This painting connects with the rise of the middle class because you can see how careless the higher class folk were.  You can assume that they spent a lot of money on their clothes and statues.  This was most likey painted before the lower class started fighting back.  I found this painting to be extremely beautiful.  The colors and intricate detail caught my attention right away.  Even though the message of the painting is not exactly a pretty one, I still find the painting as a whole to be beautiful.  The Rococo era of art is amazing to me.  Jean-Honore Fragonard’s painting are all very, very beautiful and I encourage you to look through some of his other works.

Works Cited

Fragonard, Jean-Honore. The Swing. 1766. The Wallace Collection, London. Ancien Regime – Rococo. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.

“Jean Honora Fragonard: Biography from” Wiki Q&A Combined with Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedias. Reference Answers. Web. 09 Mar. 2011.

Valazquez’s “Las Meninas”

25 Feb

Velazquez's "Las Meninas"


Las Meninas (meaning The Maids of Honour in English) is an oil painting that was done by Diego Valazquez. In 1656, it was created in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Diego Velazquez was the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age.

Close up on mirror

 The painting shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain. There are several characters in the painting. Some seem to be looking out of the canvas and towards the viewer, while other characters are interacting with each other. In the center of the painting is Infanta Margarita (aughter of King Philip IV of Spain). She is surrounded by her bodyguard, her maids of honor, her chaperone, two dwarfs and a dog. On the left side of the painting Valazquez portrayed himself working on a very large canvas.

Ruben's "Minerve Punishing Arachne"

In the background there is a mirror on wall with a mirror on it that shows the upper half of the bodies of the king and queen. It is as if we are seeing the scene as the king and queen would be seeing it. It has been thought that the large canvas that Valazquez is paint on in Las Meninas is a portrait of the king and queen, and the image he is painting is what is reflected into mirror.

Ruben's "Apollo’s Victory over Marsyas"

The two portraits on the back wall are thought to be oil sketches by Peter Paul Rubens: Minerve Punishing Arachne (left) and Apollo’s Victory over Marsyas (right). I found this work appealing because I enjoy how royalty dressed and lived during this time period. I find it to be incredibly beautiful and interesting. The thought and detail that went into the painting is incredible.

Work Cited

Rubens, Peter “Apollo’s Victory over Marsyas.” Home Page. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.

Rubens, Peter “Minerve Punishing Arachne.” Home Page. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.

Velazquez, Diego. Las Meninas. 1656. Museo Del Prado, Madrid. Monster Geek in London., 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.

“Velázquez’s Las Meninas.” Home Page. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.