‘Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ is a famous saying and what better way to see beauty than in pieces of art. From my childhood I had always been attracted to beautiful things and therefore pursued the same academically…
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In this visual report, I would be comparing and contrasting 2 ancient vases to learn about them and get a better understanding of the same. The first piece of art is a ceramic amphora dating back to c. 540 BCE. This amphora was of Greek origin and had the painting of Dionysos with a pair of Maenads that was created by Amasis Painter. I chose to visualize and describe this particular vase because of its captivating contrast of colors of rich cream contrasted with black. The vase itself had a smooth fluidity in relation to its height and size which compelled me to use it as my visual art piece. The second piece of art that I had chosen to compare and contrast is a Korean Maebyeong Bottle that was decorated with a spray of bamboo in addition to a Plum tree in blossom. The reason for choosing this vase was because I liked the delicate painting which was done in a dull olive green which was so pretty and soothing to my eyes. The Greek amphora had a height of 13” (33.3cms) and was from the Bibliotheque National, Paris. The contour of the vase’s body was gorgeously decorated with the figures of the Greek God of Wine, Dionysos featured on the left sporting a beard and holding a wine glass in his hand, while the two Maenads, were to the right, and clad in 2 dark garments which were intricately detailed in presentation. One of the Maenads was seen holding a hare, while the other held a deer. On a closer look I also saw that each of them held a sprig of ivy between their fingers. The technique used here was contrasting dark figures against a light background. The pale green vase was created during the late 12th and early 13th century and belonged to the Goryeo dynasty. This art piece which I found quite attractive was basically an inlaid celadon ware which had a light background of grayish stoneware, that had an inlaid decoration of black and white slips, hidden under the celadon glaze. The technique which was formerly invented by the Chinese was used for this vase. This technique became a Korean specialty that enhanced the beauty of the vase to a great extent. This beautiful art piece had a height of 13” and a quarter (33.7cms) and is housed in the Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo, Japan. (The Arts of Korea, pg. 369) My analysis of the first vase which was a vessel used by the Greeks, was based on the decorative style which was bold as it was contrasting. I really liked the way the artist contrasted dark figures with a soft background. The spiral designs were aesthetically arranged so as to frame the composition and enable the viewer to focus on the figures in the center. I was also quite attracted to the border patterns of grape leaves both at the bottom and top of the vase which served to bring a uniqueness to this art piece, by making it all the more attractive. 3 My analysis of the second vase with the bamboo decoration was that it had the influence of Chinese ceramics because of its appearance. On closer scrutiny I found that the vase was embellished with inlaid decoration of both bamboo and plum blossoms which contrasted against each other thus making the design to stand out and be noticed. The contrasting came from an under-glaze design from slips of black and white that was made from clay which was ground finely. This seemed to be a special technique used by the potters which is what made this art piece so unique in its design. In the Greek vase, the element that kept recurring was the use of dark figures that was framed with circular designs and borders to offset the composition. In the Korean amphora, the recurring element that was made use of was the inlaying of dark and white strips that were glazed to give it a unique appearance. In comparison to each other, each of the vases had its own unique style of art
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