Reflections on Part 3 – Renaissance to Rococo

This has been a section in the course that I will freely admit has been a long haul for me to complete due to extenuating personal circumstances.  However I have in the end really enjoyed it although I find this period very complex.

I did a short post at the beginning of the section and my views were that I was not a huge fan of Dutch art and unexpectedly I wouldn’t say I am a fan but I am certainly starting to change my mind and start to enjoy it.  I am still not sure on Baroque – for me I find the art too flamboyant although I do appreciate the level of skill and also the reasons for the detail.

However I am now a massive lover of Renaissance art – what particularly appeals is the use of colour and the development of the perspective techniques as well as all the religious art.  Michelangelo and Titian are unquestionably the subject of different learning logs for my textiles but I will also be using as a comparison the Flemish artists – both use colour to create form but in very different styles.

Before I go on I wish to make notes regarding the assessment criteria:

  • DEMONSTRATION OF SUBJECT-BASED KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:  Am I confident on achieving this? not totally and not as much as I would like to be.  I have realised my longer notes are just the way that suits me as it enables me to really get my head around the subject in question and from these I can go on to sumarise (in theory but not always in practice) what I have read. My longer notes are also a useful reference for the future for me at least and hard copies are kept in a file.  With the analysis I feel this is a weak point and I am not sure how well I have demonstrated my knowledge and understanding – I feel I could have written a thousand words on the comparison between the two artistic styles of the Flemish painters of the 17th Century and the painters of the Catholic Counter Reformation Baroque style and still not done it justice.  I also feel I need to do more reading on how to do a critical analysis  and exactly what questions I should be asking myself.    The subjects for this period have so many different aspects to them and so many individual variations of styles by the artists themselves it is somewhat mind-boggling to sum up in a matter of short paragraphs.   I feel I have achieved the main points in my notes on the main chapters – the points I mention are the ones that for me stand out and this may be coming down now to my personal view.  With the main points I do feel I am starting to be able to demonstrate my knowledge of the historical, intellectual and cultural or institutional contexts much better than I have before.
  • DEMONSTRATION OF RESEARCH SKILLS:  This is beginning to get easier to demonstrate and am more confident in doing so – if I am researching something I am now preferring to look at several different sources as opposed to one singular one for a better and more balanced overview.  At the point of writing this reflection I still have some exercises on this section to do and as a consequence I have much more research to write up which will further demonstrate this  point – I want to write a small piece on the Medici family for instance considering their importance in Italy during this period along with a brief note on exactly what the Golden Ratio is!  I have no question that some of my blogs I will go back and add further information and update them as my research continues or I discover more books on the subject. I am more confident in using the internet for research sources and am also starting to appreciate primary sources too much more and becoming more observant – I feel I demonstrated the latter with my visit to the town house and also unexpectedly to the former friary in Derby (now a pub!).
  • DEMONSTRATION OF CRITICAL AND EVALUATION SKILLS:  This is where I still require some work in my opinion – I have not paid enough attention to my style of writing and need to specifically to further reading on academic style writing particularly before my 2000 word essay.
  • COMMUNICATION:  This is an area I feel is improving although I am still using far too many words – as I note above I need to work on my critical and evaluation skills further to be able to communicate better.   I am beginning to support my ideas better with visual material now and this I am much happier with.

I am aware that this section has taken a much longer period than I had anticipated and also that effectively my studies were put on hold and this was completed after a very difficult week.  I have taken time to really sort my study schedule out and work out a system that now works for me and this should improve matters.

As I note above I do still have some exercises to complete on this section and this is my first priority now along with writing up some of the extra logs that I want to do on subjects that help me understand this period e.g. the Medici family.

My second priority is to go back and do any corrections and re-working from the first two assignments and by that point this one too – I am really not happy with the analysis at all.  My third priority is to go through some library books again – I had temporarily misplaced them in a safe place during the past couple of months and I have a very understanding library  – and will add anything of interest or relevance to this section.

I also want to read through again the notes on note taking and also some sections I have on critical analysis and academic writing to try and refine my style and also help me further to pick out the key points.

I still feel my strong point is my love of the subject overall but my weakest point is being overly critical of myself and not wanting to miss any vital points.  I have found these centuries very complex and in particular the Baroque period which I also found totally fascinating.

From a personal point of view I learnt a lot about my own religion – I am Catholic, although non-practicing but with a great love of religious paintings and buildings.  To learn the differing styles over the course of the 3 centuries has been revealing and I find it remarkable how the religious art changed in that period.

I still think my biggest surprise is the Dutch art – as said I will never be a huge fan but I am starting to really like it now.  The use of colour and techniques is revealing and I think my appreciation is coming with the knowledge and understanding of the history. I do need to review and update my blog piece on Nottingham Castle gallery now to add in a couple of minor points on the Dutch art.

One thing I now do realise is that I am starting to gain the knowledge to be able to distinguish between different art styles and this is beginning to really give some interesting discussions in my household!  My fiance is pointing out to me how much my opinions are changing and becoming stronger with each chapter I read and each research piece I do.

I know I have to put the period my studies were on hold behind me now and continue to work steadily and stick to my study plan and really read through my feed-backs to get the most out of the next two sections of the course as well as my final essay and more importantly to act on any feed-back .

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