Wednesday, January 7, 2009

6 More Quotes from Lee Sandstead's Art Attack

I recently shared five quotes from the amazing first season of Art Attack.

Here are six, count 'em six, more quotes from Lee Sandstead on the oh-so wonderful world of art:

On Houdon's Diana the Huntress:
"So what is it about Diana that caused such a stir? Well, she's naked. Completely naked. Earlier works of Diana portrayed her in a respectable tunic or robe instead of letting it all hang out. 
"Because she was totally naked, some thought she was more Playboy bunny than classical goddess. 
"...That's because, in 18th century France, some considered full-frontal nudity not very lady-like."
On Sargent's Madame X:
"When I see this painting, I'm reminded why I love museums so much. Beautiful women. I want to meet this woman. 
"What was it that caused such a scandal? The better question might be, 'What didn't?' ...It caused such a scandal that he had to move to London to continue his career. It was like Johnny Cash, when he broke all the lights out at the Grand Ole Opry. Sometimes great artists can get carried away."
On Aphrodite of Knidos:
"Allow me to introduce you to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust and beauty. 
"Ancient Greeks on the island of Cos worshipped the goddess Aphrodite--so why would they reject one of the greatest sculptures of her ever made? Well, when it was unveiled, this sculpture (now known as the Aphrodite of Knidos) was considered totally shocking. 
"This was the first, free-standing, female nude sculpture in Ancient Greece. When Praxiteles created this sculpture he was literally creating a revolution. Before this sculpture, most Greeks had seen exactly zero nude women in art. 
"We see male nudity in Greek art for hundreds of years before we see the female nude. But thankfully there were some liberal people in Greece. The folks on the other Greek island, Knidos, were ready for some equal-opportunity nakedness!"
On Rembrandt's Self-Portrait:
"Do I like this painting? Hell yes I like this painting. But does that mean I'm going to buy a poster of it, put it on my wall, invite a women over, and drink wine and eat cheese to the wee hours of the morning looking at it? Hell no! This man is depressed. 
"Now don't get me wrong, I love looking at myself, but this guy redefines the term self-obsessed. Rembrandt painted over 60 self portraits..."
On Beirstadt's Mt. Rosalie:
"When I look at this painting my heart pounds! So why did this painting get people so pumped up?! Because, like TV and film today, it captured the popular consciousness of the time."
On Vermeer's Woman Holding a Balance:
"What makes this next piece so special? It's not what's in the painting...but what isn't. 
"So you might be thinking, 'Who cares if she's weighing pearls or not, why does it even matter?' Well, inside those empty pans is the meaning of the painting. So what is she weighing? It's not something out here, it's something in here--something spiritual not material
"And how can we tell? ...On the wall is a painting called the Last Judgement. It's the biblical day of judgement, where souls are judged good or evil. Maybe she's thinking of her own life and how her soul will be weighed.
Now I'm guessing, if you made it to this point, that you definitely are a fan.

And, if so, you may be delighted to hear that since this post was first published, the star of it has written a book on one interesting aspect of art history.

To read more from Lee Sandstead on the exciting world of the art, then, click on the link in this sentence, sit back in your chair, and enjoy.

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