Thursday, 8 November 2012

4º - How to interpret a work of art


How to interpret an object/ picture/ work of art...

1- What is it? It  is a triumphal arch in Paris, located in the Place du Carrousel.
2- Who did it? or Which civilization? It was designed by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, during the Empire Style in France,  commissioned by the Emperor Napoleon I.

3- Which is its approximate date?  It was built between 1806 and 1808 (or... in the beginning of the 19th century).

4- How is it? (form, material, decoration, theme...) It is made of different stones. The monument is 19 m high,23 m wide, and 7.3 m deep. The 6.4 m high central arch is flanked by two smaller ones, 4.3 m high. Around its exterior are eight Corinthian columns of marble, topped by eight soldiers of the Empire. On the pediment, between the soldiers, bas-reliefs depict the Arms of the Kingdom of Italy with figures representing History and the Arts, the Arms of the French Empire with Victory, Fame, History, and Abundance, and Wisdom and Strength holding the arms of the Kingdom of Italy, accompanied by Prudence and Victory.
Napoleon's diplomatic and military victories are commemorated by bas-reliefs executed in rose marble in the rest of the monument.
There is a quadriga atop the arch.
5- What information from the past does it give us? (facts, government, population...) The arch is, of course, derivative of the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire; in particular that of Constantin in Rome (4th century). It gives us information about the victory of Napoleon’s troops in 1805 in Austerlitz, and the next surrender of Ulm in october 1805.

6- What was it used for? (function) It was built to commemorate that Napoleon's military victories.

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