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William II of Hauteville (1171-1189)
William II of Hauteville King of Sicily (1171–1189). William II of Hauteville was the third king of the Norman dynasty on the throne of Sicily. He ruled independently from 1171 (from 1166 to 1171 he was under the regency of his mother) to 1189. From an iconographic point of view, he is particularly interesting because he was the first king of Sicily who made use of monumental images of himself. In particular, we have five official (namely, commissioned directly by him or his entourage) representations of him: the royal bull, the royal seal, and three images from the Cathedral of Monreale (near Palermo): two mosaic panels and one carved capital.
18 Apr 2022
TikTok in Contemporary Arts Market
During the COVID-19 pandemic, TikTok attracted many artists, who used the platform to take their practice, and thereby their self-marketing, into their own hands. At the same time, a new generation of collectors use TikTok to discover art under popular hashtag #feministartists. When artists label their work with #feministartists, they insert themselves into the gatekeeping process, and use opportunities and restrictions bounded to that specific hashtag. The study examines this process of professional self-positioning by using interviews with contemporary artists, curators, and observations on TikTok, artist talks, and secondary interviews with artists on online platforms. The findings suggest a variation in how one trades in or trades on “feminist artist”, accessing resources, and gaining exposure. A focus on “feminist artists” is restrictive for consolidating artists’ efforts to pursue specific professional, social, political, and economic agendas through art.
23 Aug 2021
The Modernity of Ancient Pigments
Naturally occurring and synthetic ancient pigments have a history of use spanning thousands of years. Curiously, some of their newly discovered properties make them excellent candidates for semiconductors, anticounterfeiting agents and so much more.
21 Jul 2022
T’amar Bagrationi (1184–1210)
T’amar Bagrationi, Queen of Georgia (1184–1210). T’amar Bagrationi was the ninth monarch from the royal house of Bagrationis who ruled over the united Georgian Kingdom. She reigned as a co-monarch alongside her father, Giorgi III, from 1178, assuming full authority in 1184. During her reign, dynastic legitimacy necessitated the appearance of the monumental royal portraits displaying the monarch with immediate predecessors and heirs. T’amar’s gender required introduction of meticulous visual language that would re-gender her with all signs of a male ruler and justify her status and sole right to rule. This notion was embodied in her portraits that were carefully incorporated in the overall programmes of the churches. T’amar’s five monumental depictions survive where she is identified in inscriptions; two other monumental images are presumed to depict her. Of all the depictions, only one can be determined to have been commissioned directly by her. T’amar’s imagery relies on Byzantine elements and adheres to established Georgian models for the local royal portraiture; however, it also adopted sophisticated visual means that was aptly used for manifesting royal power and manipulating authority over the nobility.
18 Aug 2022
Sustainable Development in Local Culture Industries
For aboriginal peoples, sustainability results in benefits for future generations. The concept is applied to secure a balance between human beings and the environment. Aborigines are a source of sustainability strategies that can contribute to service industries. Through education and communication of service innovation, sustainability can be achieved.
28 Mar 2022
Stefan Uroš II Milutin Nemanjić (1282–1321)
King Stefan Uroš II Milutin Nemanjić (1282—Donje Nerodimlje, October 29, 1321) was a Serbian medieval king, the seventh ruler of the Serbian Nemanide dynasty, the son of King Stefan Uroš I (r. 1243–1276) and Queen Helen Nemanjić (see), the brother of the King Stefan Dragutin (r. 1276–1282) and the father of King Stefan Dečanski (r. 1322–1331). Together with his great grandfather Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the Nemanide dynasty, and his grandson, Emperor Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, King Milutin is considered the most powerful ruler of the Nemanide dynasty. The long and successful military breach of King Milutin, down the Vardar River Valley and deep into the Byzantine territories, represents the beginning of Serbian expansion into southeastern Europe, making it the dominant political power in the Balkan region in the 14th century. During that period, Serbian economic power grew rapidly, mostly because of the development of trading and mining. King Milutin founded Novo Brdo, an internationally important silver mining site. He started minting his own money, producing imitations of Venetian coins (grosso), which gradually diminished in value. This led to the ban of these coins by the Republic of Venice and provided King Milutin a place in Dante’s Divina Commedia. King Milutin had a specific philoktesia fervor: He built or renovated over three dozen Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries not only in Serbia but also in Thessaloniki, Mt. Athos, Constantinople and The Holy Land. Over fifteen of his portraits can be found in the monumental painting ensembles of Serbian medieval monasteries as well as on two icons.
13 Apr 2022
Robert of Anjou (1309–1343)
Robert of Anjou King of Sicily (1309–1343). Robert of Anjou was the third king of the Angevin dynasty on the throne of Sicily. He ruled from 1309 to 1343, but, in these years, Sicily was under the domain of the Aragonese dynasty and, hence, his authority was limited to the continental land of the Kingdom and his court was mainly focused in the city of Naples. From an iconographic point of view, he is particularly interesting because, between his official representations (namely, commissioned directly by him or his entourage), he was the first king of Sicily who made use not only of stereotyped images of himself, but also of physiognomic portraits. In particular, this entry focuses on these latter items, comprising the following four artworks: Simone Martini’s altarpiece, the Master of Giovanni Barrile’s panel, the Master of the Franciscan tempera’s canvas, and the so-called Lello da Orvieto’s fresco.
13 Apr 2022
Placing Critical Pressure on Creative Holography
In her seminal PhD thesis, submitted to the Royal College of Art, London, in 1994, Margaret Benyon, MBE, postulated the question “How is holography Art?”. (Benyon 1994) Within her 226 pages, she attempted to put pressure on the ‘How’ not the ‘Why’ or the ‘If’, using the lens of her own, considerable, research in the field. The broad issues surrounding this area of critical debate have not been extensively or continuously explored, either from within the field of practising artists investigating holography as a process, medium and methodology or through broader discursive platforms within the visual arts. The medium remains, for most, a curious optical innovation that lacks critical consideration. Perhaps, almost 25 years later, Benyon’s question is somewhat redundant, or too blunt an instrument to accurately pressurise the extensive research which has taken place over this period. Artists have actively extended the vocabulary of holographic imaging, not only through disrupting the technology, which makes it practical, but also through an attempt to investigate its visual, conceptual and practical vocabularies.
23 Jun 2020
Peter IV of Aragon (1336–1387)
Peter IV king of Aragón (1336–1387). He was the seventh king of the Crown of Aragon, and father of Juan I (1387–1396) and Martín I (1396–1410), the last members of the dynasty to take the throne. When Martín died, the Trastámara branch occupied the throne of the kingdom. Peter IV was dazzling in his ability to use art as a tool of authority and sovereignty. With the aim of exalting the dynasty, he patronised various enterprises, among the most important of which was the abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet, which he intended to be a burial place for himself and his successors, a wish that was fulfilled, without exception, down to Juan II, the predecessor of the Catholic Monarchs. A perfectionist and zealot, he endowed important religious events with profound political significance, and promoted works of great symbolism such as the genealogy of the new saló del tinell, or the ordinacions de la casa i cort, to which he added an appendix establishing how the kings of Aragon were to be crowned.
13 Apr 2022
Paintings Generated by Text-to-Image System
Since the generative adversarial network (GAN) portrait painting titled “Edmond de Belamy” was constructed in 2018, AI art has already entered the public’s vision. One of the latest applications of AI is the generation of images based on natural language descriptions, which enhances the efficiency and effect of the transformation from creativity to visuality to a great extent. In the past, whether in traditional or digital painting creation, the author needed to be skilled in using tools and to have rich technical experience to accurately map the brain’s imagination to the visual layer. However, in co-creation with text-to-image AI generators, both artists and nonartists can input the text description to produce many high-quality images. During traditional painting creation, artists and nonartists in a painting task indicated quantitative and qualitative differences in some studies, such as artists spending more time on planning their painting, having more control over their creative processes, having more specific skills, and having more efficiency than nonartists. Whether such differences still exist in the new human–AI interaction mode and what new changes arise are worth discussing.
24 Nov 2022
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