Humanities art description and appreciation

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  • It is an 3-unit course where a student will learn how to value self-expression through art. This course will also guide the learners in the world of painting, music, theater, dance, literature, architecture, and interior design. This course will enlighten the students that art is not only for the chosen few but also for every individual, who wants to be well-rounded, matured and refined.


  • A versatile subject which consists of the seven arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, music and dance, literature, theater and cinema. These seven arts are the branches of learning that will help you understand the study of humanities.
  • It comes from the word “humanus” meaning humane, cultured and refined. To be human is to posses the qualities and attributes of man and have the feelings and dispositions proper to man. It is also a study of the different cultural aspects analyzes man’s frailties in life and how this can be improved.
  • Culture basically includes speech, knowledge, beliefs, arts, technologies, ideals and rules. To be cultured means to be refined and well-versed in the arts, philosophy and languages. It is also a means of misunderstanding man and his affairs.


  • Art is very vital in our daily existence. The arts the concrete evidences in the study of humanities. The body of arts consists of ideas, beliefs and values of the past, present and even of the future. It comes from the Aryan root word, “AR” which means to join or to put together. The Latin terms “ARS” means everything that is artificially made or composed by man. According to Leo Tolstoy, “art is a means of union among all men, a means of communication.” To Aristotle, “art has no other end but itself. All arts are patterned on nature. It is also the right reason for making things.”

Scope of Humanities

  • The humanities is a many-faceted subject. It consists of the visual arts, literature, drama and theater, music and dance.

1. The visual arts are those we perceive with our eyes. They may be classified into two groups:

  • Graphic arts-two-dimensional surface.
  • This term covers any form of visual artistic representation especially painting, drawing, photography, etc.
  • Plastic arts-three-dimensional surface.
  • This group includes all fields of visual arts in which materials are organized into three-dimensional forms like architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, sculpture crafts, industrial design, dress and costume design, theater design, etc…

2. Literature is the art of combining spoken or written words and their meanings into forms which have artistic and emotional appeal.

  • Drama - a story re-created by actors on stage in front of an audience.
  • Prose Fiction – includes narratives created by an author as distinguished from true accounts.
  • – the use of geometrical shapes and forms.
  • Ex. Pablo Picasso: “The Three Musicians”
  • “Nude in a Rocking Chair”
  • George Brake: “Violet and Palette”
  • Essay – a non-fiction expository writing ranging from informal, personal topics to closely critical treatments of important subjects.
  • Poetry – highly expressive nature using special forms and choice of words and emotional images. Narratives includes epics, romance and ballads and lyric forms includes the sonnets, ode, elegy and song.
  • Miscellaneous – are history, biography, letters, journals, diaries, and other works not formally classed as literature.

3. Music an art of arranging sounds in rhythmic succession generally in combination. Melody results in this sequence and harmony from the combinations. It is a creative and performing art.

  • Groups
  • Vocal Music – composed primarily to be sung.
  • Instrumental Music – is written for instruments of four general types:
  • Keyboard (piano, keyboard, and organ)
  • Stringed (violin, cello, guitar, ukulele, banjo)
  • Woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe, piccolo, English horn, bassoon)
  • Brass winds (saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone)

Music combined with other arts

  • Opera - drama set to music. It is mostly or entirely sung with an orchestral accompaniment.
  • Operetta and Musical Comedy – a drama set to music but is light popular romantic often humorous or comic. It uses spoken dialogues.
  • Oratorio and Cantata – sacred musical drama in concert form based from biblical accounts and made of recited parts with orchestral accompaniment.

4. Drama and Theatre A drama or play is a story re-created by actors on a stage in front of an audience.

  • Types of Drama
  • Tragedy – serious in nature in which the central character comes to some sad and disastrous ending and also portray.
  • Melodrama – the emphasis is on the action rather on the character. Action is a happy ending.
  • Types of Melodrama
      • Romantic Comedy – light amusing tales of lovers in some dilemma which is finally solved happily.
      • Farce – light humorous play whose emphasis is on the jokes, humorous physical actions, ludicrous situations and impossible characters.
      • Comedy of Manners – “drawing room comedy” is sophisticated and sometimes satirical. It uses witty dialogues and characters are usually high society types and situations are unreal.

5. Dance involves the movement of the body and the feet in rhythm.

  • Types of Dances
  • Ethnologic – include folk dancing associated with national and cultural groups.
      • Social or Ballroom Dances – popular type of dancing generally performed by pairs.
      • Ballet – a formalized type of dance which originated in the royal courts of the middle Ages. They may be either solo or concerted dances and generally built around a theme or story.
  • Modern – are sometimes called contemporary interpretative dances and represents rebellion against the classical formalism of ballet. It is a personal communication of moods and themes.
  • Musical dances – dances performed by soloists, groups, choruses in theatres, nightclubs, motion pictures, and television. It combines various forms of ballet, modern, tap, and acrobatics.

Methods in Presenting Art Subject

  • 1. Realism – presentation of subjects as it is. It is also the portrayal of objective reality.
  • Ex. Audrey Flack: “Queen”
  • Gustace Courbet: “The Stone-Breaker”
  • 2. Abstraction – it means to move away or to separate. The artist is more concerned about the presentation of a part or a portion of a subject.

Types of Abstraction

  • Elongation – subjects are lengthened or stretched out.
  • Ex. El Greco: “the Resurrection”
  • “St Martin and the Beggar”
  • Distortion – subjects are in a mishappen condition
  • Ex. Henry Moore: “Recumbent Figure”
  • Cubism – the use of geometrical shapes and forms.
  • Ex. Pablo Picasso: “The Three Musicians”
  • “Nude in a Rocking Chair”
  • George Brake: “Violet and Palette”

3. Fauvism emphasis on pleasure; the artists are non-conformists. Colors are not realistic and are mostly bright.

  • Ex. Henry Matisse: “The Joy of Life”
  • “The Dance”

4. Dadaism from the French word “DADA” which means hobby-horse and a movement meant to shock the public.

  • Ex. Marcel Duchamp: “Fountain”
  • Idealistic and subscribed to the ideas of liberty, freedom, justice, and equality.
  • Ex. Juan Luna: “Spollarium”

5. Romanticism rich and filled with emotion.

  • Ex. Eugene Delacroix: “Liberty Leading the People”

6. Impressionism is concentrated on the artist’s impression of the moment.

  • Ex. Claude Monet: “Sunrise”
  • Eduord Manet: “The Beat Waitress”

7. Espressionism based on non-rational and emotional concepts

  • Harsh, morbid, brutal, introspective
  • Free distortion of form color through which the painter gives visual form to inner sensations or emotion.

8. Surrealism based from the Freudian Theory “Psychoanalysis; aimed to bring the elements of subconscious to the surface.

  • Ex. Salvador Dali: “Persistence of Memory”

Kinds of Subjects

  • Landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes these are artworks that show the physical environment.
  • Still Life groups of inanimate objects arranged in an indoor setting such as objects as dishes of food on a dining table, pots and pans on a kitchen table, etc...
  • Animals the earliest known paintings are representations of animals.
  • Portrait is a realistic likeness of a person in sculpture, painting, drawing, or print.
  • Figures is the traditional chief subject of artists showing the human body, nude or clothed.
  • Everyday Life this is the artists observation of people going about their usual ways, performing their usual tasks.
  • History and Legend shows a significant scene in the past; legend pictures the mysteries behind the folk stories.
  • Religion and Mythology arts are used to instruct, to inspire feelings of devotion and to convert non-believers; many artists have been inspired by the beauty and magic of mythological characters.
  • Dreams and Fantasies a dream may be of lifelike situation; it may be realistically represented, but if the figure suggests the strange, and the absurd, we would right away classify it a dream picture.


  • The art of applying color or other organic or synthetic substances to various surfaces to create a representational, imaginative or abstract picture or design.
  • The earliest known paintings were executed on the walls of caves and rock shelters some 30,000 years ago during Paleolithic period. Some may be seen in Western Europe, Southern and Saharan Africa and Australia.

Elements of Painting

  • Line – it is a man’s own invention; extension of a point.
  • Vertical lines – power, stability, strength
  • Horizontal lines – relaxation, calmness, at peace, laziness
  • Diagonal lines – movement
  • Curve lines – graceful movements, fluidity, flexibility
  • Shape – it is an area of flat surface enclosed by a line.
  • Texture – it refers to the feel or tactile quality of a surface of an object; the roughness or smoothness of an object.
  • Size – it is smallness or largeness of an object.
  • Color – it a series of wave lengths which strike our retina. Spectrum consists of different colors: red, orange, blue, indigo and violet.

Physical Property of Colors

  • Hue is a quality which gives color its name. the color of the spectrum are therefore called hues.
  • Value is the lightness or darkness of color.
  • Intensity is the strength of the color’s hue. Brightness or dullness of color.

Classification of Colors

  • The Primary Colors are the original colors which cannot be derived from any color combination. They are red, blue and yellow.
  • The Secondary Colors are the combination of two primary colors. They are green, orange, and violet.
  • The Tertiary Colors are the combination of both the primary and secondary colors. They are yellow green, yellow orange, blue green, blue violet, red orange, and red violet.
  • The Complementary Color scheme is composed of one of the primary colors and the combination of two others. For example, the complementary color of red is green, made by mixing yellow and blue.
  • Analogous colors are three neighboring colors in the color wheel one distinct color among them.

Color interpretation

  • Cold colors – winter, spring, not aggressive in hue
  • Warm colors – summer. Fall, friendly in character
  • Red – excitement, danger, war, heat, anger, aggressive
  • Orange – autumn, warmth, movement, can be disagreeably hot in effect
  • Green – spring, summer foliage, safety, coolness, restful and pleasant
  • Yellow – sun, warmth without heat
  • Blue – coolness, happiness, pleasure, popular with men
  • Purple – coolness, royalty
  • Cool colors – dignity, formality
  • Warm colors – informality, excitement
  • Pink – femininity
  • Black – mourning, sorrow, death
  • White – purity, innocence
  • Brown – humbleness, nobility

Mediums of Painting

  • Pigment – is that part of the paint which supplies the color, is fine powder ground from some clay, stone, or mineral extracted from vegetable matter.
  • Encaustic – a medium that combines dry pigments with the heat-softened wax and in modern times. Resin
  • Tempera – earth or mineral pigments mixed with egg yolk and egg white. Since the paint dries quickly, corrections are difficult to make.
  • Fresco – is the application of earth pigments with water on a plaster wall while the plaster is still damp. Color then sinks into the surface and becomes an integral part of the wall.
  • Watercolor – is tempered paint made of pure ground pigment bound with gum Arabic. It gives a delicate luminous texture to the painting.
  • Oil – the pigment is mixed with linseed oil applied to primed canvas. It is flexible. Oil paints are slow to dry and the painting can be changed and worked over a long period of time.
  • Acrylic – synthetic paint using acrylic polymer emulsions as binder are the newest mediums and the ones that are widely used by today’s painters. They dry quickly like the watercolor and also flexible like the oil. They do not tend to crack, turn yellow or darken with age.

Art Related to Painting

  • Mosaic – it is related to painting only because it creates pictures on flat surfaces. They are wall or floor decorations made of small cubes of irregularly cut pieces of colored stones or glass called tesserae.
  • Stained Glass – a translucent glass colored by mixing metallic oxides into the molten glass or by fixing them onto the surface of the clear glass. The glass is then cut into shapes and assembled into the desired image and held together by strips of lead.
  • Tapestry – are fabrics into which colored designs have been woven.

Paintings in Lascaux Cave

Hieroglyphics idea of Frontalism


  • it is a three-dimensional artwork, an art of producing objects in relief or in the round out of hard materials by means of chisel, carved work, art of molding In clay or other paste materials, figures or objects to be later cast in bronze or other metals or plaster of Paris.
  • Sculpture (Latin sculpere, “to curve”), three-dimensional art concerned with the organization of masses and volumes. The art or practice of shaping figures or designs in the round or relief

Mediums of Sculpture

  • Clay – a very fine-grained soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired.
  • Ice – is the name given to one of the 14 known solid phases of water. It is a crystalline solid which can appear transparent or opaque bluish white color.
  • Marble – a metamorphic rock resulting from regional or rarely contact metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, either limestone or dolostone.
  • Ivory – is ideal for decorative art because it is hard, close grained, and takes carving and dyes well. its durable, many specimen survive and provides clues into the art.
  • Wood – can make many forms, from a tree to a house, from a piece of furniture to a door, from something functional to something sculptural.
  • CLAY
  • ICE
  • WOOD

Kinds of Sculpture

  • Relief – these are the sculptures which are identifies as embossed sculptures in which images are set against a flat background.
  • Alto relievo (Italian for “high relief”) the figures are sculptured partly or wholly in the round, that is, they project entirely, or almost entirely, from the surfacr of the block in which they are cut.
  • Basso-relievo(Italian for low-relief; French, bas-relief) is a form of surface-ornamentation in which the projection is very slight.
  • Free-Standing – this is the kind of sculpture in the round such as statues and monuments which are either scaled or done in life size.
  • Kinetic or Mobile Sculptures – these are identified as moving sculptures which in some cases are suspended in air to move.
  • Processes in Sculpture
  • Molding – this is the additive wherein the building up of form is done to complete the artwork.
  • Carving – this is the subtracting method wherein the removal of the unnecessary portions of the material used is done.
  • Fabrication – this is the putting-together-process wherein welding is an example.
  • Casting – this is setting up the negative mold in order to produce the positive mold.

Historical Background of Sculpture

  • Pre-Historic Sculpture
  • the primitive people produced the so called fertility statues. It has been described as giving emphasis on the female sexual attributes. It emphasizes the women’s wide hips and opulent breasts. Primitive men made this for fear of extinction and it will remind them to go on and on to produce more offspring.
  • Egyptian Sculpture
  • the sphinx is the most popular piece in Egypt. It is a huge sculpture which is described as the human head with a body of a croaching lion. The head of the Sphinx is symbolic of the pharaoh, the mighty reler of Egypt, and the body of the croaching lion is symbolic of the mighty country Egypt. Therefore it symbolizes the mighty strengths and protective power of Egypt.
  • Greek Sculpture
  • the Golden Age of Athens was the complete fulfillment of the term classic for it was the culmination of the ideals of the time and of the ancient world as well. It falls into four classes:
  • Sculptures created without regard to their ultimate location or method of display. Free standing.
  • Statues identified as kore otherwise known as female standing sculpture.
  • Statues identified as kouros otherwise known a male standing sculpture.
  • Sculptures designed as ornaments for specific positions.
  • Roman Sculpture
  • Given the Etruscan descendant of naturalism, Roman portraiture set an early standard of excellence that became the model for the whole Western tradition. It falls into two classes: portraits and historical relief. Both reflect the highly developed Roman taste of realism.
  • Baroque Sculpture
  • A restless, dynamic style with its diagonals and floating curved lines, its striking chiaroscuro, and it’s sensuous textural effects. Gian Lorenzo Bernini was the Baroque artist par excellence. His known sculpture is the “Ecstasy of St. Therese.”

Ecstasy of St. Therese

  • Byzantine Sculpture
  • Sculptured relief during the Byzantine was used to adorn magnificent palaces and churches. It is the richest expression of Christian dogma.
  • Renaissance Sculpture
  • It showed some traces of classical influence in the pulpits of the Cathedrals of Pisa and Sienna. The great master of this period is Michaelangelo. His masterpiece was the “Pieta” today a treasure of St. Peter’s in Rome.


ARCHITECTURE The art and science of building and erecting buildings.

  • History of Architecture
  • When did man start building houses?
  • From caves, to branches, to wigwarms, huts, concrete houses, etc.

The Stonehenge

  • Stonehenge, a circular arrangement of large stones located near Salisbury, England, was a ritual monument for prehistoric peoples. It was built between 3000 and 1000 BC. Little is known about Stonehenge’s function, but many scholars believe that its structure allowed its builders to predict solstices, equinoxes, eclipses, and other events of the solar calendar.

The Roman Colosseum

  • Colosseum, largest and most famous ancient Roman amphitheater. The structure was originally called Flavian Amphitheater. Modifications and restorations necessitated by fires and earthquakes were made to the Colosseum until the early 6th century. In succeeding centuries the Colosseum suffered from neglect, earthquakes, and damage done by builders. Still, slightly more than one-third of the outer arcades, comprising a number of the arches on the north side, remain standing. The seating capacity of the Colosseum is believed by modern scholars to have been about 50,000.

The Pyramids of Giza

  • The ancient Egyptians built more than 90 royal pyramids, from about 2630BC until about 1530 BC. During that time, the pyramid form evolved from a series of stepped terraces that resembled the layers of a wedding cake to the better known, sloped pyramidal shaped. The first pyramid, the Step Pyramid at Saqqarah, was constructed during the reign of King Djoser (2630 BC-2611 BC). The largest pyramid is the one built for King Khufu, at the site of modern Giza. Khufu’s pyramid, known as the Great Pyramid, is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World that still survives.
  • Egyptian pyramids served as tombs for king and queens, but they were also places of ongoing religious activity. After a ruler died, his or her body was carefully treated and wrapped to preserve it as a mummy. According to ancient Egyptian belief, the pyramid, where the mummy was placed, provided a place for the monarch to pass into the afterlife. Encarta

The Parthenon

  • Stands at the very heart of the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. It was built in honor of the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena.

The Greek Architecture

  • The Greek Orders

The Doric order

  • The Doric order originated on the mainland and western Greece. It is the simplest of the orders, characterized by short, faceted, heavy columns with plain, round capitals (tops) and no base. With only four to eight diameters in height, the columns are the most squat of all orders. The shaft of the Doric order is channeled with 20 flutes. The Ionic order came from eastern Greece, where its origins are entwined with the similar but little known Aeolic order. It is distinguished by slender, fluted pillars with a large base and two opposed volutes (also called scrolls) in the echinus of the capital. The echinus itself is decorated with an egg-and-dart motif. The Ionic shaft comes with four more flutes than the Doric counterpart (totaling 24). The Ionic base has two convex moldings called tori which are separated by a scotia.

The Corinthian order

  • Is the most ornate of the Greek orders, characterized by a slender fluted column having an ornate capital decorated with acanthus leaves. It is commonly regarded as the most elegant of the five orders. The most distinct characteristics is the striking capital. The capital of the Corinthian order is carved with two rows of leaves and four scrolls.

The Composite order

  • Is a mixed order, combining the volutes of the Ionic order with the leaves of the Corinthian order.

The Architecture Design

  • Byzantine
  • The Golden Age of Byzantine Architecture was under the rule of Justian in 527-565. It was during the period that the most famous examples of all Byzantine Architecture was built, the Hagia Sophia. The Hagia Sophia was rebuilt from 532 to 537 after the previous church was destroyed by riots. This church has some unique features which became the patterns for Byzantine Architecture for years after.
  • The style of the Hagia Sophia or Church of Divine Wisdom was to have a large dome in the middle of the structure. The dome has a unique form in that it rest on 4 massive pillars which are arranged in a square. The dome remained the main focus of the Byzantine.
  • The Romanesque
  • Romanesque Art and Architecture, arts and architecture of western Europe from about AD 1000 to the rise of the Gothic style, in most regions by the latter half of the 12th century, in certain regions somewhat later.
  • Gothic
  • Gothic Architecture is a style of architecture, particularly associated with cathedrals and other churches, which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. Beginning in twelfth century France, it was known as “ the French Style” (Opus Francigenum) during the period, with the term Gothic first appearing in the Reformation era as a stylistic insult.
  • The Gothic style emphasizes verticality and features almost skeletal stone structures with great expanses of glass, ribbed vaults, clustered columns, sharply pointed spires, flying buttresses. In Gothic Architecture the pointed arch is utilized in every location where a vaulted shape is called for, both structural and decorative. Gothic openings such as doorways, windows, arcades and galleries have pointed arches.
  • Another distinctive feature of Gothic Architecture especially in churches and cathedrals is the Rose Window (Notre dame). The North Rose Window of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (1240-1250) was built by Jean de Chelles. It is designed in the Rayonnant style, named for the radiating spokes in this type of window. The center circle depicts the Virgin and Child, surrounded by the figures of prophets. The second circle shows 32 Old Testament kings, and the outer circle depicts 32 high priests and patriarchs.
  • Baroque
  • Baroque churches were larger in scale that their predecessors and their interiors more richly decorated with sculpture and paintings.
  • Long narrow naves are replaced by broader, occasionally circular forms. Dramatic use of light, either strong light-and-shade contrasts, chiaroscuro effects or uniform lighting by means of several windows.
  • Opulent use of ornaments (puttos made of wood (often glided), plaster or stucco, marble of faux finishing).
  • Large-scale ceiling frescoes the interior is often no more than a shell for painting and sculpture (especially in the late baroque).
  • Rococo Style
  • Rococo Style, style of 18th-century painting and decoration characterized by lightness, delicacy, and elaborate ornamentation.
  • The word “rococo” is derived from “rocaille”, meaning “rock work” or “shell work,” a favorite motif of the time. It stresses purely ornamental, light, casual, irregular design.
  • The Rococo style is characterized by pastel colors, gracefully delicate curving forms, fanciful figures, and a lighthearted mood (visually and physically). The essence of Rococo art is light. Extreme highlights are placed on the subject matter and the overall work is light in color, effect, and emotion. Artists paid special attention to fine detail. Form is characterized by delicacy of color, dynamic compositions, and atmospheric effects.

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