Classics-Art 300 Lectures 10-14

FrancisX. Bushman battles with Ramon Navarro in the chariot race finale to Ben Hur (1924)
Francis X. Bushman battles with Ramon Navarro
in the chariot race finale to Ben Hur (1924)

Lecture 10: Ben Hur

A. Lew Wallace (1827-1905)

   1. Son of West Point graduate from Crawfordsville, Indiana
   2. 1847- serves with General Scott at conquest of Mexico City
   3. 1862- Civil War hero, conquers Fort Donelson, named major general of volunteers  
   4. 1863-4-- continues to fight for Union
   5. 1865- returns to Indiana law practice
   6. 1873- writes The Fair God-- novel about the conquest of Mexico
   7. 1878-1881 - governor of Territory of New Mexico
         1. Wild West! Billy the Kid robs and kills and supports one side in a major cattle war
         2. 1878- Wallace arranges truce between warring cattlemen
         3. Billy continues murdering and cattle rustling
         4. Caught by Pat Garrett in 1880, he escapes and kills again
         5. Shot dead by Pat Garrett 1881
   8. 1880- publishes Ben-Hur, A Tale of the Christ and nobody cares!
         1. Eventually becomes number two selling book in world and a best seller for 50 years--fits the American dream: religious, imperialist, Neo-Classical.
         2. Never saw Rome or the Holy Land!
         3. Interweaves the story of Christ (healing the lepers, preaching, entering Jerusalem,  Last Supper, crucifixion), the Roman capture of the Holy Land, and a fantasy story
   9. 1881-1885- U.S. Minister to Turkey
  10. Lecturer, adventurer
  11. 1893- The Prince of India, then The Boyhood of Christ, The Life of Benjamin Harrison
  12. Ben-Hur on the stage with William S. Hart
         1. 3 1/2 hours, $10,000,000, ran 21 years
         2. Chariot race done on treadmills, considered greatest play
  13. 1906- autobiography

B. Background to Ben-Hur (1925)

   1. Judea- All citizens must return to the birthplace of their families to be counted in census and to be taxed
         1. Joseph and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem
         2. Cannot find accommodations- end up in cave of David
   2. Image of Romans- cruel, women torturers
   3. Jews (Irving Thalberg, Marcus Loew, Louis B. Mayer) are beautiful and harmonious people  oppressed by Romans
         1. Untrue!
         2. Jewish people strictly factionalized
         3. Jerusalem was in chaos between Sadducees and
         4. Pharisees
         5. Romans storm Jerusalem 37 B.C. and install Herod
   4. Visions of the Wise Men- Melchior the Hindu. Caspar the Greek, Balthazar the Egyptian follow celestial signs to Bethlehem
   5. Valerius Gratus- A.D. 14 appointed by emperor Tiberius, Cruel and faces resistance by  Jewish high priests
   6. The Palace of Hur- the line of Jewish princes
         1. Family hides riches from Romans
         2. Trusted slave Simonides transfers money to Antioch where he lives with his pigeon loving daughter Esther
                * Antioch is capital of Syria since 64 B.C.
                * Semi-independent since 47 B.C. Julius Caesar edict
         3. Judah Ben Hur, his sister Tirzah and his mother live here
         4. Messala is Ben Hur's childhood friend but he is Roman centurion now
         5. Judah inadvertently drops brick on Roman triumphing general
         6. Family imprisoned and led to slave galleys past Nazareth where Jesus gives Judah water at his carpenter shop
         7. Triremes of Quintus Arrius, Roman fleet commander
                * Battering rams
                * Hortator
                * 3 believed killed in this sequence but hushed up by MGM
         8. The Cilician Pirates! Golthar the Terrible!

Lecture 11: Ben Hur (1925, reissued 1931)

Ben Hur silent movie thumbnail image

A. Judah Ben Hur - number one athlete in Rome but cannot find his family

   1. Returns to Antioch to seek Simonides who has taken the family money and changed name
   2. Arabian horses of Sheik Ilderim
   3. Iras the Egyptian- Cleopatra type fatal woman seductress

B. The Circus of Antioch!

   1. Spina
   2. Auriga
   3. Dolphins
   4. Circus Maximus in Rome

C. Pontius Pilate- prefect of Judea A.D. 26-36 replacing Gratus

   1. Release of all unrecorded prisoners A.D. 26
   2. Ben Hur's sister and mother are in the dungeon of Antonia but are lepers
         1. Leprosy infectious bacterium spreads through contact
         2. Nasal or mouth discharge or open sore contact dangerous
         3. Can cripple or deform, scabrous, people must be isolated d. Carville, Louisian and Molokai, Hawaii
   3. Crucifixion of Jesus, forces images of emperor onto aniconic Jews
   4. Gives up Jesus to Jewish masses to placate them
   5. Rise of nationalist Jewish party and zealots

    Ben Hur (1925) directed by Fred Niblo for MGM. Starring Ramon Navarro (Ben Hur), Francis X. Bushman (Messala), Betty Bronson (Virgin Mary), May McAvoy (Esther), Kathleenm Key (Tirzah)., Carmel Meyers (Iras).

Characters to Note:

    * Judah Ben Hur- the young prince and heir of one of Jerusalem's wealthiest merchant families.
    * Messala- Roman centurion and former childhood friend of Ben Hur
    * Tirzah- sister of Ben Hur, imprisoned in the Antonia dungeon by Marsala and the Romans where she contracts leprosy with her mother.
    * Simonides- not so trustworthy slave who lives off the family fortune entrusted secretly to him. Lives in Antioch with his daughter Esther, who loves Ben Hur but who is technically Ben Hur's slave!
    * Quintus Arrius- Commander of the Roman fleet in the eastern expedition against the Cilician pirates
    * Iras- Egyptian seductress and girlfriend/concubine of Marsala for whom she finds out the identity of the unknown Jew chariot racer of Antioch: Ben Hur.
    * Pontius Pilate- prefect of Judea A.D. 26-36
    * Valerius Gratus- Pilate's predecessor A.D. 15-26

Read more about the 1925 movie Ben Hur, see picture of Ramon Navarro, and see a picture from the movie of the chariot race showing Novarro and Bushman

Lecture 12: Roman Art and Architecture

ecture 12: Roman Art and Architecture

A. The Age of Augustus, Master of Propaganda

   1. The Ara Pacis Augustae
   2. The Prima Porta Augustus
   3.  The Forum of Augustus

B. The Successors of Augustus- the Julio-Claudians and Flavians

   1. Tiberius (A.D. 14-37)
   2. Caligula (A.D. 37-41)
   3. Claudius (A.D. 41-54)
   4. Nero (A.D. 54-68)
   5. Vespasian (69-79) and son Titus (79-81)

B. The Story of Pompeii- houses and insulae

   1. Its destruction in A.D. 79
   2. Herculaneum and Stabiae also destroyed
   3. Pliny the Elder killed

C. The Excavation of Pompeii

   1. Johann Joachim Winckelmann
   2. Giuseppe Fiorelli and the Plaster Casts
   3. Problems of excavation

D. The Major Buildings of Pompeii

   1. The Forum Area and the Temple of Jupiter
   2. The Bath Buildings
   3. The Theater and Odeon
   4. The Temple of Isis

E. The Houses of Pompeii

   1. Atrium House
   2. Lararium
   3. Tablinum
   4. Peristylum
   5. Hortus

F. Last Days of Pompeii (1935)--Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper

   1. Makers of King Kong
   2. Willis O'Brien
   3. Lack of faith in Jesus causes destruction of Pompeii!
   4. Edward Bulwer-Lytton 1803-1873

G. The Arena Games- amphitheater, colosseum

   1. Editor
   2. Pompa
   3. Gladius and Gladiators
   4. Bestiarii
   5. Secutor and Retiarius  

H. The Colosseum/ The Flavian Amphitheater

   1. Post and lintel architectural decoration
   2. Gaius Maenius and the concept of the Maenianum
   3. Remains of the fire of A.D. 64
   4. The Colossus of Nero/Helios
   5. Naumachia

I. Sign of the Cross (1932)- directed by Cecil B. De Mille


MALARIA AND THE FALL OF ROME: What brought down the Roman world?

 skull from BBC film
Image of the skeleton of an infant, found in an amphora at Lugnano

Special Film Presentation: Malaria and the Fall of Rome-- Meet the Ancestors (BBC Production, London)

Could an ancient children's burial ground contain clues about how one of the world's greatest empires came to an end? Andrew Thompson explores the theory that malaria was the silent killer responsible for the fall of Rome.

This movie, originally produced in 2002 with creative consultants David Soren and Robert Sallares, deals with the problem of what happened to Rome in late antiquity. Rome began as a tiny settlement under kings, first Latin (753-625 B.C.) and then Etruscan (625-509 B.C.).  Then, Rome became a Republic (509-31 B.C.). Finally, beginning with Augustus came the Roman Empire in 31 B.C. By A.D. 313 the empire was becoming officially Christianized. But at the end of the empire from the 3rd century A.D. on came a series of barbarian threats, worsening economic conditions and mutinies.  One other threat that has often not been considered is that of malaria. This film deals with the role of malaria in hastening the end of the Roman empire about A.D. 450. Please note the following for future testing:

What is David Soren's theory of malaria

What is Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria

What role did The Vandals play in the fall of Rome

The Importance of the Site of Lugnano in Italy

How could malaria have contributed to the fall of Rome?

How did a late Roman CHRISTIAN community respond to the threat of malaria?

Did the Romans recognize what malaria actually was?

What is malaria?


Lecture 13- Classicism and the Imperial Message of the 1930s

A. Neo-Classical Art and Architecture

   1. Used especially 1770s- 1930s in America, Italy, Germany and even France and England
   2. Architecture of purity, stability, power, glorious romanticism and ancient cultural identity

B. Why was it so popular?

   1. The Revival began in the Renaissance
         1. Petrarch in the 14th century
         2. Leonardo Bruni and the Message for Florence
         3. Filippo Brunelleschi - Santo Spirito church 1436 Florence, Italy and Hospital of the Innocents, Florence 1419 [view an image of Santo Spirito 1436]
     d. Andrea Palladio- later Renaissance architect - Villa Rotonda [view an image of Villa Rotonda by Andrea Palladio 1570 at Vicenza, Italy]

   1. Clear proportions, mathematical harmony
   2. Central porticoed space flanked with wings
   3. Central dome with temple facade porches with arched side porch area
   4. White imagery with stucco
   5. Baroque interiors
   6. First floor service rooms, main rooms upstairs, main entry is to 2nd floor

  7. After the Renaissance:

   1. Mannerism and Giulio Romano- Palazzo del Te, Mantua 1530
   2. The Baroque and Francesco Borromini- San Carlo, Rome 1670 shows the undulating, powerful, push pull of the walls combined with decoration borrowed from ancient Rome as well as the Renaissance including the look of a triumphal arch piled on top of another triumphal arch, Roman columns, niches. The dynamic quality of the facade as it reaches out to you directly is what is significant.

[view an image of San Carlo, by Borromini 1670 in Rome]

   a. The Rococo and Balthasar Neumann- Kaisersaal, Bavaria 1753
   b. Romanticism and Jean-Baptiste Ingres (1780-1867)

C. The Romantic Age- 1750-1900--

D. The Romantic Movement in France- Laugier (1753) and the Question of Roots

   1. Architecture began with 3 elements- column, architrave, pediment
   2. Reaches perfection with the Greek Doric
   3. Sets in motion the search for Greek perfection, revival
   4. James Stuart, Nicholas Revett-Antiquities of Athens, 1751-1787
   5. Johann Joachim Winckelmann- 1760s and the purity of Greek art
   6. "To take the ancients for models is the only way to become great"
   7. Greek Revival suggests the love of learning-- not big in America yet
   8. Roman Revival suggests great empire and power and/or virtues of the Roman Republic
   9. Neo-Renaissance glorifies trade and capitalism
  10. Rationalist Architecture- explores the search for ancient roots in modern life

E. America's Love Affair with the Classical- Influence of English Neo-Classical first

   1. The Founding of America- the Federal Style (1750-1820)
         1. We have a Senate, a Capitol, national seal with eagle and fasces, e pluribus unum
         2. Names like Horatio- at the bridge!
         3. Horatio Greenough sculpts George Washington in toga! 1840
         4. Philadelphia, Cincinatti

  [view an image of a sculpture of George Washington]

   1. Pre- 1776-- Got our ideas from England! Jefferson's Monticello

      Monticello is Palladian, Adamesque- influence of Robert Adam (1728-1792)

Robert Adam, Osterley Park House, England 1761 shows love of Roman wall painting from ancient Pompeii.  [view an image of Osterley Park House]

   1. Monticello is  Colonial Style in 1769 with Georgian, Palladian influences
   2. Combines Renaissance, Rococo, Palladian, Nero's Golden House in ancient Rome,
   3. Grotesques, Palladian fanlight over doorway
Monticello by Thomas Jefferson 1769 and after, Charlottesville, Virginia shows Palladian dome and fanlight in pediment and front entry. [view an image of Jefferson's Monticello]

     1. Post-1776- Thomas Jefferson rejects England and is inspired by Neo-Classical architecture in France- Reject King George as tyrant of Revolutionary War
         a. The Maison Carree in Nimes, France- ca. 2 B.C.
         b. The Capitol Building in Richmond, Virginia
         c. Thomas Jefferson and Pierre Charles L'Enfant in Washington
         d. Tuscan or unfluted Doric columns, sometimes Ionic
         e. Red brick and white porticoes
         f. Straight topped windows, new arches
         g. Temple look is in
         h. Don't overdue the interiors with classical ornament as Robert Adam did
   2. Later 19th century- new wave of Neo-Classicism- The Beaux-Arts Style
         a. The first American Imperial Style- American manifest destiny
         b. 1893- The Columbian Exposition in Chicago
         c. Predecessor of DeMille films- giant white set
         d. McKim, Meade and White go wild! Pennsylvania Railroad Station, New York
         e. Cass Gilbert and the Supreme Court 1935
         f. Coupled columns, monumental staircases, lots of sculpture and white
         g. Horror vacui, grand arches, monumental attics, medallions
         h. Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Napoleon- ca. 1800
         i. Replaces Academie des Beaux-Arts of 17th century for painting, sculpture
        j. Richard Morris Hunt- The Breakers, 1892 in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Breakers shows the influence of Renaissance architecture with loggias or arched balcony walkways and its console decorations under the eaves, and it borrows to from ancient Roman architecture in its use of the triumphal arch form nd its fondness for engaged columns and arches. [view an image of the Breakers]

Lecture 14: America Transformed- Values of the 1920s and 1930s

A. 1920s- transformation of women

   1. Changes due to World War I and Prohibition
   2. Emancipation of Women- influence of Paris
   3. Corsets out and "IT" is in - The Dolly Sisters, Clara Bow and Elinor Glin
   4. Cosmetics, dancing, petting
   5. Violin out, saxophone is in
   6. Crooning - Bing Crosby, radio, automobiles, simpler housework with electricity
   7. Get Modern! Generation Gap- the Atlantic Monthly vs. Catholic Telegraph
   8. S-E-X-- Sigmund Freud, libido, naughty jargon
         a. Oedipus Complex
         b. Inferiority complex
         c. Titillating dialogue- shock, be frank and open
         d. Irene Bordoni, the Paris sexpot "Don't Look at Me That Way"
         e. Will Hays
   9. Flappers
         a. End of bustles, crenoline hoops and petticoats
         b. Flashy accessories
         c. The exotic is in- King Tut, Ostrich fans, Cleopatra look, slave bangle
         d. Cult of the Sun and Cult of Youth- Auguste Rollier (1874-1954) and Heliotherapy for tuberculosis

[learn more about Clara Bow on these images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

B. 1930s

   1. Glamorization of the American Woman- end of flapper stars, rise of blonde glamorous star with curves
   2. "Keep Young and Beautiful if You Want to be Loved"
   3. Slenderizing devices- pogo sticks craze
   4. Blonde is in and fuller figure
   5. Wigs, lotions, exercise programs, no stick lipstick ultra-red
   6. Perfumes such as Christmas Night
   7. Pluck eyebrows and use pencil to make curve of beauty
   8. Long fingernails and pink toenails, hairdressers and facelifts
   9. Wrinkle remover creams
  10. Yet seeking simpler look of a savage!