Thursday: Quotes, Quotes, and Quotes, Oh My!
As we here on the GJCL Board like to say,
"mira quædam in cognoscendo suavitas et delectatio"
(there is a certain wonderful sweetness and delight in gaining knowledge)
Hello GJCL! This is your Webmaster Stephen Zhu with an announcement about the Morning Tea. Every Thursday morning, the Morning Tea will be updated with a new resource/document/trivia/Tea. I'm hoping this new schedule will help me stay more organized and helps you all out more.
On that note, we hope you all enjoy Friday's edition of the Morning Tea!
Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your day so far! I hope Halloween was fun and not too stressful! Today we take a look at Mythology and Classical Art, specifically the famous Medusa's head painting by Caravaggio. Perhaps you know the myth about Medusa, but you may not know who Caravaggio is or what other major works he painted.
The myth of Medusa and Perseus is quite interesting really, and Caravaggio himself is a unique artist. The basic myth of Medusa was outlined primarily in Percy Jackson: the main character is tasked with killing Medusa; he sees all these statues of stone and knows to not look into Medusa's eyes; he uses a reflective shield and cuts off her head; then he flies to Washington and hides the head in a bag with sunglasses and kills a serpent in a bathroom...Oh, am I going too far?
However, the Roman myth has a little intro and conclusion. Perseus was initially tasked this as a dare by King Polydectes, as Polydectes had thrown a party and Perseus had arrived without a tribute to the king. Oh, and one more thing - Polydectes HATED Perseus! Like he wanted to get rid of him soo bad he sent Perseus to kill Medusa! Didn't really work out, though, so...yea. After a brief stop by the Fates, he goes and gets rid of Medusa. Out of Medusa flies Pegasus and Chrysor, a flying, winged horse and boar, respectively (if you want to know why...Poseidon and Medusa played scrabble). Of course, Perseus has to be the hero, and so he saves Andromeda, a princess of Cassiopeia and King Cepheus, on his way back with a sword. I swear, Clash of the Titans had Perseus using the head...Ugh, Hollywood. And...he turns Atlas to stone. I think. Not sure how stories overlap between mythological characters so...yea. Perseus flies back and, to prove a point, turns Polydectes and almost everyone in attendance to stone. Guess your plan didn't work out, Polydectes. Maybe you should've been a bit more humble.
Now to our good friend Caravaggio. He was born during the age of Mannerism painting, whose characteristics included exaggerating proportions and ideal beauty to artificial performances, as well as emphasis of the bizarre. In fact, his very first painting job was at a studio run by Giuseppe Cesari, a renowned Mannerist painting and patronized by several Roman head figures. However, Cesari fired Caravaggio when he began painting in a Realism style, which focused on more natural and "realistic" elements of art, notably his absence of style refinement. Despite even this, he was a very famous painter and renowned painter in Rome. Some of his most famous paintings included Penitent Mary Magdalene, The Fortune Teller, and Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (personally I love the Fortune Teller, his most famous work, but you can decide for yourself. The work itself is below).
However, his reputation would not lost forever. Lots of his art focused on nudity, death, and other content that the Roman Church considered profane, and he was shuned for that. Add on to the fact that he MURDERED a man (I'm not kidding, he actually did) and often gotten into fights with police was one of the many reasons he was eventually exiled to Naples. His legacy, however, lives on today in his paintings and inspiration for future painters such as Jacques-Louis David and Marino.
Anyway, thanks for reading today's version of the Morning Tea! I know this Tea was slightly different, but this should connect to many classroom studies of literature. For you underclassmen who do not know the mythology or the painter, do not fret: the future is wide open! I don't even know who this painter was until I looked him up!
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Period 3: Thanksgiving Break to Winter Break (TBA)