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The Skull: A theme in art, literature, and culture

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Katie Cassolino

on 30 November 2017

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Transcript of The Skull: A theme in art, literature, and culture

The Skull: A theme in art, literature, and culture
Value: the lightness or darkness of an image
In this unit we will explore different techniques to create depth through shading/tone. We will also explore how the skull is a theme in art, literature, and culture. We will look at many different images that use this theme as we explore the element of value.
The Skull: a theme in art, literature and culture.
Memento mori is a Latin phrase translated as "Remember you must die" (and the origin of the English word memento, which appeared as memento mori, "remembrance of death"). It describes a genre of artistic work which varies widely, but which all share the same purpose: to remind people of their own mortality. The phrase has a tradition in art that dates back to antiquity. This subject need not be all doom and gloom, but is open to comic interpretation, the ecstasy and joy of transformation and the beauty of our love for the departed.

- Gualala Art Center
Project#1: Sugar skulls with stippling
We will create sugar skull inspired images using the tonal technique we practiced.
Project #2: Written critique
In your sketchbook. Compare and contrast these two images. Include 10-15 classroom vocabulary words in your comparison as well as the concept of memento mori to describe what you see.
Final Project
Students will observe and draw a momento mori inspired still life in classroom and will use cross-hatching and tonal blending techniques to create a drawing that uses previous techniques to draw forms (cylinder and cube) as well as observe contours.
Cylinder &Cube
Zentangles, Contour drawings (flowers, leaves)
What we will be studying now!
Pieter Claesz "Vanitas"
Frans Hals "Young man with a skull"
Phillipe de Champaigne
"Still life with a skull"
This theme of art became popular during the plague when people realized how precious life was. They would place images like these where they lived to remind them to live everyday to its fullest.
Does this concept remind you of anything we still say today?
Memento Mori in Literature
HAMLET: by William Shakespere
Act V Scene 1

This scene is the turning point in the play for Hamlet when he sees the skull he realizes the importance of life. He no longer thinks about suicide "to be or not to be" but instead the significance of life itself.
The skull in culture
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures. -wikipedia
Be sure to
include a
range of tones
Image needs to be symmetrical
Use your creativity
and templates
to create designs
within the image
Activity #1: Intro to value worksheet create 3 value scales that use these different techniques
Format: Paragraph 1 intro to both images
Paragraph 2 differences between the images
Paragraph 3 similarities
Paragraph 4 conclusion
Word Bank: Line, Stippling, Crosshatching, Memento mori, Shape, Value, Tone, Light, Dark, Emphasis, Proportion, Contrast, symbol/ic, symmetry, assymetry, color, curved, dotted, thin, thick, weight, variation, repetition, pattern, abstract, realistic, design, form, cylinder, cube, painting, drawing, sculpture, metaphor, bright, shadow, highlight, blending, vibrant, vanitas, day of the dead, tradition, culture
This project will serve as a culmination of all skills learned during quarter 1 in studio art
Artist Jose Gudalupe Posada created iconic images that have become part of Day of the Dead art history
Learning Objective: Students will be able to appropriately use value and proportion studies to render a skull and face.
Language Objective: SWBAT identify and use the term value and proportion to describe what they are seeing in a portrait.

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