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*Edit* more info pg1* What you think about this? related to religion, humanism, art, science, education and more...

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What does this picture mean to you? Have we forgotten this important message?

North West Passage

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Replies (21-30):
DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM



Quoting NWP:

You are on to something....

But for God's sake, don't mention the "L" word here! It means something different today than when the Pope commissioned this image..and is part of what I hope to open up for discussion.

There is a very important message in here.

Quoting DivingDiva:

Thanks for the additional info.  As a graduate of a liberal arts university I should probably have picked up on this, since it's precisely what a liberal arts educations is supposed to be about.  All students are expected to take a variety of classes from all fields with the hopes that no matter one's ultimate focus, studies from all fields will help inform one's overall understanding of the world and our place in it.  I think this is a good idea and very worthwhile.  So many colleges these days are focused on turning out graduates with a limited-focus marketable skill and I think we lose something from this approach.  


You're absolutely right.  The term "liberal arts" should not be confused with the current Democratic Party, Al Franken, or Michael Moore.  I'm sorry but this is the term that refers to the kind of education I am describing.  It's unfortunate that it is the same word that has become so polarized.  

I would be interested to know what this painting says to you.  


NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM

This work was commissioned by the Pope to represent the ideals that made the Renaissance the magic time that it was....It was a marriage of Classical (pagan, as in Greek/Roman, noticed Athena and Aristotle sculptures on the wall) and the current Christian philosophies.

The figures in the painting represent Classical thinkers, but are painted using contemporary people as models...such as daVinci and Michelangelo.

Here is a jumping off point of discussion concerning the two central figures:

The two thinkers in the very center, Aristotle (on the right) and Plato (on the left, pointing up) *Note, Plato is represented in this image with the face of Leonardo da Vinci* have been enormously important to Western thinking generally, and in different ways, their different philosophies were incorporated into Christianity. Plato holds his book called The Timaeus.

Plato points up because in his philosophy the changing world that we see around us is just a shadow of a higher, truer reality that is eternal and unchanging (and include things like goodness and beauty). For Plato, this otherworldly reality is the ultimate reality, and the seat of all truth, beauty, justice, and wisdom.

Aristotle holds his hand down, because in his philosophy, the only reality is the reality that we can see and experience by sight and touch (exactly the reality dismissed by Plato). Aristotle's Ethics (the book that he holds) "emphasized the relationships, justice, friendship, and government of the human world and the need to study it."

Quoting DivingDiva:



Quoting NWP:

You are on to something....

But for God's sake, don't mention the "L" word here! It means something different today than when the Pope commissioned this image..and is part of what I hope to open up for discussion.

There is a very important message in here.

Quoting DivingDiva:

Thanks for the additional info.  As a graduate of a liberal arts university I should probably have picked up on this, since it's precisely what a liberal arts educations is supposed to be about.  All students are expected to take a variety of classes from all fields with the hopes that no matter one's ultimate focus, studies from all fields will help inform one's overall understanding of the world and our place in it.  I think this is a good idea and very worthwhile.  So many colleges these days are focused on turning out graduates with a limited-focus marketable skill and I think we lose something from this approach.  


You're absolutely right.  The term "liberal arts" should not be confused with the current Democratic Party, Al Franken, or Michael Moore.  I'm sorry but this is the term that refers to the kind of education I am describing.  It's unfortunate that it is the same word that has become so polarized.  

I would be interested to know what this painting says to you.  



North West Passage

lancet98
by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:19 AM

To me, it says that our idea of education is very different today- very few people know the painting or the people in the painting.  Not knowing the PAINTING or how Aristotle is supposed to look, isn't what I'm talking about - I'm talking about the change in education.  

 In the past, learning about history, knowledge, the development of thought, was considered to be a requirement for any well brought up person.   People, for example, learned Latin, which had not been spoken in a long time except in liturgy; they didn't learn it in order to do Catholic church liturgy, but to understand the structure of our language, to be able to learn other languages more easily, and to be able to read what was considered to be important texts contributing to the body of knowledge.

I can meet many people today who have never studied any foreign language, who have never read any historical texts, who have little concern for anything outside of their engineering job, or medical coding job, or whatever it is they do.   Courses are taken to get a degree, and to get a job, not for the pleasure or excitement of learning something new or learning itself at all.

When I think about what sort of slop passes for 'literature' today, it really does make me very sad.  Most people never read anything other than sci-fi or fantasy, or historical fiction a la 'Pillars of the Earth'.   '

If they ever studied anything other their their job subjects in high school or college, if they were ever forced to read any 'literature' like Steinbeck, or Faulker, or Bede, they forget about doing so when it is no longer required.

One of the easy entry books a person might consider reading, if they want to be acquainted with the history of knowledge of the world, is 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Ecco.    Almost anything by Ecco shows his interest in, love for and incredible depth of knowledge of, medieval and earlier history.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Thanks for the links. I have never been able to successfully interpret art.

DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:25 AM



Quoting lancet98:

To me, it says that our idea of education is very different today- very few people know the painting or the people in the painting.  Not knowing the PAINTING or how Aristotle is supposed to look, isn't what I'm talking about - I'm talking about the change in education.  

 In the past, learning about history, knowledge, the development of thought, was considered to be a requirement for any well brought up person.   People, for example, learned Latin, which had not been spoken in a long time except in liturgy; they didn't learn it in order to do Catholic church liturgy, but to understand the structure of our language, to be able to learn other languages more easily, and to be able to read what was considered to be important texts contributing to the body of knowledge.

I can meet many people today who have never studied any foreign language, who have never read any historical texts, who have little concern for anything outside of their engineering job, or medical coding job, or whatever it is they do.   Courses are taken to get a degree, and to get a job, not for the pleasure or excitement of learning something new or learning itself at all.

When I think about what sort of slop passes for 'literature' today, it really does make me very sad.  Most people never read anything other than sci-fi or fantasy, or historical fiction a la 'Pillars of the Earth'.   '

If they ever studied anything other their their job subjects in high school or college, if they were ever forced to read any 'literature' like Steinbeck, or Faulker, or Bede, they forget about doing so when it is no longer required.

One of the easy entry books a person might consider reading, if they want to be acquainted with the history of knowledge of the world, is 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Ecco.    Almost anything by Ecco shows his interest in, love for and incredible depth of knowledge of, medieval and earlier history.


I agree with almost everything that you wrote here, but IMO a good Bradbury or Tolkien novel has at least as much literary value as Faulkner or Dickens.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Your mentioning the Name of the Rose is significant, as it represents another side of this coin, one in which Classical concepts of Humanism are rejected and shunned by the very same institution that commissioned this painting celebrating the marriage between the two.

Quoting lancet98:

To me, it says that our idea of education is very different today- very few people know the painting or the people in the painting.  Not knowing the PAINTING or how Aristotle is supposed to look, isn't what I'm talking about - I'm talking about the change in education.  

 In the past, learning about history, knowledge, the development of thought, was considered to be a requirement for any well brought up person.   People, for example, learned Latin, which had not been spoken in a long time except in liturgy; they didn't learn it in order to do Catholic church liturgy, but to understand the structure of our language, to be able to learn other languages more easily, and to be able to read what was considered to be important texts contributing to the body of knowledge.

I can meet many people today who have never studied any foreign language, who have never read any historical texts, who have little concern for anything outside of their engineering job, or medical coding job, or whatever it is they do.   Courses are taken to get a degree, and to get a job, not for the pleasure or excitement of learning something new or learning itself at all.

When I think about what sort of slop passes for 'literature' today, it really does make me very sad.  Most people never read anything other than sci-fi or fantasy, or historical fiction a la 'Pillars of the Earth'.   '

If they ever studied anything other their their job subjects in high school or college, if they were ever forced to read any 'literature' like Steinbeck, or Faulker, or Bede, they forget about doing so when it is no longer required.

One of the easy entry books a person might consider reading, if they want to be acquainted with the history of knowledge of the world, is 'The Name of the Rose' by Umberto Ecco.    Almost anything by Ecco shows his interest in, love for and incredible depth of knowledge of, medieval and earlier history.


North West Passage

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Pope Julius II commissioned this painting by the artist Raphael for his personal library to celebrate and demonstrate the marriage between Pagan Classical Humanist thought and contemporary Christianity as represented by the Vatican at that moment, a combination that allowed the Renaissance to happen....

The image of Aristotle pointing towards the Heavens lines up with Apollo who represents art and beauty, abstract heavenly concepts.

The image of Plato pointing outward lines up with Athena, representing reason and science, more earth bound concepts.

The figures in the foreground fall into these categories. This is the "ideal" school as represented by the philosophy driving the Renaissance...if you could have any teacher, from any time period teaching at a school, these are the folks to have.

The interactive map tells you more about the people in the painting.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

Thanks for the links. I have never been able to successfully interpret art.


North West Passage

krysstizzle
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Love this and want to discuss. 

I've only had one cup of coffee so far, though. 

I'll be back.

I will say that the atrophy of learning in the past 200 years or so is incredibly irritating to me. I was actually discussing something similar (though not as in depth) with my co-workers at the bar last week. We were talking about grades in school, and I mentioned that honestly, grades were much less important to me than, say, my  kids watching documentaries with me, or reading certain books, or exploring and traveling the world, or even our dinner conversations. Much, much less important. 

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting NWP:

Pope Julius II commissioned this painting by the artist Raphael for his personal library to celebrate and demonstrate the marriage between Pagan Classical Humanist thought and contemporary Christianity as represented by the Vatican at that moment, a combination that allowed the Renaissance to happen....

The image of Aristotle pointing towards the Heavens lines up with Apollo who represents art and beauty, abstract heavenly concepts.

The image of Plato pointing outward lines up with Athena, representing reason and science, more earth bound concepts.

The figures in the foreground fall into these categories. This is the "ideal" school as represented by the philosophy driving the Renaissance...if you could have any teacher, from any time period teaching at a school, these are the folks to have.

The interactive map tells you more about the people in the painting.

Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

Thanks for the links. I have never been able to successfully interpret art.


I did look at the links. My mind started to wander...

Thanks for the short version! Much appreciated!! I actually feel enlightened for the day.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Know the phrase a picture speaks a thousand words? The depth of this image has been mined in countless theses, books, websites...entire philosophy courses can and have been centered around this single painting.

Quoting krysstizzle:

Love this and want to discuss. 

I've only had one cup of coffee so far, though. 

I'll be back.

I will say that the atrophy of learning in the past 200 years or so is incredibly irritating to me. I was actually discussing something similar (though not as in depth) with my co-workers at the bar last week. We were talking about grades in school, and I mentioned that honestly, grades were much less important to me than, say, my  kids watching documentaries with me, or reading certain books, or exploring and traveling the world, or even our dinner conversations. Much, much less important. 


North West Passage

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