The Defiant American Natural Landscape Art Form and Luminism

Albert-Bierstadt-Among-the-Sierra-Nevada-California-American-landscape

Artists in the America’s who continually pushed further west, pioneered the technique of “luminism” which used light effects and concealed brush strokes to create paintings which were considered so overwhelming detailed that opera glasses were needed to fully appreciate their true beauty. The American landscape was psychologically bore out of feelings of inferiority and competition with the European continent, as the Americas at this time were not the industrialized indomitable power they are today, but rather a fairly poor country still developing itself and not yet having reached the same milestones which Europe had already accomplished. During the 18th and 19th century, those living in the Americas rejected the notion that Rome, Italy was the center of art and that the best landscapes with the highest and most spectacular mountains were only found in places like France and Switzerland, as the west had its own mountains and its own unique monoliths and animals which could be depicted and celebrated to create American pride within the American landscape

World Renowned Porcelain of Jingdezhen, China

Jingdezhen-China-porcelain

The city of Jingdezhen, China had for centuries been the ceramic capital of China, but it was the manufacturing of porcelain which gave China it’s first world recognized brand, built off of the back of the Ming vase. If the emperor requested a piece of pottery from Jingdezhen, 10 identical pieces would be manufactured, with only 2 being sent to the emperor. The remaining 8 pieces could not be touched by human hands and subsequently were destroyed in the imperial kiln

The Advent of Chinese Moveable Type

Chinese-moveable-type

The Chinese developed moveable type around 1040 A.D. during the Northern Song Dynasty by the inventor Bi Sheng. Moveable type were essentially dies which were inked and pressed onto parchment of some kind (e.g. silk or paper). This invention was developed a full 400 years before Johan Gutenberg invented the printing press

The Original Color of Ballet Shoes

ballet-slippers

Ballet shoes and tights were originally created only in pink in an attempt to match the skin color of ballerinas who wore the apparel. Because ballerinas now run the gamut of a wide array of skin tone, hue, and color, bronze and brown ballerina slippers have become available. Prior to this, ballerinas would commonly use makeup and other aids to color their shoes

Chinese New Year Traditional Fireworks Display

Chinese-New-Year-dashuhua

500 years ago during the Ming dynasty, a blacksmith came up with a cost effective way to display a fireworks show during the Chinese New Year festival by spraying molten metal onto and alongside a wall, an incredibly beautiful, yet dangerous feat to pull off. This process is referred to as “dashuhua” (pronounced “dash-ooh-wah”). The metal is 1600 degrees Celsius which means it is literally in a liquified state. The dashuhua master traditionally wears a straw hat and sheepskin coat for protection. There is currently only 1 dashuhua master left in the world, a person who is a 14th generational master. This master has 2 daughters, neither of whom want to learn the craft, so theoretically, after this master passes away, the tradition will die out

Chinese Landscape Painting

chinese-landscape-painting

Landscape painting came into itself during the 10th century in China and by the 11th century, the art form had inlaid deep roots into the Song Dynasty and Chinese culture as a whole. Painting academies were established and books were written about the philosophy and practice of landscape art. It was believed by the Chinese that to be Chinese was to be civilized and to be civilized was to paint. While Europe was in the depths of the Dark Ages, and the Mayan civilization in Central America was collapsing, the Chinese were trading in paper money and developing and using advanced technologies like gun powder. Perspective Chinese bureaucrats were expected to demonstrate artistic talent by taking and passing examinations in calligraphy before being able to serve in government roles

18th Century Crowd Wrangling During Theatrical Shows

18th-century-theater

18th century music would often open with a strong fanfare of a few short notes, as there was no electricity during this period and therefore theater show lights could not be dimmed down to signal the beginning of a theatrical show. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart particularly enjoyed using this technique as he felt it was a robust way to open his symphonies. During the 18th century, it was not uncommon for people to chat and drink during a performance, even moving between seats if they saw somebody they knew so that a conversation could be started