The Decoding of the Rosetta Stone


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The decoding of the Rosetta Stone was a massive breakthrough, taking 20 years to achieve, and shaping archeology into a science, distancing itself from the art form it had been regarded as prior. For the first time in history, the focus of archeology was not centered upon owning a piece of history for its beauty but rather understanding a piece of history for the information it contained, information which could be freely shared with and taught to those outside of the field. The Rosetta Stone has been inked and pressed by paper to make exact duplicates and has had 4 plaster copies made, which were then sent to the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Dublin. A large printed copy was also drafted by hand using just paper and an inked pen to carefully mimic each and every hieroglyph carving made. The Rosetta Stone had an added benefit to the initial benefits listed previously as it aided archeologists in their quest to work out the chronology of Egyptian history

The Renaissance

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The person who is accredited with creating The Renaissance is Giorgio Vasari as he published a book entitled “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori” which means “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” in Italian. The book is often shortened in its title and called “The Lives of Artists”. This book ended up becoming the most influential art book of all time. Within the preface of the book, Vasari uses the term “rinascita” which means “rebirth” in Italian, to describe what was going on around him. Vasari stated that under the ancient Greeks and ancient Roman’s, art and civilization reached it’s highest levels of perfection, and that when the barbarians, or as they’re called today, the Germans, came into the picture, the arts fell to ruins. The Renaissance is measured to have occurred between 1400 – 1600, with the dates being slightly vague on each end

Leonardo da Vinci’s Sfumato Technique

Leonardo-da-Vinci-sfumato-techniqueLeonardo da Vinci worked for the Parisian court as the head artist, and much of his work can be seen hanging in the Louvre. The technique da Vinci invented to create the illusion of distance is called “sfumato” derived from the Italian term “fumo” which means “smoke”. The technique involves blurring and softening a background or foreground to make it more vague and therefore provide an illusion of depth, with an excellent example of this technique being used within the background of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting. Da Vinci is quoted as saying that sfumato is “without lines or borders”