When discussing artworks from slides or prints, I often have the students
guess the size. If we are looking at a photorealism piece by Audrey Flack or
Chuck Close portraits they are quite impressed by the size. It is interesting
to see what happens when they find out the actual size. Many are very
surprised by the Mona Lisa size after her hype.
Public large scale creations are often impressive by size and the amount of
commitment it required. Sometimes thousands and thousands of workers and
hundreds of years. What does that say about a cultural belief and display of
commitment and esteem for art, religion, architecture, etc.
But as my social studies teacher always said, the big, big projects were also
a way to keep people busy during peace times, a public works project to keep
the masses from causing trouble.