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Lesson Plans

Re: beauty

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
R. Moore (ronmoore)
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 14:20:05 -0800 (PST)

I think your observation about beautiful renditions of violent
subjects brings out very nicely the important difference between features
proper to an artwork and features proper to its subject. When we think
about it, we find there are lots and lots of artworks that treat horrible,
ugly, even immoral things beautifully. Think of all the great oil
paintings of The Rape of Europa. Think of Goya's treatment of the
Executionof Maximillian, or of Alma-Tadema's treatment of the Feast of
Heliogabalus (in which slave women are pictured being crushed to death
under a torrent of rose petals). And so on. There doesn't seem to be any
clear limit to what can be beautifully portrayed. But, it seems to me at
least that there are some things in life that just can't be beautiful
themselves--rape, murder, needless cruelty, and so on.
Ron Moore

On Mon, 26 Oct 1998, carla schiller wrote:

> Our 20th century culture does not consider violence beautiful, yet we have
> many beautiful or moving monuments to war (in our case to remember those
> who died). The Romans perhaps considered the victories in the military
> campaigns important and therefore felt it appropriate to honor those who
> achieved those political goals, without feeling that killing itself if
> wonderful. Of course, that is somewhat contradicted by the games in the
> Coliseum...!
> --Carla
> Carla Schiller, Esq.
> Teacher, Highly Gifted Magnet
> North Hollywood High School, CA
> e-mail:
> webpage index:
> *************************************************************************************
> "We all make the best choices from among those we see, but we don't always
> see all the choices available." --Author unknown
> *************************************************************************************
> On Mon, 26 Oct 1998, R. Moore wrote:
> > Dave Landers has raised a very nice question about how the Romans viewed
> > violence.. Since it was a very big and very honored part of their lives,
> > it might seem reasonable to think that they found it beautiful. I see his
> > point, but I would be reluctant to leap quickly to that conclusion. After
> > all, there are lots of ways of esteeming things. Deeming them beautiful
> > is only one way. I would think that a Roman of Trajan's time might, if we
> > were able to bring him back to life, say that he admired violence, liked
> > it, sought it out, etc., but that he didn't really regard it as beautiful.
> > But, then again, how can we tell where general preferences and admirations
> > leave off and beauty-response begins?
> > Ron Moore
> >
> >