HW4: Is it time to take down the Mona Lisa?

I do believe that it is time to take down the Mona Lisa. According to the New York Times article, 80% of the 10 million visitors to the Musee du Louvre only go to see the Mona Lisa and end up disappointed. People now feel obligated to go see the Mona Lisa, which simply shouldn’t be the case when it is only one piece out of da Vinci’s entire life’s work. In a museum full of iconic art pieces like the Venus de Milo, the crowding is not only a security hazard but frankly, insulting. The size of the crowds that form to see the Mona Lisa has caused the painting to be moved several times, placed behind a several-inch thick glass box, security lines and cause the museum to close down; as iconic as the piece is, in both pop culture and art history, the measures taken to keep the piece on display simply aren’t worth it. It should be retired indefinitely, so that the Musee du Louvre can finally breathe.

HW2: How would you rebuild a Gothic Church?

After finishing the article on the reconstruction and restoration of Notre Dame I believe that the church should be rebuilt with a mixture of historical and modern methods. Since the restoration of Notre Dame has already attracted many donations, within days of the fire being put out an estimated $1 billion dollars has been pledged to the church’s restoration. The money that has pledged could go to supporting the dying art of stonemasonry while also giving those who still practice it, in France, a big contract and a chance to help restore one of their countries oldest landmark. The stonemasons would restore the church in the traditional style, using specially treated stones that are fire resistant. The reconstruction would be assisted by modern machinery to help speed up the process.

Taylor B:How Evil was Commodus?

Commodus’ obsession with Hercules, reveals his thirst for power and obsession with authority. In many pieces of art the lion is shown as regal, powerful and a creature that demands respect and the fact that Commodus’ bust has the skin of a lion draped over it shows that he has conquered power and respect. The club he wields in his hand demonstrates the brutality with which he will wield his power as told in the Life of Commodus, “In his passion for cruelty he actually ordered the votaries of Bellona to cut off one of their arms,  and as for the devotees of Isis, he forced them to beat their breasts with pine-cones even to the point of death.”(289). His thirst for blood was also fueled by his brutality by participating in some 700 gladiatorial bouts. Apart from his brutality, Commodus also believed himself to be the reincarnation of Hercules, as shown by the golden apples in his hand. Commodus renamed months after himself, Hercules and those that “flattered” him. In respect to the awful and barbaric things Commodus has done under his reign, it’s surprising that any works with his face still exist, the stories told about his reign would surely have made people want to erase his mark from history.