Reform and Counter-Reform; Mannerism, Patronage.

Explain whether you think Luther was justified in his accusations, and state the reasons for your position.

Martin Luther was justified in his accusations against the church as he based his actions on the scripture rather than politics like the Catholic Church was doing. Luther could not understand why people were paying for salvation with no thought of faith whatsoever. According to the scriptures, faith, rather than good actions, was the way to heaven. Luther’s accusations meant that money could not buy salvation and that even the poor could have eternal peace if they repented and have faith. Luther wanted the Catholic Church to stop supporting sin and crave money and power. He wanted the church to be more spiritual rather than materialistic as it was then. Luther saw the actions by the Catholic Church as hypocritical against the teachings as they craved money more than they craved God. Luther stood by his beliefs, staying away from religious practices that were sinful and hypocritical.

Do you agree with the inquisitor’s interrogation of Veronese about his painting, originally titled last supper? Or do you side with Veronese? Explain your response.

I do not agree with the inquisitor’s interrogation of Veronese’s painting. The Inquisitor’s interrogation of Veronese about his painting was a little offside as a painter has the right to name his painting as he wishes and not by the way people judge the paintings. Veronese later changed the title of his painting following the inquisitors’ interrogation. This was the right thing to do for Veronese as he moved on to something else instead of risking being punished for the “last supper” title he wished to name the painting. It was a wise decision for Veronese to change the title of the art rather than his painting. Veronese wanted his work to be identified as something spiritual and meaningful and found it hard for people to get a different meaning of the painting than what he expected people to have. This was also a difficult period for art and artists, more so if the art had some spiritual meaning (Phillippy, 2006). 

Despite the cultural domination instituted by European traders and colonizers, how do you think these Mesoamerican, South American, and African societies have been able to sustain their cultural practices?

The Mesoamerican, South American, and African societies resisted any kind of invasion into their culture by the European traders and colonizers. These societies were definitely more organized, powerful, and advanced in their cultural practices and the people were very attached to their cultures. These societies also had strong beliefs and superstitions that could not be shattered by the ideals of the European traders and colonizers. These native cultures survived despite the cultural domination by European traders and colonizers because many of them kept their cultures and traditions intact, had more control of their personal lives, and also maintained their physical setup. This enabled these societies to maintain their culture and customs. 

Do you think the Forbidden City and all it represented prevented European influence on Chinese culture? Explain your response. 

The Forbidden City and all it represented prevented European influence on Chinese culture. The Forbidden City represented a Chinese imperial palace, which was heavily fortified, preventing any access. It was also a symbol that represented the Chinese culture that reminded the Chinese of their heritage and culture hence preventing European influence. The forbidden city was also located far away from Chinese trading activities; hence the influence of European culture became very limited. The Forbidden City became isolated and was never influenced by outsiders like the Europeans. Since Europeans did not get to influence The Forbidden City, the Chinese culture, therefore, could not be influenced. The city was well guarded allowing only the locals and the royal family while foreigners were restricted from entering. The city also isolated the Chinese people such that they were substantially kept away from the European influence on the city’s inhabitants. 


Cultural Activity Report A visit to the Museum

I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is America’s largest museum of Art situated in Central Park, Manhattan Museum Mile, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY. United States New York City on 15th February 2014. This was an evening event, and I arrived at 4.00 PM, an hour before the time set for the event to begin, dressed like most people, in an after-five attire. I was in awe when I first arrived at the venue of the event, this being my first time in the museum. Various groups of people were at the festival, including students from different universities, colleges, and High Schools within and outside of the United States, as well as parents and their children. Others looked like lecturers and university professors, while others appeared to be media personalities, yet everyone seemed to mingle very casually with each other, curiosity having taken the best of nearly all of us.

Two pieces of Art impressed me the most during the event, the first of which was the Leaf from a Missal, which was said to have been made between 1270–1290 in Paris, France. The art item is believed to have been made by a material referred to as tempera and gold leaf on parchment, with a length of 8.75 inches by 5.875 inches or 22.2 cm by 14.9 cm. The piece of Art depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ accompanied by three other people facing the cross. The three people near the cross of Jesus are two women on each side of the cross, each bowing their head presumably out of reverence or respect of Christian deity. The third person is a male sitting at the foot of the cross, holding a cup to tap the blood dripping off the wounds of Christ. The culture from which the painting is made is French culture, and it is classified under the manuscripts and illumination category. At the top corner of the painting are set two angels, one from the right corner and the second one from the left corner, and each of them is carrying circular objects. The angel on the left side is holding the sun in his hands, whereas the one on the right is holding the moon in his hands, and both appear to be emerging from the clouds.

The other piece of Art that I found astonishing was the two shield bosses, which are dated to the 7th century and recorded as belonging to the Langobardic culture. The medium that was used to design the piece of Art is Iron, Copper alloy, and gold, which measures 7.5 inches in diameter, or 19 centimeters. The Art, which is categorized under shields, is credited to Rogers fund Bequest of Stephen Grancsay and remains in display in gallery 370. The shield bosses were meant to be attached to the actual shield, which was made of wood.

In conclusion, my visit to the museum was both educative and entertaining as I had the opportunity to interact with history of the medieval world. I also managed to acquaint myself with the nature of the people in the olden times, in which the first piece of art depicted a French culture or religion and the second piece depicted the Langobardic culture of war. All in all, the Metropolitan Museum of Art contains informative collections that are worth visiting.