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10 Art Works That Have Changed Society

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Autor:   •  June 20, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,743 Words (7 Pages)  •  984 Views

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Artworks that have changed the world...

What 10 artworks have had the most significant impact on world art and/or culture today? Explain in detail how these artworks impact lives today.

1. The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad is literally the first written work we have and is considered the most important piece of literature to ever be written. This book was considered to be like the Bible to the Greeks; it was what they lived by. (Growing up in Greek society, the Iliad was a requirement to learn!) It contains the history of the Greeks, including the battle of Troy, and culture. The book emphasises Greek culture, such as heroic virtues: refrain from excess cruelty, bravery, service, honor and loyalty. The Iliad is considered extremely accurate; one could trace their family's history/descendants from it. Homer has the ability to tell the story in such a way that makes the reader feel as if he or she were actually there in that point and time of history. Homer also depicts both sides (the Greeks and the Trojans) equally; it is hard to believe one is the enemy. Lastly, after the Iliad was composed, we see a significant change in artwork; artist were so moved by Homer's story that they began to make their work more realistic.

2. Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (translation: "Sweet Music of the Night)

Not only is this the most reproduced piece of music ever created (and used on numerous children's toys), but it also can drastically improve your IQ (specifically, short term improvement in spatial-temporal reasoning). Studies of the Mozart Effect have taken place internationally and all demonstrate a positive correlation between listening to "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and math scores (up to 15% improvement). In fact, the state of Georgia spends a budget amount of five million dollars to send every new born home with a CD of Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik". It is currently unknown how the Mozart Effect produces said results, but the United States continues to fund millions of dollars worth on research every year to come closer to finding an answer.

3. Beethoven's 9th Symphony

Not only is this piece widely famous today, but it the first piece ever composed celebrating the coming together of humankind. This piece has also made a profound impact on society and is reason to believe why Sony/Philips CDs hold only 75 minutes worth of music; Beethoven's 9th had to fit on a single disc. Lastly, Beethoven's 9th, is the first major example of a composer using human voice and instruments on the same level in a symphony.

As for the artist himself, Beethoven, transformed Romantic music as we know it today (surging tempos, musical dynamics, abrupt changes in mood, etc)! In fact, Romanticism's beginning dates have been debated about because of the genius of Beethoven. Another major factor that make's Beethoven stand out among other composers is his unique, yet tragic life. As a child, Beethoven was a wonder kid; able to mimic any song he heard, even blindfolded. His father was an alcoholic and would beat him if he ever made a mistake, which sadly contributed to his success later in life. And perhaps the most shocking truth about Beethoven is that at the tender age of 25, he looses most of his hearing, yet the majority of his work is composed after he has lost all ability to hear music.

4. Stella of Hammurabi

This giant piece of standing rock deserves recognition; it is mankind's first legal code. On the rock are strictly laid out laws as well as punishments for violations. All rules were made available to the public, thus there could never be a discrepancy about any consequence of breaking a rule. The Stella of Hammurabi relies on a contract between the king and the high god Shamash to determine and enforce punishment; believed that one's fate was left to the Gods. Rules were designed so the rich could not opress the poor; created to keep equality. This is were the notion of an "eye for an eye" comes from; best know as Hammurabi's code. (The laws don't discriminate between accident and intention.) This is also the first society that gives women rights; not many, but some. For example, women had the power to divorce their husband. Lastly, this is where the number 13 is first thought to be considered an unlucky number; there is no 13th rule.

5.Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles

The definition of female beauty; Aphrodite of Knidos was the first monumental nude sculpture. Modeled after a real women, Phryne, who was considered the most beautiful woman of her time (perfect body proportions, height, weight, etc). In fact, when Aphrodite herself saw the statue, she said, "When did Praxiteles see me bathing?" The public was instantly captivated by this artwork. Eight copies were made, placed in gardens where men and women could go fornicate, masturbate, and engage in all types of sexual activities. (These still exists today!) This is where

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