Michelangelo II

Lead: Between 1508 and 1512 Michelangelo Buonarrati painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of art.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Sistine Chapel, built in 1473 in the Vatican Palace, was named for Pope Sixtus IV. In 1508 his successor Julius II commissioned 33-year-old Michelangelo to paint the unadorned ceiling of the chapel, but the artist abandoned the original plan, which was to surround the twelve Apostles with geometric ornaments.

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Michelangelo I

Lead: In 1508 Pope Julian II commissioned one of the most ambitious projects in the history of art - the painting of the unadorned ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in Caprese, Italy, in 1475. He spent his formative years in Renaissance Florence, one of Italy’s premier centers of artistic learning. At age 13 Michelangelo was apprenticed to a prominent painter and learned the skills of the fresco, the application of paint to a freshly plastered wall. Within two years he had shown such skill that he attracted the interest of a wealthy and powerful patron, Lorenzo de Medici, he of the most prominent banking family in Florence. Michelangelo was invited to study classical sculpture in the de Medici Palace, where he also met leading artists, philosophers and poets and had access to the family’s extensive ancient art collection. By age 16, Michelangelo had produced two marble relief sculptures and was fast on the way to establishing a reputation as a brilliant and creative artist. This was confirmed by his early works, such as the Pieta in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome and the powerful but somehow delicate David, his most famous sculpture, which was commissioned by the city of Florence.

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Baroque Culture Part II

Lead: One of the great influences of the seventeenth century “Baroque” style was the ecumenical council held by the Roman Catholic Church between 1545-1563 – known as the Council of Trent.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: The Baroque era with its rich style, elaborate ornamentation and dramatic design ran from 1600 about to 1750. It began in Italy, spread throughout Europe and across the Atlantic to the Americas. One of the historical events which influenced the artisans of the period was the Counter-Reformation - that is the reaction and the reforms within the Roman Catholic Church in response to the Protestant Reformation. To counter Protestant success, Pope Paul III convoked an ecumenical council in 1545 in the northern Italian town of Trent hard against the Austrian border.  

 

 

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Baroque Culture I

Lead:  Some of the west’s greatest artists emerged from the Baroque Era – Caravaggio, Vermeer, and Rubens, Bernini, and the composers – Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Bach and Handel.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: “Baroque” refers to a style in the arts as well as to the period when the style was most valued, about 1600 to 1750. As in other historical periods, the descriptive term, baroque, period or style, was not used until much later when scholars chose the name from the Spanish or Portuguese word for an irregularly shaped pearl. That makes perfect sense because the Baroque style in painting, sculpture and architecture, like that odd shaped pearl, was exquisitely beautiful but features bold and curving forms and over-the-top ornamentation. Later the term was also used to refer to literature and music of the same period which followed closely after the Renaissance.

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Mexico: The Aztecs: Religion and Culture

Lead:  In the early decades of the 1500s, Spanish explorers, Conquistadors, moved from the Caribbean coast in central Mexico. There they encountered the Aztecs, a deeply religious people with a complex structure of rites and ceremonies.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Aztecs were one of most advanced civilizations in the Americas. When the Spanish made contact they were utterly amazed by the Aztecs’ high developmental level of math, astronomy, agriculture, and, in particular, architecture. Much of the architecture was related to religion. Aztecs believed the massive sculptures and towering temples were pleasing to the Gods and were a form of human respect and tribute.

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Voodoo II

Lead: Faced with intense opposition in the French ruling class, the African slaves of Saint-Domingue, now Haiti, took their traditional Vodou religion underground by combining it with Roman Catholicism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Vodou originated in Western Africa. The word in the indigenous Fon language of Dahomey, now Benin, means “spirit” or “deity.” Each human is a spirit of the perceptible world and after death crosses over into the invisible realm which also is inhabited by spirits, ancestors those who are recently deceased and angels. Vodou (anglicized as voodoo), as it evolved in the Western hemisphere, gradually adopted many of the characteristics of Roman Catholicism, the most important being its acceptance of the Christian God as the deity. He created the spirits of the universe, the lwa, visible and invisible, to help Him keep humanity under control and give order to the world.

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Voodoo I

Lead: Originating in the ancient indigenous cultures of Africa and merged with many characteristics of Roman Catholicism in the early years of slavery, Vodou is practiced by many in Haiti and in the Haitian diaspora.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the first places Christopher Columbus landed in the New World was the island he called Hispaniola. He enslaved the native Arawak population and set them to looking for gold, but the gold did not materialize, and the indigenous people soon died off due to disease and overwork. The island had potential, however, and after 1697 when Spain surrendered the western third to France in the Treaty of Rijswijk, the population and wealth of the colony began to expand. The newly designated Saint-Domingue became France’s richest outpost in the New World, shipping huge quantities of coffee, indigo, cotton and especially sugar. To work the plantations of the island, France imported thousands of slaves from west Africa, particularly Dahomey, now Benin, Togo and Ghana. By 1800 there were almost 600,000 slaves in Saint-Domingue.

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The Making of Santa Claus II

Lead:  It took 1,500 years and the customs and traditions from many lands to turn the mythical and vaguely historical figure of Saint Nicholas, into the beloved and legendary character we know today as Santa Claus.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Although the myth of Santa Claus has roots in a real person – a certain Nicholas, an early Catholic bishop from the ancient city of Myra in southwest Asia Minor – our modern-day Santa Claus is actually a blend of religious and secular customs and traditions from various parts of the western world.

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