For my project, I went to the Meant to Be Shared exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art. In short, it is a collection of prints by Arthur Ross of various artists. My favorite part were the prints by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. He is a native Venician and all the prints here depicted life in Italy.
In terms of leadership, these prints exemplify the individual responsibility Italians felt for preserving their culture. For example, Piranesi took leadership of creating this map of Rome for 12 years. He worked at it tirelessly, and for a few hundred years, it was the most accurate map of Rome to be made. He took ownership for the place he loved, and many adored his talent for it.
In terms of course content, Piranesi's images depict what he imagined life was like in ancient Rome. His prints show slaves, the wealthy, the middle class, etc. all living and interacting in these gorgeous old places. I think these pictures show what human life looks like from an airplane view without racism, sexim, etc.
When we think of the West, we almost always associate it with liberation and diversity. This art reflects liberation in the architecture that it depicts. While some of them are temples, there is also the Roman Colosseum and various theatres. It is in these places that people are the most free in their desires, feelings, etc. Theatres showcase the daily strife of the human condition, while the Colosseum would put on shows of war to appeal to the darkest side of humanity. Ironically, many times these shows were put on by enslaved people...who had no liberties.
Overall, the most notable fact I learned was that this artist, in the 18th century, believed that the Romans taught the Greeks how to build columns. I am astounded by this fact as knowing that the Greeks came first is something that modern education is molded on. To be honest, my feelings on this art are very complex. I have personally visited most of the places that he drew, so it brought up a lot of memories for me. I also took Latin in high school and learned quite a bit about Roman history through that. Despite knowing these prints are only reimagined creations, I felt a longing for this time, a wonder at how we can make such beautiful pictures, and a sense of the realness of human history. In the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to forget that human history spans thousands of years, and we will make it through these social issues as others have before.