World History Episode 5 The Persians & Greeks (Time Stamp 2:30)

Satan Before the Lord, Corrado Giaquinto, c. 1750

Context in CC: "And the Persians embraced freedom of religion! Like they were Zoroastrian, which has a claim to being the worlds first monotheistic religion. It was really Zoroastrianism that introduced us to the good/evil dualism that we all know so well. You know: God and Satan or Harry and Voldemort…" Zoroastrianism and the origins of monotheistic religion, like bow ties, are cool.
Greater Historical/Art Historical Relevance: Instead of talking about the subject matter of this painting, a short lesson on periodization and why it’s not always finite. So Giaquinto here not a super notable painter, but his work is a great reflection of a certain period or style. In art history we put things into periods and styles and schools, because our human brains like to categorize things. Stuff doesn’t always fit into nice little boxes, sometimes things go back and forth. Giaquinto’s work is one of those things. But first! A general primer on style, just so you have a chronological idea:
So will will arbitrarily start with the Greeks as the beginning of western style (because unfortunately periodization in Art History has a pretty large western bias). The farther back you go, the more likely that it is that a style will simply be described with the culture it belongs to: Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian. if you get more detailed within one culture or time period there could be sub-styles or periods (In basic Greek Art History we learn four: Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic). The Greek Classical and Hellenistic styles are what is most recognizable as Greek art.
Now a short chronological and grossly incomplete list on which there is much crossover and not always influence. Classical Antiquity (to the people after the Romans and the Greeks, classical begins to mean anything vaguely Greco-Roman), Byzantine, Early Christian Art, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance (Proto/Early, High, Northern), Mannerism, Baroque (Subdivided by geography usually), Rococo, Neoclassicism. And that brings us up through the end of the eighteenth century. Sorry to bombard you with terms, but a basic idea is really helpful when we are thinking about art out of context, which we often are when it comes to crash course.
So Giaquinto is not necessarily a notable painter in terns of the larger scope of art history, but he is important in a sort of sub style. Rococo, the more flowery style that came after the dramatizing baroque (this is hugely over simplifying, but roll with it) had very little presence in Italy. Except! For a small school that flourished in Rome and other small pockets around Italy. While his work is not quintessential Rococo (look at Fragonard or Boucher for good examples), he is a prime example of this sub style.
Richard John and Ludwig Tavernier. “Rococo.” In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T072542 (accessed September 22, 2012).
Irene Cioffi. “Giaquinto, Corrado.” In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T032087 (accessed September 22, 2012

World History Episode 5 The Persians & Greeks (Time Stamp 2:30)

Satan Before the Lord, Corrado Giaquinto, c. 1750

Context in CC: "And the Persians embraced freedom of religion! Like they were Zoroastrian, which has a claim to being the worlds first monotheistic religion. It was really Zoroastrianism that introduced us to the good/evil dualism that we all know so well. You know: God and Satan or Harry and Voldemort…" Zoroastrianism and the origins of monotheistic religion, like bow ties, are cool.

Greater Historical/Art Historical Relevance: Instead of talking about the subject matter of this painting, a short lesson on periodization and why it’s not always finite. So Giaquinto here not a super notable painter, but his work is a great reflection of a certain period or style. In art history we put things into periods and styles and schools, because our human brains like to categorize things. Stuff doesn’t always fit into nice little boxes, sometimes things go back and forth. Giaquinto’s work is one of those things. But first! A general primer on style, just so you have a chronological idea:

So will will arbitrarily start with the Greeks as the beginning of western style (because unfortunately periodization in Art History has a pretty large western bias). The farther back you go, the more likely that it is that a style will simply be described with the culture it belongs to: Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian. if you get more detailed within one culture or time period there could be sub-styles or periods (In basic Greek Art History we learn four: Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic). The Greek Classical and Hellenistic styles are what is most recognizable as Greek art.

Now a short chronological and grossly incomplete list on which there is much crossover and not always influence. Classical Antiquity (to the people after the Romans and the Greeks, classical begins to mean anything vaguely Greco-Roman), Byzantine, Early Christian Art, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance (Proto/Early, High, Northern), Mannerism, Baroque (Subdivided by geography usually), Rococo, Neoclassicism. And that brings us up through the end of the eighteenth century. Sorry to bombard you with terms, but a basic idea is really helpful when we are thinking about art out of context, which we often are when it comes to crash course.

So Giaquinto is not necessarily a notable painter in terns of the larger scope of art history, but he is important in a sort of sub style. Rococo, the more flowery style that came after the dramatizing baroque (this is hugely over simplifying, but roll with it) had very little presence in Italy. Except! For a small school that flourished in Rome and other small pockets around Italy. While his work is not quintessential Rococo (look at Fragonard or Boucher for good examples), he is a prime example of this sub style.

Richard John and Ludwig Tavernier. “Rococo.” In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T072542 (accessed September 22, 2012).

Irene Cioffi. “Giaquinto, Corrado.” In Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T032087 (accessed September 22, 2012


  1. invictascientia reblogged this from crashcourseart
  2. arthistorygallery reblogged this from crashcourseart and added:
    Reblogging for commentary on periodization in Art History. It’s all arbitrary and much more fluid than the titles make...
  3. crashcourseart posted this