Medical University of South Carolina Meenakshi Temple Contextual Analysis Discussion

Medical University of South Carolina

Question Description

I don’t know how to handle this English question and need guidance.

Engagement and participation are important aspects of any college course. For this online course your engagement and participation are partly determined by your presence on the Discussion Boards.

As mentioned in the syllabus, each of the three Contextual Analysis Discussions gets progressively more complex as your skills increase. For this second Contextual Analysis Discussion, you should make at least one original contextual analysis post and two comments to other posts for each module. Posts should be in full, grammatically correct sentences that create at least one solid response of at least 900 words--make sure you include a word count. The word count does NOT include any headers or references section. All posts must be relevant to the assigned materials (although you may build upon previous knowledge from earlier weeks and include personal observations). Start by answering the prompt, and then build upon the prompt to consider your own perspectives and experiences. You MUST attach photos and web links to support your position. An important part of your grade for this assignment is to communicate with your classmates. Because this is intended to be your opportunity to discuss topics with your classmates, the professor/TA will generally refrain from commenting or actively participating in the discussions aside from reading and grading them.

Each of the two comments should be at least 300 words (include a word count) on two different classmates’ posts each module to receive full credit.

Posts: For this post, select one work of art (architecture, literature, music) that has NOT been already analyzed or extensively discussed in the course readings or videos...part of the fun in learning about art is in DISCOVERING it! You are required to make one post to conduct both a formal and contextual analysis or your chosen work. Then, you will compare it to the work you selected in Module 1 AND to any other work in Module 1 that was analyzed by another student in this class. This will give you THREE works to discuss in this assignment:

  • One work of art you select from the mediums we discussed in this module (architecture, literature, or music) in which you conduct a formal and contextual analysis with social angles.
  • You then compare the work you chose in this module (architecture, literature, or music) with the work you chose in module 1 (two-dimensional art or three-dimensional art). This comparison will be a brief compare/contrast/ways of seeing between the two works.
  • Last, you compare the work you chose in this module to any other work analyzed in module 1 by a peer. Again, this comparison will be a brief compare/contrast/ways of seeing between the two works.

This process expands your skills of doing a contextual analysis by comparing works to each other.

In a narrative format, the post should contain the following elements:

  • Define and Identify: Brief information about the artist and work. For example, birth/death dates, place of birth or work, where work is displayed, name of work, medium of work, context for creation of work.
  • Experience and Appreciation: For example, where you found the work (website, another book, museum), what made you select the work, what about this work speaks to you.
  • Observe and Analyze: Use and underline three terms that were introduced in the module to observe/analyze your chosen work. Add any other relevant information to improve your paper.
  • Critique and Compare: Compare your work to similar pieces or to examples used in the book. Consider the impact of the work on a particular social angle and/or the evolution of the media. Consider the impact of experiencing the work on your general outlook on the medium or appreciation of art.
  • Apply Social Angles AND Context: Identify at least one social angle from the list below that can be observed or analyzed as part of the work. Address how the social angle is connected to the work. Plus, a thorough contextual analysis of the historical, cultural, and social implications should be discussed.
    • race and ethnicity,
    • gender and sexuality,
    • class and highbrow/low,
    • colonialism, postcolonialism, place and regionalism,
    • nature (environment, ecology) and culture,
    • memory, history, generational identity,
    • food culture, and
    • body and mind

Students will be expected to define, identify, and apply at least three terms (underline them so I can quickly find them) from the module in the post. Make sure to underline the terms so that I can quickly identify them. College-level writing and mechanics are expected; however, the purpose of this assignment is to move from experiencing art to analyzing art to evaluating art. Make sure to include a references section at the end of every post, even if you only cite the lecture video. All in-text citations and references should be in MLA.

Comments: For each of the two comments, select a classmate's post, read the post, critique the post, indicate your reaction to the chosen work, discuss a comparison work from the module or any other outside source that is similar to the work identified in the post, and either add personal commentary or pose a question to stimulate conversation.

EXAMPLES: These are"A" grade examples from previous semesters.

Discussion Board Grading: (Note: while the total number of points you can earn is the same in all contextual analysis discussion assignments for this class, the percentage weight of each assignment towards your final grade increases.)

Original Posts—30 points possible per module: Student has actively connected with the materials and has made a thoughtful and engaging post that considers multiple perspectives in relation to the readings and videos. Correct grammar, spelling, and sentence structure are utilized, as well as direct references to the course materials and an image of the selected work. It is crucial that you cite or reference some material from the class at least once during each original post to earn full credit. Minimum of 900 words per original post. Indicate your word count at the end of your post (example: “Word Count: 553”).

Comments—20 points possible per module (10 points per comment): Student stimulates the conversation and has made a thoughtful comment that is directly related to the original post. Correct grammar, spelling, and sentence structure are utilized, as well as direct references to the course materials. Minimum of 300 words per comment. Indicate your word count at the end of your post (example: “Word Count: 283”).

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The Ranakpur Jain Temple, located in India, stands tall with intricately carved pillars that depict awe-inspiring deities. The Ranakpur Temple serves to honor the religion of Jainism and is one of five pilgrimage sites for the followers of Jainism (“Ranakpur Temple”). The Ranakpur Temple was built in the 15th century by Jain businessman Seth Dharna Shah and the king Rana Kumbha, whom the temple is named after. The temple is expansive; at over 48,000 square feet, the temple sits above what are known as the Aravalli hills and is a vision of light marble that shifts colors as the sun sets. The Ranakpur Temple further encompasses four smaller temples dedicated to various Jain Lords. The most prominent of these is the Chaumukha Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Adinath, who appears as a four-faced image. This shows how the Lord and through him Jainism, attempts to expand to all corners of the earth and cosmos (Narayanan). This example of architecture I originally discovered while exploring the internet and trying to compile works of architecture that inspire me or seem to evoke emotions. I chose this piece, among cathedrals such as Notre Dame and the architectural style of the Taj Mahal, because it is unique in how it represents the culture it hails from. The major element of architecture that is visible at once in the Rankpur Jain Temple is the use of post and lintels. Post and lintel is a type of architectural that uses strong columns, or posts, to hold up larger horizontal beams called lintels (Rinck). In Greek architecture, these columns were in the Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian styles, all of which had varying levels of detail. In the Rankapur Temple, the columns are closest to the Corinthian style of having ornate carved capitals but stand out due to how they feature extensive detail in the fluting or scalloped-out parts of the columns (Rinck). The columns of the temple display figures of Jain’s religious figures and nature symbols such as carved leaves in intricate detail. The Rankapur Temple further stands out due to how it is carved from marble. Lines move across the Ranakpur Temple, and the light color of the marble allows it to reflect light differently throughout the day. This shows how the context of the Jain Temple further causes it to move the viewer. The context of a building is the natural surroundings of a building, and the history in which the building was created. The building was built to appear “celestial” yet still to stand as part of the natural landscape (“Ranakpur Temple”). The surrounding greenery around the temple emphasize how Jainism was founded by spiritual leaders who achieved liberation and perfection (“Jainism”). Due to how the temple stands out from the surrounding hills, the temple appears to contrast against the natural world, which in turn shows how the temple is meant to stand out from the real world as a spiritual dwelling. This all shows how the architecture of the Ranakpur Temple emphasize the social angle of culture. The Ranakpur Temple emphasizes culture because it maintains the unique architectural style of its region of India- the columns bear carvings of symbols of the Jain faith, which originates in India. The Temple also bears intricate carvings of snakes, prayer bells, and geometric patterns that reflect the importance of various motifs to the Jain culture (“Jainism”). This cultural identity is also seen in the people who visit the Temple. It stands as a symbol of the Jain faith, and its lines work to connect visitors to the Jain ideals of discipline and purification through their organized structure. Furthermore, the Jain Temple represents the cultural identity of the Jain religion because it shows the importance of sacred imagery to the Jain religion (“Jainism”). At first glance, the Ranakpur Temple is opposite to the image “ちえ” (or “Knowledge”) by Hitoshi Kobayashi that I explored in Module 1. The image “Knowledge” is demonstrative of Japanese architecture in the modern city of Tokyo while the Ranakpur Temple seems to stand away from time and is also more permanent. However, the two pieces are both representative of the cultural identity of the area they are associated with and the importance of documenting that identity. In the image “Knowledge” you can see the national identity of Japan as a modernized country that is transitioning through industrialization. The image “Knowledge” appears to represent the exchange of older knowledge to the newer environment that the building in the image looks to represent. In a similar way, the Ranakpur Temple represents the national identity of India as a country with countless cultural traditions and as a country with deeply rooted religious customs that extend past a thousand years before the modern age. The piece of art from module one that the Ranakpur Temple is similar to is the “Guardians of Time” sculpture by Manfred Kielnhofer that was explored by Tien Pham. At face value, the Ranakpur Temple is vastly different, not only in size, but also in permanence. The “Guardians of Time” are statues covered by hoods that are placed temporarily in places such as Stonehenge or beside a beach (“Guardians of Time: Sculptures by Manfred Kielnhofer”). As stated by Tien Pham, “…these Guardians depict how they are the protectors of the universe even though humans are the sole danger to their existence in time.” The Guardians move from place to place temporarily, but much like the Temple they represent the importance of protection of the universe, much as the Jain Temple shows the importance of protecting the Jain faith. Furthermore, both the sculptures and the carved figures of the Jain Temple seek to emphasize the role humans play in the passage of time and how humans are meant to make active decisions concerning their fate (Pham). In the case of the sculptures, this decision making is enforced by the existence of “guardians” who are meant to watch over humans and play a role in human actions. In the Ranakpur Temple, the process of decision making is of religious importance. The architecture of the Ranakpur Temple seeks to connect the visitors to a higher power and also works to remind visitors of how higher powers are there to watch over humans’ actions. Word Count: 1038 Works Cited: “Guardians of Time: Sculptures by Manfred Kielnhofer.” The Inspiration Grid RSS, Inspiration Grid, 28 Aug. 2015, “Jainism.” 17 Nov. 2016, Narayanan, Sathya. “Ranakpur Jain Temple - The Four Faced Temple of the First Tirtankara.”, Speaking Tree, 11 May 2016, “Ranakpur Temple.” Ranakpur Temple - Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur Temples Rajasthan, Ranakpur Jain Temple India, Cultural India, Rinck, Christie. "Architecture." HUM 1020: Introduction to Humanities, Spring 2018, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Pham, Tien. “Module 1 Discussion.” 13 Jan. 2018. Discussion 1 The architecture that I decided to analyze for my module 2 contextual analysis is the Louvre Art Museum located in Paris, France. This museum was originally built by King Philippe August's architects in 1190 to act as a fortress to protect an exposed part of the city (Szalay, 2018). It was then rebuilt as a royal palace in the 16th century before finally being built and named a museum after the French Revolution (Szalay, 2018). In the time that it served as a royal palace, each new monarch expanded and renovated the Louvre, so while it would usually be easy to list an architecture’s architects, there have simply been too many over the years (Szalay, 2018). Today, it is the world's largest museum and is famous for exhibiting some of the most famous artworks such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (A Closer Look). The Louvre is made out of cut stone and has a large glass pyramid located in the middle of the museum’s courtyard (The Louvre, 2019). Stone is a naturally occurring material that must be shaped by chiseling it (Introduction to Humanities Architecture Presentation). The base of the actual museum is a series of arches that run along the entire building. These arches were made by fading the end of the stone to give it a curved shape (Introduction to Humanities Architecture Presentation). The color of the museum is a light tan with a dark roof. The Louvre Museum is built in a U shape and each side mostly proportionate to one another, giving it a balanced architectural style. I found this piece while on a phone call with one of my best friends. He visited the Louvre Art Museum over the summer and highlighted the beauty of the architecture as well as the beauty of the art inside of the museum. Once I stumbled upon a picture of the Louvre online, I knew it was something I wanted to explore further, and now it is on my bucket list for places I want to visit in the future. The glass pyramid is the only element of the museum that I feel does not belong. Although it allows for the architecture to remain proportionate, it does not match the vintage style of the building itself. The glass pyramid was built much after the French Revolution, which could explain its more modern style and how this style could contrast with the style of the building. The Louvre Art Museum is similar to the two-dimensional piece I analyzed in module 1 called Flora due to the contrasts contained within the pieces. In Flora, the pale woman contrasts her dark background, making her the focal point of the painting. In a similar way, the modern and bright glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre contrasts the vintage and dark stone of the actual museum. Another similarity between the two works is the proportion throughout the works. In Flora, the woman’s body parts are proportionate to one another, but the flowers in the background are not as proportionate, although they do not offer a heavy clash to the overall balanced painting. In a similar way, although the both sides of the Louvre Art Museum are proportionate to one another, there are a few aspects such as shaped sculptures and scenery that differ on either side of the building. These, however, do not offer a heavy clash to the overall balanced architecture. The architecture differs from the piece that Ryan used in his module 1 contextual analysis called The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali. Ryan’s chosen piece features a landscape that has melting clocks randomly placed around the area, such as on a barren tree branch. The repetition of the randomly placed melting clocks along with the muted colors of the landscape give off an eerie vibe, whereas the repetition of the attributes of the Louvre along with its bright color give it a more comfortable and friendly vibe, seeing it is a tourist attraction. Another difference between these two pieces is that in Ryan’s chosen work, the landscape combines man-made objects and nature in a way that makes the painting almost hard to follow visually. The more the painting is observed, the more confusing the aspects become. One aspect that confused me was a barren tree standing on a perfectly shaped rectangular prism in the middle of what seems to be a desert. In contrast, the Louvre’s consistent sculptures, arches, and style allows the audience to easily view the architecture. The social angle that the Louvre Art Museum encompasses is memory, history, and generational identity. Before the French Revolution, the French people were being taxed unfairly and the economy was collapsing (, 2009). Due to this, the French were losing many of colonies that they owned, which established a culturally rooted shame in the French (, 2009). The Louvre, which was a palace owned by the monarchs at the time, was taken over by the French revolutionary government in order to give power back to the people. Since the French highly appreciated art, they emphasized that the Louvre would be an art museum open to the general public. This empowered the French and allowed them to have a say in their own history and future while also allowing them to express their history and culture in the museum with artifacts from previous wars and renowned French paintings. The Louvre can represent freedom from monarchy to the French and is a symbol of nationalism that contributes greatly to the French identity. The old French Renaissance style of Louvre and the modern style of the glass pyramid portray how the French value their history but are still willing to appeal to modernization. Discussion 2 Sergey Prokiev was a composer born in 1891 in the Ukraine (Nestyev & Taruskin 2020). He is well known for his music involved in the plays of Romeo and Juliet, a Shakespearian composition. The piece which I am analyzing and comparing in this discussion is Prokiev’s Dance of the Knights, also known as Montagues and Capulets, from his ballet Romeo and Juliet. This piece was composed in 1935 and is about 5-6 minutes long (Wheeler 2017). The piece is classical and orchestral, involving many different instruments, melodies, themes, and tones. I became familiar with Dance of the Knights as a musician in high school. At the time, I was fascinated with intense, dark, classical music and stumbled upon the work in my search for a new piece to learn. I was immediately captured by the first tones in the music; low-highlow-high. The tones were rich and deep, they conveyed a serious tone and a story to follow. I also appreciated the use of the music in Romeo and Juliet because it solidified the music’s ability to tell a story. When reading about this assignment, I knew that Dance of the Knights would be a perfect choice because of its similarity to the works of art that myself and others had analyzed in the module one contextual analysis discussion. Dance of the Knights is a pretty unique piece to many other classical music compositions. Like other pieces, Dance of the Knights uses many different instruments to perform the piece. Each instrument has a different timbre which brings contrast within the piece, but they all work together in harmony (stacked melodies) to create a resonant sound. The tone of the piece shifts throughout the duration of the work, going from ominous to playful. The tone gives the music a story and provokes emotions in the listener. Some emotions I personally felt over the course of the song were angry, impassioned, calm, energized, happy, emboldened, and motivated. The piece accomplishes a great range of emotions for those who listen to it. I am convinced that even those who do not listen to classical music and perhaps veer to pop, rap, hip-hop, and other more modern genres would still enjoy this piece due to its effect on the mind and mood of its audience. Dance of the Knights utilizes a wide range of pitches, specific frequencies of sound . In some portions of the piece, a scale or run can be heard which is an ordering of pitches in an ascendant or descendant manner. The tempo, or speed of the music, of the piece varies considerably, helping to shift the tone or theme of the portion of the piece. Dance of the Knights applies the social angle of memory, history, and generational identity. Sergey was highly influenced by his upbringing and his generation and this influence can be heard in his compositions (Nestyev & Taruskin 2020). Classical music was popular at the time and previous composers inspired him to follow in their footsteps. In my last discussion post, I analyzed Pablo Picasso’s La Guernica. La Guernica was a painting which was made in the style of cubism and depicted many different people and objects in a convoluted way. Coincidentally, one of Sergey Prokiev’s inspirations for his music was artist Pablo Picasso who influenced Prokiev to be more “daring” with his pieces (Green 2018). This makes a lot of sense when considering the similarities between Picasso’s painting style and Prokiev’s composing style. In La Guernica, Picasso used chiaroscuro: the use of contrast between light and dark shades in art. In Prokiev’s Dance of the Knights, he used what I would consider to be the auditory equivalent of visual chiaroscuro. Dance of the Knights opens with intense, foreboding notes which feel dark to the listener. About half way through the movement, the music becomes light-hearted and warm. This contrast in tone and emotion in Prokiev’s piece are reminiscent of the contrast in Picasso’s La Guernica. Prokiev also used lots of harmonies in Dance of the Knights. In the background of the music, the listener can hear melodies that are not present in the foreground. This reminds me of the way in which Picasso uses dimension in La Guernica to distinguish objects at the forefront of the painting from more hidden objects in the background. In Dance of the Knights, the music which is at one point the main influence fades into the background as new melodies take center stage. In the same way that La Guernica and Dance of the Knights are similar, so they are to the focus of my peer Sidney Leriche’s discussion: artist Banksy’s piece Mobile Lovers. As she noted in her discussion post, Mobile Lovers depicts two people in an embrace whose attention is not on each other as it originally appears, but rather on the phones they are holding out in front of themselves. Banksy used black and white paint to create this piece and utilized chiaroscuro to provide contrast within his piece. As mentioned previously, Picasso’s La Guernica uses chiaroscuro and Sergey Prokiev’s Dance of the Knights uses many forms of contrast which are comparable to the technique of chiaroscuro. La Guernica and Mobile Lovers are similar to each other as well. As I mentioned in my module one discussion post, Picasso created the painting La Guernica in order to draw attention to a pressing issue which affected his society (the bombing in the city of Guernica, Spain). Similarly, Banksy appears to be calling out the societal issue of attachment to technology. These three pieces, though created in different time periods with different techniques and mediums, are similar in many ways. They all incite emotions in their audiences, they have similar effects of tone and theme, and they all use many types of contrast in order to display messages to their viewers/ listeners. These pieces exemplify that all types of art share commonalities and accomplish similar purposes. ...
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Final Answer


Comparing this image with the previous contextual analysis is the Louvre Art Museum
located in Paris, France; I could say that these two art pieces present the uniqueness of thought in
art and architecture. Whereas my original work on Ranakpur Jain Temple narrowed to the temple
and its association with the culture of the Jain people, the work on contextual analysis is the
Louvre Art Museum located in Paris, France; was mainly focused on the history and significance
of this museum. As compared to the temple that was constructed by one man, the museum was
initially built by King Philippe August's architects in 1190 to act as a fortress to protect an
exposed part of the city. However, along the way, things changed when it was rebuilt to become
a royal palace in the 16th century before the French took over and made it a museum. Unlike the
Jain Temple in India that was constructed to completion once; this museum was constructed and
readjusted overtime before the French took over. In this regard, during the time it served as a
royal palace, it was renovated and expanded over the years. This is one of the reasons that it
stands to be one of the largest museums in the world over. Learning about the process of
expansion and renovation, as well as, its conversion into a museum was very interesting.
The analysis of Ranakpur Jain Temple (Indian) architectural design contrasts that of the
Louvre Art Museum (France). The latter contrast is seen when it comes to the cultures of the two
societies. Whereas the temple architecture brought about the deep religious and cultural culture
of the Indian people; the museum brought the high priority of power and politics in French
society. The monarchies in the French and the leadership was valued. The culture of the French
reflected deep-seated values for honor and respect to the people in power. The latter is a contrast
to the culture of the Indian people, which had high regards to religion. The Indian culture is

brought out through the temple design as one that highly appreciated religious customs and
traditions, as compared to the French culture. (360 words)

I loved to read and go through the post on the “Guardians of Time” sculpture by Manfred
Kielnhofer. One of the things that caught my attention with the post was the expression of the
“Guardians of Time” as statues that were covered by hoods. These statues were temporarily
positioned in specific places such as Stonehenge or beside a beach (“Guardians of Time:
Sculptures by Manfred Kielnhofer”). It was interesting to learn of this practice for I had never
heard of it before. I was intrigued by the thought that these sculptures were placed to protect the
humans. This sounded a little bizarre because it is the real humans who were in danger. It was
also interesting to learn from the post that these Guardians who are the protectors of the universe
were able to move from place to place temporarily.
Learning this made me connect to the idea of the Jain temple where the temple was
believed to offer protection of the universe. Whereas the Jain temple depicted the need to protect
the faith, learning about the guardians of time explored the way humans would continue to make
critical decisions that would affect their future. It is the humans who placed the sculptures and
believed in the protection they received from it. I am amazed by the creative thinking that is
expressed through the way these sculptures would offer protection. The post was well written for
it expresses the significance of humanity when it comes to decision making. I loved learning
about the sculptures that were covered with hoods, and more so, the idea that humans could think
way beyond the reality of the physical world into the supernatural. I find the post insightful and
one that is worth reading again. The post has challenged me that humans are in control of their
beliefs and destiny as well. (308 Words)

I chose to focus on the architectural piece of art, the Ranakpur Jain Temple. The temple
remains one of the ancient architectural works that is located in India. The building has a unique
structure made of intricately carved pillars that stand tall. Indeed, through the look at the art
piece, it is clear that the building depicts awe-inspiring deities. Today, the building serves as a
mark for the honor of the Jainism religion. It is considered as one of the major pilgrimage sites
for the peo...

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