Art style

The art of the Romans today

Stanford university has just unveiled a new statue on its campus titled Hello, by acclaimed artist Xu Zhen. The bronze and stainless steel sculpture is a Greek column with a Corinthian cap, coiled like a serpent. “The work merges the classic form of the Greek column and the aggressive biological attitude of the serpent to stimulate viewers’ perception and experience of classical civilization,” explains Stanford’s official website. “The moment when the viewer’s eyes meet the Corinthian capital also represents a confrontation with the depth of history and culture. With the increasingly frequent mixtures and impacts between world civilizations, the work constitutes both a reality and a metaphor for meeting civilizations of different time and space.

the Hello the sculpture perfectly sums up the state of modern art: it is sensationalist and unnatural. These kinds of statues and works of art are all over America, Britain and the western world. They fill art museums and are featured in outdoor spaces. Some examples include that of Anthony Gormley Angel of the North in the United Kingdom, that of Jeff Koons Balloon Dog, with some famous paintings including that of Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup cans and Jackson Pollock Autumn rhythm. This piece of art is worth millions of dollars and is embraced and enjoyed by the elite of society. It’s easy to dismiss these monstrosities as insignificant, something silly, or something only for the pompous elite. But art is the reflection of our civilization.

Historian Edward Gibbon has cited art as a key indicator of the health of a nation’s civilization and culture. According to Daily Herald, Gibbon believed that “art becoming bizarre and sensationalized instead of creative and original” was a sign of a decaying culture. It was a visit to the ruins of the city of Rome that inspired Gibbon to write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and spend 20 years learning profound history lessons. These same ruins inspired Xu Zhen to shape the Hello sculpture, and they are now issuing a warning to you. Art history heralds the future of our civilisation.

Why is art so important?

Not only is the art a personal and creative work of the artist, but it is also a clear expression of the national culture. A nation’s art declares the morals, ideals, dreams, imagination, talents, lifestyles, hobbies, and motivations of its citizens. Art is therefore a visual barometer of cultural health.

When art is creative and original, it shows a visionary, outward-looking, inventive, and thriving nation. Conversely, when art becomes bizarre and sensationalized, it shows that a nation is stagnant, self-important, inward-looking, immoral, and anarchic. A change in the art reflects the shift from a thriving nation to a collapsing nation. The Bible indicates that a healthy national culture is a blessing from God. Our How God Values ​​Music booklet states: “It’s a biblical principle, in fact, that people associated with God – His mind, His way of thinking, His laws, His culture – tend to be more culturally advanced, and they have a positive impact on those around them. God emphasizes the value and quality of national culture.

“There is a cause for every effect,” wrote Trumpet editor Gerald Flurry in “The Modern Romans”. “The great historian Edward Gibbon wrote about the fall of the Roman Empire, the greatest of all world empires. If you study Gibbon’s work, it is obvious that America and Britain are going the same way. direction!There are many profound parallels between the art of ancient Rome and modern America.Just as art was an indicator of cultural decline in ancient Rome, so is the American superpower.

The beauty and the Beast

The Roman Republic and Empire lasted about 900 years, four times as long as America was a nation. Like the empire, the art of Rome changed constantly. The republic died in 31 b.vs., when Augustus became emperor. The Roman Empire changed the approach to art, as Dr. Jessica Ambler writes: “Roman art was henceforth put to the service of the aggrandizement of the ruler and his family. Generally, the art of Rome became associated with the ruling dynasty.

“Imperial art often reverts to the classical art of the past…used in reference to Roman art largely refers to influences from Greek art of the Classical and Hellenistic periods (480-431). b.vs.),” Dr. Ambler wrote. “Elements of classicization include the smooth lines, elegant draperies, idealized naked bodies, highly naturalistic forms, and balanced proportions that the Greeks had perfected over centuries of practice.”

In the third century a.D. there was a noticeable change in Roman art. During the Severan dynasty, there was a noticeable decline in the financial and administrative state of the empire. This era of art, Late Antiquity, moved away from the precise forms of human figures and closely resembled socialist realism. Historian Ernest Kitzinger described it as “stocky proportions, angular movements, an ordering of parts through symmetry and repetition, and a rendering of the features and folds of drapery by incisions rather than modelling”, adding: “The hallmark of the style wherever it appears consists of an emphatic hardness, heaviness and angularity – in short, an almost complete rejection of the classical tradition. Many historians regard the period of Late Antiquity as the time of the fall of Mediterranean civilization, soon replaced by Christianity.

The hallmark of Late Antiquity art is the Arch of Constantine. “Whatever conclusion we may ultimately draw, it is impossible to study art history after c. 300 without accepting Bernard Bereson’s phrase ‘the decline of form’,” wrote James Trilling. Other examples from this period are the Portrait of the Four Tetrarchs, the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Colossus of Constantine.

There is some debate whether this was a decline in skill or a change in the message of the art, but this change in the art moving away from natural forms and being more sensational in scale and style reflected the time when Rome was sliding towards destruction. “There is, as Adam Smith said, much ruin in a nation: and this truth applies as much to a nation’s culture as to its economy,” Theodore Dalrymple wrote at Municipal magazine. “The work of cultural destruction, although often quicker, easier and more conscious than that of construction, is not the work of a moment. Rome was not destroyed in a day. A similar shift has taken place in American art and society.

modern day Romans

The late Herbert W. Armstrong proved in The United States and Britain According to Prophecy that America is a descendant of the biblical tribe of Mannasseh. The United States has received incredible blessings of national prosperity and power through the obedience of the patriarch Abraham. All of America’s wealth, military might, geography, and natural resources are God-given blessings. Early republican art sought to encapsulate the spirit of the founding fathers and those incredible blessings.

“As the territory of the United States expanded in the 19th century due to land annexation, painting and photography propelled Manifest Destiny’s ideas of American exceptionalism and romantic notions of national identity “wrote the website Art Story. “Large landscape paintings depicting the American West captured the sublimity of the natural landscape, and photography in particular was instrumental in some cases in the creation of national parks.” This art, intentionally or not, emphasizes the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

However, as the culture has changed, the art has changed. In his book The missing dimension in sex, Mr. Armstrong explained that America took hold of the new morality after the World War I and ii. He wrote that the world war I “brought enormous changes in thinking, in behaviors, in social customs and in double standards. … World War ii thrown morality into the gutter. And now they have plunged all the way into the cesspool. This revolution in American culture sparked a revolution in art. The new morality gave rise to Abstract Expressionism, which according to the Tate website is “the term applied to the new forms of abstract art developed by such American painters as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning in the 1940s and 1950s. It is often characterized by gestural brushstrokes or marks, and the impression of spontaneity.

Abstract Expressionism became an international movement. Instead of being grounded in reality, abstract art is bizarre and sensationalized. The further American society strayed from biblical morality, the Constitution, and the traditional family, the more twisted and strange the art became.

An example sums up where modern art is today. In 2019 at Art Basel in Miami, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan unveiled a work titled The comedian. It was a banana taped to the wall. It sold for $120,000 and the buyer then ate the banana before it expired. Emmanuel Perrotin, the gallery’s founder, said: “Whether they are affixed to the wall of an art fair booth or displayed on the cover of the New York Post, his work forces us to question the value of material goods. … The spectacle is as much a part of the work as the banana. Cattelan is famous for his 18-karat gold toilet called “America” ​​which sold for $6 million and was temporarily stolen from Blenheim Palace. This is pure sensationalism and vanity. You can see other examples here.

Gibbon observed that art is a good barometer of the state of a nation’s culture. Reading the barometer of American culture today lines up with what the Bible said would happen to America in these last days. Mr. Flurry writes in The last hour:

Our culture is destroying us and other nations morally and spiritually. We talk about how good we are and sing ‘God Bless America’ – but God damn America, Britain and the Jews of the Middle East. He will continue to do so until we see our black sins and repent. …

In the beginning of Aamerica’s history, its purpose was to establish god’s rule over Earth. Owould you like to compare this goal with what we have become today?

Correction comes because of our sins against God, who has given us such wonderful national blessings. The ruins of Rome and Gibbon’s history lessons are a solemn warning. Our bizarre and sensationalized art is a harbinger that our culture is on the verge of collapse. But God will replace the corrupt culture of this world with His uplifting and inspiring culture.

For more, please read ‘The Modern Romans’, by M. Flurry, and our free booklet How God Values ​​Music.