nigitmare-deactivated20140115 asked: oh noooo, a painting or presentation about a historical figure is cropped to focus on the historical figure...
OMG YOU’RE RIGHT
We totally can learn much more about History and Art History from this:
Than we can from this:
I mean, what about this guy???? He’s totally from history!!!
But actually this work is about revolutionizing military painting because this is The Surrender of Breda by Diego Velasquez
Or, let’s talk about Luis Sotelo the Franciscan Monk! Did you know he traveled literally around the world??? He’s so great! So learned! Just look at him from this painting held in the Vatican!!!!!!
But hey let’s NOT talk about the only reason he ever went anywhere, which was because he was accompanied by Hasekura Tsunenaga and his retinue, who were secret Japanese ambassadors to the Pope in Rome, which is where and why they were painted at all:
Are we getting any clearer yet?
I get why people want to see images that focus on who the text is about, but seriously (and this is going to sound terrible because of my ignorance beforehand), I had no idea that Japanese people set foot in Rome during medieval times before I saw this post. That is how much context was lost by the cropping of that image. And for fuck’s sake, it’s not like educators can’t show a 2nd damn slide with the whole image.
And I’m not even the one who bolded the above, for a change. :) Also, exactly.
As others have mentioned (including myself in the op), these are all “historical figures”. Which figures are chosen to represent different things in different lecture materials, handouts, and PowerPoints are important, because the strongly influence our ideas of what a “default” person of a particular area, time period, or event looked like.
Say you’re in a Western Civ class, and your prof gives a quick rundown on Rubens. What do you think you’ll see at the header of the slide as a "typical" Rubens? (both are cropped)
What about Rubens’ studies? Which one is “Study: Head of a Woman”? (full images)
All four are in fact, pretty typical of Rubens’ work.
I just wonder what kind of discussion would happen in the classroom depending on which image was used.
All of this.
Also, just thought I’d add that Japanese envoys made it all the way to Spain, and some of the members stayed behind, starting their own families there. Wikipedia says that there’s still around 700 people with the surname Japón, which identifies them as descendents of the Japanese envoys that stayed behind.
Though this was in the Late Renaissance, I think it’s still worth mentioning, especially since Japan is associated so strongly with being insular. There was a time when Japan was much more open to worldwide relationships, and Japan reached far and wide in seeking out those relationships.