Dionysus’s Descent Into Hades In The Frogs

The Frogs is my favorite of Aristophanes's comedies. It is the only Aristophanean comedy to feature a god at the beginning -Dionysus, the god of the theatre, and his slave Xanthias. As they walk, Xanthias is meta-textually concerned with telling jokes that will make the audience laugh, and laughter presupposes some kind of suffering, though the … Continue reading Dionysus’s Descent Into Hades In The Frogs

Aristophanes’s The Birds: A New City in the Sky

Aristophanes The Birds ("Ornithets") is the only comedy written by Aristophanes whose entire action takes place far from the city of Athens. Consequently, the play makes little mention of the circumstances of the Peloponnesian War, or of contemporary Athenian politics. It won second prize at the Dionysia in 414 BC. It is a play about the … Continue reading Aristophanes’s The Birds: A New City in the Sky

The Story of French Impressionism, Part VI: Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) was one of the key female figures of French Impressionism. Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (1872) By: Édouard Manet - she often posed for Manet, this time in mourning for the death of her father. Like the other artists of the time, she began her career vying for a spot at … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part VI: Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt

The Story of French Impressionism, Part IV: Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille

Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) was born into a wealthy English family in Paris. His father ran a successful silk trade, which afforded him an upper middle-class lifestyle, unlike his penniless contemporaries, Monet and Renoir. As a young man, Sisley went to study business in London, but he left after four years to return to Paris to study art. … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part IV: Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille

The Story of French Impressionism, Part II: Claude Monet

A part of the narrative of French Impressionism relies on the exclusiveness of the 18th century Parisian elite - the Académie des Beaux-Arts – the hub of French art culture. The Académie hosted an annual art show, the “Salon de Paris”, which typically showcased preferred political, historical, religious, and mythological works. Winners of these art … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part II: Claude Monet