Monday, May 30, 2016

The New Monday Quiz on Holiday


Hey, it's Memorial Day!  This is a yearly celebration in which of the people of my country take a long weekend to celebrate the arrival of summer.  Also, it apparently has a military/nationalist element to it that I didn't know about, or more likely am vaguely aware of at some level but have to be reminded of afresh every year.

Anyway, since the whole point of Memorial Day as I see it is taking the day off, let's us take the day off from the Monday Quiz!  The 1320s will still be there for us next week.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round One: Rossetti v. Rosso Fiorentino!

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
1828 - 1882
British



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Rosso Fiorentino
1494-1540
Florentine



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Vote for the artist of your choice! Votes go in the comments. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Second Round: del Pollaiolo v. Pisanello!

Antonio del Pollaiolo
1430ish - 1498
Florentine

Lost to Jackson Pollock in Round 1.
Beat Modernist Serge Poliakoff in First Round Elimination.






Pisanello
1395ish - 1455ish
Italian

Beat twentieth century Brit John Piper by a two-vote swing in Round 1. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
Lost to Camille Pissarro in Round 2.






Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting, but likely much longer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Jazz Thing, Round 1: Gordon v. Smith

It's been two years since the last Jazz Thing post, and I've since declared the project dead, but what the heck.



The Jazz Thing, Round 1 (40 Word/Album Limit)

#37 Dexter Gordon, "Go!" (1962) v. #40 Bessie Smith, "The Collection" (recordings from 1923-1933).


Melodic saxophone bop from the early 1960s, this is a solid entry in a subgenre I find easy to like.

And:



This is unadulterated blues music, sung by an acknowledged master, and has plenty of historical interest. But although it’s an important wellspring of jazz, vintage blues is so formulaic that I find it pretty stultifying. I’m not a “roots” guy.



It's hardly a fair fight, but Go! win easily against Ms. Smith.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Infinite Art Tournament, Left Bracket Second Round: Piper v. Polke!

John Piper
1903 - 1992
British

Lost to Pisanello in Round 1.
Beat Florentine master Andrea Pisano in First Round Elimination.







Sigmar Polke
1941 - 2010
German

Beat Serge Poliakoff in Round 1 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
Lost to Jackson Pollock in Round 2 by a two-vote swing. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!






Vote for the artist of your choice in the comments, or any other way that works for you. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting, but likely much longer.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Through History with The New Monday Quiz: the 1310s


With all of the Mongol savagery and Crusade-related horror and fiasco, you probably thought the thirteenth century sounded kind of rough.  Well, turns out that an awful lot of people in the fourteenth century looked back to the robust prosperity of their grandparents and great-grandparents as a golden age that would probably never come again.  This week, we start to see some of the appalling horrors that made the 1300s a century to remember, in one's darkest nightmares!



1. In the period of 1250-1350, say the historians, trade in this stuff was “the backbone and driving force in the English medieval economy.” And at the beginning of the 1310s, its export – mostly to Flanders – was at its very peak. What was England’s great proto-industrial export commodity?

2. The Great Pyramid had been the tallest building in the world for thousands of years, but when this building was completed in 1311 it was the new world champion. It would hold the record for 238 years, when its central spire was destroyed by a storm in 1549.

Here’s what it looks like today, and a map to help you find it. Name that Building!




3. In the twelfth century, the settlement shown here grew with in-migration from nearby regions that had been struck by drought. But by the 1310s, it had itself been abandoned, also due to drought. Where is it?


4. Construction finished in or around the 1310s on King Haakon V’s Akershus Fortress. The presence of the fortress, and the long-term residency of the king, helped make __________ its country’s capital.



5. In 1312, a Genoese adventurer named Lancelotto Malocello found and lived for a couple of decades on an archipelago off the west coast of Africa. The Greeks, Romans, and Phonecians had all been there, but Malocello is usually said to have “rediscovered” them. Today they are part of Spain.  What are they called?



6. Celebration in Jade Pool, dated at 1314, is an example of the medieval art of what country?


7. In September 1315, Edward Bruce – brother of the King of Scotland – led an army to victory at the Battle of Moiry Pass near Armagh. Beyond being a way to hassle the English, it was also a good start to his ultimately doomed attempt to revive the High Kingship of ____________.

8. It was the first of a series of large-scale crises that struck Europe early in the fourteenth century. Most of Europe (extending east to Russia and south to Italy) was affected. It caused millions of deaths over an extended number of years and marked a clear end to the period of growth and prosperity from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries.  It was marked by extreme levels of crime, disease, mass death, and even cannibalism and infanticide.

And, it was not a plague. What manner of horribleness was the Great __________ of 1315-1317?

Like a lot of decades on either side of it, the 1310s saw a great deal of what can seem to modern eyes like very complicated conflict between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines.
 9. In what country were the Guelphs and the Ghibellines the major political factions?

10. In very simplistic terms, Guelphs supported one institution, and Ghibellines another. What were these opposing institutions?



Through History with The New Monday Quiz: the 1300s

1. Covering Lazio, Marche, Umbria, and Romangna from 1300 to 1871: The Papal States.
2. South is up on the Tabula Rogeriana, which you can pick out from various details.
3. Avoirdupois is the weight system of pounds and ounces, or at least one of them.
4. From "Tuareg" and "salt caravans" we can figure that Agadez must be in the Sahel of West Africa, but knowledge or a good guess would place it in modern Niger.
5. The Condottieri were mercenaries in medieval Italy.
6. Robert the Bruce was King of Scotland.
7. Piers Gaveston prospered for a while as King Edward's best buddy, but the nobles didn't much like the open favoritism and he got exiled a couple of times and then, eventually, killed.  Or, per pfly, it "worked out badly for him. In a Game of Thrones-y way." You can read all about it in Marlowe!
8. Philip IV's novel solution to a debt crisis is why you never see Knights Templar around anymore.
9. Clement V moved the Papacy to Avingnon.
10.The tallest building, for this one last decade, was The Great Pyramid.

It kind of feels like everybody tied at awesome.  You all do much better at these than I would.  Christine M and UnwiseOwl were probably the rightest, although the Owl loses .03 point for not anticipating that there was a reason that I asked about the tallest building in the decade that I did.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round One: Rosenquist v. Rosselli!

James Rosenquist
Born 1933
American


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Cosimo Rosselli
1439 - 1507
Florentine



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Vote for the artist of your choice! Votes go in the comments. Commentary and links to additional work are welcome. Polls open for at least one month past posting.