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中世纪艺术中被扭曲的圣母玛利亚形象 – 译学馆
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中世纪艺术中被扭曲的圣母玛利亚形象

Distorting Madonna in Medieval art

曾经看到过一个中世纪的婴儿耶稣
Ever see a medieval painting of baby Jesus
坐或站在他母亲的腿上
sitting or standing on his mother’s lap
好奇为什么圣母玛利亚这么大
and wonder why she’s so large?
在Cimabue或者Duccio s Maesta
Paintings like Cimabue’s enthroned Madonna with angels
的画作中
or Duccio’s Maesta
似乎也不成比例
also appear out of proportion.
当玛利亚站起来时,似乎
If Mary were to stand up, it seems,
画中的天使只有她的膝盖高
the angels in the picture would be as tall as her shin bone,
而玛利亚的身体相较于她的双腿
and her torso would be disproportionately small
也不合比例的小
when compared to her legs.
也许你会认为艺术家只是技艺不够熟练
Maybe you thought the artist simply wasn’t skilled enough
来写实的绘画
to paint realistically
或是缺乏透视的精确技巧
or lacked the mathematical skill of perspective.
但这并非全部的原因
But that’s not the full story.
我们需要回溯到5世纪末来
To understand why, we need to go back
寻找原因
to the late fifth century
当罗马城市受到哥特人的攻击
when the city of Rome was attacked by the Goths.
罗马建立在大理石上 象征着追求永恒
Rome was built in marble and meant to last forever.
多年来 它代表了
It represented, for many years,
人类文明的顶峰
the pinnacle of human civilization,
所以它的毁灭留下巨大的空白
so its destruction left a huge void.
在罗马崩塌的时候 神学家鼓吹一个超越自然物理的世界的理论
Theologians, who preached about a world beyond the physical,
开始吸引民众
began attracting an audience as Rome crumbled,
与此同时 基督教开始填补罗马帝国统治留下的空白
and Christianity started to fill the void left by the Empire.
取代 罗马的外在美
As a replacement for the physical beauty of Rome,
基督教提供了一种形而上学的内在美
Christianity offered a metaphysical beauty of virtue
和一个不会像罗马一样被摧毁的
and an eternal heaven
永恒的天堂
that could not be destroyed as Rome had.
在罗马帝国崩塌后
After the fall of Rome,
早期中世纪神学家开始拒绝外在美转向
early medieval theologians turned away from physical beauty,
支持内在美
rejecting it in favor of inner-beauty.
他们坚持认为尽管物质世界是暂时的
They maintained that while the physical world was temporary,
美德与宗教却是永久的
virtue and religion were permanent.
美好的事物会导致错误的崇拜的对象
Beautiful objects could lead to a misguided worship of the object
而不是对善良的崇拜
rather than the worship of goodness.
据说6世纪早期传教士 St. Benedict,
It is said that the early sixth century preacher, St. Benedict,
在自己想美丽的女人时
upon thinking of a beautiful woman,
跳进荆棘丛中
threw himself into a thorn patch,
通过他的痛苦
and through his suffering,
重新将他的注意力放在精神之美上
regained his focus on spiritual beauty.
他害怕他对美丽女性的想法
He feared his desire for the beautiful woman
会分散他爱上帝的欲望
would distract him from his desire to love God.
作为欧洲文明从帝国主义到
As European civilization transitioned away from empires
宗教的转变
and towards religion,
修道院成为知识的守门人
monasteries became the gatekeepers of knowledge,
这意味着赞扬外在美的快乐的
which meant that classical books
古典书籍
that praised physical pleasures
不会再版和被保护
were not copied or protected.
失去保护 这些书籍受自然破坏
Without protection, they became the victims of natural decay,
焚烧
fire,
浸泡
flooding,
或虫咬鼠噬
or pests.
没有修道士来抄写新的副本
And without the help of monks transcribing new copies,
这些文字和它所蕴含的哲学
these texts and the philosophies they carried
消失在西欧
disappeared in Western Europe
被像 St. Benedict,这样的传教士的作品所取代
and were replaced by the works of people like St. Benedict,
让我们回到这些关于耶稣和玛利亚的绘画
which brings us back to these depictions of Jesus and Mary.
因为基督教如此坚定的拒绝了外在美
Because Christianity had so fervently rejected physical beauty,
这些中世纪的艺术家刻意回避了
these medieval artists purposefully avoided
合乎自然美学的形式
aesthetically pleasing forms.
起初 装饰教堂或宫殿
At first, decorations for churches or palaces
仅限于有趣的几何图案
were limited to interesting geometric patterns,
让人愉悦的是
which could be pleasing
没有灌输罪恶的思想的感官上的愉悦
without inspiring sinful thoughts of physical pleasure.
随着中世纪的发展
As the medieval period progressed,
描绘耶稣和玛利亚被接受
depictions of Jesus and Mary were tolerated,
但艺术家给玛利亚带上面纱
but the artist clearly made an effort to veil Mary
给她不合比例的长腿
and give her disproportionately large legs,
和巨大的胫骨
with those enormous shin bones.
仍有人担心图画中玛利亚的美丽
The fear remained that a beautiful illustration of Mary
可能会使观看者喜欢上画作
might inspire the viewer to love the painting
或是玛利亚的身体
or the physical form of Mary,
而不是她所代表的美德
rather than the virtue she’s meant to represent.
所以即使这可能很有趣 我们觉得自己能画的
So even though it may be fun to think we can paint
比 Cimabuey 或Duccio,更写实
more realistically than Cimabuey or Duccio,
我们要知道  在拿起画笔时
we need to remember that they had different goals
他们有不同的目的
when picking up a paintbrush.

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