Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

— George Eastman.

FAS-202 Introduction to Humanities II

The conflict between individual and society

The individual versus society conflict arises when an individual holds a belief at odds with societal beliefs or standards. The individual is then forced to decide whether to conform to societal beliefs or risk public scrutiny for continuing to believe in what he or she feels is right.

Don Quixote by Pablo Picasso, 1955[1]

[1] Le Cloirec, Gwenola. "After Pablo Picasso. Don Quixote and Sancho - Expertissim." After Pablo Picasso. Don Quixote and Sancho - Expertissim. Expertissim, n.d. Web. 16 June 2016. <>.

From Cervantes' Don Quixote, the persistent image we have is one of the Don “tilting at”, or jousting with, windmills. Described as the first modern novel, the first volume was published in 1605 and the image of fighting a battle that cannot be won has persisted and transcended cultures ever since. “While Cervantes is regarded now as the father of the Spanish language, he spent most of his lifetime as a loser, an outsider, a poor, struggling writer who ventured from city to city to make ends meet.”[2] In 1955 Pablo Picasso sketched Don Quixote for his friend Pierre Daix, who ran the weekly LES LETTRES fran├žaises, in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the publication of Part I of Cervantes novel. In the sketch, Picasso draws Don Quixote on the right, astride Rocinante, a lance in his right hand and a shield in his left. Both the Don and his horse appear scrawny and tired. His companion, Sancho, is on the left and the windmills appear on the horizon. Despite the Don’s image of being thin and worn down, the difference in scale between Don Quixote and the windmills, the Don’s imagined giants, suggests a heroic nature in the Don. Despite the approbation of his peers, the Don did not give up his fight for truth and honor. The drawing is full of movement, imparted by the animated lines with which it is drawn.

[2] Conde, Arturo. "Author: Cervantes' 'Don Quixote' Has Become A Handbook For Life." NBC News. NBC News, 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 16 June 2016. <>.

Flower Power by Bernie Boston, 1967[3]

Flower Power by Bernie Boston, of the now-defunct Washington Star, captures 18-year-old George Harris putting flowers into the barrels of National Guard rifles at a Vietnam War protest march on the Pentagon on October 21, 1967. As a group of armed National Guardsmen marched into the crowd of demonstrators, “this young man appeared with flowers and proceeded . . . [to] put them down the rifle barrel,” Boston told National Public Radio in 2006.[4]  The photograph, taken from atop a wall, shows Harris partially encircled on three sides by military police of a National Guard unit, guns raised. Harris is in the right third of the photo, with the soldiers in the top and left thirds of the image, the flower being placed in the gun is at the center of the composition. It captures what French humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson dubbed “The Decisive Moment”. It shows the individual Harris confronting the armed forces of society in the persons of the National Guard. It is an image of good, Harris in a white sweater, putting daisies, a symbol of innocence, into the guns of evil, these citizen-soldiers dressed in dark uniforms. The photograph was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism in 1967.

Both images are rendered in black and white which is more abstract. In both, the supposedly weaker character, the crazy Don Quixote and the young man with only flowers, is in the position of power on the right. Each of the main characters holds his “weapon”, the Don’s lance and the young man’s flower, in his right hand and each holds his “shield” in his left. The kinetic strokes of Picasso’s drawing are mirrored in the diagonals of the Guardsmen’s rifles, imparting motion. Both render a scene of impossible odds, either Don Quixote tilting at windmills, or the young man countering the Guardsmen’s weapons with daisies.

[3] Boston, Bernie. "Flower Power." The Famous Pictures Collection. The Famous Pictures Collection, 17 May 2013. Web. 15 June 2016. <>.

[4] "Photographer Chronicled a Tumultuous Era." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 24 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 June 2016. <>.

Lovely Lane United Methodist Church

The Lovely Lane congregation is heir to the first Baltimore meeting of Methodists
which built its first meeting house on Lovely Lane. The current stone church of Lovely 
Lane United Methodist Church was built in 1884 as a centennial monument to the 1784
Christmas Conference which founded the denomination.

Trompe l'oeil ceiling

The trompe l'oeil ceiling of Lovely Lane UMC is painted to reflect the constellations over Baltimore on December 25, 1784, the time of the formal organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It gives the flat ceiling the appearance of a dome.

No comments:

Post a Comment