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The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recen

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The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recen  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 22:29
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The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recent restoration of the Sistine Chapel.

Scholar A
I shudder to think what Michelangelo‘s reaction would be if he were to gaze up today at the famous frescoes he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel over four centuries ago. He was a practical man and would not have been surprised by the effects of time and environment on his masterpiece. He would have been philosophical about the damage wrought by mineral salts left behind when rainwater leaked through the roof. He would also probably have taken in stride the layers of dirt and soot from the coal braziers that heated the chapel—if that dirt had not been removed during the restoration.

Scholar B
The armament of the restorer is no longer limited to artistic sensibility and historical knowledge. A chemist on the Vatican restoration team identified the composition of the layers swathing Michelangelo‘s primary hues. Since there was a stratum of dirt between the painting and the first layer of glaze, it was clear that several decades had elapsed between the completion of the ceiling and the application of the glaze. This justified the use of cleaning solvents that would lift off all but that final layer of dirt, which was kept for the sake of protection of the frescoes.

Scholar A
The Vatican restoration team revelled in inducing a colourful transformation in the frescoes with their special cleaning solvents and computerized analysis equipment. But he would have been appalled at the ravages inflicted on his work by the restorers.

This effect was not, as they claim, achieved merely by removing the dirt and animal glue (which was, by the way, employed by earlier restorers to revive muted colours). They removed Michelangelo‘s final touches as well. The ceiling no longer has its essential quality of suppressed anger and thunderous pessimism. That quality was not an artefact of grime, not a misleading monochrome imposed on the ceiling by time. Michelangelo himself applied a veil of glaze to the frescoes to darken them after he had deemed his work too bright. I think the master would have felt compelled to add a few more layers of glaze had the ceiling radiated forth as it does now. It is clear that the solvents of the restorers did not just strip away the shadows. They also reacted chemically with Michelangelo‘s pigments to produce hues the painter himself never beheld.

Scholar B
The particular solvent they employed, AB 57, was chosen because of the overall neutral action of its two chemicals on pigments: one temporarily tones them down, but the other livens them up to the same degree. Thus, the colours that emerged from the shadows are truly what Michelangelo intended to be seen.

The luminous figures are without doubt the work of a master craftsman who executed typical Renaissance painting techniques to perfection. This is the source of the difficulty you have with the restoration: the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel no longer seems to be the fruit of the wayward genius, defiant of Renaissance fresco-painting protocol, that you always thought Michelangelo was. You don‘t like the fact that the painter seems, like a vagabond given a good scrubbing, to be a complete stranger, rational and traditional and devoid of fearfulness and anger. But the veil that led to the misperceptions of Michelangelo has now been lifted, and we may better acquaint ourselves with him.

Scholar A
Of course, the restorers left open an avenue for the reversal of their own ―lifting of the veil.‖ Since the layers of animal glue are no longer there to serve as protection, the atmospheric pollutants from the city of Rome now have direct access to the frescoes. In fact, we‘ve already noticed significant darkening in some of the restored work, and it‘s only been four years since the restoration was completed. It remains to be seen whether the measure introduced to arrest this process—an extensive climatecontrol system—will itself have any long-term effect on the chapel‘s ceiling.
1. Scholar B‘s argument that the presence of dirt between the painting and the first layer of glaze justified the use of cleaning solvents to remove the glaze assumes that:
A. the dirt was laid down several decades after the painting‘s completion.
B. the cleaning solvents would never actually touch the frescoes.
C. Michelangelo intended the glaze to be relatively temporary.
D. Michelangelo could not have applied glaze to the ceiling decades after
painting it.
E. dirt is not actually making the painting look more beautiful

2. Based on Scholar B‘s claim that Scholar A is unhappy because the ceiling ―no longer seems to be the fruit of [a] wayward genius, defiant of Renaissancepainting protocol,‖ it is reasonable to conclude that:
A. Michelangelo was not a fiercely independent thinker.
B. the restoration has jeopardized Michelangelo‘s position in history as a
great artist.
C. darkening colours to produce a gloomy effect was characteristic of
Michelangelo‘s time.
D. historical conceptions of Michelangelo overestimated his negative
traits.
E. Scholar A is not aware of all the aspects of Michaelangelo‘s personality

3. In arguing that some of the restored work has already been darkened by pollution, which of the following assumptions did Scholar A make?
I. Nothing except pollution could have caused the darkening.
II. The darkening indicates that irreversible damage has been done.
III. The atmospheric pollutants are more abundant now than they were
before the restoration.
A. I only
B. I and II
C. II and III
D. I, II and III
E. None of the above


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Re: The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recen  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 22:31

Topic and Scope

- Two scholars discuss the fidelity of the Sistine Chapel‘s
restoration to Michelangelo‘s original work.

Mapping the Passage:


¶1 Scholar A argues that Michelangelo would not have approved of the restoration.
¶2 Scholar B‘s argues that the restoration method was more scientific than previous
methods and, therefore, justified.
¶s3 and 4 Scholar A‘s argues that the restoration has brightened the colours of the
frescoes beyond what they were intended to be.
¶5 Scholar B‘s rebuts that the restoration method was designed to preserve the work.
¶6 Scholar B continues the argument by suggesting that the restoration has revealed
characteristics of Michelangelo that had been misinterpreted in the past.
¶7 Scholar A‘s response that restoration has made the ceiling potentially vulnerable to
pollution.
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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 05 Feb 2018
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Concentration: Finance
GPA: 2.77
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Re: The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recen  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 22:32

Answers and Explanations


1)

Review Scholar B‘s arguments in ¶2. Because there‘s dirt in between the painting
and the first layer of glaze, "several decades had elapsed" before the glaze was
applied. What assumption is needed to bridge this evidence and conclusion? That
perhaps the glaze had been applied by later workers, not Michelangelo. Choice (D)
fits. If unsure about the assumption, deny it (easy to do in this case since it‘s
already in the negative) and see how the author‘s argument collapses.
(A): Out of Scope. The glaze was laid down decades after the painting, not the dirt.
(B): Out of Scope. The solvents don‘t factor in to this part of the argument.
(C): Opposite. The scholar is arguing that Michelangelo didn‘t lay the glaze at all.
(D): The correct answer
(E): Incorrect, as described above.

2)

Paraphrase Scholar B‘s argument here. It helps to think of this in the traditional
view/new view framework. The traditional view was that Michelangelo was a rebel.
Why? The Sistine colours were dark and gloomy. What has to be true based on
this? That gloominess wasn‘t the style of the time (and therefore Michelangelo was
a rebel). Therefore Scholar B, arguing against the traditional view, would then say
that gloominess was the style. (C) immediately rewards careful and efficient
thought.
(A): Distortion. Scholar B is arguing that Michelangelo wasn‘t a rebel against bright
colors, but that doesn‘t mean that he wasn‘t an independent thinker.(B): Out of Scope. The artist‘s reputation isn‘t built exclusively on his rebellious
nature.
(C): The correct answer
(D): Distortion. This is tempting, but the use of gloomy colours doesn‘t necessarily
indicate a negative trait.
(E): Out of scope.

3)

Review Scholar A‘s points in the last paragraph about the new darkening. The
scholar makes a direct point: pollution has caused the darkening. What is a
possible assumption in this? That nothing else could have been the cause. While
two Roman numerals have nothing to do with the scholar‘s argument, RN I quickly
jumps out as a necessary assumption. If other factors could have caused the
darkening, Scholar A‘s argument is severely weakened. RN II is never suggested,
nor would it be a concern of Scholar A. RN III simply has no support in the
passage.
(A): The correct answer
(B): Opposite. As described above.
(C): Opposite. As above.
(D): Opposite. As above.
(E): Opposite. As above.

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Re: The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recen &nbs [#permalink] 22 Oct 2018, 22:32
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