A Moment In Time (2nd ILSE Class Project)

7 diciembre 2011 en 20:08 | Publicado en English, Trabajos prácticos | 1 comentario

Students from 2nd ILSE Group have worked on a class project called “A Moment in Time” where each group of pupils has chosen a famous photo or picture and have searched for the real story of its origins. It has been an interesting task and the results have been equally surprising, as this article shows. The magic of paintings and photos relies on the capture of moments of time, as if they were frozen for eternity

                                                                                                                                    Javier Carrasco. Head of  Department of English

The Persistence of Memory

It is a picture by the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, whose name is The Persistence of Memory, also known as The Melting Clocks, painted in 1931. It was made by the technique of oil on canvas. It is a surrealist work. It is kept at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York.


The picture shows the bay of Port Lligat at dawn. The landscape is simple, we can see the sea in the background and a small mountain on the right.

Dali was inspired by Camembert cheese when he added the clocks to the painting, saying that the clocks were “melting, extravagant,lonely and paranoic-critical.”

There are three melting and deformed clocks:

– One of the clocks is hanging in the balance of a tree branch.

-Further down in the center of the picture, another clock appears, on a face  with long eyelids, inspired on a rock at Cape Creus.
– The third one is, perhaps, about to slide down from a wall. On this clock there is a fly and on the pocket watch there are some ants.

Intention of the artist:

The artist tries to offer a particular perception of time and space, and the way memory usually works, like melting forms which adapt to circunstances.

Isa, Sheila & Mª del Mar

The Kiss Of Time Square

(Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1945)

The photo was taken on 14th August  1945, in Times Square. People were very funny in the middle of the street because the World War II had  finished.

In the photography there were two young people, a man and a woman. The young man,  a sailor, was wearing the American Navy uniform. Today, nobody knows him, his name is still anonymous.

The young woman,  a twenty- seven years old woman, was wearing a white nurse dress. The man was kissing the girls he met in the street.

After twenty-five years, in 1970, the young woman recognized her face in that photography.

The photographer was Alfred Eisenstaedt who worked for Life magazine. He became famous because of this photograph.

The photo has two different perspectives, as you can see above.

Cristina, Rosi & Isi

Lunch Atop A Skyscraper

The photo is “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” or Lunch A top a Skyscraper. It was taken in 1932 during the construction of the GE Building at Rockefeller Center, New York, by Charles C. Ebbets.
We can see 11 workers eating their lunch in it, but the strange thing is where they are sitting, on a girder hundreds of  feet above the ground. Ebbets took the photo on September 29, 1932 and appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in the Sunday supplement of photography in October 2. The workers were building the floor 69 of the GE Building during the last months of construction.

To us it seems incredible that these workers are there so quiet, having lunch in the open air, laughing, smoking and talking, at a height of more than 150 meters. It is incredible that no so many accidents happened at this time, when no so much safety control for workers was taken.

Presently, this photo has been used for advertising campaigns. Here are some examples:

Maite, Virginia & Alicia.

Drawing Hands

Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in 17 June 1898 and he died in 27 March 1972, he was a graphic artist. He is known for his impossible constructions.

He was born in Leeuwarden,  Netherlands. He was a sickly child. He was excellent at drawing. He also took carpentry and piano lessons until he was thirteen years old. He studied architecture and decorative art.

Drawing hands is a lithograph first printed in January 1948. It describes a sheet of paper where two hands rise facing each other and in the paradoxical act of drawing one another into existence. Escher often used paradoxes in his work; this is one of the most popular examples.

Asun, Elena & Dulce

The Birth of Venus

Author: Sandro Bottichelli,  a Quattrocento Italian painter.

Year: 1482-1484.

It is kept in the“ Uffizi, Firenze” gallery.

Venus has emerged from the sea on a shell that is pushed over the beach by the breath of the winged gods while flowers are raining over her. On the sand one, of the Hours or Nymphs is waiting for her with a purple robe. According to the myth, Venus, goddess of love, was  born because Chronos cut off the genitals of his father Uranus, then he threw the genitals over the sea. The scene presented by Botticelli is the right moment when the goddess arrives from the sea, emerging delicately naked on a shell over a green sea. Her long and golden hair covers her body and she hides her breast with one of her arms.

 Venus is pushed by a couple of gods, they are Zephyr, god of the wind and Aura, goddess of the breeze. They are strongly embraced, they represent the union of material and spiritual things. Around them roses are raining, these flowers, according to the myth, will become living beings.

 At the sea shore, on the sand, one of the seasons goddess, Spring, wearing  a flowery dress, is waiting for her with a flower cloak to put on her. She is wearing a roses belt on her waist and a flower garland round her neck that symbolize  eternal love. Her white dress represents the spring, season of rebirth.

 There is a little forest of blooming orange trees, this symbolize the Hesperides’ sacred garden according to  Greek mythology. A remarkable thing are the clothes, which are folded.

Sara, Esperanza &  Juanfran

Death Of Marat

The picture is about Marat. He was a famous scientist and writer during the French Revolution.

He was murdered in 1793, in his bathroom. He suffered from a skin disease, and he needed to take a bath everytime. One day , while he was writing in the bath, one woman visited him, her name was Carlota Corday, she worked for the antirevolucionist, and she stabbed Marat.She laughted at him, and she told Marat that she was a revolicionist too. Marat received a mortal stab, and we can see it in the picture. Marat bleeded to death. His best friend, David, made this picture in his honor.

In the picture we can see some elements like the last pamphlet that Marat wrote before he died, and we can find the letter which madame Corday gave him. Her name appears in it.

A lot of important painters have made pictures about Marat’s death, but this is the most famous.

María & Conde


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