Introducing new class “The Jewels of Western Culture”

Madonna and Child from the Life of the Virgin by Fra Filippo Lippi

Madonna and Child from the Life of the
Virgin by Fra Filippo Lippi

The following is written by a Brook Road Academy student.

The newest addition to the Brook Road Academy course catalogue is informally known as “culture class.” It is mostly about traditional classical music and famous artwork.

We began by studying three great composers of polyphony:  Guilliaume Dufay, Thomas Tallis, and Giovanni Palestrina.  Polyphony is the oldest kind of music we have listened to.  After getting a good taste of it, we began to study the Baroque style, which came later.  So far we have heard compositions by Marc Antoine Charpentier and Jean Baptiste Lully.  YouTube has been a wonderful help to us in finding the music.  And a special “thank you” goes to Mr. Mike McFearin in the IT department.  Mike donated his own stereo speakers so that we could enjoy what we hear!

As to fine art, we began by reading about what to look for in a painting and a statue.  Then, we started studying the Italian Renaissance.  We sampled the great achievements of Giotto, Fra Filippo Lippi, and Botticelli.  The last thing we looked at was David, a famous statue by Donatello.  It shows David, who killed Goliath.  Charles [Barfield] says that pretty soon we will see more statues of David:  one by Michelangelo and another by Bernini.  We always start by examining a particular art piece based on the method we learned.  Then, Charles presented an expert’s analysis of it which he takes from Art History books and from websites.  Our knowledge is growing by leaps and bounds!