Frederick the Great is well-known in European history as one of the pioneers of Enlightened Absolutism, but what many of us may not have learned in history class is that he was a gifted flautist and composer. Frederick the Great was the ruler of Prussia. He reigned from 1740 to 1786 as an enlightened ruler. Enlightened rulers, whose ideas are rooted in Enlighted Absolutism, believe in rational thinking like science and having more education throughout their country for their citizens. Frederick the Great, in this painting, is shown more as a composer and musician than a king. Based on my inferences, the painting is a representation of Frederick the Great as an Enlightened Ruler, depicted by the lighting, the flute, and Frederick’s placement in the composition of the painting.
My mom is a very interesting person. The experiences of her life have shaped her into the strong woman she is today. I wanted to better understand how this shaped her and learn about her life. I started by asking her about her childhood. It was 9:54 PM, on August 23, 1973, the hottest day of the year, when Grandma Jackie delivered Michelle Bonnie Gackstetter into the hands of Dr. Richard Mulder. When he unwrapped the umbilical cord from her neck, and she started to turn pink instead of blue, he probably started calling her 'Pumpkin.' My mom said, “The Catholic nuns from the hospital in Ivanhoe, MN, would pray for me every day from then on out, and knowing that has always made me feel a little more close to God.” I like to think that my mom has always been a fighter. I never knew that she had been born with her umbilical cord around her neck. I bet that really scared my grandma.
In a little town, upon a hill, there was an old castle. An old woman lived there. This woman’s name was Madame Ethelinda. She was said to possess great affluence. Not many people had seen her leave her home. Madame Ethelinda had a daughter who came a checked up on her periodically and bought her what she needed. The old castle had once been very magnificent. Now the building had lost its grandeur and was dilapidated. One who looked at the structure could barely discern what patterns were in the brick because there were copious amounts of leafy vines covering it.
Music can create bridges between those in all walks of life. William Sidney Mount was a nineteenth-century American painter and musician who grew up in rural Long Island, New York (Johns). Mount was known as a genre painter attracting fans throughout America and Europe (Johns). Most of his works depict scenes in domestic settings (Johns). A majority of the subjects portrayed in Mount’s paintings are African Americans, farmers, and country folk, those who would be seen as the “common man” in America (Johns). Typically, the people are practicing some form of music. In Dance of the Haymakers, Mount portrays country folk engaged in a variety of activities. Some are dancing to the music played by the fiddler and the drummer boy while others are watching in the background. Mount’s Dance of the Haymakers is a depiction of the African-American man’s role in white society and the racial divide present in American culture shown through the participation of the African-American boy in the music-making, what instrument he is playing, his position in the painting, and how music creates a harmony between the different races.