选修 6 课文 1 A SHORT HISTORY OF WESTERN PAINTING Art is influenced by the customs and faith of a people. Styles in Western art have changed many times. As there are so many different styles of Western art, it would be impossible to describe all of them in such a short text. Consequently, this text will describe only the most important ones, starting from the sixth century AD. The Middle Ages (5th to the 15th century AD) During the Middle Ages, the main aim of painters was to represent religious themes. A conventional artist of this period was not interested in showing nature and people as they really were. A typical picture at this time was full of religious symbols, which created feeling of respect and love for God. But it was evident that ideas were changing in the 13th century when painters like Giotto di Bondone began to paint religious scenes in a more realistic way. The Renaissance (15th to 16th century) During the Renaissance, new ideas and values graduallv replaced those held in the Middle Ages.People began to concentrate less on religious themes and adopt a more humanistic attitude to life. At the same time painters returned to classical Roman and Greek ideas about art. They tried to paint people and nature as they really were. Rich people wanted to possess their own paintings, so they could decorate their superb palaces and great houses. They paid famous artists to paint pictures of themselves, their houses and possessions as well as their activities and achievements. One of the most important discoveries during this period was how to draw things in perspective. This technique was first used by Masaccio in 14
  28. When people first saw his paintings, they were convinced that they were looking through a hole in a wall at a real scene. If the roles of perspective had not been discovered, no one would have been able to paint such realistic pictures. By coincidence, oil paints were also developed at this time, which made the colours used in paintings look richer and deeper. Without the new paints and the new technique, we would not be able to see the many great masterpieces for which this period is famous. Impressionism (late 19th to early 20th century) In the late 19th century, Europe changed a great deal. from a mostly agricultural society to a mostly industrial one. Many people moved from the countryside to the new cities. There were many new inventions and social changes. Naturally, these changes also led to new painting styles. Among the painters who broke away from the traditional style of painting were the Impressionists, who lived and worked in Paris. The Impressionists were the first painters to work outdoors. They were eager to show how light and shadow fell on objects at different times of day. However, because natural light changes so quickly, the Impressionists had to paint quickly. Their paintings were not as detailed as those of earlier painters. At first, many people disliked this style of painting and became very angr about it. They said that the painters were careless and their paintings were ridiculous. Modern Art (20th century to today) At the time they were created, the Impressionist paintings were controversial, but today they are accepted as the beginning of what we call "modem art". This is because the Impressionists encouraged artists to look at their environment in new ways. There are scores of modern art styles, but without the Impressionists, many of these painting styles might not exist. On the one hand, some modem art is abstract; that is, the painter does not attempt to paint objects as we see them with our eyes, but instead concentrates on certain qualities of the object, using colour, line and shape to represent them. On the other hand, some paintings of modern art are so realistic that they look like photographs. These styles are so different. Who can predict what painting styles there will be in the future?
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Unit 3 A healthy life-Reading ADVICE FROM GRANDAD Dear James, It is a beautiful day here and I am sitting under the big tree at the end of the garden. I have just returned from a long bike ride to an old castle. It seems amazing that at my age I am still fit enough to cycle 20 kilometres in an afternoon. It's my birthday in two weeks time and I'll be 82 years old! I think my long and active life must be due to the healthy life I live. This brings me to the real reason for my letter, my dear grandson. Your mother tells me that you started smoking some time ago and now you are finding it difficult to give it up. Believe me, I know how easy it is to begin smoking and how tough it is to stop. You see, during adolescence I also smoked and became addicted to cigarettes. By the way, did you know that this is because you become addicted in three different ways? First, you can become physically addicted to nicotine, which is one of the hundreds of chemicals in cigarettes. This means that after a while your body becomes accustomed to having nicotine in it. So when the drug leaves your body, you get withdrawal symptoms. I remember feeling bad-tempered and sometimes even in pain. Secondly, you become addicted through habit. As you know, if you do the same thing over and over again, you begin to do it automatically. Lastly, you can become mentally addicted. I believed I was happier and more relaxed after having a cigarette, so I began to think that I could only feel good when I smoked. I was addicted in all three ways, so it was very difficult to quit. But I did finally manage. When I was young, I didn't know much about the harmful effects of smoking. I didn't know, for example, that it could do terrible damage to your heart and lungs or that it was more difficult for smoking couples to become pregnant. I certainly didn't know their babies may have a smaller birth weight or even be abnormal in some way. Neither did I know that my cigarette smoke could affect the health of non-smokers. However, what I did know was that my girlfriend thought I smelt terrible. She said my breath and clothes smelt, and that the ends of my fingers were turning yellow. She told me that she wouldn't go out with me again unless I stopped! I also noticed that I became breathless quickly, and that I wasn't enjoying sport as much. When I was taken off the school football team because I was unfit, I knew it was time to quit smoking. I am sending you some advice I found on the Internet. It might help you to stop and strengthen your resolve. I do hope so because I want you to live as long and healthy a life as I have. Love from Grandad
Unit 5 The power of nature-Reading AN EXCITING JOB I have the greatest job in the world. I travel to unusual places and work alongside people from all over the world. Sometimes working outdoors, sometimes in an office, sometimes using scientific equipment and sometimes meeting local people and tourists, I am never bored. Although my job is occasionally dangerous, I don't mind because danger excites me and makes me feel alive. However, the most important thing about my job is that I help protect ordinary people from one of the most powerful forces on earth - the volcano. I was appointed as a volcanologist working for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) twenty years ago. My job is collecting information for a database about Mount Kilauea, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Hawaii. Having collected and evaluated the information, I help other scientists to predict where lava from the volcano will flow next and how fast. Our work has saved many lives because people in the path of the lava can be warned to leave their houses. Unfortunately, we cannot move their homes out of the way, and many houses have been covered with lava or burned to the ground. When boiling rock erupts from a volcano and crashes back to earth, it causes less damage than you might imagine. This is because no one lives near the top of Mount Kilauea, where the rocks fall. The lava that flows slowly like a wave down the mountain causes far more damage because it buries everything in its path under the molten rock. However, the eruption itself is really exciting to watch and I shall never forget my first sight of one. It was in the second week after I arrived in Hawaii. Having worked hard all day, I went to bed early. I was fast asleep when suddenly my bed began shaking and I heard a strange
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sound, like a railway train passing my window. Having experienced quite a few earthquakes in Hawaii already, I didn't take much notice. I was about to go back to sleep when suddenly my bedroom became as bright as day. I ran out of the house into the back garden where I could see Mount Kilauea in the distance. There had been an eruption from the side of the mountain and red hot lava was fountaining hundreds of metres into the air. It was an absolutely fantastic sight. The day after this eruption I was lucky enough to have a much closer look at it. Two other scientists and I were driven up the mountain and dropped as close as possible to the crater that had been formed during the eruption. Having earlier collected special clothes from the observatory, we put them on before we went any closer. All three of us looked like spacemen.We had white protective suits that covered our whole body, helmets, big boots and special gloves. It was not easy to walk in these suits, but we slowly made our way to the edge of the crater and looked down into the red, boiling centre. The other two climbed down into the crater to collect some lava for later study, but this being my first experience, I stayed at the top and watched them. Today, I am just as enthusiastic about my job as the day I first started. Having studied volcanoes now for many years, I am still amazed at their beauty as well as their potential to cause great damage.
fc1 E BEST OF MANHATTAN’S ART GALLERIES The Frick Collection (5th Avenue and E.70th Street) Many art lovers would rather visit this small art gallery than any other in New York. Henry Clay Frick, a rich New Yorker, died in 1919, leaving his house, furniture and art collection to the American people. Frick had a preference for pre-twentieth century Western paintings, and these are well-represented in this excellent collection. You can also explore Frick's beautiful home and garden which are well worth a Visit. Guggenheim Museum(5th Avenue and 88th Street) This museum owns 5,000 superb modern paintings, sculptures and drawings. These art works are not all displayed at the same time. The exhibition is always changing. It will appeal to those who love Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The Guggenheim Museum building is also world-famous. When you walk into gallery, you feel as if you were inside a fragile, white seashell. The best way to see the paintings is to start from the top floor and walk down to the bottom. There are no stairs just a circular path. The museum also has an excellent restaurant. Metropolitan Museum of Art (5th Avenue and 82nd Street) The reputation of this museum lies in the variety of its art collection. This covers more than 5,000 years of civilization from many parts of the world, including America, Europe, China, Egypt, other African countries and South America. The museum displays more than just the visual delights of art. It introduces you to ancient ways of living. You can visit an Egyptian temple, a fragrant Ming garden, a typical room in an 18th century French house and many other special exhibitions. Museum of Modern Art (53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues) It is amazing that so many great works of art from the late 19th century to the 21st century are housed in the same museum. The collection of Western art includes paintings by such famous artists as Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso and Matisse. A few words of warning: the admission price is not cheap and the museum is often very crowded. Whitney Museum of American Art (945 Madison Avenue, near 75th Street) The Whitney holds an excellent collection of contemporary American painting and sculpture. There are no permanent displays in this museum and exhibitions change all the time. Every two years, the Whitney holds a special exhibition of new art by living artists. The museum also shows videos and films by contemporary video artists. Suppose you were the president of a high school council and you received the letter below. It is from a group of students who would like to make their school more attractive. Read the letter and then use the outline on the next page to make notes for a report about the letter to the school council. Class 2A
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Seaforth High School Ramsay Rd Seaforth Mrs L Kroll President, Seaforth High School Council PO Box 235, Seaforth 12 May Dear Mrs Kroll, Lately our class has become worried about the environment at the back of the school, and we would like to do something to make it more attractive. We have done some research and have come up with a plan. With the help of our parents, we can do most of the work ourselves, but we will need a small amount of money for equipment, plants-and paint. I am writing to ask the council for permission to do this work and to ask if the school council could donate $500 towards our project. We would like to turn the empty land at the back of the school into a nature garden. We would plant trees and grasses, make paths through the garden and dig a small pond. We think this would provide a peaceful place for students and teachers to walk in. It would also attract birds, insects and small
 

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