Information In Images Essay

1201 words - 5 pages

Images contain arguments, whether if there are many or just a few. A series of images with no words but contains an argument is a pictorial essay. John Berger's Ways of Seeing (1972) contains both word and pictorial essays. The book is divided into seven sections, three being pictorials. In the very first chapter of the book, Berger made it clear that "the way one image follows another, their succession, constructs an argument which becomes irreversible." Having noted that, it would seem that the sixth essay argues that an observation painting provides more information than that of a directed or arranged portrait.
Images that are next to one another in the book such as Sarah Burge, ...view middle of the document...

We have seem more portraits where it is based off of wealthy families dress in blue or gold and covered in detailed clothing that show power and his status. In these two images however, the observational artwork provides much more information than the arranged portrait possibly because there is a lot more action and emotion being show in the image.
It is agreeable that observational images does provide much more information than arranged portraits also because of the surrounding background as well as the actions shown in the images. The information that we unconsciously get from images such as Johann Zoffany's Charles, Third Duke of Richmond and Sale of Pictures and Slaves in the Rotunda, New Orleans, is the time period which it may have occurred in and what kind of lifestyle both parties are living in. There is also action and movement in the image and what could possibly be the century it was painted in. In contrast, Mademoiselle de Clermont shows the viewers that the artist is more focused on the subject because she is looking directly at the artist. There is also no sense of communication between the servants in the image with her; this does not show any information except for the status difference between the any three women. If there were some sort of communication between the women, there possibly would be more information that the viewer can take such what kind of relationship the women have with each other as well as the personality of each women. In comparison to the other two previous images, even though this painting does provide a background, it is not enough to provide the viewer with enough information for the viewer to fully understand what is happening in the portrait.
A theory on why the portrait or observation were selected for the essay may also have to do with advertising which is discussed in the following chapter of Ways of Seeing following the pictorial essay. Each images in the pictorial essay that are side by side may be used for different purposes. Perhaps the reason why an arranged portrait such as Sarah Burge do not provide much information is because it is for more personal use rather than for others to see. On the other hand, images such as Peasant Boy Leaning on Sill,2 may be used to advertise a certain product or a service. It may be used to attract other poor consumers into purchasing the item and believing that "if he buys what it is offering his life will become better." The details of this observation image may help to better promote the...

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