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John Berger Essay

1406 words - 6 pages

John Berger in his essay, "Ways of Seeing," claims that images of art have become ephemeral, insubstantial, available, and value less. In my opinion, This statement is untrue, simply by the fact that he is generalizing. I partially agree and disagree to his motion. I first of all, I disagree with his ideas because he himself claimed that "History always constitutes the relations between a present and its past" (Berger 53). Now in my case, it was more than 1,500 years that Attila led his forces against the Roman Empire and the rest of Europe. I know basically nothing about him before seeing this painting. I have previously heard of the name but basically, knew nothing. This painting totally captivated my imagination. It drew me back into history, and forced me to go into the library and to research a little bit about this man's life. Now, this revealed what Berger talked about, the relationship between the past and present. This painting revealed quite a bit about Attila's character, which is historically based.This painting by the 19th Century French painter J.E. Delaunay depicts the legendary warrior Attila, leading a well-mobilized army in battle against the French. The painting reveals a tremendous amount of information in the nature of Attila himself, his army, his enemies, and the state of chaos in which Paris found itself into. This painting represents a snapshot during the battle. Attila seen here in the painting is fearless, Which is determined by his facial expression. His manner towards other humans was very cruel. His clothing was different than from that of his soldiers. He appeared to be wearing a pink robe with a green outer garment covering his chest and his back. He is depicted as stone face, or perhaps merciless. His depiction on the horse with no elaborated battle gear reveals the extent this fighting barbarism and conquering spirit. An actual fact that I have learned from Attila's history is that the general (or leader) accompanied their army to battles (they were part of the front line).Attila is a great subject for a portrait because his leadership was a success. Attila's image was the same during wars or the time that he was training his army. The facial expression on his soldiers stated that they were trained very well not to have mercy for their enemies. There is great movement in this work. The painter uses color, dark color to show the destruction and sadly the deaths that were taken place. It's a chaotic scene. There are many things happening at once. At Attila's feet in front of him, You have things moving, along his side he is surrounded by his troops. In the painting, Attila's troops seemed to be aggressive and using extreme terror of fear upon their enemies. On the right hand of this painting are two attack dogs and the painter clearly painted the dog's teeth and their posture reveals how fearless they were. In the background, the painter showed the picture of the burning cities. The painter having putting Attila...

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