Manet, Titian, Morimura Art Essay

1771 words - 7 pages

Question 3Artists often focus on developing visual codes and visual languages to express an opinion or present a controversial idea through their artworks. This concerns the structural frame, as visual languages refer to the basic components in an artwork, such as material, colour, composition, body language of the figures, and symbolism, that is, incorporating inanimate objects with special meaning. Artists carefully deliberate these elements for the audience to understand the subject matter and the purpose of an artwork, and often reflect on a personal experience or comment on the world around them.Three prominent artists that demonstrate the power of communication through visual codes and languages are Titian, Manet and Morimura. Venetian High Renaissance artist Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) (1490-1576) painted Venus of Urbino(119 × 165 cm, oil on canvas) in 1538. The painting is erotic with various symbols of fidelity, love and sacred marriage, and the idealized goddess, Venus represented the expectations imposed on women back then. French pre-impressionist painter Édouard Manet's (1832-1883) Olympia(130.5 x190 cm, 1863, oil on canvas) presents a modern version of the Venus of Urbino by cleverly embedding signs and symbols from the 19th-century. This is recontextualisation, as it puts a pre-existing image into a new context to renew its meaning. The result is an avant-garde and blatant statement about modern women's sexuality expressing a highly controversial opinion about the purpose of art. In Japanese Post-modern performance artist Yasumasa Morimura's(1951-) photograph Portrait(Futago)(210.19 cm x 299.72 cm, 1989, multimedia), the artist cross-dresses as the prostitute in Olympia. He integrates representative feminine articles and Japanese delicacies with the intention to explore gender issues, cultural identity and challenge social values.Titian was internationally known for both his innovative interpretations of mythological tales and the academic depiction of the human body. He was one of the first artists to explore oil paint as it was introduced in Venice. The medium allows him to create soft, blending brushstrokes. Unlike traditional artists, Titian does not sketch the outlines of his works, but directly applies paint to the canvas, preferring to achieve surface textures and "builds up" forms with thin, translucent layers of oil paint on top of each other. This technique is particularly evident in his acclaimed Venus of Urbino, painted during his trip to Bologna during the 1530s, as it not only creates drama through spectacular colouring, the glazing also makes the human flesh seem soft, glowing and gives the painting a hazy texture befitting the sensual theme. The artwork was a "poesie" painted for Prince Philippe II of Spain. Veiling the erotic intentions with a myth, Titian portrays the Goddess as a beautiful woman to be admired and valued for her faithfulness in marriage. In the 16th Century, women were viewed as...

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