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Pierre Jacques Volaire The Eruption Of Mount Vesuvius In 1771

1703 words - 7 pages

The appreciation of art: taking in what is in front of oneself by analyzing the many facets that are intricately placed in a sculpture, painting or anything that is to be considered art; within this paper will be explained the three subjects, analysis, content, and function of Volaire’s work on The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius that allow one to have a true appreciation for the arts. It is through these three subjects that one can see how valuable art truly is. Without these subjects all is lost and the woman without a grasp of them is ignorant of a great chunk of the world around her for it is indeed true that art is all around us. The artists that paint, and sculpt, see this natural beauty ...view middle of the document...

As for the geometric shapes within this painting, surprisingly there weren’t that many. It is always thought that a masterpiece, looking as detailed as it is would have more basic shapes placed in it but it isn’t the case at all. Looking at the piece in search only of geometric shapes shows that the piece of Vesuvius is made up mostly of triangles, circles, and squares. One element that really stands out in this painting is the line use. The explosion of lava from the mountain makes the explosion truly violent and the meandering lines used in the clouds make the clouds look especially relaxing and free; also the straight lines of the Tyrrhenian Sea make it look unmoving and therefore calm. Another element that stands out almost as much as the lines is the use of texture. The realistic rockiness of the mountains, the fluffiness of the clouds, the still ness in the waters is portrayed perfectly through the use of textures. Volaire makes it so that one really believes that they are at the sighting of the exploding volcano and have the feeling of fear of the lava and the happiness that they are experiencing such a part of nature. And the lighting used was amazing, the ambient light made the picture pop. That is what initially drew one in and made one want to appreciate the aesthetics of Volaire’s painting in seventeen-seventy one.
The scale used in this painting for the volcano and the people is somewhat realistic. (There was more than one volcano around Vesuvius in the late seventeen hundreds that would erupt on occasion) In the painting it seemed that a person could easily climb the mountain and see the eruption more clearly, of course, risking death as Volaire seemed to be doing. The person farthest to the left in the painting looked as if he had some notepad and was drawing. (This is assumed to be Volaire) It’s a bit interesting that Volaire put himself into the painting. It’s like Volaire is saying that even though he was at one perspective while observing the volcano his mind’s eye was zoomed all the way out looking at the full scene. It actually sounds like Volaire is saying that he sees more than what his eyes allow him to see. This leads into the content of Volaire’s work. (The fun part of appreciation of art)
After looking at this piece of art for a bit more than two hours I came to realize that the painting and the way the objects in the painting were placed spoke more on one’s personality or how many humans deal with a situation. The dominant object being the lava and the explosion of Vesuvius seems to be a symbol for anger or the release of anger. And the subdominant object was the lava flowing into the cool sea which represented the anger dissipating and becoming calm. Then the accent was the night sky and its illumination as well as the distant mountains and town. The diagonal lines of the mountains are interpreted as action or movement while the straight lines of the sea represent stillness. The author Stanton Davis Kirkham said...

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