The Artist and the Art
The history of art dates back to ancient times. Artwork can be, and was, found around the world. What makes art interesting is that it can be created in any way, shape or form with any materials. It seems that the artwork can also tell us a lot about the artist. Art seems to be simply, a direct, visual reflection of the artist’s life. Therefore, one can assume that an artist’s life experiences and beliefs directly influence their art. If we look at examples from different periods of art we will be able to see the connection between the artist and the art.
One of the earliest examples of beliefs and tradition affecting art can be seen in Ancient art. The ancient Egyptians had a strong belief in life. On the other hand, they also had greater faith ian the afterlife. They believed that a dead body should have been preserved as efficiently as possible. This is due to the fact that they believed the spirit, or ka, would return to the body in which it came from, from time to time. In preserving the body, they had to remove the internal organs so that they wouldn’t deteriorate inside the body. This is where art influenced by beliefs can be seen. The four ‘Canopic Jars’, which are considered art, were reserved for the function of holding the internal organs. They date back to 1070 to 712 BC. Each jar represented a different species. They were a human, baboon, falcon and jackal. They were also known as the ‘Four Sons of Horus’ . This is an example of beliefs influencing art, however, there are also examples of how life experiences can influence art.
An early example of art influenced by the artist’s experiences can be observed in the High Renaissance. In April 1508, Julius II summoned Michelangelo back to Rome, but he was still not able to start on the papal tomb. In fact Julius II had a new job for him. It involved painting twelve figures of apostles and some decorations on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Buonarroti, who had always regarded himself as a sculptor, would now have to learn the art of the fresco . One of the many pieces found on the ceiling is ‘The Creation of Man’ which is known around the world. In this piece we can see the religious connection between the art and the artist. Michelangelo, a devoted Christian, believed in God and therefore decided to paint a picture depicting the creation of man by God. However, one might disagree and say that he was forced to paint these pictures with a Christian connotation. This could be true, but it just shows how life experiences also directly influence the outcome of a piece. If we look at periods closer to the present we can also see other strong examples of the relevance between art and the artist.
Impressionism began during the 19th century. An example of an artist’s beliefs influencing his art can be seen in the works of Pierre Auguste Renoir. It is documented that he felt that art should be different from...