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The Excess And Restraint. Essay

1091 words - 4 pages

Excess and Restraint refers to either the elements of design or to the conceptual content of a piece. An artwork can be excessive or restrained in the design elements or it may deal with a concept which is excessive in nature. Hieronymus Bosch and George Gittoes are both artists who deal with excessive concepts and use excessive elements of design.Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516) was one of the most intriguing artists of the late middle ages (Ref:3). Through an art rich in strange and disturbing images Bosch reflected the concerns of an age dominated by religion and death. Hismysterious paintings were complex moralistic allegories, intended to point out to men the error of their ways. Bosch's art was excessive the conceptual content, as he painted about the vices and corruption of humankind, but he also used elements of restraint to emphasise the excessive elements. Another artist who expresses through his work his concerns about social issues and the corruption of mankind is George Gittoes (1949- ). Gittoes often uses shocking, confronting, and grotesque imagery in order to convey his messages powerfully (Ref:1). His pieces are similar to that of Bosch's art in that he portrays excessive concepts as well as using excessive elements and principles of design.'The Garden of Earthly Delights' triptych (c.1500) by Hieronymus Bosch, is an allegory which depicts the beginning of humanity to it's downfall as a result of sin. Bosch has used the elements of design to convey his message and has created contrast between the three images. The first panel 'The Creation of Eve' depicts the presentation of Eve to Adam by Christ. The centre piece 'The Garden of Delights' is devoted to lust and the idea that it is the cause of the downfall of mankind. The right panel 'The Musician's Hell' shows the punishments of the damned within hell. 'The Garden of Delights' illustrates a world deeply engaged in sinful pleasures. In the middle of the garden is a pool full of cavorting, naked women, surrounded by naked men astride fantastic animals. There is a variety of symbolic images used in the piece. By placing the heads of pigs, dogs, birds or monkeys on the bodies of humans, Bosch is symbolizing the different vices and excesses of human nature. Fruits are used as metaphor for sexual organs and strawberries stand for the pleasures of the flesh. The crowded composition and variety of colours used dramatically adds to concept of excess. To the right of this, 'The Musician's Hell' is extremely excessive in the elements of design. The background of the piece is made up of dark colours, mostly black and some red tones, which suggests a forbidding and threatening atmosphere, and the composition is crowded by depictions of those suffering the punishments of their sins. The left panel 'The Creation of Eve' is a great contrast to 'The Musician's Hell'. The bright landscape seems calm and tranquil in comparison to the scene to the right. The composition is much less crowded and the...

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