Analysis and Research 1 - Relief Sculpture
Virginia Duker 9N
Rodin, Auguste. The Gates of Hell. C 1880-1890. Bronze 635 x 400 x 85cm.
1. Introduce and describe
The sculpture exhibits two richly ornamented panels on either side of the decadently designed doors. The left panel of the sculpture features bas, medium and high relief. The figures are emerging from the background and protruding into the foreground; the figures appear to be suffering and clambering towards the top of the sculpture with interconnected limbs. On the two doors of the gate you can see figure in very light relief, others in bas relief emerging from the background. Figures in extremely high relief r also featured on the doors. This produces several different levels and degrees of relief, creating a play of light. The figures in the foreground cast shadows onto the background. The figures, like all others, appear to be suffering, truly depicting hell. The upper sector, called the timpone, amid which is ‘The Thinker’ features a series of figures on a larger scale. The Thinker is carved in very high relief and appears to be looking over hell and assessing it. On the top of the gate there is one figure that repeats three times. The figures, again look depressed and have their arms pull our eye downwards, into the gates. The left panel is very similar to that of the right, plastered with suffering figures.
A) This piece, demonstrates with clarity many of the art elements, the most obvious of which being form. Form is shown through the figures on the art work. The sculpture is three dimensional, giving it depth and width. The form is free-flowing and realistic. Another notable element is space. Space is shown by the clear positive and negative areas and the sense of depth the work demonstrates. Space is clearly used to create a sense of depth. The figures being the positive space and the surrounding darkness, is negative space. The positive space has been used to create shadow on the negative space. The negative space adds to the sadness and suffering of the scene by creating darkness.
Movement is a principle of art used in this work. Movement is used to convey an image and to carry the eye around...