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The Impressionists And Post Impressionists Essay

1047 words - 4 pages

An artist should always be open in seeing what others can't with nature and value. Four roles played by the artists according to the "A World of Art" book include keeping a historical record, giving a form to intangibles, revealing the hidden and showing the world in a new way. Keeping a historical record refers to history recorded visually, by a painting, oral history, music, a sculpture, or a handmade object ,record the world, create a visual record of their time and place. Since all art seems to be some sort of record in it, there are numerous works I could use to illustrate this. Nonetheless, there are two works that initially come to mind: First, notice Thomas Cole's oil painting The Oxbow. It is a perfect visualization of nature and civilization juxtaposed side-by-side. The painting is a record of a moment, immediately following a thunderstorm, and we can see, as the sun breaks new light, the passing storm has yet to recede in the distance. Still, all the same to the valley below, civilization stands triumphant and unharmed. Second, and similarly, observe the Pyramids of Menkaure, Khafre, and Khufu. Certainly, these pyramids could perform multiple functions, but due to their permanence, they state something inherently truthful about civilization. In our desire to touch, worship, and, perhaps, join the heavens themselves, they offer a visual record of the civilization that constructed them. Taken together, both Cole's work and the pyramids are similar in the aspect that they show humankind's longings to persevere. Then again, both express the human need to offer reverence and worship to the natural world. Undoubtedly, the Pharaohs had good reason to align their pyramids with the sun and the stars, just as Cole had good reason to celebrate the wilds of nature.The second role of the artist is "to give visible or tangible form to ideas, philosophies, or feelings". This role can be revealing. It can work to heighten our most passionate and intimate yearnings. The early Greeks experienced numerous phases of sculpture, but their more expressive works demonstrate this role very well. Notice, Three Goddesses utilizes an expressive line in the folding layers of the marble cloth. Here, the use of an expressive line functions as an emotional guide for the observer to intuitively follow and feel. In contrast, this expressive quality is unlike Kouros, which, although expressive in its own right, adheres to set cannon of proportion not nearly as free and relaxed as the former. In all, Kouros seeks to appeal to our reason and intellect, whereas the Three Goddesses seeks to tempt our inner passions.The third role of an artist is "to reveal hidden or universal truths". This role can be best examined through the consideration of religious works. For example, Triumphal Entry is a portion of a religious text which explores the sacred without utilizing the human figure. This is unlike Michelangelo's The Last Judgment, which attempts to personify the sacred with...

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