Writing Assignment #3 Composition

839 words - 4 pages

The Raft of the Medusa is an oil painting by French artist Théodore Gèricault. This painting depicts the wreck of the French ship “The Méduse”, which crashed off the coast of Mauritania on July 5, 1816. Which caused the death of 147 people. The remaining 30 sailors were set adrift on a raft they constructed.The remaining sailors survived on the raft for only a few days eventually resorting to cannibalism in till they eventually died. The crash of the Méduse became a symbol of the incompetence of the French monarchy. Following the French revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte took power. The was outset by the sixth coalition and King Louis XVI blood line was restored to power in France. The in after two years of power, the failure of “The Méduse” turned popular opinion back against the royal family who was once again overthrown from two 13 years later. Painter Théodore Gèricault did his best to use compassion to capture complete the shire hopelessness, and doom felt that day by the sailors that day.
The main thing that stands out in this painting is the uneven weight of the painting. The weight of the painting is in bottom of the painting in a semicircle. The uneven balance, of weight, makes it impossible for the painting to have symmetry. Which further adds to the sense of doom and hopelessness of the crash. Symmetry makes a painting appear unified and organized. Like a landscape painting were the balanced weight of the painting, and clear symmetry adds a calming effect and allows you to take in the whole scene.This piece uses the exact opposite approach of symmetry, and balance of weight, to create a disorganized chaotic piece. About doom and hopelessness in the face of this tragedy,
In the painting the raft appears to be larger than the mass of people piled on it. However if you look at the bottom, left corner there a person fully laid out. If you were to measure that person out then they would take up over half the raft. The people on the raft are disproportionately large compared to the raft. So in actuality the raft would be far to small to support the mass of people piled on. This to this sense of doom that not all the people can fit onto the raft. But there is empty room representing the space that was just vacated by the people who just died trying escape on the raft....

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