Academic Level: Senior University Class: World Art Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Art  (general) Type: Essay Paper: #26388076 Related Topics: Baroque Art, Fine Art, Painting, Famous
Excerpt from Essay :

Academic Level: Senior University Class: World Art Survey Instructions: 1. Choose a peace artwork give a complete description work. For: What material(s) made ?What size? Shape? Color? What depicted? Is object/work intact fragmentary? Damaged? You basically answering question "What ?" detail find.

The present work is focused on undertaking an in-depth analysis of two famous religious paintings: The Virgin and Child by Barnaba da Modena, an Italian painter from the fourteenth century, and The Elevation of the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens, a seventeenth century Flemish artist and diplomat. Following, by comparison, a thorough account of the two works' features, careful observation reveals more than one interpretation.

The Virgin and Child was created by Barnaba da Modena in 1360, and is deemed Gothic in style. It depicts The Virgin Mary holding a Child Christ in her arms, and rests undamaged to this day in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. In terms of formal elements, it is 39.4 inches in height and 24.8 inches in width (100 x 63 cm), a religious painting executed by means of tempera on panel. The enduring framing edges might indicate that the painting was initially planned to be the central piece of a polyptych. A first impression is that of anachronism: its opulent golden background and the intricate striation outlines on the Madonna's mantle seem to indicate a much earlier conception, mainly Byzantine in nature. However, the Byzantine herring-bone pattern is clearly endowed with a more modern linear roundness.

Obvious from the start is the artist's careful attention to details, illustrated in the richly decorated background and characters' attire. Employing this general density automatically enhances the Virgin's gaze, making it charged with severity, intense. On further observation, one can identify the use...


Furthermore, a Sienese influence lies in facial roundness (the Child's face bearing a striking similarity to Ambrogio Lorenzetti's child paintings), with special emphasis on modeling eyes and lips. Finally, it can be assumed that the holy gilt haloes have been subjected to repair, most likely for the purpose of masking holes where, out of veneration, silver crowns had been attached to the painting's surface.

The Elevation of the Cross, oil on canvas, also called The Raising of the Cross, was created by Peter Paul Rubens and dates back to 1610. It is now located in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium. Heavily laden with Italian Renaissance and Baroque elements (clearly influenced by Cravaggio, Tintoretto and Michelangelo), the painting tells a dramatic story of Jesus Christ's final moments through his crucifixion. Even though, by technique, it is a triptych panel painting, Rubens chose to apply more focus on the story in the center piece, the crucifixion itself.

The middle section, charged with tension and drama, portrays nine executioners who work together to raise Christ's body upright onto the cross. The characters' muscular build and the dynamic choice of color employed are a definitive mark of foreshortening. Rubens' wholesome use of color capitalizes on chiaroscuro, enlightening Christ's lowly saturated body and placing sharp intakes of shadow which serve to stress the muscular complexion of the executioners. Caravaggio's influence is visible in the diagonal manner of Christ's uplifting, a most distinct feature.

The triptych's other two sections describe an emotional trauma, struggle and contrasting reactions brought about by the event of crucifixion. On the left, there is a grieving Virgin Mary, John the Evangelist and some of Jesus' followers. The right section displays figures of punitive authority, embodied in ruthless roman soldiers…

Sources Used in Documents:


Labedzki, Annette "His Most Famous Painting (The Raising of the Cross) - Paul Rubens." His Most Famous Painting (The Raising of the Cross) - Paul Rubens. 9 Jun. Web. 11 Apr. 2013

Suckale, Robert et al. Masterpieces of Western Art: A History of Art in 900 Individual Studies from the Gothic to the Present Day. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2002

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