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Work of Art History - Essay Example

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Auguste Rodin's The Hand of God is one of several sculptures in one of his later series that featured lone hands. Rodin was an important sculptor of his time, as he developed his style in a way that bridged the older, classical styles of traditional sculpture and art to the newer approaches of modern art. …
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Work of Art History Essay
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Download file to see previous pages At the same time he was developing his own style, Rodin was joined by Realists and Impressionists who brought new perspectives to painting, and thus public perception of art changed as well. In 1907, Rodin crafted The Hand of God, which he had modeled around 1896. The sculpture shows a single hand as its central subject, and it holds within it a raw stone. This stone also features the smooth figures of man and woman, who are being fashioned into organic forms from the rough material, showing God in the process of creation much as the sculptor goes through such a process. In analyzing this sculpture, it is first necessary to use one's eyes to see what it presents—the content, the subject matter, the forms and shapes. The sculpture, as mentioned, features a large, strong hand, set apart from the body so that the hand itself is the subject. The hand juts forth from a rough base, an uncut and unpolished piece of stone marble. Within the hand, we see a smaller version of the same contrast—there are two human bodies, intertwined, one man and one woman, and they are attached to a backdrop of raw marble with no deliberation alterations. Examining the sculpture from different angles reveals different contrasts, as one side shows only the fingers gripping the stone, while another angle would put the focus on the human figures within the stone and the hand. The texture of the human elements is smooth and curved, while the rest of the marble is straight, jagged, and not at all organic. The sculpture can be seen as divided into three parts—the largest part being the hand, the next mot important being the two human figures, and then the backdrop of uncut stone being the supplementary part. As a sculpture, color is not used, but form doubles its centrality by gaining a third dimension that is not quite present in any painting. The artist was able to create a center of a attention with ease by having the hand sit squarely in the center of its base and come upward, with the fingers slightly curled in order to create a cylindrical shape that also suggest motion. The lack of rigidity in the hand gives it a more lifelike appearance, just as the somewhat fetal and relaxed human forms of the man and woman give an impression that they are alive and movable, rather than striking any sort of pose that lacks life and flexibility. The artist also creates a contrast between the live and non live parts of the sculpture by having a deep groove between the body parts and the rough stone. In a way, there is a sort of trench, and this has the effect of making the body parts pop out from the stone, not specifically separated but still having a clear gap and change of depth. This is his way of establishing an aesthetic difference between the two elements, while the scale is used to develop a difference between the bodies and the hand. The texture of the body parts helps to create a beauty that is set apart from the stone as well, so the viewer clearly considers the difference between the two and realizes which is more attractive. The meaning of the sculpture is rather easy to interpret on the surface, but perhaps has deeper parts. Foremost, it shows symbolic process of creation of humanity by the more powerful and larger “hand of God”. The difference between textures shows that life comes from something raw, and God cleaves life out of what is lifeless. The lack of body for God shows that the hands are the focus, as the hand of God is the doing and creating part of him, the tools that he used to change earth into man. On top of this basic theme of creation by God from rough material into life and beauty, we also get a second meaning of creation—that of the artist or the sculptor. The symbolism about divinity is displayed in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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