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Visual Art - Essay Example

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Since the beginning of civilization, man has felt a need to communicate with fellow humans. Right from early childhood, the functioning of human brain has been largely based on visual inputs. Therefore his sensory perceptions, memory, and processing of thoughts and expressions have been influenced mostly by visual , than any other media…
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Visual Art
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Download file to see previous pages The Egyptians were the earliest people to invent pictorial forms of expression (hieroglyphs). These hieroglyphs were helpful in translating the complex human expressions into symbols, which had a more defined meaning for each symbol. A suitable sequencing of such symbols, thus became the earliest form of communicable written language. The society progressed, and so did this language. The system of symbols gave birth to the system of letters (or alphabets), and a combination of such letters (words) gave rise to an increasing number of possibilities of expression. Later, with the integration of the societies, it became necessary to extend the reach of this written expression by making it portable. Initial forms of portable writings, such as clay or stone tablets, gave way to the easily portable papyrus texts. With the advent of inventions like the printing press, and the development of paper technology, the written word acquired a universal reach through books, newspapers and other media, and became a firmly established form of communication and expression.
However, human perception and expression is neither bound by the written word, nor by logic. The flights of human mind continue to depend on imagery, and the interpretation of its innumerable shades. This is emphasized by the strong presence of visual depictions, such as sketches and paintings of portraits, ceremonies and other events like wars, alongside written text, since ages. As the paintings and sketches were usually commissioned works, they had an element of glorification of reality.
During the later half of the nineteenth century, the essential fabric of the society was undergoing vast changes due to the innovations in the communication technology, and the resultant progress in industrial and economic activity. Therefore the invention of the photograph during the same period found an instant appeal with the masses. It could stir up emotions like never before, because of its visual projection of reality. Unlike sketches and paintings, it projected the society in all its manifestations, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It could create the same impact on the literate masses and the 'not so literate'. Since language was not a barrier, it had a universal reach. Gradually, it became possible to transmit the photographs all over the world, at comparatively lower costs, giving it a universal appeal. Through the concept of photojournalism ushered in 1856, people got a feel of the real action, when they viewed pictures of war, grand ceremonies, accidents and other important events from all over the world, sitting right in their homes. No amount of written matter could have produced the same impact on their psyche, as the visual one created by the photograph. Hence it would be apt to state that "Photographs may have placed greater importance on the visual over the written. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words".
Nevertheless, just as a masterpiece of painting still needs a title in words, the visual impact of a photograph, though superior, is greatly enhanced, if it is supported by written words.
The spread of the Photograph and rise of consumerism:
The nineteenth century saw a tremendous change in the lifestyles of people. The industrial and technological revolution spread to distant and remote places, facilitated by railways and other transport systems, so as to tap ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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