The present essay represents descriptive and comparative discussion on the piece of art from San Francisco's Legion of Honor: St. John the Baptist Preaching by Mattia Preti. The writer describes the artistic value of the painting and makes various comparisons with other artworks.
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I decided to display the difference in colors of the body and the posture of the body. In El Greco’s painting, the skin is a lighter tone which gives more of a happy yet almost dramatic feel, whereas Preti’s painting shows darker colors, and John leaning over a rock rather than standing. This shows a dramatic last stand pose, telling the people his last words of wisdom before he passes to the great beyond.
In El Greco’s, I pointed out the sleeping sheep and it’s placement near John’s feet, which displays the happiness in El Greco’s painting. In number four on Preti’s, I showed the sheep as a symbol of John’s sacrifice for the greater good, and similarly placed near John’s feet. In Preti’s, I pointed out the cross in the dark sky, symbolizing rebirth and regeneration in heaven.
In El Greco’s painting, I decided to display the color of the sky and its apparent aura around St. John. This conveys a feeling of power to John by taking up a majority, and leaving a deeper blue color around the body of John.
In Preti’s painting, Preti clearly displays the fact that most the Muslims and Christians revered John, as he was a prophet for both religions. In El Greco’s, there is harmony amongst the land, displaying a similar message, but not taking up nearly as much room, giving more of a feeling of righteousness for Heaven.
Lastly, I saw a comparison between the grey ring in the sky in El Greco’s painting to the writing on John’s staff in Preti’s painting. Preti wanted to convey John’s prophetic and protective message.
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