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Realism as a Method to Depict Immediacy Unexpectedness and Wonder in Berninis Apollo and Daphne and Poussins Et in Arcadia Ego - Essay Example

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It’s kind of like that feeling you get immediately after you scrape your knee deeply; you know there is a serious and long lasting pain that is about to overtake you, but for that split second everything just seems to hang in the air. …
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Realism as a Method to Depict Immediacy Unexpectedness and Wonder in Berninis Apollo and Daphne and Poussins Et in Arcadia Ego
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Extract of sample "Realism as a Method to Depict Immediacy Unexpectedness and Wonder in Berninis Apollo and Daphne and Poussins Et in Arcadia Ego"

Download file to see previous pages It’s that disruption of stasis that I felt the night my ex dropped the “we need to talk” line on me. It’s cliche and immature to dwell on emotional turmoil, yet that night my roommate got an earful of conversations and complaints. Before turning in for the night, he left me with that old as time adage that has passed through nearly every broken heart. “You can’t understand happiness without feeling pain,” he told me, and as cliche as the phrase is, it is still something I hold to be true. As I studied Apollo and Daphne1 and Et in Arcadia Ego2, I couldn’t help but wonder if Gian Bernini and Nicolas Poussin were attempting to express the same heartache that is so central to this human condition we share. Beyond the longing gaze in Apollo’s eyes and the lamenting stare of the shepherd’s face, what drew me to this question were not the works themselves, but the emotions I felt because of the works. To capture these emotions, Bernini and Poussin incorporated a novel technique of using realism as a means to achieve the awe-inspiring effect so common to Baroque visual culture. In his 1998 book Italian Baroque Sculpture, Boucher highlights the fact that awe-inspiring effects such as “immediacy and mimicry, and the unexpected and the surprising were all prized by Baroque artists”3. ...
It is for this reason that it became one of the most important aims of Italian Baroque sculpture to represent ‘flesh as flesh’…”4 . While this quote focuses on sculpture, this emphasis on a realistic style was central to all Baroque visual culture. Combining realistic figures with the shocking imagery of a woman turning into a tree or a forgotten tomb in the middle of a field created these desired effects. Because realism is necessary for the effects of immediacy, unexpectedness, and wonder, realism was essential to Baroque visual culture and was skillfully incorporated into the works Apollo and Daphne and Et in Arcadia Ego. The most obvious effect in Bernini’s sculpture is one that is highly associated with Baroque visual culture: immediacy. In his article “The Element of Motion in Baroque Art and Music”, William Flemming describes this increased feeling of immediacy in Baroque culture by saying, “The Baroque period brought about a quickening of the pulse of human affairs. It was an age of movement, activity, exploration. Time is of utmost importance. The mechanical clock becomes the dominant symbol of this period and performs the unique function of translating the movements of time into spatial dimensions.” If one is to follow this symbolism to Bernini’s sculpture, then Daphne’s extended arm is minutes away from striking twelve: an obvious symbol of the immediacy felt in the scene. This sculpture is not a still life; this is the peak of action in a moment that will define the lives of these two gods forever. To simply depict this scene with a realistic style would completely miss the specter of a woman turning into a tree, yet to completely focus on the tree would be to ignore the metamorphosis. This is where Bernini’s true genius is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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