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Idealistic vs. Naturalistic Art - Essay Example

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Alex Hartzler Museum Response Paper 1 ARTH 1010-001 6/4/12 Idealistic vs. Naturalistic Art Throughout history, artists and sculptors have created masterpieces that portray different people, places, and things in ways that show meaning and emotion through specific traits and values…
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Idealistic vs. Naturalistic Art

Download file to see previous pages... In contrast, some artwork focuses more on depicting the naturalistic qualities of the subject. Artists do this in order to capture the raw emotion of the scene and give the viewer an accurate, unbiased image that reflects the reality of their time. People viewing the artwork can determine which type of art it is, idealistic or naturalistic, based on specific elements seen within the painting. During my visit to the Utah Museum of Fine arts, I chose two pieces of art that I believe show the difference between naturalistic and idealistic qualities. By examining the Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV by Jacques-Phillippe Bouchardon as an example of idealistic art and the painting "Preparation for Dinner" by James Taylor Harwood as an example of naturalistic art, it becomes easier to discuss the differences between these two painting styles. The Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV by Bouchardon now on display at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts is a reduction model of a seven-meter statue built by Francois Girardon and installed in 1699 at the Place Louis-le-Grand in France, what is today the Place Vendome (Louvre). Converting that into American measurements, the original statue was almost 23 feet tall not counting its pedestal, which added another 10 meters or almost 33 feet. The original statue was built in 1685 when Louis XIV’s war minister created a new square in Paris and chose Girardon to sculpt a full-scale statue of the king. His choice of artist and his intentions for the square were mostly influenced by his desire to create a more magnificent square than that created to celebrate the king's earlier victories in the Dutch War of 1679 (Louvre). The large square in Paris was the perfect setting for such a marvelous statue of the king to stand. King Louis XIV holds the merit for being the longest reigning king in European history, governing for seventy-two years. Unfortunately, the original statue, which took two years to create, was destroyed in 1792 with the first wave of the French Revolutionary wars (Art Tribune), but several smaller models had been made. The sculpture has many idealistic qualities to it that aid in celebrating the royal image of king. For example, the piece shows Louis XIV as a Roman emperor, calling on the authority of the ancients to equate him with the heroes of the ages. He is shown wearing a contemporary curly wig and sitting atop a strong steed, further demonstrating his ties to authority and nobility. The quality of the horse is also intended to reflect on the quality of the man as the head of a wealthy and prosperous nation. Louis sits the horse without saddle or stirrups. This can have a few interpretations. First, it shows that the rider has enough grace and agility to be able to remain on the back of such a powerful horse without having to be buckled in place or hold on to some kind of strap. Second, it proves his mastery over all things in that he can presumably convince the horse to do what he wants with very little effort. The horse itself stands majestically in a walking position with one leg raised and one leg standing on the shield and sword of a defeated enemy. As a result, the artist has captured the king as an active participant in the wars he has led, shows the horse to be a warhorse (adding yet more prestige to the idea that the king is controlling him without stirrups), and demonstrates the king ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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