Full name Professor Subject Date Analysis of “Pilate Washing His Hands” Fernando Gallego’s “Pilate Washing His Hands” depicts the well-known Bible’s Roman character who ruled the Jews during the time of Jesus. He is shown washing his hands as suggested by the title, and he is surrounded by his assistants as well as the Jews who were trying to force him to crucify Jesus…
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Asymmetry is evident in the painting because there is an imbalance of the number of people on the right and on the left sides. On the right side of the painting where a group of people are gathered, the space from which they are staying creates a sense of depth to the viewer through the use of hatching. Looking at the portrait, one could almost understand that behind the opening or door from which the people are standing; there is a deeper space wherein more people could be present, or at least it is a path where the people entered through. The lines that are used also create distance. From the viewer’s point of view, since there are no borders used on the edges of the painting, there is a distance created wherein one can see a front and a back side. The lines at the back of the three people on the center make the setting look narrower at the back, suggesting that it is farther than where the three characters are located similar to how things are seen in reality. For instance, when something is near a viewer, it is big and clear enough for someone to see the details. However, as the viewer stays farther away from the object, it becomes smaller and can only be determined largely by its shape. This is what happens in the painting. Since the back wall is shown to be bounded by width and height in contrast to the open space on the ‘front’ of the people, it appears to be farther away from the viewer and therefore, creates distance. Moreover, Pilate is shown to be nearer the viewer than the other characters. This is done by completing every detail that shows the man washing his hands, seated on his chair with all his raiment and other uncovered part of his body visible. In contrast, the man pouring the water on the basin seems to be a little farther behind Pilate because some parts of his body are covered such as his leg. The basin in front of him covers his left leg so that the illustration looks realistic creating an illusion that makes him appear to be located a bit farther than the main character. The same is true with the man standing behind with a green robe. His feet are not shown, suggesting that they are covered by the man seated on front of him. Consequently, space is created as well because of the distance that is portrayed by the lines mentioned earlier. Pilate seems to be sitting right in the middle of the room because there is a space left on the front which seems to be bare. This is effectively done by placing the chair of Pilate a few squares away from the bare floor. In addition, the distances between the figures such as between Pilate and the people show the spaces created in the picture as well. The placing of the people also creates the illusion of space in a similar fashion as described above. For instance, the hands of the two men behind the man in green robe on the right side of the painting show a sense of distance and space. The hand of the man in red turban does not only seem to be father behind the hand of the man in front of him but it also creates some space between them. Symbolism could also perhaps be evident in the painting. For instance, it is known that Pilate did not find any crime committed by Jesus so that he did not like to crucify him. However, since the people are becoming wild in their demands, he had to make a decision that he was not really satisfied about. To keep the peace and order of the community, he had
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