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Humanities - Essay Example

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Name Professor Date The Serious Expression in Western Art Classic Western art encompasses a variety of subjects and themes including religion, mythology, and culture. Despite the variety, portraits were a popular subject of sculpture and painting. Nearly every classic artist produced a portrait of a prominent figure in society or religion…
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Download file to see previous pages The sculpture of Augustus of Prima Porta by an anonymous artist, Michelangelo’s David, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, the Madonna with Her Child from the Byzantine Empire, Holbein‘s Portrait of Henry VII, and Raphael’s Portrait of Castiglione are works that project a serious expression. The common expression in the faces of the models suggests the sombreness of life of the subject and common expression predominant in the earlier times. The sculpture of Augustus Caesar of Prima Porta, which is presently located in Braccio Nuovo in the Vatican Museum, is a 2.04-meter statue made of pure marble. It was found in 1863 at the place of Augustus’s wife, Villa of Livia, who stayed in Porta, Rome after the death of her husband. The artist is unknown, but speculators claim that it must be Greek. Augustus Caesar is akin to Julius Caesar, and was one of those who avenged the death of the other. Dressed in Roman military clothing, the sculpture reflects the role of Augustus as the first Roman emperor. Raising his arm, as if gesturing instructions to his troops, the sculpture emphasizes the role he played. The facial expression is not totally sombre, but the absence of smile on his face still reflects the serious personality. Fig. 1. Statue of Augustus Caesar located in Braccio Nuovo in Rome. ...
Rushmore, hence confirming that the serious look that the sculptor made in Augustus may have been due to the position of the subject in society. In other words, leaders such as Augustus can be expected to have a serious look in visual arts. Nevertheless, comparison with other sculptures of great leaders will further help shed light on the issue. Michelangelo’s sculpture of David also bears the same serious look. This 5.17 meter masterpiece made of marble was created between 1501 and 1504. The sculpture features the biblical hero, David, standing in nudity. Originally, the work was positioned in Palazzo della Signoria in Florence, Italy. The head of David is tilted to the side, with the eyes gazing towards Rome from its original position. Later, it was transferred to its present location in the Gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. The original was replaced by a replica in its original location. The sculpture is said to symbolize the liberty of Florentine Republic to ward off threats from the neighboring states (Seymour 3). Fig. 2. The statue of David by Michelangelo located in the Gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. The serious look in David’s eyes reflects the seriousness of the artist and possibly, the people at the start of the 16th century. Deep in thought, the subject shows a stern expression with a curious look casted towards the left. This facial gesture implies curiosity and search for meaning, which were predominant during the Renaissance time. Today, replicas of David can be found in different places including New York and Pennsylvania. Sandro Boticelli’s Birth of Venus is another work of art that presents a serious look in the face of the subject. This tempera on canvass of 1486 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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