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Art Appreciation Essay

art appreciation essay

Example #1

  • Page 84, 3-22 Hungry Tigress Jataka, Tamamushi Shrine. (Stokstad)
  • Page 159, 7-3 Finding of Baby Moses, Synagogue at Dura-Europos, Syria. (Stokstad)
  • Page 233, 10-13 Bishop Odo Blessing the Feast, Bayeux Tapestry. (Stokstad)

I chose three works of art created during different time periods and different cultures: Bishop Odo Blessing the Feast Bayeux Tapestry, is from the Romanesque Period, Finding of the Baby Moses panel of a wall from the Synagogue at Dura-Europos, Syria is an example of Jewish Art, and Hungry Tigress Jataka panel of Tamamushi Shrine from the early Asian period in Japan. I plan to compare 7-3 and 3-22 with the storytelling of present-day culture aspects whereas, 10-13 tells a story but nothing like the others. (Stokstad)

The finding of the Baby Moses (second half of the 3rd century) is a biblical story based on Moses being found in the Nile. Moses’ mother set him afloat in a basket down the Nile in an attempt to save him from the decrees of the reigning pharaoh that all Jewish Male infants be put to death. The pharaoh’s daughter found him when she came down to the river to bathe. She raised Moses as her own child (Stokstad, p159). This is a detailed wall painting from the Synagogue Dura-Europos, Syria: tempera on plaster.

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Bishop Odo Blessing the Feast, Bayeux Tapestry (1066-1082) is based on the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Tapestry is embroidered in eight colors of wool on eight lengths of undyed linen stitched together to form a hanging 230 feet long and twenty inches high. The Tapestry was made for William the Conqueror’s half brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in Normandy and Earl of Kent.

Bayeux Tapestry is a major political document, celebrating William’s victory. This piece shows Odo, William, and others feasting at a curved table on the eve of the battle of Hastings. This piece of the Bayeux Tapestry is sectioned 47-48 (Stokstad, p233).

Hungry Tigress Jataka (7th century), Buddha is shown nobly sacrificing his life in order to feed his body to a starving tigress and her cubs. The tigers are at first too weak to eat him, so he jumps off a cliff to break open his flesh (Stokstad, p85). Hungry Tigress Jataka is from a panel from the Tamamushi Shrine, Horyu-ji. This piece of art is made out of lacquer on wood, with a height of 2.33 meters.

7-3 and 3-22 (Stokstad) seem to tell stories based on cultural aspects: these pieces of art display somewhat of a step by step story outline. The Finding of Baby Moses is shown as a panel with a continuous narrative set in a narrow foreground space. In this artwork, the story is laid out as to how Moses was placed in the Nile, and then when he was found.

This is very similar to the Hungry Tigress Jataka where this also tells a story in a step by step manner. In this panel at the Tamamushi Shrine, the Buddha is shown in different parts of the story. Buddha is shown jumping off the cliff, his bones breaking, and then him feeding the cubs with is the body. 3-22 makes more use of colors than 7-3, 3-22 is made out of lacquer whereas 7-3 is just a simple wall painting.

In today’s culture, works of art tell stories very similar to 7-3 and 3-22. During the time period that Hungry Tigress Jataka was created most artists told stories about Buddha and his good doings. Finding of the Baby Moses is during the Jewish art phase were most artists created works telling biblical stories.

These works of art were very much welcomed during this time period, everything was based on religion. Whereas today’s culture is based upon so many different things and ideas, but yet artists still create works of art that tell stories.

Bishop Odo Blessing the Feast, Bayeux Tapestry is completely different compared to the other two works. In this Tapestry, this piece is from sections 47-48. This section is shown the feast before the Battle of Hastings. This piece of art doesn’t necessarily tell a story, this section of the Bayeux Tapestry, Bishop Odo Blessing the Feast was created in honor of two very important gentlemen. During the Romanesque period, things were more created to show history or to make something look better than it really is.

This piece of art catches the eye with all of its different colors, length, and the design. It was really unique at the time, and still, there is nothing found quite like it in the world. This Tapestry shows history at its most crucial time, whereas in today’s culture there isn’t much history that is being created into art.

All three of these works of art are very different compared to today’s standards. In today’s culture, there are still works of art telling stories just as they are informing us of history that is happening.


Example #2

Art is an object that possesses beauty, admired and appreciated by the people, and cannot be found anywhere but in particular places where people can visit. Creating artwork, therefore, requires excellent imagination to give the piece of work the desired aesthetic value. The works of Art in the Ancient culture were of various forms which included architecture, sculpture, and graphic arts (Funch, 1999).

Architecture and sculpture are the oldest forms of art that existed and still exist in the present day. For example, the pyramids that are among the tallest structures in the world.

The primary materials used in architecture were stone, wood, and glass. The sculpture also used stone and wood. Other materials used in sculpture included bronze, marble, silver, copper, wood, and clay. The two techniques involved were carving and casting. Carving means subtracting material to get the desired figure while casting is adding material to obtain the desired figure (Carroll & Eurich, 1992).

Initially, a two-dimensional form of work was used for both architecture and sculpture, but as art advanced through the ages, the two-dimensional form of work was applied. The materials used for both architecture and sculpture included wood and stone. Sculptures also used marble, copper, bronze, silver, and clay.

Sculpture and architecture employed some techniques and processes that were similar to arrive at the final desired object. Carving and casting were mainly used in sculpture which was also practiced in some parts of architectural objects to obtain the shapes required.

The sculptures were painted using the colors of the natural things they represent, while architectural objects were painted according to their use, and the message they portrayed.

Materials were put together in a line to form the shape aimed at both architecture and sculpture. The texture is the roughness or smoothness of a surface as is seen when it is illuminated by light. Different materials have different textures so the artist can make materials of the textures he requires. Most sculptured objects have a smooth finish, while architectural objects are rough.

The value of an Art depends on the materials used to make it, its size, and the image it represents. The beauty and the natural appearance of an object are found in its symmetry(Art Through the Ages, n.d.).

This is used mainly in sculptures of animal or human images to display the true natural appearance. The artists obtained a balance by making symmetrical sculptures and some architectural objects like the pyramids in Egypt. The balance was achieved to give the art natural beauty and safety (Parker, 2003).

The work of art always carries a subject matter. Sculptures of animals by the people of the past appreciated the mysterious way that a supernatural being created the world. Architectural buildings were sacred places and symbolized the presence of God, a sign of adherence to traditional values and way of accompanying death afterlife.

Works of art such as sculptures represent the real natural environment and thus appreciate nature. The art’s message is to display the purity of nature and for the moral evaluation of the people. Sculptures of Gods and buildings like pyramids represented the presence of a supernatural being and a creator (Horovitz, 1995).

Functions of art are divided into personal, social, and physical functions. Individual purposes include religious practices and a sense of control over the entire universe. Social functions dealt with aspects of the life of all the people not personally. It also covered the political functions of the people.

Physical functions were symbolized by architecture, crafts, and industrial design. Artists had a crucial role in ancient cultures. They served the interests of the people, appreciated nature, and showed the changing times (Parker, 2003).


Example #3

DARK ROCKS Georgia O Keeffe ( oil in canvas)

Victorian Bouquet Severin Roesen ( Oil in canvas)

In this piece of art, Georgia O Keeffe transforms ordinary natural objects (rocks) into abstract things. By setting the dark rocks against the white background she magnifies the rocks. She establishes and portrays a special connection between organic forms of the natural world and the spirit.

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In this special piece of art, Georgia O Keeffe used somewhat a chromatic way of coloring by using all kind of brown tones, but she adds some gold color. She does an excellent use of the shading process. She darkens the contours of the shapes, but she also leaves diffused white spots. This combination of dark shades and light created by the white spots gives the vision of depth, especially where she diffused the shadows, like under or below the objects.

If I compare Georgia O Keeffe s Dark Rocks design, to Severin Roesen s Victorian Bouquet, one can see the different kind of beauty that Roesen presents, creating emphasis by the color intensity. One could also, appreciate that Roesen in this specific design, uses a variety of colors against the dark surface, which gives more power and brightness to the colors, contrary to the white background used by O Keeffe in the piece of art that I am comparing. Roesen achieves the illusion of depth by using vertical placement. The artist draws small objects placed low on the picture place.

To balance the work of art, Roesen uses the position of the bouquet in contrast to the other objects, like the glass and small fruits. The placement of these small objects at the edge of the table balances the large form, which in this case is the bouquet itself.


Example #4

Appreciation Of Art And Science In Society Essay, Research Paper

One needs both art and science to be fulfilled. If we see a play the lighting is manipulated and the props are measured and cut to a certain size. In music, there is rhythm and time. In architecture, there is measurement and surveying. If art is focused upon more than science or science is focused upon more than art there will not be an equal balance of appreciation between the two fields. There is no art without science.

There is no song without pitch and tone and volume. There is no theater without costumes and measurements and carefully designed sets. Art and science should be equally appreciated because each has a great deal to offer.

Music is both an artistic and scientific form. It is enjoyable, relaxing, and entertaining to sit in a concert hall and hear the rich sounds of an orchestra or a beautiful operatic aria. However, there is a great amount of work that must be done before the operatic singer can stand on a stage and open her mouth to sing in front of an audience. She must learn how to sing her notes on time.

This is called rhythm. Rhythm in music involves a steady process of counting and playing or singing when appropriate. There are many “rests” involved where performers must wait and let other instrumentalists or singers perform their part. This organization is what makes up the harmony and beauty we hear today in music. An operatic singer must also learn pitch.

This is the art of singing high or low. There is an Italian system for this involving many variations of volume and pitch and tone. Her music must be rhythmic and in harmony with the orchestra around her in order to sound in tune and to present a good performance.

The orchestra must also pay attention to harmony. They must play as one, starting and stopping together and on time. When a piece calls for high volume (ff), the orchestra must play loudly. When the piece calls for softness(pp), they must play very softly. Of course, there are many variations of loud and soft, such as medium loud and loud-soft, but all of these elements are paid close attention during and before a musical performance.

There is also science in architecture and landscaping. There are lush, scenic gardens and parks, famous for their timeless beauty and sense appeal. This is not by accident. A great deal of detailed, thoughtful planning was necessary to create these works of wonder. Designs were drawn and redrawn for the layout of these gardens and scenic areas. Measurements were made.

Width, length, volume, and various other geometrical and mathematical concepts were applied in the making of these plans. Sketches were drawn. Calculators, computers, and measuring devices were employed in this construction. The process for creating gardens, parks, and buildings that we look upon today with awe and wonder was not an easy one. It was a very involved, tedious process that required a lot of patience, hard work, and dedication. But it was completed and it could not have been completed without the use of scientific and mathematical concepts and techniques.

Finally, there is art and science in theater and its production. The performers on stage wear costumes. These costumes are measured, cut, sewn, designed, and fitted for the performers. There are shoes and hats and scarves and dresses and shirts and pants. There are also props in a theater production. These props are constructed very carefully and efficiently. They must be measured and planned to fit the stage area and various acts and scenes in the play.

There is also lighting involved in a theatrical production. The lights on stage are manipulated at various intervals to present the ideal mood and setting for each scene. Sound is also used in these productions. There are loud sounds. There are soft sounds. There is rhythm in these sounds.

These sounds are used to convey moods, climaxes, and events throughout the performance. A play would not be a play without sound, costumes, lighting, or props. There is certainly a great deal of science involved in planning out the productions we see in theaters and playhouses today. And it should be realized and appreciated.

In conclusion, art and science complement one another in that there cannot be one without the other and each builds upon the other in a correlative way. There is so much to be appreciated in the art form and it cannot be fully appreciated or recognized without acknowledgment of the scientific role played in creating it.


Example #5

Abraham Maslow, a famous psychologist of the humanistic perspective of psychology, presented a model for the hierarchy of human needs during his academic career. He described that the basic needs that a person has to fulfill are: (i) Biological, (e.g.: food, sleep) (ii) Security, (e.g.: house, wealth), and (iii) Social (e.g.: friends, arts) in nature. According to his model, the need for humans to acquire, or even appreciate art can only come after they have satisfied their primary needs.

Forthright then, it can be very easy for us to argue that we have fulfilled our basic needs, (we, as belonging to a stable class of citizens) but in all reality, it is very hard to convince the poor of the fact that art is an important part of his or her life.

A closer look at our history would also contend that art has been the domain of the extremely rich. It was the rich who built most of the ancient art forms that have been found around the world; the sphinx in Egypt and the sculptors of Buddha. By ‘rich’ it is meant ‘those in power’. The pharaohs of Egypt ordered the erection of the city and the priests of Burma made monuments and temples to Buddha. Art has always been a whim of the ‘rich’ to enhance their own worth, and the artists who made them have mostly been drowned in obscurity.

In Europe, most of the art and artists had been neglected for centuries before the Enlightenment revolution in the 18th century. It was only after this period that artists and their art began to be recognized by the common man. Michelangelo Lodovico Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci, two of the most famous artists of the previous centuries, were poor men working to create beautiful pieces of art for their noblemen and their priests. Although many of the commons then had started realizing the beauty of art, most of them still put it away as a waste of time.

These artists would spend most of their time trying to create art that was required by the ones higher in power and they would work hours just to fulfill their own satisfaction, even if their contentment did not mean a half-cent to their employers. The art for the artist was of utmost value but the person who needed it only desired it and lusted after it for its extrinsic value. It is this exact extrinsic value that we, at least most of us, yearn for today.

That value being the appreciation of art for its worth; a value that is believed only befitting for the eccentrics. Everyone can appreciate beauty, but not everyone can find the art beautiful. The nuances that are presented in a portrait or a piece of the ensemble, and orchestration, are normally led to waste because a majority of the observers fail to notice them. Only those who have an eye (or a couple of ears) for art can truly appreciate the presentations. Many people actually have to be trained for years before they can begin to understand the concepts of art and start enjoying them.

But most of the ‘rich’ people, today or then, are either pretentious enough or socially inclined enough to accept and cater to the art as not them, but their peers, seem deem fit. Many might argue that this has been the case for previous centuries, but then if that is so then we are also doomed just like those who went and lived before us.

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Of course, this is not to discount the fact that there are many people present in this world who have not been trained in the art forms and yet they can find something beautiful in them. The argument is that they would miss out on the finer details of the art if they do not know about them.

If you were to look at this from an artist’s perspective: imagine the amount of work that he or she puts in to create a piece of what you would like to call ‘art’. We, being observers, could only guess the effort, sweat, blood (if you may) that has been put into it.

The rest is lost to the mind of the artist who thought of and created the lines that we see or the notes that we hear. To appreciate all that, we need to be ‘educated’ in order for us to understand and realize what the artist is trying to say.

Then, for a layman to become an art connoisseur, one needs extensive training and schooling to be able to understand what the artist is really trying to convey. This need for training makes art exclusive for its patron in the sense that art requires its appreciators to truly be aware of its value.

To exemplify: ask a poor man anywhere in the world if he would rather have a painting by Van Gogh, or a three-course dinner, (assuming that the painting shown to him is unmarked and the poor man is unaware of its value, while he can see the dinner sitting in front of him).

Chances are that the man would eat the chicken. True, in our current world model, one would feel that a fine-looking painting in one’s house would elevate his or her status in the eyes of his or her peers, but the point here is that social status, according to Maslow mentioned afore, comes after the biological needs have been fulfilled.

Even if the man was not so poor and not so hungry, and was an averagely unappreciative person, he would hardly go for the painting because chances are that he would not be aware of the value of the painting, most definitely not of the underlying beauty in the painting.

Such a person would then disregard it as being unimportant to his/her needs. Only the people who are satisfied with their basic needs in life and those who have time to think and learn more about the nature of art (that is, luxurious enough) would be able to actually appreciate the paintings worth and opt for it.

Many people would argue that art has a place in our history and our culture and that it plays a very important role in defining a nation or a group of people. This is all true and there is no disputing that. However, the question is, what good is all that art to the people if they do not have any idea of its value? It is only in the more developed countries that we find people who care about their national art treasures and treat them with reverence. In most of developing countries, people do not care much about art.

When they found the ancient tombs inside the pyramids of Egypt, many archaeologists were killed by their Egyptian guides so that the local people may steal all the treasure. This was because the locals were poor and they saw an opportunity to steal and sell the gold, which the local goldsmiths probably melted to make other things. This just shows that these people did not care about the true worth of these artifacts, which was that they were thousands of years old and all they cared about was its value to them.

This analysis of art in the context of its worth to the different classes of people is of course based on my natural observation of this world. Live, its fine distinctions, and its intricacies mean different meanings to all of our unique selves. Art is what means to us, what it wants to mean to us, what it can mean to us, what it is today, what it could have become and surely, what it can become for each of us. But we can only base our interpretation of art on what it brings to us and our world.

And, art only brings with it the despair of the artist at the hand of the most false appreciation of the luxuriant. How can art not be a luxury if it employs the poor to work off the whims of the rich? It is then of my opinion that art is a luxury for those who desire it and who want to acquire it, and a source of austerity for those who design it because only the artist can truly appreciate his or her own art to the fullest.

The rest may praise him as much as they want, they would never be able to satisfy the craving of the perfect artist; the artist is hardly ever able to satisfy his or her own whims. Art is a passion for the artist, and a lust for the ‘rich.’


Example #6

Bernini’s David

This sculpture is definitely one of the greatest ever conceived and includes various facets that are typical of the artist in question. David’s poise is intrinsically beautiful with some aspects of homoeroticism in it and one can definitely identify with the sculpture in question.

The sculpture shows David gathering momentum causing a strain in his body and his face conveys willpower and concentration. The biblical David was a common theme among artists in the Renaissance period for instance Michelangelo and Donatello.

Through connecting with these works, Bernini’s David varies from them in some substantial ways for example, the sculpture relates to the space around it. Bernini’s influence was prevalent during the 17th and 18th centuries. His sculpture wants us to convey the image not only in our minds but also in our bodies; to relate to the image physically.

David is perhaps seen as a small individual but in actual fact, he looms large in the sculpture and it is portrayed quite beautifully in this regard. The concept of space is also crucially important and this is reflected many a time in the way Bernini’s portrays the work of David as he attempts to slay Goliath.

The Conversion of St Paul by Caravaggio

This is perhaps one of the most famous of Caravaggio’s paintings in the sense that it applies the methods that we are consistently familiar with especially the chiaroscuro which is one of the hallmarks of this artist. In this great painting, we observe several of the facets which have made this artist famous and although the subject is biblical we can observe some striking differences with those of Bernini’s David. First of all Bernini’s sculpture is perhaps more classical in style while Caravaggio’s painting looks forward into the dark with a certain sense of indissolubility.

The painting gives a picture of the events in Chapter 9 of Acts of the Apostles. In this painting, lighting, and low horizon lines are utilized by Caravaggio to create images that seem closer to the viewers. The use of foreshortening is emphasized and his main focal point is on the action. In addition, he also makes use of chiaroscuro and atmosphere point of view. A bright light strikes Saul on his journey to Damascus to conquer the Christian population. God utters to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Following these events, Paul alleged to have seen Christ during the vision, and it’s on this foundation that he justifies his claim to be accepted as an Apostle (Paul).

The brilliant light that was visualized by Saint Paul signifies a heavenly illumination (a new exposure of who Jesus is). His conversion from being a Jewish or a Pharisee occurred at this point. A sense of crisis is and displacement in which Christ interrupts the daily world is generated by the light with its uneven shapes and incredible rays; which licks out features for their spectacular influence. The application of chiaroscuro highlights the sudden enlightenment of a heathen. In the painting, one can spot Saul dressed in Roman costumes. One can also spot where Saul has tumbled down off a horse as he is hit by the lightning. He reacts as though God has touched him. (Lewis and Susan, 1995)

Personally I feel that Caravaggio’s painting is one which definitely strikes the heart and which has an incredible portrayal of the events which are going on in the work. His aesthetic treatment of the subject in question is quite brilliant as is everything else which is going on making the painting a rather busy one in this respect.

Bathsheba by Rembrandt

Finally we have one of Rembrandt’s most famous paintings which is Bathsheba where the feminine form is most certainly idealized in more ways than one. Again the aesthetic qualities of the subject are clearly idealized here with emphasis on the nudity of the woman and her plump beauty in this respect which comes to the fore especially with the dark background and intrinsic subject matter.

One of his famous paintings is Bathsheba at her bath that was completed in 1654. The painting captures a moment from the Old Testament narrative in which King David sights Bathsheba having a bath. He proceeds to spellbound, seduce, and make her pregnant. Bathsheba’s husband is then sent to war by David and is put on the frontline. His generals desert him, exposing him to certain death.

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Previous artists had painted the scene of David observing Bathsheba but Rembrandt’s portrayal differs in its strong illustrative focus and erotic strength, made possible owing to wide, thick brushstrokes and use of lively colors. A description of how King David saw a lady bathing from taking a bath from his palace roof is found in the Second Book of Samuel (11:2-4).

David inquires about her and is told that she’s Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, and daughter of Eliam. David sends for her and impregnates her, He then marries Bathsheba after sending her husband to war where he was killed.

Before this painting, the normal treatment had been to depict Bathsheba taking a bath outdoors- as a result making her visible to King David- and escorted by servants. A tower could usually be spotted in the backdrop, and possibly a small figure of David. Rembrandt’s previous work, “The Toilet of Bathsheba” followed these outlines. Rembrandt’s depiction of Bathsheba is both intimate and immense achieved through getting rid of David, his couriers, and the majority of the customary elements from the picture.

The only indications are the letter from David (not stated in the book of Samuel) and the existence of a maid drying her foot. Thus, the moralistic theme of earlier treatments of the s subject matter is restored by a direct eroticism in which David is perceived as having a fetish by the observer. (Lewis and Susan, 1995) The work is done as life-size with Bathsheba standing out than in earlier versions.

The painting is unusual in many ways. Bathsheba is depicted in a space that is hard to read. The dark backdrop is indicative of night, and at the same time, an enormous column implies a large structural design. Around her, lies a thickly painted backdrop positioned upon her naked body. Her nude body is prominent for its solid form and the extravagant use of paint.

The paint used to depict her figure is richly shaded while its thick brushstrokes and strong highlights give an exciting, physical quality making her presence conspicuous. In spite of its classical references, the description of the figure is unconventional, and the portrayal of her large stomach, hands, and feet are a result of observation rather than admiration for the idealized form.


Example #7

The traditional view is that the Renaissance of the 15th century in Italy, spreading through the rest of Europe, represented a reconnection of the west with classical antiquity, the absorption of knowledge of experimentalism, the focus on the importance humanism, an explosion of the dissemination of knowledge brought on by printing and the creation of new techniques in art, poetry, and architecture which led to a radical change in the style and substance of the arts and letters. This period, in this view, represents Europe emerging from a long period as a backwater, and the rise of commerce and exploration.

The Italian Renaissance is often labeled as the beginning of the “modern” era. A famous artist from Italy during this time was Michelangelo Buonarroti. He commissioned a fresco painting behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel, in Vatican, Rome, known as the Last Judgment. From the northern part of Europe, an artist by the name of Antoine Caron painted his version of the Last Judgment, with oil on panel, displayed at the Ringling Museum of Art (15th century). Each of these paintings is examples of the growth of artistic expression in Europe during the 15th century.

Michelangelo, an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, was one of the founders of the High Renaissance and in his later years one of the principal exponents of Mannerism. Born at Caprese, the son of the local magistrate, his family returned to Florence soon after his birth. Michelangelo’s desire to become an artist was initially opposed by his father, to be a practicing artist was then considered beneath the station of a member of the gentry. As a result of his talent, he was welcomed into the home of the Medici family where he eventually apprenticed in 1488 for a three-year term to Domenico Ghirlandaio.

Under this apprenticeship, he learned the technique of fresco painting which is the technique he used when he commissioned his painting of the Last Judgment (Sistine Chapel 1534-1541). Antoine Caron was a master glassmaker and illustrator who was born in Beauvais, France. He was known as one of the few significant painters in France during the reign of Charles IX and Henry III. Antoine began his career with religious paintings. Like Michelangelo, Antoine also commissioned work for the Medici family.

The Last Judgment was a religious painting first completed by Michelangelo on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in 1534-1541. On the right and left of the face of Christ are a lily and a sword, symbolizing respectively the innocent and guilty. The painting shows that Christ has come to be the stern judge of the world. He was perceived as a giant whose mighty right arm is lifted in a gesture of damnation so broad and universal as to suggest he will destroy all of creation, Heaven and Earth alike. The choirs of Heaven surrounding him pulse and anxiety and awe.

The spaces are crowded with trumpeting angels, the ascending figures of the just and downward hurtling figures of the damned. On the left, the dead awake and assume flesh; on the right, the damned are tormented by demons whose gargoyle masks the burning eyes revive the demons of Romanesque tympana. Antoine Caron’s painting of the Last Judgment (Ringling Museum of Art, 15th century) is intended to have the same meaning. In France, where Carons from, the Last Judgment (Ringling Museum of Art, 15th century) occupied the sculptured Tympana of the center doorway of cathedrals.

Overtime the attitude and attributes of Christ the judge changed. He was fully dressed; later on His right side was uncovered so as to display his wounds; later still sword and lily, symbols of justice and mercy, protrude from His mouth. This tradition of the church was established by Michelangelo, showing how the influence of Italian art made its way to the northern part of the country. The medium of Antoine’s painting is oil on panel. The style of the painting compared to Michelangelo’s is similar due to the fact that Antoine was also a Mannerist.

Coming from the northern part of Europe, many artists, like Antoine, became increasingly entrances with myriad details of the visible world and better and better at capturing them. In the Last Judgment (Ringling Museum of Art,15th century), he uses elongated figures, in twisted postures and with small heads and tapering arms and legs, frequently inhabits vast spaces. Caron’s exaggerated perspective, in which the forms seem to disappear into space and his unnaturalistic use of color is also part of the Mannerist style. Michelangelo’s painting is a fresco.

His figures are grotesquely huge and violently twisted, with small heads and contorted features. The expressive power of ugliness and terror in the service of a terrible message reigns throughout the composition. This was typical for an Italian artist to show extreme emotion along with the bulk and mass of the figures. Michelangelo was able to make the figures appear real because of his knowledge of autonomy and how the human body looks from the inside out. (fig 1) Both artists’ paintings were commissioned during the same time period where humanism was of concern.

The use of inhabitable space allowed for the paintings to look more realistic. Caron and Michelangelo both try to reveal plasticity and depth in their works. Shadows are a major use throughout each one of these paintings which were used to create depth and even show movement. The Renaissance Period marked an important role in the history of art in Europe. This period did not happen with the sudden drama that it did in Italy, nor were the concerns quite the same for the northern part of the country.

Northern artists like Antoine Caron did not live among the ruins of Rome, nor did they share the exciting series of discoveries that make the Italian Renaissance such a good story, the Northern Renaissance style evolved gradually out of the late Middle Ages. Comparing the styles of these two Renaissance painters shows how in time how the styles emerged. Antoine Caron’s, Last Judgment (Ringling Museum of Art, 15th century) and Michelangelo’s Last Judgment (Sistine Chapel 1534-1541) are both meaningful paintings that still hold valid meaning to cathedrals today.

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