To start off with I have really enjoyed this whole quarter of artwork. This might be because of how the Renaissance era is considered to be the best of the best however I found a lot of the artwork that we studied as a class very intriguing. Some of my favorites would include some of the artworks from the Mannerism era, Baroque era and art from last week’s Early 18th Century art.
During week 5 of the quarter we had the chance to pick a piece of artwork that was considered to be that of mannerism and I chose to look at Bronzino’s painting of “Allegory with Venus and Cupid” as well as Parmigianino’s painting of “Madonna with the Long Neck.” I found these pieces so interesting that they came out of this high Renaissance art era since they are somewhat disturbing and not really human like. There were very contradictory of what everyone else was trying to produce during that time. Out of these two art works my favorite was Parmigianino’s painting. “Madonna with the Long Neck” is so intriguing for me because of its background history. Parmigianino started this painting but it is believe that he was not able to finish the painting due to the fact that he was commissioned for other jobs. Since this painting is believed to be a personal painting for Parmigianino it was not finished since work came first. When looking at the painting we get that feeling of the unfinished quality however I think it adds more to that painting then it takes away. We see Madonna sitting down but she is not sitting down on/in anything. There is no chair, no throne, nothing. She is floating on or sitting in a “invisible” chair. Next we see a pillar or column in the background that supports nothing. Why is this needed in the painting if its not supporting anything? These are just some of the mysteries to come from this painting. Many of the paintings that come from this era are disturbing in nature like that fact that in “Madonna with the Long Neck” not only does she have this long neck but also the newborn baby in her lap is huge. The baby is the size of a three year old. This is odd and makes it seem almost awkward.
My next favorite art ear we studied was Baroque art. I was really drawn to this art piece done by GianLorenzo Bernini called “David.” This is a sculpture about the biblical hero David. David is a hero in the Old Testament because was able to defeat Goliath and behead him and end the war for his people. This statue is of the moment when David is about to sling a rock towards the giant Goliath’s head and kill him. I was so drawn to this piece because it has so much movement and expression that brings the viewer into the art. Bernini was able to make this sculpture seem so life like. He was able to create such artwork that it put the viewer in the moment of the sculpture. Bernini was also able to bring real emotions in to David. The viewer can see the aggression in David’s face as he is frowning and biting his lower lip. We see his eyebrows and eyes in such expression of anger towards Goliath. Bernini’s “David” was such a breakthrough for sculptures. Before Bernini’s “David” the sculptures did not have the movement or emotions that Bernini’s did.
Lastly I was very intrigued with what we studied last week, the Early 18th Century art. I had the chance to study that of Benjamin west. West was an American artist who went to England and became widely known over there for his artwork. His patron was no other than King George III, the great king of Britain of the time. The artwork of his that most intrigued me is not from our textbook but was what I talked about last week. It is the painting “Death on a Pale Horse.” This painting is some gloomy but with a touch of hope. It is another event described by the Bible. It comes from the Book of Revelations. It is of when the seals break and the four horsemen break free and run a muck through the world. But we see that West added Jesus Christ in the painting riding a white horse with a bow and arrow. He depicts Christ as a Savior, which gives this sense of hope that we will be saved. This painting is a very complex painting but many can feel the pain and agony coming from this painting. It is by far my favorite painting that I had the chance to learn about this quarter.