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Metropolitan Museum of Art - Essay Example

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

It does not contain the ethereal quality of previous paintings of the time period of the same subject, where the quality of light and brushstrokes portrayed a beatific reality (Harden 2008). This is an engraving which must be meticulously produced with ink, compass and ruler and the initial impression of the work is one of precision (Harden 2008). However, Durer is able to capture a new variation in the work that expresses the harmonious quality of the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve's relationship to each other and their surroundings. As the eye enters the work, one can see the how opposites are harmoniously existing. A mouse is relaxing next to a cat, an elk and cow do not fear the humans in the picture, and the tree of knowledge is contained in the background, with the serpent giving Eve the fruit and Adam waiting to receive it. All is peaceful. Here, Durer expresses in black and white the harmonious expression of opposites, soon to be destroyed with the taking of the forbidden fruit. The work is one of bold expression and the medium and succinct lines and use of black and white stand out as a first in artistic expression of the Garden prior to the fall.
Giovanni di Paolo, an Italian artist, created The Creation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise in 1445. Here we see the angst inherent in the fall of man from paradise after the forbidden fruit is tasted. Paolo is an expressive artist who uses elements of design to symbolize the aspects of the harmony of the Garden and the devastation of the fall from grace. God is shown in radiant fury pushing the universe, represented by a very large globe that is entering from the left side of the painting and expresses the power of the universe that God has created and is now directed with wrath. In the globe, the evidence of astrology is found within the concentric circles representing the elements, the planets and the constellations (Metropolitan Museum of Art 2008). Adam and Eve are being directed, seemingly pushed also, by an angel who is in human form. The lush vegetation of the garden and the four rivers emerging from the ground symbolize the ecological wealth and harmony of the garden, which Adam and Eve are now forced to leave. The medium is tempura on panel and a dark light is effectively used near the trees and on the ground to give the painting an emotional quality of impending negativity and hardship. This painting, previous to Durer's engraving, illustrates the gravity of artist's representing the fall of man in artwork with dark colors and vivid use of brushstrokes to express God's seriousness.
Saint Teresa of Avila Interceding Souls in Purgatory is oil on wood painting by Peter Paul Rubens, a Flemish artist dated between 1577 and 1640 (Metropolitan Museum of Art 2008). This work is dramatic and emotional and shows how the skilled use of oil captures a quality of light and brushstroke that effectively portrays the seriousness of the task at hand. Saint Teresa to the right of Jesus is shown prostrate and pleading for the souls praying for release from purgatory at the bottom of the wood. On the left are the cherubs, angels of God that seem to be waiting for a decision from Jesus as to the faint of who they will aid in rescue. One is ...Show more


The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains several works of religious significance from a wide variety of ancient and modern cultures. I have chosen three works that are significant to the development of Christianity that explore each particular artist's approach to the subject of Genesis, the Fall from Grace, and the story of man's relationship to the Christian God.
Author : lorenza29
Metropolitan Museum of Art essay example
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