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Art Appreciation - Essay Example

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First, formal theories serve to detect the way in which the work was painted (Prebles' Artforms 5). In this respect formal theories touch upon the overall structure of the artwork in its relation to the oeuvre of the artist. Moreover, it constitutes the theoretical and philosophical trends significant and influential for a definite period of time when the work was done. All in all, formal theories also constitute how the work may have depended on the earlier works by the artists (Prebles' Artforms 5). Second, sociocultural theories tend to describe the artwork as a result of the cultural and social flows dominating on the artistic thought at large (Prebles' Artforms 6). Sociocultural diversity takes notice of how cultural development along with social innovations supports the versatility of themes and ideas imposed by the artist into a work of art. Certainly, this set of theories requires an observer to take a close look at the way in which the artwork reflects on the societal structure and social peculiarities at the time. Third, expressive theories are, perhaps, the most sacred as they point out the artist’s worldview in an attempt to express his/her feelings respectively. That is to say, it is a way to depict the personality of an artist easily taken out of the expressive means and devices he/she uses in painting (Prebles' Artforms 7). This is why expressive theories include the finishing stroke in the aesthetic sensitivity and passion of a viewer. The painting The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian (completed in 1475) by Antonio del Pollaiuolo and Piero del Pollaiuolo is an outstanding work of the early renaissance art. Right from the start, it is obvious that the artists were inclined to describe the legend about Saint Sebastian and his martyrs once he was discovered a Christian (The National Gallery 1). The work itself sparks huge interest in relation to the theories mentioned above. First and foremost, the painting is composed symmetrically with oil on poplar (The National Gallery 1). It is a reflection of time when form served for function. On the other hand, the artists were well influenced by the biblical themes so popular at the moment. Works by other eminent artists were also devoted to the biblical motives in the light of high expression touching deeply upon a viewer’s feelings. Funeral of St Jerome (1460), Adoration of the Child with Saints (1460-65) and the like were well-polished in keeping with the best traditions of the early renaissance. However, brothers Pollaiuolo had succeeded in following the same theme but with the main attention to the martyrdom of the main hero. Their formal representation of the legend is enriched by the topic of martyrdom in a symmetric implementation. Thus, the artists made a great attempt in making the renaissance art more diverse. Needless to say, Antonio del Pollaiuolo was very accurate in the structural part of the painting under analysis: “In his paintings he favored sweeping landscapes teeming with figures and a high horizon line, inspired by Flemish examples” (Bodart 95). Thus, in terms of the formal theories, the work by the artists is logically influenced in accordance with the mainstream flows in the art at the time. To say more, the sociocultural factor was also predominant looking at the picture. The thing is that the power of the official church was still very high, especially in ...Show more
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To begin with, the theoretical background in the field of aesthetic awareness and sensitivity presupposes a large scope of issues to be taken into account. In this respect the researchers rely on different flows in the art which can be precisely outlined into the three groups of theories…
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