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Art Apprecition IP Week Four - Essay Example

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This essay compares and contrasts three artworks from famous Baroque artists: Peter Paul Rubens’ “The Crucified Christ,” Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio’s “Flagellation of Christ,” and Rembrandt van Rijn’s “The Raising of the Cross.” These paintings are works of realism, where painters focused on using light, shadows, neutral colors, spatial composition, and vivid themes to depict dynamic spiritual actions in a religious event through somber dramatic effects. The artworks are similar in form because of the use of light, neutral colors, and shadows to interpret different aspects of the Crucifixion. Rembrandt painted images of mythology, religion and landscapes, using generally broad brushstrokes. He maximizes light, shadows, and spatial layout to portray his images and characters, enriching their emotions and personalities (Durham, 2004, p.115). “The Raising of the Cross” uses luminous light to focus on Christ’s body. The whiteness of the light symbolizes his purity. The darkness around him conceals the people. Their shadows depict the heaviness of their sins, either as active or passive participants. The direction of the painting is slanting, and most of the lines slanting as well. The same slanting lines are seen in Caravaggio’s “Flagellation of Christ.” Caravaggio’s style of painting is known for his realism, intense chiaroscuro and the importance placed on co-extensive space. His portrayal of religious themes tends to be somber and dark, and his peers criticized his work for being too realistic, showing the grimmest of human features. In “Flagellation of Christ,” Christ’s body looks perfectly white, but the people who are crucifying him look like demons with their veined faces, arms, and legs. It seems that they are in extreme pain, when Jesus is the one being flagellated. They are concealed in dark shadows too, like in “The Raising of the Cross.” Aside from having the same light and shadow techniques, these paintings share the same neutral colors- white, black, and brown in different shades. “The Raising of the Cross” has some cool colors because of the color found in the dress of the white turbaned man and the man in blue beret. Rubens’ “The Crucified Christ” shows Christ in a vertical position, but his arms and legs are slanted too. Rubens is arguably one of the most central Flemish painters of the 17th century. His style defined the sensual and dynamic techniques of baroque painting. Rubens mixes bold brushwork, glowing colors, and play of light to depict vibrant energies (Spielvogel, 2012, p.480). In “The Crucified Christ,” the slanted lines connote human pain and misery. There are no people at the background, but the shadows of the clouds and faraway buildings are evident. Sunset presents itself in orange hues at the lower part of Christ’s body too. Like the other two paintings, the light is casted on Christ’s body in “The Crucified Christ.” His purity is highlighted against the darkness of the world. The luminous light highlights the humanity of Jesus and the pain on his face marks his human anguish. Aside from the same style used on light, color, and shadows, these three paintings maximize spatial layout for dramatic effects. In “The Crucified Christ,” Christ is put in the middle of swirling dark clouds. Beneath him are dark human structures. The main impact is that Christ is the ...Show more
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Summary

The Crucifixion: Paintings from Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Rubens Name University 4 February 2013 The Crucifixion: Paintings from Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Rubens Baroque is an art movement of the seventeenth century, one of the products of the clashes between the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation…
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