Choose a work of art from artcyclopedia.com or from your own resources and critique it. Please consider subject, form and content.
For the purpose of critiquing one’s or other’s works, painters generally consider the form, subject and content of a particular painting. In this essay, we are to discuss about Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “Mona Lisa”. Also called as The Gioconda, the painting has gained great acclamation around the world for so many years. There are three planes in total in which the painting is divided: the background where the landscape is visible, depth is gained by the background, it further divides itself into two parts, the terrestrial reddish in colour and the aquatic and mountainous those are bluish in colour (Munroe 492). Furthermore, the sky seems to absorb both the tones in which it is shown to be touched with the blue azure and the colours of brown as well as red. There is a sense of a foggy environment present in the painting matching with the mysticism of the subject lady. Though the face of La Gioconda notoriously lacks eyelashes and eyebrows, it showcases maturity and youth simultaneously. The sfumato gives the lady’s skin its freshness. Generally, the hands of the subject are shown as holding an object-be it a book, a flower or a letter. In contrast to that, Mona Lisa’s hands are shown empty. The enigma is thus intensified by this. Sfumato is a technique which is invented by this old master. The simple meaning of this term is “smoky”. It can be identified to the modern technique of blurring effect. In the portrait, we can see the lady sitting straight making the viewer clearly see her chest and face; it is derived from the image of ‘pyramid’ which is used for depicting Madonna.
The impression that we get after observing the painting is that of sheer composure with an air of secrecy. The muted colours give it its calmness. The mysterious aura, however, is stemmed from various factors, her inexplicable half-smile and the gaze right towards the viewer. Her hands, as if, lifeless also are a major factor. It makes us feel as those hands belong to a different body. Falling of lights on surfaces those are usually curved fascinated Da Vinci. The colours transparent are used in layers to create the subject’s hair and the glow of her skin (d'Angelo and Ferrero 356). This glow gives the painting a quality almost ethereal and magical in nature. Mona Lisa’s head, eyes and torso, which are slightly more turned towards the spectators, is due to Da Vinci’s extreme scientific observation which led him to develop a special system of mathematics for forming size in space.
Art is often thought of as being therapeutic? Do you agree? Why? Why not?
Art has a therapeutic effect is a fact known to all. It has been used since ancient times. However, this genre has grown over the years and today, art therapy is a thing in itself. The creative procedure of art is given greater importance. Children can specially benefit from the therapy of art for they are not very confident and comfortable for communicating via words. However, adults too can be helped through this. There are certain ideas and activities through which adults can enjoy the very therapy of art. There are various approaches absorbed by art therapy in current times. These include Gestalt, Family, Cognitive, Person-Centred, and Behaviour and so on (Bosch 197-198). These groups of people are considered to be benefited from art therapy: people with health problems, specifically of the mind; people with difficulties in learning; people on the spectrum of the autistic; people in the judicial system; people suffering from dementia; people also suffering from other terminal or chronic illness; and last of all for those who face hardships in expressing their emotions in a proper way or feel aloof from their own emotions. The way our difficulties can be overcome by the various art forms includes drawing, crayons, collaging, painting, found objects and sculpting among many others. There are various art activities as well, some of them are: create an art journal, paint in the dark, draw something big, paint someone you have lost, paint your emotions, make a mandala, draw in the sand, draw a self-portrait, work on a group project, paint your dreams.
When on one hand, art therapy gives solace to one self, to a normal human being; it also has power to cure people with serious disorders as well. People with depression, tension and anxiety can be benefited from this therapy (Bosch 197-198). People with grievous mental disorders can be helped through this therapy, such as those who suffering from emotional abuse, be it light or severe; cancer; PTSD aka post traumatic stress disorders, bipolar people and other serious illnesses.
How or why does the different lighting illustrated in the photograph evoke a different emotional response from the same statue?
Light is an important element in a piece of art. If we consider our eyes, we may say it to be an instrument for sensing light. Everything we see in this very world is because of light and the instrument that we possess. The electromagnetic spectrum contains all the colours even though we perceive natural or sunlight as white in colour. Light can be diffracted, directed, diffused or reflected (McKennan 1-10). Things those are crucial for the way that things appear to us are the intensity, source, colour and direction of the light. It so happens that the particular thing appears to change with the changes in light.
We may take the picture of Abraham Lincoln given to us as an example. Our view changes the way light falls on a particular object. Light influences our perception powerfully; hence, the same sculpture of Abraham Lincoln is viewed differently under different lights. The perception dramatically changes with a simple shift in the light. On first installation of the monumental figure of the great Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial of Washington D.C., the maker was very disturbed. The natural light or sunlight was reflected off the floor making Lincoln character change drastically. It seemed that there is a grievous change in his character from a great leader to a under-confident neophyte. However, the sculptor corrected the error of the lights and placed the spotlights above the statue in the ceiling (McKennan 1-10). This made a great change as the spotlights are more powerful than the natural lights and they reflected from the floor of white marble, there was a light in the overhead making Lincoln’s expression change completely.
Bosch, Thomas. "State Of The Art Of Therapeutic Apheresis In Europe". Therapeutic Apheresis 3.3 (2009): 197-198. Web.
d'Angelo, Giovanni and Sergio Ferrero. "Il Ritratto Della Gioconda". World Literature Today 68.2 (1994): 356. Web.
McKennan, G.T. "A Study Of The Sequential Experience Of Different Lighting". Lighting Research and Technology 13.1 (1981): 1-10. Web.
Munroe, Thomas. "Da Vinci Would Be Pleased With "Leonardo"". Leonardo 1.4 (1968): 492. Web.