Drawings and Paintings are forms of artistic expressions which are extensively employed in representing ideas and images on two-dimensional planes. The practice uses application of pigment, color, paint or any other medium on a painting surface known as a support base. Drawing and painting describe both a product and a process. The support for art pieces could be wood, paper, lacquer, glass, clay surfaces or even walls. The oldest and first recognized art work (cave paintings) exists in France’s Grotte chauvet (approximately 32,000 years old).
Works of art are forms of communication that use visual language to express or convey their respective message. Drawings and paintings may conceptualize the intentions and ideas of the artist. They can be natural representations of still life, landscapes or representations of living and abstract objects. Artistic works are often loaded with symbolism, emotion or a historical/political narrative (Barret, 67). Works of art have a setting in time and significance in utility, aesthetics, religion and/or culture. This paper’s content analyzes the visual aspects of the work of art and the use of elements and principles of art design in communicating to the viewer. The pieces of art under analysis are ‘Triumph of Julius Caesar’ by Andrea Andreani, an Italian artist (1588-1629) and ‘Castle by Helms’ by Louis Francois Cassas, a French artist (French 1756-1827).
‘Triumph of Julius Caesar’
The ‘Triumph of Julius Caesar’ is an art work made from chiaroscuro woodcuts medium which as common Italian art form. The chiaroscuro wood cut technique is used to make woodcut prints by use of more than one color-by imposition of the relief blocks on a surface of paper. The technique developed in Germany and Italy in the 16th century. This particular piece is a landscape painting illustrates Caesar’s cavalry and infantry marching in victory with high hoisted flags and trumpets. The background of the pictures depicts a city on hill probably under siege.
‘Castle by Helms’
The ‘Castle of helms’ is a piece of art portraying a landscape of a guarded castle on a hill and on the background of city. The painting is water color based. There is a group of men on the foreground in a form of symposium analyzing some literary work or design material. The suggestive gesticulation and motion that appears in the men gives the piece an animated and lively quality. This piece depicts the city of Emesa which is today’s Hom in Syria.
Comparisons and contrasts in two pieces of art
The two pieces of art are representative of landscapes. They both employ the use of perspective in creating a sense of spaciousness, distance and depth within the work. The two pieces of art have an animated quality that is portrayed by the people’s suggestive gesticulation and movement.
The two pieces of art differ in the method used in creating them. The ‘Triumph of Julius Caesar’ was created by using chiaroscuro relief woodcuts that were used to impose the images on other surfaces. This method allows replication and more copies of the artwork could be reproduced (Hellmut, 147). On the other hand the ‘Castle by helms’ is a water color painting and similar more copies cannot be replicated. Cassas’ painting is warm looking because he employed the use of color value and tonal variation to attain sense light and darkness that creates shadows and illumined areas within the landscape. The brightly lit skyline in ‘Castle by helms’ is suggestive of an evening time and a setting sun. The ‘Triumph of Julius Caesar’ lacks a sense of warmth and color. This is because the artist does not use color as element of art to define art principles. The only used colors were black, brown and mushroom grey. These did not give much in terms of creativity in color use because the value and tones of the colors were constant.
Barrett, Terry. Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary. Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1994. Print.
Hellmut, Lehmann-Haupt. An Introduction to the Woodcut of the Seventeenth Century. New York, NY: Abaris Books, 1977. Print.