How are artists able to reach the intellect, emotions and imaginations of their viewers? The act of creating art enriches the life of the artist. The aesthetic inherent in their work, or their underlying philosophy, or their desire to communicate concept, or portray a narrative is what is transmitted to the viewer. Describe how certain artists do this. Introduction:
Artists are important members of society since their primary aim is to reach the soul of the viewer. Perhaps the most important aspect of an artist’s skills is that he/she is able to communicate certain ideas and the intellect gets engaged in one fell swoop. Aesthetic elements are important, especially the way in which the artist communicates the ideas and descriptions that are found in the paintings. In this paper we shall be discussing several works by artists such as Cszigany, Renoir, Schiele and Picasso, all of which combine several elements of imagination, communication and emotional engagement.
Pierre August Renoir: The Pont des Arts, Paris (1878, Oil on Canvas)
In this painting we observe Renoir’s very bold forms of impressionism and this created a number of beautiful paintings that demonstrate a particular affinity with the landscape genre. This view of Paris is particularly important since it conjures up several emotions and observations; there is almost a Proustian element about proceedings as the patrons strut about the banks of the River Seine.
Perhaps, one of the most enlightening parts of this painting is the way in which the boats are portrayed. These seem to wait for their passengers in an almost laconic manner. Renoir uses techniques that include bold brushwork that creates a sense of relaxation but there is also some powerful imagery in the equation. This is a typical example of how the artist can convey a sense of heady emotion and observation. We are made to observe the elaborate attire of the Parisian gentry, men in their trim suits and dapper looking hats, while the women are dressed in long, elegant skirts with the colour blue particularly prominent. There is also a substantial use of shadowing techniques that demonstrate Renoir’s particular affection for this style.
Guillamin is an artist who is perhaps not that well known but this painting certainly is. As with the Renoir work, there is an element of impressionism but there are also other features that strike you upon immediate observation. There is a not so stark contrast between the lives of the working class Parisians who toiled for long and difficult hours in factories and other badly ventilated places of work with the elegant life of the rich who have nothing better to do than strolling across the banks of the Seine. Other elements include the visual aspect where we can observe several Parisian landmarks, so the artist heightens our powers of observation with his judicious imagery. The attention to detail is also quite fantastic, the smoke softly puffs out of the chimneys whilst the woman is walking with a heady and erect air, this is almost eroticism at face value. We are almost allowed to take a peek into the artist’s conflicting emotions as he paints; the woman is an important leitmotif here. Other details such as the flags and the lamppost are strikingly accurate and allow us to continue honing on our powers of observation.
Deszo Czigany’s Southern French Landscape and Paul Gauguin’s Landscape, 1880
These two oil paintings are important expressionist works and contain several of those features that have already been mentioned before. There is a common aspect in both paintings since they portray the landscape, something that definitely arouses and instils the emotions of the observer. There are also elements of primitive cultures in the paintings, particularly Guagin’s work where the Southern Hemisphere influence is typically evident. South American culture formed an important part of Gauguin’s emotional and artistic makeup and this is clearly evident in this work. On his part, Gzsigany has an almost Matisse like quality in his art with the green and brown colours mixing quite beautifully with the impression of vast distances conveyed very well indeed.
Egon Schiele: Seated Woman With Bent Knee
Egon Schiele’s work has a shocking and very crude style to it. None is more direct and intense than his painting portraying a prostitute who was in fact his wife. The woman gazes at the onlooker, almost inviting participation in her sexual proclivity. Her legs are splayed wide open while her private parts are pressed aginst her clothing, thus creating an element of eroticism and pornography. Schiele’s capacity to shock with his artistic style has been well documented; here he is definitely conveying an incredible sense of hedonistic imagery that strikes the viewer like a thunderbolt. The painting can also be compared with Gustav Klimt’s, ‘The Kiss’ but the latter is definitely not so brash in its style.
Pablo Picasso: The Three Musicians
This is one of Picasso’s early works but there is considerable creative and visual tension in it. The painting is a combination of the five artistic elements that are shape, value, space, line and texture and the figures almost blend into each other, an innovative technique that had rarely been used before. Picasso is conveying the unity of the three musicians who are none other than himself and two friends. It is undeniably a powerful painting and instils several conflicting emotions in us.
Joseph G. Stella (1975). The Graphic Work of Renoir: Catalogue Raisonne. London: Lund Humphries.
Jean Leymarie et Michel Melot (1971). Les Gravures Des Impressionistes, Manet, Pissarro, Renoir, Cezanne, Sisley. Paris: Arts et Metiers Graphiques.
Michel Melot (1996). The Impressionist Print. New Haven: Yale University Press.
S. A. Mansbach: Modern Art in Eastern Europe. From the Baltic to the Balkans, ca. 1890–1939. Pratt Institute, New York. 1999. ISBN 0-521-45695-9
Egon Schiele: Erotic, Groteque and Display. ARTINFO. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 2008-04-17