Art and architecture have impacted the present or modern and ancient societies positively in many ways. It has, therefore, made the subject to realized great recognition and appreciation in the society because of the many benefits that have resulted from the subject. Innovation and creativity in art are among the most critical elements that have made the subject receive appreciation because of the many unique and diversified artistic features that are ever produced with outstanding qualities that stand the taste of time across many generations. It is the reason many artistic features and products that were made in the ancient times have attracted great concern and value up to the present times and days. For artists to produce outstanding work they have to use techniques in art effectively and efficiently that enable their work to present the varied themes and messages that their work might be displaying. The field of art is general and broad that entail many artistic features and products such as carvings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, paintings among others to display and use varied techniques and styles in their production. Irrespective of the artistic products made and the style used, both artistic features have re-laid mixed messages and themes. The messages and themes touch on many aspects in society such as philosophical, political, economic, and cultural among many that reflects the developments and happenings in the society either in the past, present or in the future. However, the goal in this paper is to analyze the work by Thomas Sully titled The Passage of the Delaware made in 1819 and that of Praxiteles titled Torso of Venus by comparing and contrasting the different artistic features and styles used in the two pieces.
The two pieces display many artistic features that are exceptionally presented. It enables the viewers and audience of the pieces to compare the different times that they were created. They note the changes and developments that occurred and the factors that influenced the changes and developments. Sully’s piece, The Passage of the Delaware was produced in the year18919 and uses the technique of oil made on converse. During the time that it was produced, oil paint was a method that had been into use and many great artistic pieces used the technique because it allowed features that were produced that appeared in real time (Marvin, 17). It was among the few techniques that made artistic work in colors that enabled the viewers of such great pieces to be compare the articles in with real products. It is because it displayed more or less of a replica of the real world. At the time, technology had not developed and progressed as it is seen in the contemporary times. The oil paint technique also enabled artists to produce high quality pieces of work that had a good finishing and smooth surface and textures that appeared well polished. On the other hand, the article by Praxiteles, Torso of Venus that originated between 1-2 AD presents a sculpture that used marble. It was the dominant technique in the time as well as the dominant material that was used to make many great artistic pieces of the time. The pieces have managed to exists and stand the taste of time up to the present times and time. The dimensions of the piece, balance of size and measurements enables the viewers to create and understand meaning and themes displayed at the first impression.
The two pieces of work display and carry varied techniques that are used to present the different themes and styles displayed by the work. The Passage of the Delaware is a paintings that are done exceptionally well by incorporating different artistic styles used in paintings to make it easy for the audience and viewers of the piece to easily carry and understand the themes and messages of the article. It presents a painting of men riding horses that appear ad relate to a combat zone that was used and witnessed in many ancient times and days (Sully, 1 ). It presents a picture of four men three are on top of the horses and one preparing to climb on one while they are facing the same direction probably from where they have come from or where they intend to go. For an easy and interpretation of the work, the color used for the horses are different and the horse at the centre is painted in white while the rest are brown in color. It is a technique used to give balanced to color used and the bright color used fro the horse at the center allows the painting to get great reception and balance that allows viewers to make sense and meaning out the piece. The background of the painting displays the skies and nature that is seen through the topography of the land. The uses color presents a slightly dark color, and this is to display the time and weather that probably the events and developments as seen in the paintings occurred (Del & Stewart, 27). The people riding the horses also appear real time and the different clothing that used in the painting use varied colors making and allowing the viewers to denote and make meaning of it with ease. The objects in the paintings that include the horses and the people riding them are well placed and balanced at center of the painting ad this allows the artist to present other features such as the environment and incorporate nature. Good paintings and artistic features have to incorporate nature to give and help the viewers and audience of the image a chance to analyze the pieces deeply and intensively.
It is imperative to consider that nature is part of beauty in art and in lives and, therefore, pieces that have nature in them are considered among the high provided other issues and factors such as color, themes and dimensions are well presented, as well. On the other hand, Torso of Venus presents a unique style and artistic item as well. It presents a sculpture of a woman that displays her natural body with feminine features that are visually allowing the viewers to differentiate and distinguish meaning at the first sight of the great work. It uses marble that was a common material used in the ancient times that have witnessed many sculptures use it. The material enabled the artists work to be displayed for a long time as and the color of the material also conforms well with nature because it presents a cool color that matches and fits many artistic works. The material was also easily accessible during those times. The piece presents the woman without clothes because it was the philosophy that guided art work produced in that time. Del and Stewart (2004) in their piece Classical Art: Sculpture asserted that, in those ancient times, they viewed art to be pure and, therefore, objects and articles were to be produced in their natural way without any foreign influence (9). The dimensions used in the different body parts are well balanced that allows the audience at first glance to create meaning from the piece.
Any artistic work has to relate to set development and themes that transpired in the time that the piece was made (Marvin, 21). Because art is described as talking and saying more that what appears physically and visually. The Passage of the Delaware painting presents different themes and developments that took place in the United States during the struggle and fight for independence. It is a picture that tells and talks of the historical developments that happened in the Unites States and, therefore, different themes are displayed by the picture such as war. It, therefore, has a cultural and historical connection whereby besides telling the historical developments that transpired during the times. It also presents the culture and believes of Americans as fighters and struggles for liberation and freedom. The piece used oil paint technique that was already dominating those times as style used for art and, therefore, it was not a groundbreaking piece. On the other hand, Torso of Venus presents several themes that display the values and attributes that ancient people in the society from the society of the Roman people such as cultural attributes that bestowed on women. Parts of the pieces of the article are presented with veils that cover certain parts of the body. It displays the cultural values and elements of the society by then such as clothing. It also notes the role and respect that women had in the society.
In conclusion, artistic work of any kind has the potential to convey and display different artistic themes and information. Using the right style and technique of the art can result into a great piece of rat that can stand the taste of time for a longer period and cut across many generations. Innovation and creativity should be embraced in production of art work. It facilitates the continuation of production of several pieces that communicates and tells the developments that transpire in the societies. The two great pieces discussed above of Passage of the Delaware and Torso of Venus has many techniques and styles of art that have made them earn the recognition as great articles. An in-depth analysis of the pieces and any other work of art has to be done to convene and understand the varied themes and messages displayed by artists. Artists have to be supported through all means and measures possible in their course of production of artistic pieces.
Del, Chiaro M. A, and Andrew F. Stewart. Classical Art: Sculpture. Santa Barbara, Calif: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2004. Print.
Marvin, Miranda. The Language of the Muses: The Dialogue between Roman and Greek Sculpture. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008. Print.
Sully, Thomas. The passage of the Delaware. 1819. Accessed.March 30, 2014. Available at:// www.mfa.org/collections/object/the-passage-of-the-delaware-31231. Internet resource.