Summary of Articles
- The Wit of Saul Steinberg
The article on Steinberg is a discussion on the effects of drawings and pictures in relation to written words on the same subject matter. The author of the book ‘Art and Illusion’ is also the author of this article who critiques and analyzes Steinberg’s paintings as a mode of communication. It is indicated in this article how pictures and drawings play an important part in articulating messages. In fact, the author describes Steinberg’s pictures as more precise in portraying a message better than his words ever could. The pictures presented in this article give a clear articulation of the intended message. It is, however, important to note that any message sent by these pictures is fully dependent on the degree of human realism. The author proves this by giving an example of a man who cancels himself in the picture, but still remains intriguing as before. Thus, he describes pictures as mere ink.
Another good example concerning the significance of pictures and drawings provided by the author is figure 7. In the figure, one can see how the drawing of a father is more conspicuous and visible. It is amazing how the drawings fade with the grandmother being less conspicuous as compared to the mother while the son is drawn in children’s scribbles. These drawings vivify the reality in the present society where identity fades as people grow old. Despite the clarity in the message of Steinberg’s drawings, the author of this article discloses how the drawings do not appear in the standard books and literature of the twentieth century. This is perhaps because of the evolution of today’s readers which are more inclined towards reading as compared to evaluating drawings.
- Kenneth Clark: The Nude File
Contemporary nude pieces like those provided by Sansovino’s Apollo on the Longetta in Vernice show that art had evolved from the 13th century to become a central subject in art. From nudity as an art to idealism that comes with faith, Kenneth Clark traces how nudity has evolved through the centuries to create a complete new branch of art in the contemporary world. In as much as we may not worship nudity or reject it as was in the ascetic experiment during the medieval ages, we have reconciled to the idea that nudity is people’s lifelong companion as an art that deals with sensory images that scale body rhythms that cannot be easily ignored. Indeed, nudity though carrying less weight as nakedness, has moved to the front seat of art.
- Lynda Nead. The female nude 1
The introduction of this book gives a categorical explanation that the book is not concerned with the history of the female nude. It is, on the other hand, a representation of a wide scope of the female body, culture and women politics. The prevalence of pictures of the female body in the western history vivifies the roles of women in the ancient west and the world over. Additionally, the book clearly distinguishes nudity from nakedness. It describes nakedness as an identification of material reality while nudity is said to depict social and historical life. Despite the fact that the naked and the nude are antagonistic in reality and historical senses, they still are part of a representation of cultural mediation. The author of this book indicates that female nude, for this matter, exhibits feminine identity in relation to care love and chores.
This book’s author correlates female nudity with many aspects amongst others its ideal art, aesthetics, obscenity and its frame. When it comes to ideal art, it is categorically stated how the female body is distinguishable from the male body. It is very predictable and as a result, very different from the fierce, confident, authoritative and unpredictable male body. In terms of aesthetics, the author describes Clark’s judgment of aesthetic criteria as original and lacking invention. For this reason, the only way to understand the correlation of female nudity and aesthetics, it is imperative to think beyond the particulars of Clark’s articulations. Thereafter, one needs to make a general consideration of the history of aesthetics and the consequences it has on female nudity. In conclusion, therefore, this book on female nudity does not only display its relation to human history but also feminine roles.
- Lynda Nead. The female nude 2
This second book on female nudity is not any different from the first, only that its ideas are communicated entirely through pictures and drawings. Unlike the first book of Lynda Nead whose messages are articulated in writing, this book interestingly communicates its ideas through artistic drawings. Plate 1 of this book shows a woman carrying out household chores, an indication of the historical chores meant for women. This distinguishes responsibilities of males from those of female. The humility evident in this picture is evidence of female traits against those of the rigid males. Plate 2 depicts beauty which is one of the most fundamental characteristics of a woman. As if that is not enough, another representation of the traditional female responsibilities is in plate 9 which clearly shows a woman taking care of a young one. It is indisputable that a vital position of women in the society is taking care of children.
Plate 10 displays and important aspect in the human society both in the present and the past. The author has drawn pictures of women who seem to be entertaining people in the background. It is important to note that men were not meant to entertain people, but women were. For this reason, the pictures illustrate the position of women in the society both in the past and the present. They are nude in the pictures and look like they are moving in rhythm; an indication of traditional dance to entertain the crowd in the background. Apart from plate 10, plate 11 also exhibits entertainment offered by a woman to a man. They look like they are embracing passionately; a sign of not just entertainment but also love and affection. From the 11 plates, we can authoritatively deduce that women’s position in the society has been upheld because most of the traits portrayed in the ancient paintings and drawings are still practical in the present world.
- Todd Olson, Pittiful Relics
This book is slightly different from the previous books brought forth for the purposes of this study. Even though the use of pictures to communicate messages is as vivid as in the rest of the books summarized in this assignment, it is worth noting the variance in theme. This book focuses its pictures towards war. They represent conflicting societies that largely portray the ancient societal involvements which have been carried to the present generations. More precisely, the book is about Caravaggio’s paintings as he described the wars fought by people like Matthew against others not mentioned. He illustrates the brutality n the wars in his paintings.
In spite of a vivid description of the wars presented by Caravaggio in his paintings, the author of this book talks about critics who were of satisfied with the paintings. Critics of Caravaggio claim that people unclear perception of the human body may have lured them into believing his paintings. They claim that these paintings were only acceptable due to the possibility of ignorance amongst readers. Nonetheless, Caravaggio’s largely spoken incompetence in complex painting discredited his hard work with claims that the paintings were way above his scale. All in all, Caravaggio played a significant role in articulating the messages in this book.