Expository Essay on Neoclassicism, Realism, and Modernism

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Differences Between Neoclassicism and Realism

Normally, the term Neoclassicism is used to refer to the Western movements in the visuals and decorative arts, music, literature, as well as architecture that depict its inspiration from the culture of Old Greece, Ancient Rome, as well as classical art. On the other hand, when it comes to arts, Realism is the attempt to represent the matter of the subject in a truthful manner, without any form of artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions exotic and implausible elements. It mainly denotes the truthful manner of a given matter of subject and not just the manner in which that subject matter is presented or appears. Strictly speaking, studies argue that realism is a technique. However, it also denotes a certain kind of subject matter, particularly the manner in which middle-class life is represented (Serban 11). In America, the term realism encompasses the period of the Civil war.

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Neoclassicism, on the other hand, was written during the period between 1160 and 1798. It was a time of formality as well as artificiality. It was a time of comfortableness as people could meet for coffee and discuss politics. It was also the beginning of conventional afternoon tea. Moreover, it was the start of the middle class. Therefore, many individuals were literate. During this time, many people focused on appearances and not genuineness. Public appearances such as good actions were significantly critical. The artists of these two techniques had different intentions or motives when coming up with these ideas. However, understanding their motives demands that we again look at the major difference (Serban 17). The major difference is that neoclassicism focuses on the visual appearance whereas realism centers on the truthfulness of the subject or the subject matter in question.

Modernism Art: Picassos Les Demoiselles Davignon and Duchamps Fountain

These artists are considered the greatest artists of all time. One thing that these artists have in common is that they are both considered modernists. Modernism is art and culture implies a dismissal of the convention as well as dedication to radical innovations. Great artists preferred engaging in the experimentation process as well as discovery in order to explore other available possibilities of inventiveness and expression in the world that is rapidly changing in order to give art a new meaning.

Picasso is regarded as a modernist because he sought inspiration from different sources including Expressionism, African tribal arts, as well as post-impressionist paintings that belonged to Paul Cezanne. He then assimilated these dissimilar sources into a single piece; as a new approach to the work of art hence communicating just how much the perspective of the artists expanded with the advent of modernism.

On the other hand, Duchamp has also changed what now makes up the work of art me the modern period. He invented the readymade. Readymade is simply a manufactured object that is found to be have been abandoned and separated from its utilitarian function and presented in a unique and new manner as art. From this point, the work of art dos not only comprises of creating a whole new idea by the artist or any form of visual evidence that shows the hand of the artist in the production of that object. A good example of modernism, referring to Duchamps Fountain could be a piece of art that is generated from an abandoned porcelain cup or mug. Today, an artist only needs to designate the work as an act of art for it to be regarded as such.

Therefore, these two artists are considered modernist because they embraced the process of continuous discovery in order to find other possibilities of innovativeness to help in the expansion of arts definition (Serban 45). The two modernists have greatly expanded the extent to which art can be defined in the current society.

Comparison of Virgin and Child from Saint-Denis and Raphaels Small Cowper Madonna

Some of the most admired works of art of all time comprised statuettes of sacred figures. They were specifically made to be donated to the church or for private devotion. Virgin and Child from Saint-Denis was a statuette donated by Queen Jeanne Devereux to the Royal Abbey of Saint-Dennis. In this work of art, the Virgin holds her son, Christ, and a golden scepter. However, the gothic period is evident in the posture of the Virgin. It is known as the Gothic sway. The sculpture shows the need for personal devotion tools as there was still an increased production of these items hence showing that they were increasingly being accepted.

Madonna and Angels, on the other hand, is a painting of Madonna eating on a high stand clothed in elegant robes and with the baby Jesus on her lap. The painting too has four angels crowded on the left side of the picture looking at the baby Jesus admiringly. To the right of the picture, there are rows of marble columns and the disproportionally tiny form of St Jerome. St Jerome comes in the painting due to its relevance to the worship of the Virgin Mary. Like the Virgin and Child, this painting, before Raphael, was initially commissioned by Elena Baiardi to Santa Maria dei Servi Church in Parma. Moreover, Raphael's painting also has some gothic themes of the period just like in Angel and Child. These two artists had a similar theme of art during this period.

Works Cited

Serban, Alexandru. "Romanian Cinema: From Modernity to Neo-Realism." Film Criticism 34.2/3 (2009): 2-78.

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