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Artwork is one of the forms of communicating the culture of a community. This is by expressing the important values through a painting that emphasis a certain issue regarding a community. This paper will explore two arts- Giovanni Baglione, St. Sebastian Healed by an Angel of, c.1601-03 and Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907. Baglione’s painting that represent the period of post-tridentate by Oratorians and other religious guidelines, communicates an assurance of life restored to the saint by the angel, which implies that he owes the angel. Picasso’s painting, on the other hand, express the strength of a woman and how women are important in the society.
Baglione’s painting, Saint Sebastian healed by an angel, is an affectionate image of an angel consciously taking out an arrow from Saint Sebastian’s side. This image indicates the new emphasis that was placed on compassion and succor in the period of post-tridentate by Oratorians and other religious guidelines. The idea of an angel nursing a saint’s wound is rare; however, it certainly reflects devotional writing that narrated how Christ sent angels to untie and cure Sebastian’s wounds. Additionally, the angel may be linked to contemporary cults of guardian angels who are thought to take the superficial appearance of young boys. Baglione simply adopted superficial features, such as raking fleshy and light, bold and full-lipped faces in his painting (Baglione, & Jones).
Baglione’s painting, Saint Sebastian healed by an angel is an oil canvas painting, which is hand-painted. The size of this painting is 96 by 76 centimeters. The painting is proportional and harmonic in its balancing of the poses of figures and presence of high formal quality in its elements, especially on the faces of Saint Sebastian and the angel. Bodies in the painting occupy the available space with great freedom, as figures interact deeply in their feeling. The rectangular frame completes its composition harmoniously. The composition of the painting is essential and simple whereby the affectionate image of an angel consciously taking out an arrow from Saint Sebastian’s side provides signs of life.
Saint Sebastian is mostly represented in literature and art as person been shot using arrows, and Giovanni Baglione’s painting concerning the martyr is not very different. At a glance, one sees the frail body and limps of Saint Sebastian, and when one follows his body across the diagonal the work of art that one’s eyes meet is a young angel nursing the arrow wound that is on the lower abdomen. The arrow connects the angel and Saint Sebastian that the angel is lightly removing from Sebastian’s abdomen using her left hand. Jointly, these two figures create a letter ‘v’ that helps direct one’s eyes through this painting. This ‘v’ shape commands one’s attention to both figures alone. Intentions of Baglione in this painting are clear, and everything from the shadows to the relative placements of the bodies within the illustration draws the attention of the viewer back to the healing of Saint Sebastian.
The main apparent technique that Baglione uses in this painting in order to draw attention to the viewer about essential parts of his work is through the use of lighting and shadows. Facial expressions of the two figures, the wound together with the helping hand of the angel are brought to light in the help of visual rendering saint Sebastian’s healing. On the contrary, points of the portrait that are finer are kept aside in the shadows. Fine points such as the angel’s wing and the bound right arm of Saint Sebastian are hidden with the use of poor lighting. This implies that although, these parts play an important part in the painting, they are not vital to the picture represented (Baglione, & Jones).
Besides the difference between the lighted areas and the darker areas of the picture, one can see the difference in the different colors used. Baglione pays most attention to the angel and Saint Sebastian with bright and intense colors, mainly when evaluated to the background that is less colorful. Even, though, color focuses on different areas of this canvas, it also helps communicate something important and deeper regarding these figures. The angel reveals a rosy glow whereas the injured Saint is guzzled by whitish pallor. The color of the Saint Sebastian communicates the weakness he has; however, the glowing angel at his side brings recovery and life to this portrait.
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon painting is of five nude women from a brothel in Avignon Street in Barcelona. It was painted in Paris and depicts each figure as disjointed body shapes with mask like faces. Critics have stated the resemblance of the painting to Cezanne’s Les Grandes Baigneuses and The opening of the 5th seal by El Greco. It is a perfect representation of cubism as the viewers are able to have different perspectives of the subject. It is considered as the work that launched cubism in the 20th century and was a complete break from anything he had done previously. A close analysis of the painting shows that the disjointed figures complement each other and are different from each other. This is whereby the woman on the right and the two on the left have a mask like expressions. The background mixes with subjects, showing that it is important just like as the subjects (Andersen, Wayne).
The subjects show the impact and influence or other art forms on this painting by Picasso. The flattened woman’s torso on the left side of the painting, show an influence by Egyptian art, and the mask like expression from Negro art. The noses of the central figure show an influence from the Iberian art. He highlights the cut shapes with colored lines like those found on African tribes’ men. He imitates Van Gogh and Cezanne by getting rid of black in the painting and using bright colors like red and blue. The open contours are painted in dark blue green with the shadows done in blue. The two primitive masks are framed by the blue drapes which depict a window behind the subjects.
The bright colors have been used to show a sense of flatness and no sense of depth. Picasso allows the spilling of color from one area to the next, for example, the dark outline on the woman’s head at the right hand spreads to her arm There is contrast in the blue line that divides the right and the left group of subjects and in renaissance art this shows ideal harmony (total contrast with what the viewers feel when they view Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. The composition of the painting at first sight looks like it is made up of two unequal parts with two on the right and three women on the left. However, looking at the picture with relation to the background, the painting seems to have three zones. The 1st zone is made by two women on the right, two in the middle and one woman (Gantefu%u0308hrer 6).
The visual rendition of Giovanni Baglione’s canvas of the healing of the saint and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon’s painting is of five nude women from a brothel in Avignon Street in Barcelona can be evidently well considered prior to making the portrait. The placing of figures and colors in the painting are original to draw any viewer. In conclusion, it is evident that these paintings are impressive. There are paintings that many people admire and make them appreciate painting made by many artists, which helps encourage many artists, thereby motivating them to come up with excellent work.