The18th and 19th-century artist playeda significant role intrying to explain ‘reality’ and ‘authenticity’ through theirwork. Art is an image and a reflection of the reality. Some of theartist who worked during thiserain the discussion is William Hogarth, Edouard Manet, and Vincent VanGogh. Through their work, they explained reality and also useddifferent art techniques. A Rake Progress, Olympia Manet, and Bedroomin Arles are some of the works in the discussion.
ARake Progress by William Hogarth
JustLike many other artists who painted during this time as highlightedbefore, William also played acriticalrole in explaining the truth and legitimacy. For example,this is evident in one of his work called A Rake Progress. In thisseries of eight painting, reality isbroughtout when the artist tells a story about a boy who goes to the cityand spends all his wealth in lavish lifestyle and gambling (Wood, p67). Itisnot just a painting but an accurate reflection of what many youths gothrough in the society, even today.
Soas to define the nature or preference of art views,William Hogarth uses a series of artworkso that he can tell a story. Although many painters have narratedstories in their works before, this is unique since it has variousimages which act as a continuation of the story. One of the mostcommon creative element applied inthis paper isthe use of value. In art, value defines the use of light color anddark shade to tell a story. The series of works done by William,there is maximumuse ofdark color maybe to symbolize the night lifestyle the person indiscussion lived. In most of the pictures, the person in the debatehasmany women who expressalifethat representshis downfall. In one of the picture, he is also shown at the gamblingparlor maybe to represent the money he had since one must have enoughcash before taking part in thisacitivity.
OlympiaManet by Edouard Manet
Itisyet another famous artwork developed during the 18th and the 19thcenturies and clearly defines realismas well as truthfulness. DesignedbyManet, the artwork shows portraysreality since itis all about prostitution. The art is a painting of a woman who islying on the bed naked receiving flowers from a black servant. It iseasy to tell that the lady is a commercial sex worker from thebracelets she is putting on and the type of hair design she has. Ithitsactuality since prostitution is a huge issue today. Moreover, theaspect of truthisgiven outin the painting from the way the lady relates with both white andblack servants. During the 18th and 19th century, slavery was common,and this might be the other point which the artist is trying to passacross.
Theartist decides to usea black face since most of the slaves wereboughtfrom Africa. It was important to give the information especially thenwhen the blacks were suffering. Apart from just being anartwork,this might also beusedfor demonstrations of the black’s rights. It is easy to note thathe uses female nudity to pass across valuable information by goingthrough the other work of the drawer.The illustratorunderstands that if he usesfemale nakednessthen he will draw people’s attention and they will want to knowwhat the art is allabout.For instance, with this drawing in the discussion, he has used thedishabille woman but addressed two issues which are prostitution andslavery. Despite the use of undress, people get to learn the realproblemsfacing the world as well as defining his art priority.
Manetmakes use of symbolism in this work. The first symbol is the blackservant who is presenting the flower to white naked female. The blackperson is used to symbolize slavery during that era. As evenhighlighted before, the nudity in the painting symbolizesprostitution. The woman is entirelyunclothed inbed meaning she is ready for sex. Apparently, the flowers which arebeingpresentedtoherare symbolic as well. They represent the valuable gift men giveprostitutes o that they can sleep with them. Moreover, the lying ofthe woman in bed,while the black servant is standing,is relatively figurative. Itreflectsthe comfort the whites lived with while the black people had toendure hard times.
Bedroomin Arles by Vincent van Gogh
Vincentvan Gogh is a famous artist who painted during the 19th century andtried to bring out the theme of reality and authenticity in most ofhis works, and example being Bedroom in Arles. Gogh brings veracityin this jobfrom the setting he uses and the whole idea of the ordinary humanlife. The works presentedthree differenttimes hasthe same story, which isall about the drawer’s life when living in Arles. He decides tomake a painting of his bedroom so that he can send it to his brotherto show him the universalnature of lifestyle he is living. Throughthis art, it is easy to tell that their art priority is landscapepaintings.Although most aspectsfocus on the outdoors, this one is just about his bedroom. All thethings which are in the room areincludedin the painting.
Unlikethe second and the third pieces of art presented by this artist, thefirst one isnot colored.Itisone of the primary reasons why he had to come up with other printswhich are just improvisations of the first one. For example, there isa bed, chairs, and even the window. To emphasize that there is theexactway his bedroom looks like, the artist has even indicated fourportraits on the right side of the wall. From the three paintingspresented by the artist, he used the element of color. Unlike thefirst picturepresented in 1888, the new one of 1889 had more colors. He realizedthat his filmneeded more effectsto be more attractive. Just like the other artists during thisperiod, this one too makes good use of imagery. Allegory in theartwork is evident from the utilizationof the portraits on the wall. These paintingssymbolize the importanceof friendship since the artist received them from his friends who aredrawers as well.
Inconclusion, just like today, art was imperativeduring the 18thand 19 century. During this time, most artists expressed reality intheir works. For example, so as to define reality, they would paintan artwork which would tell a story which most people would realize.Some of the greatest artists who painted during this era were WilliamHogarth, Edouard Manet, and Vincent Van Gogh.
Wood, M. (2013). BlackMilk: Imagining Slavery in the Visual Cultures of Brazil and America.New York : OUP Oxford.