Aesthetics - Emotionalism When it comes to art work there are several different theories of understanding and interpreting art work. The best way this author understands art work and appreciates art work is through emotionalism. The theory of emotionalism is defined as, “the most important element about a work of art is its vivid communication of moods, feelings, and ideas” (Indiana Wesleyan University Syllabus, 2013). For art work to speak to this author there must be vivid feelings, an obvious mood displayed, or an idea of understanding.
While there are several pieces of art throughout the textbook, Gardner’s Art through the Ages, there are three that really show why this author appreciates art work with emotionalism shown. These three pieces of art will show why emotionalism is something to be appreciated in art work. The first piece of art that depicts emotionalism is, the portrait of Caracalla, ca 211-217 CE, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, p. 114 (Kleiner, 2010, p. 114). To this author the portrait depicts emotion or feelings. If one was to look at this piece one might think that this person was angered or in fear of someone or something.
A piece of art that makes one think, what is going on or what is on this person’s mind, is a piece of art that this author really appreciates. Emotionalism art work is art work that makes the viewer look for feelings in which this piece does. This author believes that the portrait of Caracalla is a great example of the theory of emotionalism, and could easily be described as to why. The next example of emotionalism found in the text book is, A Harvest of Death, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, New York Public Library, New York, p. 360 (Kleiner, 2010, p. 360).
The art work is a picture of a field with dead soldiers lying all over. This art work depicts all of the vivid communication found in emotionalism. With moods, in this art work, one might feel sad or happy (depending on what side you are on). With feelings one could feel anger or sadness from the loss. Or one could feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do. The emotion of feeling is endless in this piece as it would depend on what side one is looking at this piece. The final emotion is ideas. With ideas in this piece, one might think that this side lost or could draw quick conclusions by the death total.
This piece of art prompts a lot of ideas that could quickly draw one to the piece. The title alone would lead one to draw ideas on what has happened. This author feels that this piece of art work is another great piece that show emotionalism. The final piece of art that this author feels that best shows emotionalism is, Max Beckmann, Night, 1918-1919 Kunstsammlung Noedrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, p. 400 (Kleiner, 2010, p. 400). This piece of art displays the feelings of the artist as to portray what he believed was the brutality of the 20th century. The art work shows disfigured people being pulled, stretched, and twisted.
This art work gives the idea that society is harsh and people are being torn apart trying to survive. Again, this is another great example of emotionalism, because the people in the art work show feeling and moods. This art work could easily be described as a display of emotion. This could also be described as art work to show the hectic change of event brought on by the new society’s expectations. This work by Max Beckmann is a great piece to explain emotionalism at the theory behind it. As one can see there are several ways to emphasize emotionalism.
These three pieces of art work that this author has chosen, will show you the ideas behind the theory and how to depict each idea. There are many ways to see and understand emotionalism in art work. These three examples are just a few that will help one better understand what emotionalism is and how to find it in art. This author hopes that his examples were found to be helpful in gaining a better understanding behind his chosen theory and would encourage one to explore emotionalism in art. References Kleiner, F. S. (2010). Gardner’s Art through the Ages (2nd ed. ). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.