１．Fantasy Art Collection
In this essay, 5 artworks are introduced by my own criteria. The first one is Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. When I was an elementary school student, I read every story from Bible because I went to a church, and also I was interested in the Biblical world. This artwork’s story is probably on the beginning of Bible, so I remembered clearly. Therefore, I selected it. The next one is Temptation and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This is also from Biblical story. The reason why I selected is almost same as the first one. In addition to that, it is because I like the facial expression of which Adam and Eve after they committed the first sin. The third one is Annunciation. When I was in an elementary school, I also had played the scene as one of the characters. Hence, I strongly feel a connection to this art. I chose The Last Supper as the forth artwork. I have a little different reason from others. At a glance, it makes me comfortable and attracts me due to the symmetry arrangement. The final artwork is the Pieta made by young Michelangelo. This is the most favorite artwork in the five because even though it was said that the sculpture was technically difficult to curve, he made it. Moreover, Jesus’s relaxing atmosphere attracts me. Through these artworks which I selected, I noticed that I focused on two categories when I chose something. It is important for me whether the artworks are familiar with me or has peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
２．The first artwork is Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac created by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
It was carved around 1401. From the left side, there are two men. One man shows us his back, and another man is behind the mountain and touches a donkey like animal which is located on between the two men. At the top of a left side, ram is sitting on the mountain whose surface is uneven; also, we can recognize grass behind the ram. A man with a knife is arranged in the center of this artwork. Next to him, a naked and muscular boy who is bounded his hands bends his knees on a stand. Plus, clothes is on the ground. At the top of a right side, an angel fries air and stretches an arm. Background is painted with black. Moreover, this art is carved on the Quatrefoil because it is created as a sample of a door’s design. In addition to that, this art is a finalist of the first competition. Actually, Lorenzo’s art won the prize since it describes a whole story more precisely. The story comes from a testament. One day, God commands that Abraham should sacrifice his precious son for the prosperity of his offspring. He goes to the mountain with two young men, his son whose name is Isaac and a donkey. On the way to the mountain, Abraham says to the young men to wait until they come back. He and Isaac gather woods to burn a sacrifice, and Isaac asks where the sacrifice is. Abraham confesses everything to Isaac, and then he ties Isaac’s hands with a rope on a stand. When he is about to kill Isaac, an angel appears and calls him to stop killing. The angel mentions that he understands how Abraham scares God, and also he gives ram as a sacrifice instead of Isaac. I use two criteria to evaluate this art, which are subject and meaning and aesthetics. This story is familiar with me because I am sure that even today, there are some parents who make children work without their will. In this art, Abraham asks Isaac to be a sacrifice without his will. I can figure out the situation. That is, it fulfills the purpose which is telling a story, and it leads to another criteria, aesthetics. There are many beneficial point to describe a story. What I interested in is arrangement of characters. By utilizing depth to arrange characters, I can find out a sequence of the story. In addition, Abraham’s expression is powerful, and it does not have so much exaggeration. I like the unevenness of mountain’s surface as well because it represents more harshness of the situation. On the contrary, Brunelleschi’s artwork is not attractive to me because it is more physical appearing. For instance, the story tells that an angel just calls Abraham; nevertheless, the angel physically grasps his hand. In addition, Abraham holds up Isaac’s neck. I think it has too much details. Unlike this art, Lorenzo’s art does not have any physical interactions. It is appearing for me since I can imagine the story to cover the gaps. If the art was in my house, I could enjoy the story every day. Therefore, I selected Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.
３．The second artwork is Temptation and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden which was made by Michelangelo around 1508 to 1512.
This is one of artworks of The Sistine Ceiling frescoes. It is in Sistine chapel which is in Vatican City, Rome. In this art, we can recognize one man who is naked and grabs a brunch with his left hand. He is blond hair and muscular. Next to him, there is a naked woman. She is sitting on the rock and raises her left hand. In the middle, there is a tree with green reeves. Snake like human is on the tree and tries to give something to the woman. Behind the snake, there is an angel having a stick. The angel wears red clothes. On the right side, the man and woman are painted, which are identical persons to the left ones. In the left side, there are rocks, and the man and woman’s skin color is vivid; on the contrary, on the right side, green field spreads out, and their skin color is not so colorful; also, their facial expressions are different from each other. Background is painted with white and blue. This art represents bible story. The first man called Adam and the first girl called Eve are ordered by God that they must not eat one tree which is called the knowledge of good and evil. If they eat, they will be dead. Meanwhile, they follow the rule; however, one day Satan appears as a snake and suggests to Adam and Eve that they should eat the banned fruits. Eve rejects the offer because God prohibits to do so. The Satan continues to persuade Eve and says that if she eats the fruits, she can obtain knowledge of good and evil and her eyes are opened like God. She loses the temptation to eat the fruits, and she eats it; also, she takes it and gives it to Adam. After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve recognize they are naked. Soon, God notices they break the rule, they are exiled from the Eden. It is said that this is the first sin which human beings commit. I think this art functions well to tell a story. Actually, I already knew this story before learning it in the class. However, although I knew it, the artwork is really attractive to me. At a glance, I was drawn to the sequence of this story. It is important for me how the art effectively describes the story, so I liked it because I can easily figure out the chronological order and characters’ changes of facial expression. For example, at the right side, Adam and Eve look enjoying their lives, but at the left side, their facial expressions are more ugly than right side’s ones. In addition to that, the color of body is different. I think it represents a transition from a right life into a sever life. In my opinion, Michelangelo expresses the transition of their feelings and lives by changing the facial expression and the color. I got interested in this art because it has emotionally impact on me. Furthermore, I know the story of a continuation. After the God notices that Adam and Eve break a rule due to the Satan, the snake like Satan loses its both hands, and since back then a snake can only crawl to move around as a punishment from the God. I am curious about the reason why the snake has been the symbol of an evil since the time when the art was painted. I like not only the picture, but also the story, so if I had it, I would like to share this feeling with others; therefore, I chose it.
４．The third artwork is the Annunciation which is also called Cestello Annunciation.
This art is made by Sandro Botticelli around 1489-90 when is during the Early Renaissance period. This is one of the most beautiful and dramatic artwork. In addition, the artwork is painted using 1-point perspective. In this art, there is an angel on the left side. She has a lily with her right hand which is a shape of cross and wings. In addition, she bends her right knee on the floor. Also, she has long brown hair and wears red clothes. White smoke covers around her. A woman is on the right side as well. She wears red, blue, and black clothes. She closes her eyes and stretches her both hands. Plus, she puts on a kind of a crown. Moreover, red squares and white lines are painted on the floor. There is a book and a stand for the book on the right side. From the window, we can see one large tree, a castle, river, and grass field. A frame is decorated gorgeously. On the bottom of the frame, a horse and a Jesus like man. This art tells a scene of the Annunciation which is from Bible story. One day, when Mary is reading a book in her house, the angel, Gabriel, appears in front of Mary and says to Mary that she will be blessed with a child; the child will be great person. The child is Jesus. However, Mary first cannot understand what Gabriel says because anyone will be scared if they are said the same things as Mary. Actually, she has not got married yet; in other words, she is still virgin. Back then, having a child before getting married was considered as a bad thing, so she cannot accept the suggestion. Gabriel continues to persuade her. She says again that the child is a boy, and he is given by God. The boy will definitely have a holy power and be born as a son of God. After Mary listens to the Gabriel’s words, she accepts everything. I think this artwork has entertainment values. One of the point that I got interested in is the smoke surrounded the angel, Gabriel. Although there are many artworks about the Annunciation, any paintings do not have such an expression. In my opinion, the picture becomes more vibrant and lively by using the smoke. In addition to that, the feeling of Mary is also clear. The story tells that she first scares about the angel. The picture represents her emotion well since she tries to refuse the angel’s suggestion by using her both hands and retreats her body backwards a little bit. Such movements attract me. Soon I look at the art, I liked it. Moreover, after I read explanation of this artwork in the online text, I got interested in it more deeply. The text says about its background that the scenery which we can recognize from the window is an imaginary world. I am curious about the reason why Botticelli painted the castle and a big tree in the imaginary world. In my opinion, there is not a reason. He just wanted to paint the scenery or his hope that he wanted to live such a wonderful place. Because the art draws my attention in many ways and makes me guess many things, I chose this artwork.
５．The forth artwork is Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper which was painted around 15th century, and it is in the dining hall of Santa Maria.
It is said that this is the second famous Leonardo’s art. He depicts twelve Jesus’ pupil in the art, and they are divided four groups. From the left side, a man with a blue clothes stands up and looks at Jesus. Next to him, there are men with a red clothes and a green clothes. The green man holds up his both hands. In the next group, the three people wear blue clothes. One of them retreats his body, and others bring close to their faces each other. In the right side, the three persons face each other and use hand gesture. The last group pays attention to Jesus. In addition to that, there is Jesus in the middle. He wears a red clothes with blue cloth on it and puts his left hand on a table. Also, he looks down on the table. On the table, there are many breads and plates. There are three windows on backwards. Moreover, in this artwork, 2-point perspective is utilized. The model of this art is from Bible story. This story is an event which happens before Jesus is killed with a cross. One day, Jesus invites his twelve pupils for a supper. The twelve pupils sit on a chair and start to talk each other. Jesus sits on the middle seat. Before they begin to eat the dinner, Jesus start to speak to them. He suggests that he will be killed in a few days with a cross and today, one of the twelve pupils will betray him. His remarks surprise everybody, and they ask why Jesus say such a thing because every pupils respect him. Jesus keeps talking them without answering their questions that he will give a bread and a cup of milk from now, and the person who receives them will betray him. The pupils start to discuss who betrays Jesus, and then Jesus gives the bread and a cup of milk to one person who is Judas Iscariot. Judas is surprised at him. Other pupils ask Judas strongly, but he cannot endure the situation; he runs away from the supper. I evaluate this story in subject and meaning. The reason why I chose it will be explained in the relation between the story and the picture. I have ever heard the mystery about The Last Supper. The mystery is that according to the Biblical story, there must be twelve pupils on the art, but some people say that the person who sits next to Jesus may be Mary, the mother of Jesus. If the statement is true, there are only eleven pupils on the picture. This is the mystery. If I were rich and could buy the art, I would like to research about the mystery. Another reason why I chose this art is atmosphere. This artwork makes me comfortable because the Jesus’ facial expression is relaxed. In addition, 2-point perspective is used in the art, so it looks almost symmetry painting. I was attracted by such thing. Moreover, simply, since this is one of the most famous paintings in the world, I soon liked it. Even though I cannot evaluate it in terms of craftsmanship; however, I was drawn by this art’s world. It means that I can understand how the pupils are surprised at Jesus’ confession.
６．The final artwork is the Pieta which was made by Michelangelo in 1499 with a marble.
When he was just 23 years old, he was hired to carve it. It was made of stone, so if he made a mistake, he had to throw away much stone because it was unforgiving. The artwork’s subject is human, and there one woman and one man. The woman wear a long clothes from top of her head to toes. The clothes is complexly carved. She also closes her eyes and sits on a rock. Moreover, she holds up a man with her right hand, and the man is lying on her knees. The man’s face is looking up, but his eyes are not opened. The man has a long hair and a beard; also, he puts a cloth on his waist. In addition, we can see a soft expression between the woman’s right hand and the man’s body. Actually, the woman is Mary who is a mother of the man, Jesus. This sculpture depicts one scene from a Biblical story. The story begins from the time when Jesus is killed with a cross. As soon as the punishment is over and the death of Jesus is recognized, Mary comes to take care of him. She releases Jesus from the cross and embrace him softly. He has no longer power, so he is just relaxed and looks like sleeping peacefully. Mary looks at his relaxing face and smiles softly with a great love. When I saw this artwork, I soon decided to select it for one of five art. The point I was attracted was really their facial expression. I truly like it because I can easily figure out the comfortable feelings. On the other hand, Michelangelo’s later Pieta is not attractive to me because it does not have a peaceful image. Moreover, the art is not relaxing but more physically demanding. In other word, the later artwork needs three persons to support Jesus. The situation is uncomfortable for me; on the contrary, the artwork which was made when he was 23 years old has only Mary. Jesus is supported by only Mary in the artwork; in my opinion, it represents a more relaxing image without giving a power. I prefer peaceful image to violence feelings. Although the later artwork does not have violence image, I feel more intense expression. Therefore, if I were a rich person, I would like to buy the Pieta to make me comfortable in the house.
In conclusion, I noticed that I chose only artworks which have a biblical story. From this thing, I learned that art has an ability to tell a story, to attract someone, and to change someone’s feeling because I actually changed my mood when I saw some art. In my opinion, such art will not be accepted by any person, but it will be precious thing for certain people. As to myself, I thought I like a simple art, and also I would like artwork to have a story. The artwork which does not have any story is not attractive for me. In other words, I will not enjoy the artwork with no story. Thus, I cannot accept abstraction style because some do not have any stories; moreover, others cannot be recognized even any subjects, and also it looks so complicated. Such artworks are annoying for me. I hope that the style and art’s purpose will be returned to traditional ways.