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Arh Essay 1


Option #1:

Look carefully at Hogarth’s Breakfast Scene From Marriage a la Mode and David’s Oath of the Horatii. Both images contain social commentary yet their message and style are quite different. Write at least 2 pages analyzing and comparing them. Here are some questions that might help your analysis, but do not be limited by them, Look at the spaces and figures within them. Describe the architectural setting and any accessories you can see, Then look at the figures. How many figures are there and how do they relate to each other and the spaces that each artist has created? What are the figures wearing and how the costumes relate to the message the artist is trying to convey? What historical period ia each depicting? Look at the poses of the individual figures. What does the pose of each figure tell us about the personality and motivation of that figure?

What was the political background in which each image was created? What style did each artist use and how might the style have been important for the message? Why might one of the artists have used a classical theme while the other created a stage set? What was the social purpose of each image? How does Hogarth employ satire in his work? What is tragic about David’s painting? What was each artist trying to get people to think about? How effective do you think each artist was in sending his message?

  • William Hogarth, Marriage A-la-Mode (including Tête à Tête) (Links to an external site.)
  • David, Oath of the Horatii (Links to an external site.)

Option #2:

Explore aspects of 19th century Romanticism.  Compare and contrast Fuseli’s the Nightmare, Goya’s Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters , and  Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus.

Describe in detail what is taking place in each of these 3 works,  and explain the ways in which  each artist  explores extreme emotional states. In what ways do these works reject the positive attitudes of Enlightenment thinkers?  What are the sources of such dark themes in literature , poetry and folk tales  ? What are the possible moral messages in each work? What aspects of the romantism as a cultural movement are illustrated  by each artist?

  • Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare (Links to an external site.)
  • Goya, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (Links to an external site.)
  • The Death of Sardanapalus
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