Three Romantic Pictures – Assignment Example

The paper "Three Romantic Pictures" is a good example of an assignment on performing arts. In the Peristyle (J.W. Waterhouse) 1874 This Pre-Raphaelite painter uses a biblical setting. Is this young Jesus in the temple? The viewer cannot help feeling there is a message in the picture: be kind to animals, or, live a tranquil and idyllic life. So this must be viewed with a formalist, iconographic eye because of its theme and its atmosphere. It is almost like a holy picture, with nothing controversial or out of place. Its romantic sense is all according to Kreis. Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (C.D. Friedrich) 1818 Many of this Romantic-era painter’s pictures show a disappearing off into the distance, or a far horizon, which some interpreters think is a path to life. In this mysterious picture, the viewer looks at the man’s back but does not wonder what he looks like... because the viewer becomes the man in the picture. So Friedrich is forcing identification, a very clever device which is not as simple as it looks. The fog is turbulent, so the man (and the viewer) think of what goes wrong in life, or how nature is wild and worrying, so in this sense it must be seen with a psychoanalytical eye. Orphan Girl in a Cemetery (E. Delacroix) 1823/24 This girl looks weak with grief even before one discovers the title and that she is in a graveyard. Delacroix made this study for a larger work, but it is seen as a masterpiece today because of the way she is turned to one side and has tears in her eyes. It is a realist, but romantic in the sense that ‘childhood is good and emotions allow the heart to soar’ (Kreis). This can be viewed with a number of eyes because it expresses tragedy and desolation in a beautiful way. So I think it is semiotic (to do with symbolic themes.)