• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Annunciation. In this essay, I will compare and contrast two of such paintings to demonstrate how El Greco evolved artistically over time

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast two paintings of your choice under the headings composition, space, form, tone, colour, subject matter and historical context. The Annunciation'- the moment where, according to Christian belief, the Virgin Mary is visited by the archangel Gabriel and informed that she will bear the Son of God - was a favourite theme of Domenikos Theotokopoulos (1541-1614), more famously known as 'El Greco'. He was born in Crete but eventually settled in Toledo, Spain and through the course of his career produced several variations on this subject. In this essay, I will compare and contrast two of such paintings to demonstrate how El Greco evolved artistically over time and attained the trademark qualities, which have transformed him into one of the greatest and most original painters in history. The first of these paintings dates from 1576 1 and was completed just before El Greco left Rome for Spain. Thus, this earlier The Annunciation, or EA for short, was created at a turning point in El Greco's career, where his original formation in the Byzantine icon painting tradition had been supplemented by further artistic education in Venice and Rome. ...read more.

Middle

and Gabriel who gazes down reverently, poised on a puff of cloud. In EA, the Virgin's surprise is captured as she sits in her room, whereas in LA, we are not quite sure where she is; we see a hint of the dais, the steps, and the weaving basket, but otherwise she is very much surrounded by the same mysterious swirl of clouds as the celestial beings. In line with the norms of sixteenth century Italian painting, El Greco uses linear and aerial perspective in EA to convey depth. We can see how the rows of floor tiles transform into a sloping, nondescript stretch of plane, which converges towards a vanishing point. Similarly, space is created by the warmer colours in the foreground, which project towards the spectator and the cool, light blue sky, which recedes into the background. In LA, however, there is no spatial depth and no such perspectival tools can be perceived, save for the foreshortened wings of the angel and the white dove - the latter rendered so extremely that it almost pierces through the picture plane. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the Virgin was traditionally depicted in blue, El Greco elects to clad her in cool, madder red in LA (though still adding a midnight-blue cape), which along with the other splashes of vermilion, orange, and incandescent yellow, stand out sharply from the ashen backdrop to create chromatic tension, underscoring the spiritual drama of the narrative achieved by all the other pictorial elements we have looked at. This comparison of these two paintings clearly illustrates just how much El Greco's style evolved over the years and reflects the many-faceted influences he came under, culminating in an idiosyncratic style characterized by elongated figures, mystical and supernatural realms, compressed space and exaggerated contrasts in tone and colour. He had no qualms about rejecting norms of proportion, perspective and form if these did not support his pursuit for an intensely personal artistic expression. The rediscovery of his work in the late 19th century and his subsequent influence on the likes of Delacroix, Picasso and Pollock are a testament to the fact that El Greco was most definitely an artist ahead of his time. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Fine Art, Design Studies, Art History, Crafts section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Fine Art, Design Studies, Art History, Crafts essays

  1. Compare and contrast contemporary fashion with two past periods of fashion.

    There was a lot of diversity in this theme, from the military looks to the sharply tailored voluminous designs. The Sixties beat look was also prominent in shows like Hermes, Burberry and Miu Miu. The Beat Look At Miu Miu the beat look was dark and sophisticated.

  2. Essay with Tutor's comments. I will compare two artists plates, outlining the key differences ...

    like the fruit, which compares against the much rougher and unblended brushstrokes of the Cezanne picture? [J22]although both techniques give a "reality" to the picture but in very different ways[J23]. Bibliography Moohan,Elaine (2008) The Arts Past and Present, Reputations, Milton Keynes, The Open University[J24] Fear, T.

  1. Compare and Contrast two choreographers works and choreographic process

    Through metamorphosing this strict style by looking at the skills like turnout, the up right state of the body, relationships and the special diversity of the dance Forsythe is able to create a form of dance that draws a lot of attention.

  2. Martin Jay contrasts Renaissance and Baroque approaches to visuality in his article 'Scopic regimes ...

    It saw the beginnings of geometrical mathematics used to represent objects, and the portrayal of three dimensional rationalized space, as viewed through a singular eye, rather than jumping from focal point to focal point (Jay, 1988 p.7). Indeed, the shadows and true representation of a foreground and background made the

  1. Documentary Photography. Focusing mainly on a comparison between photographers and their styles, this ...

    was as much different to, but every bit as important as Walker Evans' work. Evans joined the FSA in 1935; Roy Stryker was captivated and influenced by his already established systematic style of documenting city life, culture and architecture where he lived in New York.

  2. This essay will focus on two paintings by Paul Czanne and Palma Vecchio which ...

    Despite his use of complementary colours and very dark and light blue, these shades appear only ulterior (e.g. on the trunks) and are melanged with more moderate shades, so that overall the painting does not seem lurid. Cézanne's use of colour makes it hard to identify a certain night-/daytime but

  1. Coronation of the Virgin Mary by Guariento di Arpo

    The two figures are floating in mid-air while they are being heralded by angels who are placed near their heads. It is evident that these figures are celestial beings due to the incorporation of halos within each character. Moving further down the panel, there are a plethora of angels who gaze up in amazement over the event.

  2. Jackson Pollock. Pollock defined modern art through two words, freedom and originality.

    the lines to flow from one corner to another, also known as ? all over? painting. The line is flowing however there is hardness to the edges as they are splattered on harshly. The flowing of the lines creates movement through the piece by making the viewer draw their attention to many aspects of the painting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work