Liberty leading the people Essay

Submitted By dannyvaguirre11
Words: 904
Pages: 4

Art Appreciation
October 6, 2013
Essay 1: Liberty Leading the People Times were rough in France in the early eighteenth hundreds for all of the country’s inhabitants. The people of France started an uprising in Paris that tumbled one government and installed another. Throughout all the violence that was happening in the country, the power of art and its symbolisms still prevailed with one man’s painting. The influential Eugene Delacroix was one of France’s most beloved painters during the French Revolution of 1830, with his painting Liberty Leading the People painted in September of 1830 and completed two months later. “This painting was originally used as a political poster (Getlin 57)”, which represented Delacroix’s radical views on the revolution. Liberty Leading the People shows a group of commoners walking over dead French soldiers, following their leader, the goddess Liberty. Delacroix’s use of light and dark colors compliments the scene by showing the dark side and bright side to war. The artwork celebrates war while the French citizens went on a conquest to reinstate their presence in the French country, which allows for peace to be presented for everyone. The figure of Liberty dominated the scene as she leads the charging people trampling over the corpses beneath them, she commands attention. The people surrounding the symbolic lady are marching ahead with no remorse, fighting for their right to be free. The idealized figure gave a big boost to the people in the painting and it shows by her facial strong and steady facial expression. Delacroix created a pyramid structure with the female figure as the peak and the dead soldiers on the ground as the base. It also shows off the figure as the focal point while she holds the vibrant French flag that shows the power behind the nation. In this painting Delacroix has a large amount of dark back ground which he adds vibrant colors to make the true meaning stand out. The bright red, white and blue of the flag at the center of the canvas lead the eye on a journey. Delacroix repeats this same color scheme just below the flag on the clothing of a man reaching for the figure. His sash is red and a white shirt peaks out from a blue jacket. The colors of the flag are not used just for artistic preference; they represent France and the Revolution. The fighters are united with the female representing liberty. The red belt and peasant attire represent the contemporary workers of Paris. The color of the clothing also varied between the other characters in the painting. Distinguishing the people and emphasizing that all of the classes and principles combined in this revolution to achieve a common goal. The significant meanings that colors have in artwork help the viewer analyze and understand the piece of art in a far greater manner. As stated in the prior paragraph the dark areas overwhelm the light areas in the paintings, but the light shines on the key points of the piece. The smoke from the cannons and the little amount of light that comes out of the smoke magnifies the greatness of the female figure with the flag. The light surrounding her emphasizes her power to lead the group of French citizens for their fight to freedom. The light is also on the fallen figure under her, which like many more gave their lives for the cause of freedom. The light shows off that the only way victory can prevail is through the loss of life; which the dead bodies have a dark shade