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Modernism in Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” and Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Girl” Essay

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Updated: Jan 5th, 2022

Introduction

After the Second World War, the center of art moved from Europe to the United States leading to modern American art movements commonly referred to as abstract expressionism. Due to the movement of many designers to the United States, there was a relative change in the direction of American architecture. This paper examines the reflection of the modernist perspectives in two modern artworks done by Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830) and Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl (1963). The paper examines the differences and similarities of modern perspectives in the two works.

Brief Analysis

The style used by Eugène Delacroix is associated with romance which was common during this period. It symbolizes the events of the time when the struggle against oppression took the centre stage. Delacroix provided a partly nude, majestic woman with clear expressions of noble dignity and a painting of armed citizens moving forward to witness the barricade. The woman herself wears a cap of liberty and advances to her dead supporters with the royal French troops gathered around her.

Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl is an example of a comic style in the late 1960s. It is a picture of a girl’s head covered by waves and inclusion of a caption to convey the message of the girl. The size of the picture is large, oversized, and striking. The woman is emotional and has abandoned herself as she drowns. The caption suggests that she opts to die rather than call out for help.

Similarities

The modern perspective entails the use of a modern way of thinking in the design of a piece of art. This includes the use of character and the modern practice in the design in the modern era. Such works must portray some sense of cultural tendencies and an elaborate explanation of the cultural movements depending on the message the designer wants to communicate. This is evident in the two pieces of work. The use of visual elements in both works is clear evidence of a revolution in art that brings about the visual language with a degree of references to the objects in the world. Such objects should communicate a real message. The two pieces of work depict a move from reality since the differences, in reality, are slight and partial. Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People gives an abstract of the reality of liberty in the use of color and form.

In both the pictures, there is the use of the supremacy of nature to express the emotions in the piece of work. Nature has become a very powerful tool in communicating different messages in design. During this period, there was a great use of technology and nature. This assisted the artists to use nature to explain their message in the architecture. In Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, the artist puts his supremacy of nature as a subject of experience. The artist communicates the message of liberty as a subject with different symbols and nature. In the Drowning Girl, nature is portrayed strongly with a variety of technological improvements. During this period, modernism had brought about the use of many elements to illustrate nature. Such elements could only be appropriate when technology was applied.

During this period, modernism led to the sophistication of architecture by the adoption of various elements in a single piece of work. This entailed the dramatic styles that are evident in the two pieces of work and the well-designed work. The use of commercial materials for design led to different elements included in the piece of work. Such styles give a review of the tone of the art and the use of emotions displayed in the piece of work. This sophistication leads to the faster production of work that is more bold and aggressive.

Both works also give a unique quality of socialism and culture. The works communicate a message of social issues of life and daily life events. The new fashion is evident from the two pieces of work since the quality of the work portrays a new comic style. This element was not present in the earlier versions of art.

Differences

The two pieces of work have several differences. The use of visual arts is different in the two works. Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People uses visual arts and paintings in landscapes and portraits. This depicts more realism especially when there were parallel movements in world war two. The use of painting for the background gives a better understanding of the emotions. During this time, there was the use of paint to cover the land and the cultures of the people.

Unlike Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl is more of an explanation of emotions characterized by pop movement. Such a piece of work concentrates on the removal of different materials from their usual context and the complete isolation of the object or the total combination of the object with the other objects for observation. This work employs the use of mass culture and cultural objects existing in the social setup. This piece of work is also characterized by labeling. Labeling is a common aspect in advertising since the labels are used to depict a message that can be communicated through words. The labeling stands out as a subject matter to communicate what may not be understood through the visual elements (Pohl 46).

Conclusion

The design of any piece of work should be related to the message to be conveyed. The use of different styles in a piece of work can be extended with the deployment of different technologies that have been evident since the 19th century. This has led to quality works that communicate clear messages.

Work Cited

Pohl, Francis. Framing America: A Social History of American Art. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2002.

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"Modernism in Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" and Lichtenstein's "Drowning Girl"." IvyPanda, 5 Jan. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/modernism-in-delacroixs-liberty-leading-the-people-and-lichtensteins-drowning-girl/.

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IvyPanda. "Modernism in Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" and Lichtenstein's "Drowning Girl"." January 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/modernism-in-delacroixs-liberty-leading-the-people-and-lichtensteins-drowning-girl/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "Modernism in Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" and Lichtenstein's "Drowning Girl"." January 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/modernism-in-delacroixs-liberty-leading-the-people-and-lichtensteins-drowning-girl/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'Modernism in Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" and Lichtenstein's "Drowning Girl"'. 5 January.

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