Art has existed since the establishment of the first civilizations in the world. People have been creating art, philosophizing about it, studying it and lavishing in it for thousands of years. There is much talk about art but what is “art”? How is it defined? What is the purpose of art? Why has it survived until today? An art essay revolves around the topic of art and its many questions. For example, an essay can talk about the difference between “fine arts” and an attractive poster. It could also compare famous art pieces like Da Vinci’s “La Jaconde” and Malevich’s “Black Square”. An art essay encompasses many ideas on art. It can be used in many ways. It can review an art work and an artist’s point of view. It could discuss the relevance of such work and how the medium has achieved the goal of the artist. It could also classify a piece of art or offer an alternative meaning to a masterpiece, aside from how the artist understands it. Art is not reserved for artists only but it is for everyone. A piece of art is a masterpiece only for the one who sees it as such.
An example of a compelling art essay is one that compares the painting produced prior to the breakthrough of “linear perspective” and those that came after it. It discusses the progression of art with particular mention of Jan van Eyck’s works. His paintings best chronicle the development of art techniques and other changes brought about by linear perspective. In his painting, “The Arnolfini Wedding” (1434), he made use of traditional style of painting without a trace of linear perspective. It reflects that the artist was not yet conscious of linear perspective; the lines, faces and fabric were yet to be realistic images of the actual objects included in the painting. Without the “vanishing point” of linear perspective, the painting was flat and unrealistic. The focus was not the details of the objects in the painting but the Christian symbolism within the artwork.
Art is such a broad topic that writing an art essay would mean you have limitless topics to choose from. For instance, you can write an essay on the “Man in a Red Turban” of Eyck which focuses on realism and the excellent use of three-dimensional illusions; the appearance of a nose appearing in from of a cheek within a two-dimensional painting is indeed exemplary of linear perspective. However, the most ideal use of the vanishing point is still reserved for Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. As you can see, an art essay does justice to art, its many facets, its many questions and its many intrigues.
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