Art has been used over the years to reflect various themes within the society. It is obvious that throughout history art has had an unprecedented function. It is for this reason that people today value the various art works that have been preserved over the years. Good pieces of art seem to speak louder to the people who look at them than any spoken word can say. One of the most interesting collections of early art can be found in the Weisman Museum of Art on Pepperdine campus. After paying a visit to this museum, one is filled with the feeling that they had travelled back in time. This is due to the rich history and adventures behind the pictures and paintings hanging on the museum walls.
One of the most striking pieces on display is The Holy Family with both Saint John and Saint Elizabeth. This oil on canvas painting that was done in 1823 by a Belgian called Francois-Joseph Navez. This is a painting that is rich in history and it exemplifies the religious foothold that Christianity had on the people at that time. The painting has an empowering pull to it simply because of the striking eyes of the infant Jesus staring back at anyone looking at it. The painting has also a richness that is only achievable if the painter himself wanted the painting to be viewed in public. The oil on canvas painting also contains an allure of the exotic touch that the painters of that day had managed to capture and reflect on this piece of art. The clear eyes of baby Jesus are a true reflection to how the artist felt was the innocent holiness of the living Jesus
Portrait of Leconte in an Egyptian Army Uniform was painted by Francoise- Leon Benouville in 1840. It is a depiction of a French officer who had been sent by the king to Egypt to thank him for donating the Obelisk of Rameses. The oil on canvas portrayal is very rich in texture and has an appeal that draws one to the portrait taken. It has a historical significance since it represents the period during which the French and the British were allies. The painting is rich in detailing and is a blend of the earlier and the new when it came to matters of the French Army. As much as the man in the painting looks well and well polished, we should allow ourselves to be carried away by the intricacy that is this painting. The exotic nature of this painting can be clearly seen in the way the painter captures the details in the officer’s uniform and the regalia that he holds on his side. The officers pose and the clear sky behind him are some of the well defined and exotic features of the painting.
The Bourbon restoration took place between 1814 -1830. Around this time one of the most promising artists was created. Paul Delaroche was a Frenchman and he painted the Lamentation in 1920. The exotic nature of this painting is the way that the picture is very well crafted. As a museum, peoples’ interests should be well depicted to ensure that they come to visit often to get the message off the paintings. The Lamentation is a good depiction of the Virgin Mary who was and still is the mother of the Catholic Church. At this time, the Catholic Church had lost much of its power to the French Revolution. Thus this painting had been commissioned by the Duchess of Orleans. The exotic nature of the painting comes into view from the time one stares at it and well through and beyond the whole experience.
It is of paramount importance that all the early artwork like this one mentioned above is well preserved at taken care of. It is of essence that all these art pieces are well maintained for future generations and for us too when one needs to appreciate some real piece of our historical, cultural and religious backgrounds. The exotic nature of the paintings in this collection is a true reflection of the richness and dynamism that art is well known and appreciated for.