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3 pages/≈825 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Thematic Connections/Formal Contrasts (Essay Sample)


Theories of evaluation that lead to understanding a work of art. Formal theories focus on the artwork’s visual elements and principles of design and how the work may have been influenced by previous or contemporary art. Contextual theories focus on the art as a product of a culture and value system. Expressive theories focus on the artist’s expression of a personality or worldview.


Thematic Connections/Formal Contrasts 
Date of Submission
Thematic Connections/Formal Contrasts 
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1 John Singleton Copley, The Death of Major Peirson, 6 January 1781, 1783
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 2 Henry de Groux, 1886
Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 3 Paul Nash, Battle of Germany, 1944
The subject matter for these arts is war. These works are all inspired by the conflict between groups of people. John Singleton Copley’s realistic painting depicts what happened in 1981 in the Island of Jersey where the British troops were defending the Island against French invasion. The art shows more aggression and nature of what wars are like. The soldiers are all armed and ready to protect their land. The outcome of the war is also shown with people dying and women and children fleeing from the war zones. The battle is so fierce. There is a sense of patriotism that is depicted in the art with British flags flying high. The artwork was taken two years after the battle was fought. The artist uses the technique to capture a moment in history. The art brings out sorrow at the same time loyalty of soldiers to their course. The soldiers show the honor in defending one's boundary. The artwork also brings back memories of colonialism.
Henry de Groux’s naturalistic abstraction art illustrates groups of people gathered around a train that is ready to depart to take the soldiers into war. The artwork shows love and compassion demonstrated to soldiers by family members as they bid their beloved farewell. The art is a depiction of a calmness experienced during the war. Family members embrace their sons going to war. The artist uses figurative sculpture in this piece to bring live the account of the First World War from a Belgian perspective. The artwork was done somewhere around 1914-1918 based on Henry's eye witness account of the war. The art brings out the feeling of nostalgia as troops leave home. A mixture of sadness and joy is sh

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