Dance of Life

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Alyssa Potter
Humanities 1010
Analytical Essay
4/11/12
Dance of Life
The painting “Dance of Life”, created by Edvard Munch in 1900, is a painting that portrays people in different stages of life. It portrays two women who seem sad, a third woman who seems happy, and a bunch of other women dancing with men. The painting implies that life is difficult and that it can be depressing at times, but that it always goes on. The arrangement of the women in a half circle represents the phases of life. The women on the end of the half circle are both standing alone. The woman on the far left stands alone, representing youth, and wears white, representing innocence. The woman on the far right stands alone, representing the loneliness of old age, and she wears black, representing death or loss. The women dancing in the background represent the different phases of life and the enjoyment that can be found in every phase of life. The woman in the center of the painting represents the idea of being out of step with the ‘dance of life’. She wears a red dress, different from all the others. Red represents danger or anger which can be perceived as negative, but by painting her in the center the artist respects her unique position in life and implies that her difference from the rest is a positive quality. The way that others are turned towards her represents how people in society center so much of their lives on attention to others’ decisions. More than half of the painting has a green background representing life and vitality. The top quarter of the painting is a blue body of water that simultaneously represent tranquility. The juxtaposition of these two represents the necessity of having balance in your life. The green, as well as the people dancing, represent the joy to be found in life. Most of life should be joyous, coupled with the tranquility, silence, and reflection represented by the blue and the three girls not dancing. The different colors used in this painting...
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