Formal Analysis on Art

Topics: Left-wing politics, Political spectrum, Right-wing politics Pages: 1 (403 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Michelangelo’s Sogno is a black chalk drawing on unprepared, cream-colored paper. Slightly larger than 8 x 12 inches, the drawing requires close-hand examination. At the center of the Sogno, an idealized male nude perches precariously on an open box filled with masks. His upper torso twists to his left as he leans on a sphere for support. He turns his head in the opposite direction, looking upward and over his right shoulder to watch a winged creature descent from above. Considerably smaller in scale, the body of this heavenly visitor is silhouetted against the empty upper zone of the sheet as it floats down, head first, toward the nude. He extends his right arm to direct a trumpet at the nude’s forehead, inflating his cheeks to sound the instrument. The trumpet pierces through an arc of smaller figures, many of them fragmentary, that encircle the central pair. This arc of forms is rendered with a lighter touch, producing a sketchy effect that contrasts with the heavily worked body of the nude, yet the figures remain legible. Among assorted disembodied heads, we find figures that embrace and kiss while others do battle, drink, or even sleep. The central pair of figures, carefully described and finished, is clearly the focus of the drawing. Situated at the center of the sheet, the fully articulated figures of the nude youth and his winged companion are highlighted through contrast with the incomplete forms arrayed about them. The otherwise empty upper zone concentrates attention on the body of the descending visitor, pulling the viewer’s eye along its headlong plunge to reach the youth. The box beneath the nude thrusts him forward, creating a foreground space behind which the misty arc of figures appears. The nude’s pose indicates that he is in motion, prompting the viewer to reconstruct its prior position. Turning to meet his visitor, the youth has abandoned a closed pose, yet traces of his earlier posture remain. The nude shifts and turns to the...
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