The Mood of Artwork

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Formal Analysis Paper
The Mood of Artwork

All great art that was ever created was done so to get across and idea or point. With successful art, the viewer of the work can easily understand what the artist was trying to say and the mood they were trying to get across because of a few basic formal techniques. These techniques are small yet effective adjustments that are used to alter supporting elements such as colour and composition. Though these changes are unnoticeable unless they’re brought to attention, they influence us dramatically in the way we interpret particular artworks. The two pieces I chose that, in my opinion, are examples of the communication of mood through basic principles in art are “Lamentation of Saints and a Donor” by Bartollonmeo Di Giovanni done in 1490 and “Massacre of the Innocents” done by Peter Paul Reubens in 1610.

“Lamentation of Saints and a Donor” is an oil painting done in a time when religion still played a large part in the content of artworks. It is 163.8 by 191.7 centimetres and kept at the Art Gallery of Ontario. “Massacre of the Innocents” is another oil painting done over 100 years later which depicts a scene somewhere outdoors with marble walls and columns, where a chaotic group of desperate people stand witnessing the killing of many babies. A man stands at the far right holding a baby above his head appearing to be at means of smashing it’s head on a nearby marble block. Dead and bloodied babies lie at his feet and the people all around him are moving to prevent his actions or stop others who are. Giovanni’s work shows an outdoor scene in which figures stand, sit, or lay on the ground around a man, lamenting his death. We know this man is Jesus after his crucifixion because he is barely clothed, he has an elaborate halo around his head, and there are nails lying by his side that once held him up to the wooden cross in the background.

Something we initially notice that is different about these paintings is their...
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