Wolfflin Essay

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  • Topic: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Painting, Baroque
  • Pages : 2 (467 words )
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  • Published : January 25, 2013
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Liz Shute
Humanities 2nd

When using Wolfflin’s principles to compare the High Renaissance painting, Peasant Wedding Feast, to the Baroque Fresco, The Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne, there are many differences to note. Beginning with Wolfflin’s first idea of linear versus painterly, one can see that each figure in Peasant Wedding Feast has a clear outline, which especially shows on the apron of the servant, and are each a distinct figure. On the other hand, Caracci’s work in the Baroque style is painterly, showing no distinct lines but instead using the loose form of the paint to express the emotion. One can see that even the gold chariot within the fresco seems to have a looser form. When viewing Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s painting, one can see the planar quality of the flat sides of the table as well as the serving platter. In contrast, the figures in Caracci’s work show recessional qualities with their twisted and mangled forms. One can see how this technique creates a sense of motion by looking at the smaller figure hanging on the tigers, it looks as though it is in action.

Peasant Wedding Feast is a great example of the closed form style that Wolfflin was seeing, every figure within the painting seems restricted to that space. The space in the back of the room is very crowded and this restriction limits the whole scene. Bacchus and Ariadne has a sense of infinity within its borders because of the way the figures on the left are not shown in whole. This open form makes the viewer feel as though he or she could turn a corner and there would be more to the work. By having singular parts brought together in one painting, such as the man pouring water, the men serving dishes, and the small boy eating,the idea of multiplicity is portrayed well within Bruegel the Elder’s work. Caracci’s fresco in the Baroque style has every figure working together in a sense of unity. The angels seem to flow across the top and lead the way for the rest of...
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