Formal Criticism

Topics: Death, Museo del Prado, Art Pages: 3 (1053 words) Published: February 20, 2013
Survey of Humanities

Formal Criticism: The Triumph of Death
The Triumph of Death is an amazing and very exaggerating piece of artwork. I was going through the Artcyclopedia database and found this masterpiece. The image presented is very chaotic; we can see a scene of death all over the artwork. It is really hard to describe all the elements that we can see in the painting. The medium used in the painting is oil in panel. First of all the perspective used in the artwork is very effective. The linear perspective is makes the foreground pop out and the objects in the background are smaller than the objects in the foreground and the middle ground. The perspective of the artwork helps me focus on the main scene of the artwork, that’s death. The first thing we notice about this artwork is a lot of death. And in my opinion the artist wants us to relate this to something that was really going on during the era the painting was created. But we will talk about this later. The artist has used many straight lines and other solid shapes that are very appealing and draws anyone’s attention. On the other hand I think there are a lot of symbols used in this painting such as the cross on the far left hand side, the dead body in the coffin, the bells on the top left hand side corner, and many more. Besides these factors the colors used to create this painting are very distinct. The whites, reds, yellows, light green, black and other dark colors are very effective. These colors help me to focus on particular things presented in the painting like the skeleton army in the background and the passage they are using to head forward. The dark red sky on the far left hand side corner shows that something really bad is happening all over the place and the smoke represents fire. In my opinion the reddish orange color used to portray the gentleman on the bottom right hand side, holding what looks like a sword is a central figure of the painting. May be the artist is trying to present a...

Cited: The Triumph of Death, Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Ca 1562. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Artcyclopedia. Web. 10 October 2012.
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