Comparative Formal Analysis; Similar On Account Of Distinctions

1162 words - 5 pages

Comparative Formal Analysis; Similar on Account of Distinctions

The analysis of a work of art can help the viewer, and the reader of the analysis for that matter, to better understand the relationships of the physical elements of the piece. This kind of analysis can then lead the viewer or reader on the pathway of comprising a richer understanding and appreciation of the mood created through the physical criteria of form. Analyzing two works that both embody a few common characteristics can help one to understand more thoroughly not only each of the two pieces independently, but the two together, comparatively. The two pieces in discussion here are comparable in very few categories of ...view middle of the document...

Each can be identified with a specific style and period by simply viewing the piece. The black outlining of forms varying from delicately thin to rigidly thick in the Japanese print, and the use of Japanese characters, in a way that resembles Chinese seals, are dead give-a-ways that the print is from an early nineteenth century, Japanese woodblock. The use of paneling and gold leaf, especially in a decorative manner and in halos, sets off the flashing light bulbs surrounding the words "Gothic Italy". However, this strong distinction between two styles due to time period and civilization differences, is also a similarity of the pieces. They both are distinctly dated works of art with obvious, strong characteristics of the period. The visual information relaying to the viewer that firm characteristics of specific periods are relevant to the form of both pieces is a comparable relating factor between the two works.

Along with the similarity of both pieces exemplifying specific time periods through aspects of visual form, a specific component of form can also be investigated and deduced as a similarity. This component, relevant to both Kusano Kanpei at Totsuka and Mother and Child and Crucifixion, is the space created between the images in the painting and the viewer, or the viewpoint in relation to the painting. This can be further examined by discussing the result of this formal component on mood. The composition of the Japanese woodblock print is one embodying a distinct foreground, middle-ground, and background. The main focus of the printed image lies within the foreground. It is the image of a Japanese figure, positioned opposite the viewer, protruding up from the bottom left corner of the frame to claim a large, triangular portion of the surface. The figure is delicately resting her arms on the chair which extend up in front of the figure from the bottom left corner also. The head of the figure is tilted slightly to the right of the painting and downward a bit. The middle-ground is composed of a layered landscape with each layer defined by the black outline, a distinct feature of Japanese woodblock prints. Two trees extend up from the landscape leading the eyes of the viewer into the background. It consists of more landscape that becomes more generalized with distance until the farthest trees become simple solid shapes. The Mother and Child and Crucifixion has a more simplistic composition. The panel structure is one of two...

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