Five questions on paintings Essay

Five questions on paintingsRossetti, Astarte Syriaca:  The painting symbolizes female divinity and power, as evidenced by her radiant appearance and direct gaze at the viewer; she is not a shy, demure model.

  In addition, she symbolizes a boldness and rebellion for women that were likely rather anathema to Rossetti’s era (NorthStar Gallery).Moreau, The Apparition:  Here, John the Baptist’s head reappears and levitates before a scantily-clad Salome, who had it severed.  The head symbolizes John’s holiness and ability to transcend death, as though heralding Jesus’ own divinity and advent.  It also shows Salome, barely clothed, as an immodest temptress, symbolizing the worldliness that the dead prophet has left behind.  Also, the dark setting symbolizes the world’s evils.Lacombe, Mary Magdalene (aka Meditation):  Because of the title figure’s positioning and body language, this work as a whole symbolizes penitence and shame.

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 The figure herself represents humanity’s proneness to sin and flaws, while her inwardness and expression symbolizes her release from its grasp and the first stage to her redemption.Munch, The Scream:  It symbolizes alienation and angst, as shown by the solitary figure (removed from the two others at the viewer’s left) releasing an anguished scream that the viewer cannot hear but imagines; the scream symbolizes the unspoken, unidentifiable horror.  The surrounding landscape is dreary and featureless, symbolizing the bleakness of modern existence.Munch, The Dance of Life:  Here, Munch conveys life’s emotional duality.  The dancers in the center are framed by two images of the same woman; the one at the left smiles and wears a white dress, while her counterpart wears a black dress and looks rather gloomy and depressed.  The dancers symbolize life itself, which he depicts as joyful, while the one woman in two moods symbolizes these two emotional extremes, between which life takes place.REFERENCES________.

  “Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Astarte Syriaca.”  2002.  NorthStar Gallery.

  1 May 2006.  <http://northstargallery.com/mermaids/mermaid04.

htm>.Harden, Mark.  Mark Harden’s ArtChive.  1 May 2006.  <http://artchive.com/core.html>.

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