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In the 18th century, there was a period that we called Neo classicism. In this period most of all paintings had the same characteristic which are dark and simple background colors, very masculine, stressed heroism, frieze, sharp edges, more geometric and flat. As we seen in Jean Ingres painting—“The Turkey’s Slave”, we could see from the simple background and the very sharp edges of her body.

Comparing to the classical period, one of the murals that I found around the campus. I decided to use the mural designed by Grant Wood which title is “Breaking the Prairie Sod” to be one example which have the same characteristic with the classical period even though it had painted in the 19th century.

This mural is locate at the main floor east lobby of Parks Library. Actually this mural depicts the breaking of Iowa’s virgin soil in the early 1840s with a woman standing beside a man who is drinking out of a jug while his hand rests on the handle of a wooden plow. There are dramatic cloud formations behind them and a view across the field and prairie. And this mural symbolized a lot of things that I never thought before for example; the man in the picture, presented in youth, middle age and maturity, represents Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Morrill Act that founded land-grant educational institutions of which Iowa State is one. Lincoln’s presence also sends a strong message to students who view the mural, that with hard work, dedication, honesty and education, that they too could grow up to become president of the United States.

I choose this mural become my comparison because this mural has a lot of common with the classical period. The man here represent the masculine (manly) and sort of heroism things, even though the background color is clear and bright but it’s so simple background and has a lot of sharp edges and geometric line. Because of it was painted on the 19th century so it’s not really classical.

Also at the same time with the Classical period there was another artist whose name is Eugene Delacroix, he was a famous painter who painted “The Death of Sardanapalus” this period we called the romantic period. At this time the characteristic of painting was changing, at this moment the painting more expressed the emotion of the painter, sublime ( it means that the picture makes us flow into the picture, seems like we feel that we are include or feel what was going on in the picture ), it’s also have 3 main contents ; the earth, water, and sky (air) and more natural.

For the comparison, I choose the mural which drawn by Heggen, Richard. The title of his mural is “Water, Land, and Sky” it was painted on 1984 and the medium is watercolor. In this painting we could see the landscape scene with sky above green fields and a view of lake shoreline and lake in front. This mural has a lot of common with the romantic period, first it has the 3 main contents which already shown from the title—water, land, and sky, this painting represent a calm situation, very quite, and so peaceful. I think romantic style more shown in the landscape painting, because a landscape painting show us more about nature, peaceful world, etc.

I like romantic style more than the classical style, I like something that very peaceful not a manly thing which the classical style characteristic.


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