Manhood In Modern Art

What being a man meant and how it was depicted in mid 19th to mid 20th century modern art.

The banker Ernest May stands calmly in the middle of the Paris stock exchange. Powerfully stoic he emanates strength and patience. A man who keeps his head in a chaotic setting like the one displayed. Degas coveys movement in the other blurred figures but keeps May still in order to keep the emphasis on him. A commanding representation of late 19th century manhood.
A colorful depiction of men, white and black together, working. Not building anything in particular, just demonstrating the action of work. The bright red background color pushes the builders forward in the piece helping demonstrate the unity in their work.
A strong midwestern man and woman stand expressionless in front of their home. The man positioned in front of the woman representing the backbone of the American family. A repetitive use of similar colors help to unify this piece and assure no one figure is demanding more attention than another.
A lone man and nature. He fishes in a peaceful setting while attempting to harmonize his thoughts. His eyes closed contemplating the world around him and how he fits. Vertical and horizontal lines etch out the entire scene creating a simple balance between the man and his surroundings. The lack of color also contributes to this balance.
Three Spanish peasants, wrinkled and weathered observe and contemplate their own mortality as life plays out behind them. While the three men are the obvious emphasis of the piece, the youthful movement in the background helps to accentuate the troubles of the three. Possibly giving the viewer a better insight into the temporality of man.
Desperation and hunger lead a man to a San Francisco soup kitchen. He's not the only one but pride effects each man differently. His dirty hands tell a story many have heard and lived. The use of black and white color builds in drama while the emphasis on the man with his back to the crowd makes the viewer think more about the individual story instead of the depression as a whole.
A grandfather positions himself in a close protective crouch behind his grandson thinking about how he can prepare the boy for a future he won't be a part of. Hierarchy of scale makes these two the most important figures in the piece, while the repetition of horizontal and vertical lines creates significance in all figures included.
A boxing match between two men ends in a knock out left hand to the jaw. The absence of a crowd, referee, and ring could signify this is somehow a metaphor for another fight or conflict the artist is affected by. The use of geometric shapes instead of something more life like could also indicate something other than the depiction of an actual boxing match.
A woman positioned in between two men leaving no ambiguity about what the title of the piece is referring to. Which individual the jealousy belongs to is unclear but it undoubtably controls the atmosphere in the artwork. The color selections do provide hints with the use of green for the man on the left (green is associated with jealousy), and the use of red for the woman (red being associated with love).
A strong Mexican man toting a large bundle of cabbage. Another representation of a proud man engaged in demanding work. The mans face, hidden under his hat takes the emphasis off of the individual and aims it exclusively at the labor in progress. Just an anonymous man (all men) and his (their) work.
Credits: All media
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