Power of Sleep in Artwork

Sleeping is one of the most basic human functions. Even though it is a basic concept, it is a powerful one because of the complexity of dreams. When we fall asleep every single night we enter a dream world that we can call our own, with unlimited access to our subconscious. This exhibition can be understood by people of all ages and from all around the world because we can all relate to it. Sleeping people have become a common theme depicted in artworks, stemming from the beginning of time. These carefully chosen artworks are all stylistically different but are relatable because they all feature people in a deep sleep, and the presence of dreaming is somehow evident. Sleep, dreams, and visions, are continuously studied in all educational fields, including art, because of their complex and ambiguous purpose and meanings. All of these artworks incorporate the process of dreaming as an enlightening outlet. As a viewer we can learn much more about the subject as we peer into their world. Most importantly, there is an underlying sense of spirituality in these chosen artworks which is why all five of them tend to evoke some sort of emotion.

1. "Sleeping Venus" - Giorgione This image comes from the Venitian Renaissance. and can easily be compared to Titan's "Venus of Urbino". It is very stylistic of its time period, it features a female nude, pastoral colors, and is very poetic and lyrical. In this, Venus appears to sleeping, very very lost in her dreams in a different realm. The calmness of her face provides the tranquil feeling of this image because it is accompanied by the beautiful, natural landscape. The setting itself its one of peace, Giorgione accurately depicted serenity here within mother nature and sleep itself.

2. "The Dream of Saint Helena"- Paolo Veronese This sleeping image is a religious one. It is of Saint Helena's vision of the true cross as there are two angels present . She sleeps by an open window which is symbolic, it is a portal into her dreamworld that allows the viewer to see her visions. Here she doesn't look at peace, she looks frustrated as you can see by her face. Veronese painted all the folds in her dress perfectly as he did the rest of the details in this painting.

3. "The Shepherd's Dream" - John Henry Fuseli This artwork explores the realms of dreams and imagination. It is based off of the famous poem "Paradise Lost" by John Milton. This lyrical artwork is visually striking and almost disturbing at the same time. The sleeping shepherd's vision of fairies emerges from the darkness and dominate over his slumbering body.

4."The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" - Francisco de Goya This is considered to be one of the darkest works Goya created. The man appears to be peacefully at sleep but his dreams do not appear to be as peaceful. They appear to be tormented due to the creatures , bats, and owls that surround the sleeping man. This print demonstrates Goya's beliefs on Enlightenment - "without reason, evil and corruption prevail" It was an important artwork created during the romanticism period. It demonstrates that even in our dreams, monsters and our fears can threaten us.

5. "Sleeping Girl" - Domenico Fetti This image provides a sense of tranquility . It's a very simple image that isn't overwhelming at all. The subject is peacefully lost in her sleep. The details of this oil painting are incredible, especially those of the tapestry. When looking at this particular artwork a feeling of curiosity radiates , the viewer wants to know what is this sleeping girl currently dreaming of?

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