Death and emotion in Europe 

As a group we became interested in how death is used to conjure emotions in art. Death is emotional and every culture across earth can agree with that. I came across a quote, “Death is the tyrant of the imagination” by Bryan Procter (1787-1874), at first glance this quote is really trivial but it stuck with me because the imagination is the birthplace of Art. An imagination is like a personal sanctuary, a place where your emotions and ideas intertwine. So how can death be a tyrant? Well because Death has the power to evoke every single one of your emotions. Death is shocking, it’s scary, it’s dreadful but on the same hand it can be glorious, inspiring, or gratifying. You don’t feel sad when the villain dies, it’s gratifying he deserved it but you do feel sad when the hero dies. Throughout art history artist have used scenes depicting death to strike a chord with humanity, we can all relate to death. So we set out to discover the emotional aspect to death, we wanted to see exactly what techniques artists used, how much attention to detail they gave to visually affect the viewer. Together we’ve analyzed many pieces of death and have crafted a collection of works spanning hundreds of years, across many different periods of art that we feel really capture how emotion is displayed death can be. The only thing we ask of you is when viewing this collection to ask yourself, “how does this piece make me feel?”

Henry Lamb created this picture which was considered to be a great emphasis of tragedy in England during the 20th century. It shows a woman's death and the painful reaction of her husband after dying of cancer to her throat that disabled her to eat anything. The center of this image is focused on their heads, emphasizing our theme of death which was shown by her, and emotion that was shown by him. The choices of colors that Lamb used were grey-blue, greenish-yellow and grey-white which attributed to fit the different skin colors of the peasant woman and her husband. These colors also help the viewers witness and sympathize with this touching scene, just the way Lamb actually witnessed her death.
This painting made by Bosch has the theme of death because it can be interpreted that the Miser is dying, and his fate after life is about to be decided by either going to heaven or to hell. We can see that the idea of good vs. evil is shown as the monsters offer the Miser a bag of gold; since a miser is described as someone who likes to store money and spend as little as possible. On the other hand, the angel is pointing him out towards the cross of Christ that is placed by the window and light coming in as a path into heaven. Even though the Miser doesn't really show a facial expression or emotion, we can clearly see the representation of death coming through the door approaching to him with an arrow. The medium of Bosch's painting is made of oil on a panel and it shows the many details that separate the good vs. the evil.
Maclise tried to make this piece of work as authentic as possible by using oil on canvas in order to actually create the scene of the battle. There is a part that is centered and focused on Nelson who had a deadly injury caused by a bullet. Even though there are so many things going on, we know that the focus point is Nelson since many people are looking towards his direction as wondering what has happened to him. This painting also shows the people surrounding the death of Nelson who happen to create the idea of drama during a battle. There are dead and injured bodies which emphasize the theme of death, however, not everyone shows much emotion, especially for the men around Nelson who just show their disbelief and shock but no sadness or grief.
The sculpture describes a scene based on Greek Mythology of the death of Clytemnestra and the traitor Aegisthus. This sculpture relates to the theme death and emotion based on the dead bodies and the reactions shown in the artwork. The artwork is very crowded, but works well showing chaos and sadness to feel emotions based on dead bodies. The details on body language and facial expressions too is what draws our attention and creates a sense of feeling to help relate to the individuals and the deaths in the sculpture.
Henry Fuseli creates a sense of emotions in the drawing of Prometheus being killed on Mount Caucasus. It is a Greek mythology about Zeus punishing Prometheus creating the first man from clay and giving him fire. This art shows emotions in the face of Prometheus, specifically his mouth opening, possibly praying for while being ready to be killed. A perfect example of death provided by Fuseli showing Hephaestus ready to kill Prometheus is too what brings out the emotion of Prometheus to help relate to the drawing. The drawing works all around with the theme of Death and Emotion.
The title itself explains the painting. You can see an area on the bottom of people killed, weeping, panicking, and begging for mercy while above are people shooting arrows. There is a woman murdered with an arrow struck to her side. While on the far right, a woman is pleading and begging them for mercy while another lady laying on her lap sad and scared. You can sense an emotion from this lady, to help understand her enviornment and her status. Showing the dead woman lying on the floor while the other lady begs for mercy shows and relates to the theme and works well all around to bring out the painting to life.
During the 1800's romanticism and suicide was a huge influence on the arts, which Leonardo Alenza perfectly displays in this painting.We see great dramatization of emotion on the mans face as he is about to take his own life. Off to the bottom left we see two others have already taken their own lives. The emotion displayed on his face looks as if he is prepared for his death, yet clinging on his clothes shows he's looking out into the world at the world he is leaving behind. Besides the obvious suicides, death can be shown in the skull left behind with his work. Although the two people who have committed suicide show their own emotions by the way their body hangs, and lies lifelessly. The way both bodies are shown spews this emotion of a "finally" feeling.
As the title states, this is a portrait of the poet , Gustavo Becquer, on his death bed. Gustavo Becquer greatly wrote about death, and he seemed to embrace it through his writings. His way of embracing death is depicted well on his face. You have this calm aura , and this idea of a peaceful death.We don't see any emotion of agony or dread, it is almost as if he's really just sleeping. The emotion of tranquility can also be seen in the colors used as the background and on the clothes. It all blends into a simple, warm black.
Credits: All media
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