The faces of war

This exhibit features artworks from many different wars and different cultures, showcasing the many different sides and stigmas of war. War is often glorified but is a time of tragedy and destruction. The pieces chosen each show different groups of people and how they are affected by war. They also show how war is the same throughout cultures. Such as a soldiers return to his lover, the depression and post dramatic stress disorder soldiers suffer after war, civilians having to evacuate their homes, the destruction caused by  war itself, and the glorification of winning a fight.

             The Return from War: Mars Disarmed by Venus painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1612 is a 163.5 x 127.3 cm oil painting. It features Mars returning home to his lover Venus and being stripped of his military gear. This painting is part of the Baroque period and was painted during the eighty years’ war. Relief, peace, and happiness are visible in this post war painting, showing the happy aspect of soldiers returning home to their lovers and families. Soldiers returning home is romanticized across many cultures, not just in Germany, as seen in many American movies and paintings. This is only one aspect of the post war atmosphere.

            The second piece I chose to discuss is Soldiers Return Home from Cuba by Lluís Graner. It is a 384 x554 cm paper charcoal drawing created in 1898. It features Cuban soldiers returning home after winning their independence from Spain. The piece was created during the beginning of the realism era. This piece depicts a very different post war image than the previous painting. This drawing is monochromatic and dark. No one in the drawing appears happy even though they are free from Spain. This is very different from the happy, romantic homecoming in The Return from War. This drawing shows the common reality after war. Soldiers depressed and often suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. While the previous painting romanticized soldiers coming home. This furthers the theme because both images are two different sides or viewpoints. Both true but very different. The difference in view could be caused by differences in culture. The first painting could be so positive because Germany glorifies war, while Cuba may not.

            Virtual and Physical museums both have positives and negatives to them. Virtual museums are more convenient; however you may not get the same experience or feel from an artwork than you would by seeing it in person. Museums are also more about the entire experience of all the artworks together, rather than just one. This is why I would say virtual art is not comparable to visiting a museum. 

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