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About art essay

I. There are many types of art in the world. In this paper, I will be comparing and contrasting the work of art entitled Study for the Grand Parade by Fernand Léger and European Ship Wrecked on the Coast of Africa or African Hospitality by George Morland. The work Study for the Grand Parade, by Fernand Léger, was created in 1954. He used oil on a canvas as the medium in the Modern and Contemporary period. The work European Ship Wrecked on the Coast of Africa or African Hospitality, by George Morland, was painted from 1788 to 1790. Morland used oil on a canvas as the medium in the 18th-century European style.

II. George Morland was born in 1763 and he died in 1804 at the age of 41. “At age 10, Morland exhibited sketches at the Royal Academy and was apprenticed from 1777 to 1784 to his father, Henry Robert Morland, a painter and picture restorer” (Britannica). In July of 1786, he married a famous engraver’s sister. They tried to have a child but it was stillborn which is when a baby dies while it is still in the mother’s womb. In 1799, Morland was arrested for excessive debt. He was in prison for three years and when he got out, he spent the last two years of his life with his brother Henry. “Worn out by his dissolute life, Morland died of brain fever in a spunging-house in Coldbath Fields, London, on 29 October 1804” (National Gallery of Art). Fernand Leger was born in 1881 and died in 1955. His work was largely influenced by cubism and machines. Leger was born into a poor family in Normandy, France. “In 1908, he rented a studio and met many painters such as Robert Delaunay, Marc Chagall, and Chaim Soutine”. (McMullen). Through poets he met, he became attached to Cubism. He painted in a style that was Impressionism and Fauvism, simply named “tubism.” He fought during World War I as a military engineer. After World War I, he went through a mechanical period in which he integrated machinery or mechanized figures into his art. In the mid-1920s he adopted a style called Purism. During the last years of his life, he made works that appealed to the leisure activities of the working class. “At Biot, in southern France, a museum is devoted to his work” (McMullen).

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III. The subject of European Ship Wrecked on the Coast of Africa by George Morland is a group of white people who have just washed up on the shore greeted by confused and hospitable African Americans. They are most likely trying to communicate with the Europeans and direct them to shelter. A dog is also included in this piece. This work portrays an 18th-century art style with oil on a canvas to convey a landscape and activities going on. The subject of Study of the Grand Parade is a group of people sitting around getting ready for a parade. They are most likely rehearsing for the parade. The people in this artwork also have instruments and have animals. This work portrays a modern or contemporary art style with bright oil paints on a canvas.

IV. Morland uses the hospitality of the African American people to promote abolitionism. “In contrast to the brutality of the Europeans separating a family in ‘The Slave Trade’, this work promotes kindness to African Americans” (USI). After World War II, Leger wanted to create lively art with the mundane. He wanted to celebrate the working class’ leisure activities. “Léger incorporated elements of Cubist fragmentation into his new pristine, mechanical syntax to evoke the energy of contemporary experience“(Spector, Nancy). The artists use of iconography is similar because they both have a cause for their work. Their use of iconography is different because they have very different focuses for their work and they symbolism they use is very different.

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