Form and Content

Form and Content

Formand Content

Formand Content

WashingtonCrossing Delaware is a painting with historic significance not onlyto the United States, but to the world as a whole. It was made in1851 by a German-American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze in hope thatit would inspire the Germans towards change. It is an oil on canvasform of painting which commemorates General George Washington voyageacross Delaware River during the night of 25-26 December 1776, theyear in which at the height of the American Revolutionary War (Smith&amp Smith, 2001). The painting depicts the first action in anambush against the Hessian militants at Trenton, New Jersey. Thepainting is therefore an important remainder and a marker of the U.Sindependence. The painting measures 149 by 255 inches and iscurrently held at Metropolitan Museum of Art in the City of New York.In essence, the content of the painting is history.

Theform in which the painting is represented on the other hand clearlyexplains to the audience different aspects regarding a painting. Thepainting is outstanding for its artistic composition. Form andcontent are two aspects of art that have found or are wellrepresented in this piece of art. George Washington is emphasized bya unique bright sky, with his face catching the rays of the dawningsun (Smith &amp Smith, 2001). Most colors have dark tones indicatingthe dull experiences of dawn and there are recurring red shadings inthe painting. Foreshortening perception and the boats far awaytogether provide depth to the painting and emphasize the vesselferrying General Washington.

Thediagonal lines or shapes that are evident throughout the paintinghelp in depicting motion. They exhibit the both the movement of waterand that of the boat, and the clothes worn by the people. Inaddition, the vertical lines show unending heights of the sky and thesun rays. The organic shapes and forms especially in the ice blockssurrounding the boat and the debris floating on water. Ultimately,all the elements, of art have been used correctly in this particularpainting, making it ideal for this assignment.

Althoughthe painting clearly uses almost all the principles of art, onecannot always be sure to tell what the artist was trying to depict.At times, there is conflict in interpreting the work due toindividual perception (Smith &amp Smith, 2001). Some artists areeven influenced by drugs when doing their work, which may beconfusing unless the person evaluating it is aware of the artist’sbackground.

Individualdifferences including background, level of understating of differentphenomena, mood and situations do influence the way we react to apiece of art. A person who is familiar with the history of the UnitedStates will react differently to this painting as compared to someonein Africa with little or no knowledge on the history of the U.S.thus, it is not possible for people to react the same to a certainpiece of art. To know how a certain work was influenced, it isimportant to know the time or period that the painting was done(Smith &amp Smith, 2001). The artist’s background also tells us alot about his work and his direction. It will be possible to tellthat a painting is sexist just by knowing the author’s background.

Finally,understanding the elements of art and principles of design iscritical in evaluating a piece of work. As discussed in this essaybefore, we are able to tell the depth, height, width, time, intensityand other aspects concerning the work of art. One cannot be able tounderstand or interpret a piece of work if they lack knowledge on theelements of art and principles of design.

References

Smith,J. K., &amp Smith, L. F. (2001). Spending time on art. EmpiricalStudies of the Arts,19(2),229-236.