Essay on Pietro Perugino and El Greco Paintings

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I open with this statement to help provide the context and content of this essay. It is my opinion, like that of the great conceptual artist Sol Lewitt, that many individuals misinterpret art, especially the art of the past. In connection with this, I also believe each person has a right to their own opinions and thoughts. It is my hope that you as the reader will permit my upfront opinion found in this essay. It is my desire to compare and contrast the two pieces I have chased through their formal characteristics, the symbols they contain, and the cultural backgrounds of each piece of art. I have chosen two paintings depicting the same story, Christ being adored at his birth. The first piece, painted by Pietro Perugino in the years of …show more content…
St. Mary is painted in a familiar posture like that of many other art pieces from the time period in which this was created. St. Joseph is depicted as an older man and supports himself on a cane. The baby Jesus sits on His mother’s knee and is making a gesture with his right hand. The face of Christ is not that of a typical baby, but of looks more like that of the other men in the painting. The three magi in the scene are depicted in the front of the crowd with the oldest magi kneeling. The other two are behind him, the middle aged one holding a container with the appearance of aged brass and looks at the youngest of the three who is without facial hair and extends out a silver colored and ornate container. The light source of the scene is the sun and it is contained within the painting. If I am to be completely honest, this painting by Perugino does not seem to be like those he is more famous of, but rather it is quite flat and dull with “faults in [the] drawing abound[ing] on all hands.” El Greco’s painting (Figure 2) has many formal qualities that are quite different from Perugino’s. El Greco similarly use oil on canvas, but many differences are quickly recognizable. Individual brushstrokes can be see in this piece and blending is not as refined. This is more of an expressive piece. The dark and mainly grey toned background is somewhat unrecognizable but may be a grotto or cave. Because the background is

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