The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David is Neoclassic art style. The painting shows Socrates, condemned to death, calm and at peace, discussing the immortality of the soul. Surrounded by his grieving friends and students, he is teaching and philosophizing. His wife was dismissed to the hallway to grieve due to her weakness. Plato is depicted as an old man seated at the foot of the bed. Socrates has the body of a young athlete, as well as others in the painting. Each one of the twelve subjects surrounding him is meticulously drawn in detail.
The dramatic use of light and dark (chiaroscuro) is seen in the focus, or emphasis, towards Socrates. There are definitive lines on the walls. These create shadows in the room and in the hallway. The texture of the floor and walls seem smooth and hard. The cloaks worn are colorful and seem soft to the touch. The painting has a high degree of communicative value do to the variety of colors used. In Neoclassical art, the emphasis is on form, simplicity, proportion and restrained emotion.Order now
The aesthetic attitudes and principles were based on the culture, art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome in antiquity. It invokes characteristics such as harmony, clarity, restraint, universality and idealism. The artists of this period concerned themselves with human affairs ruled by reason, the outgrowth of the Enlightenment. There was a regard for tradition and reverence for the classics, with an accompanying distrust of innovation. The Conversion of St. Paul by Caravaggio is Baroque art style.
It is a painting depicting Saul of Tarsus, almost at the end of his journey to Damascus, when a great light suddenly surrounds him from heaven, a light brighter than the sun. He then heard the voice of Christ asking Saul why he persecutes him. After this experience, he is converted and journeys into the city as a messenger of Christ. The painting has a high contrast value. It conveys a great deal of emotion. Caravaggio uses harsh, raking light that strikes across the painting, illuminating parts of it while plunging the rest into deep shadow.
This dramatic illumination heightens the emotional tension, focuses the details, and isolates the figures in the foreground. The size of the horse in proportion to Saul seems awesome in stature. There is an emphasis on Saul with his arms outstretched in diagonal lines. The colors used are dark and rich, set against an even darker background. Caravaggio had a firm grip on how to create drama on canvas by playing with light, shade, color and tradition. Baroque works of art are dramatic, emotional and include real people as the primary subject.
Colors are brighter than bright, dark is darker than dark and light is lighter than light. In other words, the more dramatic, the better. Some of the qualities associated with the Baroque are grandeur, drama, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and a tendency to blur distinctions between the various arts. This painting as well as other Baroque work evokes emotional states by appealing to the senses in dramatic ways. It also includes qualities of vigorous movement and emotional intensity associated with its primary meaning.