The Third of May of 1808 created in 1814 represents Henri Matisse’s assertion that great art is of its time because it represents a time in history when Spaniards resisted Napoleon’s army during the Peninsular War as mentioned in lecture. Third of May 1808, was commissioned by the king of Spain at the time, Ferdinand VII. Goya’s representation of the painting allows viewers to gain insight about war and combat, but also introduces a more modern era of art by deviating from traditional art.
It depicts many Spaniards being gathered by French soldiers to be massacred.
The man in the center of the painting has a look of terror in his eyes while other Spaniards seem to look away from this man about to massacred. The French soldiers that have their muskets pointed at this man keep their backs to the viewer so that the viewer cannot see their face. Goya captured the essence of this war as well as documenting this horrendous day.
The Third of May by Goya, related to Matisse’s assertion that great is of its time because it documents a revolutionary turning point in the art word to a modern era that deviates from traditional art as well documenting Spain’s history. Fifty-three years later in 1863, the status of African Americans was forever changed by the Emancipation Proclamation which gave freedom to slaves in areas in the South. Edmonia Lewis, an African Obijawa American, embodied the freedom that African Americans in the South had experienced with her marbled sculpture of Forever Free in 1867.
This painting represents Matisse’s assertion that great art is of its time is because it represents a revolutionary time period in the history of African Americans. This painting depicts the freedoms that southern slaves became entitled to, but it also represents how they were still shackled which is why they are stilled chained at the foot and the wrist because even though legally free, they were still treated as unequals to the rest of population of the world.
This painting also represents the beginning of the success of African American female artists. During this time period, there was not that many black female artists that were successful in the creations. Lewis, on the other hand, was a success due to the time period that she created Forever Free, but also because of the sculpture itself. The African American woman in the sculpture is fully clothed which was not heard of because black women were seen as sexaul objects and there for was never fully clothed. Forty years later the art world is beginning to embark a different era of art known as primitivism and cubism.
Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a large oil painting on canvas that was produced in 1907. This painting expresses Matisse’s assertion that great art is of its time because Picasso used untraditional art styles in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon to push the boundaries of traditional art. Primitivism is the incorporation in the early 20th century Western art of stylistic elements from artifacts of Africa, Oceania, and the native peoples of the Americas (Gardner’s Art through the Ages, 846).
As mentioned in the Gardner’s Art through the Ages, Picasso believed, “ ‘The masks weren’t just like any other pieces of sculpture. Not at all. They were magic things…mediators’ between humans and the forces of evil, and he sought to capture their power as well as their forms in paintings.” Iberian sculptures are represented in the Les Demoiselles d’Avignon as well as in another infamous Picasso, Gertrude Stein.
In Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Picasso paints three of the women’s faces with the influence of Iberian Art.” Within the painting, the viewer is able to see many triangular shapes which are unusual because many traditional artists use horizontal and vertical lines in their paintings. This piece of art represents its time by the ever changing and evolving world of art. This painting and art concept changed the perception of art by allowing artists to make art in their image. Seventy-two years after Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the art worlds continuously shifting ideologies makes a turn that favors women which is known as feminist art. The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago was created in 1979 to represent women through history.
Chicago states, “I began to think about the piece as a reinterpretation of the Last Supper from the viewpoint of women, who, throughout history, had prepared the meals and set the table” (Chicago, Gardner’s Art through the Ages). Many women in history, especially art history, are not spoken about even though many of them have paved waves for several female artists to come.
Chicago goes on to mention that each piece in her reinterpretation of the Last Supper demonstrated how women had been confined and oppressed throughout history and to open it to the public to view so that they could respect women and their achievements in art. Chicago’s The Dinner Party had thirty- nine place settings and nine hundred ninety-nine textiles of influential women throughout history. Although a very influential piece in the art industry by giving women the praise and respect they deserve throughout history, it was highly criticized based on what was displayed on the tables.
The ceramic art sculptures appeared to look like vaginas which is why it receives backlash by critics. Chicago’s The Dinner Party is an example of Henri Matisse’s assertion that great art is of its time because, during this time of Chicago’s The Dinner Table, women were becoming aware of the unequal social dynamics as well privileges that women had as opposed to men which were also known as the feminist movement where women demanded to be treated as equals. This wonderful art piece is of its time.