The Integrated Arts – Week 7 – “Three Section Assignment” Essay


The poem, Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley, is thought to be written about the Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramesses (Ramses) the Great.  This is due to the section of the sonnet which paraphrases the inscription on the base of his statue, “King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works”. (St. Luke’s Methodist Church)  The poem tells the story of a traveler in a desert, who comes upon a statue in ruins.  He describes the expression on the statue: “…whose frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions read…”  The traveler believed that the sculptor of the statue knew the heart of Ramses to describe him and offered that he felt Ramses “mocked” others who were, in his estimation, of less importance.

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            Blythe’s uses the literary craft of irony in the phrase, “Look on my works ye mighty and despair.”   This phrase creates a discrepancy between what the Blythe thinks the reader expects and what he writes. In an un-authored article on irony it is said, “The quote within the poem was not ironic at the time of its inscription; rather, the situation became ironic over time as the ‘works’ that Ozymandias believed were great and intimidating eventually disappeared into ruins.” (Literary Devices)

Unknown. “Literary Devices – Irony.” Author’s Craft. Unknown. 28 January 2009 <>.

Unknown. “The Fine Arts at St. Luke’s, September 7 .” St. Luke’s Methodist Church, Houston Texas. St. Luke’s St. Luke’s Methodist Church. 28 January 2009 <>.

Realism to Romanticism Section Two

          In The Death of Sardanapalus,  Eugene Delacroix used the painting style of romanticism, marked by efforts to exhibit feeling over thinking, expressiveness, and passion.  In his book, Romanticism (Harper and Row, 1979) Hugh Honour states, “The work of art … came to be regarded not simply as a reflection of reality or the embodiment of an immutable and rationally conceived ideal, but as an insight into the life of things” (p.21)  The universe was seen as unpredictable to the students of romanticism.  In his work, Delacroix exhibits the five “I’s” of Romanticism:  Imagination, Intuition, Idealism, Inspiration and Individuality.  (What is Romanticism?)  Imagination is at work as the artist describes a story.

          When contrasting this work with that of Jean-François Millet in his painting, The Sower, it is easy to see the difference between Romanticism and Realism in art.   The Sower at first look appears to be a simplistic representation of a peasant sowing seeds in a field.  Its composition is simplistic.   However, in keeping with the tenets of the realism school of art, objects take new meanings as icons with new meanings.  “The sower himself or the peasant can be viewed as a sewer of social justice, a representative of the lower classes fighting for social mobility by sewing the seeds of protest and dissent. A bright sun is rising behind the peasant man indicating that the sewer has the forces of social justice on his side.” (Painting analysis: The Sower)  In the Realism school of art, the subjectivity and imagination of romanticism is replaced with accurate descriptions of somewhat ordinary subject matter.

Amelia Rauser. “”Arcadia” and the Aesthetic of Romanticism.” Skidmore College. 28 January 2009 <>.

Unknown. “Painting analysis: The Sower by Jean Francois Millet .” 28 January 2009 <>.

Unknown. “What is Romanticism?” Library at Think Quest. 2001. 28 January 2009 <>.

            In a general discussion of art, the concept that “Realism sets as a goal not imitating past artistic achievements but the truthful and accurate depiction of the models that nature and contemporary life offer to the artist.” (Realism)  Millet’s work is completely at odds with the Romanticist style which favored vibrancy of color and excitement in content.  The Sower is filled with somber colors with accents achieved through emphasis on light rather than a myriad of colors.

Impressionism Section Three

           The early influences of Romanticism and Realism brought forth the new school of Impressionism.  Realism offered looks at ordinary people engaged in ordinary activities, as Impressionism also presented.  The Romantics gave their accent on color, composition and flow.  Together, the result was the Impressionist movement which challenged Romanticism and Realisms rules for accuracy in anatomical representations and the somber colors.  Impressionism is not “realistic” as Realism, or as idealized as Romanticism presents its subjects.  Rather, Impressionism is free of the confines of both other schools.  Claude Monet’s Woman with a Parasol and her Son exhibits the breaking away from the previous schools and introduces the viewer to realism tempered with the creative new use of light and shading and how they interacted on surfaces. (Perry) “The Realists (had) considered what might be painted; the impressionists considered how their perceptions might be painted.” (The Art World)

Marvin Perry, et al. Humanities in the Western Tradition, First Edition. New York: Cengage Learning, 2003.

Unknown. “Realism (1850-1880).” Unknown. 28 January 2009 <>.

Unknown. “Art Movements in Art History – Impressionism.” The Art 28 January 2009 <>.

          Monet, Manet, Pissarro and Cezanne were searching for “an aesthetic that could capture the essential qualities of an image, such as the shifting effects of light and atmosphere.”  They presented a style which was criticized as sloppy and primitive.  They changed the world of art forever. (New York Times)

The New York Times, et al. The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge, Second Edition: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind (hardcover). New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007.


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