Art History

Rene Magritte’s The False Mirror

In a world that is prone to conflicts and wars, messages of peace are required to restore hope and order in society. To illustrate how artists use their art pieces to preach peace, Rene Magritte’s The False Mirror is looked at. The artist uses the ‘false mirror’ idea to depict the perceptions that people normally have about the world around them. It is important that they get meaning out of what they see, and what they engage in, in their daily lives.

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This includes how they interact with the objects and people around them. The piece of art has a deeper meaning. It could mean, for example, that before one thinks about their neighbor as evil, they should, first of all, reflect upon their own lives. For instance, why should they attack their neighbors? What if they were the ones wrong? Answering these questions helps one to understand their neighbors and the people around them more. It helps them to choose peace over war; to decide for dialogue over conflicts. In the end, they should reach for a consensus and have amicable solutions to their problems. War is not a solution. Rather, it aggravates the problem further. People draw different conclusions from what they see. The False Mirror gives the impression that people react differently to the same situations. However, the obvious fact is that conflicts within a society are brought about as a result of a misunderstanding. Before one blames another, they ought to ask: what is my contribution to the problem? If everyone were to reason from this perspective in the event of conflicts, they would solve more issues without engaging in violence. Understanding the cause of a problem requires critical thinking. It needs rationality that the False Mirror depicts. If everyone were to be rational in assessing different situations, peace would prevail and conflicts in the society would be minimized.

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Francis Bacon’s Head Surrounded by Sides of Beef

This piece of work depicts underlying violence. The man pictured in the piece seems to have been tortured. The fact that he is placed between two pieces of beef further portrays violence. It depicts loneliness and torture. Again, this is a visual form of art. The artist expected viewers to understand the fact that war or violence has no place in contemporary society. This picture reminds the viewer of mortality. We are all bound to die someday. At least people should die from natural causes, but not from wars or violence. Inasmuch as viewers may interpret the piece of work to mean violence or have a violent connotation, the original intention of the artist was to show humankind that they should not engage in wars or violent activities. The picture only serves as a reminder to people that they should choose peace over war. Moreover, the art piece reminds us of our mortality, and of the consequence of war and violence on our flesh and on our body. Security is a critical issue. People must ensure that they remain secure. At the same time, how do they assure security? It would be by steering clear out of harm’s way. They must employ dialogue. They must know the repercussions of war and violence. It is their duty to forge good relations amongst persons. The piece of art reminds people of what they are likely to become if they choose violence over peace. Their ribs will be exposed. They will have streaks of blood. Literally, they will be dead. The art piece, just like Head Surrounded by Sides of Beef is a reminder of what should not happen. Bacon intended the picture to remind people that we are potential carcasses. The picture also serves to emphasize to people the cost of war. They should understand that peace becomes a better option.

Kathe Kollwitz’s Never Again War

This imagery is marked by ghostly, with the feeling of moving, picture of a sickly and poverty-stricken woman. What is more, she cannot even take care of her children. The picture depicts compassion on the part of the painter, Kathe Kollwitz. She makes an appeal on behalf of the members of the society, who are already employed. This piece of work reminds us of the suffering that people underwent in Germany during and after the First World War. This piece of art features oppressive and dark subject matters. It shows revolts and uprisings. It can be argued that her pieces of work illustrate oppression and hardships that people went through. One then asks: what caused the whole scenario in the beginning? On investigation, it is clear that the German people suffered as a result of the war. The repercussions were costly: deaths and destruction of property. Many more people died from starvation. Such was the cost of war. The artwork serves to remind viewers about the cost of war, not just for the German people, but for everyone. War ravages people. Living standards are low. Children are malnourished. People lose hope. On the other hand, if there were no wars, there would be no such consequences. Again, the painting serves to show that peace is the best option for people in society. Members of the society should embrace peace. War is costly. One only needs to look at the German example and at Hiroshima, for instance. The bombing of Hiroshima saw the death of many people, most of them were innocent and did not involve in the war. It is not a choice they made. In remembrance of this, there is a Peace Monument that was erected to serve as a permanent reminder that war is a curse and has serious repercussions, including death and a hurt economy.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

The painter did many pieces of art. He talked about secularism, religion, and contemporary issues. His works were themed around happenings in France. This was a time when France was undergoing a number of revolutions. These revolutions threatened the peace and security of the French people. Some of them were necessary. He talks of the violence that ensued following the French revolutions. Most people were killed. There was confusion surrounding the meaning of Frenchness. Royalist felt that the war had been a disaster, while the republicans thought the war had been necessary for French people to get back what the Royalists had stolen from them. According to his depictions, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes sought to show not only to the French people but to the world, that sometimes war is necessary. Not the fact that the revolution was a bad thing, but it was necessary if an everlasting peace had to be witnessed in France. Many scholars described him as “Painter for France” because his works served to unite the French people. They became nationalists in their country. His other pieces of work depicted paintings of the church. They showed the peace associated with churches. At times when the human soul is disturbed, the church becomes their refuge. This is quite critical in society. It is important that people have peace in their hearts, not only in their homes. The painter does a masterpiece depicting the situation just as it is. Overall, from the pieces of art looked at, it is clear that the different painters and their pieces of work looked at the element of violence, its likely causes, and the need for peace in the society.


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