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Colton Barney
Humanities 1010
April 2nd 2017
The Freedoms and Altercations of War
War is an event that has occurred in the history of the human race for a very long time.
With the happening of many different wars, there has been many different consequences. After
some wars there was brought freedom, with others it caused many altercations and havoc where
it happened. I am going to go more in depth with some pieces of art that relate to war, and what
the impact was on the people that were involved in those battles. As I have looked into these
artworks and the history behind them I have found that war has caused both freedom, and
heartache. Depending on which side of the war the people were on there is always a
consequence to going to war.
The first piece of art that I wanted to talk about is “The Battle of Alexander at Issus” by
Albrecht Altdorfer. This is an oil painting that was made in 1529, by the German artist
Altdorfer. The painting is portraying the Battle of Issus with Alexander the Great with his
victory over Darius III of Persia. It gave Alexander a lot of leverage against the Persian Empire.
The painting is known as Altdorfer's greatest masterpiece and is famous because it has a
Renaissance type of landscape. Duke William IV is the person who requested the painting to be
made so he could hang it in his house in Munich. Alexander the great reigned from about 336
BC until his death, and is known as one of the greatest military strategist in history. This
painting is a great example of showing just how great he was in his victory against the persians.
It shows all of his soldiers at war and just how big the war was to be able to conquer Darius III in
war. It depicts his glory and greatness as one of the best war tacticians in history. The Battle of
Alexander at Issus is painted on a lime wood panel and is a oil painting. It has a lot of shapes
and their interplay with each other. It has a very big canvas which shows the overview of the
whole painting. It is a very strategic picture and shows how a lot of events in the war started to
unfold. By showing the sun and the moon it depicts that it was a very long battle, and by how
many soldiers there are it shows just how big it was. In the painting you can tell that the soldiers
of Alexander are taken care of they have armor on and shields, while the persians are just
wearing cloth around them. This is just another example of how great Alexander was. Altdorfer
chose a lot of darker tones for the color in the painting, probably to show how dark the war was.
But it is also bright to show how great the glory was in winning the war.
The second piece of art that I wanted to talk about is the painting “The Declaration of
Independence” by John Trumbull. This painting was made with oil on canvas. It shows the
presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to congress. The artist Trumbull
painted a lot of the figures from life, and went to visit Independence Hall to view the chamber
where they met. This piece of art was commissioned in 1817, and purchased in 1819. A lot of
people mistake this painting as being the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but it is
not. It was just the presenting of the Declaration to congress which was a huge moment in
history. The Declaration of Independence is what our country is built on. And contains the rights
of our freedom in this country. The painting shows 42 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of
Independence. Although there is not a war depicted in this painting, it happened during the
revolutionary war. This war that happened in the history of America was the cause of the
making of this document. And this document is the reason that we live in a free country of the
United States of America. The decleration of independance is what our country was built on,
and is what inspired Trumbull to make the painting of such a great event in the history of
America. This painting was made with oil on canvas. It is 12' X 18' and is located at the U.S.
capitol rotunda. It was made as an enlarged painting of a smaller painting that Trumbull had
created as a smaller series. Part of the rooms architectural items are different from the historical
fact. Trumbull also painted a lot more elegant furniture in the painting. He covered the windows
with bigger heavier drapes to make it look better. This piece of art shows a great moment in
history, and depicts the freedom that we have in this country. It is one of the most famous
paintings thus the reason it is in the U.S. capitol.
The third piece of art that I want to talk about is the bronze statue “David” by Donatello.
David is a biblical character as was known as a hero of war. In the tale the Israelites are fighting
the Philistines, who have a great warrior named Goliath. He repeatedly asks the Israelites to give
him their best warrior to fight to decide who wins the whole war. None were brave enough until
a shepherd boy named David said that he would fight. The Israelite king offered David armor
and a sword but he refused them. He went out with a sling and hit Goliath in the head and then
be-headed him with his own sword. This story shows the faith of David and that good can
conquer evil. Even when the great warriors may be very big and evil, in war anything can
happen. David brought freedom to his people just by being brave enough. This piece of artwork
is famous for being the first unsupported standing work of bronze during the renaissance.
All three of these works show the glory and freedom of war. They show what is possible
to happen with both strengths and weakness’. Alexander the great had a very big army and with
his strength was able to have victory, the Declaration of Independence was made after the
revolutionary war to provide us with our freedoms, and David had enough courage to defeat the
evil enemy and by so doing his people were able to win and be free. So you may be asking
yourself so what? Or that this is all good information but why is it important to know? The
main reasons I chose to talk about these artworks is that they all show that with faith and courage
in war anything is possible. We have the choice to be courageous and strong and if we are the
outcome of the war can be freedom. This can relate to all of humanity and the many different
struggles that we go through in our everyday lives. There will be altercations in our lives or our
own personal “wars” that we go through. But if we can fight through it, be strong, and have
faith, there is freedom waiting for us.
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