Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: The Human Form Expressed in Art.
With the increasing strength of science, and the necessary part women played in the actual creation of the child, the female form began to take on new importance in artistic works. Through the years, the way in which the pregnant form has been represented, misrepresented, and ignored has been a growing theme, coming into full flower in the modern art world in a variety of media. Among the artists who have brought it forward in the past century are Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Lucien Freud, Marc Quinn, and Ron Mueck.
By looking at how these artists portrayed pregnant women as well as their motivations in doing so, we can begin to gain an understanding of how the cultural attitude toward pregnancy and the female form has changed.Gustav Klimt brought the previously ignored or hidden pregnant form into new significance within the Art Nouveau movement coming out of Austria. His tendency to veer toward the erotic can be seen in his painting “Hope” (1903) which depicts a pregnant girl standing nude among a crowd of richly dressed yet bizarre individuals.
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Far from being a simple painting of a village girl, the girl looking out at the viewer with her large eyes, standing so as to provide a full profile of her large belly perhaps only days before giving birth, immediately draws concern. The skull above her head, tilted to the exact same degree as her own and with no discernable associated body behind her brings the idea of death into the picture while still focusing the attention on the broad, flowing curves throughout the piece. This skull indicates the dangerous nature of pregnancy prior to the advent of modern medicine.
Despite this evil omen and the darkness surrounding her, this woman seems to glow out at us, from her strawberry blonde hair and her almost overripe profile to her pleading eyes and breathless expression. This image, then, is captured the aspects of a hopeful mother/innocent child in mortal danger yet extremely vital.