Plate 1 Analysis

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Analyse how the artwork in Plate 1 represents and documents cultural histories.

Through the cultural frame art may be thought to be about giving insight on how an artwork is influenced by the values of the society it is produced in, and, in turn, how the artwork influences the values of the society. Plate 1, Corpse in Barbed Wire (Flanders) is a German Expressionist etching by Otto Dix, German Expressionism is the when an artist depicts subjective emotions and responses to objects and events, rather than objective reality. In Plate 1 Dix uses colour and tone to depict his inner emotions and express the devastating effects on society during World War I. Ultimately, Plate 1 represents and documents cultural histories by giving first hand insight …show more content…

He focuses on strong contrast in colour and tone to express the overwhelming and eerie mood. The work is entirely black & white and monochrome which gives a solemn and intimidating effect, the black represents death and the unknown. Dix also etched out large white spaces to show the remains of the deceased and decaying flesh. Their is intense juxtaposition between the skull and the hollow space where the eyes should be. This represents not only death in general but also that the soldiers identity was unknown. This relates back to the cultural histories of the time as the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier was created in memory of the soldiers which fought in World War One and who’s bodies were not found or identified. The hollowness also represents that their was an abundance of people just like that, people who put in all their effort to fight for their country and who’s lives were ended in the process. Their is also a vivid juxtaposition between the barbed wire (flanders) and the white in the background. The flanders represent a scene of prolonged fighting, and the white represents purity and a life outside war, therefore together it symbolises that their is hope that the war will end, and once it does they can return home. The black on the right hand side of the work can also represent fear spreading through the trenches or could symbolise the …show more content…

It gives the viewer first hand knowledge into what it feels like to be surrounded by such horrific and agonising circumstances, such as those in World War I. It uses monochrome colour to represent death and fear, also the use of varied tone highlighted different areas which symbolise hope and a life beyond war, as well as strong shadows which were used to give a negative effect and symbolise the inhumanity behind war. The plate also relates back to cultural histories with ideas representing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an abstracted idea of what the soldiers in World War I went

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