Realism In The Vesperbild

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Throughout the history, the terms idealism and realism have evolved, starting from the Greek’s sculptures and influencing different regions. Idealism in art means conveying the ideal and artistic side of the subject, and it tends to depict “what should be” more than “what it really is”. On the other hand, realism tends to care more about the true representation of the subject without idealizing it and giving it extra features that makes it close to the viewers. In this paper, the themes realism and idealism will be addressed using the Vesperbild sculpture from the Middle Rhine Region in Germany as an example, discussing the “Pietà”, its cultural context, and comparing it to another pietà from the same region. The Vesperbild (also called the …show more content…

One good example that can be compared to it is the “South German or Rhenish Pietà”, I375-1400 that is made of painted wood. In this sculpture, Mary is shown holding her son too, but here, she is not shown for the worshippers with horrifying and desperate expressions. Jesus in the sculpture does not have blood on his body and there are no obvious and terrifying scars, but the way he is placed on his mother’s lap and portraying her leaning forward her son shows the amount of sadness she is keeping inside her without relying on the striking details to evoke the audience’s emotions. Mary here looks more youthful and the Christ is depicted smaller than her to focus on her reaction and suffering more than the incident itself. Another reason may be reflecting what Mary remembered when she held her son on her lap, Jesus as a little baby. Suso expressed what Mary thought about when she held her son on her lap in his “Little Book of Holy Wisdom”: “"I took my tender child (mein zartes Kind) upon my lap and gazed upon I him, but he was dead,"” (Forsyth, 178). There is also here an interpretation that states how Mary had memories of her son being with her while living in Bethlehem in Palestine. (Forsyth,

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