Summary Of William Maw Egley's Omnibus Life In London

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The painting that I chose to analyze was William Maw Egley’s Omnibus Life in London (1859). Painted on an oil medium, it depicts a scene of an omnibus, a horse-drawn carriage that acted as public transportation, pulled over at a certain stop along a particular route (Tate). In the painting, it features a crowded bus as more people attempt to board it. There are various people from every type of social class, which will be examined during the contextual analysis section to interpret the meaning historically. Also, this paper will analyze the formal structure of the painting through color, lines, space and mass, and composition. And furthermore, recognize the symbolism documented in the painting for iconographic analysis. In doing so, this will highlight and comment on important characteristics of Omnibus Life in London as it yields new information regarding the emerging shift in social inequality. Through formal analysis, the visual characteristics of the work present an interesting insight into the painting. The first emotion that I experienced with this work was claustrophobia and crowdedness. Part of the feeling spawned from the three-dimensionality of the painting. Egley was able to utilize depth in order to render a work that appeared smaller as the observer’s eye moved from the foreground to background. The lines in this painting point toward one single point system as Egley created a perspective work of art by scaling the figures. Even the colors help guides the eye

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