Essay Example on Meaning Behind Art

Published: 2023-01-28
Essay Example on Meaning Behind Art
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Arts Art
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1117 words
10 min read


The function of artwork in society is essential and should not be overlooked. Art is meant to represent the real nature of the world by use of drawing and paintings, a communication separate from the written, oral, and any other form of communication. Artwork depends more on the nature of art done, the color, paintings used, and the times within which the artwork was executed. Often, it is different from linguistics since it may draw a different meaning from what is visual. This paper seeks to provide more insights into some of the renowned paintings that were presented

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Often, the intended meaning of the author of artwork may not be similar to what the reader insinuates. This is because the interpretation is left to the liberty of the reader, based on the nature of their understanding. Some features in artwork may include language use such as metaphors which may not necessarily be the case. It may be pointing out to something else that is profound.

Artwork, in its meaning, can take the form of representation or an expression (Thompson, 2017).). Some are done specifically as a representation, to stand in for something as some formalist would put it. Others are formulated to express an opinion, a view, or a state of something. The meaning in it can be surfaced and also have an intrinsic one. The surface meaning is what can be seen while the intrinsic one is that which is subject to interpretation following a deep analysis of the same artwork.

Bal du Moulin de la Galette (Fitch-Roy & Fairbrass, 2018).

Bal du de la Galette is a painting done by a French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, in the year 1876. The painting consists of a large number of people on what seems like a sunny day, the majority of who are dressed in white. It appears to be some sort of celebrating with some dancing, while others are sitting, engaging in a chat.

The painting points back to the late 19th century when those who were on the working-class level would spend time eating, drinking, and dancing, especially on Sundays. They had a particular manner of dressing no wonder the white outfit depicted in the picture. It shows a snapshot of real-life among those partying at the time, especially among the working class. The painting was meant to point out how the working class in Paris during the late eighteen century and early nineteen-century used to live. The people would often gather on a fair-weather day and would engage in a patty. This would involve taking drinks, dancing, catching up on stores with friends, among others. From the picture, the people appear to be all of the same social classes. This painting depicts what life meant to these people. The meaning of life from the painting is essential for one to enjoy oneself. It also shows that pleasure is not to be exuded for self-independence. For one to be happy, they have to involve other people. The painting also shows the treasures of human beings in this era, majorly being food and drinks, proper dressing, and a good living condition.

The quality of living will also depend on these around an individual. The expense of individual happiness rests in the efforts of the other person. Therefore, it may be difficult for low-income level people to come up with the rich since what one afford, the others cannot, according to what the painting depicts.

It may have also been a meeting point for family, friends, and other stakeholders in one's life. This may be explained by the small gatherings of the people sited on chairs. It provides an opportunity to unite with family after what seemed like a tough week. From the historical perspective, these events would normally happen on Sunday, which is a weekend. Life thus would require some rest from extensive work and would need one to take pleasure at some point.

Barge Haulers on the Volga (Harrison, 2015)

Barge Haulers on the Volga is a painting done by Ilya Repin in the year 1870 to 1873. The painting (1870-1873), shows eleven men dragging a barge on the banks of a river, supposedly, river Volga. The barge is huge and bulky, and the people appear very tired and exhausted. The weather is sunny and very hot. As it appears, they are pulling the barge against the current of the river no wonder the fatigue they have.

The men are dressed in rags and have leather harnesses. The surrounding lighting is silverfish and white and dominated by blue tones. There is also an inverted Russian flag mounted on the barge. The men in the picture are position differently, with a majority bowed down, except a young man who stands straighter, looking at a distance while still pulling.

The painting most likely is meant to depict the extreme labor force that the Russian government was putting on the people. The painter of this artwork (Repin), grew up in a poor background in Ukraine, and this was most likely what he was going through. This painting was meant to depict the inhumane labor in which the rich reaped profits from the poor.

The painting shows the imbalance in life and the experiences that the poor people go through. They are subject to hard labor for them to survive. The people in the painting may not be in a position to defend themselves and have no otherwise than just to do the hard work.

It shows that the quality of life one can live depends on the environs you live and the nature of governorship you're under. The Russian flag might have been placed in the painting just to show the country this was happening. Therefore, life is about the environment you live in and the quality attached by those around you. Where the government and the social value life, this would not have been necessarily the case. The people may have had a chance to negotiate on how to do the work and not necessarily forced labor.


In conclusion, behind most artworks, there is an underlying meaning that the artist intends to pass across to the audience. The Bal du Moulin de la Galette and the Barge Haulers on the Volga are some of the segments of art that depict meaning. Generally, the meaning behind some form of art is shaped by the techniques, materials as well as the ideas that are presented to the viewers.


Fitch-Roy, O., & Fairbrass, J. (2018). Negotiating the EU's 2030 Climate and Energy Framework: Agendas, Ideas, and European Interest Groups. Springer

Harrison, C. (2015). Impressionism, Modernism, and Originality. Modernity and modernism: French painting in the nineteenth century, 141-218.

Thompson, D. (2017). Hit Makers: How Things Become Popular. Penguin UK.

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