Art Appreciation - Anger of Achilles Painting Essay

950 Words Oct 24th, 2012 4 Pages
On my mission to find a painting that either caught my eye or would stop me dead in my tracks, I discovered “The Anger of Achilles.” This oil painting seemed to call me hither to take a closer look. As I walked closer, the painting became more clear and vivid. It was as if Jacques-Louis David was oil painting in high definition. This is a stunningly clear oil painting. So clear, it resembles a modern day photograph.
The expression on the faces of each character in this painting drew me in even more. I wanted to know more: Why? Who? What was about to happen? At first glance, it seemed as though the woman in the background, Clytemnestra the mother, is being disturbed. King Agamemnon, the man portrayed in the foreground, appears to be
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This work reveals an ageless story of love that will never be; the loss felt by Clytemnestra for the sacrificing of her daughter. Also, Achilles’ loss of his love by deceit from Iphigenia’s father Agamemnon. In Greek mythology, things are never as it seems. The promise to Achilles to have Iphigenia’s hand in marriage was not as it seemed either.

This work of art is such a vivid and amazingly clear oil painting. I found myself unable to look away. It captured my attention first by the amazing colors created by David. Secondly, I was drawn to the facial expression on the faces of Iphigenia and Clytemnestra. I instantly wanted to know the story behind the portrait. This work of art simulated me on a personal level. A mother, who appears deeply hurt, sustained my attention. After taking in the entire subject matter, I remembered the stern authority illustrated in Agamemnon’s expression and body language. It became a personal experience of how a father ruled over the family decisions. I learned the family dynamic continues to be illustrated, as it is in a biblical sense, by indicating the father is always the head of the family. Clytemnestra does not agree with the situation, but submits to her husband’s final decision.

In conclusion, this famous oil painting by Jacques-Louis David is based on Greek mythology but appears to be a situation related to real life. The situation portrayed can be understood by

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