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A Battle Of Mythical Proportion Paiting: The Horrors Of War By: Peter Paul Ruben

752 words - 4 pages

War and peace, love or hate, good verses evil are all analogies that epitomize the father of all conflict. Peter Paul Rubens' oil on canvas piece "The Horrors of War" was completed in 1638 in Florence, Italy.Rubens uses allegory to convey to his audience the effects of war. Greek mythological figures struggle, grasp, and fall as they "dance across the canvas." In the background is a distant battlefield. Figures hover overhead and objects scatter the floor. You cannot deny this confusion represents an opposition too great to calm. Rubens portrays the disarray that accompanies societies thrown into the struggles of war. His work suggests the countless oppositions that ...view middle of the document...

A blue skies verses gray sky adds to the signs of good and evil. Research showed more evidence of the meaning behind "Horrors of War." Europe was involved in conflict during the 1600's. Rubens had strong beliefs about these issues. He accepted a diplomatic assignment dealing with peace negotiations between England and Spain. He had seen the terror of war. He saw the struggles of refugees, the plague and dysentery. "The Horrors of the War" is a true example of antiquity meaning he used history and mythology in his paintings. Not only did "Horrors of War" illustrate his views of war but, showed his "denunciation of war". Rubens wants you to understand war by using allegory. Mars, the god of war, holding weapons and Alecto, the fury of war, holding a torch adorned in the center of the piece. The women in black represent Europe ravished by war. Venus, the goddess of love, holds Mars back. The 3 Graces: Harmony, with her lute, Charity and Fecudity, with child are shown being tramped by Mars. These females are portrayed as the ones who give and receive. Red rips...

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