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The Use Of Nature And The Natural World In Works From Constable And Buson

932 words - 4 pages

Throughout the entire history of art, whether in the European tradition or outside of it, nature was a subject that was constantly explored by artists. Naturalistic paintings were used to portray different emotional themes or add to the mood of a painting. British artist John Constable’s The Haywain and Cuckoo Flying over New Verdure by Yosa Buson, a Japanese artist, both feature very simple naturalistic settings. In The Haywain (pg. 839, Slide 28-53), Constable illustrates his perceived oneness between man and his surroundings. In Cuckoo Flying over New Verdure (pg. 789, Slide 27-10), Buson, a Japanese artist, personalizes the Chinese literati style as one way to illustrate his innate ...view middle of the document...

By accurately depicting nature in this landscape, Constable’s theme of unity between man and nature is realized. The painting’s mood is serene and the human figures appear to be part of the simple background. Unlike his contemporaries during the Romantic period, Constable does not choose to depict heroic actions of men or present complex, symbolic themes. All human forms blend peacefully into the painting’s real focus, the serenity and peacefulness of nature. Thus, Constable uses a beautiful environmental setting to address the theme of tranquil harmony between humans and nature.In Cuckoo Flying over New Verdure, a hanging scroll created with ink and color on silk, by Yosa Buson, the artist uses the Chinese literati style to merge his scholarship and poetry with the naturalistic art that he produced. Literati, a style that originated in China but was brought to Japan in the late 17th century, was typically practiced by highly-skilled artists who were usually wealthy and highly educated. This work signified social status and refined taste. In Japan, artists who practiced literati usually held positions in the bureaucracy that governed the country or were renowned scholars who, in addition to art, studied philosophy, meditation, literature, or science. Yosa Buson, the artist who created the literati painting, Cuckoo Flying Over New Verdure, was a master writer in haiku, a form of poetry that is still prevalent today. Buson’s poetic abilities gave rise a lyric style that was evident in his art.Although Buson imitated the Chinese literati, his style was greatly different from that of the Chinese masters. In...

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