Anthropomorphic Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphic Art How Essay

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4. Alexandre Gabriel Decamps

Figure 8.

Alexandre Gabriel Decamps' "The Monkey Painter," 1833.


Figure 9.

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Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps was an artist who often used animals portrayed as human beings to satirize society and especially the formal artistic community of the time. He was opposed to falsity and pretentions and the often biased views of the academic art coterie of the time was a subject of some of his works. This can be clearly seen in figure nine, 'Monkey Connoisseurs', also known as the Experts, which satirizes the French Academy of Painting,"… which had rejected several of his earlier works on account of their divergence from any known standard." (Life of Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps).

While many of his paintings refer to personal views and preferences, paintings such as the Monkey Painter ( 1833) exhibit a quality that extends beyond the expression of personal issues. The image of the monkey assuming a very human position and posture suggests a quality in the painting that extends beyond the personal. On one level the painting is humorous but on another level it can also be interpreted as a critical view of the human condition.

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In other words, it suggests the question of whether humanity is pretentious and foolish in the assumption of civilized values and whether the 'experts' and not in fact foolish 'monkeys'.

5. Conclusion

Anthropomorphism is a time-honored literary and visual device that has been used to satirize and comment on the human condition. Artists such as Speigelman have used this method to make a vivid and strong statement about the human condition and the propensity for human cruelty and injustice in history. Other artists such as Alexandre Gabriel Decamps have employed anthropocentricism to expose pretention in culture and to express their views about society.

This artistic device has also been used to extend the range of human feelings and emotions through art. The illustrations of Tenniel have become an intrinsic part of the famous literary work, Alice in Wonderland. In the hands of capable and creative artists anthropomorphism is an extremely useful artistic tool that can add to the depth and perception of the human condition in various ways......

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