9.1: Propaganda





9.1: Propaganda

Velazquez’s Painting

Velazquez was the only authorized visual artist in Spain’s Court and dealt with various momentous proceedings such as the success of the armed forces in numerous occasions. However, the piece of Surrender at Breda gave him immense recognition in different parts of the world. He used this piece to describe the town of Breda, which bordered the northern and southern regions of Netherlands. These states were under the command of two nations with Spain controlling the southern part and Holland managing the northern area. However, the Spanish government wanted to extend their command hence the war in this area. The triumph of Spain in this battle was immense in the eyes of the emperor and Velasquez used this as a platform to praise the military.

Consequently, his painting started as propaganda for the Spanish Court. Through this piece, he celebrates the military and illustrates them as physically powerful and systematic individuals. On the other hand, he paints the Dutch military personnel as messed up and wounded. Moreover, the Dutch mayor surrenders the keys of his town to the leader of the Spanish military hence alleging that Spain is a powerful nation. This painting is not only an expression of his opinion but also an avenue of political assertions. Similar to other contemporary images of the military, this painting shows that the army focuses its activities on the benefits of the nation. Therefore, the success of the military is a win for all citizens. Moreover, the military’s stand represents the views of the people.

Reuben’s Painting

Reuben, painter of Allegory of the Outbreak of War, also illustrates propaganda in his work. His catholic religious conviction, constant trips around courts and nations, and exposure to battles influenced his paintings. Being a political diplomat, he illustrates the effects of war through drama and exaggeration. For instance, he uses various Roman gods to address the issue. In his painting, Mars left Janus temple open as an indication of violence in the area. He walks with a bloodstained sword and terrorizes everyone on his way including his female companion, Venus. Monstrous figures of starvation and diseases surround the area as a demonstration of the effects of war.

On the ground, the painter shows a lady with a broken lute in an attempt to assert that harmony and conflicts contrast. Moreover, he uses a woman holding a toddler to convey a message that war devastates productivity. In this literature piece, there are also signs of a construction engineer who falls on his back while holding his paraphernalia as an indication of the destruction caused by war. Additionally, Mars steps on a book as a symbol of disregard to knowledge. The sad, black-clothed woman on the painting illustrates Europe in her suffering state due to conflicts. It is therefore true to say that Reuben’s work incorporates propaganda art.

Response to Classmate’s Work

In my opinion, the argument in this essay is true. Reuben was a diplomat seeking to restore peace in the world especially in Europe. He concentrates his painting on the Mars since war is his major emphasis. Through the illustration of the consequences of conflict, Reuben tries to unit the world. However, unlike contemporary images, the works of Reuben and Velasquez emphasize the need to use political approaches to bring peace. They seek to gain the public support by bring to light the repercussions of conflicts. On the other hand, contemporary images justify war by claiming that the results unify the world.

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