Analysis Of Claude Monet 's The Coalmen ( Fig ) Essays

Analysis Of Claude Monet 's The Coalmen ( Fig ) Essays

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Climate change is the anthropogenic result of the Industrial Revolution, and the continuing issue of man’s ‘conquest of nature’. Thus, the current epoch is christened the ‘Anthropocene’: a period where humans are observably altering the functions of Planet Earth. Because of the catastrophic ramifications, both the causes and implications of climate change are of prevalent discussion in the contemporary art and design world. Manifesting in an abundance of mediums, often the subject matter depicted in these works is purposely provocative; a result of modern work’s tendencies to disperse the current mirage of ideologies instilled in our Occident culture, during the early Anthropocene – because changing human beings perceptions is the challenge, not saving the planet (Kid Warrior: The Xiuhtezcatl Martinez Story).

Claude Monet’s The Coalmen (Fig. 1) introduces the audience to a bustling scene on the docks; the activity created by the amount of detail in all depths of the visual text. Capturing this moment in the year of perhaps 1875, the Industrial Revolution has come and gone, but what now remains of this era is the combustion of fossil fuels, such as the coal presented here. Monet depicts workers heaving coal up the ramps, while above in the top third of the painting, are other citizens of Paris, ‘going about their day’. However, excluded from the picture is the detail (a factor of Impressionist-era paintings), specifically the detail of the people. Only their overall movement is visible, not their struggle to breathe in the encompassing yellow smog, which overlays the entire visual text. Creating a sense of completeness for the viewer – over a hundred years of viewers – and omitting the experience of this smog, it beautifies the u...


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...anging ideologies enforced during the early Anthropocene, naturalizing both the conquest of nature and the practises resulting in climate change. Deconstruction has begun to occur as a result of the visual discussion by contemporary artists and designers. Seeking to undo the anesthesia instilled in Western culture with artworks such as Claude Monet’s The Coalmen (Fig. 1), also acting to move the audience. Different levels of success are reached in these contemporary creations, for example, The Prophecy (Fig. 2) effectively developed the idea of the conquest of nature being an alien occurrence; while Auckland will go on without us (Fig. 3), a futuristic hyperbole, galvanized it’s audience due to its violating not just the ideologies, but the Western lifestyle. Therefore, the changing perceptions have great influence in the future of the planet, and all harboring life.

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