September 16, 2015
Artist for the Starving
Kennington, Thomas. Orphans. 1885. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery, London. Tate. Web. 3 September 2015.
Poverty has always been and will most likely always be a major global issue. Different people use different mediums to advocate awareness for poverty. Artist like Thomas Benjamin Kennington, used painting to achieve this goal with elements such as color, movement, depth, and balance. Kennington was born in Grimsby England, and studied art at several schools including South Kensington School of Art, Liverpool School of Art, and Academy Julian (Ross). Kennington was most recognized for painting everyday domestic scenes; however, Kennington also painted realist pictures focused on social issues. During the 1800s, the poverty in London prompted artist Thomas Kennington to paint heartbreaking images such as Orphans.
If a viewer does not know or understand the context in which the artist painted, then a majority of the time the viewer looses the meaning of a painting. In the painting Orphans, the context is the most essential part of the painting. In the Victorian Era of London, there were a growing number of homeless children (Daniels). Knowing this simple fact allows the viewer to understand why Kennington chose to paint homeless children. Like many artist, Kennington used his art to promote change in society. Some people think that Kennington was inspired by the artist Murillo to paint less fortunate children (Orphans). The painting of the two boys was created to show how heartbreaking the situation in London really was. The context serves as a center point for Kennington; without the poverty in London during the 1800s Kennington might not h...
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...ive him recognition past his own lifetime.
Kennington created a piece of art in the face of poverty to speak out against this devastating dilemma. This art work grabbed the viewer’s attention in his time and in mine. Kennington’s timeless painting certainly qualifies it as good art. Kennington painted for a “bigger picture” causing it to be something more than just an image. In both aspects of visually pleasing and emotionally baring, this piece of art is considered a great piece of art work.
Daniels, Barbara. “Poverty and Families in the Victorian Era.” Hidden Lives Revealed. March 2003. Web. 11 September 2015.
Kennington, Thomas. Orphans. 1885. Tate Gallery, London. Tate. Web. 3 September 2015.
“Orphans.” Art & Artist. Tate, August 2004. Web. 3 September 2015
Ross, Kara. “Thomas Benjamn Kennington.” Art Renewal Center. n.d. Web. 11 September 2015.
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