|Art Appreciation and Techniques (#ART100)|
|Art and our world||Overview | Introduction | Identity | Self-portraits | The natural world | Social and collaborative art | Politics, conflict and war | Memorials | Peace | Summary|
Like so many other things we experience in our world that translate into art, those that engender ideas of peace and tranquility take many different forms. Some of these are iconic, others transitory and changing., Hicks describes the world with a visually literal translation of bible verse: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a child shall lead them.”
Hicks' painting (of which there are many versions), includes the scene of English colonist and founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn’s signing of a treaty with representatives of the Native American Lenape tribe.
Other artistic expressions of peace include large public monuments. One example is the Peace Arch in Blaine, Washington, USA (see image below left). Built in 1921, the stone arch straddles the international boundary between the two countries and commemorates the ongoing peaceful coexistence between Canada and the United States.
Related to this arch are many others collectively called Arches of Triumph. These arches stretch through art history starting from Roman times. They signify peace through the idea of military victory and national pride. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is perhaps the most famous (see image below right). Built in the fist half of the nineteenth century, the arch stands as a victory monument to all French soldiers who fought in the Napoleonic Wars, and since then has become an icon of French victory over aggression and war. At 164 feet (50 m) high, its massive bulk and beautiful proportions are a testament to permanence.
A more contemporary example of peace, and one that is etched into popular culture, is the graphic Peace Symbol (below left) designed by Gerald Holtom in 1958 for use in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. It is a universal signifier for peace and can be found on flags, buttons, banners and clothing. The symbol is incorporated on the Lennon Wall, a public space in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, the late member of the Beatles rock band and an activist for peace. In the 1980’s Czech youths tagged graffiti on the wall as an outlet for their frustration against the Communist regime in power at the time (see image below right). One of Lennon’s best-known songs about peace and love is titled Imagine.
- The Peaceable Kingdom is available online in the Worcester Art Museum collection.