Form CaseEssay Preview: Form CaseReport this essayForm can be made up of many things, and is what creates an artwork. It can be anything from glass, wood, paper, oil paint, canvas, brushes, and sculpture materials such as white marble, to specific objects illustrated in the work of art. As discussed in the text on page 38, form “includes all visual aspects of the work that can be isolated and described, such as size, shape, materials, color, and composition.” Form is basically what makes up the art piece, while content is the meaning the art piece depicts. Thus, content is the message portrayed or feelings evoked by form to the audience.

1.14 Juan de Valdes Leal, Vanitas for example has a number of different objects scattered, that is part of the artworks form. Objects in this painting such as a timepiece, and flowers (budding, blossoming and dying with petals falling) portray the content of life being a beautiful timepiece, first budding into the world and blossoming (reaching our most beautiful state or self accomplishment), to eventually death and losing the beauty and everything we once possessed.

That being said, I do believe that the form of a work of art can a great effect on perceptions, but I agree with my peers along with the text, that perceptions are not universal and many factors including culture, time period, and personal experiences contribute to obtaining such. As stated by the author on pages 15-18, “Works of art hold many meanings. The greatest of them seem to speak anew to each generation and to each attentive observerwe do not all notice the same things, nor do we interpret what we see in the same way.”

Content and subject matter go hand in hand and the difference will mostly depend on what the artist is thinking and how they want to send their message. Personally, content is only going to make the subject matter stronger. While the author used artworks 2.21, 2.22 and 2.23 to demonstrate difference in styles, I used it to aid in understanding the difference of content and subject matter. These paintings depict woman having their hair combed, all sharing the same subject matter. But what differentiates them is not only the difference in the artists style, but also the content. 2.21 Kitagawa Utamaros Hairdressing can portray a mother combing her childs hair, while in contrast 2.22 Edgar Degas Nude


C. B. H. Miller, “I’ll Give You Everything for Sex in Japan,” in N. H. Miller, ed., Japan: Japanese Culture, Volume 12 (New York: Eerdmans, 1992), pp. 17-19. [Amazon only]

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G. Molnar, ed., The Women of Japan, New York: New Press, 1991 (New York: Harper-Collins, 1991), pp. 39-50.

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