The introduction: the meaning of visual perception
Visual perception is an ability of our brain to analyze information, which is provided by the eyes. Although some visual elements can be broken, our brain tries to recognize every element of the picture, etc. Thus, some memories depend upon certain visual productions, i.e. photos, pictures, videos, etc. Sometimes, the production can be familiar, but we can’t remember an event or a situation, which is related to a visual item. Usually, there are some missing parts, which prevent the process of remembering.
The object of the analysis is the picture; I should investigate and explain perceptions, feelings and interpretations the production causes.
The thesis statement
A person’s perception of a picture depends upon numerous aspects the picture includes. Thus, the most important visual elements are shape, color, texture, contours of the picture, etc. The context a visual item reflects is of great importance too, as it determines the way, a person understands a production. Generally, all elements should be analyzed jointly.
The body: visual deceptions vs. the abilities of a person’s brain
The first and the most appreciable feature of the picture is that it reflects folk culture. The only point I rely on when making such a conclusion is the contour of the painting. The fact that the picture is black-and-white and there are no flagrant colors, which could affect visual nerve and create strong emotions can confuse the persons who are familiar with the production as well as those, who have no idea what picture I am talking about. I mean that there is a lack of the context of the picture, so, it is not so easy to make any conclusions.
As far as every image changes, the scopes of perception became wider. I suppose I could see it in some books on mythology or an art history as the landscape of the picture seems to be similar to various other mythological productions. The mood and emotions the picture provokes are still easy, but more vivid as some details appeared.
Generally, the picture reminds me of W. H. Auden’s poem Musee des Beaux Arts. On the other hand, the picture is also associated with the Greek tragedy of Icarus written by William Carlos Williams. Anyway, the fact that the production is related to mythology is indisputable. The emotions the picture arouses are positive, as colors are not obtrusive.
In my opinion, the reflection of the Greek tragedy of Icarus is a little sinister. However, there are some doubts as the production reflects some daily activities of the time. On the other hand, the silence the picture reflects seems to be ominous in some way. Thus, Cole is of the opinion that:
A crucial aspect of Brueghel’s painting is its perspective. The force of the picture is thus, I think, to move the viewer not only to recognize the unconcern for catastrophe inherent in the preoccupation of ongoing life, but also to register a horrified protest that it should be so (1).
So, as far as the picture reflects the sign of catastrophe, some new features appear. This time I became alerted. Ominous silence of the picture as well as its reflection of daily activities puts me on my guard. The key point of the picture is the color of nature. Thus, although that the picture is color, its tints are still solemn. According to Hunt, “The mutual emphasis of both Ovid and Bruegel on the realms of nature and these three landscape elements is strengthened by the triple light” (1).
The point I think over is famous saying No plow stands still just because a man dies…So, my own perception of the saying is quite ambiguous. It is a touch of irony, which the picture reflects. The reflection of beautiful weather and catastrophe is really unusual combination. It means that there are no reasons to rely on visual perception as visual deception is always possible. In my opinion, death irony is the key idea of the picture.
The conclusion: the perspective of Brueghel’s painting
To my mind, Auden’s poem reflects the protest which is related to the artist’s production. My own feelings are similar as there should be more details pointing to a disaster. The perspective of Brueghel’s painting is difficult to predict; there are some minor details which persons usually neglect when analyzing the picture. Gutman states, “In the simplest terms, what the poem tells us is that no one notices suffering” (1). In other words, people are to think differently in order to understand the meaning of the production.
Cole, David. On “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”, 2000. Web. 27 Jan. 2012.
Gutman, Huck. The Power of Poems – and The Difficulties in Poems, 2011. Web. 27 Jan. 2012.
Hunt, Patrick. Ekphrasis or Not? Ovid (Met.8.183-235) in Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, 2005. Web. 27 Jan. 2012.