The concept of Utopia and German art

Subject: Philosophy
Type: Descriptive Essay
Pages: 11
Word count: 2883
Topics: Art History, Painting, Utopia


Utopia refers to an imaginary world or society where everything is perfect and there are no problems. The term can be used to describe a society which embraces justice and good moral principles. In addition, Utopia indicates the dreams and hopes of individuals in the society. The kind of expectation expressed through Utopia is beyond the ideal society.  Several artists have been engaged in artistic work such as sculpture, graphic designs among others to describe the culture and social issues of German modernism. Furthermore, this artistic work has been used to express the concept of utopia and hope for individuals in the society. This paper discusses various German artists and their art pieces.

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Development of Germany culture

Culture refers to people’s way of life and it includes aspects such norms, beliefs and values within the society. The culture of Germany has been developed by both religious and secular intellectuals from Europe. The culture embraced artistic work most of which was based on nature as a source of hope. For instance, there are some art pieces on oak trees and landscape paintings that are aimed at giving hope to individuals. This is because people love looking at beautiful pictures of nature Such beautiful pictures can uplift an individual`s mood thus bringing hope in their life. In addition, several artists have used natural landscape paintings to inspire and to influence human life. This is because, human beings naturally loves nature.  During the 18th and 19th century, most of the artist loved doing art on ladscape. This is because they were so interested in nature and skies. In addition, they, used art of painting nature landscape to express spiritual subjects. This led to development of art libraries and museums.

The Lonely Tree by David Caspar Friedrich

The lonely tree painting gives a beautiful landscape of plain that has mountains at the background. At the middle of the painting, there is an oak tree that is damaged but it is still standing firmly. The tree is at the forefront of the picture and its branches project into a cloudy morning sky. It seems like the crown of the tree is dead but the lower leafy branches are still healthy. The extension of the branches at the top of the tree forms an image of a cross. In addition, there is a shepherd sheltering under the tree. Furthermore, there is a flock of sheep grazing in a grassy landscape in front of a water pool. There seems to be sunlight at the background of the tree. The plains at the background also extend to the neighbouring villages. This picture seems to be describing the religious situation where there is a saviour who links people to heaven. This is illustrated by the branches of the tree which points heavenward. It can also be used to illustrate the deeply rooted Germany culture since the tree illustrated is deeply rooted in the ground. In addition, through the lonely tree, Caspar David Friedrich illustrates a survivor. In this case, although the tree is damaged at the top, it still has green branches which provide shelter to the shepherd. The picture implies that the shepherd standing below the tree will live and die but the tree will continue living for a longer time. In this landscape painting, Friedrich expresses the meaning of Christian religion. He indicates that spiritual life and faith is not limited to having one church, but it should be universal and deeply rooted.

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Bibliography of David Caspar Friedrich

Caspar was a German painter during the early romantic period. In 1790, he attended an artistic training as a private student in Greifswald. Later on, he joined Academy of Copenhagen where he developed his skills in copying antique sculptures. Caspar worked in printmaking which entailed layouts of wood cut and etchings. In the year 1801, he started developing interest in landscape paintings which later on became his favourite subject. One of his most important landscape artwork was `The cross in the mountains` which was done in the year 1801. Friedrich adored dead trees in cemeteries and captured the landscape with gloominess. According to him, dead trees were a reminder of how the grandest of monument lose value with time.

Most of his landscape paintings present religion topics. Majority of his paitings captured the sky with a variety of colours that changed from blue, to yellow and orange to indicate time of a day. In the last years of his life, Casper lived a poor life and he majorly depended on other artists. The lonely tree painting was inspired by the artist religious beliefs and his love for nature. The picture illustrates utopia in that the background plains are grassy and uninterrupted indicating perfect nature. In addition, there is religious hope in the picture. The top of tree indicates a cross which is a sign of salvation. Another sign of hope in the paintings is brought about by the beautiful landscape background which is quite inspiring. In addition, there is a sign of hope in the painting since a shepherd is able to find shelter under the tree. Furthermore, despite having a damaged crown part, the tree still standards firmly and it has some green leaves thus indicating hope. The fact that the tree survives despite the damage indicates that there is hope. In addition, it implies that hope leads to endurance in the prevailing circumstances with the expectation of better conditions in the future. The concept of hope is also inspired by some light that appears at the background of the tree.

Trees in autumn by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

This paint picture was designed by Kirchener in the year 1906. The painting contains colourful trees which are squeezed together. The colour that has been used to paint the trees includes green, yellow and brown. Green colour indicates green leaves while yellow colour indicated the leaves that have started to dry up. On the other hand, brown colour indicates the leaves that have already dried.   The picture also indicated a road that is passing in between the trees. In addition, the yellow colour on the road indicates that the leaves have been shed by the tree. This indicates that the summer season is about to approach. Kirchner uses thick colours to paint the picture thus making it more attractive.

Bibliography of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Kirchener was born in the year 1880 and started architecture studies in 1901 after being encouraged by his parents.  While at school, he a met a friend called Fritz Bleyl who introduced him to art and nature. This made him dedicate more time to art compared to that spend he spend in learning architecture.  In 1905, he liaised with his friend and some other architecture students in forming an artist grout known as Die Brücke. The aim of the group was to create a new mode of artistic style and expression. Kirchener developed interest in woodcarvings and strived to apply his unique style in modernizing them. His work has gained international recognition since the year 1913.

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Most of his artworks illustrate the culture of Germany during the pre-world war l period. His love for artwork and nature inspired his to paint the tree in autumn picture. In addition, the picture demonstrates his unique styles of doing the art.  This artwork illustrates utopia in a sense that it depicts a perfect natural environment free from destructive human activities. In this case, the natural forest is very beautiful and attractive.  On the other hand, a theme of inspire through this picture painting. The beauty of the painting in terms of colours and the natural set up greatly inspires hope. In addition, shedding of the leaves by the trees indicates transition from the old condition to a new state. This is an indicator that great things are ahead thus illustrating hope.

Under The Trees by Max Pechstein

This picture was painted by Max Pechstein in the year 1911. It is currently available in Detroit institute of arts. The paint picture shows four nude women who are under a tree. The first woman appears to be walking while pending down and she is being followed by the others. The third woman is holding the leaves of the tree probably picking a fruit. In addition, the background of the picture is painted with beautiful yellow colour. There are also some trees at the background thus depicting a natural set up. Pechstein uses various matching colours to express the idea of human beings going back to nature. In fact, the colour painting for the women matched with that of nature. This results into a natural scene which is colourful and beautiful. This painting was done using an oil and canvas artwork.

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Bibliography of Max Pechstein

Max Pechstein was born in Zwickau; Germany   in the year 1881.  He started his artistic work as an apprentice working under a decorator between the year 1896 and 1900. He started his education at Dresden school in the year 1900 and completed in 1906. Later on, he was invited by Erick Heckel to join Brücke ; a group that had been founded by students in the year 1905. During this time, Pechstein was using impression style to paint. After associating with the group members, he started using o brush strokes and unmixed colours in his painting. In the year 1908, he settled in Berlin where he continued with his artwork. He later on became the founder of Neue Sezession in the year 1910. During this time, Pechstein used sombre colours and simple compositions in his painting. His artwork majorly focused on European culture. In the year 1914, he relocated to western pacific where he focused his paintings on exotic subjects. He intentionally used primitive approach in his paintings during this time.

His conservative style in painting made him to receive wide public recognition than his colleagues. His popularity was at maximum during the 1920`s. Pechstein died in the year 1955, having been a known German expressionist painter. Under the tree painting is a utopia because it clearly shows a natural scene which is colourful and beautiful. In this case, an imaginary place with a perfect and peaceful environment in which human beings are friendly to the environment is portrayed. However, this set up is unlikely to exist in the real world. In addition; the picture inspires hope since it indicates that human beings are going back to nature. This indicates that more issues that come with modern lifestyle will be eliminated. Furthermore, the beautiful natural scene in inspiring since it indicates how beautiful human life is. It also indicates the relationship between human beings and nature.

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Stag by Gerhard Richter

This picture illustrates a goat that is stag in a thick forest. The animal is painted with light gray and white colour while the trees appear to be suspended on an irregular ground. In addition, the stag appears to be in front of the forest and not behind it. This implies that the photograph was painted at the end of the artistic work.  In addition, a forest strip running in the middle of the picture covers the belly and front legs of the stag. From, the painting, the stag legs seem to be disappearing into the forest.

This painting indicates hopes since it uses nature to capture one`s attentions. In addition, the forest seems to be thick but not strong. This implies that through moving forward the stag can manage to come out of the forest. This indicates that it is possible for an individual to move out of the past difficult moment into the present. This can be done by forgetting the past and concentrating on the present situation. This is some past situations are likely to discourage an individual. By forgetting the past and concentrating on the present an individual can be encouraged hence become hopeful in life.

Bibliography of Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richer is a Germany artist who was born in the year 1932. The artist has produced several photographic paintings, glass pieces and abstracts. His life memories are full of frustrations, fondness and excitement. For instance, the he spent most of his childhood life in hard economic conditions in a region where there was intense war. The artist studied at the Kunstakademie during the 1950`s where his artistic interest was influenced by the East Germany socialists.  Richer`s paintings style was heavily borrowed from photographs.  His unique painting styles made him famous across the region.

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Later on he his artistic work focused on landscape paintings, nude subjects and geometric compositions. In 1970`s, he majorly focussed on the abstract works which included colour grids. For several years Richer has been an active artist who has maintained uniqueness and creativity in his work. Richer`s painting of the stag must have been done at the moment when he was facing challenges as a student at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. This paint illustrate utopia because it includes a forest which is a gift of nature. The picture indicates an imaginary world where forest is not destroyed by human activities. In addition, the nature paintings of the picture are very attractive to the eyes. The beauty of stag painting can eliminate boredom in an individual`s life thus giving him hope for the future.

7000 Oaks by Joseph Beuys

The picture portrays a beautiful oak tree planted along the street of the city. The tree is just planted next to a building and there is a stone erected besides it. The leaves of the tree seem to be wilting due to dry season. However, the streets have been swept clean since there are no leaves on the ground. In addition, the tree has made the city environment to natural, appealing and beautiful. This picture represents only one of the 7000 oak trees planted by Joseph Beuys within a span of five years. Beuys was assisted by volunteers to plant 7,000 oak trees Kassel; Germany. Each tree was accompanied by a basalt stone. This tree planting project was artistic in nature and it indicated ecological intervention in enhancing urban environment. The project was controversial because it competed for the little available space in the city. Later on, people appreciated it because it created a beautiful scene in the city.

The intention of Beuys was to transform the community’s attitude towards environment but not to entertain the audience. He also wanted to start the project in Kassel city from which it would spread to the world thus transforming human life. The picture of the oak tree is a utopia because it illustrates the perfect natural environment within the city. In the real world, it is rare to find trees planted in the streets of the city. The picture also inspires the concept of hope in the sense that urban life is being transformed into a more natural environment. This beautiful natural scene gives life meaning through creating an inhabitable and conducive ecological environment. In addition, Beuys gives hope to the future generation by improving the environment. According to Beuys, trees illustrated the element of regeneration that comes with time. In this case, the Oat tree was selected because it grows slowly but finally gives the best wood. This also indicates hope since an individual has to endure the test of time before making any achievement.

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Bibliography Joseph Beuys

Beuys was born in the year 1921 in North West Germany as an only child to his parents who were devoted Christians. In the year 1933, he formed Nazi party that advocated for the rights of workers. During his early school life, he developed interest in artistic work and music. He was also talented in mythology, history, social and natural sciences. He opted for a career in medicine but finally joined air force. In the year 1940, he continued with his studies in zoology and biology. During the 1960`s, he participated in the Fluxus movement. Among his artwork includes drawing, sculpture and painting. He later on died in the year 1986.

In conclusion, several Germany artistic pieces illustrates utopia and also inspires the concept of hope. This artwork has been developed such several artist such as Pechstein and Beuys among others. The artist present landscape and nature work which has a positive impact on human hope. In addition, the artist also present utopia in their creative work. For instance, Beuys envisions a world that has trees planted in the cities. On the other hand, the other artists present paint pictures that illustrates a natural environment scene which is perfect. For instance the painting of `Under The Trees` by Max Pechstein illustrates a close relationship between human beings and nature. The painting captures that natural scene that has a colourful scene that matches with the human colour. This is an indication that human beings are going back to nature. In this case, Pechstein uses conservative style in presenting a landscape paint which greatly inspires human hope. However, the scenario presented in this case is rare in the real world.

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Did you like this sample?
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