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Impressions of Remoteness and Peace Through Two Different Techniques

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Essay title: Impressions of Remoteness and Peace Through Two Different Techniques

Through the techniques of idealism and realism painting, Hiroshige and Albrecht Durer create two pieces that are found extremely humble and peaceful. A bridge in a Snowy Landscape is a woodblock print while the piece by Albrecht Durer is an engraving that exhibits a Christian scholar translating the bible. Hiroshiges uses manipulation of reality to enforce on the viewer the grandness and security of nature, while Durer uses the technique of immense realistic detail to welcome the viewer into the small room in which St.Jerome works.

The Japanese wood print A Bridge in a Snowy Landscape illustrates layers of distant vistas of large natural features; such as the two large mountains in the center, along with a river flowing through the middle of the print. The grandeur of the scenery discriminates any true detail (except for the overbearing shadow cast by the mountains) usually depicted in a realistic landscape painting. The painting appears like an ideal picture of a peaceful winter scene. With no patterns of detail, Hiroshige utilizes the ability to suggest vast landscapes in few lines which gives off an impression of simplicity and bareness. It is in this technique of minimalism that the artist leaves room for the audience to utilize their imagination regarding the true message of the painting.

In complete contrast, the Engraving of St.Jerome is nothing but a true showcase of exquisite and impressive detail by Albrecht Durer. The windows are made up of hundreds of circles of glass where the light shines through onto St.Jerome and the shadows of each circle are depicted onto the wall. The wooden ceiling is so incredibly realistic that every crack and knot in the wood is visible. The small room is cluttered with possessions hanging on the wall, laying on the ground, or sitting along the windowsill. Objects such as the skull perched on the windowsill act as symbols of the transience of life, being that it is a constant symbol of death. In addition to the skull, the light perfectly illuminated around the head of St.Jerome represents the thought of a holy being.

Durer creates an illusion of light, space and texture through his depiction of the interior in reference to the laws of central perspective. The vanishing point and converging lines create a construction of a picture space which insists on a feeling of intimacy. The edge of the step and wooden beam that almost seem to jump out of the engraving on the left generates a psychological sense of actually being in the room with St.Jerome which is opposite of what one feels while viewing A bridge in a snowy landscape. The vast landscapes and simplistic detail keep it from being realistic which makes it difficult for one to imagine they are partaking in the environmental scene presented before them.

The landscape element in the Engraving of St.Jerome is restricted to sun shining in through the window and the pumpkin hanging from the ceiling, while the print done by Hiroshige is primarily focused on nature. And yet, even in this meditative landscape scene, Hiroshige still integrates human activity. In the print, there are two men crossing a

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