Эссе: Social Values in Art Making Essay

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...A chief example of Robert's works reflecting the social values of his particular time and place is his painting "Shearing the Rams", an oil on canvas completed in1890. The scene depicts men hard at work shearing the rams, as the title suggests. It was based on a shearing shed at Brocklesby Station, where Roberts had spent two shearing seasons.  Three generations of Australian men can be noted, emphasising the importance of family in this society. It would seem from this painting that work trades were passed down from father to son, highlighting a strong sense of tradition held by people back in the late 19th century. The generations are working together to make a living and support the family.  A contrast can be observed between the overpowering presence of males in the painting compared to the complete absence of females. This subtly suggests that in Roberts' society, women were expected to stay at home and look after the children and housework, while the men took care of working and earning the families income. The artwork reflects a society that could almost be classified as sexist and stereotypical, the men playing the role of the strong, hard working, reliant family saviour.  The busy, hardworking men represent the dignity and honour of hard work and pastoral labour, idealising the Shearer. Although toiling away, there is a real sense of that distinctively Australian character. Roberts himself spoke about why he chose this subject matter for his work, stating, " I had there the best expression of my subject, a subject noble enough and worthy enough if I could express the meaning and spirit of strong masculine labour, the patience of the animals whose year's growth is being stripped from them for man's use, and the great human interest of the whole scene." He desired to catch the social and cultural essence of this time period in Australia's history.  ...