Friday, February 19, 2010

"A Japanese Imploring a Divinity" by Jean-Leon Gerome

The painting "A Japanese Imploring a Divinity" portrays basically what the title implies. The Japanese person is facing away from the viewer so we only get a view of the back, which tells us that the painting is not particularly about him. He is standing at the bottom of a huge flight of stairs with his arms raised outward up to the huge statue of a "divinity" sitting on top of the stairs. The Japanese man's body language and outstretched arms indicate that he is begging of something from the higher being. In this case, it seems he is begging for the divinity to stop the torture and suffering brought upon his culture and the orient.
You can clearly see the statue is meant to be a replication of a divine being. First of all, it is a huge statue and is set up high enough for all passers-by to see. Also, the bright orange and light against the blue sky (in this painting) really cause the statue to stand out. It is the brightest object in the painting, so your eye almost instantly lands on it. This whole piece goes to show you how people of the orient were being ruled over by people much more powerful than themselves.

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