Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Narrative Art

“Paradise” Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530, oil on panel (81 x 114cm)
Excerpt from a page in my thesis, wherein I attempt to inject the medium of comics, or sequential art (specifically the single-panel cartoon) with some academic artsy-fartsy. One of my contentions is that gag panels share many of the same characteristics of Fine Art, notably the narrative, and I posit that there needn't be a series of panels in order for a piece to be depict a narrative (not a point of contention within most fields of art, esp. in an illustrative sense - the trick here is to link it here with cartoons) and to this end I offer two telling examples.
Exhibit A (posted above) is “Paradise” by sainted German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder. In his lavish composition we see Adam and Eve's adventures in Eden (Eve's creation from Adam’s rib, seduction from the serpent, shameful hiding, admonishment from the Lord, and consequent expulsion).
Complimenting this image is a Exhibit B (posted below): a similar scene where Billy meanders through an atypical “Family Circus” tableaux from creators Bil and Jeff Keane. 
Hmm... get it? Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words...

“Family Circus” panel by Bil and Jeff Keane, 2001, pen and ink

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