Le Ventre Legislatif Analysis

Essay by teacherspet2004High School, 10th gradeB+, June 2004

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This lithograph called "Le Ventre Legislatif" or "The Political Belly" is by Honoré Daumier and was created in 1834 with the dimensions of 32cm x 43.3 cm. The lithograph is a caricature of politicians from the mid 19th century.

This lithograph shows members of parliament sitting in rows- some staring, some sleeping, and some talking. They are sitting quite stern faced. The main material used in this image was a very fine pencil. Daumier uses a large range of textures and tones in this image, which varies from rich, velvety blacks to sharp whites.

This image is organised to be very even to give the real idea that the parliament is one- they are all in a sense greedy, sly and corrupted people. The focal point of the image is directly on a politician looking very unimpressed and immediately looking down on anyone not like himself.

The whole image has been constructed to direct your eyes to the focal point as the entire room curves into it. Line

Politics and the realism movement were influences towards this artwork. This style explored this to depict the parliament members as lazy, obese and sour old men. Some parliamentary members are bored by the routine of the government- they are more interested in making sly remarks or corrupt deals and focusing on their own agendas. Certain characters facial features are stereotyped to depict sly, crooked nasty people. An example of this is a member with an exaggerated beaked nose that resembles or embodies a vulture's nose. Vultures are scavengers of death and destitution who hover above a withering body waiting for them to die and taking what they can from a defenceless body.

Another feature of the artists work is the lack of facial definition...