Theme | Describe which theme the aesthetic work could fit into, e.g. Art and Identity. Explain why and how your choice reflects the key ideas from the theme you selected.
Art and Space, Art and Identity, Art and Everyday Objects, Art and Society
Describe | Make objective observations about what you see.
Analyse | Consider the most significant design principles that were used in the aesthetic work. Describe how the artist used them to organise the elements.
Interpret | Express your opinion about what you think the artist is trying to say by describing what it means to you, how it makes you feel or what expressive qualities the piece has.
Judge | Provide an evaluation/opinion of the aesthetic work based on research and understanding.
Resources | Consolidate your sources using the Harvard citation style. Refer to the library’s citation guide available at
The art piece I am about to cover, fulfills the qualities of the theme art and society.
The art piece was painted during the early World War 2 and thus depicts the scene in that present time, showing the possible tensions. This painting affects the society because it may change the way people think about marketplaces, especially during war. You would think the marketplace would be a place where it is safe away from soldiers, however that is not the case during the war.
Marketplace during the occupation is an oil on canvas painting and it was painted by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo in 1942 (National Gallery) This painting, as its title suggests, depicts a scene of a marketplace during the occupation. This can be seen by the stalls, Japanese soldier, flag and banner in the background. There are also people present either as stall vendors or customers. During 1942, World War 2 just broke out and I would imagine this would be the scene we would have witnessed if we were present there (Andrew Knighton, 17 November 2017). The overall mood from this painting is a little confusing because the people look happy and cheerful but I believe that it may be rather tense. I believe that it may be tense because, why would a soldier be patrolling at a marketplace when it is a place where people would get their daily needs.
Fernando has used different hues of neutral colours for the background and used cool colours as a contrast to make the people at the front stand out. He has also used light to brighten up the front of the painting and darken the back of the painting. Brightening the front of the painting suggests to me that there could be sunlight, and darkening the back of the painting suggests to me that there is shade where they are at. He gave texture to the clothes people were wearing by showing creases you would normally see in real life. He also paid special attention to the straw hats and head scarves people are wearing, possibly indicating the place is hot. He painted the background with lesser detail as compared to the center of the painting, allowing the attention to be mostly focused at the center. Fernando used oil paint which contain a lot of pigments which make the painting last longer and more vibrant.
This painting stands out to me because of all the little details. At first glance, you would think it is just a normal marketplace with people just purchasing their needs, but upon closer inspection you would then realise that it was in the middle of the Japanese Occupation. The little details include things such as the Japanese soldier, the Japanese banner and flag in the background.
It makes me feel like the people have no freedom and are being watched over and controlled, even though the people depicted are happy. I think the artist created this art piece to maybe let people of the future feel or imagine what the society was like during the Japanese Occupation. Additionally, this painting also relates to me when I was younger. My grandmother would always bring me to a wet market to get fresh foods every so often and the smells were not always pleasant. I am sure that there are people with this same childhood, and this painting would allow them to relate and think back, just like how it allowed me to.
This art piece is definitely an interesting one, as it manages to capture the chaos that is often seen in a marketplace while also depicting it in the Japanese Occupation. However, I think it could have been done better. Not that I could have, but I believe that since this was during the Japanese Occupation, I think the artist could have paid more attention to the people’s expression. I believe if I was at that marketplace during the occupation, I would be feeling worried or scared as I wouldn’t know what would happen or what could happen the next minute.
Overall, the effect given to the audience may vary. If someone survived the Japanese Occupation and saw this painting, it may relate to them more than someone who has never heard of the Japanese Occupation. Surviving the Japanese Occupation, seeing this painting may remind them of the sufferings they endured. However, if you have never been through it and only heard of it, this painting may trigger some thoughts about how it was like during the occupation.
Cite this essay
Art and Identity. (2019, Dec 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/art-and-identity-essay