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Indeed, the world has witnessed a great deal of captivating works of art; and this being a testimony of the creativity and dynamism that characterise the human mind. This is to the effect that there would be no proper space and time for listing these works, if the painstaking effort is to be carried out. Nevertheless, one of the works which has been viewed as being of critically important in regard to its aesthetical value and its role in heralding the political emancipation of a people is the La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple (Liberty Leading the People) which was a painting done by Eugene Delacroix in 1830. The work of art was mainly done by Delacroix to celebrate the July Revolution. The original work of this La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple is located in the Louvre Museum.
The manner in which La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple might have been viewed in the time in was created
There is a great sense of ambivalence which characterised the manner in which La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple was viewed. Among the French ruling class comprising the clergy, the monarchy, the aristocrats, the work was viewed as a heretic work of art, and an artifice for stirring up rebellion against the legitimacy of rule. This is so because, the main essence of the painting is a woman whom, in personifying Liberty, leads the French people in the war for freedom. The woman is in her right hand, holding the tricolore flag which was used in the French Revolution, while brandishing a bayonetted musket with her left hand. With her are the aforementioned armed Frenchmen who are surging forward over the fallen bodies. Nonetheless, among the masses, the La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple was proclaimed as a beacon of hope and freedom, since it assured the Frenchmen fighting for their freedom. Their economic and political freedom had for a long time been suppressed by the ruling class (Hamilton, 1954).
The Manner in Which Different People Have Perceived the Work
In respect to the above details given, it is an indisputable fact that depending on the political leanings at the time of the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution, one would either view the La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple as being malevolent (as seen in the case of the French bourgeoisie) or benevolent (as envisioned among the masses, the proletariat) (Ridley, 2000).
On The Work Being Revolutionary
Without any controversy, La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple was very revolutionary: it spurred on the Frenchmen to continue fighting for liberation, and thereby, keeping the French public being able to consolidate a solid block, even in the face of the ravages of the war. The painting’s revolutionary element was also seen in its symbolism. In the painting, Liberty was depicted as a goddess figure, thereby showing the masses that the French deity was with them in their battle for freedom. The mound of corpses does not only act as a pedestal from which Liberty makes her strides, but this reminded the commoners that the cost of their own lives were the very foundation of their freedom (Norman, 1982).
On the work of art "Raising the Bar"
It is also true that the La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple raised the bar among other works of art at the time. This is because, as opposed to contemporary works of art which delved mainly into the aesthetic values of the time, this piece of work lifted the standard higher by integrating symbolism and themes of liberty and freedom closely. As opposed to other works, La Liberté Guidant Le Peuple remained important as it set a new standard for the rest of artistes.