Art Review – A Voluptuary Under the Horrors of Digestion

Art is subjective; everyone has different opinions on what constitutes a masterpiece. Some may find Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to be the epitome of a great artistic creation, while others may appreciate the innovative style of Picasso’s “Guernica.” No matter whether a person views art as garbage or as the holy grail, the purpose of art is to force people to become contemplative. Artists can bring out of people that which cannot be easily seen or felt. They can cause the observer to think about other people and their emotions, their environment, and the social issues that have arisen in the world. The most enduring issue of civilization is the unequal balance of power between the wealthy and the impoverished. The painting “A Voluptuary Under the Horrors of Digestion” serves as a satire on the upper class, displaying the contrast between French and British artists, exposing the faults of the nobility, and twisting public perception of the nobility.
The greatest obstacle to art was censorship. The catastrophic nature of the French Revolution led to a wide-scale censorship of literature, art, and of the press in France. As another monarchist nation, Great Britain should have feared that the rebel attitude across the water would spread to its people. Despite their proximity to the French Revolution, the British maintained a system of free speech and free press. As a result, artists were free to say whatever they wanted in their works because there were no repercussions to fear. The artist behind “A Voluptuary Under the Horrors of Digestion” was clearly making a statement about the appalling nature of greedy nobles yet because of freedom of the press he is able to openly mock the nobility, showing the confidence of Britain as a nation.
Faced with no restrictions to his work, the artist of the painting depicted a noble in an appalling manner. Earlier in history, the noble’s portliness would have marked him as fashionable and of high soci…