Why Is Moses Breaking Pharaoh's Crown

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The painting Moses breaking Pharaoh’s Crown, painted by Pieter Claessens the Elder (Refer to Appendix A) shows a young Moses (child in the centre wearing red) choosing between a piece of gold and a piece of live coal on a plate. This painting was painted with oil paint on canvas, and was made in the mid 16th century (1500 – 1576) in Bruges. Moses was a prophet in Abrahamic religions, and was said to be the Prince of Egypt through being adopted by a Pharaoh. In the painting, in front of Moses, is the Pharaoh’s crown broken on the ground. Moses had taken this crown off of the Pharaoh’s head and placed it on himself, then broke it. This shocked the Pharaoh and his staff. One of the Pharaoh’s staff members suggest that Moses be killed right at…show more content…
In the lower right corner, are people and horses shown fighting. Arrows and and rhythm in colour suggest that the lower end of that corner are people who are driving the upper end (the Hebrew) out of Egypt. The arrows direct the eye toward people who are painted in different colours. The people who are throwing the arrows are all painted in similar colours, suggesting that they are some sort of unified force, like an army. This communicates who is working to remove the Hebrew, and who the Hebrew are. The space in between each individual person in that corner of the painting is little to none. The spacing shows the tension and chaos of the situation, as well as the difference in forces. There is some space left between the Hebrew and the group of Egyptian’s driving the Hebrew out. This is a great use of proximity to show the two opposing groups of people. Also, behind the curtain that the Pharaoh is sitting in front of, are more people. On both ends of this curtain you can see faces of people. The use of intended motion shows that these people seem to be rushing out to attend to the situation. Overall, the use of rhythm, colour, and space help communicate the anarchy of the situation. The cluttered and chaotic feel of this painting is the result of the relationship between colour, space, rhythm, and proximity in visual language, and the images painted in the

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