Arts percevtion

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The first picture I want to concentrate on is that of a burning ship on the verge of sinking, with a backdrop of other vessels on fire. The fact that the situation portrayed is of a battlefield, as shown by the devastation that has happened on the apparent ships, drew my attention to it. When I look at the picture, one of the ideas that come to mind is ancient piracy, since the model ship better represents the time period. Ancient ships were often made of wood and iron, and they navigated with sails rather than engines (Friedman, 2011). The sinking ship perhaps may have belonged to merchants sailing across the sea/ ocean in possession of valuable goods like gold and ivory. While on their journey they fell into victims of an ambush by pirates therefore in an attempt to defend themselves, they waged a war although ended up on the losing side. The ships in the background either belong to the pirates or merchants since they cannot be easily be identified.

On the other hand, the battle ground brings the idea of an ancient battle between rival kingdoms or nations which initially were in conflict over who had the dominant power over trade routes and activities across the sea. Nations usually made significant efforts to take control of sea/ ocean trade routes in a bid to make traders pay homage to leaders. The move came as nations tried to make a cut out of the trade activities that on the increase. An example is of the Portuguese and Arabs who engaged in war as they tried to lay control over the Indian Ocean trade (Prakash et al., 2004). Superiority of weapons by the enemy was the main reason why the ships observed in the image were on fire and completely destroyed. Moreover, the fact that the battle took place in the night reduced the vulnerability of the enemy being defeated.

The image further gives an idea of an expedition of a certain nation that sent out its army to attack the coastal towns of another area in the quest to obtain things like gold, food or slaves. Such things when obtained would weaken the cities and prevent them from staging revenge attacks. As much as they had numbers to their advantage, the enemy’s knowledge of the terrain placed the visitors at a disadvantaged position since darkness increased their chances of losing. The fact that their ships could easily be spotted from far made it easy for the enemy to stage a good fight through shooting down and torching the ships rendering the attack unsuccessful. Destroying the ships was a technique to do away with the idea of the attackers retreating to go look for reinforcement.

The picture of women tending to a helpless man under a tree was the other image that caught my attention. The man seems homeless since he appears weak and malnourished. The presence of women beside the man creates the idea of the important roles women play in society despite them going unnoticed. Our society is always characterized by sidelining women in entirely every aspect like education and leadership. The boy child has on the other hand gained immensely at their expense. Therefore, little or no room is left for women to make their contribution to the society despite the society adopting human rights that are to cater for everyone’s interests. Moreover, the picture brings the idea of the supportive role women can play to improve the position of males rather than always being sidelined. The society therefore has to look for ways in which it can improve on the situation and change their perception on how they view women.

From a different perspective the man in the picture appears to be suffering from an ailment that has brought him at the brink of death and the women around him are there to take care of him. The time observed can be described as one characterized by infectious diseases that swept away large numbers of human life. Some of the infections that had a significant effect on human population include small pox and Ebola (Croddy, n.d.). Since the era observed from the image seems ancient, advancement in medication of such diseases was still at its initial stage. Again, the women next to the man in the picture may as well be his family members. They are by his side in total sadness because they are aware he is about to die. The picture meets my expectations since in my opinion summarizes the concept of gender equality in the simplest way possible. From studying the two images my understanding on how images can be used to pass information, express feelings and thoughts has significantly changed from how I initially viewed how best they would be decorated.


Croddy, E. (n.d.). Weapons of mass destruction: An encyclopedia of worldwide policy, technology and history. Oxford [u.a.: ABC-CLIO.

Friedman, Z. (2011). Ship iconography in mosaics: An aid to understanding ancient ships and their construction. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Prakash, O., & Antiquity Publications Ltd.,. (2004). Bullion for goods: European and Indian merchants in the Indian Ocean trade, 1500-1800. New Delhi: Ajay Kumar Jain.

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