His work can be seen as fitting into a wider context of artists working to represent the France their generally well-off and comfortably middle-class and upper-class purchasers wanted to see and to believe in. The purchasers of Millet's works may never have visited the Normandy countryside for themselves, but they could share in its beauty and its spiritual and moral values through Millet's art and the art of other painters like him. The fact that, rather than being dominated by perhaps unappealing figures of the poor and exploited peasantry this picture depicts an apparently attractive and straightforward landscape can only have increased its appeal, in contrast perhaps to some of Millet's earlier work in which the human figures of the workers dominate.
This picture is more than the simple, decorative landscape it may appear to be on first examination. A work by an artist whose painting of rural and peasant scenes had made him successful, and who approached such work as someone who knew what he wanted to say and what his audience wanted to see, it is an accomplished blend of representational, moral and spiritual qualities. The rough, contorted path, passing through a narrow gateway to the haven of the Priory which links earth to heaven can be seen as a representation of the path of the soul through earthly labors to ultimate salvation; it is also a powerful reminder of the earthy quality of ordinary peoples' lives in rural France, with the mud and stones standing for the material conditions of their lives in which they were trapped. There is thus a social criticism present in this work as well as a spiritual message. The domination of earth over sky in terms of the area of the painting it occupies would seem to underline this aspect of the painting. However the placing of the Priory and the relative brightness of the sky, the…… [Read More]
Is this a simple soldier pulling away the cadavers of his companions or death itself taking away dear individuals into the unknown? Who is connecting the physical bodies with the symbolic meaning of the stripes painted with their blood?
The characters in the background also play an important role in the creation of the painting. With their presence, they create an antithesis to the characters in the foreground. They are dressed in white and, apparently, their expressions are both those of consternation and pity for the victims. Going further with the allegory, this can in fact be seen as the American people looking at the entire people's victims with sadness. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, but the losses and moral impact is also not to be ignored.
The creative means by which the painting is made are relevant in building the right atmosphere and perception for the viewer. First of all, the lighting and shading plays an important role. The painting is essentially dominated by dark shades of color, including dark red for the blood and flag, as well as the dark colors used for the uniforms. The artist uses contrasts occasionally, as is the case with the background figures, dressed in white clothes. At the same time, this also seems to split the perspective of the painting into two: the foreground, with the three soldier characters, and the background, with the group of people dressed in white. The lighting and shades used propose a gloomy perspective on the issue at hand and an overarching depressive interpretation of the issue.
The author also managed, through this foreground/background antithesis, to create the impression of a 3D space, rather than a two dimensional one. The painting seems to be build following a line which the characters populate, starting in the lower left corner and going upwards to the upper right corner. The painting also revolves around the series of parallel stripes that the soldiers leave on the ground. The characters are also massed towards the upper right corner of the painting.
Overall, the artistic instruments are subordinated to the underlying perception that the artist is trying to transmit to the viewer. The overall gloomy impression of the painting is in fact a way to show how serious the theme described in the painting is. The viewer is feeling this from the first visual contact he has…… [Read More]
Painting as a Leisure Activity
History of Painting
Humans have been painting pictures since roughly 15,000 to 17,000 years ago. How do we know? The oldest known paintings were found on the walls of a cave near Lascaux, France, by in 1940 (by a dog named "robot" who led four boys into the cave). These extraordinary cave paintings (of very large animals: horses, bulls and stags), were tested through carbon dating and determined to have been done in Paleolithic times. Here are photos of the oldest paintings:
What's the lure? Why do so many people paint in their leisure time?
Painting for leisure was just the right medicine for one of the most celebrated and respected leaders in the history of England, Sir Winston Churchill. While most of the Western world's educated citizens are aware of Churchill's intellect, wit, diplomatic greatness and uncompromising resilience during World War II - especially after Hitler's Nazis had seized most of Europe and were bombing England mercilessly - few know he was an accomplished painter. "Painting is complete as a distraction," Churchill wrote in his book, Painting as a Pastime (Churchill, 1950). "I know of nothing which, without exhausting the body, more entirely absorbs the mind. Whatever the worries of the hour or the threats of the future, once the picture has begun to flow along, there is no room for them in the mental screen." Moreover, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain wrote, "Even if you cannot portray" the scene you are painting, "as you see it, you feel it, you know it, and you admire it for ever."
For readers interested in learning more about the subject, another internationally renowned celebrity offers some valuable insights into the wonder of painting for leisure; he is Leonardo da Vinci, and his words are published in a book called Leonardo on Painting (Kemp, 1989). "If the painter wishes...to produce places or deserts, or shady and cool spots in hot weather, he can depict them...[and] if he seeks valleys, if he wants to disclose great expanses of countryside from the summits…… [Read More]
Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Catherine of Alexandria was a favorite subject of art during the late Renaissance. The painting of Saint Catherine to which this analysis will refer is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was painted by an unknown painter who is believed to have been from the Netherlands and painted the piece in the last quarter of the 15th century.
When examining a piece that portrays a famous person, it helps to know something about their story to aid in understanding the piece. Saint Catherine was a Christian saint virgin, who was martyred in the 4th century by Empower Maxentius. Saint Catherine opposed the pagan Emperor for executing Christians who refused to worship idols. She beat the Emperor in a debate about the matter and won. This enraged the Emperor who put her in prison. She was visited by hundreds, including the Emperors wife who converted to Christianity. Saint Catherine was sentenced to death on a spiked breaking wheel, which miraculously broke. The Emperor had to settle for beheading her (Lewis, 2000). Narrative painting was a shift from iconic imagery and is a common structure of Renaissance painting (Stokstad & Cateforis, 2004).
On first impression, a feeling or darkness and tragedy grips the viewer. The artist's use of grey scale adds to the somber tone. Catherine stands on Emperor Maxentius in triumph, but she is not smiling. We know that this is the Emperor because he holds a scepter and is richly dressed, by Renaissance standards. She has a solemn expression. This painting retells the story of Saint Catherine, with the broken spiked wheel beside her. There are actually two Catherines in the painting. One in the foreground, who is reading a book, we can assume is a Bible, representing the Christian faith that she defended. The other Catherine is in the background in prayer position about to be beheaded. The two Catherines are wearing different clothing, indicating two different time periods. This supports that this is a narrative, rather than an iconic painting.
The painting is devoid of iconography. There are few unnecessary objects in…… [Read More]
Albert Bierstadt is a renowned American painter, best known for his creations of beautiful landscapes from the American West. At the same time, he avoids including any humans in his paintings, which is also the case of the painting analyzed here. According to sources, this has a commercial purpose: offering the impression of the potential buyer, usually from the East Coast, that he is submerged in the nature all by himself
. At the same time, the lack of humans in his paintings is probably an attempt to portray nature as pure and virgin, yet unspoiled by the intervention of humans.
The painting Passing Storm over the Sierra Nevadas fits quite well in the pattern that has been described in the previous paragraph. Painted in 1870, it comes at a time when the fascination with the West, especially in the urban centers of the East Coast, is still great. At the same time, it also comes in a moment when the railroad is not sufficiently developed to give anybody the possibility to travel and see some of these natural wonders on their own, which is why painters, such as a. Bierstadt, can use their artistic perspective to describe things.
For Bierstadt himself, these paintings actually came from small drawings and reproductions he had made during his three trips to the West, starting in 1859
. These were developed upon his return to make detailed artistic descriptions of the Western scenery. As such, despite the symbolism and the commercial approach, many of these paintings are quite naturalistic, a true reflection of the untouched nature he has seen during his trips. One needs to consider that these trips are made in the aftermath of the Gold Rush, but that during this time, it is still only the adventurous that dare to go into this wild landscape, which explains why such a painting, with its serene calm and atmosphere, could develop.… [Read More]
Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy by Michael Baxandall. The paper presents the thesis of the book, evidence of the arguments put forward by the author to support his thesis, details of the structure of the book, and a critical analysis of the thesis put forward by Baxandall.
Baxandall's book is a classic of art history, which gives both an introduction to fifteenth century Italian painting, and also a discourse on how to interpret social history from the paintings of a particular era. The main thesis of the book is that the style of paintings in any particular era reflects the social life of the time. He argues that life is lent to the paintings by the assimilation of contemporary daily habits and fashions by their creators.
He argues, for example, that Renaissance painting became so vibrant at that time due to the expansion of other branches of the arts around at the time: for example, dance, literature, theatre, opera etc. This expansion in the arts gave inspiration to painters to take their art further, by introducing new techniques, and new ways of representing life in art, through developments in the use of perspective, relief etc.
He argues that artists were so inspired by their social surroundings at this time, and by their patrons, who wished to record their wealth and prosperity, that the artists flourished on their surroundings, producing new styles of representation: rather like neighbors outdoing themselves with newer and better cars, artists and their patrons competed amongst each other to develop the best and most technically innovative paintings. This led to the greatest movement art has known: the Renaissance.
A further argument he develops is that we, from our day and age, with our own set of perceptions, historical experience, and social circumstances, cannot truly understand or comprehend these fifteenth century paintings, as we…… [Read More]
In the Museum of Modern Art of New York City, New York there is an enormous oil painting on canvas which was painted by one of the most famous painters of all time, Pablo Picasso. The piece is entitled "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" which means "The Young Ladies of Avignon" in English, an ironic title which will be made clear. The painting is extremely large, almost 8-foot square. Many of Picasso's paintings depicted scenes he had witnessed and people he had personally known. Although most Picasso paintings are interpretive and representational rather than obvious depictions of their subject, the emotion and authenticity of their subject is still visible to those who understand exactly what it is that the artist is trying to show. It is a large oil painting created in 1907 which depicts four prostitutes from Paris, France. The basic thematic point of the piece is that those who sell their bodies for money are a desperate lot of women. They are not the gorgeous creatures of stage or screen or literature. They are women who have no other options but to sell their bodies in order to feed themselves and their loved ones.
The painting is from Picasso's cubism phase wherein regular, rounded objects are transformed. Cubist paintings, mostly portraits, are ones in which the actual item being painted are not depicted in any way that could be considered true to live, and yet their subjects are still obvious through the use of angle choices, color, and subjects. Instead of the round, subtle women that one would usually associate with the lascivious occupation, Picasso paints them as angular, and cross, almost monstrous creatures. The women are mostly undressed, as would be expected considering their obvious occupation. Prostitutes hardly require clothing to ply their trade. Although Picasso does not explicitly state that these women are prostitutes; he labels the painting young ladies after all. However, their dress and their close proximity illustrates that these are baser, lower class women who play in the sex trade. The women are painted in sexually suggestive poses and show their flesh without fear or shame which would be…… [Read More]
It is surprising in its theme and focus, because it was painted during the Victorian era, when many people were experimenting with seances and other occultism, and yet the general public did generally not accept that. And yet, this painting was, and it was purchased by the gallery shortly after it debuted, showing how much they valued the painting. All of the little details engage the reader, but they all have significance, too. The ravens are carrion eaters who prey on the dead, the snake is relevant to original sin, and the Egyptian motifs are ancient and mysterious. The actual "magic circle" is the red-hot circle in the sand, created by the woman's wand, and the painting is especially engaging and interesting. Every time the viewer looks at it they see something new and arresting, and that is a testament to a worthy work of art.
The Tate Gallery invested in this painting not only because of its supernatural theme, but because it was a well executed and well received painting. The painting itself is beautiful, and deceptively simple. In fact, after you look at the main theme of the painting, you will find it is quite complex, with details that add to the overall impact of the painting. The goal of the work is much more than to entertain the viewer. In fact, the goal of the work is to show the artist's interest in the occult, a growing field of study at the time. There is something forbidden or "dangerous" about the work, and perhaps that is what makes it so compelling. The viewer might feel just a little bit "naughty" when viewing it in the nineteenth century and that could have been a goal of the artist, as well. Stylistically, it is a beautiful painting, well executed down to the smallest detail, and the details are all driven to the central theme of the painting. Many of the other impressionists, such as Monet or Van Gogh may be better…… [Read More]
Claude was growing up so quickly. Soon, he would be a man, and do things like his father and leave her for school, and then for other worldly occupations, like marriage to another woman. Sooner yet Madame Monet would be occupied once again with the new, tiny wearer of the nightgown she was sewing. But for now, the mother and son could simply enjoy one another's presence in the garden.
Madame had sewn the blue dress Claude was wearing. Soon she would need to sew long pants for Claude, rather than an infant's dress. Her husband thought that Claude was already getting to old to wear such childish things. But he humored his wife until the next child would be born. Madame had not yet begun to show her 'condition' or to have to let out her own dresses, but it would be soon, she was sure. She smelled the air as she sewed, glad for a moment of freedom before she would have to be confined to the house by her second pregnancy.
Madame wished sometimes that she could be like her husband. Monsieur Monet looked so happy when he headed off to work everyday, whistling in his suit and hat. Claude was such a quiet child. He was not always good company, even though she loved watching and being with him. Still, she wished she could have adult conversation with other people, besides the maid. These thoughts she tried to drive from her mind by staring at the piece of linen before her, and making fine and detailed stitching in its fabric.
Claude was making an imaginary city with his toys. He held the toys so that the light from the sun would cast shadows upon the pebble path. He made different cities, ordering the toys in certain ways. When he grew tired of this, he asked his mother for something else to do. Madame Monet gave him a scrap of fabric from her sewing basket. Claude put his toys to the side and took a white piece of fabric, and let the sun reflect different bits of light from above upon the cloth.
Soon, the sun grew too…… [Read More]
Edvard Munch's The Scream is perfectly poised at the position between several artistic periods and movements including Art Nouveau, Expressionism, and Symbolism, and the painting bears elements of all three of these. As the text puts it, Munch was "prolific, and throughout his life experimented with many different themes, palettes, and styles of drawing. (p. 85). The painting The Scream is clearly influenced by the "sinuous, constantly moving, curving line of Art Nouveau, combined with color dark of hue but brilliant in intensity," (Text p. 85). Additionally, the painting also reveals influences from Gauguin and other post-impressionists (Text, p. 85). The Scream belies the "symbolist tendencies" of Munch, as well as showing how the Norwegian artist would be the forebear of Expressionism (Text, p. 85). Impossible to pigeonhole, Munch's The Scream reveals a combination of Art Nouveau, Symbolist, and Expressionist trends.
As an Expressionist piece, The Scream literally does express an intense emotional state. The subject of the painting is caught mid-scream. As the text puts it, the subject's scream appears as an "agonizing shriek translated into bands of color that echo like sound waves across the landscape and through the blood-red sky," (p. 85). Munch does not attempt to hold back or subdue these emotions, but rather, aims to put them on full display for the viewer to behold and experience viscerally with him. In addition to bearing the hallmark features of Expressionism, The Scream also contains psychological symbolism related to the fear of death and possibly fear related to sexual expression (Text, p. 86). Other Expressionistic artists like Kandinsky veered towards abstraction in their work, but still incorporated similar features of the genre such as intense colors and long curvilinear compositions. Expressionist art frequently took the art world by storm, evident in the way Munch was not well received when he displayed his work in Paris in 1892 (Text, p. 85).
Historically, Expressionism and Symbolism concurred with Freudian theory and psychoanalytical philosophy and practice. Freud had been publishing…… [Read More]
Artist: John McLaughlin
Paragraph: John McLaughlin was not a formally trained artist and started painting relatively late in life. A career in the military and foreign services brought him to Japan, exposing him to different artistic perspectives, forms, and styles. However, Mondrian would influence McLaughlin's artistic influences far more. McLaughlin came to rely on a minimalist color palette consisting often of only solid chunks of black, white, or primary colors. The artist uses correspondingly constrained forms and shapes. A champion of absolute abstraction, McLaughlin sought to stimulate "the viewer's natural desire for contemplation without benefit of a guiding principle." Untitled #14 exemplifies Mclaughlin's philosophy of abstraction. Using only black and white in solid architectural blocks, the artist encourages the viewer to speculate on the meaning of art itself.
Artist: Richard Anuszkiewicz
Paragraph: Trained at the Yale University School of Art, Richard Anuszkiewicz's career spans several different and seemingly divergent artistic styles. He was also a forerunner of the op-art movement. Op-art plays with optical illusions through the seemingly simple arrangement of forms, lines, and colors on the two-dimensional canvas. Thus, a two-dimensional plane can convey three-dimensional reality. In paintings like Equivalent, the artist invites the viewer to experience the interface between perception, cognition, and aesthetics. Anuszkiewicz describes the painting as "archetypal," in that it serves as a prototype of form, color, and shape. Equivalent also connotes exquisite balance, which is why the painting may be placed horizontally or vertically for different effects.
PAINTING No. 3
Seated Man with Blue Face and Red Hand
Artist: Nathan Oliveira
Paragraph: Born in Oakland in 1928, Nathan Oliveria went on to become one of the most formidable figures in 20th century Bay Area art. Oliveira would also go on to teach art at Stanford University before his death in 2010. The dynamic career reveals various influences, as the artist has said that he is more concerned with continuity than with invention. His style is expressionistic, and through his painting Oliveira captures the confluence between individual psychology and social realities. In Seated Man with Blue Face and Red Hand, Oliveira depicts a solitary and…… [Read More]
(Boeck, and Sabartes)
Also of significance in the analysis of this work is the fact that many of the images used in the painting echo previous works by Picasso. The symbol and image of the bull for example is a motif that appears in many of his works prior to Guernica. (Larrea 11) These and other symbolic images, such as the dying hoses tend to emphasise the central thematic trajectory of the painting. The image of the horse in particular is a devastating image that is rendered in clear lines and stark contrasts of black and white. As one pundit notes,
Picasso could imagine more suffering in a horse's head than Rubens normally put into a whole Crucifixion. The spike tongues, the rolling eyes, the frantic splayed toes and fingers, the necks arched in spasm: these would be unendurable if their tension were not braced against the broken, but visible, order of the painting.
While Picasso created this work in what is essentially a flat space he achieved a technical painterly depth through the use of formal elements such as color, line and foreshortening, as well as a depth of feeling and emotion that immediately draws a response from the viewer.
Picasso's work of art expands our perceptions and understanding of art on a number of related levels. In the first instance, the painting presents an historical event in a realistic as well as a symbolic manner. While the figures are not realistic in the ordinary sense of the term they are in fact more "realistic" than would have been the case if conventional representation has been used. By this is meant that they suggest and impart a sense of intense realism that reflects the agony and horror of war. Picasso's work also shows that through the use of color, line and other formal elements, a strong and intense emotion can be conveyed in a painting. The use of black and white and the various tones in the painting are also aspects that expand and renew our sense of the potential…… [Read More]
The Painting Techniques of the Impressionists, Cubists, and Fauvists
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries art styles were changing rapidly in France. Impressionism, Cubism, and Fauvism were three of the styles developed during this time. The painters involved were using new techniques with oil paint to change what was accepted as fine art. Their new techniques reflected societal changes happening all around them. The Age of Industrialization, economic fears, and Romantic ideology had mixed together to form a perfect storm of revolution all over Europe. The "old world" of the middle ages, with its fixed doctrines, philosophies, and methods, seemed further and further away. Artists therefore sought new techniques that would help them to "create illusions" (as the Cubists did) or to emphasize style over substance (as the Fauvists did) or to reflect a world and way of life that was quickly being lost (as the Impressionists did). These artists strove for originality, spontaneity, and fashion. As men, money and machines took over the world, these artists tried to capture the splendor of creation (Monet) or the primal spirit (Picasso) or the art of novelty (Matisse). This paper will analyze these three movements, place them within their historical context, and examine the techniques and works of the artists who embodied them.
What Was Happening in Their World
From 1875 to 1921 (the timeframe of our analysis), a lot had happened in Europe to affect the outlook and situation of painters in Paris, France. The Age of Enlightenment had given way to the Age of Romanticism. Romance had in turn given way to Industrialization. The core group of serious Impressionists -- Monet, Pissarro and Renoir -- each approached the art world in different ways. Monet wanted the attention and patronage of the Salon (Johnson, 2003). He focused on landscape paintings to get it.
The Franco Prussian War had brought Pissarro and Monet into acquaintance in…… [Read More]
Birth of Venus" and "Venus Anadyomene"
Sandro Botticelli's 1486 painting "The Birth of Venus" and Titian's 1520 painting "Venus Anadyomene" are two of history's most remarkable works depicting the Roman goddess. While the former is meant to address Venus' birth directly, the latter only hints at the event, as it is difficult to determine whether or not Titian actually wanted to portray the goddess' birth or if he simply wanted to show her rising from the sea consequent to having a bath. Botticelli's painting is displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy and Titian's painting is located in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland.
According to classic mythology, Venus was born from the foaming waters of the sea, a foam that formed from the genitals of Uranus, who had them cut off by his son, Cronos, and thrown into the sea. Venus' birth is associated with a shell that is meant to parallel her appearance from the sea.
Background for each painting
Botticelli painted the artwork during the 1480s and the fact that it stood right across from the Primavera (Botticelli's 1482 artwork) in the country villa belonging to the Medici family during the 16th century influenced many to believe that the paintings were designed to work together in putting across a message. Its presence at the location during the 16th century also points toward the belief that it had been commissioned by the Medici family, probably even for Lorenzo the Magnificent, one of the family's most renowned members. "The man who commissioned them was probably Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, a second cousin and a ward of Lorenzo the Magnificent, for whom Botticelli certainly executed in the early 1490s a famous set of drawings illustrating Dante's Divine Comedy." (Bergin & Speake, 2004, p. 66)
Titian was well-acquainted with the fact that Apelles, a renowned painter in Ancient Greece, had painted a portrayal of Venus in association with the sea and a shell. As a consequence, he got actively involved in creating a work that would rival Apelles' and that would influence viewers to find parallels between the two works and even to attempt to determine which one was better.
"The Birth of Venus" -- analysis
The painting was most probably…… [Read More]
Goya, The Forge
Francisco Goya's "The Forge" is a realist painting that relies upon the earlier mythological genre to accomplish its meaning, a meaning which it can be argued is implicitly political. In reality, Goya appears to be painting a scene of village life: three men (a youth, an adult, and an old man) are working in a village smithy, hammering a piece of glowing metal on an anvil. Goya is representing ordinary working men here, so the painting is most properly called realist. However, the subject and composition are heavily reminiscent of a regular topos of mythological painting, the forge of Vulcan: examples before Goya are readily found, ranging from Diego Velazquez, Alessandro Gherardini, Pietro da Cortona, Luca Giordano, or even the rather ridiculous Rococo treatments of the theme by Francois Boucher. It is not necessary to know if Goya knew or made reference to any specific earlier treatment of the topos, however. What Goya is doing is domesticating a heroic and mythological subject -- and in this case, his audience is primarily himself. Like most of Goya's paintings of ordinary people, "The Forge" was not produced for Goya's royal patrons but for the artist himself. However it may be argued that Goya's meaning here is, on a number of levels, as explicitly political as the artist frequently was.
The composition and structure of "The Forge" make it seem more starkly allegorical than it really is. This is because Goya organizes the painting around the three central figures surrounding the anvil, while allowing the background of the painting to be largely undifferentiated, a grey gloom in which the smithy shop is seemingly not represented at all. Strong horizontal lines on the right side of the canvas -- in the center and below -- do give us some sense of an architectural interior space, but they barely find counterparts on the left side of the canvas. The overall effect would seem to be that the interior space is largely obscured by smoke, perhaps, although the figures are not: this would at least expain the ashy grey tone of the back walls and floor on which the figures find themselves. But the ultimate effect is to highlight the central figures, and make them seem as though they are engaged in…… [Read More]
Nineteenth Century Painting and Photography
Georges Seurat's La Grande Jatte
Georges Seurat was a post-Impressionist painter with a fascination for a mixture of urban life and rural landscape. His painting techniques are usually referred to as avant-garde pieces, with new advances toward depictions of color and light. In his later works, Seurat played with small dabs of color, unmodulating colors in his painting. His color relationships are evident in his later paintings.
The painting of A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884-86) depicts this color technique and style usually seen in Seurat's later works. Exhibited at the final Impressionist exhibition in 1886, the painting contrived a number of controversies in 19th century French society. La Grande Jatte is also considered Seurat's greatest masterpiece of his career in art. It is no wonder that the work is considered thus, his dot technique features a vivid amount of colors; there is a dot-mixture of orange, green, and yellows.
2. Paul Cezanne's Montagne Saint-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves
Paul Cezanne is usually considered to be the link between the Impressionist period and the Cubist period. Like his Impressionist contemporaries, Cezanne displayed a vivid style full of color and composition. The brushstrokes in his paintings were clearly distinctive and indicative of Cezanne's style, and his subjects were mostly focused on inspirations of nature. Cezanne's brushstrokes are small, usually allowing for the freedom of movement within the brush strokes.
Cezanne made a series of paintings with the Mount Saint-Victoire as the subject. In Montagne Saint-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves (1902-04), the Impressionist technique is indicative of Cezanne's style of artwork: fantastically lyrical depictions of nature, color, a lighter, less heavy form of shadows and light. The oil painting shows Cezanne's views on visual perception and his attempts at making stemming away from a more realistic depiction of the scene.
3. Paul Gauguin's Vision After the Sermon
Paul Gauguin's beginnings as an artist can usually be attributed to the impressionist style. His later works, however, move away from impressionism and became darker and much more symbolic. Religious and indigenous depictions of tribes and other cultures have been displayed, most notably his works of native inhabitants. A radical break occurred in his later works, with darker color, more dramatic elements, and more symbolic and local depictions of religion.
Gauguin's Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling with the…… [Read More]
Giovanni Paolo Panini painting Interior St. Peter's, Rome. This I found requirements info. 1st page
Giovanni Paolo Panini was a renowned painter and architect who created a number of works in the 18th century. He is perhaps best known for the interior painting he did at Saint Peter's Basilica in Italy. He was one of the most respected topographers in Italy during the 18th century, and was credited for his life-like depictions of people and structures -- particularly Roman ruins (Allen Memorial Art Museum, no date).
Panini was born in 1691 and would eventually die in 1765. He spent much of his early life in Piacenza (which as been incorporated into part of Italy today). As a boy, Panini likely received some training in art, although his formal education in the subject would begin after 1711 when he moved to Rome. His education would include studying with Benedetto Luti and erudition at the Academy of St. Luke, where he learned numerous techniques for the visual arts that would apply to both architecture and to painting. In 1732, the artist was appointed professor of perspective at the French Academy. He would end his academic tenure as principal at the Academy of St. Luke.
A brief overview of Panini's career evinces his development as an artist. Much of his early paintings established his penchant for depicting notable subjects, which the subsequent quotation implies. Upon his initial arrival at the Academy of St. Luke:
His reception piece, "Alexander Visiting the Tomb of Achilles" (1719) is typical of his earlier easel paintings, having small figures dwarfed by an elaborate architectural construction derived from Bolognese theatrical scenography. Many of his canvases prior to 1730 feature explicit historical or religious subjects (Gupta, no date).
In his latter years Panini was revered for painting Roman buildings and for focusing on their interiors. In this respect, his work at St. Peter's Basilica is no different.
The interior of Saint Peter's Basilica that Panini painted is extremely vast, and is one of the most notable works of art to come from Italy during the 18th…… [Read More]
Thomas Eakins painting "the swimming hole" with the section #11 of whitmans "song of myself"
Thomas Eakins' 1884 painting "The Swimming Hole" and Walt Whitman's eleventh section in the 1867 poem "Song of Myself" both address the prudery present contemporary to them in an attempt to have their public understand more regarding life's freedoms. These artworks employ straightforward eroticism meant to impress audiences through the concepts that it addresses. Both the painting and the poem generated much tension in the critic world, especially given that the public seemed intrigued with the controversial concepts that they put across. It is difficult to determine whether Whitman's poem is similar to Eakins' painting when considering the concepts that each artwork is meant to put across.
It is very probable that these two artists portrayed young men bathing together because they knew that this was not particularly strange for that era. However, the fact that they tend to associate erotic themes with this image makes it possible for the public to observe that these artworks are not as ordinary as they might initially appear to be. While Eakins seems to feel little to no hesitation about expressing his thinking, Whitman seems to be more reserved regarding his personal convictions, considering that he uses the young woman with the purpose of emphasizing the voyeurism associated with several men as they bathe together. It appears that the poet wants readers to acknowledge that society still has problems when considering its attitude in regard to certain basic freedoms.
The woman in Whitman's poem is restrained by society's codes and is attracted by the liberty she observes in the group of men bathing by the water. The fact that she joins them (or, at least she…… [Read More]
Modernist Painting 1965 by Clement Greenberg
In "Modernist Painting," a 1965 essay by author Clement Greenberg, the writer elucidates a number of points that are fairly crucial to the definition and conception of the philosophy known as Modernism. Along with distinguishing a number of examples of this line of thought that applies to disparate fields such as science, formal philosophy (largely originating from Immanuel Kant) and literature, Greenberg focuses the duration of this literary work upon modernist painting. Some of the most important elements of such painting are denoted by the author as being a reduction of the form of art to its basic elements, which are largely optical and confined to the limited space in which the painting actually is found. Therefore, there are a number of eminent visual artists whose work typifies one, if not more than one of these conventions, and which provides an excellent example of the varying principles which Greenberg discusses.
The Modernist art movement known as Pop Art provides some good examples of some of the principles that Greenberg discusses within his essay. A close examination of the work of visual artist Roy Lichtenstein indicates that several of the pieces that the author was known for can be characterized as Modern due to their invoking of traits described by Greenberg. Lichtenstein did a lot of visual art that can be characterized as comic strip art, and which was cartoonish in the sense of those comic strips that are found in traditional newspapers. The fact that his work was decidedly two dimensional and confined to simple, angular panels that are flat, adheres to the convention propounded by Greenberg that most modern art embraces flatness in an attempt to be reduced to its fundamental essence.
Andy Warhol was another artist whose visual representations became…… [Read More]
art historian W.J.T. Mitchell asserted that there is no doubt that the classical and romantic genres of landscape painting evolved during the great age of European imperialism but have since been retired, accepted as part of the common repertory of kitsch.
In their induction in the quotidian consciousness of art, the seemingly simple representations provided by landscape paintings garnered acclaim for their ability to explore a dual metaphoric and physical reality, portraying not only the ideological concerns that exist outside the painter but also his interpretation of them. From the 17th Century to the 20th Century, landscape paintings changed in image, representation, popularity, and style, but from Poussin to Kiefer, the import of cultural encoding remained.
Like his contemporary Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin preferred the late afternoon light, drifting across his pastoral canvas with the golden solace of the fading sun. A precursor to the great age of Neoclassicism, for Poussin, the landscape painting was a vital tool in creating the desired ideal out of the basic ingredients of reality. The highest aim of painting was to recreate serious and noble actions, not with the actual, marred occurrence, but rather to do so with manufactured perfection.
During his lifetime, a self-created perfection on canvas was the closest Poussin and his peers would see.
The 17th Century was a time of great tumult throughout the Western world, and was a century of war within Europe. Wars of conquest and liberation, civil discontent, and religion colored the burgeoning modern world with the cloak of the past, as it moved away from its recent history of middle aged darkness, Renaissance, and brutally struggled into the world of powerful nation-states it would become. Until that point, wars would edge out amicable relations between countries, and great rivalries spawned of a pre-nationalist era consumed Europe.
While Poussin was just a young man, the Thirty Year's War began, consuming much of his adult life. Strife was alive outside of Britton…… [Read More]