The aim of this paper is to conduct an analysis three works of art. First, the paper will present the background information about the artists, followed by description of each art piece and origin and the current location of the art work. Secondly, the paper will explain the artistic message that each artist intended to communicate. In general, the paper will evaluate and analyze the works based on research, using artistic vocabulary, and concepts.
Drawing is a form of visual art made with a pen, pencil, or crayon rather than paint. Drawing also refers to virtual representation of forms or object on a surface using lines. An example of a drawing is pen and wash lion by Rembrandt in the Louvre. Another example of drawing is line drawing in sanguine by Leonardo da Vinci. Painting on the other hand refers to the art or process of using paint, either as a decoration or in a picture. Examples of painting include Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and Ophelia by British artist John Everett Millais. Finally, a photograph is an image, especially a positive print, created by light falling on a photosensitive surface. An example of a photograph Daughter of the Dancers / Muchachita taken by Manuel Alvarez Bravo Mexica in 1933.
Ophelia is an oil painting done by British artist John Everett Millais between 1851 and 1852, which shows a good example of the early Victorian style (Rust, 2013). The artwork, which depicts Ophelia, a character from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, singing before drowning in a river. Millais was born in Southampton on 8 June 1829 to a French family. He won several medals for his drawings and his first painting was Pizzarro Seizing the Inca of Peru in 1846. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 together with Hunt and Rossetti.
This painting features a young girl lying at the center of the picture. The opposition of colors in the painting draws immediate attention of the viewer. This remarkable contrast triggers a paradox, as her white dress symbolizes purity, youth, and happiness. In contrast, the murky river gives the impression that she is already dead or she is in a grave. The artwork is full of symbolism with nature crying out of the dying maiden. The expression on Ophelia’s face does not display any alarm, almost accepting her fate with dignity. Despite the red lips that show that, she is still alive and her eyes are glazed without hopes to live. The distinct sharpness of the painting adheres to the style, in addition to adding truthful and realistic nature of the genre.
The art can have various interpretations. The distinct contrast in colors does not only depict the difference between light and darkness, but between the girls and the setting also. Her clouded spirit is melting away with cheerfulness of colors. It is even possible to say that the colorful bunch of flowers moving with the water takes away some portion of her joyfulness. This bunch can represent the previously evoked marriage as well as a bunch at a grave. The spreading of the arms can raise a religious question, representing Jesus on the cross. The girl in the picture portrayed as a tragic heroin. She represents a female character who is a victim of her own destiny in Hamlet, a play by William Shakespeare. The painting is based on a common plot with a couple, passion, rivalry, and power. It covers the jealousy of Claudia for his brother, Kind of Denmark and the love story between the King’s son and Ophelia, Hamlet. In the play, Hamlet fakes madness to avenge his father and Ophelia commits suicide believing that she is responsible for Hamlet’s insanity. As such, the painting represents the scene that followed her death.
Details of Renaissance Paintings by Andy Warhol
The painting by Andy Warhol title Details of Renaissance Paintings is a depiction of the goddess Venus (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482). Andy Warhol was an American artist with remarkable influence in the visual art movement of pop art. This artwork by Warhol was painted in 1984 as a depiction of the face of Venus from earlier painting by Sandro Botticelli completed in 1482 The Birth of Venus. The piece is presently located in the Arkansas Arts Center. The piece is silkscreen and acrylic ink on linen, and visible only from one side because it is placed on the wall.
The piece colorfully presents the face of the goddess Venus as depicted in The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. In contrast, Warhol increases the intensity of color in his work. The neck and face of Venus is pink while her hair is red, black, yellow and orange. However, the background is a solid light blue color. The face and hair of Venus in Details of Renaissance Paintings are emphasized while the dominant elements are her hair because of her gaze and use of warm colors.
The artist uses implied lines to direct the eyes of the viewer around the piece. The implied lines are found in the Venus’s hair strands that directs eyes of the viewer to the top, right bottom, and middle because the strands go into each of these directions. These strands leave the left side mostly empty, but this balances the asymmetry by Venus’s gaze toward the bottom left corner and the light color that dominates the empty space.
The source of light in this artwork is not visible. However, the source of light is to the left because that is where Warhol uses a light yellow color on top of the pink color on the left side making it appear as a glow cast upon her face. The warm colors used on Venus’s hair and the plant in the right contrast with the light blue background. These warm colors make her outstand from the background as well as giving Venus an ethereal quality.
The use of colors on the artwork makes it look modern instead of the white color used in the previous version that symbolizes purity. Warhol’s use of pink color makes Venus look strong and bold, not just beautiful, a conventional depiction of a goddess. Warhol further illuminates this by not including other sensual parts including the breast as in The Birth of Venus. Warhol used color to create a symbol for strength and boldness for Venus instead the traditional symbol of beauty. This coincides with the role plaid by women in the modern society.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci did the painting of Mona Lisa. He was born and raised in Italy where he ultimately did the painting starting in 1503. The style of the painting has been cited as one of the true masterpieces in the history of world art.
The oil painting is a portrait that depicts a woman, Lisa del Giocondo, the wife an Italian merchant, with a mysterious facial expression. Some believe that the smile in the face means that the subject is hiding something. The monumentality of the composition, the ambiguity of the expression of the subject, and the atmospheric illusion and restrained modeling forms were novel qualities that have contributed to the continued study and fascination of the work.
The painting is done on a compact 30" by 20 ½" frame. The original painting was done using oils on poplar wood panel, which have been restored many times (Gombrich, 2013). The painting is currently at the Louvre. The artist places his model in the space of the painting, using a pyramid design to center her. Her folded hands form the front of the pyramid. He used the same the same glowing light for her neck, breast, and face, which is important as it produces geometry of circles and shapes that compose the painting. The form of painting is a modification of the Seated Madonna, a widespread form during the Renaissance.
Da Vinci modifies the formula to bring a sense of distance between the observer and the subject using the armrest of the chair. The posture depicts some silence and reservation. The eyes follow the observer silently, which attracts the observer to the eyes. The surrounding is dark leaving bring attraction to the light on her face and the attraction it produces. This brings an overall feeling of attraction, but immediately contrasts this with the distance created between the observer and the subject.
The curves of her clothing and hair match the waves in landscape, which gives the subject harmony with nature. This creates some sense of natural order pointing to the idea that the portrait represented natural being.
Details of Renaissance Paintings (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482) (1984) by Andy Warhol
Gombrich, E.H. (2013). The Story of Art, http://www.amazon.com/The-Story-Art-E-H-Gombrich/dp/0714832472/
Rust, C. (2013). "Native American Art." Southwest Art. 08 2001: 263-70. ProQuest.