Belle femme

Friday, December 15, 2006

Final Paper

Although sharing similar qualities in certain artistic aspects such as style and choice of medium, Claude Monet’s “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” [1880, oil on canvas] and Diego Rivera’s “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard)” [1913, oil on canvas] offer stark contrasts in design, subject matter and style. Claude Monet was born in France and lived from 1840 to 1926. He was married and lived with his family in a small town of Giverny. Monet’s work takes place during the Industrial Revolution in France. The style of the painting is representational and simplified. This time period also included the rise and decline of the French Impressionist movement, which lasted from 1860 to 1900. Diego Rivera could be considered somewhat of Monet’s contemporary. Rivera, born in Mexico, lived from 1886 to 1957. A member of the Cubist movement, he spent some years in Paris, which definitely influenced his works, before moving back to Mexico. His selected work, with representational influences, is set in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, a little before World War I.

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Claude Monet, The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil [1880, oil on canvas]


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Diego Rivera, Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard) [1913, oil on canvas]



With both paintings being set in France, the two works share similar elements in subject. Both artists have human subjects as the central focal point of their paintings. Both artists give a glimpse of life in France. That’s where the similarities end. Monet captures country living in a French village. He paints the simplistic beauty of a garden with his family as an anchor to the flow of colors and backdrop. Monet’s painting shows us how the garden is part of his home’s landscape. Rivera places his regally dressed subject standing in front of an industrial setting, complete with smoke and modern movements (trains, factories and Ferris wheel). From his details, you can definitely know that Rivera’s painting took place at a specific time period, from the subject’s clothes to the definite Parisian sightline. Monet’s painting could have taken place today. Rivera also places his subject above the action, giving the man an almost regal quality. Monet’s family is in the middle of the naturalistic setting…one with nature.

Subject matter aside, the artists' design qualities give more insight, with both painting having asymmetrical balance. Both paintings lack a coordinated focus on the central axis. There is a definitive linear quality to Rivera’s painting. Contour lines stand out in the subject’s stance. Color plays a pivotal role in conveying the mood of the paintings. Although Monet stays true to his surroundings, the artist does use liberal measures in deciding on his hues. Cool colors make up the most of the painting, with warm colors adding emphasis. The red and yellow choice offers accenting focuses on the flowers in the garden. The pink brings out the facial features of Monet’s family. There is also an evidence of analogous harmonies, with red-orange and blue-violet hues. There seems to be monochromatic harmonies illustrated in the Rivera painting. The red, blue and purple are rated similar on the color wheel. The visual relief to that is the use of gray and white in the background. To create the background, the artist employs the value scale of black and white, giving the needed contrast to create smoke and clouds. One area of contrast is emphasis and subordination. In the Rivera painting, the foreground carries the emphasis of the painting. The eyes are drawn to the hands of the model, the focal point. The action begins there and draws the eyes outward to the rest of the painting. In Monet’s painting, however, there are spots that have been deliberately downplayed to bring attention to the garden and the family. Rivera’s painting also plays on the part of scale/proportion. The model seems to be extremely tall, based on the background. It gives the perception of a giant overlooking a great fair given in his honor…as I mentioned early, like a king overlooking his subjects.

Whereas there are design similarities, the moods of both paintings are in direct contrast. In Monet’s work, the artist conveys a sense of calm and familiarity. The garden setting is tranquil. The flowers are swaying in the breeze. You can almost feel the warmth of the sun as you picture yourself standing next to his easel. Rivera’s work is constant movement, almost a controlled chaos that makes up a city setting. The Ferris wheel, the smoke wafting from the background and the metro train zooming past all bring a sense of metropolitan existence.

The choice of medium also plays part in setting the mood. Both works are oil paintings. But, each painting has a distinct look, thanks in large part to the different brush strokes and layer of paints used. Rivera’s brushstrokes are applied evenly and thin, invisible to the eye. Thanks to the slow-drying properties of oil, he was able to layer colors on top of one another. Rivera uses glazing to provide the layers of gray and white smoke over the thick earthtoned-inspired background. The image is the main part of the painting. The texture blends nicely and does not overpower the overall content. Monet’s technique is a study of contrast. The painter’s brushstrokes are visible. The uneven texture is a big part of the painting. In parts of the garden, he employs alla prima by using opaque colors on the white ground. Throughout the scene, Monet practices impasto, layering thick strokes of paint to the flowers and figures. As seen in other Impressionist painting, Monet’s work does include broken color instances. The long stems in the vases, for instance, are created by a series of varying oil colors, blending as you concentrate on them.

The artists' choice of oil is not the only common link, of course. Style can be a commonality between the two artists. Monet’s style is representational and very simplified. His painting shows the overall vision of the garden. But, Monet uses strokes to blend the separate images as one. Rivera’s work is naturalistic representational. We can recognize his interpretation of the scene. He stays true to the actual visual footprint, incorporating shadows and body types.

In their works, Monet and Rivera use the same techniques and methods to deliver unique images. Their paintings share mediums, style and subject points. They each cover French lifestyles and have the same symmetrical balance. But, the paintings have stark contrasts in social relevance (citylife vs. countrylife), moods (calm vs. hectic), and emphasis and subordination. I am glad I chose these two paintings because I learned more about the nuisances of art movements. Even though they were close in years, Monet’s French Impressionist paintings are different than Rivera’s Cubism works. I never really weighed those facets until this class. I have always enjoyed studying the free-flowing nature of French Impressionism. Now, I can appreciate the Cubist movement and understand that social undertones can sometimes dictate the painting’s creation.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

ART 101 DRAFT FINAL EXAM - MUSEUM PAPER

Although sharing similar qualities in certain artistic aspects such as style and choice of medium, Claude Monet’s “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” [1880, oil on canvas] and Diego Rivera’s “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard)” [1913, oil on canvas] offer stark contrasts in design, subject matter and style. Claude Monet was born in France and lived from 1840 to 1926. He was married and lived with his family in a small town of Giverny. Monet’s work takes place during the Industrial Revolution in France. The style of the painting is representational and simplified. This time period also included the rise and decline of the French Impressionist movement, which lasted from 1860 to 1900. Diego Rivera could be considered somewhat of Monet’s contemporary. Rivera, born in Mexico, lived from 1886 to 1957. A member of the Cubist movement, he spent some years in Paris, which definitely influenced his works, before moving back to Mexico. His selected work, with representational influences, is set in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century, a little before World War I.

With both paintings being set in France, the two works share similar elements in subject. Both artists have human subjects as the central focal point of their paintings. Both artists give a glimpse of life in France. That’s where the similarities end. Monet captures country living in a French village. He paints the simplistic beauty of a garden with his family as an anchor to the flow of colors and backdrop. Monet’s painting shows us how the garden is part of his home’s landscape. Rivera places his regally dressed subject standing in front of an industrial setting, complete with smoke and modern movements (trains, factories and Ferris wheel). From his details, you can definitely know that Rivera’s painting took place at a specific time period, from the subject’s clothes to the definite Parisian sightline. The Ferris wheel is no longer in Paris at that location. Monet’s painting could have taken place today. Rivera also places his subject above the action, giving the man an almost regal quality. Monet’s family is in the middle of the naturalistic setting…one with nature.

Subject matter aside, the artists' design qualities give more insight, with both painting having symmetrical balance. There is a coordinated focus on the central axis, whereas the distinct sides of each painting have paralleled size, shape and placement. There is a definitive linear quality to Rivera’s painting. Contour lines stand out in the subject’s stance. Color plays a pivotal role in conveying the mood of the paintings. Although Monet stays true to his surroundings, the artist does use liberal measures in deciding on his hues. Cool colors make up the most of the painting, with warm colors adding emphasis. The red and yellow choice offers accenting focuses on the flowers in the garden. The pink brings out the facial features of Monet’s family. There is also an evidence of analogous harmonies, with red-orange and blue-violet hues. There seems to be monochromatic harmonies illustrated in the Rivera painting. The red, blue and purple are rated similar on the color wheel. The visual relief to that is the use of gray and white in the background. To create the background, the artist employs the value scale of black and white, giving the needed contrast to create smoke and clouds. One area of contrast is emphasis and subordination. In the Rivera painting, the foreground carries the emphasis of the painting. The eyes are drawn to the hands of the model, the focal point. The action begins there and draws the eyes outward to the rest of the painting. In Monet’s painting, however, there are spots that have been deliberately downplayed to bring attention to the garden and the family. Rivera’s painting also plays on the part of scale/proportion. The model seems to be extremely tall, based on the background. It gives the perception of a giant overlooking a great fair given in his honor…as I mentioned early, like a king overlooking his subjects.

Whereas there are design similarities, the moods of both paintings are in direct contrast. In Monet’s work, the artist conveys a sense of calm and familiarity. The garden setting is tranquil. The flowers are swaying in the breeze. You can almost feel the warmth of the sun as you picture yourself standing next to his easel. Rivera’s work is constant movement, almost a controlled chaos that makes up a city setting. The Ferris wheel, the smoke wafting from the background and the metro train zooming past all bring a sense of metropolitan existence.

The choice of medium also plays part in setting the mood. Both works are oil paintings. But, each painting has a distinct look, thanks in large part to the different brush strokes and layer of paints used. Rivera’s brushstrokes are applied evenly and thin, invisible to the eye. Thanks to the slow-drying properties of oil, he was able to layer colors on top of one another. Rivera uses glazing to provide the layers of gray and white smoke over the thick earthtoned-inspired background. The image is the main part of the painting. The texture blends nicely and does not overpower the overall content. Monet’s technique is a study of contrast. The painter’s brushstrokes are visible. The uneven texture is a big part of the painting. In parts of the garden, he employs alla prima by using opaque colors on the white ground. Throughout the scene, Monet practices impasto, layering thick strokes of paint to the flowers and figures. As seen in other Impressionist painting, Monet’s work does include broken color instances. The long stems in the vases, for instance, are created by a series of varying oil colors, blending as you concentrate on them.

The artists' choice of oil is not the only common link, of course. Style can be a commonality between the two artists. Monet’s style is representational and very simplified. His painting shows the overall vision of the garden. But, Monet uses strokes to blend the separate images as one. Rivera’s work is naturalistic representational. We can recognize his interpretation of the scene. He stays true to the actual visual footprint, incorporating shadows and body types.

In their works, Monet and Rivera use the same techniques and methods to deliver unique images. Their paintings share mediums, style and subject points. They each cover French lifestyles and have the same symmetrical balance. But, the paintings have stark contrasts in social relevance (citylife vs. countrylife), moods (calm vs. hectic), and emphasis and subordination. I am glad I chose these two paintings because I learned more about the nuisances of art movements. Even though they were close in years, Monet’s French Impressionist paintings are different than Rivera’s Cubism works. I never really weighed those facets until this class. I have always enjoyed studying the free-flowing nature of French Impressionism. Now, I can appreciate the Cubist movement and understand that social undertones can sometimes dictate the painting’s creation.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Activity No. 13

Claude Monet is considered the leading artist in the Impressionism movement (1860 – 1900). During this time, the culture within the French art world was dictated by juries. Impressionism is rooted in the French realism movement, which preceded it. In fact, one of Monet’s paintings, “Impression: Sunrise,” is credited with giving the movement its name. My chosen painting, “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” [1880, oil on canvas], has a representational appearance. Impressionist paintings have a style that tends to use modern life as subjects, from people lounging on a riverbank to, in Monet’s case, a family walking through a home garden. The book describes it as “scenes glimpsed for a moment, sketched rapidly in paint as impressions of light and color on the eye.” Monet’s artistic style mirrors that thought. The painting looks like a blur…with the colors flowing together. The mixture of colors give off the impression of light. As seen in other paintings in the Impressionist movement, Monet usually painted outdoor life, mostly landscapes. The garden shows both the artist’s home life and his choice in nature as a subject. The painting’s date places it in the Industrial Revolution period of the 19th century.


Diego Rivera’s painting, “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard)” [1913, oil on canvas], is set in 20th century France. Paris hosted the World’s Fair in 1900, a little more than a decade before the painting’s setting. The Ferris wheel is a lasting memory of the event. Rivera is a member of the Cubist movement. However, this painting is not a full example of the Cubist paintings. This picture still shows some hints of Expressionism. Rivera’s style revolved around the use of strong earth-tone colors and connecting lines as well as wavering contours. The artist shows a little of his political side by choosing to place his neatly dressed subject with an industrial and smoke-filled background. There is also a recognition of the developing transportation system in Paris, as illustrated by the speeding train underneath the balcony. As with stylistic elements of Cubism, Rivera seems to be fusing the elements of the figure and the ground. In this case, it is the way Rivera connects the gentleman with the balcony and the Ferris wheel. The building behind the man also has stark angles and seems to be one flat plane, illustrating another characteristic of Cubism.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

REVERSE EKPHRASES

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Felicia's EKPHRASES

Vision yourself in the forest. You look at the sky, which 90% is covered with grey clouds. It looks like it may rain but on the other side of the sky you can see a little brightness of sun and white fluffy clouds. As you work down from the sky, all size trees surround you. You can notice how some of the trees to the left are darker than the right. Green, brown, and white leave covers the brunches. On one of brunches you can see a small brown colored birds nest with 3 white eggs. Around the nest are 2 small fairly like brightly green color birds, with long beaks and small wings. One bird is sitting on the brunch, one flying to the right of the other bird (rapidly flapping their wings) and up from the nest. The last bird, which you can only see the long back feathers that, are brightly sun colors and their long dark beak. If you follow the brunch where the last bird is sitting to the left. You will come to the main focus on the painting. Which is a large beautiful pink soft colored flower. It is the only bloomed flower on the brunch. Spotted leaves and un-bloomed flowers surround the flower. The flower is perfectly colored with a tiny hint of yellow in the center. As the study the painting you can try to focus how a day in the forest may be.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

EKPHRASES

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The setting of the painting is Northeast America. The portrait is oil-based and asymmetrical. The balance is mostly on the right side of the portrait. There are three figures in the painting, two people and one dog. The dog stands at the center of the painting. The action flows from right to left. My descriptions will begin from the top left corner of the painting.

On the left of the picture, there is a forest of spruce trees. Moving right from the forest, there is the side of a house. The home is white with a burgundy trim on the windows. The house has a bay window on the end of the corner closest to the forest. The house has a door on the right of the bay window. The door has to slim windows on it. The door's windows have a fancy design on it. There's a five-leaf pattern on the top and the bottom. Two cursive lines intertwine and connect the top and bottom portions. There is a portion of concrete protruding from the bottom of the door.

Above the door sits a small roof resembling a shelf. Two indentations are holding up the roof. Another window is on the right of the door. There is a line of orange paint at the bottom of the house's frame.

A woman is leaning against the side of the house where the bay window sits. She is standing in between the bay window and the door. Her body is resting against the house's side. She is a little overweight and is in her mid-50s. Her arms are folded and rested on her stomach. She is wearing a blue long-sleeved blouse and a blue skirt. There is a small pleat on the end of her skirt on the left (facing us). The woman's hair is blond/almond.

There is a man sitting on the concrete under the door. He is about the same age as the woman; his face seems more weathered. He is in a white T-shirt and dark blue jeans. The man is leaning forward with his left arm resting on his left pant leg. His right arm is lowered and reaching down with his fingers cupped like he's holding something.

The grass around the house is high, covering both the feet of the man and woman. The grass is thin, with gold, orange, brown and green swatches. The blades seem to be swaying in a breeze.

In the center of the painting stands a dog. It looks like a collie. The dog is standing with its tail on the left side of the painting. The dog's head is on the right side, looking back toward the left. Its ears are sticking straight up, and its tail is straight out. The dog's body is mostly auburn brown, with white accents on its tail, its nose and on its chest. The dog has black eyes, and a line of black around its mouth.

The man seems to be reaching down to get the dog's attention, but the dog is busy looking to the left of the painting. The dog looks like it's about to run to the left.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Activity No. 11

The setting for Diego Rivera’s “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard)” [1913, oil on canvas] is Paris at the beginning of the 20th century. The painting is dated for 1913. The Great Ferris wheel built specifically for the 1900 Paris World’s Fair takes up a large portion of the background. The painting details French culture during the Cubist period. The elegant dress of the subject notes the fashionable dress, complete with cane and gloved hands. The smoke from the factories and the railway system hint at Parisian life during the later part of the Industrial Age.

Claude Monet’s “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” [1880, oil on canvas] is an example of French culture during the French Impressionist Period. Monet chose to capture his homelife in Vetheuil, a French village located on banks of the Seine River. The painting illustrates rural life in France during the late 19th century. According to the WebMuseum web site, impressionism is characterized by “by concentration on the general impression produced by a scene or object and the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light.” These qualities are found in Monet’s painting. The French Impressionist period lasted from 1860 to 1900.

Source: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/glo/impressionism/

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Activity #10-Mediums and Techniques

Both Diego Rivera’s “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard)” [1913, oil on canvas] and Claude Monet’s “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” [1880, oil on canvas] are oil paintings. But, each painting has a distinct look, thanks in large part to the different brush strokes and layer of paints used.

Rivera’s brushstrokes are applied evenly and thin, invisible to the eye. Thanks to the slow-drying properties of oil, he was able to layer colors on top of one another. Rivera uses glazing to provide the layers of gray and white smoke over the thick earthtoned-inspired background. The image is the main part of the painting. The texture blends nicely and does not overpower the overall content.

Monet’s technique is a study of contrast. The painter’s brushstrokes are visible. The uneven texture is a big part of the painting. In parts of the garden, he employs alla prima by using opaque colors on the white ground. Throughout the scene, Monet practices impasto, layering thick strokes of paint to the flowers and figures. As seen in other Impressionist painting, Monet’s work does include broken color instances. The long stems in the vases, for instance, are created by a series of varying oil colors, blending as you concentrate on them.

Although they both used oil on canvas, Rivera and Monet created two contrasting works of art.