Belle femme

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Activity No. 2

Diego Rivera’s work, “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard),” gives the viewer a snapshot of Paris in the early part of the 20th century. Incorporating distinct yet subtle hues, Rivera adds a level of depth to an otherwise benign subject. The focus of the painting is the subject’s gloved hand. It immediately draws the eyes’ attention, altering perspective from a dark brown to hazy gray.
The subject’s attire and striking stance is in direct contrast to the unfocused foreground of smoke and Parisian landscape. By including items like the balcony railing and the Ferris wheel support beams, Rivera has the chance to experiment with the linear perspective. The shading of the Ferris wheel gives the impression of motion, the cars blurring in the background as the subject poses for the artist. The passing train also gives an element of movement to the painting. Although the art of chiaroscuro may be nonexistent, the painting does have hints of shading around the subject’s feet and the train tracks. The second item that captures the eyes is the red/white pattern of the train gateway. The combination of red and white offer a stark contrast to the other images in the background.

Claude Monet’s “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” offers a glimpse into the painter’s home life. The most outstanding feature of Monet’s works is his liberal exercise of the color palate. Because of the high amount of color used, in some cases, optical color mixture takes place. It is not as striking as a painting done in the style of Pointillism. It is subtle in nature, specifically around the floral patterns and the face of the people. The linear perspective is definitely skewed; the only definite lines can be seen in the background within the house design. Monet displays chiaroscuro throughout the painting. The garden path is shaded to illustrate the time of the day. Throughout the painting, Monet blends warm and cool colors, especially within the garden. This practice almost makes it impossible to see the figures located on the path in the middle of the painting. The white outlines of the two subjects on the beginning of the trail is lost within a sea of colors. The young child further down the trail can be seen more clearly, thanks to the contrast of pink and green. This is one of my favorite Monet paintings, in large part because of its use of shading and colors.


  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger charlannebrew said…

    Dear Shondra,

    It was so nice to come across a well written essay I almost fell off my chair!

    Though they are well written there still n eeds to be some tweaking...


    1. How do we as the viewers know that this is a snap shot of Paris in the 20's? Does it say anywhere in the painting?

    2. My point is, when writing these essays and all the essays stick to what's in the painting. Don't add anything else.

    3. Learn the elements, principles, themes or whatever the assignment is in the book and then apply it to the art work.

    4. " It immediately draws the eyes’ attention, altering perspective from a dark brown to hazy gray."

    This sentence is describing a certain kind of perspective. It's in the book.


    " Rivera uses atmospheric and one point linear perspective. Atmospheric perspective is where the focus of the painting changes as the objects recede into space, notice "the [sharp] focus of the subject’s gloved hand. It immediately draws the eyes’ attention, altering perspective from a dark brown to hazy gray."

    See how it works?

    Then define linear perspective and so forth.


    1. What is optical color mixing? Define it What is chiaroscuro?

    Hope this helps.



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