Belle femme

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Activity No. 5

In Diego Rivera’s “Retrato de Adolfo Best Maugard (Portrait of Adolfo Best Maugard)” [1913, oil on canvas], the portrait captures the here and now of early 20th century Parisian life. The artist may have been influenced by his recent move to the French capital. The portrait marks a new chapter in the artist’s life, with his recent departure from his Mexican homeland. It captures the spirit of Paris at the turn of the century. An online National Gallery of Art exhibit explains the painting’s existence in reference to Rivera’s personal journey as a vagabond artist, foreshadowing his following works. “In situating his friend as integrally related to and yet distanced from these emblems of Paris, Rivera offers a meditation on their common identity as expatriates--at once part of and removed from the place in which they live. The expression of geographical displacement and multiple allegiances would be enduring themes in Rivera's work of the period.(1)” 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.

“The Cubist Paintings of Diego Rivera: Memory, Politics, Place.” National Gallery of Art. 26 September 2006 .

Claude Monet’s “The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil” [1880, oil on canvas] is an example of several themes. There’s a level of art and nature. The artist selected the family garden as his subject, allowing the canvas to capture his view of beauty. Nature plays a major role in the art’s action. The garden engulfs the family home as well as the family, easily overlooked walking down the trail toward Monet. The painting also capture the here and now, allowing the artist to capture a snapshot of his home life. It resembles a modern-day Polaroid, in essence freezing a family moment in time. The kids will never be that age again, nor will the artist. Color plays a pivotal role in conveying the mood of the painting. 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 the yellow offer 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.


  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger charlannebrew said…

    These essays are well organzied.


    1. Using more art vocabulary when there is an opportunity.

    2. for example, "The garden engulfs the family home as well as the family, easily overlooked walking down the trail toward Monet."

    could read as the SCALE of the garden compared to the figure demostrates that the artist wanted the viewer to see the magnitude of nature to human.

    Something like that.

    3. But there is an argument that by reducing the scale of the figure and isolating it in all that "nature" monet wanted us to see a portrait rather than a garden.



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