Clare 209 Sum 1 Paintings

This gallery of paintings all revolve around Greek mythology and all feature the nudity of either the male or female body. The paintings all use rich colors to contrast and emphasize certain aspects of the paintings.

This painting is called Cupid and Psyche and was created by Alphonse Legros in 1867. This painting is part of the same story about Cupid and Psyche that was starting in the sculpture section. At this point in the story. Psyche has fainted and Cupid has just found that his love has fainted. He is going to revive her now. I really liked how in this painting it shows Psyche laid out in the foreground while Cupid is slightly behind her. One thing I did not like about this painting is how the position in which Legros shows Psyche fainting is not plausible. I think he painted Psyche that way because it is one of the more flattering positions to the woman body while laying down. Psyche being on a bed of white linen makes her stand out from the background of dark green bushes and trees. I like how the line of Psyche's body follows the line of the dark green bushes behind her.
This is called The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli finished in 1485. This painting shows Venus emerging from the depths of the ocean in a clam shell as an already grown woman. One of the reasons I liked this picture was because everything in the picture revolves around Venus in the center. The two figures in the left of the painting are Zephyrus, the west wind, and Aura, the breeze, who are blowing her to shore. On the shore, the goddess of seasons, Horae, is holding a robe for the Venus. Another part of this painting that I liked was how Botticelli had the flowers almost dancing in the breeze around Venus. Although the figures on the left and right of Venus are looking at her, she is looking ahead at the viewer with a hint of a smile or pleasantness about her face.
This painting is Mars and Venus United by Love by Paolo Veronese in 1588. In this painting, the main subject is not at the center of the picture, instead, Mars and Venus are offset to the left of the painting. Venus is the goddess of love while Mars is the god of war. This painting is showing cupid tying Venus and Mars together. In the back ground of the painting it can be seen that another cupid like figure is holding a horse back by keeping a sword at its knees. One of the things I found most interesting about this painting is that Venus's hair is back and she is portrayed wearing jewelry. This is one of the only paintings I have seen Venus portrayed this way. Unlike the other paintings of Greek mythology, this one does not have a prior existing story behind it. One of the meanings that appears to make the most sense of this painting is that it is showing that love wins over war. This would be plausible because by looking at the body positioning of Venus, she appears to be the dominate one. She is the one standing while Mars sits before her, and she is the one that has her arm around Mars holding him there.
This painting is the Venus of Urbino by Tiziano Vecellio in 1538. The main subject in this photo is the goddess Venus. In this painting, the Venus is seen reclining while two other women are in the background digging for clothing. This painting exploits the sensualness of the womanly figure. It also appears slightly suggestive because of the placement of Venus's hand and how it appears to be in motion and not just casually resting there. I like how Vecellio was able to paint what the ideal image of a woman and yet make it look completely natural. I also really like how the line the Venus's body forms contrasts with the very dark background of the door and tiling. It makes Venus stand out more to the viewer. I also liked how Venus was painted to be looking directly focused on the viewer instead of looking unfocused or at an unknown object. The painting seemed more personal because of this.
This painting is called Cupid as Victor by Caravaggio around 1601-1602. Another name for this painting is Amor Vincit Omnia or Love Conquers All. I think the second name is more fitting for this painting compared to the one that is listed. Around cupid all of entertainments of man can be seen littering the floor. They all apear to be destroyed or damaged; however, Cupid in the middle appears to be very happy and sure of himself. The painting is showing that no matter what man invests time in and entertains himself with, love will always overcome and be the most important factor. What I really liked about this painting is how Cupid is portrayed. In this painting, cupid is shown to have black wings, and he appears to look like a normal human boy. The only thing in this painting that distinguished Cupid was the wings. If the wings were removed, Cupid would look like a regular playful child that had destroyed the contents of a room.
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