John Ullom - the little things

A collection of pieces depicting the simpler side of life throughout history. All of these pieces either portray scenes of nature or individuals of no famous note. Everyone in these paintings is a nameless individual; no famous portraits here. 

My first piece is 'An English Hayfield' by Benjamin Williams Leader. The subject matter is just that, it's a small family lying down and relaxing in a wide field of hay by some trees. Its genius is in its simplicity though. There's not a lot going on, but that sucks us into the serenity of the moment; the picture is relaxed so we're relaxed. There's no epic feats of architecture nor world changing heroes. Just a family in a hayfield.
My second piece is 'Village Kermis' by Gillis van Torborgh the younger. This piece is a bit more busy, yet it still has a somewhat small scale. We get the sense that this is most, if not all, of this town's community and that this is what they would consider busy. You feel like everyone in this picture knows one another and is a part of the great whole of the community. While busy, this piece is cozy.
'Clearing in a Forest' by John Russel is a purely natural piece with no human individuals featured. Keeping with the theme of a simple subject matter, our subject is but an empty clearing in what looks like a southeast asian forest. It's not some big natural landmark or the site of some important battle; it's just a clearing that the artist found soothing; relaxing. The warm yellows of the grass below harmonize with the cool blues of the sky, letting you escape from the world in this piece.
If I had to choose one word to describe Florence Fuller's 'Inseperables' it would be 'cozy'. Most of the environment is a darker hue which makes the girl's skin and the book's pages pop, like they're the only things that matter. Which, looking at the piece, is exactly what it's trying to convey. This girl is absolutely lost in the pages of this book, the rest of the world doesn't matter. Her warm smile and cozy demeanor almost make us want to read whatever she's reading.
'Immigrant's ship' by John C. Dollman is another great piece of something simple. Here we see one of countless families who ventured across the sea for a better future in a faraway land. Everyone looks tired, hungry, and more than a little bored. But there's a feeling of hope. A feeling that when this is all over they'll be in a new world with a new start. They might not be famous or changing the world, but their world is changing and that's all that's important.
'A Boyar Wedding Feast' by Konstantin Makovsky is exactly what it says on the tin. We see a middle-class family getting to experience one of the highlights of their family experience; uniting two families together. Weddings are usually the fanciest events we get to host in our lives, and throughout history this has always been the case. For this old Boyar family, we get the same feelings we would from a modern wedding. Celebration.
'A Sunday on La Grande Jatte' by Georges Seurat is one of the most famous paintings of all time. It's most famous for it's use of tiny colored dots for its composition, rather than brush strokes. However, I include this piece in my gallery for its subject matter; a simple river that people from all walks of life could enjoy visiting.
'Alpine Pasture' by Giovanni Segantini is another piece that is just beyond relaxing. The hills seem to stretch on forever and the sky is a perfect shade of blue. The white sheep pop nicely against the green grass. What makes the piece, I feel, is the man to the right. To him, this is perfection. There might not be any big expensive buildings or plenty of entertainment, but the beauty he gets to experience every day in this pasture is priceless.
'The Bedroom' by Vincent Van Gogh is another very famous piece by a very famous painter. The colors all compliment each other so that everything in the room pops. The lines of the wall stretch out in rays to make the room feel much larger that it actually might be. Our bedrooms are a place of relaxation, of solitude, of reflection. One way or another, we all have that place we go to to sleep and get away from the world. Van Gogh captures this desire, and gives us a cozy, colorful bedroom with an almost universal familiarity.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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