Artistic Event critique, AR 211 by Jill Howell          Montreat College

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Photo reproductions courtesy Google Art Project. Retrieved from

Rubens Peale with a Geranium This painting which is a portrait of the artists brother seems to me a character study informed with love. My eye was instantly drawn to the young mans gentle face and I could feel his studious nature.
This painting by Edouard Manet was striking in its unity, the repetition of the colors blue and white contrasting beautifully on the woman and childs' clothing. I felt this to be a very pleasing, balanced picture.
The first thing that captured my attention when I saw this work by the artist Martin Johnson Heade was the way the sunlight was depicted as almost draping itself over the grass. This artfully shifted my attention to the billowing clouds which seemed as if they were rolling toward me. Yet when you consider the trees and the small animals peacefully grazing, the wind must be faint.
I enjoyed the intangible qualities that Frans Hals bestowed upon the woman in this painting. I could sense her wisdom and stature. This is a picture with saturated monochromatic colors. The folds in her skirt make us feel the weight of her garment. In one hand she holds what could be a Bible and her gaze seems stoic.
I have always loved Lautrec, though I've seen many more of his prints than paintings. The focus of this work seems to be on the seated woman in the blue coat which is contrasted against the light-colored table and the dark coats of the two women. Although she is seated next to a man, the blue coated woman looks pensive, which underscores the alienation in most of Lautrec,s artwork.
This work is a signature work of Gauguin. He painted many Polynesian women situated in island settings. He uses polychromatic colors as well as variety and the scene achieves balance by trailing leaves which draw the viewers eyes from land to tree to see and back. The figures seem to rise and then plummet back into the sea, as if they're a part of it.
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