Art History - Painting Comparison - 12-14

Art History - Painting Comparison - 12-14 - Cait Dunn Art...

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Cait Dunn Art History 115 Elizabeth Flemming 12/14/05 Sir Jeffery Amherst and the Fisher Girl Sir Jeffery Amherst Sir Joshua Reynolds 1765, England Oil Painting Mead Art Museum at Amherst College The Fisher Girl Winslow Homer 1894, American Oil Painting Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
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Even though two works of art were painted in two different countries and in two different time periods, each of the artist’s goals in creating the works are usually very similar. In both “The Fisher Girl”, painted in America in 1894, and “Sir Jeffrey Amherst”, painted in England in 1765, the artist aimed to portray his thoughts and emotions through his work. Although at first glance, these paintings seem to be very different, but upon closer inspection of the works we find that they are surprisingly similar. The painting “The Fisher Girl” by Winslow Homer, is a genre portrait which portrays normal, everyday life. It was probably not commissioned and not painted specifically for this woman. The artist may have just painted her because he found her interesting, or she may not have existed at all. This painting is very impressionistic and the subject is shown in an old world setting. Many impressionists were opposed to the Industrial Revolution, and this painting was probably meat to be reminiscent of and earlier, simpler time. This work was used to reflect the artist’s ideas and feelings about the Industrial Revolution. The girl looking into the distance, while holding an old fashioned fishing net, is like the artist looking back to a simpler time. She can’t see anything through the fog and clouds. Her loss of sight symbolizes the loss of a way of life. Neither the artist nor the girl can find what he or she is looking for because their vision is clouded by something undesirable. The painting has dynamic composition, which makes the subject seem as if she was in motion, yet frozen in time. There is unity of composition, in which one central figure dominates the space within the painting. The generous space makes this work
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more relaxed, and gives the illusion of more space. A blurred, indistinct background also adds to the illusion of a vast space. Since the background is so abstract, there is no linear perspective. This painting is also a great example of the use of atmospheric perspective, because the bluish mist makes the air unclear. There is little difference between areas of light and shadow in this painting, which is an effect of the soft modeling. The background is painted in gray tones with a blue hue. The colors used in this painting are connected with the both the emotions of the artist and the feeling he wants to convey to the viewer. Blue implies sadness, and the use of this hue implies that the girl is lonely and depressed. The brown tones that are used in
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Art History - Painting Comparison - 12-14 - Cait Dunn Art...

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