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Art Criticism Paper

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Art Criticism Paper


"The Grafin von Schonfeld with her Daughter" by Elizabeth Louise Vigee-LeBrun

In the University Of Arizona Museum Of Art, the Pfeiffer Gallery is displaying many art pieces of oil on canvas paintings. These paintings are mostly portraits of people, both famous and not. They are painted by a variety of artists of European decent and American decent between the mid 1700's and the early 1900's. The painting by Elizabeth Louise Vigee-Lebrun caught my eye and drew me in to look closely at its composition.

"The Grafin von Scholfeld with her Daughter" is oil on canvas art piece painted in 1793. It is a painting of a woman holding her daughter on her lap, the woman being "The Grafin von Schonfeld." The woman is dressed in clothing that is from the upper class or a royalty stature in the late 1700's. The clothing looks rich in material and sleek like silk in the colors of wine and a rich green. She has a covering on her head that looks like an extravagant scarf that drapes over her shoulder on one side, also made of the same silky material used for her dress. The woman has pale skin, reddish brown hair, bluish eyes, and rosy cheeks. Her eyes look very real and penetrating when you examine the painting. The daughter is about the age of 5 or 6 years old. Her arms are around her mother's neck and legs draped across her mother's lap. The daughter is wearing a white fluid dress that looks thin in material with a red sash around her midsection. The daughter has the same reddish brown hair and rosy cheeks. The mothers and daughters eyes are equally as big in size, while the child's eyes seem also very real and youthful.

The mother and daughter are sitting on a bench of some sort on a ledge of a window with a portion of the window open. Outside the window there is landscape of mountains, trees, and a stormy sky. The sky is rich with a high value of grays including the whites of the clouds. The technique for creating the landscape out the window, the painter used an atmospheric perspective. The outside is slightly less focused and very fluid compared to the detail used for the mother and daughter.

The colors used in the painting are very vivid yet rich in depth. A combination of high chroma and low chroma gives the picture its depth. The visual texture is created with the mothers garments. It shows the flowing ness of the fabric and gives the feeling of a silky and soft touch. The little girl's dress gives the texture of lightness and seems like airy fabric that would be thin and translucent. The time in this piece is very accurate of the late 1700's and when viewing it, the time seems classic. The emphasis of this piece is mainly the mother and the daughter, however when looking at them you are drawn into looking at their realistic eyes. The eyes seem like the focal point which draws the viewer in to the picture.

The relationship in the painting between the mother and daughter give it a definite asymmetrical balance and maybe a little radial balance. A radial balance because of their eyes being the central focus, then the faces, then the holding of each other, then where they are placed on the canvas, and then the bench and the landscape. The colors used by the painter, also creates balance with in the picture. The wine colored dress of the mother, red sash of the daughter's dress, ruby lips, and the rosy cheeks give a warm feeling to the central focus of the mother and daughter. The cool color of the sky is the same as the women's eyes as well as the trees and green on the mother's

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