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Visual arts as a branch of the Fine Arts
Many artists, ancient and contemporary have created and continue to produce paintings with the sole aim of expressing personal views through the preferred medium of communication. It is the duty of an artist to seek ideal means with which their heartfelt emotions can be portrayed either through narratives which seek to convey messages taking place in a given time and place or through the use of images such as paintings and drawings which tell the artists core feelings of a given time and space (Encyclopedia of Art). This paper seeks to look into the application of the term medium as postulated by Henry M. Sayre in his seventh edition publication A world of Art in an attempt to show how students as artists analyze artists’ mediums in putting their message across to their audience in a single frame.
While looking at the painting titled Two Children Teasing a Cat, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is evident that the painting has a triangular shaped composition with all the three corners positioned in the center right of the painting as the primary focus(The Metropolitan Museum of Art). Within the painting, the two children are teasing a docile cat with two crustaceans. The elder child, a boy is in the middle of the focus area with the cat to the far right of the focus point and the girl child to the far left of the focus point(The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Architecture is indeed a design profession. This painting has aspects of architecture that firmly resemble styles common in the 19th Century architecture though the painting dates back to the 15th Century. The architecture can be suitable described as being both spontaneous and direct with the application of light illuminating a rather dark background. The Venetian style applied clearly uses aspects of light to illustrate the mood of the artist while producing the work which is in essence jovial and friendly.
The medium applied in the making of this painting is unique to Carracci’s principle of a direct approach to the ideals uncommon of life. As such, the technique depicted in this oil canvass tends to depict a valuable life lesson for these two children; the informal directness reflects a quite believable action that is evident even among the children in the contemporary world (The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
The equipment applied in the production of this medium conveys a method of style that is most likely robust brushwork directed towards a realistic application of the aspect of light (Sayre 274). Direct and bold application of oil paints with thick brushstrokes shows a painting style that allows for the application of wet oil paint on an already oil paint wet canvass. The technique and equipment used allows the audience to focus more on the focus point while being also absorbed into a dark background.
The art movement associated with this portrait dates back to the 15th century Italian Venetian art. The background of the painting envisages an application of negative space which tends to absorb the audience as well as make them concentrate on the message and intensity of the technique applied in the creation of this masterpiece. This work of art communicates an emotional state that is unperturbed, such that all the subjects in the portrait are in a state ease despite the presence of conflict (Sayre 274). The intensity exhibited by the media excels in the manifestation of light both in its pure form and in instances where colors have to be mixed to produce the desired hue. The dominance of the focal point in the portrait tends to pull the attention of the audience to the bright colored and intense mood of the two children and the cat(The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
The application of the medium in this painting tends to conform well to the composition of techniques applied in projecting the narrative contained in the painting. The pyramid shaped semblance of the image can be easily captured through the application of lines on the borders of the focal point (Sayre 211). The advantage of applying this as the main focus for the audience’ eye is to ensure that the finesse of the technique is embraced by the audience so as to let them grasp the core narrative of the painting.
The disadvantage of applying this technique is the breadth of the dark space behind the principal conveyors of the narrative. The bright subjects in the focal point tend to capture the eye and enlighten the mood of the audience but the negative space tends to take the intensity of the primary image away from the centrally placed bright image (Sayre 284).
The portrait titled, Two Children Teasing a Cat’ Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome) is similar to an image also produced by a female painter named Jane Dickson. The portrait titled Stairwell produced in 1984. This image is featured in Henry M. Sayre’s book, A World of Art on page 217. The similar application of gray colors and the intense application of light both in the back and foreground are similar to the technique applied by Annibale Carracci. The style and medium as well as the technique are also seen as common among female artists in past and present art movements.
Anniballe Carracca’s works exhibits a medium technique and style of painting that is associated with key artists in the European art scene. It is said that a trip to Venice is said to have offered him the insight to reproduce works similar to the artworks common with painters from the Italian town of Venice (The Metropolitan Museum of Art). The brushwork and light handling exhibited is profoundly Venetian. In the world of art, it is said that expressing a child laughing is smart but the idea of a painter in expressing a child crying is most respectable. This was a viewed shared with the great artist Michelangelo and sentiments which were similarly reproduced by Carracca, in an attempt to verify Michelangelo’s views.
The rich and intense application of color in the reproduction of the artist views brings into question the artist’s degree of expertise in missing colors on a palette and the brushwork applied. As such, the technique used in mixing the bright colors shows a high degree of finesse in the medium’s expressive abilities(Encyclopedia of Art). The chemistry involved in the mixing of colors in this portrait can be described as excellent. The image has more to life than really meets the eye, Carracca must have had a very strong sense of the reaction of different dyes with oil so as to be able to offer audiences with an experience that exhibited by the painting titled, Two Children Teasing a Cat.
Encyclopedia of Art. Art Evaluation: How to Appreciate Art? 2012. Web. http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/art-evaluation.htm. 6 Dec. 2013.
Sayre, Henry, M. A World of Art, Edition 7. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2012. Print.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two Children Teasing a Cat, Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1560–1609 Rome). Web. http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/435852. 6 Dec. 2013.