Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chiaroscuro and modeling Georges de la Tour

Georges de la Tour "Joseph the Carpenter" 1645

Georges de la Tour " Mary Magdelan Watching the Flame 1640

Georges de la Tour " The Tears of St. Peter"

The Italians call the effect of light and shade in art as "chiaroscuro".  This term as it applies to the general effect of light on the noses, lips, eyes, drapery folds, natural forms, and objects is called modeling. Chiaroscuro always refers to light and dark.  In drawing it is the light and shade effects.

Chiaro = light  scuro= dark

Georges de la Tour (1593-1652 France) was a painter that was known for using candlelight or torches to create the effect of chiaroscuro on his subjects.  The simplification of the human forms in is paintings gives a modern appearance. 

1.How does the absence of light on the figures add to the stories in three paintings?

 (stories:  (a)Joseph and Jesus- a son in his father's workshop. A carpenter and protector of carpenters and technicians, babies, immigrants, unborn babies. Perhaps was only with Jesus until he was 12.  Not at the crucifixion. 

   (b) Mary Magdalene looking at the flame.  Flames do not last forever, what does she see in the flame? Mary Magdalene was one of the 3 Mary's that walked with Jesus and was there for his crucifixion and resurrection.   She is considered an apostle to the apostles.  The symbol of the colored Easter eggs can be related to Mary Magdalene. She placed eggs at the bottom of Jesus's feet during hos crucifixion and produced red eggs with his blood.  

 (c) The Tears of St. Peter One of the 12 apostles-near Jesus.  Fisherman, protector of fisherman, heals feet...crucified upside down because he felt he wasn't worthy to be crucified like Jesus. -He has to make decisions-He lets you in the gates of heaven.-What happens when he says "no"?

2. What does the selective candlelight add to the paintings?

 (a. face of Jesus as a young man-sweet, innocent, curious..

.(b) Mary Magdelene is holding a skull that is not really illuminated.  Most of the light is on her upper body near hear heart.

 (c) St Peter shares his light with the lantern.  The light seems to be equally distributed.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Max Ernst (1891-1976) Frottages ("to rub")


This drawing technique was developed by Max Ernst in 1925.  He was inspired by the ancient wooden floors in his studio that had been worn from years of scrubbing.  The patterns on the floors made strange images. He created this images by placing sheets of paper on the floor and rubbing it with a soft pencil. 

Ernst was considered a Surrealist.  The Surrealist group of artists began in the early l920's in Europe. The goal was to "resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality." Interpretation of dreams on to canvas or paper dealt with images and scenes that seemed illogical but because of the realistic rendering the appeared to be part of reality.  Dreaming is part of a human's "reality".  

They dealt with tapping into the unconscious mind which is part of the dream life.

"Frottage" and "automatic drawing" were techniques used by the Surrealists to tap into the unconscious and retrieve images and feelings that can be re-interpreted in visual art and writings such as poems and literature. The "real" functioning of thought is the main thesis of Surealism. 

Thinking, taking time to think, visiting the two hemispheres of the brain and interpreting the visit is important to Surrealists.  As in dreams time is spacial not linear (meaning the whole span of your existence and being is not rated/calculated/documented by numbers/dates.
Also symbolism as in dreams is defined and interpreted.

Frottages can be viewed as 2-D experiences with 3-D thought.  As in sculpture you are subtracting and adding to a form to create a visual 3-D experience. (pushing and pulling forms)

Max Ernst 1891-1976 (Germany)

Joan Miro (Automatic drawing)

Joan Miro (1893-1983)

Joan Miro

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali 1904-1989
Salvador Dali

Meret Oppenheim 1913-1985