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.

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