Art Study Essay

1) Artemisia Gentileschi was greatly influenced by Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro style and she was his only female follower. She had to endure the commonplace notion of her time that women were intellectually inferior to men. In her painting Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, Gentileschi portrays herself as a real woman–skillful, imaginative, and dignified. View her painting Judith Slaying H3olofernes and describe what makes the painting unique in terms of her portrayal of Judith as a woman, and her use of chiaroscuro.

Chiaroscuro in art is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. In the painting Judith Slaying Holofernes, Artemisia mixes lights and darks in order to bring out what is important. What makes it unique is that the peoples arms and bodies are all very bright well their faces are very dark. She based her painting after Caravaggio’s painting but in this painting the women seem more powerful. This painting was done right after Artemisia was raped and deprived of her virginity.

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This might have been why she made the women seem very powerful. I believe this painting was done to relieve her and other victims of rape. 2). Pablo Picasso, the artist who painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907, had a prolific career which spanned decades. Among Picasso’s many paintings of women—friends, lovers, and contemporaries—is a work entitled Portrait of Olga in an Armchair done in 1917, between his early Analytic Cubist and Synthetic Cubist periods. Olga Koklova would become his wife and the mother of his son Paulo. Compare this work to Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (p. 2). At first it seems obvious that they are two drastically different paintings—one is very naturalistic, the other exhibits the high abstraction of his early cubist paintings. There are, however, some interesting elements to the Olga portrait that require closer scrutiny. First, the armchair she sits in is missing! You can see part of it still drawn in, but it was never finished. Secondly, what appears as shadow behind her is really not! If we think of Cubism as the disorientation of implied illusory space, does this work begin to look like a cubist painting after all?

Does it make a difference to know that Picasso painted it from a photograph? Pablo Picasso was one of the pioneers of cubism in the early 1900’s. Cubism is supposed to be an abstract painting and painters try to reject the concept that they should copy nature. As far as, Portrait of Olga in an Armchair, it is a little abstract due to the fact that it does not have the arm chair, but Picaso was know for being very abstract when it comes to paintings and peoples faces in general.

For that fact the traditional abstract painting of Picasso is not their. The fact that he did it from a photograph does not make a humungous difference but the fact that in the photo their was probably a chair. In that fact then it would be abstract. Cubism usually has shapes and doesn’t look realistic at all, in other paintings by Picasso and Georges Braque, they look completely different to this painting but yet this is abstract with the distortion of colors and missing chair.

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