Aau (Academy of Arts University) Art History I - M10.1-10.2, M11.1
10.1 Rembrandt has often been referred to as "The Painter of Light" for his innovative and influential approach to depicting light. Describe Rembrandt's approach to depicting light in painting. How is it influenced by Caravaggio's tenebrism and how does it differ or improve upon that technique?
Rembrandt’s depiction and use of light represented the fluidity the human eye (or view) “sees”. The human eye views images through a sifted view. In other words it picks out certain (specific elements) to focus on; bringing those images to light and casting the others into a shadow. Thus, Rembrandt utilizes diffused light rather than sharp contrasts to convey an emotion or mood (perhaps observed by the viewer). In the case of this painting,
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Color and motion creates the female as a magnetizing force. The two men frolic at her feet, literally and figuratively. This style is a departure from previous periods that focused their themes on religious and moral subjects, even past secular painting conveyed a moralistic opinion. In this painting we witness a care-free, playful lifestyle; whereby the female became the ultimate “host” in this artistic period. Again the pastel color accompanied by the sway of the dress creates a softer form than is witnessed in Renaissance and Baroque art. Rococo style artists tended to use softer pastel colors and loose brush strokes to dramatize the fantasy-like lifestyle rather than primary colors, bold brush strokes, and clear lines expressed by Baroque artists. Despite the obvious technical artistic difference, Fragonard’s work was very similar to all and any other artists. He painted what he “saw” and/or perceived.
11.2 Until recently feminist historians have tended to give female artists like Vigee-Lebrun a hard time for only painting images of women and children. Why do you think these artists chose these subjects? Why do you suppose historians have had to rethink their critique of these women?
Artists such as Vigee-Lebrun perhaps chose to primarily paint women and children because these subjects were a great muse. It was an opportunity to paint “her story”. Similar