The Birth of Venus Anaylsis

1492 words 6 pages
Ciera Callahan
Art History II
Sfakianos The piece that I chose to write about is entitled The Birth of Venus and was painted by the French artist Nicolas Poussin. This painting was sold to Catherine the Great of Russia in 1771. It was sold another time by the Hermitage Museum in 1932 when the Soviet government was desperate for western currency. It was then that it was acquired for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The painting was made in Italy in either the year 1635 or 1636. The medium that Poussin used was oils on canvas, and the size of the painting is roughly around 38 by 42 inches. This painting is considered to be included the Baroque period. (Philadelphia Museum of Art) Along side of the painting on display is a
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The background of the painting is a landscape with some rocks and a mountain in the back left. The colors that Poussin chose were mostly flesh tones because of the amount of figures in the painting. They are soft and blended nicely, and he uses Chiaroscuro to make the two-dimensional figures appear more three-dimensional. (Transmogrify) This piece conforms to the Baroque period because of Poussin's use of exaggerated motion, his exaggerated lighting, and display of intense emotions. The numerous amounts of clothes in this painting give a sense of movement to it. The bright colored clothes that are caught in the wind make the viewer imagine them blowing through the wind. The placement of the angels in the sky indicate motion as they are flying through the air above the scene. Some have arrows drawn on their bows, looking as if they are about to let go. The horses carrying the man on the shell are thrusting their heads different ways, which also gives an exaggerated motion to the painting. Also the poses of the figures give movement to the painting, most of them in action of doing something. Poussin also uses exaggerated light in the painting to give focus to one figure over the others, that figure of course being Venus. She is the most lit up figure in the painting, right in the center glowing like a celestial figure. This use of light also helps give depth to the painting. For example, the girl to the right of Venus is shrouded in shadow, placing her


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