Formal Elements Part 1

Classical Landscape with Figures and Sculpture, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, 1788

Classical Landscape with Figures and Sculpture, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, 1788

Line: The lines on the horizon and on the building are horizontal giving a structured feel to the piece. However the rain cloud has diagonal lines to show the contrast between the stable buildings and horizon as compared to the distant storm. Over all this makes the picture feel steady with a hint of oncoming chaos.

The Adoration of the Shepherds, Sebastian Conca, 1720

The Adoration of the Shepherds, Sebastian Conca, 1720

Value: The brighter tones draw the viewer’s focus into the center of the piece. However the darker shades on the outside of the artwork, creates an ominous feeling. It could also be interpreted that the colors symbolize that the event happening brings color to the outside darkness. Either way, the lighting puts much emphasis on the events in the middle of the artwork.

Musical Group on a Balcony, Gerrit van Honthorst, 1622

Musical Group on a Balcony, Gerrit van Honthorst, 1622

Space: In this piece, the artist created a space in the center of the work. This plain space gives a place for the viewer’s eyes to take a “breather” from the rest of the picture which is occupied by the people. While I would say that the people are not to hard to look at, their clothing is quite bright compared to the pale sky, creating a need for some calm space.

Landscape with Lake and Boatman, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1839

Landscape with Lake and Boatman, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1839

Color: Despite the many colors of the sky, the land and trees are very dulled in color. Everything seems to blend together as they are swallowed up by darker colors. This give me the feeling of loss as the color appears to have “left” or at least is leaving the scenery.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gerard Hoet, late 17th century - early 18th century

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gerard Hoet, late 17th century – early 18th century

Size: The room which is featured is quite large compared to its inhabitants. To me this tells me that the people within are most likely important. As I see it, important people tend to have large rooms for gatherings, just look at any government building in Washington D.C. The picture would not have the same effect or feel if the room was small and cramped.

Two Watermills and an Open Sluice, Jacob van Ruisdael, 1653

Two Watermills and an Open Sluice, Jacob van Ruisdael, 1653

Textures: The artist conveys the realistic feeling of the setting in the piece by assigning different textures to their corresponding places. Everything from the stones, water, to the trees all have their own individual texture and feel. You would not want the water to appear to have the same feeling as the rocks? By adding textures the artist gave the artwork more dimension and a more realistic sense to the work.

Corner of the Garden, Alcazar, Sevilla, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, 1910

Corner of the Garden, Alcazar, Sevilla, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, 1910

Shape: Normally in a picture containing nature, the nature would be comprised of rounder shapes and more circular lines. However in this picture the artist contradicts this by giving the bushes a more geometric and square shape, similar to the shape of the buildings in the background. Of course, they did this while keeping the bushes slightly rounded to keep that natural feel but the shapes do create a blatant “man made” feeling to go along with it.

 

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