Analysis Of Gilbert Stuart's Portrait Of Matilda Stoughton De Jaudene

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This paper is going to be a close examination of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Matilda Stoughton de Jaudènes, an oil canvas dating from the year 1794. Initially, there is going to be provided a formal analysis of the work of art in question as far as the elements of Art are concerned. Thereafter, attention will be drawn to how the sitter is conveyed through the artist’s artistic choices on the painting. With reference to that, multiple aspects of the piece will be discussed as to the way in which they contribute to attributing an identity to the sitter. Lastly, the paper will elaborate upon how two formal artistic elements effectively convey one aspect of the sitter’s identity. In particular, the elements of color and light will be…show more content…
Concerning color, there is a stark contrast between the figure on the painting and the background. More specifically, the figure of the woman is predominantly delineated in white color, especially pale, ashen white, as far her apparel and facial complexion are concerned, while there are also various hues of grey, with respect to her hair and accessory feather. These white and grey shades are vividly contrasted with the prevailing red and crimson hues of the background (viz. the drape, armchair, and table). Moreover, one can detect colors of dark green (jewelry), some beige on the left (pillar), and darker or lighter shades of blue on the right side of the canvas (sky), which all in concert and in addition to the subtle purple hue forming the sun or moon exude a certain dramatic sentiment. Also, there is brown, which often easily segues into gold (viz. books and attire details respectively). The main contrast of colors between white and red would be interpreted as serving the purpose of rendering the figure of the woman, and especially her face, the focal point of the work, despite, paradoxically enough, the lush red shades at the background. Bearing that in mind, the significance of the woman’s face will be enlarged upon later, when discussing aspects of her identity. To further elaborate upon the elements of art on the painting, the lines are in their vast

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