Analysis of the Triumph of Divine Love - Peter Paul Rubens Essay

1112 Words May 6th, 2012 5 Pages
The art piece that I selected for my analysis is called The Triumph of Divine Love by Peter Paul Rubens. The artwork is an oil painting on canvas, circa 1625. This piece of art was commission by Isabella Clara Eugenia, Infanta of Spain and Portugal. The Triumph of Divine Love was one of eleven art pieces in a series portraying the Eucharist cycle, an important issue in the Catholic-Protestant strife. Its purpose was to aid in the Catholic Reformation and the artwork was to be displayed at the Convento de las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. (Ringling Museum n.d.)
The scene it portrays shows a woman holding an infant while she stands on a chariot drawn by two lions. Surrounding her in the air and around her feet are sixteen angels or
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There are also several doves at the bottom of the painting, presumably indicating purity and perhaps symbols of love as well. (Wall Text 2012) The focal point of the painting is the woman with infant. This is shown by the lighting in the painting being directly on her, the bright red that she is wearing, and the circling of the putti around her figure along with the majority of their gazes being directed at her. The bright light directly behind her and the infant could possibly be coming from the sun behind the clouds in the sky, the putti to her upper right holding the torch, or it could be symbolic in that it is the infant’s halo and representative of his divine nature. The overall piece is not overly dark but the lighting seems to be most focused on the woman, infant, her other children, and the flying putti. This is an example of tenebrism. The flying putti are shown in a ring around the woman, some holding hands. Some have feathered wings; others have either insect or fairy-like wings. They all seem to have individual faces and expressions and all express happiness. The putti are contorted in different positions as they fly in the air, and Rubens uses foreshortening with the limbs to achieve this and show movement and action in the piece, especially with the two putti directly above the woman’s head and the back of their feet showing to the viewer. He also uses chiaroscuro to give the putti volume shown by the lighting
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