Essay about Art Appreciation - Anger of Achilles Painting

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On my mission to find a painting that either caught my eye or would stop me dead in my tracks, I discovered “The Anger of Achilles.” This oil painting seemed to call me hither to take a closer look. As I walked closer, the painting became more clear and vivid. It was as if Jacques-Louis David was oil painting in high definition. This is a stunningly clear oil painting. So clear, it resembles a modern day photograph. The expression on the faces of each character in this painting drew me in even more. I wanted to know more: Why? Who? What was about to happen? At first glance, it seemed as though the woman in the background, Clytemnestra the mother, is being disturbed. King Agamemnon, the man portrayed in the foreground, appears to be…show more content…
The light centers on Iphigenia, the daughter, as the main subject in the painting. Your eyes move immediately to her mother Clytemnestra, then to Achilles, and lastly to the father; in a counterclockwise motion. All of the characters are sized to resemble a photograph or life-like proportion. There appears to be a lot of motion in the portrait. David shows maximum movement, by the use of lines in curved and diagonal strokes. The colors are used to determine the direction your eyes move across the picture. Iphigenia’s pale white shirt is used as the central focal point. Clytemnestra also has on white, but it is a less vibrant hue. The bare back of Achilles in a nude tone, grasps the light in the foreground. Lastly, the red robe worn by Agamemnon catches your eye as an authority figure. The warm colors of red, yellow or gold are in abundance, with a touch of cool blue on Achilles robe. This is definitely a representation painting. The spacing of each character makes them look three-dimensional instead of flat or two-dimensional. A vanishing point is the prospective use in this painting. The purpose of the oil painting is to show social status or royal protocol. Achilles is painted as a mighty solider; a man of strength about to strike. His purpose is to avenge Iphigenia’s honor. The authority shown on King Agamemnon, father of Iphigenia, is emphasized by the diagonal

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