Formal Analysis of Artwork at Getty

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Art 311 Fall 2007 W 7:00 11/07/07 Formal Analysis The west wing of the J. Paul Getty Museum holds several wonderful 18th and 19th century paintings. Two such paintings are “The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis” by Jacques Louis David, 1818; and “Belisarius” by Francois Gerard, 1797. Both of these paintings are extremely refined oil paintings, and both are representational figurative paintings, each with two figures. In these two paintings David and Gerard were able to portray distinct moods through the use of color, shape, composition and technique. Both painting are representational idealized neo-classical paintings and so compositionally and technically they…show more content…
In David’s painting there is a clarity and crispness that is similar to a photograph, yet his figures maintain a baby like softness. Gerard’s implied texture of the clothes and environment are softer than David’s giving the painting a more realistic appearance. David and Gerard both show in these paintings that they have a very good understanding of human anatomy and form. The figures in both painting have a good sense of underlying structure and weight. In both paintings there are two figures embracing each other. This not only showcases David’s and Gerard understanding of anatomy and form but also contributes to the triangular compositions of both of these paintings. In David’s painting the two figures are juxtaposed with each other to create a triangle with their bodies with their heads as the top of the triangle. The dog’s head and the metal cylinder are used to point to the top of the triangle and the focal point, the faces. In Gerard’s painting the two figures embracing also contribute to the triangular composition. In Gerard’s painting he uses a much more acute triangle composition with a standing figure dominating the composition. The walking stick and the young boy hold this triangular composition together. The triangular composition of both of these paintings gives both of these paintings a calm and orderly

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