Joseph Hirsch 's Painting Analysis

988 Words4 Pages
Joseph Hirsch’s painting Daniel was painted in 1976-1977. In 1978 during the153rd Annual Exhibition of the National Academy of Design, it won the First Benjamin Altman (Figure) prize. It measures 38 inches by 45 inches with a five-inch gold wood frame surrounding it. The medium is oil on stretch canvas. Everything within the painting centers on the king 's turned head and Daniel 's pointing finger. According to the placard next to the painting, the artwork depicts a modern day version of the biblical story of Belshazzar’s Feast following the sacking of Jesualism from the Book of Daniel. The painting portrays a seated king, a dozing courtesan and Daniel. The three figures exist as the focal point of the composition. Hirsch applies a strong…show more content…
The shirt rises vertically towards the king’s head, which immediately draws the eyes upward. The lines within the composition draws the viewer into several directions. The ruffles draw the eyes upward to the Daniel’s finger as it points to the right. Daniel’s finger directs the viewer horizontally as it does the king. The table with its array of dishes is another example of a horizontal line. The king’s hands are holding a fork and knife. The fork is also pointing right where as the knife is pointing left diagonally towards the king. The courtesan, leaning against the king’s right shoulder, is another example of a diagonal line. The painting also has a vertical feel to it. This is evident in the composition of Daniel standing, the candle and the arm holding the cigar. Like every line, every color used draw attention to the object. Hirsch uses bright and subdued colors to represent the rank and status of the paintings occupants. The color of the chairs in contrast to the blue-black background gives the illusion of space. He utilizes highlights and shadows throughout which gives the viewer the impression of light cast onto the scene from outside. The light bounces off the reflective surface of the king’s head as well as the silverware and gold goblets. The shades of green and yellow give the fruit on the table a real feel to it. The smoke raising becomes transparent as it swirls upward and finally vanishes. The use of color shows the importance of every element from the

More about Joseph Hirsch 's Painting Analysis

Open Document