Metropolitan Museum of Art Critical/Research Paper

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This work of art measures about 42 inches x 52 1/2 inches (“Venus and Adonis; Titian...”). The art was created using oil paint, a medium composed of pigments and varying types of vegetable oils, such as poppy, bear-seed, walnut, and linseed oils (Frank 122). The painting was done on stretched canvas, and thus it gives the painting a slight textured quality. The technique in which Titian painted this work accounts for the soft appearance of the colors. It can be observed that the paint is very well blended, leaving almost no sign of harsh brush strokes on the surface of the work. The colors have a beautiful luminescent quality, from the light fleshy colored skin of the figures to the bright blue sky in the background; it appears that despite …show more content…
The positioning of each of the figures causes the painting to feel crowded, considering each character is placed right next to one another. This technique places emphasis and focus on the story occurring between each of the figures rather than on the landscape in the background. However, Titian “subordinates” the painting by creating a bright sun that peeks through the clouds in the upper-right-hand corner of the background, giving viewers a bit of distraction from the concentrated foreground (Frank 82). The bright and brilliant colors of the painting are a result from Titian’s usage of oil paint. Because oil paint is very thin and slow drying, artists who use this medium are able to layer and blend the colors of an artwork to create more distinct and deep colors that stand out (Frank 124). The colors also appear very soft, resulting from the way in which Titian painted the artwork, probably using very light, thin brushstrokes. This technique further compliments the luminosity, or the glow and brightness of the work when it is viewed in person. A slight illusion of depth is given by Titian’s use of shadowy murky colors in the background, while he uses lighter and more luminous colors on the subjects in the foreground of the painting. While some may suggest the small sloping hill in the background also gives…