The, The Artist Of The Piece, By William Powel Frith

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Upon visiting the RISD Museum my preconception was that it would be just a couple of rooms filled with numerous paintings that would seem mundane and somehow all blend together. However, my thought process couldn’t have been more wrong. I found myself engulfed by the mix of styles and mediums throughout the museum. Stumbling into the European styled room I found myself in front of The Salon D’or, Homburg. This composition embodied elegant motion through the use of commotion in a horizontal format. William Powel Frith, the artist of the piece, clearly shows a distinctive perspective into the elite lifestyle during the 1870’s. This piece immediately draws your eye as soon as you enter the room. Although the piece is featured on a wall with…show more content…
Among this commotion there is a women just right of center in the foreground, she particularly grabbed my attention because at first you don’t even really see her because there is so much going on, yet she is dead center and still overlooked. Her expression is blank and the women to her right is collecting money off the table, so one can assume that she was playing against this women and lost and is now is a state of shock and seems unmoving, yet still a part of the chaos in this scene. Once past the engulfing foreground the piece allows the viewers eye to travel to the back of the room. Hiding in the background of the piece towards the very left seems to be a ‘back room’, perhaps where the higher stakes games took place in this casino. There is detailed design on the back wall and draping curtains, which alludes to the viewer that wherever this room is that it’s a place of stature and even great affluence. The background colors are all very neutral and gradient, flowing from one neutral shade into the next with the detail on top of the neutrals. This shading effect is result of the use of chiaroscuro technique when applying paint. By using this technique, the use of black paint allows for soft transitions of color that allows for the figures in the foreground to take over the narrative. The colors and clothes of the people are key in interpreting what Frith was trying to tell the viewer. All of the clothes are extremely

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