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Udney Maria Blakeley Analysis

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“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” -Oscar Wilde. Women are wild, sensitive, magnificent, mysterious, and above all: individual. Art’s many different medias allowed artist throughout the ages to capture women at both their strongest and most vulnerable points. It has the power to capture a woman: as a naïve, young girl clutching her brother as they are painted into a lasting portrait, a golden statue of an angel sent down to Earth to help a saved man take his first steps into an eternal life with God, to the powerful goddess, Artemis, transforming a hunter into a deer and having his hunting dogs tragically attack him. The six pieces of art chosen express the individuality of each women who has walked, walks, and will walk the earth. The painting Udney Maria Blakeley (1830), by Thomas Sully, was the first painting that came to mind when assigned the project: the painting has fascinated me both as a child and an adult due to the beauty of both the woman in the painting, but also from my deeper understanding of art now. Thomas Sully used the wet medium of oil on canvas, and included the woman in the foreground of the painting holding a rose in a vase in her right hand. There is a deep contrast between the women dressed in a white gown, and the darker background of the painting. Due to the highlighting along the left side of her face, and the shadowing on the right, it can be assumed that she is facing, or even looking straight at the
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