An Analysis of the Portrait of Isabella de' Medici

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  • Topic: Painting, Oil painting, Oil paint
  • Pages : 2 (696 words )
  • Download(s) : 44
  • Published : December 1, 2011
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I chose to look at Portrait of Isabella de' Medici (Portrait of a Lady) for my formal analysis. It is thought to be from 1550-1565 and the artist is unknown. It is an oil painting on canvas in the NC Museum of Art. While viewing the photo there, I noticed the sharp contrast of light in the paining that is used to direct the eye to follow the lines at work, as well as the textures that play a part of the painting. The material is also important to the texture and contrast because the oil paint allowed the artist to create such detail. The artist used all of these elements to not only draw upon the natural beauty of Isabella de' Medici but to draw the attention of the viewer to the focal point of the painting and to bring attention of the details in her jewelry and clothing.

The artist used the contrast of soft tones and deep hues of color to draw attention to the focal point of the painting, being her face. Her face is soft and delicate and the viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to it and notices the soft pale tones at work. This strong contrast to the dark background of her clothing creates light in the painting. The same technique is at work to a lesser degree in her jewelry and hands. In her jewelry the tiny gold pieces actually create a source of light and when light strikes the piece it illuminates the painting making the jewelry even more magnificent looking.

The texture of the painting is very important in creating the weight of the materials in the portrait. Her gold jewelry is ornate and the artist manipulates the oils to be thin and glossy creating the perfect texture for the gems and also in the veil that she wears. On her clothing the strokes are thick and the paint is opaque to create the illusion of the heavy garments that she wears.

In choosing to use oil as a medium it allowed the artist to create such distinct textures in the painting. The thin glazes of oil on the canvas create a glossy finish but allows for depth in the paint creating the...
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