Comparison between Paintings: Grainstack by Claude Monet and Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

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Katelin DeSieno
April 16, 2013
Art 101 B01
Compare & Contrast Essay

In this essay I will compare and contrast two paintings. The first is “Grainstack (Sunset)” painted by Claude Monet in 1891. The second being “Marilyn Monroe” painted by Andy Warhol in 1967. When Monet painted “Grainstack,” he was experimenting with perceptual color. The idea of the Impressionist movement was to objectively record nature as it was seen by the painter, focusing on the effects of color and light. He painted “Grainstack” the way he saw it; not the actual color that we know it was, but the colors that the sunset made it appear. When Warhol painted “Marilyn Monroe” he used non-representational color. Non-representational color is color that is not represented realistically. He used bright vibrant colors. Where Warhol’s “Marilyn Monroe” is painted on a silkscreen, or as it is more formally known as serigraph. Serigraph comes from the Greek word graphos “to write,” and the Latin word seri “silk.” Unlike other painting material, heavy, expensive material is needed to make a serigraph. Silkscreen inks are very thick, so that they will not run under the edge of the cutout, and must be pushed through the open areas of the fabric with the blade of a tool called a squeegee. Monet’s “Grainstack” is painted on with oil on canvas. Oil paint is just pigment mixed with oil. It can be mixed on the painting surface to create a constant scale of tones and hues, many of which, mainly the darker colors, were not possible before oil paint’s invention. As a result, the painter can create the most subtle changes in light and get the most realistic three-dimensional effects. Being able to create such a sense of reality is an asset of oil painting that makes the medium particularly suitable to the celebration of material things. Some comparisons between the two paintings are they were both painted by male artists in their prime.
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