Evaluation of Parsifal and Free Will and Miracle
La Salle Art Museum has been opened for about thirty-six years now and owns a constant exhibition of artworks from the Renaissance to the present (lasalle.edu/museum). The gallery possesses many artworks made by people from different centuries and countries. Parsifal by Pinckney Marcius Simon from the late 19th century and Free Will and Miracle by Bo Bartlett from the late 20th century are two artworks exhibited at La Salle Art Museum. These two artworks are different regarding the background of each painter, the technique used and the emotional appeal of the painting. Both paintings have a common characteristic which is hope.
Parsifal is an artwork painted in oil on canvas by Pinckney Marcius Simon. After researching, I noticed that Simon’s birthday date was uncertain. According to the card next to the painting in the museum, it states he was born in 1867. This is denied by the website, Art Magick, which states he was born in 1865 probably in New York City. The information was provided by a lady named Mary Clare Altenhofen who based her data on his death certificate and passport. He lived in Europe (Spain, Italy and France) and returned to America once in his first twenty five years. While a collegian, Simon studied painting with J.G Vibert as the youngest of his pupils. Simon exhibited four times in Salon de la Rose Croix, France in the 1890s and had some one-man shows in New York, Boston and Chicago in the mid 1890s (Art Magick). According to the card next to the painting, La Salle Art Museum purchased the artwork Parsifal with the funds provided by James Hanes and Richard M Thune, in 1995. I know enough about oil painting, after spending three years at an art school in my country, where I've painted over ten oil on canvas besides the other techniques of art I have also used. I can then say Parsifal is a really interesting artwork to study and work on. While working on this paper, I have been to the museum every single day, whenever I had some free time in-between my classes either to take some notes on what the painting inspires in me or just to stand thinking about what I could write about Parsifal. The scene takes place in a big forest. Many angels dressed in different colors are rising to the sky while one angel is standing up illuminating the whole space. There are four sad people discussing on the bottom left side of the canvas. A king in a red robe is thoughtfully sitting on his throne. He left his crown on the ground as an evidence of respect of God’s presence. Two people are thoughtfully standing beside him. Some other people are behind the king, on his right side. Four among them are focused on picking flowers from the floor and putting them in a basket hold by one of the men. A girl is sitting and thinking near them. There are four guards standing and a woman sitting beside them. The people are all on a tapestry painting with flowers and leaves spread on it. As the viewer, I appear to be standing at the back of the angel in front of the scene looking straight to the group of angels rising to the sky. The painting shows a contrast of light and dark color with the center of the canvas extremely light and colorful. As I view Parsifal, my eyes are occasionally led over to the rising angels’ direction but keep coming back to the most important part of the painting, the state of mind of the people. This movement happens largely because of the light giving out by the standing angel in that direction. To give a shiny effect to the painting, Simon spent a pearly layer on the dried colored layer. He used the technique of palette knife to add volume to its painting. Parsifal is designed for people that love realist and abstract artworks. I absolutely love Parsifal because it intrigues me. For a couple of days, I have been trying to understand the painter’s meaning and the reason for the people’s sadness in the painting. I deduced the people are sad based on a...
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