“Holy Family with Saint John”
By: Giovanni Battista Vanni
In the painting “Holy Family with Saint John” Giovanni Battista Vanni uses many different elements and principals of art. His technique is unique, and his choice of medium sets this painting off. His painting has Unity, and is balanced for the most part. The painting was created around 1630-1660, and he understood art very well. Giovanni’s color contrast is good, along with his use of lines. Vanni uses canvas as his surface to paint on. He used both warm and cool colors in this painting. There is a lot of shading and dark areas, except for the light that is shining on Saint John. Saint John and Jesus area the main focal area of the painting as the bright light focuses on them. He uses a lot of diagonal lines in this painting, along with very fine brush strokes. The lines allow you to see small details in the painting, in which you can appreciate the artists painting. Giovanni uses four of the five elements of art very well in this painting. His use of line is very definitive. He uses them on color edges, and really brings out the figures faces. His line and form are indistinguishable because it is a two dimensional image. The overall color is intense because majority of the painting is dark. The texture looks to be very smooth with a glossy finish and is not illusory. This painting is asymmetrical and he fills the foreground of the picture creating unity. In the top left corner of the painting, there are hills and a castle. They are hazy and he used atmospheric perspective. The message is filled with happiness, showing Christ and St. John play together. Mary and Joseph are gazing with fulfillment. Mary’s pose seems to be emotional as she holds Jesus’s arm and could have her right hand over her heart symbolizing her fulfillment. There is also a white cloth underneath Saint John, which could represent his innocence. All and all, this painting brings out a heartfelt emotion if you really look at it....
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