Oil Paintings

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One of the images that I’m most fond of is the “Madonna and Child with the Chancellor Rolin” by Jan and Eck. This piece is one my favorites because it uses oil. When using oil the images of the paintings seem to realistically speak to me. This particular painting enables both fusion of tones and crisp effects and is unsurpassed for textural variation. The standard consistency of oil paint is a smooth, buttery paste. In this scene it depicts the Virgin crowned by a hovering Angel while she presents the Infant Jesus to Rolin. This painting has a wide range of well detailed palaces, churches, an island, a towered bridge, hills and fields is portrayed, subject to a uniform light. Perhaps some of the Chancellor's very many landholdings around Autun are included in the vista. The small garden with many flowers identifiable including lilies, irises, peonies and roses, visible just outside the columns, symbolizes Mary's virtues and life. There appears to be a series of illustrations of the seven deadly sins distributed among the details of the painting. I think the artist chose to paint this piece to portray a picture of time. The painting might be connected with the appointment in 1436 of Rolin's son Jean as Bishop of Autun. I choose this painting because it spoke to me in a spiritual form of art where as I could relate and visualize the moment as it happened.

One of the paintings that I dislike is the “Head of Michael Podro” by Frank Auerbach. In retrospect I see it as very abstract and vague. This painting is not as clear and precise in the use of line contour. Although it does use oil as the medium it doesn’t use oil painting to its full capacity. I feel it leaves more to imagination instead of leading you to what the artists is trying to portray, which is a portrait of an art historian and philosopher. Frank Auerbach might have chosen to paint this painting because of his admiration and friendship with Michael Podro. Although some people can see...
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