The Sower

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Art 101 Final Paper
James Gage
April 19, 2013

Title:The Sower
Artist:Vincent Van Gogh
Dare:1888
Artistic Medium and Size of work: The Sower is an oil on canvas (25-1/4 X 31-3/4 Inches)

Visual Elements
* Line:
In “The Sower” I see many actual lines. In this piece each line of which are very obviously implying the subject matter and the symbolism of man’s ability to create, which is represented by the sower. The knotty tree in the front constitutes a diagonal division of the piece itself, whereas the piece is visibly wider than it is tall. The line through the middle of the canvas easily separate’s the body of water from the sun setting in the sky. As are the round lines of the sun very prominent. The diagonal line that separates the water from the land is visible, but at first glance is all most blended too well. * Shape:

Both geometric shapes and organic shapes are found in this piece. Starting with geometric shapes the most obvious in my opinion is the circular surface of the sun. “The Sower” of course is not a three-dimensional piece of art. Two other shapes that I see in “The Sower” are that of the character who is the sower, and the knotty tree the sower works near. Both of these shapes are organic. These two objects are found in nature and although they can be measured they do not have a real or definite shape. * Mass:

In “The Sower” mass is very much implied, although I would not say that it is implied in a literal sense of physical weight, however as the weight of the sowers duties. This piece of art is not terribly large in weight or size, yet this painting could have a heavy emotional impact or meaning on the viewer.

* Space:
In “The Sower” space is created with mostly color. The painting itself is on a small surface in front of you, but the picture is of distance between land, water, and sky. Van Gogh has used bright colors to make the different areas of land obvious. This makes it easier for the viewer to imagine the length of the painted area. “The Sower” is a two dimensional piece of art. * Time and Motion:

Motion is evident in this Van Gogh piece. Although at first glance even I was not completely sure what the character was doing, but the answer to this question is in the title, “The Sower”. When you look at the piece again it is very obvious that this man is throwing or simply spreading something along the ground as he is walking. * Light:

In “the Sower” the illusion of light is easily created by using bright contrasting colors. The strong valued contrasts of implied light makes the differences in scenery easier to grasp. The bright yellow sun against a green shadowy sky, and the dark figures of the sower and the tree imply to the viewer that the sun is setting. Again reiterating Van Gogh’s approach of symbolism. * Color:

Color is this piece in all aspects. Color is the basis of the actual lines that were used or implied. In “The Sower” the color also sets the mood of the piece of art along with the time of day and atmosphere it is meant to represent. A dark end to a day, yet the sower or man, can still plant for a different tomorrow or future.

* Texture:
Texture is implied in this piece of art. Van Gogh has used many short brush strokess to imply natural lines, objects, or ridges in a natural like scenery. The same brush strokes appear to be used through-out the entire piece. In the ground, which the man is sowing, in the body of water whose path the sower appears to be following, then as well as in the sky with the sun and short strokes of white to imply clouds. Principles of Design

* Unity and Variety:
The unity in this piece by Vincent Van Gogh is outstanding. In my own opinion “The Sower” is a near perfect display of symbolism. There are so many displays of symbolism not only in Van Gogh’s work but also in fine art and its varieties of visual realisms. I have always been fascinated by Van Gogh’s work, and often have wondered...
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