Art History Paper

Topics: Neoclassicism, Painting, Color theory Pages: 3 (817 words) Published: October 12, 2013
Examine the effects of formal elements throughout Madame Recamier and Pauline Borghese as Venus.

Throughout this essay I will discuss the different use of media, colour and form at different levels of comparison and effect of their formal elements. The two artworks I shall use are Madame Recamier (1800) by Jacques-Louis David and Pauline Borghese as Venus (1808) a statue carved by Antonio Canova.

In David’s painting, Madame Recamier, the painting is oil on canvas, yet the technique of using oil paint was not completed, so it does not show the usual highly polished finish that was taught in the salons. Because the painting was not finished with the highly polished surface it shows a more painterly surface therefore brushstrokes are more visible compared to his other works. This painting was never finished purely because Madame Recamier was unhappy with its outcome. She disliked the way David changed her hair colour to fit the colour scheme and David’s style. She wished to portrayed as a heroin of social society for the Bourgeoisie, but thought that David failed to carry this out. So, Madame Recamier looked further and found another (student of David’s) to paint her portrait to her specific and exact needs. Compared with Madame Recamier is the statue of Pauline Borghese as Venus by Canova, the technique used over artworks in this period in time, which emphasized highly finished, refined and polished works of art. Unlike the painting of Madame Recamier the statue of Pauline Borghese was finished. It was highly polished with wax which highlighted the marbles shiny surface and its quality. The highly polished surface portrays the style that was neoclassicism. This statue also portrays Pauline Borghese’s nature, which is perceived as self-centred, arrogant and vain all things which she was. The lounge (chaise) used in many neoclassical portraits and both these artworks it portrays the figures lazing in luxury making them seem majestic. In this statue, Canova has...
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