Drowning Girl, Lovers Comparision

Topics: René Magritte, Pop art, Roy Lichtenstein Pages: 7 (2119 words) Published: September 13, 2013
Oliver Sharpe
Year 9 visual Art


The Lovers (Les Amants) by Rene Magritte

I don’t care
By Roy

Themes of Love and Loneliness feature in some of the most famous pieces of art in the world, such as The Kiss (Gustav Klimt) and The Subway (George Tooker). Artists use certain methods to evoke certain emotions. Roy Lichtenstein and René Magritte are world-renowned artists both known for different art styles and different views on art itself. Roy Lichtenstein is a Pop artist and painted Drowning Girl whilst René Magritte, generally a surrealist, painted The Lovers. Both paintings focus on using the elements and principles of design to portray the themes of Love and Loneliness. By analyzing these two artists and their artworks this report will evaluate how successful the artworks and artists are at conveying the themes of love and loneliness.

Run for Love, Tony Abruzzo,
DC Comics (1962)
Run for Love, Tony Abruzzo,
DC Comics (1962)
Drowning Girl was painted by American Pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein, in 1963. This work depicts the face, hand and shoulder of a woman drowning in a swirl of water. Above the electric-blue hair of the crying woman there is a thought bubble captioned “I don’t care! I’d rather sink than call Brad for help!” This work has been cropped out of a comic entitled ‘Run for Love’ and then hand-painted and slightly adjusted by Lichtenstein using oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas. "I'm never drawing the object itself; I'm only drawing a depiction of the object - a kind of crystallized symbol of it." - Roy Lichtenstein. This work reflects the theme of loneliness as it features a woman describing how she would rather give in to her own death than call Brad (whom we first presume to be her partner) for help.

The Lovers (commonly known as Les Amants) was painted by surrealist artist René Magritte. The Lovers features a man and a woman (whom we assume to be ‘lovers’) standing together, cheek to cheek, almost as if they were posing for a holiday snapshot. The couple each have a white cloth wrapped around their faces that curl behind their shoulders. In the background you can see greenery, trees in the distance and a hill that slopes down towards the middle of the canvas. Magritte has used oil paint on canvas to produce The Lovers. At first glance, this painting has a very eerie, mysterious feeling.

René Magritte’s mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre. According to popular belief, the young Magritte, age 14, witnessed his mother’s body as it was retrieved from the river with her wet night dress clinging to her face. Many believe that this childhood event influenced many of Magritte’s paintings in which the faces of people have been obscured, including The Lovers. Magritte denied these accusations, however it is almost suspiciously ironic how an image of a childhood event has nothing to do with a painting extremely similar to that image.

Whilst Roy Lichtenstein uses colours and dominance to show strong emotions of isolation, René Magritte uses tone and texture to create a more realistic and mysterious image. In Drowning Girl Roy Lichtenstein uses bold and subdued colours to create a certain vibe. The reason as to why the woman’s hair is coloured such a bright electric blue is to represent that the woman is an individual who holds very strong thoughts and emotions. The muted blue of the swirling waves surrounding and trapping her represents the depressing and lonely state she is in with this ‘Brad’ personality, as blue is a colour often associated with sadness and depression. The woman is trapped in a sea of sadness. In both the waves and the woman’s hair, Lichtenstein has painted strong black strokes to represent the...

Bibliography: Barsalou, D. 2000, Drowning Girl Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein [online], Available from: URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deconstructing-roy-lichtenstein/45878755/in/photostream/ (accessed 25 Aug.2013).

Les Amants [online], Available from: URL: http://www.artsmypassion.com/Les-Amants-p/b2307.htm (accessed 26 Aug.2013).

Magritte Gallery, Les Amants (The Lovers) [online], Available from: URL: http://www.magritte-gallery.com/index.php/les-amants-the-lovers-lithograph-rene-magritte.html (accessed 23 Aug.2013).

MoMA, 2011, Drowning Girl [online], Available from: URL: http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=80249 (accessed 25 Aug.2013).

NGA, René Magritte, Les Amants (The Lovers) [online], Available from: URL: http://nga.gov.au/International/Catalogue/Detail.cfm?IRN=148052 (accessed 23 Aug.2013).

The Lovers, 1928 by Rene Magritte [online], Available from: URL: http://www.rene-magritte.org/the-lovers.jsp (accessed 21 Aug.2013).
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