Woman and Elder Sister

Topics: Woman, Difference, Perspective Pages: 3 (903 words) Published: February 13, 2012
Formal Analysis Paper
In my formal analysis, I will attempt to bring out various points of two works of art, 'The Elder Sister', by William Bouguereau, and 'Portrait of a young Woman', by Rembrandt van Rijin. Though they are from different time periods, there are a few select similarities to make note of. The main focus, though, will be in contrasting the two works based on color and the useage of the principles of design.

In Bouguereau's 'The Elder Sister', there are many interesting points to discuss . Firstly, and most noticeably, the artist incorporates various blends of color that give the composition a soft, dull feeling and texture. The colors used are neither too bright nor too dark, but lush, emphasizing natural forest green, as well as cloudy white. The sister and baby are given an almost doll-like, powdered look through useage of white and tanned colors. There is no notable sunlight, although the composition itself is outside, it appears that everything is simply fleshed out well. The entire composition itself feels 'earthen', as the people are lightly dressed and in colors reminiscient of dirt/ground. In terms of balance and space, 'The Elder Sister' has what I note as an implied cross, with the baby and sister forming a 'plus sign'. The two compromise the focal point, and seem to bring some form of balance and symmetry. With that said, the girl herself is not proportional to the background, and actually appears to be floating above the ground. With respect to unity, I found the subject matter to be unified because the composition presents them focally alone, without any other people, and centered with the horizon. They gaze towards the viewer and dominate the picture spatially, by being on what seems to be a separate plane from the background which has a linear perspective. Much of the characteristics of the girl's facial features remind me of Leondardo DiCaprio's drawings because she has similar eyebrows, and has very perfectual body features...
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