Art History Paper
Examine the effects of formal elements throughout Madame Racier and Pauline Brothers as Venus. Throughout this essay I will discuss the different use of media, color and form at different levels of comparison and effect of their formal elements. The two artworks I shall use are Madame Racier (1800) by Jacques-Louis David and Pauline Brothers as Venus (1808) a statue carved by Antonio Canoga. In Davit’s painting, Madame Racier, 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.
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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 Racier was unhappy with its outcome. She disliked the way David changed her hair color to fit the color scheme and Davit’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 Racier looked further and found another (student of Davit’s) to paint her portrait to her specific and exact needs. Compared with Madame Racier is the statue of Pauline Brothers as Venus by Canoga, 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 Racier the statue of Pauline Brothers 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 Borehole’s nature, which is perceived as self-centered, arrogant and vain all things which she was. The lounge (chaise) used in many neoclassical portraits ND both these artworks it portrays the figures lazing in luxury making them seem majestic. In this statue, Canoga has shown his excellent skill in marble craftsmanship with beautiful drapery shown over the humans form. The second aspect of these two paintings that I shall discuss is how the color affects the formal elements of Madame Racier and the Statue of Pauline Brothers.
In this painting of Madame Racier, David has used monochromatic, contrived colors to subdue the detail of the portrait, giving it a statutory effect by lighting up her facial features and highlighting her figure to show her importance. The harmonious warm ones allow the viewer to perceive the gentle curves and contours of her body. She radiates with a classical beauty and the lighting theme creates a light that makes her seem approachable as a social figure. The color scheme was created to enhance her beauty but more importantly her importance as an intellectual social position in the Bourgeoisie society.
There is not a very wide color theme in Canola’s, Pauline Brothers as Venus because the highly polished white surface leaves little variation even though it still portrays her features well. The white polished surface supports the harmonious highly polished tell to neoclassical artworks. This style is used to emphasize the sitter’s beauty and importance. Lastly, the form and position is similar when compared because they both portray a graceful realistic, allure (sexual allure, mostly in Pauline Brothers because of naked top half) and believable human form.
The pose describes the demeanor of Madame Racier as an approachable socialite where as compared to Pauline Brothers where the sexual allure is a strong factor and she is portrayed as a god like figure that’s what the significance of the name “Pauline Brothers as Venus” was given for because Venus is the goddess of tatty and allure and this is how Brothers thought she should be perceived. She was also known as a very promiscuous woman, having had many affairs throughout her marriage a roman noble.
Madame Racier although portrayed with the same posture, the meaning behind her form was much less alluring than that of Brothers; she wished to portray a strong social figure rather than an alluring one. In Madame Receiver’s portrait David used tonal modeling to show her body natural form, drapery also influenced her body shape. David wanted to use the element of form itself to show that she accepted the classical painting style by portraying her classical tatty in a subtle fashion instead of abruptly like in Pauline Brothers.
Concluding the two paintings are similar in form but the greater meanings behind them are very different. In Davit’s Madame Racier, I believe that she wished to win public appeal as a socialite in the bourgeoisie society and to portray herself as an approachable woman to make herself seem more sociable and equal rather than as a higher seen snob as she really saw herself. Compared to Madame Racier, Pauline Brothers as Venus was made purely for self-vanity rather than public appeal.