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VPA114 Analyzing a Painting
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VPA114 Analyzing a Painting

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  • 1. “Analyzing a Painting”VPA 114 Modern Art in the City
    Robert Henri: The Masquerade Dress,
    oil on canvas, 76 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.,
    1911 (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art); photo © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • 2. Characteristics to Analyze
    Form & Composition
    Material & Technique
    Line
    Color
    Texture
    Space
    Mass & Volume
    Perspective & Foreshortening
    Proportion & Scale
  • 3. Form & Composition
    Vertical, Full-view portrait
    Subject is mostly centered in the painting with one arm off to the side
    The bottom half of the subject is turned just slightly askew and one toe of her shoe peeks out from below her dress.
  • 4. Material & Technique
    Oil on Canvas
    Painterly style
    Realistic yet the viewer can still see the brush strokes
  • 5. Line
    The painting has many vertical lines
    The lines on the dress reinforce the height of the subject and seem to lengthen her
    The lines of the gold bands around the dress match the gold bands in her hair.
  • 6. Color
    The colors of the subject are generally rather pale and gold and make the reddish hair and reddish-pink lips really stand out.
    The washed out palette of the subject is in stark contrast to the dark background devoid of any objects.
  • 7. Texture
    The textures of this painting stem from the painterly style of the artist as well as the patterned fabric of the subject. The gold bands of the dress and in the hair have highlights that bring to mind a metallic texture.
  • 8. Space
    This painting has a strong vertical alignment.
    The subject is in a space devoid of any objects – a bare artist’s studio, perhaps.
  • 9. Mass & Volume
    The subject is a linear mass – very long and lean
    The train at the bottom of the dress accentuates what volume and space the character might take up.
  • 10. Perspective & Foreshortening
    The point of view of the artist seems to be from a slightly elevated position due to the angle we see the skirt at the bottom of the dress and the moment where the floor and the wall meet.
    Even so, the viewer feels that they are meeting the eyes of the subject at eye level.
  • 11. Proportion & Scale
    This painting is nearly life-size and would feel like a painting of grand scale
    The subject fills a great deal of the canvas and thus is monumental. There is no doubt that she is the subject and featuring her figure and her portrait is the point of the entire painting.
  • 12. Characteristics to Analyze
    Form & Composition
    Material & Technique
    Line
    Color
    Texture
    Space
    Mass & Volume
    Perspective & Foreshortening
    Proportion & Scale
    Good Luck with your own Analysis!