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Cast Shadows in Western paintings

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Cast Shadows in Western paintings

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Cast Shadows in Western paintings

  1. 1. an ancient legend mentioned by Pliny the Elder ,d. 79 AD.C., places its origin in Corinth a young girl, the daughter of the potter Butades of Sicyon, is said to have drawn the outline of her beloved’s shadow on a wall by the light of a candle … this legend it emphasizes the importance of shadows in visual art
  2. 2. Cast Shadows in Western paintings
  3. 3. Although the first shadows date from the 4th century BC, the cast shadow made its true appearance during the Renaissance. The result of placing a solid, opaque body between a source of light and a surface for projection, the shadow became the subject of experimentation by artists like Masaccio, Crivelli, da Messina ... The cast shadow never left the painting, becoming even at the dawn of the 20th century a subject in its own right, symbolizing the unconscious, the dark side, inaccessible to the human soul.
  4. 4. Emidius balances a model of Ascoli, Mary kneeling in a splendid Renaissance palace, about to be struck by a heavenly bolt of light, a young man gazing up at the sky have noticed the flash which carries the dove of the Holy Ghost down from heaven … objects and people cast shadows: the peacock, the fluttering carpets, the candle and vase, even Emidius himself Carlo Crivelli The Annunciation, with Saint Emidius Annonciation d'Ascoli, ou Annonciation avec Saint Emidius d'Ascoli 1486 National Gallery, London
  5. 5. Antonello da Messina’s magnificent Saint Jerome in his Study from about 1475 shows how rapidly the depiction of shadows progressed. The two birds at the foot of the trompe l’oeil framing doorway are consistent with slightly diffuse light cast from behind the left of the viewer, which also illuminates the saint at his desk. Antonello da Messina Saint Jerome in his Study Saint Jérôme dans son étude 1475 The National Gallery, London
  6. 6. the saint is walking through a street in Jerusalem ... In his shadow is a line of the sick: closest to the viewer, and only now in the saint’s shadow, a man is low down on the ground, crippled (The figure at the back of that line, wearing a red hat, has been identified as Masolino.) Masaccio St. Peter Healing the Sick with His Shadow Saint Pierre guérit les malades avec son ombre 1425 Basilica di Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence
  7. 7. the figures and objects are duplicated by their shadow on the wall and floor ... ruined church, sky gold, the unevenly lit corner of the stable ox and ass peering out from stable Balthasar is wearing a Turban, oldest one Melchior kneeling presenting gold, young king Casper (first time we’ve seen African-looking), saint Joseph is way in the back of the church ... the shadows of Madonna and child ... Konrad Witz Adoration of the Magi Adoration des Mages 1444 Musée d'art et d'histoire de Genève, Geneva
  8. 8. shadows of Mary and the Child's on the wall of the niche ... the Virgin is shown seated with the Christ Child in front of what could be the porch of a church or a Gothic chapel Rogier van der Weyden Virgin and Child Enthroned La Sainte Vierge avec l'Enfant Jésus 1430-1432 Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
  9. 9. Mary is reading a Bible, Jesus holds a white lily, symbolizing her virginity and purity, St. John the Baptist and St. Lawrence, St. Onuphrius and St. Herculanus, the patrons of Perugia, a sitting angel playing a lute Death, the obligatory passage of Christ's Passion and the inevitable destiny of humanity, is invoked in the transparent vases containing cut flowers, the one in the foreground casts a shadow ... Luca Signorelli Sant'Onofrio Altarpiece, Madonna and Child with Saints Retable de Sant'Onofrio, Madonne avec enfant et saints 1484 Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Perugia
  10. 10. a group of shadows ... the figures mounting the curving stairs cast shadows on the round wall behind them the Old Testament story of Joseph: Joseph introducing his father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt; Joseph on a chariot, hearing a petition from the victims of famine; Joseph with his sons climbing the staircase to visit the dying Jacob; and Jacob blessing Joseph’s sons Pontormo Joseph in Egypt Joseph en Egypte 1518 National Gallery, London
  11. 11. a ruler and a woodcutting knife, an auger, scissors, a divider, and a hammer and an astronomer from Munich into the service of Henry VIII, King of England, in his right hand he holds dividers, with which he is working on a ten-sided sundial and a subtlety of lighting Hans Holbein the Younger, Hans Holbein le Jeune Portrait of Nikolaus Kratzer Portrait de Nicolas Kratzer, astronome du roi d'Angleterre Henri VIII 1528 Musée du Louvre, Paris
  12. 12. a odd and unusual Annunciation scene … a small window with sealed glasses, a shelf with a small still life, a hatstand, a stool with an hourglass, a prie-dieu, Gabriel bearing a huge lily Mary opens her hands in wonder and a scared cat which is fleeing, casting a shadow on the floor Lorenzo Lotto Annunciation L'Annonciation 1528 Pinacoteca Civica, Recanati
  13. 13. the artist uses contrasts of light and shade to heighten the drama, the moment at which seeing becomes recognizing '... on the third day after the Crucifixion two of Jesus’s disciples were walking to Emmaus when they met the resurrected Christ. They failed to recognize him, but that evening at supper he .. took bread, and blessed it, and brake and gave to them’ (Luke 24: 30–31) a strong light from the left falls on Christ's face and it casts a shadow on the blank wall behind Christ, almost like a reverse halo The same light illuminates the astonishingly detailed and realistic still life laid out on the white tablecloth Caravaggio, Le Caravage Supper at Emmaus Le Souper à Emmaüs 1601 National Gallery, London
  14. 14. the shadow of death … 'Et in Arcadia ego' ... Even in Arcadia I (i.e. Death) am to be found ... even in the blissful utopia of Arcadia, death still exists discovering their own mortality … the mythical realm of Arcadia, three shepherds and a monumental, statue-like woman and a tomb with the phrase Et in Arcadia Ego inscribed in the center Nicolas Poussin Les bergers d'Arcadie, Et in Arcadia ego Et in Arcadia ego II 1638-1640 Musée du Louvre, Paris
  15. 15. story of a maiden from Corinth, who "invented" painting ... Kora of Sicyon, daughter of the potter Butades of Sicyon, smitten with love for a youth at Corinth, drew upon the wall the outline of his shadow on a wall, when he was sleeping. Her father filled in this silhouette with clay and fired it in his kiln. It became the first relief sculpture. Joseph Wright of Derby The Corinthian Maid La Jeune Corinthienne 1784 The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
  16. 16. the shadow on the wall is here a symbol of death... the posthumous portrait of the Duchess commissioned by her brother, King Louis XVI, to pay tribute to his sister, who had died 29 years earlier Adélaïde Labille-Guiard Portrait de Louise Elisabeth de France, Duchesse de Parme Portrait of Elisabeth of France, Duchess of Parma 1788 Château de Versailles, Versailles
  17. 17. a large expanse of snow, houses hidden by a row of bare trees, a frail magpie perched on a gate, very unusual pale, luminous colours the bluish shadows cast transcribe the ephemeral, the fugitive ... Claude Monet La Pie The Magpie 1868-1869 Musée d'Orsay, Paris
  18. 18. The immobility of the figures and the shadows they cast makes them forever silent and enigmatic ... Seurat also entered the fray in one of the great artistic debates of the late nineteenth century: what colour are shadows? ... and he shows cast shadows with reduced lightness and chromatic shift towards blue, resulting in a deeper, bluer green Georges Seurat Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte 1884-1886 Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  19. 19. the shadow cast on the wall announces and depicts the death of Christ on the cross ... The young Jesus Christ is seen in his father’s carpentry workshop, holding his arms up to savour the bright sunlight. His cast shadow on wall behind shows him crucified on the cross. Mary on her knees, as shown in so many paintings of the crucifixion. William Holman Hunt The Shadow of Death L'ombre de la mort 1870-73 Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester
  20. 20. three shadows cast by a brilliant light ... the ground of Golgotha with the shadows of three crucified men: Jesus and the two thieves; a crowd of people moving away from the scene, in the background is the city of Jerusalem under a cloudy sky Jean-Léon Gérôme Consummatum est, dit aussi Golgotha ou Jérusalem Consummatum Est, or Golgotha or Jerusalem 1867 Musée d’Orsay, Paris
  21. 21. an unobstructed view where silence reigns, only shadows that stretch disproportionately seem to be capable of mobility in time suspended ... not a single bird, not a single living presence in this unreal landscape: Dream or nightmare scenery? Giorgio de Chirico The Red Tower La tour rouge 1913 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
  22. 22. a shadow across a reclining nude woman ... Picasso depicts himself in black silhouette, mourning the departure of Françoise Pablo Picasso L’ombre The Shadow 1953 Musée National Picasso, Paris
  23. 23. a deeply personal work ... a graphic account of the final moments of the suicide of Bacon's lover, George Dyer … in the central panel a giant shadow, in the opaque darkness, death itself assumes the form of a giant bat, a demon, a revenging angel Francis Bacon Triptyque Mai-Juin 1973 Triptych May-June 1973 1973 Collection of Esther Grether
  24. 24. an eminently autobiographical painting ... a distorted human face in profile looking downwards, a female figure, resembling Dalí's then new muse, Gala, a nude male figure, a grasshopper, a swarm of ants, an egg commonly used as a symbol of fertility, and three figures: two of the characters, Dalí, Gala, cast a long single shadow, the other character, the poet Paul Éluard, is seen hurriedly walking into the distance on the peripheries of the canvas (Paul Éluard and his wife Gala; the couple was invited to Figueras where Gala was immediately conquered by Dali, ten years younger.) Salvador Dalí Visage du Grand Masturbateur Face of the Great Masturbator 1929 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
  25. 25. Dali’s cryptic painting is based on a picture executed by Millet ... the famous surrealist transformed the idyllic landscape into a scene of horror, filling it with macabre eroticism Salvador Dalí Les atavismes du crépuscule (Phénomène obsessif). D'après «L'angélus» de Millet Atavisms of Twilight (Compulsive Idea). After Millet's «Angelus» 1933 Kunstmuseum, Berna
  26. 26. olga_oes Cast Shadows in Western paintings Ombres portées dans la peinture occidental images and text credit www. Music The Piano Guys A Thousand Years created olga.e. thanks for watching

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