Sunday, May 29, 2011


Francois Biard, Magdalena-Bay
1840, Oil on canvas

-Depicts a polar exploration in which a shipwreck left five people stranded
-Pain, suffering, cold and death are the themes of this piece
-The mast and rigging sits destroyed in the icepack
-Icy blue/gray enables the viewer to feel the coldness
-The viewer knows that only one of the five men are still alive due to the differences in pose
-Romanticizing of the jagged landscape
-The rough landscape is balanced by the sweeping lines of the aurora boreales
-The sky feels as if it is biblical
-Playing upon different textures
-The bluffs appear jagged but the paint is thinner in those areas when compared to the sky
-Dynamic shifts between light an dark
-One point perspective with the most distant horizon falling directly in the middle of the canvas
-Sweeping lines which start from the bottom left and move up and into the painting
-Dynamic compositions
-Brutality of the natural world
-Concerned with aesthetics over the meaning of the piece
-Displayed on a warm orange wall
-Simple gold frame does not distract from the piece
-The figures feel as if they are insignificant amongst this rough landscape

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