Archive for February, 2010

A Seaport at Sunrise (Oil Canvas 1674) Claude Lorrain (1600-1682)

After studying the Northern Renaissance period, it is apparent this period was transitioning from religious, biblical art to the beginning stages of still life creations of nature and portraits. In the Baroque era, artists ventured from the norm and focused on nature and peasant activities with details within the painting. Claude Lorrain was a significant artists who created visual arts of nature and the worker’s daily life.

Claude Lorrain’s work depicts more realistic scenery views with attention to detail of using light creating a time of day effect. Claude’s work stood out to me because you can see or imagine the weather, if it was mid day or early morning creating a realism as if you are there observing and enjoying your surroundings. After reading he studied nature from sunrise to sunset, it is evident he paid close attention to the details of the sun rising and setting. It seems to me that one of Claude’s goals was to ensure the sun and its effects were a major factor in his paintings.
I really enjoy A Seaport at Sunrise out of his many accomplishments. I feel he was able to capture the early morning feeling and sunrise just as it is coming up over the sea. Many of us have been up at the crack of dawn one time or other and experienced the tranquil, quietness slowly disrupted by the beginnings of daily activity. Looking at this painting, I feel and see this early morning experience-taking place.

Reference: Art Renewal Center – http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artist.php?artistid=820


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Pieter Brueghel was born in 1525 in the Netherlands. He was a Flemish artist whose visual art creations were unique and set him apart from other Flemish artists in his time. Bruegel’s paintings were simple yet told a story. The subjects of his many works are what differentiated him from many Northern Renaissance artists of the 16th century. He typically created still life paintings of either nature or peasant life.
Brueghel’s work was away from the Italian Renaissance in that it did not depict the religious stories, or did not attempt to connect you spiritually to God. Brueghel’s work seem a bit on the comical side to me. He spent more time depicting everyday life and upon closer examination sides of human nature that were not appropriate to discuss. I like how The Wedding Dance initially fools into thinking you are looking a people dancing, but in addition to dancing, you see discreetly placed couples kissing or becoming a bit more intimate. During this period, society was highly religious and a major focus was the Protestant Reformation versus the Catholic Church, this creation would seem scandalous.
I also like how Brueghel’s work put the imagination at work. You do not just admire his paintings you imagine what it was like being there. In The Wedding Dance, it is very evident the peasants are having a good time and you can imagine the music, dancing, laughter, and shouting of people enjoying themselves. I like his style of painting using simpler character drawings. This seemed to create his a more animated yet realistic feeling. I feel this is what left more to the imagination and storytelling when admiring his work.

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