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An example of art history analysis of painting on the example of Renoir’s painting

Our Gallery of Contemporary Art continues the series of articles on the history of art.
We invite everyone to visit our Master Classes and Lectorium on the history of painting, the methodology of attribution of objects of art, graphics, sculpture, history of fine art, which are held in Moscow. We recommend signing up in advance and identifying those topics of lectures that would be of interest to you. Come, it will be interesting.
Parisian women are born with all the flaws, but the wonderful fairy gives any flaw to their charm and enchantment. This fairy is grace.
Heinrich Heine
The painting “Nude” was painted by Pierre Auguste Renoir during the transitional period of creativity, when the development of his art was approaching the zenith of fame after difficult years of misunderstanding and sharp criticism: “Rude blots, evoking thoughts about decaying flesh, were the first things about my paintings. It is not surprising that from time to time Monet and I, to distract ourselves, ate our oatmeal turkey, which was filled with chamberten, ”Renoir later recalled.
The artist embodied a completely new idea of ​​the ideal of female beauty, which was not recognized by the official Salon. Renoir did not resort to the scenery of the scene, as his predecessor E. Manet in the famous “Olympia”. The artist is not trying to elevate his model to the goddess and thereby justify it. In the words of Edmond Duranty (in the article devoted to painting), “The masters of antiquity created what they saw … You should also portray what you see.” Renoir’s heroine – Parisian beauty Anne (“belle Anne”) remains a model. The model was a girl from Montmartre, who was brought to Renoir by a young artist, Henri Gervais. On this canvas, Renoir, as its predecessors, who represented the French school, inspires nudity, there is no challenge and a hint of debauchery. Renoir as a poet of the female body depicts the flesh as something intangible and inaccessible.
Let us turn directly to the canvas – this is a picture of a medium size, the format is vertical. Portrait in the genre of “nu”. made in the interior. Around the model is a jumble of iridescent silks – light lines of draperies create contours of bizarre and abstract forms, surrounding a model’s body shining with beauty and youth, just as the shell frames a beautiful pearl. Octave Mirbeau noted that Renoir not only depicts the appearance, but through him shows the inner world of his models: “… places them in a very different space and in very different lighting, where all the female beauty, shimmering from tenderness and softness to melancholy and to suffering, it can be beautifully embodied. ”
The woman is depicted in the center of the picture on a couch with pink-green silk upholstery. The pose, which the model adopted – sideways to the viewer, is quite complex and deprives the model of her undue ease and emancipation, which can be expected from a portrait in the style of “nu”. Her graceful, despite the fullness, body is hidden in this position from curious glances – “only the back, shoulders and part of the model’s chest hit the frame”. At the same time, Anna turns her face to the viewer, turning her head gracefully. As it is impossible to say that her body corresponds to perfect proportions, so the features of her face are far from classical correctness.
Her face glows with spring freshness, marked by a pinking blush on her cheeks. Glowing light skin is shown by Renoir through the use of a sensually smoothed way of writing (smooth glaze, small strokes). On the skin of the face and neck, smears are almost indistinguishable – the soft transitions of soft cream and pinkish-peach shades create the unique charm of a healthy natural blush. Renoir himself noted: “What I love is the girl’s skin, pink, which allows you to guess the blood normally pulsing under it. And most of all I love serenity. ” The serenity and softness of the look is achieved by the shadow of the eyelashes. Bright brilliant almond-shaped blue eyes with a slightly wet luster are turned to the viewer. Bright red strokes add an additional volume to the lips – this accent attracts the viewer’s eye. Several finely written bright orange-red lines in the hair outline the contour of the hairstyle and give it volume. Thick dark brown hair is collected slightly casually and look natural. These strands, to which a man would like to touch, are one example of how, in Renoir, “man’s voluptuousness is embodied in the artist’s voluptuousness.”
The figure of a woman can be compared with a porcelain figurine, though not so fragile – “Renoir loved women inclined to corpulence”, but equally snow-white and iridescent with pink mother-of-pearl of youth and pure beauty. It is likely that the artist was influenced by his long experience in painting porcelain, in his youth he copied nude figures from a book presented to him by his mother, in which the gods of Olympus were depicted.

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