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Kevin Moran

The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Army, 1792

Philippe-Jacques De Loutherbourg

Oil on canvas
50 x 40 1/2 in.

This magnificent painting by Loutherbourg is a great example of the constant depiction

of religious views in art, and just a natural beauty.In my personal experience the tradition of

expressing these views and imagination thats transposed creates a much deeper relationship with the

artist and viewer. Initially when you look at the piece, it gives you this ultimate feeling of heroism. If

you know a little bit about biblical history, Pharaoh was trying persecute the Israelites but God was

trying to save them and persecute the Egyptians. So when you really look at all the characters in the

painting you realize how great a job Loutherbourg did in associating hope and struggle in their faces

and stature. The lighting has a great contrast it almost can be deemed a chiaroscuro type painting. The

pillar of clouds go to three edges of the painting, which give this emotion of surrounding force and

glory represented in a “holy” sense. What is kind of confusing is the actual time of day its trying to

perceive because in the story there were certain events like the pillars of clouds and fire but the

painting is of just a mass source of cloud. I can only assume this is at the beginning of the event. The

use of color to decipher the ocean and the clouds is pretty brilliant in its subtlety. Especially the white

wash of the water joining in with the lower cloud area. As Moses looks over the sea, I like to think

that he has no intention of turning his head to gaze at the oncoming battle that Pharaoh’s army is ready

to deal to these people in the painting. Loutherbourg creates this impression of their really being no

struggle in the depiction but the amount of work and strokes involved in the physical piece is very

prevalent in time spent. The main attraction for me in this painting is the matter of dedication or

precise delicacy involved. There were many paintings of this event of Moses and God working

together to part the red sea and kill the Egyptians, but this one out of all the others really catches the

struggle within the Israelites and the oncoming foes that could take their lives away from them, its a

matter of getting the story across and still making the viewer really appreciate the emotion captured and the time and

effort it takes to make such a beautiful painting.


Something interesting to me

Melanie Brownfield here!! I wanted to speak briefly on Venician Paintings written about in Chapter nine.  As we know, Venice was a very rich to middle class city in the 16th century. What is interesting to me is how these paintings focused on the lyrical and sensual.  As opposed to Rome or Florence (who had a significant amount of  poor or lower class) focused on more intellectual themes like religion, humanity, and the relationship between man and nature.  The Venician painters seemed to focus more on rich colors and depicting the ‘good life’, creating a kind of laid back and easy mood. They did not get into religious paintings until later with painter Titian, who still seemed to create a sense of awe with the  ‘Assumption of the Virgin’, instead of a sense of fear like the ‘Last Judgement’ of Michelangelo. I believe the difference in mood is a direct result of the state of people in each city. I believe that because there were a small elite class that governed a very large amount of peasants or ‘poor people’ in Rome, it created a consciousness that understood suffering, good and evil, and that actually sparked questions for God that was not sparked in Venice. I also think that the clergy and kings of Rome wanted to control the lower class by reminding and convincing them of the will of God (which of course is that you (the peasant) should continue to work for and not revolt against the elite). In Venice, they had no constant reminder of  the fact that God has somehow made resources and life easier for only one group of people and not th other. This caused less philosophy for understanding of the world, and created a sort of naivety that most rich people have in regards to the real world.  Which in turn reflected in the art.

Egg Tempera Painting

The First pic is an egg tempera painting that I found, but was unable to find its artist. It was the only egg tempera painting that I found of a person of color. I am not sure if this man is Asian or African of some sort, but he is very interesting gives off a very tired and maybe ‘wore out’ kind of mood. This artist projects so much detail in the man’s face and coat. He is very old, but the detail in the man’s face tells me that he has also had a hard life. I can only assume that this man hasn’t made too much of a fortune in his life either, due to his worn and torn coat.

The second pic is called ‘Little Linda’ by artist Alex Garcia. It is a beautiful pic of a young girl of spanish decent. The picture shows pure beauty of the child and gives the audience a very warm feeling. What I like most about the painting is the detail in brush strokes. They seem as if the artist gave each stroke his personal attention in order to create a warm and inviting mood. Egg Tempera is not an easy medium to use, Garcia uses it well.

Melanie Brownfield

So first of all, I thought it was really interesting that someone else failed this class before I did too. I feel the same way too, might be the teacher making it better because I’m seriously just enjoying it more this time around. I’m just… not bored. It’s miraculous.

Anyhow. I’m going to pick quite possibly the most stereotypical egg tempera piece I can think of and that is…

The Last Supper! How original!

The Last Supper is a 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci.

So first of all, I thought it was really interesting that someone else failed this class before I did too. I feel the same way too, might be the teacher. I’m just… not bored. It’s miraculous. Anyhow. I’m going to pick quite possibly the most stereotypical egg tempera piece I can think of and that is…

I feel like it’s hard to talk about this painting, since it has been talked about to death. It’s a pretty cool painting, in terms of facial expressions. It’s just so famous and intricate, I’m kind of at a loss of words. I’ve always found it interesting about the repetition of numbers in Catholicism. For example, the fact that there are three windows in the background, and those probably represent the Trinity.

Also, a fun fact: Giovanni Maria Pala, an Italian musician, has theorized that the positions of hands and loaves of bread can be interpreted as notes on a musical staff, and if read from right to left, as was characteristic of Leonardo’s writing, form a musical composition. It can be listened to here:

Anyway, that’s all I can really say about it for now. I’m not going to be in class today, but I will do the readings and be there next week.

Love this! It is the basic portrait of a asian or black man.

Egg Tempera

So, the Artist I chose was  Sandro Botticelli. He was an Italian Painter from Florence. The art piece  below is called The Discovery of the Murder of Holofernes, completed in 1472. It is an egg tempera painting done on wood.

I like how dramatic the piece is (even the horses look sad).  I also like how the men around the body are much darker in comparison, drawing more attention to the victim. For a murder scene, it’s pretty…pretty.  (J.McCann)

The beginning of something special

Hi, I’m Melanie Brownfield and this blog is really going to be interesting for me. It is actually my second time around, as I received a D last time. Anyway, so far this class is not completely putting me to sleep; and that is grounds for excellence as far as i’m concerned. I really enjoy listening about the dark ages and understanding how the church and King used art to influence and control the masses. Not only to influence their thoughts and beliefs about God, but also to justify the class system. I wonder if the artists knew what was happening or where they just as oblivious to the power they were giving to the King and Church?

Hello world!

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