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Hunting Dogs by Jean-Did-Gustave Courbet is the first painting I looked at and I was created in 1867. The painting is oil on canvas and the size of it is 361 / 2 x 58 inch. Courbet paints two dogs and a dead hare in the woods. The woods are becoming dark and the sun is setting.
The painting is dark and gloomy except for the quarreling dogs that the sun is directly setting on. With fine brushstrokes he sets a depressing mood because of the choice of dark colors. This picture is a very good example of its times because many paintings at that time told stories. The stories they told is what many people believed but no one dared to say in paintings or even words. This painting shows realism that Courbet is known for. The paintings that he creates are realistic and have prefect illusion of space and matter.
Courbet goes against many painters of his time because of the dangerous views that he takes but he sets a trend for others like Edouard Manet. In the landscape there is nothing except dark woods. But the dark woods are what make the picture so terrific. The landscape is magnificent you can tell that these dogs are at the edge of the woods or in a clearing because behind them you can see the sun setting. The first time I looked at this picture it looked like the sun was setting right in front of me. This is a large picture and at first glance it seems to have some light from the little sun in the picture and the lights shinning on the picture in the museum.
But, as I stared deeper into the picture it just kept getting darker and darker and that is where the mood is set. Without the landscape it would be impossible to set the mood because the lighting in this picture is the most important element. There seems to be great depth in this painting because you can see far into the forest. The way the painting shows the deepness in the forest is by placing the trees behind each other or to the side and they get smaller as they go further back this. The landscape with the all trees and bushes gives this a perfect illusion of space. This painting tells a clear story by the way the dogs and the dead hare are placed.
The dead hare is placed in the corner and the two dogs both want it. The brown and black dog are quarreling over the dead hare but the brown dog is closer to the hare. The brown dog is closer and looks like he was there first and had been hovering around this dead hare for a while. The black dog would have to go through the brown dog to get to the hare. The brown dog does not look like he wants to eat this hare because he is too far away and if he was going to eat the hare he would be a lot closer to the hare when he is defending it. Unlike any other paintings before this one it is very realistic in terms of the illusion of space and the realistic look of the dogs and the hare.
The realism differs in this picture than any others in the time before this painting looks like a picture taken from a camera. The artist positions the viewer like he slightly above the dogs or like any human man or women walking into the woods and coming across two dogs fighting. The dogs are unaware of the viewer looking at the painting they are too involved in the quarrel for the hare so they do not relate to spectator at all. The pose and gestures on the dogs faces show that they are about to fight and it shows that either dog is unwelcome to the other. The light and shadow in the landscape set the scene for the fight between the two dogs. The artist gives a convincing illusion when using light and shadow to model his figures of natural looking dogs.
I feel this painting of two dogs is more than just two hunting dogs fighting over their dinner. After analyzing every little piece of this painting I felt that the dead hare is not just an animal but I feel it symbolizes the death of Jesus. The dead hare is Jesus and the brown and white dog symbolizes Mary and the apostles who took Jesus from the cross protected him and brought him to he tomb. The black and white dog symbolizes the Romans who killed Jesus and wanted to further belittle him.
The black dog could even be the dog of the hunter who killed this hare or a follower of the Romans. The next painting is from Edouard Manet who was greatly influenced by Courbet. Manet was the first person to fully grasp Courbet's ideas. The painting in 1864 called The Dead Christ and the Angels was another painting that shocked the public just as Courbet's did. The painting is oil on canvas it is 70 5 / 8 x 59 inch.
This painting brings out a strong emotion. To me this shows strong pain that is felt by the angels. This painting is highly criticized because of the dark shadows that cast onto Jesus face and the wings of the angels are bird wings. This painting is different from any other painting than in previous times because never before where the wings of angels made like birds and black shadows put on Jesus. This painting is very realistic in Jesus dead body but angels in the picture dont make it realistic. Courbet and Manet have a different opinion of realism Courbet said he couldnt paint angels because he has never seen them before and that would not be realism but Manet can paint them in a realistic manner.
This painting shows the two angels in great grief because Jesus is lying on rocks dead in the tomb before he resurrected. The angels set the mood because they look so sad and they are in grief. All the costumes seem to be just pieces of clothe draped over everyone. This portrait is a mirror of the times where new types of pictures shock many people and this is a perfect example especially because Jesus face is black with shadows. In this painting the women are painted as very beautiful and caring of dead Christ.
The function of the color is to show the sorrow of Christ death. The room is very dark but Jesus body has very strong light on it and the dark shadows over Jesus face take the viewpoint of the picture on his body. The light makes his body look very cold and makes his skin a bright white so there is no question he is dead and has been dead for a long time. The positions of the two angels are odd.
One angel is holding Jesus but she is not looking at him she is looking at something at the floor and the other one is in the corner with her face in her hands looking away from Jesus. The landscape shows that they are in a dark place with rock so it must be the tomb where he buried after He died. He seems to be very interested in the shadows, which contribute all the success of the picture. The success of this picture is because of the shadows and it is something never done and shocking to the viewers of this picture. The illusion of space is because of the dark background used.
This painting is meant to convey that Christs death is very sad and his resurrection was a very powerful time in history. This is like many paintings before it in showing the illusion of space but this is a very dramatic picture with light and darkness unlike others. The artist places the viewer directly in front of Christ but none of the characters are aware that the viewer is there because the angels are looking at the side. The dead Christ might be aware of the viewers presence but it is hard to tell where He is looking. There poses and gestures clearly show that they are very sad and in great grief. The body looks natural and the light and shadow model him into His environment.
I like both of these paintings very much because they both deal with Christs death in completely different ways in my opinion. Both of these artists are known to shock the public. The two artists definitely shocked me because I never liked looking at paintings and usually never understand them. But know I feel that it does not matter if you understand the painting or not it matters if you can interpret to mean something to you.
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