Works such as ‘Plan’ by Jenny Seville and ‘La Primeval’ by Sandra Bottling, despite being from distinctly different time periods, are influenced by the social climate of the time and place in which they emerged. Whist Bottling inhabits a world influenced strongly by Pagan beliefs, Seville inhabits a secular world that is influenced mainly by media, hence their subject matter, the nude figure, are portrayed differently. Plan’, a n OLL painting on canvas by Jenny Seville, Is a work dominated by the nude female figure who looks down toward her feet, and the viewer. The figure, who Is clearly the subject matter, is positioned so that it appears the viewer rests upon her quads. The figure Is depicted in ‘hues of mottled creams’, her skin, as well as mauves and purples, alluding to lumpy textures, perhaps cellulite or bruises, but undeniably; flaws.
The paint appears to be applied relatively quickly, in a wet on wet application, evident In the colors being somewhat convoluted, but not completely blended Into en smooth and consistent color, rather blotchy mixes. The subject matter, the nude figure Is well built, and her stomach and thighs are covered In line reminiscent of a topographical map, or perhaps lines that a surgeon would use in surgery. Line is a dominant element in this work. Controlled and organic lines track and highlight the voluptuous forms of the curvaceous figure, much like a topographical map would display peaks, spurs and valleys.
The proportion of the female nude’s body is exaggerated by the perspective taken by Seville, making her appear very large, her thighs and stomach especially focused on. The composition Is also confronting with the pubic region, which Is often considered unsightly In today’s society Is nearly central to the picture plane, unavoidable by the viewers eye. The figure also takes up the majority of the work, dominating roughly two thirds of the work. This visual weight, the figure dominating the work, is reminiscent of the physical weight of the figure.
The figure dominating the work almost forces the viewer to examine an image that might be considered as grotesque and flaw, confronting the viewer. Seville paints In a traditional and realistic style, depicting the subject matter, the female due, with a degree of realism. Seville inhabits a modern, secular world, so unlike figure painters before her, her paintings are not influenced by religious values. Rather, Seville is influenced by social media; the bombardment of images and ideas surrounding the perfect female figure, that plagues many women of today.
Seville works with the idea that women are funneled into a mindset that they have to look a particular way; slim. Hence, her works optimize ‘heavily flagged feminist Ideology, as she exposed and De-constructs perceived beauty. Her work plan Is considered grotesque’ by many viewers, and this is the re-action that she desires. Her works provoke questions such as why do you consider this work as grotesque? As Seville works with what are dubbed to be flaws’, and paints to antipode to what is perceived to be the ideal figure.
Alike to Propped’, ‘Plan’ has a element of graffiti, with the figure appearing to have been scribbled onto with lines reminiscent of ‘geographical rather ‘(cut) into the paint’, hence evoking the idea of surgery. Thus, these lines serve to represent what we classify as imperfections, things we wish to remove in order to attain idealistic beauty. Seville is skeptical of the way that beauty is portrayed, especially critical of the male fantasy of what the female body is’, as plan is the exact opposite of this fantasy. Plan’ has emphasized aspects of the female figure that would be considered flaws’; the pubic hair region and a voluptuous figure, and highlights our aggressive and negative attitude toward these by drawing over them. With ‘Plan’ Seville collapses the three spaces of studio, artist and model, rather than a ‘one way transaction’ where artist will pay a figure to do a sitting. Seville works redundantly from her own body, using several angled mirrors so that she can refer to herself and the painting whilst she works, as ‘self examination’ (Seville).
Seville refers to that way in which she paints as ‘really fast’ and ‘kind of aggressively, using thick, and chisel brushes to create large areas of skin. This is evident in the texture of the skin being quite dappled, with a lumpy, even bruised appearance, rather than a smooth and consistent texture. The Wet on wet’ application of oil paint is particularly evident in the figures analogous skin tones being dragged through one and other, reading a varied colored surface, rather than a smooth and consistent one.
Contrastingly Photocell’s tempura on board work, ‘La Primeval’ (or Allegory of Spring), painted in in 1482 involved much meretricious techniques. Firstly, Photocell would have sketched the figures onto the boar, before beginning the painting. Due to the paint pigments limited availability in the 1 5th century, having to be shipped from places such as Northern Africa, they are very expensive. Hence, Photocell, as not to waste paint would have only mixed small amounts at a time, thus painted small sections of the painting at a time.
Renaissance style. ** The work consists of 9 figures including two zephyrs, with Venus being the central figure, against the forest setting. The figure’s, in comparison to the lumpy dappled texture of Saukville nude in ‘Plan’, is very smooth, blended until very consistent, of a porcelain white color. The idealistic portray of the figures is typical in the Renaissance period, as the figures would have been associated with Pagan beliefs, hence had to be desirable. The composition of the work makes Venus very much the central figure in the work.
All other figures are touching one another, or are cropped, arterially obscured by the border, whereas Venus stands clearly alone, separate, borders by dark methyl leaves which contrast against her pale, white-pearl colored skin. Additionally, Venus is situated centrally, with respect to hospital and vertical axis’s, whereas the other figures are situated predominantly in the lower 2 thirds of the work. Hence, dominance and emphasis is given to Venus, above the others, as if a revered figure, reigning over the land.
The work was created as a commission for the Medici family, likely created as a celebration for the wedding between Lorenz Medici ND Semiarid Piano which took place in May 1482. Created in Renaissance Italy, in the 1 5th century, “La Primeval” is clearly influenced by Pagan beliefs, which influenced society heavily in that time, evident in the characters and themes in the work. Thus, the central theme of the work is one of love and marriage and a message that when they occur in the ‘correct’ order they bring forth sensuality and fertility.
Situated leftmost in the work is Mercury (or Hermes in Greek Mythology), messenger beauty and love. Their long flowing coverings area characteristic of Photocell’s painting style. The viewer sees an older version of Venus in “La Primeval”, as opposed to the young Venus depicted in Botulism’s “Birth of Venus”, who is now depicted fully clothed and matured. To Venue’s right is Flora, God of Flowers, and to her right Chloride who is raped by Zephyrs, the figure to her right, who rapes her, and as an expression of his remorse, renames her Flora, God of Flowers.
Venus is surrounded by the Merely plant, which typically represents sexual desire, marriage and child-bearing. Oranges are used in the trees above as a symbol of wealth, much like they are used in Jan Van Cock’s ‘Arnold Portrait’. Interestingly there are no oranges about nymph, Chloride and Zephyrs, which suggests corruption and dies- approval of Zephyr’s actions. Cupid, Venue’s son, is situated directly above Venus and is derived from ancient art, and is armed with a bow and arrow, taking aim at the love struck three Graces.
The flowers in the trees are painted with the kind of meticulous detail evident in International Gothic Style. Of the 190 different flower species identified in the work, they emphasis ideas such as love, fertility, beauty and re-birth. Unlike Seville, Bottling lives in a world centered around religion, a belief system; Paganism. Hence, the work is a narrative that is based on Pagan stories, such that of nymph Chloride becoming Flora.
Additionally, this work being a commission, and the Medici would have been Pagan; this work would have had to have been relevant for them, as it would likely have been situated in their home. But today, that there are a variety of dominating religions, rather than Just one, and they do not dictate the way that we live, unlike in Italy in the 15th century. Botulism’s gender as a man means that the work is quite subjective, as he represents female figures as idealistic figures of desire. In contrast, Seville deconstructs this type of ideal; the way that women should look a particular way; skinny.
Bottling portrays women, the subject matter, as desirable, whereas Seville, in antipode depicts a voluptuous figure, that could be regarded as flawed’ or ‘grotesque’ due to her curvy body shape. Seville and Bottling paint at a vastly different pace, with Seville painting ‘aggressively, quickly applying oil to the canvas, not even waiting for it to dry, whereas Bottling paints with meticulous detail, hence it takes him a long time. Composition is a key principle in both works, although, due to the amount of detail and amount of figures, Botulism’s ‘La Primeval’ is more complex.
Seville places the figure centrally in the work, so that she is unavoidable to the viewer; confronting, and dominating, in the way that she figure takes up roughly 70 percent of the canvas. The viewer is confronted with what might be perceived as flaws’. The viewer’s eye is drawn past all these flaws; by the line of the gap between the figures meaty thighs, then the UN avoidable the pubic region being close to the centre of the work, the viewer’s eye being drawn up past other flaws’ such as the stomach and arms, to the face. Bottling utilizes composition in a different way, in that he creates emphasis on Venus.
He does this by making her the sole figure that is not cropped or obscured from view by the border or making contact with another figure, making her disparate from the rest of the figures. He also places her centrally along the horizontal and vertical thirds of the work, and having dark merely plants surround her, as they contrast against her pale skin; thus emphasizing her. Both artists utilize color by using it to depict the subject matter, a greater range of color, as to depict the figures as clothed and also to create the background in great detail.
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