Art Comparisons Essay

1093 Words5 Pages
Art Comparisons Society today, especially those in the art world, are often wonderstruck by looking at two different pieces of art from the same time period. Most people want to understand why the artist decided to paint a particular picture. The two pieces of art that are to be discussed are “Maternal Caress” by Mary Cassatt and “The Banjo Lesson” by Henery Ossawa Tanner. Both of these artists work came about in the nineteenth century. In the art world people compare the works of art by comparing the style, subject matter, shape, space, color schemes, movement and even the balance. The most important part to them however is what message the work of art portrays. In Mary Cassatt’s piece, “Maternal Caress”, the style of the piece is realism. She shows a mother caressing a child. This style is partially easy to point out because of the humans structured in the piece. While in Henery Tanners’ piece, “The Banjo Lesson”, it also shows the style of realism. He shows it, by painting a man holding what looks to be his grandson, and teaching him how to play the banjo. Subject matter is all about what the artist is trying to say through the picture. In Cassatt's picture, the subject matter is a portrait. This is because she focuses on the facial features of the mother and the child. She also tries to show the observer their personality. While in Tanners’ piece the subject matter is narrative. Narrative subject matter is when the artist tries to tell a story about their piece. In “The Banjo Lesson”, Tanner shows a man teaching a young boy how to play the banjo. This could be the story of him as a boy learning to play the banjo alongside his father. Many art pieces have different characteristics; however they also can have many similarities. In these two art pieces they share what shape they are. They both use organic shapes. This means that the man and little boy in Tanners’
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