Art:Dora Maar Au Chat Analysis

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These notions of portraiture have changed over time in many ways. Vincent Van Gogh’s 1887 Self Portrait, on the left, was painted using oil on cardboard, with visible dotted or dashed brush marks (his loved technique known as pointillism, where many small dots are applied to the canvas that blend into different hues when seen from a distance). Pablo Picasso’s Painting of Dora Maar presents his mistress posed in a large wooden chair with a small black cat. The faceted planes of her body and richly layered surface of brushstrokes impart a monumental and sculptural quality to his 1941 portrait. The brilliance of colour and the complex and dense patterning of the model’s dress creates a dramatic sense that Dora Maar is ruling this space; the simple, shallow interior space, the inclined plane of wooden floorboards, and the angles of the chair, that Picasso has arranged in a cubist manner. Australian painter, Albert Tucker’s Self Portrait, also shows how the notion of portraiture has changed over time. Wanting to draw attention to moral wrongs in society, the artist stares up at the viewer with a strange diagonal direction and unusual viewpoint that dramatizes his uncertain expression. This intention to draw social criticism by depicting himself as a man observing an immoral society has been influenced by what was happening in his society at that time, where Australian troops were fully involved in the actions of WWII, and the emergence of Surrealism. His technique of using strong blocks of tone, such as black to express the outline, white to emphasize the sharp features of the face, and patches of bright orange to give vitality to the portrait, differs greatly to that of Van Gogh’s work, where his tones of unmixed bright colours complemented each other to indicate his association with the modern movement of Post-Impressionism at that time.

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