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Portrait of Madame Augustine - Essay Example

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Portrait of Madame Augustine

Other elements of the canvas, like the background, are elaborately treated with details of flowers and creepers on the wall but such details in the subject seem to be absent altogether. The shapes of other objects are not maintained (this can be inferred especially from the shape of the chair and the junction of wall and floor) and if one compares it with other technically correct paintings, like the ones of the renaissance, it can be found that this painting is technically less disciplined. Van Gogh has given equal importance to foreground, background, subject and all the elements of the canvas as opposite to other portraits in which the subject is the highlighted element of the painting and most elaborately done. Having a hint of expressionism, the painting uses color and vibrant swirling brush strokes to convey the feelings and state of mind of the artist. This also emphasizes the artist's personal response to the subject and like a work of expressionism the painting stresses the expression of the artist's personal interpretation of the subject and his reactions for the same.
It seems the physical proportions of the subject have been ...
bjective feeling takingplace within the mind of the artist and modified by his individual bias for the use of colors which can be interpret in many different ways. With the use of colors like ocher yellow on the face of the subject and the red carpet on the floor in combination with dark blue walls in the background, Van Gogh attempts to present an emotional experience in its most compelling form (this is also emphasized with the disproportionate size of the head and the eyes looking downwards).
On account the things discussed above, one assumes that Van Gogh is not really concerned with reality as it appears to be but with the inner nature and with the emotions aroused by the subject. It seems that he sought to capture emotions and subjective interpretations of that specific time when the painting was made and therefore it was not important for him to reproduce an aesthetically pleasing impression of the subject.
He has focused on capturing vivid emotional reactions through vivid colors, bold forms, and spontaneous methods of dripping and flinging powerful colors in combination with dynamic compositions. This use of paint by Van Gogh is very much different as compared to the one used by other artists. Previously his palette consisted of somber colors but later taking references from the French artists he introduced the use of bright colors like red, green and blue and thus built a wider palette that comprised of more vibrant colors. The thick application of paint, distinctive brushstrokes and the use of unnatural or arbitrary color in the portrait were more inclined to emphasize the emotions and were further imitated by other expressionist artists.
The impressionist style which was popularized by the artists like Claude Monet was directed towards transferring the ...Show more


The portrait of Madame Augustine displays prominent stokes of vibrant bright and thick paint. The manner, in which they are applied with broad strokes of brush, incorporates large zones of single colors into the composition. Looking at the portrait further demonstrates an alteration in the proportion (most probably an intentional one) of the subject's figure with head and palms seeming to be larger than in reality and the torso much reduced in size…
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Portrait of Madame Augustine essay example
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