Number and Title Date “The Deposition” by Jean-Baptiste Regnault “The Deposition” painted by Jean-Baptiste Regnault in 1789 is a work in oil on panel. Painted during the neoclassical period it is heavily influenced by the dominating thought of the time…
This influenced his painting of “The Deposition” in ways that Neoclassicists attempted to recreate the Renaissance ideals. While in Rome he would have encountered the great works of the masters of the Renaissance. The paintings and sculptures of Michaelangelo, and the paintings of DaVinci and Raphael imbued him with a sense of the religious subject as a theme in art and the fine examples of the human form may have influenced his style of portraying the figure. In Italy during the Renaissance in the later part of the fifteenth century the artists of the time were intrigued with the visual effects they could achieve with perspective. In “The Deposition” Regnault uses an unusual angle in which to position the central figure. The perspective would have been very difficult to accomplish but adds interest to the composition overall. In the sixteenth century the Renaissance painters developed a fascination with the primacy of color and used it as a guiding principle. (Bayer 1) Regnault imparts a rich texture and feel with his use of a classical palette adding drama as he employs a dark color scheme with dramatic lighting. His use of the three primaries, one figure clothed in each, adds a feeling of luminosity to the otherwise somber palette. Here we see the use of color as a guiding principle. ...
We also see the Blessed Virgin Mary clothed in blue as she is so often depicted. All of these symbols would have been common to the people of Paris and throughout Europe when the painting was created. The story of the suffering of Christ was widely known among the educated, the same group that would have studied the classics and attained to higher levels of understanding in the arts and sciences. The Enlightenment shed new light on many areas, one of them being classical thought. Religion and theology were often studied even by children of a young age. The painting would have had special meaning due to the subject and as an artistic and intellectual achievement it would have been praised and widely celebrated. “The Deposition” painted during the Neoclassical period late in the 18th century is very representative of painting at that time. It is similar in style and subject matter to work created then. The paintings of Gericault, David and Delacroix are all heroic in nature and epic in meaning. The story of Christ’s crucifixion is no less important. All of them painted in a realistic style with the restraint of the Classical ideas, following the voluptuousness and extravagance of the Baroque and Rococo periods; embody the somberness of the stories portrayed on the canvas. They believed that art should be cerebral, not sensual (Gontar 1). The Enlightenment brought about a passion for all things in the ancient past. The story of Christ would have been part of these teachings. “The style of painting was defined by an emphasis on formal composition, historic subject matter the spirit of the classical revival. French painter Jacques-Louis Davis (1748–1825) was a student of Vien. In 1774 he won the Prix de Rome enabling him to study at the French ...
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