Sunday, January 24, 2010

This painting was painted in 1764 by Charles A Phillippe Van Loo.  It is called " The magic lantern.  I is now located in the National Gallery Art, in Washington.  What is unique about this painting is that the magic lantern is refering to the camera obscura.  

First think I noticed in the painting was the eye contact.  I think i was drawn to her eyes for many reasons.  One because although it is soft light she is a little brighter then the other characters.  Also the characters are centered a even balenced in the center of the circle around the characters.  The strong contrast for light to dark really gives the characters their form.  The shadows and birghter highlights really bring out the characters.  The great forshotening of the smaller child and the right side of the object gives really good orthaganal lines to help the viewer with depth in the image.    Their are many interesting things going on with the circle around them.  I believe it was meant to be a symbol for the camera obscura.  It was very inventive of the artist to take the characters to break though the picture plane and overlap over the circle.  also with this feature it creates an open form painting.  with half the object the children are holding and the way their eyes move the viewer can't help but wonder what the other half looks, because the object and the childrens wondering eyes veer off the picture plane. 

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