John Everett Millas ‘Ophelia’

Ophelia is a painting by john Everett Millas, it was completed in 1852 it is of the type oil on canvas. Its dimensions are 76.2 cm × 111.8 cm (30.0 in × 44.0 in) located in Tate Britain, London. It shows Ophelia a character in Shakespeare’s plays Hamlet, singing before she drowns in a river in Denmark. It also shows Ophelia floating down the river into which she has cast herself, feeling rejected by Hamlet. Her hair fans out in the stream, a necklace of violets around her neck and a loose bouquet of many different flowers drifting away from her slightly raised hands. (artchive, John Millais:, 2010)

The plants on the riverbank show a typical selection of flowers and plants from an English summer hedgerow (artchive, Millais: Ophelia:, 2010). The flowers can also be interpreted to stress the patterns of growth and decay in a natural ecosystem. The painting can be interpreted to demonstrate women’s social suffrage.  The clothes serve to demonstrate social class and honor, has allowed her to temporarily stay afloat. Ophelia’s pose: her open arms and upwards gaze, also resembles traditional portrayals of saints or martyrs, but has also been interpreted as erotic. The landscape can be seen as essentially English since she was painted along the banks of the Hogs mill River in Surrey, near Tolworth, Greater London (Wikipedia, Ophelia (painting) , 2010).

‘The Ectasy of St. Theresa’

The Ecstasy of St. Theresa is a the central sculptural group in white marble set in an elevated aedicule in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. It is of marble type and 150 cm. It shows the two central sculptural figures of the swooning nun and the angel with the spear. The group is illuminated by natural light through a hidden window in the dome of the surrounding aedicule, and underscored by gilded stucco rays. Teresa is shown lying on the cloud showing that it is intended to be a divine appartrition (Wikipendia, 2010).

The statue shows the moment as the angel has pulled the arrow out from her. In her own words Saint Teresa says: “The pain was so great that I screamed aloud; but at the same time I felt such infinite sweetness that I wished the pain to last forever. It was not physical but psychic pain, although it affected the body as well to some degree. It was the sweetest caressing of the soul by God.”

St. Teresa herself is reclined on a floating cloud, her mouth parted. Both are on a floating cloud as they appear to rise toward heaven. The saint’s garments are chiseled in such a way as to appear all rippled and disheveled – an outward sign of her turbulent spirit within. The angel’s garments are done in such a way that they make him look like he is wrapped in flames. (suite101, 2010)

Caspar David Friedrich ‘Kreidefelsen auf Rugen’

Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Kreidefelsen auf Rügen (Chalk Cliffs at Rügen, c. 1818-22) is a dramatic view of deeply fissured white cliffs rearing up against the calm Baltic Sea which is framed by a peculiar triangle of figures in the forefront. On the right a young man on the branch of a tree that protrudes over the edge is looking out towards the horizon, ignoring the void beneath and the couple beside him. On the left is a woman in red dress pointing down into a yawning chasm. In the middle there is a man on his hands and knees leaning over the precipice. The eyes of the young man are fixed on a sailing boat in a distance; this was his way of transcending the quotidian quarrels of lost hats and tragic love.

Art critic Werner Hoffman describes this painting as: “So great is the strength of the infinite space, that its emptiness acquires the thickness of the corporeal”. This painting depicts a journey of the artist with his wife Carolina and his brother Christian to the island of Rugen. The representation of the human figure facing the deep and almost infinite space acquires a complex meaning but less dramatic, Friedrich has granted to the protagonists of the picture the dominion of the powerful landscape, nothing strange if we consider that the represented figures are the painter himself and his close family. He has used a very elevated point of view, and he also delimited the vision of this space using the branches of two trees in the upper part of the picture. This space becomes the unquestionable protagonist of the composition of the picture. (Fernández, 2010) 

Thomas Gainsborough ‘Mr. and Mrs. Andrew’        

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew (1750) is an oil painting on canvas and measures 69.8 by 119.4 cm by Thomas Gainsborough. It is a portrait of a 22 year old Robert Andrews and his wife shortly after they got married. The couple is shown in front of a stout oak tree – the husband standing and the wife sitting. A real, extensive landscape stretches out behind them. It shows Andrew cradling his shot gun under his arm as his dog looks up at him. He is in the middle of the huge estate in order to thank his marriage. Frances Carter is sitting on a wooden Rococo bench.  Her satin dress shows Gainsborough at his best, while it also reveals strong Rococo elements.

The influence on English portrait is seen through capturing the fabric paints; the play of light, movement and the choice of the other colors make the light blue of the informal hunting dress spring to life.  The oak tree in front of them has various connotations despite the choice of location, stability and continuity, and a sense of successive generations taking over the family business.

There is an area in her lap that is left uncovered. There are also the fertile fields with recently harvested golden sheaves of corn and grazing sheep, a stand of trees and the hills in the distance. This implies that the painting was done in late summer. The fertility on view within the field, and the young tree growing between two others can both be considered a reflection on the newly-married couple in the foreground. The clouds touch the land at the horizon (Wikipedia, Mr and Mrs Andrews, 2010).        

All these slides have distinct styles of painting, materials used, subject, and expression by the characters in the images, color, tone of the image and the light sources as discussed in the paper above but it is evident that the slides are of high quality and all have been made using ancient methods example of using marble.

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