24 August 2006

Madame X

Always stunning. Here, Sargent the virtuoso matches Whistler the impressionist in abstraction. A narrow range of colors throughout just punches you in the jaw. Look at the layers of scumbling in the background with the lightest in a diagonal from the upper left to the lower right. The weight of the bright contrast in the lower left corner and her heavy right arm resting against the table is offset, simply, by her gaze to the right. And that big nose. Abstract design principals can be balanced by representation aware of its placement in a composition. The chiaroscuro and the gold tones also suggest Rembrandt who, like Sargent, was a master of the concise and precise brush stroke.

madame x
[ posted by sstrader on 24 August 2006 at 11:44:04 PM in Art ]