On South Michigan Avenue, stands the Art Institute of Chicago Museum. One of the first things that I noticed and one problem that I encountered is that The Art Institute of Chicago does not have its own parking lot. Good thing there are public garages nearby. The Art Institute has an “H” shape, if one will imagine from a bird’s-eye-view. It is a three-storey building housing work spaces, study rooms, auditoriums and enclosed galleries. But what will truly stand out are its vast collections of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, textiles, and architectural drawings. (The Art Institute of Chicago 2005).
I was simply impressed with the exhibits. I marveled at the extensive and interesting collections there. As evident on the other people’s reactions, I think they felt the same way. Different reactions and moods were elicited from each of the art pieces. The exhibit about the Icons of Divinity from South and Southeast Asia caught my interest. This focused mainly on the art of the Hindus and Buddhists. The images display complex ideas about divinity. And it is always appealing to learn about the art of other cultures. Another is the exhibit featuring the different treatments in the works of Harry Callahan, a photographer. (The Art Institute of Chicago 2005).
The ‘Portrait of Cardinal Zelada’ by Anton Raffael, for me, presents the subject as someone dignified and regal. Emphasis is given on the position of the subject, sitting upright. The eyes and the small smile forming on the subject’s lips may also signify the graciousness of the subject. The artist may be portraying the righteousness and the nobility of the cardinal. I would also probably choose Anton Raffael to do my portrait. I would like my natural traits to be showed in the portrait, with more emphasis on the good characteristics.
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‘Day of the Gods’ by Paul Gauguin and ‘Charity’ by Francesco de Mura both depict female nudes. Gauguin’s work has more eroticism in it than that of de Mura’s. That is because ‘Day of the Gods’ puts more emphasis on the physical beauty of the female, a Tahitian female in particular, than the other work. De Mura’s ‘Charity’, on the other hand, seems to dwell on motherhood and motherly love, thus, less erotic. I think the impact of eroticism is that it makes the visuals more attractive. Most people admire the physical beauty of the woman. Depicting and emphasizing that in the painting will draw more people into looking and appreciating the work of art.
And lastly is the seascape, ‘The Beach at Sainte-Adresse’ by Claude Monet. The painting seems to express melancholy. Elements that point to such are the muted colors, the couple seated on the beach watching a regatta sail away, the coarse texture of the sand and the density and grayness of the sky. (The Art Institute of Chicago 2005)
Even if only one of these parts is to be deleted, the message of the painting is not as full anymore. For instance, if the colors of the sky are changed into brighter hues, the painting won’t be so gloomy anymore. Or if the silhouettes of the sailboats are rubbed out of the painting, it won’t seem as though many people are sailing away. This just proves that all the elements in a painting contribute to the desired effect that an artist wants to show.
2005. The Art Institute of Chicago. http://www.artic.edu (accessed August 1,2006).
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