OU A103 TMA 02

Essay by BootieBlokeUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, March 2008

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PART 1.In no more than 300 words, write a descriptive analysis of this painting. Pay particular attention to features such as composition of the pictorial space, to the organization of form and detail, and to the use of lighting and tone, and say how you think these contribute to the effect of the work.

Kersting’s painting ‘Man Reading’ shows a learned man in his study reading by candlelight; the medium used is oil on canvas. The composition of this small painting allows finer detail and uses light, tonal range and color to denote the subject and immediate surroundings within the pictorial space.

The use of primary colors draws you to the subjects jacket, blue in this context symbolizes confidence and intelligence. The subject is framed by two red boxes; balancing him in the horizontal plane. In contrast the use of cooler, pale colors create an atmosphere of night; emphasized by the candles which could imply the passage of time.

As an observer we are invited to explore the illusionistic space, perspective is linear with the vanishing point at the candles above the subjects head. The viewpoint is higher than the subject giving the impression that we have entered the room.

The only source of light is provided by candles, although obscured by an opaque shade, this focused light presents detailed information of the desk and subject. This broad tonal range, the darkest being behind the chair; creates a feeling of claustrophobia, you feel cramped within the confines of this high and narrow room, and the artist’s use of the portrait format exaggerates this further. The furniture furthermost from the light is cast in shadow, we can identify objects. However, this partial vision could be viewed as inconsequential; therefore the objects that appear on this desk are the most significant...