Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Gustave Caillebotte: "Interior"


This, I believe, is not a very good attempt. Subject matter is rather sentimental, but it is how it is treated that caught my attention. The artist's endeavor to mix styles results here in an insecure and somewhat scattered portrayal of a family scene.

The woman in front of us is a realistic portrait adorned with a few impressionistic brush strokes, the most vivid being the notable white that delineates her cheek. That same white (or off-white perhaps) unevenly covers her neck, chin and the left hand, holding the newspaper. I fail to see the logic in this distribution of color, whether it displays the reflection of the light inside the room, or serves as an artistic effect. It seems as though someone covered her features with chalk, and I doubt I can blame anyone but the painter for that strange act.

The man in the background, however, is shown in a purely impressionistic manner, and quite convincingly for that matter. However, because of the unclear perspective, he does not mingle well with the figure of the woman in the foreground. Interestingly, the realistic chair and wall accord harmoniously but, that is hardly enough to make the work compelling. All in all, this piece contains a few elements that may appeal to the viewer separately, but which do not accompany each other to produce a single unified piece of art, which consequently cannot evoke an effect that it does not possess.

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