The Morellian Method Essay

879 words - 4 pages

It is the intent of this essay to provide reasonable proof, on the basis of the Morellian method, that images 1A and 1B are by the same artist. These images of painted ceramics originate in the cultures of the archaeological Southwest circa 950 – 1150 (Fry, 2011). Painting each ceramic, the artisan(s) used similar techniques such as checkerboard patterning, broad lines, hatching, utilization of positive and negative space, and, along with anatomical representations. While the overall images differ considerably, the goal of implementing the Morellian method is to identify artists’ use of the same formulas to create smaller parts of works.
During the production of Image 1A (1A), the artist used a (six square by three square) checkerboard pattern to separate sections of lines of approximately the same width which rimmed the outer edge of the ceramic. These boarder-lines alternate occupying negative and positive space. A repeated use of thin hatching lines - which are relatively short exteriorly and interiorly long – is present. This use of positive and negative space alternation occurs in both depictions of animals [i.e. fish, largest (bird’s) figure’s body and feet]. The artist also utilizes the painted space by leaving a negative pattern of zigzagging lines within which is painted a reflective outline. Within the outline occurs a series of rhombus shapes. Finally, eyes are produced by leaving a negative circle or oval and centering a single painted dot within.
In Image 1B (1B), this artist employed a (six square by six square) checkerboard pattern adjacent to the interior-most line. Two lines, which inwardly alternate from negative to positive usage of space, are present at the rim of the ceramic. Each of these lines is of approximately the same width; however, a positive figure is drawn from a third line. This final exterior line is very thin in some areas, becomes very broad in others, and is divided hemispherically, yet not completely, by a negative space line. Additionally, a zigzag pattern occurs several times throughout the piece. Within the central figure, seemingly human-like, and occupying negative space created by the aforementioned pattern, a rhombus pattern filled with hatching lines is evident. The eyes of the bird’s in Image 1B are produced by leaving a negative circle or oval and centering a single dot within it.
While these similarities lend credence to the hypothesis of a common artist, differences should be noted. For instance, the bird in 1A possesses a tail much different from those of 1B. In 1A, the tail is formed by very thin lines joined by a series of arcs; these approximately equidistant lines are...

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