"Venus Asleep" Essay

2749 words - 11 pages

Venus Asleep" Of Paul DelvauxPaul Delvaux (1897-1994) Venus Asleep 1. What Does the art work look like? describe it. This piece of art work in my opinion looks like a dream. The art work has a certain disoriented charm. It has mainly all dark colors and uses these dark colors to contrast with the light skin pigment of the people in the painting. The painting has a calm erotic nude lady sleeping on a very formal looking couch or day bed. If the picture is read as this ladies dream then it appears as if she were dreaming of death or something of a cult like manner. If it is indeed death she is dreaming of then she is symbolizing that death is very calm and relaxed, for her leg has gone limp as if she is very relaxed as death (the skeleton) is hovering over the foot end of her bed. In the background there are also people flying up in the sky and these people could symbolize the dead rising to a heaven or a god, or even angels attempting to help the dying on there way to a heaven or a god. It also seams as if the people in this dream are in a place of worship and they are all looking up to the skies and praying. The structures around them are very temple like, for they have many statues and engravings about them. There is one lady in close and she is not praying and looks very formal. This lady is looking right at the skeleton which symbolizes death. This lady could symbolize a priest that is conversationalizing with her god or death itself, or this lady could also symbolize a non-believer that only examines the cult or religion and passes judgment. Another major aspect of this painting is that it is all set at night, which only makes the viewer believe more that the painting is set in a dream state because most dreams occur at night when we are asleep. 2. What subject matter does the artist work with? How is the subject matter represented: realistically, abstractly.Paul Delvaux uses a lot of different subject matters and here is a list of them: mythology, dreams, religion, bourgeois men, death, skeletons, large landscapes with ruins or city views and naked woman who wander expressionlessly. But in this painting he used a dream like atmosphere and a Greek cult like landscape to portray his message. Initially his first works, painted in the early 1920's, mostly consisted of pretty post-impressionist landscapes, but later more into the late 20's (around 1926-1927), Paul Delvaux evolved towards a more simplified style of Expressionism and Symbolism as these styles were seeping into his works. In his own words Paul Delvaux explains "I wanted to find something else, but I did not know exactly what that could be.". After this metamorphosis Paul Delvaux converted to Expressionism. From 1935 and onward PaulDelvaux mainly focused on surrealistic works of art. This painting is represented in a surrealistic manner. His choice of subject-matter and his personal style attest to his own personality. 3. What kind of technique is used to produce the work? Include...

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