Visual Analysis

1339 words - 6 pages

In the 19th century, Anne-Louis Girodet created a painting called The Funeral Of Atala. The painting is based off Romeo and Juliet. Atala and the man were lovers. As time passed the man wanted to take Atala’s virginity, but she refused. To keep herself pure she poisoned herself and later died. The subconscious parts in the painting tell a story of Atala being torn from her journey to heaven and hell since she killed herself which is a sin. There are many aspects in this painting that represent in depth ideas. Many areas of the painting confirm connect back to the concept of heaven and hell. For example, the bright encouraging lighting that shines on Atala and dark grave, the shovel that dug her grave with the hidden cross causing contradiction between God and the Devil, and lastly the difference from darkness representing hell and lightness representing heaven. There are many different colors within the painting that resemble different emotions coming from the characters within the painting. Sadness, hope, new beginnings all come from the colors strategically placed in the painting. All of these aspects make up the history of this painting. The light shining on the woman represents the significance of her purity which metaphorically reinforces the importance of her religion, and it personifies her full devout to God.
The composition on the canvas is mainly focused on the foreground where the focal point is the center of everything. The woman in the picture represents the focal point. Atala is strategically placed and centered in the middle because she is the main subject of the painting. She is purposely the main focus because she committed suicide and has to be the center of attention. Without Atala the other two characters would not be present. The lighting was positioned to uncover the notable purity, chastity, and a heavenly look to Atala’s body. Atala is a virgin so she has to be represented as a pure woman. Light represents a luminous appearance which is why it is directly shone on her. The lighting also resembles a spotlight to further make her the focus of the painting, and mainly draws attention to her. There is a glimpse of light that shines on the man to the left and the right of Atala. This was intentionally done to show viewers of the painting that the two men are an important part of the painting and the meaning, but they are not supposed to be the focal point.
Different colors throughout the painting demonstrate the emotions that are portrayed. The man wearing a red cover-up that displays his love and pain. The man’s facial expression as well as the fact that he is holding her tightly discloses his strong feelings for Atala, therefore he does not want to let go of her legs. Similarly to the red cover-up there are red flowers that also represent love and a new life for Atala. Plants are also alive and they grow similar how the people, therefore red plants are depicting the life, love between Atala, and her lover. The green...

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