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Art History Paper

Autor:   •  November 29, 2011  •  Essay  •  683 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,065 Views

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Last One Standing

Various painters use their works of art as a representation of feelings. They include symbols, figures, and expression to reveal their emotions through the form of art. Philip Evergood's painting Dance Marathon illustrates the desperate times surrounding the Great Depression. In the scene, dancers compete for a cash prize as they see who can dance the longest. He portrays the cruelty of the time through this vulgar setting. The painting easily captures the viewer's attention mostly from the use of color, figure, spatial effects, and other techniques created by the artist.

The size of Dance Marathon is not oversized, but it is relatively large and invites the spectator to look at the painting. The perspective created by the size and point of view makes it feel as if you are part of the audience. The hands of two members of the audience can be seen in the bottom right and left corners to emphasize this effect in order to make it look like they are sitting next to you. One wears a diamond ring, and the other is smoking a cigar while clapping. Both of these things are intentionally rendered to show the high class enjoying the suffering of the lower class.

Composition in this oil painting is very important in establishing Evergood's point. Lines are undetermined and the brushstrokes appear to be evident which characterize painterly strokes. With this painterly characteristic, the artist portrays that he is less concerned about the detail than he is about the emotion of the dancers. Except for the floor tile, the painting contains very few lines or outlines, which allows the figures to portray movement. The artist seems to be most concerned with the expression and positions of the dancers. Many are draped over each other and completely exhausted. Evergood's painting clashes with the standard intent of dancing as a form of entertainment. Instead, it exemplifies the stressful times throughout the Great Depression.



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