Sunday, October 21, 2007

Aesthetics in Paintings

Aesthetic value is an important factor when evaluating the visual design of paintings and other compositions. Take for intance this still-life by Evaristo Baschenis.

The main object in the painting is the table with the open drawer, but my focus soon turned to the arrangement of the instruments on the table. The smaller instruments laying on the table are overpowered by the cello lying face-down covering portions of the other instruments bodies. The painting is asymetrically balanced with more weight on the left side of the painting where the bulk of the cello is and the open drawer with a music score cascading out of it.In terms of hierarchy, the most important element visually is the cello laying face down on the table. This is the only instrument whose body is fully shown in detail.

The brush strokes and color of the music sheets give the impression that they are worn and have proceeded to curl up at the edges.There is also a good use of lighting to create shadows underneath the table and near the fruit on top of what appears to be a guitar. There is tension between the various instruments because they are placed close together with some overlapping others. The colors mutually agree with one another and do not create unnecessary noise, but the colors of the ribbons are the only items that particularly do not get lost in the warm tones of the instruments, cases, and color of the floor.

This painting could appear in the halls of a performing arts school ( we had similar ones at CAPA), a doctor's office or even an ad in a retirement magazine. It could symbolize how one is leaving their instruments behind to pursue other extracurricular activities.

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