Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jean-Leon Gerome - French 1824 - 1904



"Quaerens Quem Devoret" (Whom to Devour?)

This is a wonderful image - a lone lion wandering along an empty beach. The water could be a lake; so perhaps not really in the marine genre, but worth including for its lesson in compositional balance - a relatively small object on one side of a painting can counterbalance a much larger object on the other side. The Lion has great visual weight because he's interesting/threatening/incongruous and because he's set off by a large area of empty space, and also because his warm colouring stands out from the cool neutrals around him; therefore he demands as much attention as the much larger masses in the upper left corner. Objects in the foreground usually have greater visual weight than those in the background. The curving line of the water's edge leads the eye from one point of interest to the other.

1 comment:

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