Steinem Dance On The Outskirts Of Town Analysis

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In 1898 Théophile Alexandre Steinem created the color lithograph Dance on the Outskirts of Town that is in the Dallas Museum of Art as part of their Paris at the Turn of the Century exhibition (Figure 1). Despite the images small size and use of dark colors, it captivates the viewer with an exciting scene that focuses attention with lines and carefully placed figures. In this essay I will examine how Steinem used medium, line and color. I will discuss how these elements are used to create shapes, direct the viewer and depict the atmosphere of late 19th century Paris. Dance on the Outskirts of Town depicts the exuberant night life of 1800 Paris in a working class dance hall. Men and women crowd the left and right of the floor with their heads turned towered the center of the piece where a pair embraces each other in a captivating dance. A French soldier (left, center) also locks his eyes onto the pair while leaning slightly back…show more content…
The majority of figures are very cool or even dark with certain aspects much warmer. Both women’s dresses are colored red along with the soldier’s shoulders which all strike sharply against the cool background. Color is used to organize the piece from the dim left and right edges to the bright center. The brightest color comes from a chandelier that casts hues of grey shadows along the the page creating the depth and orientation of the room. Théophile Alexandre Steinem was best known for his advertising ventures but enjoyed success with exhibitions showing. Despite this, his manipulation of line and color in Dance on the Outskirts of Town displays his understanding of fundamental aspects used to create masterpieces. The naturalistic depiction of the dance hall is representative of art during this period along with the medium. While the foreground of this piece promotes a grandness and sense of joy, the background and colors are almost depressed suggesting an atmosphere of
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