Gerrit Van Honthorst: Art Analysis

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The piece of Art, Smiling Girl, a Courtesan Holding an Obscene Image, painted by Gerrit van Honthorst in 1625 can be seen at the Saint Louis Art Museum. I was initially drawn to this image from across the gallery mostly due to the subject’s bright red dress with gold sleeves, it was one of the brightest colored images in the gallery. It is about three feet tall and two feet wide, it is an oil on canvas painting. As i approached the image, I was still intrigued as the image she is holding is of a naked man facing away, the subject in the painting seems to get enjoyment from this. To me this piece of art makes me curious, I want to know who this woman was and why she is holding that image. The artist seems to be communicating the importance of…show more content…
Van Honthorst’s use of line within this work of art, makes the girl seem to fade into the dark background of the image. The texture in this painting are characteristic of seventeenth century northern European art. The texture within this work of art are realistic as though what is in the painting could be touched and feel like silk on the sleeves of the dress and the feathers look like they feel soft and fluffy. There is a great range of value within this piece, the background of the painting is very dark while the girl in the painting has very pale skin making her stand out from the dark background. This image is asymmetrical, the way that the girl is seated and holding the oval portrait make the painting unbalanced, the image would be symmetrical if the girl was facing forward rather than a three-fourths view of her. The emphasis in this painting is her face and her smile, her pale face against the dark background really stand out, her rosy cheeks and big smile make it easy to spot across the room. This painting is realistic, she is proportionate and she looks like any other girl that one might see. Over all, this painting is pleasing to the eye and had wonderful texture, and
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