Hecuba And Polyxena Analysis

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Merry-Joseph Blondel’s Hecuba and Polyxena, an oil on canvas painting done after 1814, is a Neoclassical piece reflecting the French academy’s values of the naturalistic style was inspired by the classical arts of ancient Greece and Rome. The title identifies the central subjects as the Trojan queen, Hecuba, and her daughter, Polyxena; characters from the Greek tragedy, “Hecuba”. Blondel’s use of implied lines and textures and realistic overlapping of figures create naturalistic forms as the focal point, composition, contrasting color schemes, theatrical lighting and modeling result in a dramatic narrative piece that tells the tragic story of a mother’s incessant anguish.
Blondel’s use of implied textures in the assorted garments that envelope Hecuba and the ivory gown that wraps itself sensuously around the figure of the virgin Polyxena create the illusion that the fabrics and the figures of these two women would feel soft to the touch. The implied lines the curves of their bodies underneath their clothing, which are especially apparent in the figure of the young Polyxena, imply their full, three-dimensional, forms. The overlapping in the piece is realistic, as Blondel does not care to make sure that all the figures can are fully visible as they would be in a gothic piece. Instead, the third figure in the painting, the servant who is holding up Hecuba is almost totally obscured. This implementation of realistic overlapping allows Blondel to create depth in the shallow
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