Honthorst's Smiling Girl, A Courtesan Holding An Obscene Image

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There were many excellent pieces of at the St. Louis Art Museum but the one that intrigued me the most was Gerrit Van Honthorst’s, Smiling Girl, a Courtesan holding an Obscene Image. I chose this piece to analyze because I thought it was comical and I was astounded. At a glance it appears as an ordinary painting of a young lady. However, after analyzing the painting there is much more to it. The, Smiling Girl, a Courtesan holding an Obscene Image, was created in the 17th Century. The 17th century took place from January 1, 1601, to December 31, 1700. This century included the Early Modern period of Europe and the Baroque cultural movement. Gerrit van Honthorst, a Dutchman was the creator of this painting. He was considered a Dutch Golden Age painter. He was born November 4, 1592 to a father who was a decorative painter. Van Honthorst was trained early in his life by his…show more content…
I think the center of the attention is the beautifully painted woman. The movement is a little picture being held by the woman in the center of the picture. When you first glance at the painting you do not notice the nude backside of a picture in the woman’s hand. The use of movement was the use of a gesture. The woman is pointing at the picture in her hand, drawing your attention there. This painting is informally balanced. The two images are not the same size. The mood of this painting to me is a joyful mood but changes after you get more involved in the painting. For instance, after you read what the picture in her hand says, “Who knows my ass from behind”, the mood quickly changes to disbelief. The woman in the picture is advertising herself to potential customers. I think she is telling of a story of “you know you recognize me, come have some fun”. The event reflection is calling out her previous customers to accompany her once again. Guilt free is the feeling of expression I get out of this

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