Looking at Paintings

Essay by SueWaggoner March 2004

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Professor Boyd

Humanities 1301

February 27, 2004

Looking at Paintings

For my first piece of art I chose a black and white picture by Louise Bourgeois. It is called Sainte Sebastienne. The format is a vertical rectangle and the medium used in this picture is a dry point etching on paper. I chose this piece of art because it reminded me of the Woman of Willendorf , a sculpture that we studied earlier this year. Like the Woman of Willendorf the picture is of a woman's body without a head. I believe the absence of a head is to add emphasis on the figures body. I feel the picture abstracted reality in the metaphysical properties of the figure's breast, belly, and thighs that are emblematic of a female's fertility. There are arrows pointing to certain areas on the figures body. I feel that this is to add to the emphasis of the importance of these certain body parts and the role that thy play in the process of child berth and recreation.

Also, there are many lines used to imply direction on the figures body accenting the fullness of the body and acting like a highlighter to accent the body. The color pallet in this picture is very narrow in since it is only using the contrasting colors of black and white this relies on the value of the picture to get the message across. I feel that the use of color or the lack there of in this picture adds to the sense of balance in the fact that it builds on the importance of the bodily figure. Although, there is no shading in the picture, the use of chiaroscuro can be said is used in the use of the light or white background with the dark element...