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2 pages/≈550 words
Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Two-Dimensional Art Work (Coursework Sample)


2D work of art by a contemporary artist / painter or photographer

Two-Dimensional Art Work
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Two-Dimensional Art Work
Paul Gauguin is a renowned post-impressionist painter who lived between 1848 and 1903. He was born Paris but later his family moved to Peru in the 1850’s. When Paul was seven, the family came back to Paris, and later headed to Orleans where he lived with his grandparents. Paul’s interest in art was evident in his early years, because he would spend his free time painting. Through his frequent visits to the galleries, he met with the artist Camille Pissarro and subsequently some other popular artists. In this essay, we analyse one of his most popular art pieces, the “Yellow Christ”. Apart from “Yellow Christ”, some of his other great works include “By the Sea”, “Ave Maria”, and “Spirit of the Dead Watching.”
 INCLUDEPICTURE "/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/gauguin_the_yellow_christ_2.jpg" \* MERGEFORMATINET 
The painting “Yellow Christ” as sourced from  HYPERLINK "/paul-gauguins-painting-the-yellow-christ-1889-and-jacob-epsteins-sculptures-bronze-figure-of-madonna-and-child-1927-madonna-and-chil/" /paul-gauguins-painting-the-yellow-christ-1889-and-jacob-epsteins-sculptures-bronze-figure-of-madonna-and-child-1927-madonna-and-chil/
Analysis of “Yellow Christ”
Looking at this piece, there is a rich use of colour. Yellow, the dominant colour is expertly blended with some green in the background. The point of yellow in this painting is to emphasise an analogy between Christ’s journey and the agricultural cycle. Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, lived on earth, was crucified, buried and He finally resurrected after three days in the tomb. Therefore, his birth would be likened to the time crops are planted; harvest would be his time on the cross; while the three days in the tomb represent winter. Spring arrives, just like Jesus resurrected after three days in the tomb. Starting with the colour, the artist has used too much yellow thus making the painting not natural enough. The distortion in the painting also extends to the women whose faces have scanty detail. The fact that the artist tends to combine this with some geometrical aspects in the trees introduces avant-garde idea in the painting.
The use of rich colour and straight lines in this painting shows the “syn-thetist” style Paul had adopted in his early years. The horizontal bar and the crucifix upright are used to hold the canvas plane. Furthermore, the effects of cross, sky and trees are perfectly countered by the graceful women sitting by the cross. One notable drawback with this painting is that Paul entered into the emotional expression domain instead of sticking to naturalistic observation. He has defended such a move by saying that Impressionists don’t venture into the ideal landscape for lack of freedom. Maybe he didn’t want to be restricted in scientific reasoning which was characteristic of most impressionists.
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