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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Analysis and Interpretation of El Paso Smelter at Night (Essay Sample)


This sample analyzes and interprets the elpaso smelter and what it communicates to the viewer. it examines the attributes such as colors and expressions and separates its parts in order to understand the whole. it Places this work of art into the big picture and Relates it to a larger issue, art-historical movement.


El Paso Smelter at Night
The painting El Paso Smelter at Night by Freemont Ellis is one of the most outstanding artworks displayed at the El Paso Museum of art. The artwork is an inspiration from the El Paso smelterdown, which operated from 1910 to 1999. Ellis made the painting in 1919 to show how the factory appeared at night. Ellis used different aspects such as contrasting lighting, straight and curvy lines, and limited space to emphasize the message (Pantaleo 559). In this painting, Freemont presents romantic impressionist aspects that ambivalently portray a fire enshrouded environment. El Paso Smelter at Night shows the suffering and isolation that people living in the area suffered due to pollution and the inability to socialize appropriately with those outside the community. This essay will analyze the painting by focusing on the medium, visual elements, composition, and overall effect.
The Medium
El Paso Smelter at night is an oil on canvas painting that presents two chimneys with a furnace appearance and smoke emanating from the building in the background. The approach makes it possible to experience the flexibility and depth of color in the painting (Pantaleo 560). For instance, the orange and white oils alternate between fire and smoke to show the intensity of the smelting activities. The painter applies oil in thin glazes in some areas while others appear in dense, thick impastos. Having a denser concentration of the orange paint in the back part of the image gives the notion that the flames

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