Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Art of Hippolyte Flandrin

 'Young Male Nude Seated by the Sea'
by Hippolyte Flandrin

I find this painting beautiful. There is something very surreal about viewing the image. The young man is contemplating something, we then contemplate the image. If the title was 'thought', the concept would be immediately understood see Rodin 'The Thinker'. This work leaves space for us to question, who is the boy? What is he thinking about? Where is he? We begin creating a narrative for the image.

In my narrative, the man exists within the painting. I come in to view the painting and he pretends not to notice. I am contemplating what he is doing within the piece. I wonder how far the world of the painting stretches. Can he move or walk away. I stare at him in contemplation. His head is rested on his knees, as he contemplates me. He tries to understand why I am viewing him. We contemplate each other in the same moment.

Polytes, Son of Priam, Observing the Movements of the Greeks (1833-34)

In this painting the narrative is provided in the title. There is little room to provide your own.  Both images are equally striking and beautiful.