October 13, 2013
Sloan: McSorley’s Bar, 1912
John Sloan (1871-1951)
Painted in 1912
Subject: My interpretation of what the painting is about is to give the viewer a depiction of the saloongoers; since during this time there was a lot of anti-saloons I think the artist wanted to give people a better depiction of what was happening in these solons, especially in one of the most major solons in New York.
Theme: The theme of this painting seems to me to be urban and captures that moment in time or that moment in history. I believe the artist is trying to make us the viewer understand that these bars or solons are negative or bad to society. My belief of that can be seen for the colors this artist has used; Sloan used more realistic colors, the colors are less intense and duller, and feature colors that are darker and generally the same hue.
Medium: The medium the artist constructed is oil on canvas. I particularly like his choice because the oil on canvas almost creates a dreamy affect and make me ponder what it would be like to be in that bar at the time or what life was really like during this time.
Primary and Secondary Colors: In this painting there really aren’t any primary colors being used, the artist uses more secondary colors then anything else, blacks, brown, tan, and orange. The artist uses duller color rather than more intense colors which amplifies the theme of this painting.
Importance of Color: The importance of the secondary colors (duller colors) in this painting is to show the theme and meaning. The artist choice of colors really gives me a better interpretation behind the painting. It allows me to understand that the solons are a drain on life and society, which is my interpretation of the painting.
Mood: My interpretation of the mood of this work is sorrow or the lack of life. As you can see in the painting the only people in these solons are men, not children and not women. When you think of women and children you think of joy, happiness and life so as I look at this work I think to my self as if I were these men. I just got off a 12-15 hour shift and rather than go home to a house full of children and a wife that is going to complain I’d rather meet with my friends and co-workers at this bar and talk about how horrible work and life is. To reiterate mostly, depressing, sorrow and lack of life.
The Title: The title to me is rather plain but it has some major historical background to it. This is an actual bar in New York where people would meet, drink and discuss daily life.
Organization: The overall organization of this piece is great. There is not a lot of disjunction is this piece and you can clearly interpret what is going on in this work. Overall very realistic, something that you would actually picture going into a bar or solon.
Assessment: My opinion of this work would be great. I love this piece is general not just because I’m a history nut but because it clearly represent life during this time using colors, depicting the mood, the great linear line of subject and a great understanding of the theme. I would say that this is one of the more successful pieces that I have examined.
Ruisdael: The Jewish Cemetery, 1655-60
Jacob van Ruisdael (1629-1682)
Painted from 1655-1660 Subject: The subject of this piece is landscape. My interpretation of Jon Van Ruisdael The Jewish Cemetery is that he wants you to focus on the entire piece and to really analyze the details of this realistic work of art.
Theme: The theme of this work to me is to evoke emotion, specifically through death and you can see this through the use of nature in this panting. There is a lot of symbolism in this canvas; portrayed through death and destruction and then contrasted with a rainbow, symbolizing nature's ability to grow and regenerate.
Medium: The medium in this painting is oil and canvas this to me really helps portray the