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Essay about Comparing Paintings by Arthur Keller

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The historical painting I chose for my final, is an illustration of Bret Harte’s novel, Her Letter, His Response, and Her Last Letter, creatively illustrated by Arthur Ignatius Keller in 1905. The historical painting I chose for the comparison of Arthur Keller’s painting is another painting done by Arthur I Keller; illustrated for 54-40 or Fight by Emerson Hough, in 1909. Arthur I Keller is a very natural, elegant style painter, with an eye for natural beauty. Keller’s many paintings express intricate detail, and genuine quality. Although I picked two water color paintings out of Arthur Keller’s many collections of paintings, he also uses charcoal, acrylics, oils, and pastels to create other works of art. In both paintings I chose, Arthur Keller uses water color and gouache to paint people. Arthur’s first painting I mentioned, illustrating “Her Letter” is a more detailed painting. Keller uses water color to create a graceful look to his painting; his delicate balance of color, keeps the viewer’s eyes wandering around the painting. The focal point in the painting does not catch the viewer’s eyes because of heavy, dark colors, but because of the proportion differences of the people he implies. The painting gives off a very old fashioned feel, in a tasteful way. Arthur Keller’s second painting, illustrating “54-40 or Fight” has a completely different color theme, and gives off more of a mysterious, dark feel to it. The painting is detailed, but in a more simple way, and there is less negative space. As to where Keller’s “Her Letter” painting had a lot of open areas on the canvas, this painting, displays two people in a small enclosed dark room. The focal point is more dramatic, and a lot more obvious because instead of using sizing,...


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...as well.
When Arthur I Keller was just seven years old, he began attending the National Academy of Design, where he would begin his training to starting his career as an artist. In 1905, Bret Harte’s novel, Her Letter, His Response, and Her Last Letter was illustrated by Keller. In 1909, Emerson Hough’s work, 54-40 or Fight was also illustrated by Keller.
Both paintings are based upon a romantic theme, set up in different settings. Keller always painted from using live models, as he did with Hough’s and Emerson’s novel illustrations.
Arthur Keller was a very talented artist; he painted using live models, and worked well with charcoal, acrylics, oils, pastels, watercolor and pencil. Keller was able to bring a realistic look to his paintings, using shadows, patterns, details, and shading. Although he is not alive anymore, his paintings will be around forever.


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