Analysis Of Lady Of The Lake Essay

Analysis Of Lady Of The Lake Essay

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The small town of Auburn which is nestled in the foothills of the Gold Country has a number of art galleries and numerous local artists. One of these artists is Michael Murphy who is also a respected architect in the Auburn area. Michael has been painting for many years and has gone through many artistic phases, but I have chosen to focus on his early Impressionism phase. Having traveled to France in his youth, he cultivated an interest in Impressionism. Although this paper will focus on Impressionism, I would also like to touch on how artists go through various phases as they age. Viewing his work over time, one sees different epochs evidenced by different techniques and subject matter. In his painting, Lady of the lake – Alana, Murphy clearly demonstrates characteristic features of Impressionism.

Lady of the lake – Alana is an oil on canvas measuring approximately 40” by 36” and is reminiscent of Monet 's pond paintings. In the foreground there are what appear to be a patch of purple irises doused in rich sunlight. Mid picture there is a rough outline of a woman sitting on a bench between two trees while the background is filled with a pond which reflects the greens of the surrounding vegetation. The pond has various ripple circles where fish might be feeding. The painting was done in “plain air” overlooking his yard. Murphy 's use of unblended short brush strokes combined with vivid blue and violet colors in the foreground, illuminate the flowers capturing the effect of light on such beautiful objects.

Visiting his studio was very informative giving me a glimpse into an artists process. In most galleries only some of the artists works are on display, but by visiting his studio/gallery I was able to view a hundred ...


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...o the public. If Michael was present during that time, he may very well have joined their ranks. In fact the name, Impressionism, came not from the artists themselves but from an art critic of that era named Louis Leroy.

In summary, Lady of the lake – Alana is a good example of a contemporary Impressionistic piece. It satisfies a number of the requirements to be classified as such a work. The way that Murphy uses color and brush work is clearly characteristic of Impressionism, and the subject matter is also right in line with early Impressionist painting. And it does not hurt that Lady of the lake – Alana is very similar to Monet 's pond paintings. This painting also makes use of playing with color to capture the effects of lighting on the irises. It would also seem that Murphy shares some of the anti-establishment beliefs that early Impressionists possessed.

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