Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, Justice Fulminating the Vices

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“Justice Fulminating the Vices” painted by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini in 1717 illustrates figures representing Justice and Prudence crushing Avarice and Deceit, also known as the “Vices” (Davies et al., 2011). Within this painting, Pellegrini utilizes various artistic elements such as technique, use of inundated complementary colors, placement and source of lighting, and positioning of the figures to imply motion in order to engage the viewer and exemplify this act of triumph.
Beginning with the artist’s choice of compositional materials and painting technique. Pellegrini’s materials consist of oil and canvas. The artist’s choice of oil allows for a fluid and condensed stoke of paint. The brush strokes are broad and soft as they conform to the shape of the clouds or contours bodies creating direction and flow. The paint strokes are uniformed in size and circular shape. The paint is not impasto but instead smooth and brushed flatly on the canvas.
Next, Pellegrini uses a palette with complementary colors ranging bright to pastel tints to create emphasis in the painting. In the composition Pellegrini illustrates the figures with bold and vivid colors such as Crimson and coral reds, both bright and subtle golds, and deep dark olive greens. All of these colors used on the figures and their garments contrast against the soft pastel blues and whites used in painting the clouds. In doing this the artist Pellegrini separates the foreground from the background thus leading the eye of the viewer to direct their attention to the figures in the center of the painting. This attention is done through the patterns of energetic colors gradually progressing from bright lively colors at the top of the painting down to the dark and dull colors at t...

... middle of paper ... foreshortening; this gives sense of interaction or engaging with the viewer. The use of foreshortening increases the element of 3D illusionism.
In conclusion, Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini uses a variety of artistic elements in his painting “Justice Fulminating the Vices” to illustrate a battle between figures representing Justice and Prudence triumphing against Avarice and Deceit. The artist Pellegrini does this through the use of technique, color, lighting, and positioning of figures. By combining these elements the artist engages his viewer attention drawing it into the dramatic composition, and highlights important aspects of the scene.

Works Cited

Davies, P. J. E., Denny, W. B., Hofrichter, F. F., Jacobs, J., Roberts, A. M., Simon, D. I., (2011). Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition (Ed. 8, pp. 737-759). London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.
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