The Use of Signboards and Watteau's Painting, Enseigne de Gersaint Essays

The Use of Signboards and Watteau's Painting, Enseigne de Gersaint Essays

Length: 2499 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In eighteenth century Paris the images on signboards served the purpose of stimulating, amusing and informing through an iconography that was complex enough to engage the great masters of the time.

At the time, signboards were an early form of advertising, meant to attract attention, establish a mental-visual association between sign and place, and seduce customers. Signboards indicated specific commercial establishments and provided information about the nature of the goods and services to be found within. The iconography for certain guilds and shops were apparent to the society and would be immediately understood. People used these signboards to find their way around the city and therefore were an important part of their everyday life. However, signboards were part of a commercial culture, not of a high culture. The painters of such signboards were not seen as high-valued artist; nevertheless, favourable public reception surrounding a sign could be evoked as an indication of the imminent inception of a successful career. This shows that the lowest, most despised kind of painting could, and did, serve as an entrée into the world of high art.

Watteau’s last painting, the Enseigne de Gersaint, a gift to his friend, the picture dealer Edame Gersaint, was a signboard. It has to be acknowledged, that Watteau’s signboard however, is of a somewhat different nature. The painting transcended the boundaries of the commercial genre and was recognized as a true work of art.

Watteau’s Enseigne de Gersaint is one of the artist’s most fully realized works. It is ambitious and sophisticated in size and execution, in visual economy, and in content. It is consequently only masquerading under the guise of a signboard, a categori...


... middle of paper ...


...tworks are essential interpretations or framings of received artistic and social codes rather than renderings of the natural world.

In the Enseigne, art is also shown to serve a function that it has always fulfilled in every society founded on class differences. As a luxury commodity it is an index of social status. It marks the distinction between those who have the leisure and wealth to know about art and posses it, and those who do not. In Gersaint’s signboard, art is presented in a context where its social function is openly and self-consciously declared. In summary, Watteau reveals art to be a product of society, nevertheless he refashions past artistic traditions. Other than other contemporary painters however, his relationship to the past is not presented as a revolt, but rather like the appreciative, attentive commentary of a conversational partner.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Painting ' The Oil On Canvas ' Essays

- Winter Landscape on the Banks of the Seine is a Neo-Impressionist painting. Matisse created this painting in CA. 1904-1905. The oil on canvas is 12 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches on its own. In the frame the painting is 19 1/4 x 23 1/8 inches. This painting is located in the Seattle Museum of Art where it hangs with other Neo-Impressionist paintings. This painting generates a sense of serenity and sets the mood in a romantic tone. This is created by the colors, the setting, and the style that Matisse chose to use in this painting....   [tags: Oil painting, Painting, Emotion]

Powerful Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

The Art of Painting: Watercolor Paints Essay

- The art of painting dates back to pre-historic times, the finger used as a paintbrush on the canvas of cave walls. When it comes to painting, artists have many mediums to choose from: acrylics, oils, gouache, fresco, and watercolors. Watercolors is one of the toughest mediums to achieve, its transparent streaks almost impossible to cover up and its various techniques prestigous and precise, but satisfying when accomplished. The incentive a watercolor artist has to get a taste of perfecting their talents is impecable; therefore, striving for perfection can only be accomplished with the understanding of the watercolor history, the use of the tools of the trade, the practice of techniques, and...   [tags: Art History, Painting, Technique]

Powerful Essays
1555 words (4.4 pages)

Europe Endless Is An Oil On Canvas Painting By Nick Potter Essay

- Europe Endless is an oil on canvas painting by artist Nick Potter (5.5ft x 7ft) created in 2016. It is painted from a perspective that outlooks a moonlit lake from the inside of an isolated, contemporary styled sitting room with a large, ceiling to floor window. Across the lake, a mysterious structure looks to be on fire. Another painting by Nick Potter in 2016, Orientalism (4ft x 6ft), is an oil on panel painting that features purely architectural imagery, rather than the lake that is painted along with the interior of a building in Europe Endless....   [tags: Oil painting, Painting, Panel painting]

Powerful Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on A Hike Up to the Painting

- The day of my brother’s graduation party had finally arrived. We prepared all morning by carrying and setting up nearly a dozen tables with stacks upon stacks of chairs. Coolers were then stocked with enough soda, bottled water, and beer to fill a pond. Then the food was laid out, with each person hauling as much as they could carry back and forth, again and again. It was enough to feed an army, I joked. A few hours later guests started to arrive, and I was drug out of my room to help greet them....   [tags: climb, camera, painting]

Powerful Essays
677 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Elements Of Design Of Each Painting

- Now that there is an understanding of the paintings and their history we will compare and contrast the elements of design of each painting. The first element of design that will be looked at is line. Line has two characteristics, one is direction and the other is linear quality. Direction of line is “related to our experience of gravity” (Notes). These lines can be either horizontal or vertical. Horizontal lines are calm and balanced lines as seen in “The Death of Socrates”. Vertical lines “defy gravity” (Notes) and contain dynamic lines....   [tags: Color theory, Color, Painting, Light]

Powerful Essays
1409 words (4 pages)

Painting And Style Of The Salon Essay

- In the nineteenth century the Royal Academies of Art in France and England were significant art societies in Europe. The schools held annual or semi-annual exhibitions, where artists could display their work to gain critical notice, known as the Salon. The Salon was run by the art academies, as a result the art that was selected to be shown had the technique and style that was taught there and nothing else. Edouard Manet was one of several artists at the time that challenged the academic traditions and expectations of the Salon; he did this by showing brush strokes, purposefully skewing perspective, and showing women in the nude....   [tags: Cubism, Pablo Picasso, History of painting]

Powerful Essays
730 words (2.1 pages)

Painting Analysis : Claude Monet Essay

- One does not simply come to the city of Philadelphia without paying a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visited by more than 800,000 people each year, the museum holds more than 227,000 art pieces and objects, including lot of European and American paintings, drawings, prints, and decorative objects. I visited the museum a couple weeks ago with the intention of finding an art piece that I can connect with to write a paper about it. It took me a while to actually find the piece that attracted me at the first glance- The Sheltered Path, an oil-canvas painting by the artist Claude Monet....   [tags: Impressionism, Claude Monet, History of painting]

Powerful Essays
1130 words (3.2 pages)

Colors from the Darkness: Kandinsky's Painting Essay

- It was like looking at a burst of color on a dark black background when I first really focus on looking at the painting made by Kandinsky. The colors weren’t dancing around freely; they were controlled quite well, with shades, dark to light for each swipe of color with the paintbrush. Somehow, it reminds me of a little three-years-old kid painting his/her first painting with his/her unstable little hands. (I’m not saying the painting is ugly, it just looks so childish, but the pictures were painted maturely in a strange way....   [tags: Artists, Painters, Painting Analysis]

Powerful Essays
587 words (1.7 pages)

Joseph Hirsch 's Painting Analysis Essay

- Joseph Hirsch’s painting Daniel was painted in 1976-1977. In 1978 during the153rd Annual Exhibition of the National Academy of Design, it won the First Benjamin Altman (Figure) prize. It measures 38 inches by 45 inches (96.52 cm x 114.3 cm) with a five inch gold wood frame surrounding it. The medium is oil on canvas. Everything within the painting is centered to draw your eyes to the action of the turned head and the pointed finger. According to the placard next to the painting this is a modern day version of the biblical story of Belshazzar’s Feast following the sacking of Jesualism from the Book of Daniel....   [tags: Painting, Oil painting, Oil paint, Paint]

Powerful Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Custom Painting Cars Essay

- ... Once you have buffed you will need to polish. Polishing helps the paint shine and helps it better protect the paint. Never wash a car after painting make sure to buff it and polish before you wash it. When it comes to custom painting Two Tone is one of the most used. Two tone paint jobs are used on a lot of factory cars but usually separated with moldings. Two tone is where the bottom of the car is one color and the top is another. When doing custom painting you can do more than just two tones you can do three tones or even four tones....   [tags: types, techniques, unique, special, painting]

Powerful Essays
1319 words (3.8 pages)