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Gerard David and Mary Cassatt both are remarkable artists who has influenced artists today. Gerard David was born in 1455 in the Netherlands (Oudewater). Mary Cassatt was born in 1861 in Pennsylvania. Even though they were born at different times, their paintings show the relationship between mother and child.
David painted Virgin and Child With Four Angels in 1510. The type of canvas used was wood with oil paint. The wood has a rectangular shape. The Virgin and Child characters that were reproduced from a painting by Jan van Eyck, who influenced David when he settled in Bruges in 1484.
In the foreground there are six figures. The mother, child and the four angels. The mother has brown hair and is wearing a red robe. She is also in the center of the painting. She has a dismal look on her face, while holding her child tightly. The mother depicts the Virgin Mary. The child is naked in the mother's arms looking at the viewer. The child represents Jesus and innocence. To the left and right of the mother there are two angels. One is playing a harp and the other is playing a banjo. The one playing the harp is wearing a black robe. Black can represent the darkness or evil. The other angel playing the banjo is wearing a white grayish robe. The white grayish color can represent the purity and good side. Their facial expressions look as if they are sad. The other two angels are above the mother and child. They both are holding a crown over the mother and child. The angels holding the crown symbolizes the war between good and evil.
In the middle ground and background there are churches, gardens, and mountains. The colors mainly used are forest green, brown, white and beige color to highlight certain aspects of the painting. The churches in the painting are from Sint-Jakobs and Onze-Lieve-Vrouw. The mood of the piece is melancholy. It is shown in the facial expressions of each character.
Looking at the painting I really couldn't tell where David started his work. I think he started with the background first and everything came after.
Mary Cassatt painted a Young Mother Sewing on a rectangular canvas. She also used oil paint like Gerard David did. In the foreground, the young child in the painting was wearing a white and sky blue dress.
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She had brown eyes, brown hair and chubby red cheeks. Her face and arms were detailed.
The child was leaning on her mother's lap looking at the viewer. The mother was wearing a white and black zebra stripped dress. She is sitting in a white chair sewing a dress.
The dress is green, aqua blue and yellow. I think the yellow was used as highlight on the dress. She has brown hair, brown eyes, and a melancholy look on her face.
In the middle ground there is a rectangular wooden desk that has a pinkish peach color. On top of the desk there is a royal blue and sky blue vase. Cassatt blended the colors together. Inside the vase there are orange flowers with forest green leaves.
In the background there is a wood scenery. Cassatt uses green, forest green, brown and blue in the background. The blue shows that it is night time. The forest green highlights the trees. There are two white strokes that represent the wind. The mood of the painting is very calm and quiet.
Cassatt uses a two inch brush and blends in the colors on the canvas. The only detailed thing in the painting is the facial features of the mother and child and their hands.
Looking at the painting I think that Cassatt started with blue for the background and painted the picture.
Both paintings made me feel this connection with the children. In the painting they both are looking at the viewer. I think the painters were trying to show the importance of children in their times. It made me miss my mother a lot when I saw the children comforted by their mothers.
I think this project was a good experience for me to get in touch with my artist side. I really didn't like art when I was younger. Now that I am learning about the different painters and the reasons behind the art, I am beginning to have a like for the subject.