Art History 166 (Monday & Wednesday)
November 2, 2014
A work of art that I kept going back to and really impressed me was a piece titled “Woman Reading” by artist Eastman Johnson. Eastman Johnson is an American Artist that painted scenes of everyday life in America, along with portraits. It was painted in 1874 and is an oil on board. The paintings size is 25 1/8 inches by 18 5/8 inches. The piece is a painting of a woman reading a book with a sailboat in the background.
In describing this work of art in detail, I’d have to start off by describing the colors in the painting. At the top starts with blue for the sky, then you see pink clouds then ...view middle of the document...
Her white apron shows dirt on the edges from walking on the dirt and grass. The grass is not really striking, it is more of grass and dirt mixed together with brown and green blended together. You can see the small blades of grass against dirt leading to the water. Beyond the dirt and grass where she is standing appears to be green water with just one or two small white caps. I don’t believe it’s a shore line, more the edge as if she is standing on a cliff.
When viewing this painting it made me wonder if Johnson painted her alone like this to convey certain feelings. Is the woman longing for someone out at sea, is she feeling a certain isolation because she is alone. She is just walking to the sea to read for a while to take a break from her normal everyday life. It is a very contemplative scene that really makes you think of all the different feelings the woman might be feeling.
The art piece that I picked for comparison is “Letter” by Mary Cassatt. I feel there is a similar quality to both pieces. There is a lone woman in both the “Letter” and “Woman Reading”, and in both I wonder what the women might be thinking. They are both doing everyday tasks such as reading or writing and sealing a letter.
In both art pieces the viewer is looking at the women in perhaps private moments. Both pieces have beautiful colors in them,...