Friday, January 17, 2014

Realism (pt. 5)

The crossover of styles can be seen in works like Rosa Bonheur's Horse Fair.  An incredibly talented artist, Bonheur painted stunning works that earned placement into the prestigious salon exhibitions when she was just 19 years old.  She combined Romanticism and Realism in her works and especially liked painting live animals.  The Horse Fair is a scene full of tension and excitement.  It shows a thrilling blend of movement, drama, and realistic composition.  Its subject matter takes from both the Romantic majesty of nature and the Realist depiction of ordinary individuals at a commonplace contemporary event.  Horse fairs were regular occasions in mid-19th century France.  Tradesmen, middle-class merchants, and simple spectators would gather for these marketing fairs.  Bonheur shows with her bold, rich paints the excitement and energy of these fairs and the animals featured in them.  Hers is a masterfully constructed painting that immediately draws our attention into the action of the scene.  The size of the canvas on which it was painted, too, may have something to do with the masterful splendor of such a painting.  This work of art is huge, measuring approximately 8' x 16'.

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