Formal Art Analysis: Manet's

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The painting I chose to analyze is E. Manet's Repose, which was completed in 1870. The work, sized at 148 x 111cm. (58" x 43.5") was executed in oil on canvas and represents a young woman lying in a position of rest, or repose, on a sofa. The painting, now located in the Rhode Island School of Design can be viewed straight on when entered from the main space, as well as from every possible angle. It is hung centered slightly above eye level on the wall. In this position, the viewer is situated directly in front of the work - eye level with the central figure -and positioned in such a way that we are able to make eye contact with her from almost any position

There are many different elements to take into account when analyzing the form of this painting. The line quality depicted is made up of both curved, and flowing lines as well as many noticeably straight elements. There are many soft lines made with thick brush strokes. The lines generally seem to put stress on the horizontal axis with the main female figure being the only major source of a vertical element. Some of the more dominating straight and severe lines appear as the edges of the painting centered above the young woman's head, which extends the vertical element mentioned upwards. The painting itself is divided into three equal sized panels with vertical lines. These forms stress the verticality of the figure and create a strong sense of a vertical axis. Despite her vertical figure, though, her arms also emphasize a strong horizontal axis. One can follow the hand fan she holds in her right hand across her arms and body to the piece of white fabric that leads us from her left hand off the right edge of the painting. The main figure then is used to define both the vertical and horizontal axis. Most shapes created are box like and rectilinear forms with soft edges. These include the lines of the sofa, the square of the painting, and the vertical rectangle shape

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