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Elements of Art in the Reproduction of the “Blue Bird” Essay

Reproduction of the “Blue Bird” fresco, ca. 1700-1525 B.C. Watercolor on paper. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Line: For this assignment, I chose the Reproduction of the “Blue Bird” fresco. This is a very interesting piece. The very light, almost fragile lines, combined with the watercolor medium, give this piece a very delicate appearance. The watercolor medium allows much of the lightness of the paper underneath to reflect through the colors to give the painting an overall lustrous appearance. Most of these lines seem to bend and sway, creating movement toward the blue bird, making the bird itself the focal point of this piece. Color: While the painter did not seem interested in using a lot of different hues in this painting, it was painted with values ranging from pure white to medium values of grey. If you notice, the red hue used is much less saturated, making it a darker tone than the more saturated, more pure blue hue of the bird and the nearby flowers. Texture: The overall physical texture of the painting, I imagine, is very smooth to the touch because it is a watercolor painting. However, texture can be simulated through the use of line as it was done here. The stylized, curving lines near the bottom of the painting indicate a rocky coastline. They imply texture. Texture doesn’t seem to be something that the painter was overly concerned with making part of their work.

Shape: Many of the shapes surrounding the focal point are left implied. The painter seemed to want to keep the attention focused on the blue bird and thus, did not fill these shapes with color or detail. The shapes that were given full form were done so with curved, more organic lines rather than sharp, angular lines associated with more geometric shapes. Form: This painting takes the form of a fresco, as it was originally part of a large series of panels that covered a large wall. Since this is a watercolor painting rather than a sculpture, the forms are illusionistic. They cannot be viewed from all angles and have no actual measurable depth and volume. Space: Much like texture, Space does not appear to have been a major concern to the painter. The overlapping forms do indicate a progression of space; however, there is little else to create the illusion of depth.

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