Sunday, November 12, 2017

Do you see a cellphone in this 1860 painting?

The woman in this 1860 painting seems to be looking at a cellphone, but really she's holding a little prayer book.

The book is an important detail, since it may keep her on the narrow path of virtue.

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, The Expected Ones, 1860
Once we get beyond that fun detail, look at how the painting is arranged tonally. The light is coming from behind, spilling out into the foreground path in a large, unified, triangular shape. To the left and right are well organized dark shadow masses.

The foliage masses create a circular window around the deep space view, and the foliage is lightened up as it goes back into greater distances.
More at Motherboard "Do We All See the Woman Holding an iPhone in This 1860 Painting?"


Unknown said...

Would part of the technique of tonal organization in this picture mean for example that he painted the white collar of the man in the shade in a lower tone than it might normally appear, to make sure that it wouldn't stand out too much and disturb the large overall dark shape in that area of the painting?

jytte said...

In a little while whe will stumple over the rock LOL

Peter Drubetskoy said...

Haha, one could make a collection of these! Like this
Repin's painting "Preparation for the Examination" (I believe this was his diploma painting), with the iPad :)
Or, another favorite of mine, where Michelangelo lets one of the damned relay the horrors over the cell phone (at least as long as the demon has not hit him on the head with that oar!)

My Pen Name said...

when I saw it from afar, I thought she was walking towards the valley and visually that made more sense....