Introduction to Paintings

Introduction to
By Cathy Chang
Jean-François Millet: The Gleaners
General Questions
• When you look at the painting,
what do you see?
• What is the focus of the painting?
• Is the painting a positive
portrayal of the women or a
negative one?
• Do you like the painting?
Jean-François Millet
Millet was born the son of farmers in a small town in
Normandy. His father loved singing and carving, but
he gave these things up to meet the needs of his
family. As a child, Millet often helped his parents in
the field or read at home. He was especially
attracted to beautiful illustrations in the Bible and
tried copying them. He would also use a piece of
charcoal to draw farmers or horses in a small
His father and townspeople noticed his talent. At the
age of twenty, with their support, Millet left for
Paris to fulfill his dream of studying art.
Millet’s art became highly valued after his death.
Though he left behind only about eighty paintings,
his style inspired many other great artists, such as
Monet and van Gogh. Today, the world remembers
Millet as a painter who devoted himself to showing
country life as noble and beautiful.
Normandy 諾曼第
Carving 雕刻
Field 田地
Charcoal 木炭
Inspire 賦予靈感
Devote 將...奉獻(給)
Noble 高貴的
Claude Monet: Impression, Sunrise
General Questions
• What do you see in the
• What time of day is the
• What is unique about it?
Claude Monet
Claude Monet also known as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude
Oscar Monet was a founder of French impressionist
painting, and the most consistent and prolific
practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing
one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to
plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is
derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise.
Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible
brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its
changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the
passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion
of movement as an important element of human
perception and experience.
Monet was born in Paris, but moved with his family to
Normandy when he was just a child. His father wanted
him to go into the family grocery store business, but
Claude Monet wanted to become an artist. His mother
was a singer.
Monet died of lung cancer when he was 86 years old. Monet
had insisted that the occasion be simple; thus about fifty
people attended the ceremony.
(“Claude Monet”)
Consistent 始終如一的
Prolific 多產的
Practitioner 從事者,實踐者
Movement (政治,社會,思想)運動
Perception 感知能力;洞察力
Plein-air (“in the open air“) 外光畫法的
Composition 構圖
Accentuate 強調;使更突出
Inclusion 包括;包含
Element 要素,成分
Grocery store 雜貨店
Occasion 場合,時刻
Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night
General Questions
• What do you seen in the
• What kind of atmosphere
does the painting give off?
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief
symbol of expression, was born in Holland. The son
of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured
atmosphere, van Gogh was highly emotional and
lacked self-confidence.
The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned,
sharply lit. In Paris, van Gogh began to lighten his
very dark palette and to paint in the short
brushstrokes of the Impressionists. His nervous
temperament made him a difficult companion and
night-long discussions combined with painting all
day undermined his health.
During his brief career he had sold one painting. Van
Gogh's finest works were produced in less than
three years during which time he cut off part of his
left ear following a breakdown in his friendship with
Paul Gauguin. After this he suffered recurrent bouts
of mental illness, which led to his suicide.
(Van Gogh Gallery)
Symbol 象徵,標誌
Expression 表現力
Pastor 牧師
Cultured 有教養;有知
Atmosphere 氣氛
Emotional 易動情的;
Self-confidence 自
Somber-toned 暗淡
• Sharply 明確地
• Palette 獨特色彩
• Temperament 喜怒
• Companion 同伴
• Undermined 逐漸損
• Breakdown 崩潰;破
• Recurrent 一再發生
• Bouts 發作
Pablo Picasso: Guernica
Background to Guernica
Guernica is a monumental painting by Pablo
Picasso, depicting the Nazi German
bombing of Guernica, Spain, by twentyeight bombers, on April 26, 1937 during the
Spanish Civil War. The attack killed
between 250 and 1,600 people, and many
more were injured.
Guernica presents a scene of death, violence,
brutality, suffering, and helplessness
without portraying their immediate causes.
The choice to paint in black and white
conveys the chronological nearness of a
newspaper photograph and the
lifelessness war affords.
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1974) was a Spanish artist
whose name is almost synonymous with 20th
century art. No artist was ever as famous as
Picasso was in his own lifetime, or has been since.
The controversies over his personality, arrogance,
affairs with younger women, and unwillingness to
be classified in the art world only added to his fame.
Picasso was able to create incredibly complex and
powerful paintings with a few strokes of the brush,
or capture the essence of someone's face from
many different angles all at once. Most of all
Picasso was an individualist. He was a founder of
art movements, such as Cubism. Picasso was
incredibly proficient, especially near the end of his
life, when he would often complete three paintings
in one day. It was as if he believed he could delay
his death through painting. At the time many of
these works were dismissed. It wasn't until long
after Picasso's death that critics took a new look at
his later works and realized that Picasso had
invented neo-expressionism and was, as usual,
decades ahead of his time.
• Monumental 重要的;
• Depict 描述;描寫
• Brutality 暴虐行為,蠻
• Immediate 直接的
• Causes 原因;起因
• Chronological 依時
• Afford 提供,給予
• Synonymous 同義的
• Controversies 爭論
• Arrogance 傲慢;自大
• Classified 分類的,類
• Complex 複雜的;由各
• Essence 本質,實質
• Individualist 個人主
• Cubism 立體派
• Proficient 精通的,熟
• Dismiss 不考慮
• Neo-expressionism
“Claude Monet.” Wikipedia. 2008. 30 June
Cooper, James. “About Pablo Picasso.” 10 July 2008.
“Guernica.” Wikipedia. 2008. 10 July 2008.
Stevenson, Sean. “Jean-François Millet: A
Simple Heart.” English 4U. 6 (2008): 1216.
“Vincent van Gogh: Biography.”
Vangoghgallery. 2008. 30 June 2008.

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