and A Sunday on La Grande JanetteThe Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is a piece full of rich colours that reflect both the time period and the artists impressionist style. This composition not only conveys a leisurely gathering of people, but also expresses the changing French social structure of the time due to the industrial revolution. To portray these themes Renoir uses, shape, space, colour and texture. Shape is seen in the modeled figures and bottles, and space is created by overlapping of the bodies, but it does not give a realistic illusion of depth. Colour is most evident in the painting by the deep blue and green contrasted by the vibrant red and greens making it very rich in colour. Texture is also evident in the clothing which was emphasized by the artists impressionist brushstroke style. Renoir also used principals of design to make his composition more effective like balance, movement, repetition and unity. A symmetrical balance is evident because most of the subjects in the painting are on the right side. Movement is achieved in this painting by the gesture and expression of the subjects as well as the drapery on the table and the gazebo cover. Repetition can be seen in the curves of the gazebo cover, the stripes and the posts in the railing. All these elements and principals of design unify this piece and make it very pleasing to the eye. Renoir reflects the theme is this painting because the impressionist style was new to the art field, just as the advances from the industrial revolution were new to the people of the world.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat is a vibrant piece, that reflects his pointillism style. This painting displays elegant, emotionless people taking a leisurely walk on a nice Sunday afternoon. Seurat uses space, texture and colour to show ordinary people in the park in an artistic way. In this piece, the illusion of space is created through the use of the foreground and overlapping. The figures in the front are much larger that the figures off in the distance and overlapping of figures create this illusion of space. Texture is created to give a sense of realism and beauty. This was captured by Seurtats pointillist style, making it seem like he has painted each strand of grass and leaf in the trees. Colour is evident in Seurats painting style, where he felt that tiny colour dot would be more vibrant than ordinary brushstrokes. Balance, emphasis and unity are all principals that make this an exquisite piece of art. A symmetric balance is present because the painting is heavily weighted on the right side. The lady and her husband are much larger that the people sitting down on the grass as well as all the trees in the background on the right contrast the emptiness on the left side. Through the use of this a-symmetrical balance, emphasis is created on the lady and he husband as well. Their proportion is largest on the painting, accentuating them the most. Unity is present in the busy right side compared to the calmer waters. As well as the natural greens and reds balance each other, creating a vibrant, colourful, work of art. Georges Seurat decided to paint this style was because he thought that tiny dots of colour would appear brighter to the eye, then actual brushstrokes.
These pieces of art are very similar but different in many ways. They are very similar in the fact that they both depict a leisurely meeting of middle to upper class citizens. They both also show the same bright sunny weather, giving the sense of happiness and peace. They both also seen to have a lake in the top left of each painting, maybe symbolizing beauty and calmness. They both also use the same 2 point perspective which can be seen in the shoreline in A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and the table in The Luncheon of the Boating Party. As well as having these similarities they are very different. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte seems to have more riches values like the red. Also Seurats painting is done in pointillism where as Renoirs is more fluid brushstrokes and more realistic. To further add, Seurats painting looks very staged where as Renoirs is more of a snapshot in time. In addition, the figures are very stiff and emotionless in Seurats, where as in Renoirs The Luncheon of the Boating Party has lots of fluidity and expression.
If I were to choose which of these paintings is better, I would choose The Luncheon of the Boating Party. This is because it is more fluid, not stiff like Seurats. Also Renoirs incorporation of history in the painting (industrial revolution and freedoms middle class people received) is very clever. Furthermore, the loose and fluid brushstrokes are more visually pleasing than the harsh dots. I also enjoy it more because Renoirs painting looks more like a snapshot in time, rather than a stiff staged feeling Seurats has. Lastly, Renoirs is more appealing to me because it is rich in colour, has lots of highlights and shadows, and has a lively surface, rather than a formal structure.