Year One - Contextual and Professional Studies

Analysing Artworks

Anna Medieta, Self Portrait, 1973

Anna Medieta Self Portrait 1973

Formal Analysis

The colour of this piece is natural to the human body, yet included contrast of blood. The tones of this piece are very dark and show imperfect organic forms. The face is centrally composed in an unnatural position with the focal point being the nose. The medium appears to be photography, placed into a frame.

Analysis from Research

The medium of this piece is ‘photograph on coloured paper’, with a scale of ‘398 × 310 × 32 mm’. This piece was from a set of 9 experimental photographs.

‘Mendieta’s use of blood carries a strongly political message in the form of a call to awareness of violence against women.’

Ana Mendieta’s meaning on the piece

John Millais, Ophelia, 1851-52

John Millais, Ophelia, 1852

The colour of this piece is very natural to the scene depicted, colour matched perfectly as if it was a picture. The tones of this piece are light and inviting, showing organic forms. The body is centrally depicted to draw the viewer to that element of the piece. The medium appears to be oil paints. The piece seems very emotional, I would suggest the female is deceased in the lake. Yet it is a very peaceful scene with the foliage. The artwork could have been inspired by the pre-raphaelites as their is elements similar to this art society.

Analysis from Research

After further research I realise the reason it reminded me of the pre-raphaelites as it was part of this art society. The medium is ‘Oil paint on canvas’, with a scale of ‘Support: 762 × 1118 mm, Frame: 1105 × 1458 × 145 mm’.

‘The plants, most of which have symbolic significance, were depicted with painstaking botanical detail. The roses near Ophelia’s cheek and dress, and the field rose on the bank, may allude to her brother Laertes calling her ‘rose of May’. The willow, nettle and daisy are associated with forsaken love, pain, and innocence. Pansies refer to love in vain. Violets, which Ophelia wears in a chain around her neck, stand for faithfulness, chastity or death of the young, any of which meanings could apply here. The poppy signifies death. Forget-me-nots float in the water.’

Symbolism within the Painting

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