Essay Exam 2

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Adrian Hollinger 12/ 13 / 11 Kara Burns Essay Question – Exam 2 The Dutch Golden age was a quite remarkable time, extending most of the 17th century. It was a time where Dutch culture was incredibly acclaimed and sought over by many people. Three Dutch artists, Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Jan Steen, arose during this era and stood out for various different reasons. Although Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Jan Steen did have similar painting styles, they all have fairly different ways of approaching thei
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  Adrian Hollinger 12/ 13 / 11Kara BurnsEssay Question – Exam 2The Dutch Golden age was a quite remarkable time, extending most of the 17 th century. It was atime where Dutch culture was incredibly acclaimed and sought over by many people. Three Dutchartists, Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Jan Steen, arose during this era and stood out for various differentreasons. Although Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Jan Steen did have similar painting styles, they all havefairly different ways of approaching their work.Frans Hals was a very intriguing artist for his time. He was largely known for his portraits of wealthy monarchs, as well as his large group portraits. What was really unique about his works is thathe created a “snapshot” like ambiance to his works as if you just walked in and captured the essence of the moment. One great example of this is Hals' painting,  Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen, c.1622. In this piece, Isaac Massa and a burgomaster's daughter, Beatrix van der Laen, are frolicking intheir love garden on occasion of marriage. As the viewer you almost feel as if you caught them in avery intimate moment as they look out in to the space. They both almost look as if they know you seethem and are acknowledging you as they are together in happiness. Frans Hals' portraits were alsoexceptionally unique during this time. In many of his portraits he had a selected focus on the face, andmore of a varied, loose brush pattern on the clothes and other parts of the body. Many of his self  portraits had these elements as well. However, later in his life his paintings did have a more detachedand rough style to them. His portraits were also not idealized at all. They subjects were clearlyrecognizable and many found Hal's work appealing because of that. Another artist also did his portraitssimilarity but had his own manner of doing it, and that artist was Rembrandt. Rembrandt is one of theworlds most recognizable artist.  He is one of the first artist to do self portraits of himself throughout different times in his life.He also worked with various mediums including etching and printmaking. Clean tight brush strokeswere used in his earlier painting, while his brush stokes loosen because of maturity, age, and slight blindness according to many scholars. In his portraits, he was know greatly for representing emotionand paying close attention to detail when it comes to the person he was painting. Rembrandt reallyfocuses on the persons personality and conveys it through facial expressions and physical attributes. Hewas also well known for his great use of chiaroscuro and rich deep shadows. Many scholars believethat he was greatly inspired by Caravaggio went it came to this aspect of his work.  Decent from theCross is a great example of his uses of lighting and shadows in a painting. You almost feel that there isa spotlight shining on Joseph as he is helping Jesus down from the cross. You can also see the deep richshadows casting off of all the figures and on the scene.Contrasting the dark nature of Rembrant is Jan Steen. Jan Steen had a quite unique style andcomedic charm. He mostly did genre scenes, but also did other types of works as well. The attributesthat made Jan Steen unique is his humor and lightheartedness in a majority of his paintings. He makes a big deal out of rejecting strict Italian works and produces work that is very much is own motif. Amajority of his genre paintings do not “invite” the viewer in, rather than confound the viewer into theaction of the painting. They also seem very “messy” with a lot of figures encompassing the space. JanSteen's Twelfth Night  has all of these characteristics and then some. In this work, Steen shows whatseems to be a close knit family genuinely having a good time. What is notable about the piece is thatthey are all doing different things and seem to have their own personalities. The woman in the frontseems to be the most relaxed and has had one too many drinks. While a contrasting couple seems to notacknowledge the foolish nature on the other side of the room. All three of these artist have similar characteristics, but have distinctive methods on how they tackle the pieces. They all successfullyventure out and gather a following for rejecting traditional styles of painting and being innovative.
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