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Hunting Dogs by Jean-Désiré-Gustave Courbet is the first painting I looked at and I was created in 1867. The painting is oil on canvas and the size of it is 361/2 x 58 ˝ inch.
Courbet paints two dogs and a dead hare in the woods. The woods are becoming dark and the sun is setting. The painting is dark and gloomy except for the quarreling dogs that the sun is directly setting on. With fine brushstrokes he sets a depressing mood because of the choice of dark colors. This picture is a very good example of it’s times because many paintings at that time told stories. The stories they told is what many people believed but no one dared to say in paintings or even words. This painting shows realism that Courbet is known for. The paintings that he creates are realistic and have prefect illusion of space and matter. Courbet goes against many painters of his time because of the dangerous views that he takes but he sets a trend for others like Edouard Manet.
In the landscape there is nothing except dark woods. But the dark woods are what make the picture so terrific. The landscape is magnificent you can tell that these dogs are at the edge of the woods or in a clearing because behind them you can see the sun setting. The first time I looked at this picture it looked like the sun was setting right in front of me. This is a large picture and at first glance it seems to have some light from the little sun in the picture and the lights shinning on the picture in the museum. But, as I stared deeper into the picture it just kept getting darker and darker and that is where the mood is set. Without the landscape it would be impossible to set the mood because the lighting in this picture is the most important element. There seems to be great depth in this painting because you can see far into the forest. The way the painting shows the deepness in the forest is by placing the trees behind each other or to the side and they get smaller as they go further back this. The landscape with the all trees and bushes gives this a perfect illusion of space.
This painting tells a clear story by the way the dogs and the dead hare are placed. The dead hare is placed in the corner and the two dogs both want it. The brown and black dog are quarreling over the dead hare but the brown dog is closer to the hare. The brown dog is closer and looks like he was there first and had been hovering around this dead hare for a while. The black dog would have to go through the brown dog to get to the hare. The brown dog does not look like he wants to eat this hare because he is too far away and if he was going to eat the hare he would be a lot closer to the hare when he is defending it. Unlike any other paintings before this one it is very realistic in terms of the illusion of space and the realistic look of the dogs and the hare. The realism differs in this picture than any others in the time before this painting looks like a picture taken from a camera.
The artist positions the viewer like he slightly above the dogs or like any human man or women walking into the woods and coming across two dogs fighting. The dogs are unaware of the viewer looking at the painting they are too involved in the quarrel for the hare so they do not relate to spectator at all. The pose and gestures on the dogs faces show that they are about to fight and it shows that either dog is unwelcome to the other. The light and shadow in the landscape set the scene for the fight between the two dogs. The artist gives a convincing illusion when using light and shadow to model his figures of natural looking dogs.
I feel this painting of two dogs is more than just two hunting dogs fighting
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Art history, Gustave Courbet, douard Manet, Realism, Painting, Themes in Italian Renaissance painting
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