• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

comparison of still life with a skull (1671) by Phillipe de campaigne and Mortality and Immortality (1876) by William Harnett.

Extracts from this document...


The paintings I will be comparing are still life with a skull (1671) by Phillipe de campaigne and Mortality and Immortality (1876) by William Harnett. Still life with a skull 1671 Oil on canvas Phillipe de Campaigne Mortality and Immortality 1876 oil on canvas William harnett First impressions: When I first look at Champaigne's piece of work, I see the skull dominating the centre of the image, looking at me. The image makes me think about death, as the skull seems to be watching the viewer - awaiting their death. What is strange however is the flower beside the skull. Harnett's painting howevr is somewhat different; at first sight, I see more to the image than just a skull. Basic elements: The colours used in both paintings however are quite similar in that darker hues are used to create a dark 'deathly' atmoshphere. The colours used in harnett's painting are slightly warmer than Champaigne's painting; both however used contrasting hues to create visually striking depictions. The light has been effectively exploited to aid in this. The texture of Campaigne's painting seems quite rough whilst Harnett's seems smoother, this is because the way the paints have been used in Harnett's work create a smoother feel. ...read more.


Materials and techniques: Both paintings have been done using oil on canvas. The paint has been used precicisely to achieve a realistic still life image. Composition: I think both paintings have been carefully planned; I believe this because of the effective use of overlapping created which surely cannot be by chance as it serves a real purpose. Although campaigne's painting is somewhat simpler compositionally as there's less in the painting, the skull has purposefully been placed in the middle and the flower symbolising life to its left and the timer to its right. This is no accident as I believe Campaign did this purposefully to challenge life and death. Harnett's painting makes much more use of overlapping, with books towards the front overlapping other books behind them on which the notorious skull stands. The pages are flickering as if to suggest life within this deathly painting. The violin is pointing towards the skull; it brings us into the painting from the foreground and leads us to the midground where the skull stands and disappears into the darkness of the background. ...read more.


So there are to major contradictoy themes fighting against each other. The timer also emphases the struggle for life and the approaching death in Campaigne's painting. In my work, iam also using evryday objects to show my identity - objects that are normal to me. Howver I have also contempated incorporating a skull to evoke a feeling of death. The book in harnett's painting is also an object which I might implemnet into my 'identity' work; Interestingly the book iam planning to implement within my composition has an illustration of a skull with cross bones - its title is 'double or die' and its these contributing aspects of the book which fit into one of my themes; death. I have also thought of icorporating the 'time' theme through a clock. I also have an illustration of a skull on a book of mine which iam thinking of implemeting somewhere within my final composition. Evaluation: I personally found these works very striking and interesting as they portrayed life and death very well. I would add more objects to Campaigne's painting as there's a lack if of overlapping to create a sense of real depth. If I could ask both artists a question, I would ask them both what is the significance of the skulls in both paintings. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. Art Evaluation

    of death and used her ideas about death with an addition to my personal views and the ones I learnt about during my initial research about different cultures and also those who I know that I asked. Kim Marie's ideas influenced my ideas about death, as well as those of

  2. Discuss the work of two still life painters from different periods, referring to specific ...

    Fauvism was a movement in art renowned for its use of bright colours. Cubism was a movement in art developed by the artists Picasso and Braque and is known for the many angles in which the subject is painted from.

  1. Jekyll and Hyde double personality

    Stevenson also explores duality through the characters in the text. Mr Hyde is very cunning, fast and quickly covers up his wrong doings and actions and he is also an uncontrollable character. He is represented as a human who has some form of deformity with "no face".

  2. Free essay

    The Life and Work of Salvador Dali

    1940 Oil on canvas 40.5 x 50.8 cm. When first seeing this painting, one may think that it is filled with death, decay and destruction. The drooping corpse and the melting shapes reveal the feeling of melting away and dying. This painting is filled with so much more than pain.

  1. Essays on the following artists; Albrecht Durer, Fransisco Jose de GoyaLucentes, Peter Carl Faberge, ...

    He etched the piece in 1810 and it is still one of his most remembered works and no one can deny the nightmarish yet strangely serene scene sticks in the mind like a worrying splinter, reminding us of the horrors of war.

  2. What do Victorian paintings of religious subjects and themes reveal about Victorian attitudes and ...

    Ruskin was an extremely influential art critic and if it had not been for him coming to the defence of the Pre-Raphaelites work they may have not achieved the success they did. Millais's painting was deeply unpopular because it did not fit in with the stereotype classical derived pictures of

  1. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

    Lautrec makes the dancer on the horse stand out by painting a dull green entrance wall behind the strong yellow hair of the dancer, which attracts your attention. I thought it was clever how he puts a bit more life into the painting by adding two other characters into the

  2. Frida Kahlo - life and works

    The Frida on the left-hand side controls the blood flow with surgical clamps and the open artery on her lap may refer to the end of her marriage with Rivera. The Frida on the right-hand side holds a small portrait of Rivera as a child.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work