Visual Analysis Essay: Example and Tips
When we talk about visual analysis, we first of all mean analysis of architectural monuments, monuments of sculpture, paintings, graphic works and works of decorative and folk art. Usually, students write visual analysis for culture study courses.
- 1 Algorithm for the analysis of works of art
- 2 Algorithm of the analysis of architecture
- 3 Algorithm for the analysis of sculpture
- 4 Sample questions for the analysis of works of art
- 5 Plan of visual analysis of the painting
- 6 Methods of monographic visual analysis of architecture
- 7 Description and visual analysis of sculpture
- 8 Description and visual analysis of paintings
- 9 Description and visual analysis of graphic works
- 10 Description and visual analysis of works of decorative and folk art
- 11 Sample of analysis plan of monuments of arts and crafts and folk art
- 12 Tips for writing visual analysis
- 13 Visual analysis essay example. Rene Magritte “Insight”
Algorithm for the analysis of works of art
- Information about the author. What is the place of this work in his artistic work?
- Belonging to the artistic age.
- The meaning of the name of the picture.
- Genre affiliation.
- Features of plot. The reasons for writing a picture. Finding the answer to the question: did the author convey his intention to the viewer?
- Features of the composition of the picture.
- The main means of the artistic image: color, drawing, texture, light and shade, manner of writing.
- What impression did this work of art have on your feelings and mood?
- What are the associations of the artistic image and why?
- Where is this work of art?
Algorithm of the analysis of architecture
- What is known about the history of creation of an architectural structure and its author?
- Indicate the belonging of this work to the cultural-historical epoch, artistic style, direction.
- What embodiment found in this work the Vitruvius formula: strength, benefit, beauty?
- Indicate the artistic means and methods of creating an architectural image (symmetry, rhythm, proportions, cut-off and color modeling, scale), tectonic systems (post-and-beam, archery, arched-dome).
- Indicate the belonging to the type of architecture: volumetric structures (public: residential, industrial); landscape (landscape gardening or small forms); town planning.
- Indicate the relationship between the external and internal appearance of the architectural structure, the relationship between the building and the relief, the nature of the landscape.
- How are other forms of art used in the design of its architectural appearance?
- What impression the work had on you?
- What are the associations of the artistic image and why?
- Where is the architectural structure located?
Algorithm for the analysis of sculpture
- The history of the creation of the work.
- Information about the author. What is the place of this work in his work?
- Belonging to the artistic age.
- The meaning of the name of the work.
- Belonging to the types of sculpture (monumental, memorial, easel).
- The use of material and technology of its processing.
- The size of the sculpture (if it is important to know).
- The shape and size of the pedestal.
- Where is this sculpture?
- What impression did this work have on you?
- What associations does the artistic image cause and why?
Sample questions for the analysis of works of art
- What is the impression of the piece?
- What mood is the author trying to convey?
- What sensations can the viewer experience?
- What is the nature of the piece?
- How does the emotional impression of a work help its scale, format, horizontal, vertical or diagonal arrangement of parts, the use of certain architectural forms, the use of certain colors in a picture and the distribution of light in an architectural monument?
- What (or who) is depicted in the picture?
- What does the viewer see standing in front of the facade? In the interiors?
- Who do you see in the sculpture?
- Highlight the main point from what you see.
- Try to explain why this is the main thing for you.
- By what means does an artist (architect, composer) single out the most important things?
- How are the objects arranged in the work (subject composition)?
- How are the main lines drawn in the work (linear composition)?
- How are volumes and spaces compared in an architectural structure (architectural composition)?
- Try to retell the plot of the picture.
- Try to imagine which events may occur more often in this architectural structure.
- What can this sculpture do (or say) if it comes to life?
- Are there objects in the work that symbolize something?
- Does the composition and its main elements have a symbolic character: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, circle, oval, color, cube, dome, arch, arch, wall, tower, spire, gesture, pose, clothing, rhythm, timbre?
- What is the title of the piece? How does it relate to its plot and symbolism?
- What do you think the author of the work wanted to convey to people?
Plan of visual analysis of the painting
- The author, the name of the work, time and place of creation, the history of the plan and its embodiment. Model selection.
- Style, direction.
- Kind of painting: easel, monumental (fresco, tempera, mosaic).
- Choice of material (for easel painting): oil paints, watercolor, gouache, pastel. The nature of the use of this material for the artist.
- Genre of painting (portrait, landscape, still life, historical painting, panorama, diorama, iconography, marina, mythological genre, everyday genre). The genre for the artist’s works.
- Painted plot. Symbolic content (if any).
- Painting characteristics of the work:
- artistic space (space transformed by the artist);
- Personal impression obtained when viewing the work.
- Compositional scheme and its functions
- format (vertically and horizontally elongated, square, oval, round, ratio of image and format)
- geometric schemes
- main composition lines
- balance, the ratio of the parts of the image with each other and with the whole,
- sequence of consideration
- Space and its functions
- Perspective, vanishing points
- flatness and depth
- spatial plans
- the distance between the viewer and the work, place of the viewer in the space of the picture or outside it
- point of view and the presence of angles, the horizon line
- Light and shade, volume and their role.
- volume and plane
- line, silhouette
- light sources, time of day, lighting effects
- emotional impact of light and shadow
- Color, shadow and its functions
- prevalence of tonal or local color
- warm or cold coloring
- linearity or picturesqueness
- the main color spots, their relationship and role in composition
- emotional impact of color
- Surface texture (smear).
- the nature of the stroke (open texture, smooth texture)
- direction of strokes
- smear size
Description and analysis of architectural monuments
Methods of monographic visual analysis of architecture
- Analysis of constructive and tectonic systems assumes:
- a) graphic identification on perspective or orthogonal projections of the monument of its structural basis (for example, dashed contours of arches and domes, “manifestation” on the facade of the internal structure, a kind of “alignment” of the facade with a cut, shading surfaces on cuts to clarify the structure of the interior etc.)
- b) elucidation of the degree of closeness and interconnectedness of structural elements and the corresponding tectonic architectural forms (for example, the allocation of arches, arches and definitions in sections, their influence on the forms of rocky gems, three-blade arches, etc.)
- c) compilation of certain tectonic schemes of the monument (for example, the vaulted scheme of the grass of the Gothic cathedral or the “mold” scheme of the internal space of the pillarless church in axonometry, etc.);
- Analysis of proportionality and proportions is carried out, as a rule, in orthogonal projections and consists of two moments:
- a) search for multiple ratios (for example, 2: 3, 4: 5, etc.) between the main dimensional parameters of the monument, taking into account the fact that these proportions could at one time be used in construction for laying off the necessary values in kind. At the same time, dimensional values (modules) that occur repeatedly in the monument should be compared with historical measures of length (feet, fathoms, etc.);
- b) the search for a more or less constant geometric connection of the sizes of the main forms and divisions of the monument based on the regular relationships of the elements of the simplest geometric figures (square, double square, equilateral triangle, etc.) and their derivatives. The revealed proportional relationships should not contradict the logic of construction of the tectonic forms of the monument and the obvious sequence of erection of its individual parts. The analysis can be completed by linking the dimensions of the original geometric shape with the module and with historical measures of length.
When writing visual analysis, one should not strive to identify too many ratios, it is much more important to pay attention to the quality of the selected proportions, i.e., their compositional significance, their relationship with the dimensional relationships of the main tectonic divisions of volumes and the possibility of their use in the process construction of the monument.
- The analysis of metro-rhythmic patterns can be carried out both on orthogonal drawings and on perspective images of the monument (drawings, photographs, slides, etc.). The essence of the method is reduced to graphic underlining (with a line, tone, shading or color) on any image of a monument of metric and rhythmic rows of forms both vertically and horizontally. Metric rows selected in such a way (for example, colonnades, window apertures, etc.) and rhythmic rows (for example, tiers decreasing in height, changing archways, etc.) reveal the “static” or “dynamism” architectural composition of the monument.
- Graphic reconstruction allows you to recreate the lost image of the monument at any stage of its historical existence. The reconstruction is carried out either in the form of an orthogonal drawing (plan, facade), when there is a corresponding sub base, or in the form of a perspective image made from a drawing from life or a photo (slide). As a source for reconstruction, you should use the published old images of the monument, various kinds of historical descriptions, as well as materials on similar monuments of the same era.
When performing a task for graphic reconstruction, the method of drawing and photomontage can be widely used.
- Construction of architectural paintings – reception of the analysis of monuments with a developed three-dimensional composition, designed for gradual perception in time, such as the Erechtheion in Athens. When walking around such a monument, the viewer, due to the closure of some volumes by others, perceives many promising images flowing into one another, which are called architectural paintings.
The task of the student is to identify qualitatively different groups of architectural paintings, designate on the plan the zones of perception of these groups of paintings and illustrate each group of one, characteristic, in the form of a perspective drawing or photograph (slide).
The number of qualitatively different paintings usually does not exceed five or six.
- Analysis of scale consists of identifying the large-scale role of segmentation of the architectural volume and graphic selection on orthogonal or perspective images of the monument of characteristic details – “scale indicators”, such as steps, balustrades, etc. Special attention should be paid to the role of the order as a universal tool architectural scale.
Description and visual analysis of sculpture
Artistic language of sculpture
When analyzing works of sculpture, it is necessary to take into account the own parameters of sculpture as an art form. Sculpture is a type of art in which a real three-dimensional volume interacts with the three-dimensional space surrounding it. The main thing in the analysis of the sculpture – the volume, space and how they interact, sculpture materials, types of sculpture, sculpture genres.
Sample of plan of visual analysis of sculpture:
- What is the size of this sculpture? Sculpture is monumental, easel, miniature. Size affects how it interacts with space.
- In what space was the work analyzed (in the temple, in the square, in the house, etc.)? What point of view were calculated (from afar, from below, near)? Is it part of an architectural or sculptural ensemble or is it an independent work?
- How the work in question encompasses three-dimensional space (round sculpture and sculpture associated with architecture; architectural-sculptural form, high relief; relief; bas-relief; scenic relief; counter-relief)
- What material is it in? What are the features of this material? Even if you analyze the casts, it is important to remember what material the original was made of. Go to the halls of the original, see how the sculpture looks like, made in the material of interest to you. What features of the sculpture are given by this material (why was this material chosen for this work)?
- Is the sculpture designed for fixed points of view, or is it fully revealed in a circular walk? How many finished expressive silhouettes in this sculpture? What are these silhouettes (closed, compact, geometrically correct or pictorial, open)? How are the silhouettes related to each other?
- What are the proportions (ratios of parts and the whole) in a given sculpture or sculptural group? What are the proportions of the human figure?
- What is the figure of the sculpture (the development and complication of the relationship between large composite blocks, the rhythm of internal divisions and the nature of surface development)? If we are talking about relief – how does the whole change when the angle of view changes? How does the depth of the relief vary and spatial plans are built, how many are there?
- What is the texture of the sculptural surface? Homogeneous or different in different parts? Smooth or “sketchy” visible traces of the touch of tools, natural, conditional. How does this texture relate to material properties? How does the texture affect the perception of the silhouette and volume of the sculptural form?
- What is the role of color in sculpture? How does volume and color interact, how do they affect each other?
- To which genre does this sculpture belong? What was it intended for?
- What is the interpretation of the motive (naturalistic, conditional, dictated by the canon, dictated by the place occupied by the sculpture in its architectural environment or some other).
- Do you feel the influence of any other types of art: architecture, painting?
Description and visual analysis of paintings
Art language of painting
The concept of painting. Means of artistic expression: artistic space, composition, color, rhythm, character of a colorful stroke. Materials and techniques of painting: oil, tempera, gouache, watercolor, mixed media, etc. Painting is easel and monumental. Varieties of monumental painting: fresco, mosaic, stained glass, etc. Painting genres: portrait, landscape, genre, still life, animalism, historical, etc.
Description of paintings
The definition of the basic parameters of the work: author, date of creation, size of the picture, format of the picture: a rectangle stretched horizontally or vertically (possibly with a rounded end), square, circle (tondo), oval. Technique (tempera, oil, watercolor, etc.) and on what basis (wood, canvas, etc.) a picture was made, etc.
Analysis of paintings
Sample of analysis plan:
- Is there a plot in the picture? What is shown? In what environment are the depicted characters, objects?
- Based on the image analysis, you can conclude about the genre. What genre: portrait, landscape, still life, nude, everyday, mythological, religious, historical, animalistic, – is the picture?
- What do you think, what task does the artist perform – figurative? expressive? What is the degree of convention or naturalism of the image? Is conventionality to idealization or to expressive distortion? As a rule, the composition of the picture is associated with the genre.
- What are the components of the composition? What is the ratio of the image object and the background / space on the canvas of the picture?
- How close to the picture plane are the objects of the image?
- What angle of view did the artist choose – top, bottom, flush with the objects depicted?
- How is the position of the viewer defined – is it involved in the interaction with the image in the picture, or is it assigned the role of a detached contemplator?
- Is it possible to call a composition balanced, static, or dynamic? If there is movement, how is it directed?
- How is the picture space built (flat, indefinite, the spatial layer is enclosed, the deep space created)? Due to what is achieved the illusion of spatial depth (the difference in the size of the depicted figures, showing the volume of objects or architecture, using gradations of color)? The composition is developed by means of drawing.
- To what extent is the linear beginning expressed in the picture?
- Are the contours demarcating individual objects emphasized or hidden? What means achieve this effect?
- To what extent is the volume of objects expressed? What techniques create the illusion of volume?
- What role does light play in the picture? What is it (smooth, neutral; contrasting, sculpturing volume; mystical).
- Are the silhouettes of the depicted figures / objects read? How expressive and valuable are they in themselves?
- How detailed (or vice versa generalized) the image is?
- Is a variety of textures of the depicted surfaces (leather, fabrics, metal, etc.) transmitted? Coloring.
- What role does color play in the picture (subordinated to the pattern and volume, or vice versa subordinates the pattern to itself and builds the composition itself).
- Is the color merely a color or something big? Is it optically reliable or expressive?
- Is the picture dominated by local colors or tonal color?
- Are the borders of color spots visible? Do they coincide with the boundaries of volumes and objects?
- Does the artist operate with large masses of color or small spot-strokes?
- Are there any glare reflexes? How are the shadows written (deaf or transparent, are they colored)?
- Is it possible to identify rhythmic repetitions in the use of any color or combination of shades, can we trace the development of any color? Is there a dominant color / color combination?
- What is the texture of the painting surface – smooth or pasty? Are separate strokes visible?
Description and visual analysis of graphic works
Artistic graphic language
Graphics as a form of art. The main means of artistic expressiveness of graphics: line, stroke, blot, etc. The drawing is linear and cut-off. Engraving, types of engraving: woodcut, lithography, linocut, etching, monotype, aquatint and other easel graphics. Book graphics. Poster art, posters. Applied graphics.
Description of the works of graphics
The definition of the basic parameters of the work: the author, creation date, sheet size, format, technique.
Sample of visual analysis plan of Graphic Artwork
- The general definition of the spatial situation, characteristics of depicted space. The space is deep or not, closed or open, on which plane the accents are focused. The predominant (most essential for this work) means for constructing depth and their use. For example: the nature of the linear or aerial perspective (if used). Characteristics of the depicted space. Integrity / dismemberment of space. The division into plans, the distribution of attention (the allocation of certain plans or the uniformity of perception). Point of view. The interaction of the viewer and the depicted space (this item is necessary, even if there is no image of the deep space).
- Location, ratio, relationship of elements on the plane and in space.
Determination of the type of composition – if possible. Further clarification: how exactly this type of composition is embodied in this graphic work, what are the nuances of its use. format specifications (size of proportion). The ratio of format and composition: the image and its borders. The distribution of the masses within the sheet. Composite accent and its location; its relationship with other elements; dominant areas: dynamics and statics. The interaction of the main elements of the composition with the spatial structure, placement of accents.
- Analysis of graphic techniques.
- The result of the analysis is the identification of the principles for constructing the form, its expressive qualities and effects. Based on the formal and expressive qualities of the work, one can raise the question of its meaning (content, idea), i.e. proceed to its interpretation. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the plot (how is the plot interpreted in this work?), specificity of the character image (in the plot picture and portrait – postures, gestures, facial expressions, glance), symbolism (if it exists), etc., but at the same time the means of image and therefore the effect of the picture. It is also possible to correlate the identified individual features of the work with the requirements of the type and genre to which it belongs, with the broader artistic context (the work of the author as a whole: the art of the era, school, etc.). From this can follow the conclusion about the value and significance of the work, its place in the history of art.
Description and visual analysis of works of decorative and folk art
Types of decorative and folk art:
Painting on wood, metal, etc. Embroidery. Carpet weaving. Jewelry Art. Woodcarving, bones. Ceramics. Art varnishes, etc.
Description of the monuments of arts and crafts and folk art
View arts and crafts. Material. Features of its processing. Dimensions. Purpose. Characteristic colors, textures. The ratio of utilitarian and artistic – aesthetic functions of the subject.
Sample of analysis plan of monuments of arts and crafts and folk art
- What is this item for?
- What is its size?
- What is the decoration of the subject? Where are the zones of figurative and ornamental jewelry? How is the placement of images related to the shape of the subject?
- What types of patterns are used? What parts of the subject are they located on?
- Where are the figurative images? Do they take up more space than ornamental ones or are they just one of the ornamental registers?
- How is a register constructed with figurative images? Is it possible to say that the methods of free composition are used here or is the principle of rationing used (figures in identical postures, minimal movement, repeat each other)?
- How are the figures depicted? Are they moving, frozen, stylized?
- How are the details of the figures transmitted? Do they look more natural or ornamental? What techniques are used to transfer figures?
- Look inside the subject, if possible. Is there an image and ornaments? Describe them by the above scheme.
- What are the main and additional colors used in the construction of ornaments and shapes? What is the tone of the clay itself? How does this affect the character of the image – does it make it more ornamental or, on the contrary, more natural?
Visual analysis of a work is a complex work of the intellect that requires a lot of knowledge and skill. There are many approaches, techniques, methods of analysis, but they all fit into several complex actions:
1) decoding information contained in the fabric of the work itself,
2) analytical study of the process and circumstances of the creation of a work of art, helping to deepen and enrich its understanding,
3) the study of historical dynamics of artistic image of the work in individual and collective perception.
In the first case, there is work with the work as a self-value – “text”; in the second, we view the text in context, revealing traces of the influence of external impulses in the artistic image; in the third — we study the changes in the artistic image depending on how its perception changes in different eras. Each artwork, by virtue of its originality, dictates its own path, its own logic, and its own methods of analysis.
Tips for writing visual analysis
Before concluding the discussion on visual analysis and its place in studying a work of art, let me give you two tips.
The first concerns the meaning of analysis. Regardless of whether this or that work of art is closely or internally alien to you, analyzing – interpretation will help you understand the author, and in a conversation about artwork, justify his assessment. In the relationship with the art of “like – do not like” it is better to replace with other formulations:
“I understand and accept” or “I understand, but I do not accept!” And at the same time always be ready to substantiate your opinion.
The second advice is especially useful if you have to work at an exhibition of modern art or as a guest of an artist – in his studio. For any normal person, the presence of the author is a deterrent factor; therefore, at an exhibition of contemporary art, always work as if the author is standing side by side – this is a real possibility.
But the main thing: once and for all, abandon the idea that there is “right” and “wrong” art, “good” and “bad.” A work of art is subject to evaluation: after all, its creator may be a master, and perhaps a snobby amateur, a super-adaptive opportunistic speculator.
Visual analysis essay example. Rene Magritte “Insight”
“The art of image is the art of thinking, designed to emphasize the importance of the human ability to see… The art of image is intended to improve the visible with a purely visual perception of the external world and with the help of sight alone.”
Title of the work – “Insight” (“La clairvoyance”)
Date and place of creation – 1936, Brussels
The history of the idea and its creation – Magritte himself spoke about the painting “Insight” as follows: “We are used to seeing a bird in a cage; it will be more interesting for us if we place a fish or a shoe instead of a bird; but these images, though interesting, unfortunately, are random, arbitrary. However, you can come up with a way that this test will endure, because it will be accurate and final: it is the image of an egg in a bird cage…”
Style / Direction – Surrealism. However, the author himself asked to rank his work in the style of “magical realism”, since his paintings are slightly different from the pictures of other surrealists.
Size – 54×65 cm.
Type of painting – Easel painting
Choice of material: Oil paints, canvas.
Painting genre – Self portrait The genre is quite typical for the artist’s works.
Picture’s plot – Symbolic content. The heroic man of “Insight” is an artist, he is very focused on his work. His eyes are riveted on the egg that lies on the table. On the canvas, we see the fruit of his discernment – the bird. The artist sees more than the ordinary person sees; he penetrates into the essence of things, reflects them. He, like a magician, practically foresees the future, even on such a simple example as an egg and a bird. But behind this example is the metaphor of the true purpose of the artist, his role. It reveals the hidden potential of things, anticipates events, shines through phenomena like an x-ray machine. Magritte stands out sharply among other surrealists: unlike them, he uses not fantastic, but ordinary elements, taken in bizarre relationships, skillfully exploiting symbolism to express his vision.
The inner content of the image / character – The image of a man in the picture is a self-portrait of Magritte himself. This is quite a frequent phenomenon in his work, you can find many paintings, the hero of which is Magritte himself, for example, one of his most famous pictures of “Son of man.” There is a photograph in which the artist, as it were, copies the content of his own picture, creating a curious recursive effect.
“I would like my pictures to be needed only when people think about what is depicted on them”
Picturesque characteristics of the work, composition –
- Coloring / dominant color / color combination – dominated by gray muted tones, some brown objects (chair, easel), brick-colored tablecloth on a table, a hero in a dark brown jacket.
- Chiaroscuro / glare / reflexes – the most prominent spots of the painting – white canvas and egg that contrasts with everything else, we also see a pronounced shadow from the egg lying on the table, the shadow of the tablecloth and the shadow of the artist’s hand. Light falls on the left, on the face of the hero. Reflexes are present.
- The surface texture of the canvas / image is the characteristic texture of the canvas, rather smooth, without protruding strokes.
- Volume / flatness – there is a volume in the picture, objects and people look realistic, not flat.
- The composition of the composition – the composition consists of 7 elements located in the room: a table with a tablecloth, an egg on the table, an easel, canvas, a palette of colors, a chair and, finally, a person.
- Format – a rectangle stretched horizontally.
- Rhythm – the bird depicted on the canvas is quite realistic, it creates a certain illusion of rhythm, movement + raised hand, as if the artist is just about to smear.
- Point of view – we see the hero half a turn, from the back, but we see his face, his gaze is fixed sideways, on the table with an egg, but the easel with the picture appears before us “full face”. The artist chose the angle of view flush with the objects depicted.
- Balance – the picture is not too balanced, as it seems to me, it breaks down into three components, different in size. Asymmetry is present.
- Staticity / dynamism – the picture is clearly static, and although we see the artist’s raised hand (probably, he should make a move now), it seems that he has rather stopped thinking about the contents of the egg.
- Artistic space (space, transformed by the artist) – the artistic space of this painting is limited to small (apparently) room dimensions, even objects are fairly close to each other, but in a global sense this small room can be interpreted as a single creative field, where the artist-creator shows his insight and subtlety of understanding of the surrounding of the world. A modest, even minimalist interior can express the artist’s asceticism in the outside world and at the same time the wealth of his spiritual, inner world.
- Plans – there is no perspective, the volume of space is not shown, all the objects are practically on the same plane, except for the canvas, which is depicted as if a little further.
- Linear beginning – not too pronounced.
Details – in its simplicity, the picture is quite detailed, the face of the hero is very well written, we distinguish all its features, the bird is also well written on the canvas, feathers are visible on its wings. From small details you can see the colors on the palette, carnations on the easel and canvas. However, if we compare this picture with the works of the realistic school, it will, of course, lose in detail.
Personal impression received while viewing the work – This work made a strong impression on me, which is why I chose it for analysis. Its peculiarity is not in the abundance of bright colors, not in any new technique, but in the idea of its content. The picture probably would not have struck the eye on the wall of the museum, but the concept it contains leads to many different thoughts and causes a little to expand the perception of the surrounding world, which, in my opinion, it is beautiful. The art of surrealism, whether, for example, paintings by Magritte or Dali, present a new look to the audience on reality, to observe which is incredibly interesting and unusual. They seem to show us the world from another point of view, from a different angle, from another side. The painting “Insight” is ingenious in its contrast to external inconspicuous and bright internal content. Its idea is simple, but absolutely brilliant, which is bound to amaze. With all this, “inconspicuous” does not mean “ugliness”, the picture is quite pleasant, even if we discard its meaning. For Magritte, the main thing is to express the idea, and not to create a pictorial masterpiece, ideal for the technique of execution. It is not the first century that people argue for what purpose painting was really created, only for aesthetic pleasure or for understanding the meaning of life’s phenomena through visual perception? Rene Magritte, it seems to me, wanted to please both of them, he created beautiful paintings, he also invested in them a deep meaning, not limited to simple descriptiveness of what was happening.