Unseen Scenery I Painting By Mandy Sun

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Artist Mandy Sun. 'Unseen Scenery I' Artwork Image, Created in 2013, Original Paper. #art #artist
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Mandy Sun


Unseen Scenery I

Size - (USA):
90 W x 116 H x 0 D (cm)
Size - (metric):
35.4 W x 45.7 H x 0.0 D (inches)
Artwork ID:

Artwork Description:

At first glance, a young Chinese girl stares out of the frame, lost in her thoughts and mindless of our attentions. Then a second closer look unveils a scene which invites us to take a step back in time. Behind the more obviously contemporary elements of a modern, scuffed white chair, a cafetiere on the table and a fashion denim jacket in this 21st century portrait, there lie the clues to a style and composition that pre-date this artist by several hundreds of years. Fang Zanru is paying homage to a generation of 17th century Dutch artists who created some of the most poignant and intimate domestic interiors ever painted in Western art. Some of the devices that are familiar to us from the intimate domestic portraits of Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch are here in Fangs 21st century reinterpretation: the still life deliberately arranged on the table; the drapery hanging in the top left corner of the picture, pulled back to reveal a painting on the wall; and the dark, uncluttered background, painted to heighten the intimacy and solemnity of the portrait. But this is no slavish copy of a Vermeer or a de Hooch. This is a thoroughly 21st century portrait, the artist demonstrating her timeless respect for a rich vocabulary of pictorial devices that were brought to a height of perfection in 17th century Holland. Fang is drawing on this vocabulary to throw a contemporary light on the grace and character of her thoroughly modern sitter. Positioning her subject against a plain, dark background, which in turn contrasts vividly with the plain white chair in which she sits her young, almost motionless subject, helps to focus the viewers attention on the poise and elegance of her sitter. The blue, yellow and white chosen for her clothing are redolent of Vermeers Milkmaid in Amsterdams Rijksmuseum. But the styling is obviously a fashion of our times and no amount of Vermeer has prevented this artist from representing her subject as a living woman of the modern age. Relaxed, self-confident, very much her own woman, this is no subjugated servant or milkmaid. The portrait leaves questions which invite closer examination. Why is the portrait on the wall reversed from our view? How much more can we learn about the sitter from the objects that surround her? Like every good portrait, we need to look harder to find more answers.
Artwork Keywords:   Original Painting
Materials:   Oil Paintings

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