Analysis Of Jean-Baptiste Greuze's The Dreamer

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Spanning the years 1765 to 1769, the French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze painted The Dreamer in oil on canvas. His painting, The Dreamer is a beautiful example of Greuze‚Äôs talent in portraying emotion by successfully combining the elements of art which enhance the mood of the image. Greuze creates a well constructed composition through the use of line, color and light to convey the state of being at rest and nearing a peaceful slumber. His use of smooth, flowing lines which curve with the figure draws the viewers gaze to the figures face highlighting the serene expression. The direction of the curving lines created by the drapery of the shirt fabric mimics the curve of the breast and shoulder and draws the eye to the face of the figure. The …show more content…
The background of the painting is a cool grayish blue that gradually becomes lighter near the figures cheek which creates a soft halo of light near the figures face. Greuze attentively created a consistent use of light and shadow in accordance with the light source. The sitter is illuminated from above slightly from the right of the figure. The left side of the figures forehead and the left shoulder are most illuminated by the light. Dark shadows are created on the right side of the face, behind the neck and hair, and behind the left shoulder. A dark shadow is also created on the right shoulder which is obstructed from the light source by the head of the figure. The warm glow of the highly illuminated portions of the skin mimics the warm glow cast by candlelight. The cool darkness of the background creates the illusion of a dark, interior setting which helps convey a night scene needed for a peaceful slumber. In summary, in the painting The Dreamer, Jean-Baptiste Greuze conveys a sense of calm reverie through the use of line, color, and light. His choice of gently curving lines throughout the painting creates a sense of relaxation. The repetition of cool colors within the

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