Philip Evergood Portrait Of My Mother Analysis

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In “Portrait of My Mother” by Phillip Evergood, the artist uses both value and shape as well as proportion and gradation to illustrate the beauty of his mother while she was in physical pain in the last days of her life. Evergood, born in 1901 and died in 1973, began this work while his mother was dying in a hospital and subsequently completed it after her death. The portrait is oil on canvas and panel, and is a featured work in Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, Evergood uses these elements and principles to emphasize the pain his mother attempted to conceal during her portrait sitting and the highlight the natural beauty present in people even when facing death.
Evergood implements proportion as an immediate focal point
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(Smithsonian Institution, 2016). The subject of the portrait was her mother, Flora Jane Perry Evergood, who was dying at the time of her sitting. (Dallas Museum of Art, 2016). Evergood was primarily a painter and a muralist, with the majority of his work influenced by his experiences living in the great depression era. (Smithsonian Institution, 2016). His works included biblical scenes and social criticisms. (Smithsonian Institution, 2016). Evergood was also an activist for the civil rights of artists and workers by participating in riots and protests. (Smithsonian Institution, 2016). His other notable works include Australia, from the United Nations Series (1945), Beginning of a Dance (1930), Dowager in a Wheelchair (1952, Woman at the Piano (1955), Woodland Romance (1926-1931), Workers Houses, Flushing Bay (1935-1945), and lastly, End of the Trail II (1962). (Smithsonian Institution, 2016).
The Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas is home to the Phillip Evergood’s Portrait of my Mother, in which a dying woman is painted in a sitting position. In this work, several elements and principles of art are incorporated to effectively portray the beauty in death as a remembrance of the life the person lived. These include asymmetrical balance, emphasis, contrast, proportion, gradation, value, intensity and space. Overall the artist accurately illustrates the woman’s pain and conclusion of her life using these fundamental art

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