Classic Landscape: Compare and Contrast
Charles Sheeler. It was painted on a canvas with oil. The First thing to catch my eye in this painting was how defined and straight the lines are. There are lines everywhere in this painting. I really like this painting because it’s abstract but not in a way most people would define abstract as. Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits was painted by Giorgio De Chirico in 1916. It was also painted with oil onto a canvas. These two paintings are very similar to each other but also contrast in elements as well.
As I said before, there are lines everywhere in Classic Landscape. Sheeler uses lines to make shape in the painting, and even as detail in the mounds on the left side of the painting. One line that really caught my eye was the diagonal of the railroad track. It makes our eyes follow and go deeper into the industrial part of the painting. In Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits, lines also play a very important role in the painting. The diagonal lines on the ceiling draw our eyes to objects that we would usually see as not important. There are also lines verywhere in this painting.
Many of these lines are used as detail throughout the painting as well as a way to make shapes. Most of the lines in both of these paintings are straight and very bold. They are very defined by being black in color. Sheeler does a great Job of using shape in Classic Landscape. He mostly uses angular, geometric shapes. For example, the mounds of what I’m guessing to be either dirt or coal are in pyramid shapes, and the silos in the middle of the painting are a cylinder shape. Another shape Sheeler creates is rectangles. Most of them are buildings in he painting.
Chirico uses both geometric and organic shapes throughout his painting. For example, he uses circles as bisquits and many rectangles for geometric shapes. There are also many shapes in this painting that are organic and not as defined as the geometric shapes are. Organic shapes in Classic Landscape are also not well defined. The clouds and smoke clash together and don’t really have a certain shape to either one of them. Sheeler created value in Classic Landscape in a contrasting way. He used light colors in the distance of the painting and draws our yes forward to the bottom left corner by using dark color.
I don’t think Sheeler had the intentions of drawing eyes to that spot in the painting, but if he did it was because that is where the beginning of the rail way started. Chirico also uses color to create value in Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits. He uses darker color to show the importance of the object. He used darker color in these objects because if he didn’t, many of them would go unseen. Chirico uses lighter colors on the ceilings and walls of the room because there really isn’t anything special about them.
Sharp Shadowing hits the ground and across the buildings in the painting of Classic Landscape. The shadowing helps the 3D objects stand out and seem more realistic. Chirico also uses shadowing to make 3D objects stand out. The shadowing in Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits also makes certain objects in the painting seem very big compared to others. Sheeler uses unique and abstract forms throughout his painting. Many of these forms can be seen in the shapes that he chose to use in the painting. Chirico Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits than in Classic Landscape.
Classic Landscape has a very simple color scheme consisting of shadows of white, brown, and blue. Shades of blue are used to create a skyline and the smoke coming out of the industrial pipe. Sheeler uses bright whites on the buildings and a creamy pearl color on the mounds in the painting except one, where he used a deep brown on instead. Sheeler defines lines in Classic Landscape by making them black and very bold. The colors set the tone and mood of the painting. Both whites and blues are calming colors and the darker colors portray the importance of certain objects.
Chirico uses many different colors in his painting. Many are very bright and exciting, which sets the tone of happiness in the painting. He does use darker color, but very sparingly. Most of the dark colors that Chirico used are for shadowing purposes. The texture in Classic Landscape is very smooth. The railway looks as if it would have a rough surface, but if it were to be touched it would be smooth. The details on the boardwalk created by lines make it come alive and seem very realistic. Also, the line structure makes the mounds seem a lot larger than they really are.
Chirico also does this with some of his forms used to make the object seem way bigger than it really is. The texture used in Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits is also smooth. Some of the objects in the painting seem to also have a rough edge, but again if they were to be touched, they would be smooth. Classic Landscape and Metaphysical Interior with Bisquits are both balanced and well-proportioned throughout. The only thing contrasting in both paintings are the different sizes of objects. In Classic Landscape, the farther back our eyes go, the smaller the objects get.
I think this is the same case for Chirico’s painting. Chirico does have some smaller objects in the front of the painting, but most of them are big. Unity is formed in both of these paintings with the many lines they both have. All the lines bring the piece of artwork together to be formed into one. I think that these paintings overall are very similar, though I do believe that the meaning behind each of them is very different. Both Sheeler and Chirico used abstract forms in their paintings, but the meanings of abstract in these paintings are very different from each other.