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Old 01-31-2012, 09:31 AM
Nathalie Chavieve's Avatar
Nathalie Chavieve Nathalie Chavieve is offline
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An Allegory of Death


Title: An Allegory of Death
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 41 x 43
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

Hello fellow artist. Just finished a new painting and would like to share with you. I was working on it since last year ( almost all last year in fact ). This is rather large work - 41 x 43 inch, oil on canvas. The inspiration for this painting came to me after the death one of my close relatives at the end of 2010 . It was a shock and tragedy for me, and I took it quite badly. But the fact of his death drove me to understand more of the relation between life and death and so on.... This work is my cry of the soul for the person I have loved and lost and for the many others who has had the same experience.

Please, feel free to comment and critique.

Please, comment and critique on technique, color harmony, composition and any other aspect of my artwork.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:43 AM
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birdhs birdhs is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

This painting stirred me.
I can feel the emotions, I comprehend the symbolism used, and enjoy the sheer quality of the artist.
The red cloth ties it all together as does the black negative spaces.
Placing the heavenly figure in the upper right corner keeps it from becoming an unwanted focal point.

This painting truly pleaseth our eye, thanks so much for sharing it with us,

and our arms wrap around you to comfort and give you strength, Greg
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:27 AM
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arnieb arnieb is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

I agree, beautiful emotional painting. Very well done. Arnie
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:59 AM
Ajit Bhat Ajit Bhat is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

Hello Nathalie,
Very well done. The story behind it gives more meaning to your work but even without that the work itself is very nice that it could have done without the Heavenly figure. The expressions are just perfect for me.
Know what Nathalie.... I feel that person is in a better place than we are .... as I am sure he/she must be a great soul to have inspired to paint such a beautiful piece.
We all are with you....
Keep up the great work.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:54 AM
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Debzy Debzy is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

A very sensitive and spiritual work. Well connected and with deep meaning. beautifully painted with solid confidence. Thank you for allowing us to enter into this realm with you and your dearly missed friend. xxx Debs.
you can do anything you put your mind to positively.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:50 AM
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Nathalie Chavieve Nathalie Chavieve is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

Thank you everybody for your comments and sympathy. It is important to me that my artwork can create such an emotional respond of the audience .
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:04 AM
Razzar Razzar is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

Although it reflects loss I view it as a celebration of life, and also the idea that something grander than our earthly life is a stake. I believe both religious people, and those who are not can relate to that...even if your painting has alot of religious elements in it.

Technically speaking the painting is very well done. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:33 AM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

It's a trick on the eye. They are all heavenly figures, except for your dying friend. I just didn't notice it first. I see her in the white blouse, then him as center of attention, then the red cloth, then the two above him - but I notice their arms and faces and expressions, then the violinist… only when I pop back to the white bloused woman do I see wings, then later wings on the others.

Things I like: the red cloth going out of the picture - it is too long to contain him. The action and poses. All the folds of fabric. It's so classic, yet the way you did it is at the same time so 2000's. The combo really makes sense.

Some crits - though note I do totally different work, so take them lightly. I wish there was one that was sort of looking off, sort of indirectly at us. Not sure why. I don't like your clouds in the top right, they look more like some foamy fabric or maybe black candy floss. Not wild about the god figure there either, sort of makes a classically beautiful painting more cutesy. That, of course, is just personal preference.

I am sorry for your loss. Absolutely stunning painting. I could study it for hours.
Being born places you at a greater risk of dying later in life.

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Old 03-24-2012, 01:39 PM
Dana Design
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Re: An Allegory of Death

Copied from Open to Structured.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:45 PM
henrik henrik is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

I like everything about this painting except the upper right that in comparison to the rest looks unfinished. IMO the literal grey silhouetted god/jesus-figure could be omitted.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:45 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

Compositionally, it's never a good idea to have a figure pointing away from the painting. The outstretched arm leads the eye right out of the painting, and the distant figure in the clouds provides no means to "return" (to lead the eye back) to the painting.

I like the way this was painted, the lighting is nice, the way you've handled the drapery and the colours work just fine.

But the upper right hand corner is a problem...
Forcing the waveform to collapse for sixteen years...
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:50 PM
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thevaliantx thevaliantx is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

I agree with the others. That upper right corner is a problem. I'm a Christian (hence the 'x' at the end of my username), but NO Christian could tell me that they he or she could even envision what GOD looks like. If anything, I would suggest getting rid of the figure and the clouds in that area, and maybe suggest heavenly light coming down onto the angels from above, or from that upper right corner.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:13 PM
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Polygon Polygon is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

I really like the upper right hand corner, which isn't to say it couldn't be changed to be even better. I like the very subtle hint it gives (as I didn't even notice it on first look) of moving beyond the darkness and into a brighter place; it's very obviously separate from the "here and now" subject matter of the foreground, and hints at the future without telling you what it will be. The arm pointing that way also doesn't cause me to exit the painting, just to notice "oh, look over there". The God figure might come across as a little "cartoony" they way he seems to be waving at the scene, maybe lower the arms a bit so that it looks more like he is waiting rather than trying to speed things along.

It's a fantastic painting, there are too many things I like about it to list them all.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:27 PM
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ianos dan ianos dan is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

Hello Nathalie Chavieve! l really like your painting ,it's one of my favorite,from your galley.
I will begin with the good stuff in your painting; The color balance it's great ,tonal shifts ,value ,skin color ,that chiaroscuro (like Caravaggio's paintings),the drama ,and also the composition .lt has something from Caravaggio ,but also from the Flemish school ,that smoothness,that sharpness of the drawing
One the other hand ,there are some aspects ,regarding the construction of volumes and anatomy,that "jumped"in my eyes,when l looked closer,and analyzed some portions of this beautiful painting;
First ,the figure that has that lute,the lute player: the shoulder looks dislocated ,because the distance between the head and shoulder is to big ,you made the trapezius muscle to wide.also the deltoid muscle is to short.
The neck muscle is not so short ,and it has it's volume ,even if the person is not a bodybuilder,it has to be there .The face ,has some distortions as well ;the tear duct and the corner of the mouth is on the same line (if the face is viewed from profile),you made the eye a little to protuberant.
The biceps muscle form the figure that has the drapery around his neck ,is also awkward ,because of it's position .you made the deltoid muscle to low.
The figure from the left side of the painting has the head a little bigger that a young man or teenager has in reality ,here are also problems with the muscles of the arms :the right arm is to short and the insertions of biceps and deltoid are not in the right place.
The girl from the right side of the painting (angel) has some anatomical problems with the neck muscles.you made the sternocleidomastoid muscle is not so thin ,and it has two insertions in the clavicula,.
l didn't make the same features ,that it's your right and you made them look very sweet and gentle.Bravo and keep up the good work ,but keep in mind the anatomy and you will achieve realism and drama ,same as the great masters

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Old 05-29-2013, 02:34 AM
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Black Spot Black Spot is offline
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Re: An Allegory of Death

ianos dan has done a great job with the anatomy. Also the outstretched hand pointing towards God doesn't look right. I find the inconsistent colour of the shadows a bit distracting - either have them all cool or all warm; I'd prefer the warm ones myself.

As to the top right corner, you'd think the lighting for the whole picture would come from there, so I agree it is distracting in that sense.

Overall I like the composition and you're nearly there with everything else.
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