Norton Simon Museum

Part One

  1. There are a number of Rodin sculptures featured as one enters Norton Simon Museum, probably underlining the collector’s love for Auguste Rodin. They include:
  2. The Walking Man by Barbara Hepworth
  3. Saint John the Baptist by Herbert Ferber
  • Pierre de Wissant, Vetu by Peter Voulkos
  1. The Coronation of the Virgin Altarpiece is some great artwork that illustrates the major events of New Testament pictorially. The center of the artwork shows Mary’s installation as the queen of heaven, as other events surround the picture. The limpid color use is described as a description the artist himself in a self expressing way.
  2. Raphael’s painting; Madonna and Child with a Book creates the impression of a meditation piece. The painting achieves some spiritual quality, with the child setting his eyes unto heaven under the mum’s close watch. The child is presumed to contemplate what awaits it in the journey to the redemption of man.
  3. Raphael uses geometry, color and characters to pass across the message. The pyramidal setting of the drawing with blue arch silhouette as the enclosure of the child and the book emphasizes the message of the ninth hour of prayer. There is every bit of humility indications from the picture.
  4. The painting shows the yellow citrons and oranges as the fruits. The protuberance of the yellow citrons is indicated by the hints of green in the picture. The blossoming oranges and the cup of water are said to pay homage to the purity of the Virgin. There is also the thorn-less rose that symbolizes her conception as a virgin.
  5. The Triumph of Virtue and Nobility over Ignorance painting by Giovanni Tiepollo was created for the ceiling in Palazzo Manin in Venice
  6. Paul’s Tulip’s in a Vase is a possible scenario in real life. The fact that the vase is earthenware makes the possibility of watering the flowers to fruition. However, it is only through practice that this can be justified.
  7. From the piece, Still Life with Musical Instruments, some of the visible things include grained wood and red polkas. There is also musical notes that are on the surface of the wood, scratched onto the white looking part of the painting.
  8. In constructing the sculpture Bird is Space, Constantin is symbolic in his use of the name bird to name his sculpture. The exact stuff is that he follows the bird’s anatomy to explain the essence of flight with this gold-like elongated sculpture with a metallic kind of base.
  9. In doing the painting Woman with a Book, just like many other of his paintings, Picasso is most influenced by the works of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. He uses modernized setup of life to create this imitation that indicates a sense of realism and abstraction. The fragmentation and abstraction nature of the painting makes it more of the cubist style that revolutionized European painting in the 20th century.
  10. Picasso’s paintings are figurative and abstracting. In the artwork, The Rams’ Head, some of the visible things include a head of a ram, sea life animals like crabs among others. The intention was championing for cubism, painting the arts on tablecloths and cups, among others for decoration.

Part Two

The Ragpicker – Theme: Community that Created It

The French Community after Industrialization

It is never in vain one does some kind of artwork. When an artist does some painting or sculpture work, there is a message they are trying to pass across. In many cases, the message is well concealed in the art, and one has to be figurative to understand the actual meaning of the art. In his ‘The Ragpicker’ painting, Edouard Manet shows the side of the street life in Paris, for those who are homeless. France was a developed nation by the time of this painting in 1865-1870, but some people had been left behind by the highly industrialized nation. The painting shows a man with a stick in hand and a sack hanging on one shoulder, with cans on the ground on one side. The man is collecting rags and other form of garbage to sell to paper manufactures for recycle in the factories that had come up during the industrial growth time. This is the kind of life that street persons in Paris led at this time, to make ends meet. This is a pure demonstration of a section in society leading a life that not many can live in an industrialized country, living in corridors. The artist, Manet, claims that at this time, these people were a reason for fascination and commanded fear at other times. It was not easy for some to understand why one could be leading such a life at a time of such great industrial growth, with so many resources in the country.


Part Three- Visual Analysis

‘David Slaying Goliath’ and ‘the Sense of Touch’


            Artists have over the years used their skills to pass across some important messages, some of which are concealed. It is interesting to look at artwork and get some hidden information from it. Apart from the message carried by title of any artwork, the themes, colors, sizes of characters, and layouts among other factors contribute greatly to the message. The two paintings David Slaying Goliath and The Sense of Touch are as interesting as they get. They have the qualities of good or great artwork. The two pieces demonstrate a total contrast in some ways and similarities in others. The latter, The Sense of Touch, is a piece that demonstrates the values of sculptures, another form of artistry. Both arts are paintings, but with different messages. There is more to a painting or drawing than meets the eye. The paintings show similarities and differences on issues to do with symmetry, backgrounds, paint application, objects/figures and message being displayed among others.


There are different aspects of the two artworks that can be taken into comparison and contrast. As much as they bear similarities, contrasts are in plenty too. The bottom line about paintings is passing across a message. A few comparisons have been drawn between David Slaying Goliath by Paul Rubens and The Sense of Touch by Jusepe de Ribera.

            The two paintings differ with regards to symmetry. The objects of the artwork take the bigger central part of the painting, with a majorly symmetrical placement of the main objects. For the art David Slaying Goliath, it is the towering figures of David and the defeated Goliath that take the bigger percentage of the frame. On the other hand, The Sense of Touch sees the artist Ribera ensures that the blind man and the sculpture take up the bigger portion of the darkly back grounded portrait drawing. The literal interpretation of the art titles comes into the fore on first sight of the drawings. For David Slaying Goliath painting, a man towers over another one with a sword lifted high up ready to strike. The other one by Ribera witnesses a blind man holding a sculpture closely and with hands around. It is basically a touch.

Backgrounds involved with the paintings showcase some significant differences too. The backgrounds of the two paintings are ingeniously crafted to augur well with the message of the drawing. The Sense of Touch has a dark background to the extents that the brown lobes of the blind man are barely visible. This is an illustration of blindness, an environment where one can barely see anything. But because of the sense of touch, this is all forgotten when the blind man gets hold of the sculpture and touches it. For the other piece, David Slaying Goliath, the background is a low horizon blue sky. This is indicative of the spiritual backing of the historic heroism of David for the Israelites. There is also the indication of soldiers lying flat as an indication of combat with the enemy in war.

Paint application in David Slaying Goliath and The Sense of Touch are quite a contrast. The former has some slight painting with color variation of a light tone. The latter is thickly painted with dominating dark colors, greatly showing a shady effect. Also, the latter combines the tactics of painting for the whole drawing, and the chisel work for the sculpture. The chisel work introduces 3D like dimension in the painting, making it even more compelling to look at. The variation in colors for both pieces of work is incredibly important in getting the message delivered.

One sharp similarity between the two paintings is that they both have two objects, and one of them is the dominating figure. David dominates Goliath, while the blind man dominates the sculpture. The interesting part is that in both, neither the dominating or dominated objects seem aware that they are subject to scrutiny. The artists work focused the concentration of the objects to their subjects, rather than giving them a gaze of the surroundings. On both paintings, if someone in the environment stroked either David or the blind man, the probability of no reaction is high. This is because their attention is purely spared for the activity they are undertaking right at that moment.

David Slaying Goliath conveys a great message of his social status compared to Goliath. While the beast-like Goliath is lying down in armor clothing, the poor boy above him is in mere shepherd’s clothing. David looks not like a soldier; he is just a momentous hero under spiritual guidance to win at that moment.  On the other painting, the blind man doesn’t look like a tattered man. Some known blind people are known to be unkempt, beggars and people with almost everything going the wrong way. However, for this blind man, he is portrayed as smart, with nice lobes. He is a probably well of man.

Whereas Ribera in his art The Sense of Touch demonstrates the competition that exists between the art forms of architecture, sculpture and painting, Peter Paul Rubens’ David Slaying Goliath is a show of faith with painting as the best. The blind man in Ribera’s work can recognize nothing in some work done like Rubens’ David Slaying Goliath, because he has no sense of sight. With an art like a sculpture, he can use his touch senses to have a feel of what the art is like and make some recognitions. The beauty of art is that is somehow all incorporative, if one can’t see a pencil drawing, they can feel a chisel sculpture.


Paintings, drawings, sculptures and generally any form of artwork carries a bigger message than the literal interpretation of what strikes the viewer at the first instance. The paintings David Slaying Goliath by Paul Rubens and The Sense of Touch by Jusepe de Ribera are good examples of this aspect. Both paintings seem to have various differences and similarities in this respect. Among the differences is the symmetry placement of the main objects found in these paintings. The backgrounds also seem to differ in various ways. The paintings have been ingeniously crafted to augur with the message being passed across. Paint application also seems to differ. The Sense of Touch is thickly painted while David Slaying Goliath is slightly painted. This aspect is important in trying to highlight the message entailed. Ribera’s painting is also trying to show some aspects of competition while Rubens’ painting is demonstrating an aspect of faith. Among the notable similarities is that the paintings have two major objects, and one of them is dominating the other.

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