Examine Adelaide Labille-Guiard's Self-portrait with Two Pupils, 1785.

Essay by laneles May 2005

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The painting by Labille-Guiard is a portrait of her and her two pupils. The portraitist used oil as her medium is on canvas.

The focus of this painting is definitely not her pupils but herself, with the amount of emphasis she places upon herself. Her attire and accessories is a huge contrast with that of her pupils. The focal point of this painting is the well-dress and feminine artist, who is donning a elaborate pastel blue dress while the pupils' garb just blend into the background with a similar colour range. The light reflected on her dress that her dress is probably made of a higher quality material, like satin or silk, compared to her pupils.

Shadows that fell on her pupils face indicate the light source comes from the direction of the pupils' left (the right side of the painting) where there could be a window. The vanishing line is at where the elaborate hat lies to enhance the emphasis on the beauty.

In the background lie several statues, including the bust of the father. The bust of the artist father is a darker tone due to being in the background, hidden from the light source. That should also be the deepest point of the painting.

The pupils appear to be smaller than the artist due to the fact that they are actually behind her, as portrayed by the painting. The pupils are partially covered by the artist who's seated on the emerald green chair. The painting shows great amount of detail, ranging from the folds of the dresses to the wood's texture. The artist uses fine brushstrokes for the exquisite details of the easel, flooring, chair, stool and the walls.



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