Thursday, August 21, 2014

Feast Your Eyes on This!

In class on Friday we will discuss how to use small but significant clues to sneak your way into a painting. Please peruse the painting below and respond to the questions that follow it.

Important notes:
  • Please do NOT Google this painting or use any other outside help; I only want to know what this class makes of the painting.  
  • Also, be sure to read others' responses before you post your own and include whether you agree or disagree with some of their interpretations.

1. Which part of the painting is your eye drawn to first?  Why do you think this is?

2. As you let your eyes wander all over the painting (up to down, left to right, corner to corner), which details of the painting do you have questions about?  In other words, if you could ask the artist one question about a specific detail in this painting, what would it be?  Post that question here.

3.  Let your mind attempt to draw together the details and make sense of the painting as a whole.  What do you think this painting is trying to convey to us?  Defend your thinking.

Please remember to proofread your answers carefully before posting.  Your response should reflect your professionalism.


  1. 1.The first thing that I see when I look at this painting is the ocean. I think the reason I see the ocean first is because it is the largest feature in this painting.

    2. Why is there a person drowning in the bottom left corner?

    3. I think this painting is trying to tell us all the stuff that went on in this time period. It shows farming, trade, hardships, towns, and the way the area looked. But mostly I think it is trying to convey hardships because every person you see in this painting is either working or going through another form of labor.

  2. 1. The first thing that has caught my eyes is the sea. I the sea caught my eye first because it has bright colors and it is more pleasing to the eye.

    2. Why is the guy next to the guy drowning not helping him and why are the 2 people in the water really large?

    3. The painting is trying to convey that there is a better life than the one that you know. If you keep looking for a better life than you have a better chance of it happening.

  3. ​the part that catches my eye at first most is the drowning human at the lower right side of the painting. It caught my eye because it look almost as if it's a half human squid or a large arthropod creature. as I was observing the picture the things falling out of the boat made me wonder what they are or could be. The question that I would ask the author is why is the man that is hearding the sheep looking up into the sky. I think that this picture explains the world as busy as it is because there are a lot of things that everyone is doing. The picture looks alive.

  4. 1. The first thing that caught my eye was the large ship in the sea. The sail billowing in the wind really caught my attracted my attention because it looked out of the ordinary, as there are no other signs of windy weather in the picture.
    2. Was the scaling of the different items done on purpose? For example, the swimming/drowning man next to the ship, his leg seems very large compared to the ship next to him.
    3. I think that the painting is trying to compare the different lifestyles of the area. It has sailors, farmers, shepherds, and finally a large town on the coast.

    1. On number two, I agree that the scaling looks rather weird compared to other paintings. I mean, the legs that are in the ocean look like they are from a giant.

  5. I noticed that my eyes were drawn to the guy tilling the ground as I first looked at the painting. I think that is because he is colored red and it stands out compared to all the other colors. After I studied the painting closer, I started to wonder what time period the setting is based on. I think that this painting is about the beginning times of pilgrims moving into the United States, they seem like they're constructing their community and forming into another nation.

    1. I also believe that the man's color scheme, which consisted of red and gray, made my eyes look to him first when I looked at the painting.

  6. 1. The very first thing I noticed was the man next to the horse, the man drew my attention first since he had a brighter color and contrast then anything else on the painting, and he is in the very front of the painting.
    2. Was there a specific time period this painting was supposed to be in since it looks like it was a long time ago. My other question would be what was the main motive in painting this painting, is there a hidden message in the painting that most people don't realize.
    3. I believe that this painting is trying to convey the message that time in that time period was a lot different and more peaceful than life today, there weren't so many people wandering around and everyone seemed to have a job or purpose in this town or country.

  7. 1) The first thing that I saw was the man In red due to his bright clothing.
    2) If I could ask the artist anything it would have to be why is there only one person in the whole painting with color, where as the rest of the objects are bleak and bland.
    3) I think this painting is to show the change of times, in the foreground of the painting you see the man in red plowing the fields with a horse. Whereas there are ships in the background sailing to an unknown destination. Also if you look in the top right you see crumbled castle walls. As if to signal the end of an empire, and the rise of a new one.

  8. 1) The first thing that caught my eye was the sail of the ship in the lower right-hand corner. I think this feature was added to direct one's eyes and show that there is more to this painting than at first glance.

    2) Why does this painting appear to be a normal day but yet several features could make one think otherwise?

    3) I believe that the painting is trying to convey that there is more to what meets the eye. The reason I believe this is because the mood of the people appear to be calm and the weather is nice. However, in the bottom right corner there appears to be a man drowning. In addition, considering this paintings time period, there appears to be a rather nice city for this time period.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. The first thing I noticed in this painting was some of the boats anchored in the ocean. This was the first feature of the painting that appealed to me because the ocean is the largest thing in this painting, along with some interesting looking boats.

    Is their a reason you made the man drowning have big legs, compared with the ship? What lesson are you trying to prove in this painting?

    I think that this painting is trying to convey that this was such a hard time to live in. Every person that is seen in this painting is in some type of labor or danger. People are working, fishing, and even drowning. The main idea shown is that the time back then is way more different than it is now.

  11. 1. The first thing that caught my eye was the sunset or sunrise in the background. That caught my eye first because it is the brightest and biggest part of the painting.
    2. If I could ask the author anything I would ask him why he made a rock on the island in the shape of a castle or house.
    3. I think the painting is trying to show us how people have changed their lifestyles over time. The part that is the "closest" to you could be people that lived right when they found this land because they have old clothes on and the close ship is an older looking ship. As you move in to the background you can see a nice town or city that people could live in today and more modern ships. Then sunset or sunrise could represent the future.

  12. 1. The first thing the caught my attention was the city in the back of the picture it looks a lot like Saint Tropez. I think this because I can kinda get a location of where this picture takes place.
    2. If I could ask a question to the painter It would be where is the location of this picture and why have you put it there.
    3. I feel that this picture is trying to show us is that there are people that work in the city. But there are also people working in a rural environment. They are also next to the ocean so I think they are people working outside of the city to help provide things for the city.

  13. 1.) The first thing I noticed in the painting was the ocean. I think I was most drawn to it because it's the largest feature of the painting and there seems to be a lot going on there.
    2.) If I could ask the author one question about the painting, I would ask why it looks like someone is drowning in the bottom right corner.
    3.) I believe the picture is trying to show us how much things have changed from then to now. In the picture, everyone in it is either working, or in danger of some sort.

  14. 1. When I first look at this painting I notice the ship on the right half of the painting. The ships sails are very unique and seem to bee filling with air to move the ship. It draws my eyes there because of the colors standing out from the water.

    2. A question that I have about this painting is why is there a person upside down in the water next to the ship? Whats the reason why they are there?

    3. I think that the painting is trying to convey what life was like in a busy city in a time period a long time ago. People seem to be doing their jobs or wondering around the city surrounding the bay, while ships could be bringing materials from another place. The painting does a good job with showing the rough landscape of the area the city is located.

  15. 1. The first thing that caught my attention was the man and the horse.
    2. If I could ask one question to the painter it would be where and when does this picture take place in.
    3. I think this picture is trying to show that there is a rich city where people live and also that there are people that live outside the city that have hard lives.

  16. 1. The first that caught my eye when I looked at this painting was the man farming right in front. I think this is because of his bright shirt and the fact that he is the most clear. Everything in the rest of the painting is a little blurry and less detailed, almost as if it wasn't in focus.

    2. A question I have is why is there what seems to be a man in the water next to the boat? He seems to be out place and like he doesn't belong in the painting.

    3. I think the painting is trying to show what a big port city would look like in this certain time period. I believe that this is a port city because of all the ships that are sailing straight to the city. I can also infer this because of the people that are farming on the hillside. Many ports like this one would have things to trade close to the port such as whatever the man is plowing and all the sheep.

  17. The first thing that caught my eye was the man hoeing his garden with the horse, the reason why I think that caught my attention is because of the mans brightly colored shirt.
    I noticed that there was an old ruin of something in the water also i noticed what looks like legs splashing around near where the closest boat is.
    To me this painting is of a small dock town some where near France.

  18. 1.The first thing that caught my eye was the ocean. I think that this caught my eye because it takes up more than half the painting.
    2. One question I have is why are their legs coming out of the water by the boat. I would ask the artist what the legs add to the painting because I think it is just strange!
    3. I think that this picture is trying to convey that everyone has tough times in life but it is possible to get back up and be successful.

  19. 1. The first thing that caught my eye has the farmer plowing his field. I think this caught my eye because it is on of the more colorful areas of the painting.
    2. I would what happened to the castle on the island.
    3. I think this picture is trying to covey the hardships that people went went through back then.

  20. 1. The first thing that caught my eye was the man with the horse. It caught my eye because it is the biggest object that you can see in the photo. The man just gives bigger perspective than say the city in the back of the photo.
    2.One question I have for the artist is, why paint from this are in the painting. What is the the motive that made the artist paint here and not the ship?
    3. The artist is trying to convey that the world is changing. The farmers see the future but it is not quite in their hands yet. The ships represent people moving towards the change. The man drowning shows these people are too focused on change to even save a man. The city is the center of all this and that is why the light is bright there,

  21. 1. The first thing that the viewer should see in this painting is the red on the man's shirt because it is the only bright color in the painting so it sticks out from the dull image around it.
    2. Where is the city located and whats beyond it? Why is there a drowning person in the bottom right corner of the picture.
    3. I am getting the sense that this image is of a market city because there are a lot of big ships and animals. The city also makes me think of a trade city.

  22. 1.The first thing that catches my eye in the painting is the farmer. I think this is because he is the center and has bright colors on him.
    2. Why is there a person in the bottom right drowning?
    3. I believe this painting is about a old civilization that has law and order. Everyone is working and the ships could be the navy or explores.

  23. 1. The first thing that I noticed was the wooden ships and the man using a mule because it displays the time period this piece is set in.
    2. What kind of things are the ships taking and where are going?
    3. I get the sense that this place is a marketing country because the man with the mule and the wooden ships to carry things.

  24. 1. The first thing that had caught my eye was the setting as a whole it is obviously from an older time. I think this is some kind of war because of the two opposing ships.
    2.Are the two opposing ships fighting?
    3.I think the painting is trying to convey two small towns across the sea fighting . Judging from the man in the water upside down and the workers looking hard at work. As well the two larger ships look way too built to be carrying goods.

  25. 1. My eyes are first drawn to the person in the middle with the orange shirt.
    2. What is it that the horse is pulling.
    3. I think that this painting is trying to convey love for animals and that they are good pets. I think this because all of the people in this painting have an animal with them.

  26. 1. The first thing that caught my eye was the man with the red shirt that was with his horse. I think this caught my eye because it was located sort of in the center, and the color red stood out.
    2. Where is this painting taking place? What is the motive of this painting?
    3. I think that the artist is trying to convey a big change approaching the city in which the painting is set because the farmers are going about there business while multiple ships are importing goods to the city. It looks like the sun set may represent the end of an era leading into an era of better technology and industrialism.

  27. 1. The first thing that caught my eyes was the farmer and the horse. This was because they are in the foreground and are the biggest pat of the painting.
    2. What is the point of this painting? What is the true meaning of it?
    3. The artist is portraying the importance of trade. The farmer, shepherd, and fisherman are in the foreground while the ships are taking the goods to the big, golden city in the background. The artist is showing that everything in big cities is taken for granted. No credit is given to the hardworking people that feed us and help everyone survive.

  28. 1.The first thing that caught my eye was the man tilling the ground on the hill. I believe the artist wanted him to stand out or be viewed most.
    2. Why the farmer man? And why is his farm overlooking the city?
    3. I think the artist wanted to show the simpleness in life, they conveyed that through a simple farm man working and having a great view of the city and the sea. Those things are simple and great, and the farm man is one of those people that enjoy it, others in the city probably don't have such a great view. So the artist is showing the simple things in life.

  29. 1. The first part of the painting that I saw was the man in the apron and red shirt. I believe I saw him first because the artist painted him to be in the middle and up front, so most people would look to him first. He is basically the central character of the painting.

    2. Why are objects scaled to make some look bigger than they actually are? Why is one side nice, lush, and full of life while the other side looks like a frozen wasteland? The reasoning behind the second question is that the painting looks like a bay. The island in the middle reminds me of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which spans about 4.5 miles. So it does not make sense that one part of the bay is nice and sunny, while the other is frozen tundra.

    3. If you look closely at the city, the buildings look like those you find in Greece or Italy. The painting itself looks like it was painted using oil. I compared the painting style to the Mona Lisa, and noticed the styles look exactly the same, and in art class a few years ago, I learned most paintings in the Renaissance were painted using oil. Renaissance painters usually used Ancient Greece, Roman, and Christianity as the basis of their paintings; a couple of these are School of Athens and Virgin on the Rocks. So with the setting known about this painting due to the time period it was painted in, the landscape in the form of islands and mountains, and the man drowning in the water, it is safe to assume this is about a Greek Myth. Based on the knowledge I have about it, I would assume this to be about Icarus and Daedalus. The myth goes that Daedalus made wings out of feathers and wax to escape Minos who was the King of Crete, which is an island off the coast of Greece, and surrounded by more islands. They flew out and Icarus flew too close to the sun which caused the wax holding his wings to melt and he plummeted to his death into the sea below him. In the painting, there are some factors that point to this being not true, for example, as the sun is too far away and is setting, which means it is probably too cool for the wax to melt. Another example is the clothing that the people wear; this is fitting for working class men to wear during the Renaissance. The ships also prove that the time zone could be different because these are merchant ships used during the 1500’s and beyond. So besides the data proving otherwise, I still believe this is a painting of Icarus and Daedalus.

    1. No, I did not look this picture up. I did my research on the painting style and looked up other paintings by other artists to determine my answer. I paid close attention to detail in this picture. In middle school, half of 6th grade consisted of my class studying Greek Mythology. I was also pretty interested in it too, so I have studied from text books.

  30. 1. The first thing that caught my eye was the man in the bright red carving the ground. I think this because the picture doesn't have any bright colors except for the red which attracts my attention.
    2. Why is the farmer guy so calm and focused when there is commotion and destruction happening in the background.
    3. I think the artist was trying to convey that with so much negativity around you and in the background of your life, you can stay focused and composed. I also think it explains how complex and difficult the world can be and that the artist is telling you to stay within and remain the same person.

  31. 1. The first thing that caught my eye was the man in the red shirt and the horse. This caught my eye because, it's the biggest object in the picture but it is also the most colorful object in the picture.
    2. One question that came to mind while looking at this painting was what is the artist trying to say? What message is he trying to get across?
    3. I think the artist was trying to convey the simpleness of life back then. Everyone has there own roles and duties each day. Everyone was happy with there roles and got along with each other. Lastly the artist is trying to convey there was beauty in this lifestyle.

  32. 1. The first thing that drew my attention in this painting was the man wearing the red shirt. The reason I was immediately drawn to him was that he was wearing a rather bright shirt in a dull colored painting. This makes me think that the artist was trying to bring attention to the man.
    2. I have a question about why there are tall buildings in the background of the city when there is a sailboat in the middle of the picture.
    3. I think the artist was trying to convey the flip side of the city. By this I mean the work that makes the city run in the hills beyond just the outer parts of it.