Compare And Contrast Ridgway Knight's Premier Chaugrin

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I’ve visited the BYU Museum of Art several times since moving down to Provo, and through those visits I’ve really come to cherish what a blessing it is to have such a wealth of culture and beauty available to us. Although the idea that any one person can love absolutely every kind of art is one that I despise and reject, I do think it’s possible and desirable to have an appreciation for the wide spectrum of styles the MOA presents; the variety, elegance, and vivacity of its collections is truly enriching. But of all the works the MOA has had to offer over the past few months, my favorite has always been Daniel Ridgway Knight’s Premier Chagrin. A traditional oil painting on canvas, this piece portrays the rather simple scene of two French peasant girls…show more content…
Through the idealistic depiction of the body, Impressionistic accents, unusual subject choices, and contrast, we are able to catch a glimpse of the multicultural philosophies of Knight’s day, and appreciate how femininity embodied beauty in his eyes. An 19th century artist once said “When they paint a woman they do not take the slightest interest in her personality, she is merely for them a certain beautiful and fortunate arrangement of forms” (Hamerton). Although such ideology may not stand alone in our culture today, it does strike a chord with some of the issues of modern feminism and gender roles by asking the question, are women simply objects of beauty and desire? A look through the ancient cultures we’ve studied tells us that, often, that is essentially what women were. Modern society needs to look again at Premier Chagrin, and see that it is not just through the women’s bodies that Knight conveys their beauty, but also through the sadness and dignity in their faces, in the gentleness of their touch, and the contentment of their postures. Feminine beauty is so much more than a curled eyelash or dainty

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