Wednesday, February 5, 2020

"Portrait of a young Woman with 'Puck' the Dog" - Therese Schwartze

I love this painting by Thérèse Schwartze we were able to view in person at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam last August. 

Not only is it beautifully painted, but it perfectly captures the unspoken communication between the woman and the dog. Anyone who's ever been around a dog is familiar with that look!

Despite the woman's placement on the canvas, the dog Puck is clearly the focal point. The woman's face is mostly in shadow. Her gaze and her arm clearly lead us to Puck, who's face is not shadowed in the least.

"Portrait of a young Woman with 'Puck' the Dog" • Thérèse Schwartze • 1879-1885 • Oil on Canvas • 144cm x 103cm
Puck is painted with simplicity, and yet the feel of his coat comes through the placement of folds indicated by a series of darker valued strokes as well as the broken edges - especially along the neck.

Most importantly, it all comes down to the eyes, which have the most dominant value changes and may be slightly enlarged to add emphasis.


Even though the dog is the focal point, and the woman's place is the secondary point, other details are not overlooked. The fabric is painted with an excellent sense of form and weight. The left hand, while in a difficult position to capture, is perfectly done.


Photos by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



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