John Singleton Copleys Passion For Love English Literature Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Blood, sweat and tears is what it takes for an artist's work to become renown. Extensive planning, research, stress, struggle and hard work is endured to satisfy one's pleasure and satisfaction but in the end, it is all in the day's work to make your impression last for years to come. A good artist has his or her works hanging up on the walls in homes and preserved in museums. An artist portrays a message in their work without the use of words and effectively get their message across, artists use their works for many purposes ranging from ceremonial purposes, capturing life's most precious moments, history, entertainment, advertising and propaganda. The key to becoming a successful artist is not just about accuracy and precision, rather it is about incorporating one's own knowledge, passion, style and care for art into one's work; by doing this the results will speak for themselves and success will surely follow in time.

Frans Hal was just one of these renowned Dutch artists from Haarlem in the (c.1622), who had done works of double portraits of married couples and quickly jumpstarted his career. Similarly, John Singleton Copley was also an artist of the American colonies' prior to the revolution in (1773); who shared a common passion for producing double portraits of married couples. A comparison of these two fine artists work's; Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen by Frans Hal and Thomas Mifflin and Sarah Morris (Mr. and Mrs. Mifflin) by John Singleton Copley will reveal that both artists portray a message of love between married couple's effectively through their representation of style and symbolism in their paintings.

The double portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen is a painting to commemorate the marriage of Isaac and Beatrix in (1622). [1] This is one of Fran's famous oil on canvas portrait sized appropriately at 140cm x 166.5 cm; his occupation was to paint double portraits of married couples for private people. He commissioned this painting on account of his friend Isaac who was a geographer and a fur merchant at the time and Beatrix's request. [2] He had received his inspiration at the time from the love gardens, which were common in the seventeenth century; his work soon became noticed and resulted in him becoming a prominent artist in the Netherlands by fully capturing the subject matter. It can be noted that Frans captures the warmth and affection of the newly married couple and gives a sense of intimacy between the couple by their close placement to one another in the artwork. The couples are composed on the canvas with the man on the left and women on the right sitting on a bench resting on one another's shoulders. Beatrix is the woman shown looking out to the viewer where as Isaac is the man shown to be turned more towards his wife.

Frans had borrowed techniques from another artists' work at the time named Velázquez and applied the skills he had learned to his own work. [3] This was evident because he had practiced to try and perfect optical refinements such as lighting on shapes, textures on the subject and use of symbolism to portray a story. With closer observation of the painting, Isaac and Beatrix are given a smile and a warmful expression on their faces to send a message to the viewer that they are welcome to join their company in their times of happiness and commemoration in the garden of love. [4] Frans was famous for this style of work because he painted his subjects smiling, and was the only painter to effectively portray this, which was unusual at the time. The couple is shown sitting on a bench resting on each other, Beatrix has her hand over her spouse's shoulder to convey resting assurance of their new union. Isaac is shown to be in a relaxed and intimately harmonized position as he hangs loosely over the bench and has his right hand over his heart to represent his loyalty, love and affection towards Beatrix. This portrays a status of their relationship to show that they understand one another's feelings, but ultimately is an unusual posture to depict wealthy people to be in. Rather wealthy people are usually shown upright and a more formal posture to represent their upper level. The painting is set in a secluded area away from the busy and high traffic environment behind Isaac and Beatrix, where the couple can express their feelings, affection and celebrate their new union with one another in private. Expensive attire is worn by the couple to show that they are a wealthy and a well to do couple. In the setting the couple is shown sitting on a bench under a tree, which represents their fidelity towards one another, similarly vines also surround the couple on the dirt ground that represents a symbol of faithfulness in love and marriage. [5] In the background it can be observed that the artist has included other couples that are shown more formally in showing their love and commitment by holding hands and walking together. Birds and peacocks are present in the background to enhance the feel of the garden of love. A statue of Juno is seen to convey the goddess of marriage and a fountain is placed to show signs of fertility. [6] The building is placed in the background to give a more life like atmosphere. Frans did not complete the background itself because he was not specialized in landscape paintings, so it was completed by another painter named Pieter De Molijn. [7] 

The Dutch culture was more focused on free style art to freely express them selves; while still meeting an expectation of realism and still life in new concepts and landscapes. Fran's style of painting achieved this style of realism and still life while effectively portraying a message of love. His style of painting is done boldly and loosely, with slashing strokes and angular patches of paint to show infectious joy of life. [8] This is evident in his painting because Beatrix is shown to be blushing, this is done by the painter's style of lighting, as the rest of her face is glowing but her cheeks are dark pink making it the focal point of the work. Isaac is defined by his lifelike colours of orange and light brown pastels; to make his facial expression stand out and be equally eye catching as his spouse's. The dirt pathway is multilayered to show detail in the ground as it coloured with light brown colours with a mixture of dark yellow. Clean strokes are used to give the painting a smooth structure, while shading is done on the trees and on the clean lines of the fabric to show depth and realism.

In spite of its beauty, the painting represents a remarkable portrayal of love. Originally this painting would have been painted separately on two panels due to Fran's previous traditional style of painting. But, Frans had accomplished what many other artists shied away from, and created his own trend and demand for his style of painting at the time that made him unique and standout from the competition.

In John Singleton Copley's Thomas Mifflin and Sarah Morris (Mr. and Mrs. Mifflin) about 151 years later, Copley does works of American art. In this time period, double portraits relatively portray the same message of love through style and symbolism similarly to Fran's Hal artwork.

The alluring form of Mrs. Mifflin is the more dominate figure in this painting. The painting is a double portrait oil on canvas of a Philadelphian married couple Mr. Mifflin on the left and Mrs. Mifflin on the right sitting indoors in chairs around a table at their estate. This painting is one of the fine work's of John Singleton Copley measured at 156.5cm x 121.9cm, who was an artist of the American colonies prior to the revolution. [9] Copley was a self-taught artist, who possessed the qualities of high accuracy, created images of affection and realism throughout his career. Due to Copley's extensive and prosperous work, he had earned a respective reputation in Boston becoming a wealthy man and a renowned artist. From his artwork, one can observe that Sarah is looking out at the viewer, where as Thomas is behind the woman and was interrupted by his mistress's admiring beauty and put down the book as he was reading it. In Fran's artwork, both Isaac and Beatrix were closely placed beside each other and not placed one ahead of another; this gives us a sense of a dominative relationship. The couple had this painting done, when they had visited Boston for a family funeral, which is questionable because people tend to have paintings done at times of bliss not times of sorrow. [10] Fran's artwork was painted in times of happiness and not of sorrow.

Sarah is shown weaving fabric on a homespun fringe on a portable loom, which represents her support to the Colonian boycott on British imports. [11] The couple is shown dressed in fine attire, which represents their political upper hand and wealthy power, likewise Isaac and Beatrix both wear fine attire, which represents their wealth. In relation to Fran's work, the man is portrayed on the left and the woman is on the right once again, one little issue can be noted is that Copley made the couple's heights both equal. This can become problematic for the viewer because one may interpret two different assumptions from this painting; either the woman is more dominant than the male because she is placed in front of him, or they are both equally dominant because they share the same height. This portrayal was odd at the time because relationships were meant to be about equal sharing not a hierarchy. Thomas is shown holding the book, which may explain that he is more educated than Sarah; because Sarah is shown doing a job that was common for a woman to do at her time. Fran's painting resembles neither sexist remarks nor abase females, where as Copley does not effectively portray a woman's potential. The facial expression of Thomas shows that he is stunned by his spouse's breathtaking beauty, where as the woman has a passive expression and is trying very hard not to show emotion and gives a faint smirk. Isaac is shown showing his affection by holding his hand over his heart and has a smiling expression. Sarah may show no emotion due the reason she may be shy at expressing her love, where as Beatrix is shown smiling and blushing which also hints at that she may be shy as well. In this artwork, neither Thomas nor Sarah are wearing a ring, where as in Fran's artwork Beatrix is shown wearing a ring. The reason for this maybe due to the fact that Thomas and Sarah may believe they do not require a ring to show their union of marriage, their love maybe more than enough to express their relationship status. In the setting the couple is surrounded by expensive polished furniture, and a window in the back that shows a bland and limited landscape. Again a tree is painted in the background to represent the fidelity between the couple. A column is present in the background and is specifically placed behind the woman, which may suggest the woman comes from a rich family line and owns the estate. There are no artworks, pictures nor objects placed up against the walls inside the room, which is unusual for upper class people. In Fran's artwork, similarly the fountain in the background represents the fidelity between the couple.

Copley was noticed for his clear, sharp and precise painting style, which captured every detail of physical appearance and personality; similarly this was the also evident in Fran's case. Copley was an expert with his work in painting silk, laces, women's dresses and furniture, where as Fran's did not paint furniture or landscapes. Copley used lighting to his advantage to create clear lines in drapery to give a sense of depth and realism. He shines more light on to the woman making her the center of attraction and allowing less light to reflect off the man behind her while still being able to portray a message of love through style and symbolism. Fran's uses lighting the same way, but in a more naturalistic form he uses objects to project lighting and shadowing such as the tree to bring out depth from the couple's clothing. Clean strokes are similarly used to give the painting a smooth and flawless texture, and allow the artist to blend colours to give a life like feel and naturalistic skin colours. Shadowing was emphasized in Copley's work to not render the background of the room as a main focus; rich bright colours were used to paint the subjects to counterbalance the darkness. Light yellow and brown colours were used to give Thomas a vibrant and flowing look, where as peach and light brown was used to portray Sarah's more pale and naturalistic skin colour. Overall, the lighting, form and line work well together to create a perfect composition, but what is unique about Copley is his use of verism. Copley captures a fine scar on the man's forehead and uses this to create a more believable painting; he captures the ageing of the man from the wrinkles under his eyes and emotions by the use of dimples on Thomas and Sarah. Despite Copley's amateur mistake with making equal heights of the couple, which may cause a false interpretation to the viewer, he is nonetheless a fine artist who is unique in a way that a viewer can be immersed in the artwork for years to come.

In summary, although both artists have very similar use of style and symbolism to portray a message of love, the artist's works are very hard to distinguish between the two. Copley's fine use of verism is what sets him apart from Fran's work. Stylistically, both work show evidence of realism, naturalism and still life, where as symbolically they both portray affection and warmth flawlessly through items placed in the composition and expressions of the subject. Overall, these two fine artists have shaped and coloured the world of art to what it is today. Without their fine work efforts, life would not be fully immersed in the exciting joys of art. It is due to the par these two artists have set that makes art what it is today, simply perfect.