Assignment 3: Description (~2p)
Text from the National Gallery of Art:
With her back to us, a young girl stands looking through a fence. Facing us directly, a woman sits with a small dog in her lap and a book in her hand. Billowing steam from an unseen train obscures the center background, but the edge of a bridge juts out at right, identifying the setting as Gare Saint-Lazare – Paris’s busiest train station and emblem of the city’s unsettling nineteenth-century makeover.
Beyond depicting the modern city, The Railway disturbingly suggests how people experienced it. Pinned against a long black iron fence, these fashionably dressed females are physically cut off from the railroad beyond and also seem estranged from each other: facing in opposite directions, they are absorbed in their individual activities. Manet offers us no clues to their relationship, even as we viewers seem to interrupt the woman reading. She looks up at us directly with an expression that is neutral and guarded – the characteristic regard of one stranger encountering another in the modern metropolis.
Closely examine the following painting at the National Gallery of Art. (You can use their website, linked above.)
The Alba Madonna (Raphael)
Describe it, imitating the first paragraph, above. Keep in mind, you are imitating the original description’s purpose as well as its style.
Now, in a new paragraph, describe what you found interesting about the scene. Describe what struck you or moved you, what made you curious or put off. Describe what you think the painting is about. (Please don’t do any research here; there’s literally no wrong answer. Just look at the painting, and tell me what you think is going on, and why that might be interesting or might matter.)
Reflect on descriptions in general. (You might begin with descriptions of art, but you should expand to description in general.). What affects a person’s descriptions?
Grammar/Style: In your essay, highlight in bold one example of each of the following literary technique:
- Parallelism: a list of words or phrases balanced in their grammatical composition.
with a small dog in her lap and a book in her hand or
- Alliteration: the (not-awkward or overdone) repetition of a letter to start a word:
these fashionably dressed females are physically cut off or in the modern metropolis.
The Alba Madonna Name: Institution: Course: Date: The Alba Madonna The painting is a vivid expression of the painter and gives some crucial details to style used. Looking at the painting, there are some very obvious features that stand out. The painting encapsulates the objects within in a spherical outline. Within the spherical outlines are three human images. Within the paining, to the right, is the image of a lady. She is clad in a loose blue cloth that laps around her to the back and on her legs ("The Alba Madonna by Raphael", 2016). On her l