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The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, created by artist Gerard David, is one that uses a compilation of classic oil painting techniques along with more general techniques that are still used in a plethora of historical art pieces. His use of techniques in this painting created a calm and peaceful Madonna and Child painting that is representative of many other paintings and murals during the 15th and 16th centuries in Northern Europe. In my Genially, I noted the oil technique using the dullness of primary colors, and I also mentioned foreshortening, modeling, arrangement, and atmospheric perspective. Every single one of these techniques was extremely common based on the historical information learned via class and textbook. Gerard David achieved the illusion of distance, three-dimensionality, projection of objects, and a central point, all while staying true to traditional oil techniques. In conclusion, this painting may bring a sense of calmness to the viewer as so many of the techniques come together flawlessly to create a serene picture that depicts a timely 15th-century painting.

Oil Technique

Technique #4

This painting is a good example of a typical oil painting in this era regarding the technique and colors. Oil paint on a canvas panel gives a more dull look than other techniques would, like tempura for example. We can see this dullness just by looking at this painting as a whole. The texture and calmness of the colors emphasize this. This painting also reflects the traditional oil painting technique by using the primary colors, red, green, and blue. These aspects of oil painting combined creates a dull look for the viewer and a true representation of Northern European paintings during the 15th-16th century.


Technique #2

Foreshortening is used in a multitude of ways throughout this painting, but the example that surprisingly stood out to me was the formation and shape of the rocks that the Madonna and her child are sitting on. The rocks clearly create a projecting visualization to the viewer by layering on top of eachother. The pebbles closer to the bottom left side of the painting specifically stand out to me because they really do look like they are in front of the bigger rocks behind them. I would say the artist successfully showed foreshortening through his work creating a projection of objects.


Technique #1

Modeling is a very common technique used in oil panel paintings during the 14th through 16th centuries. In this specific painting, modeling is prevalently shown on the fabric of the Madonna, the woman’s, dress. The shading of the lighter and darker shades of blue emphasizes the folds of the fabric on her dress. The modeling helps create a more realistic and smooth look of the painting as it emphasizes the three dimensionality of a real dress.

Atmospheric Perspective

Technique #5

This painting has a perfect example of atmospheric perspective. The hills displayed behind the Madonna create an illusion of distance by the way it is colored. The coloring of the distant hills is drastically different than the atmosphere closest to the Madonna herself and the donkey. While the blue-ish coloring of the hills is dramatically different than the green trees and gray rocks, it is successful in making the viewer believe there is great distance and depth in the painting.

Arrangement of figures

Technique #3

While not incredibly obvious, there is a shape/formation to this picture that emphasizes a focal point of the painting. The donkey placed on the left side of the painting and the man on the right side of the painting create a triangular shape, emphasizing the Madonna and her baby as the central point of the painting. The green trees also create this image. The trees clearly open up to the sky where Mary’s head sits. There are no trees obstructing her figure.