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Art Critism

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Art Criticism

Art criticism involves art description, formal analysis, interpretation and value judgment (Elkins, & Engelke, 2003). The paper gives an art criticism of a piece of art I saw at Lyman Allyn Art Museum by L.F Baeles titled On the Lake.



Title: On the Lake

Artist: L.F Baeles

Date: 1885

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Size: Na

Location: Lyman Allyn Art Museum


On the Lake is a painting art done by an American artist L.F Beales in 1885. The painting was exhibited at Lyman Allyn Art Museum during 2015 august exhibition at the museum. The art is done on canvas using oil paint. In the painting, one can see a boat on the lake with two sailors. One sailor is a man, and the other is a woman. The woman in the boat is decently dressed, and she is peddling the boat. The man is gazing at the large landscape at the end of the lake. At both edges of the lake, there is a landscape covered with big bush. At a distance, there is another boat occupied by two sailors. The two sailors at the distant boat can be seen conversing with each other. The sky is very brighter with scattered brown clouds indicating that it was on a summer evening (Leiber, Alden, Mœglin-Delcroix, & Purves, T. 2001).

From the look, the painting represents a couple enjoying a date at the lakeside on a summer evening. However, the man is depicted as naïve looking on how he is dressed and is being distracted by the large landscape covered with bushes. The woman is seen gesturing her to concentrate. There is another couple in the other boat that is seen enjoying their time by looking at how they are communicating. The lady in the big boat has diverted her attention to the couple in the other boat, and it can be interpreted that she wishes she could be comfortable in the other boat.


The work is a representation of romance and women dominance in the modern word. From the past couple used to have their date in cool places such as lakes, forests, and mountains. The painting shows a couple having their date at the lake where the environment is cool with green bush in the landscape, cool water, and brighter sky. However, the lady is depicted to be more enlighten that the man. The man is much destructed by the environment and is gazing at the surrounding land scope. The woman is also depicted taking a role in steering and paddling the boat.

The choice of the color by the artist was well balanced. He chose green and brown to represent the landscape at the edge of the lake. The color showed the nature of the environment was natural. The sky is represented by light blue and brown patches indicating it were a summer. The water in the lake is blue representing the reflection of the sky. The couples in the boats are painted pink and an indication that they were whites. The artist also creates asymmetric balance in his work. The right and the left side of the painting are not the same. He has also placed various shapes, sizes, and placement to establish visual equilibrium (Leiber, Alden, Mœglin-Delcroix, & Purves, T. 2001).



The content of the work shows the enlightenment of women. The drawing was painted when women had no role in the society and were perceived as an inferior creature. The drawing shows a woman who is enlightened than the man and she is taking a role such as peddling and stealing the boat. She is also neatly dressed than the man. The artist was trying to suggest that there will be a time that women will overrule men. The paint drew the artist message clear since the man is depicted confused that the lady in the picture. He is easily getting distracted by the surrounding environment.


L.F Beales was a prolific American painter and watercolorist. Baeles was born in 1862 in England, and she was interested in art from early years. She joined the art and theater community in the early 20th century where she took different roles. In his life, he worked in various theaters and art clubs such as Knickerbockers Theater Club, and Brooklyn art guild and exhibited at the National Academy of Design. Although she seems forgotten his painting can be found in various museums especially in England (Leiber, Alden, Mœglin-Delcroix, & Purves, T. 2001).

Value judgment

The art by L.F Baeles has great worthiness. It depicts how the culture has changed, and women are taking new roles in the society. The major thing I liked about the work is a representation of the women. The drawing representation of the woman represents the women in the modern society. Personally I value this piece of art which is skillfully crafted, and it makes me happy. It reminds me of how the culture has changed today. Women have taken most of the role that were previously perceived to be done by men. The painting shows that the artist was more enlightened compared to others in the period and she carefully predicted the future.

Part 2: Art Appreciation Discussion

It is important to know the title of the piece to appreciate fully the work or any other non-representational work?


Elizabeth Farren by Sir Thomas Lawrence(

In my opinion, it is necessary to know the title of the piece of art work to appreciate fully the work or any other non-representation work. For example, by looking at the piece of art below obtained from Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History website, the title can help in understanding the painting. The title of the piece can give a hint of what the painting is reflecting. From the title, one can search some background information on the artist which can be helpful in understanding the timeline and the culture the piece represented. For example, the title of the painting gives the observer a hint that the image represents the time of Queen Elizabeth in England.

The other major importance of title in art is that it induces deeper thought to the observer. Including a title in the art makes the observer try relating the tile with the work hence inducing a deeper thought that can lead to better understanding. The title also helps the observers to remember a particular piece of art they have encountered. This can be used for future reference to the piece of art. The title also helps to distinguish a particular art from numerous works hence making it easier for reviewers to write about the art.

Meaning of the arts

Colors have great meaning to art. They are mainly used by the artist to communicate to different massage in the art. Color can also be used to create attention to the observers as well as depict the nature of the environment that is represented in the piece. The use of blue color by Mark Rothko creates a feeling of openness and coolness of the art (Galenson, 2002).The brown color in the picture creates represent neutrality while white represent pureness. The art by Jackson Pollock in Autumn Rhythm is represented by a combination of orange yellow white and black. The mixture of colors is used to communicate different messages to the observers (Lippens, 2011).

In his piece titled100 untitled works in mill aluminum, Donald Judd is trying to communicate how the word will change and adopt new models of houses and furniture. Most his arts contained a drawing of modern houses with different interiors. The arts also have different visuals such as shapes, color size and dimensions (Yarinsky, 2011). The piece has helped several artists express the content through implementing his designs in the modern houses.


Elkins, J., & Engelke, M. (2003). What happened to art criticism?. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press.
Galenson, D. W. (2002). Was Jackson Pollock the Greatest Modern American Painter?: A Quantitative Investigation. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 35(3), 117-128. Leiber, S., Alden, T., Mœglin-Delcroix, A., & Purves, T. (2001). Extra Art: A Survey of Artists' Ephemera, 1960-1999. Smart Art Press.
Lippens, R. (2011). Law, code and late modern governance in prophetic painting: Notes on Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Gilles Deleuze. In Prospects of legal semiotics (pp. 171-192). Springer Netherlands.
Yarinsky, A. (2011). Donald Judd and the Blooming of Reality. Places Journal.…...

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