Osama Al Ismaili
Jul 9th, 2021
Figure 1: – Portrait of Annie Russell as Lady Vavir in Broken Hearts Painting Artwork by John
For this painting artwork analysis, I have chosen the Portrait of Annie Russell as Lady
Vavir in Broken Hearts as painted by John White Alexander. Alexander was a renowned
American figure, portrait, and illustrator, and decorative painter. He was born in 1856 and was
recognized internationally for his paintings. His works have been featured and kept in different
museums across the United States including, the Smithsonian American Art Museum,
Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Cornell Fine Arts Museum (Lee et al. pg. 46). John White
Alexander painted this artwork in 1885. This was the time when the artists were allowed freedom
and encouragement to represent figures and objects that were beautiful. The Portrait of Annie
Russell as Lady Vavir in Broken Hearts is one of the artworks that John White Alexander
painted as an appreciation of Miss Annie Russel for her popular role in the fairy play called
Broken Hearts. This play was written by Sir Arthur Sullivan of Gilbert & Sullivan (Lee et al. pg.
This artwork attracted my attention when viewing the paintings on show in the Cornell
Fine Arts Museum as they remember and appreciate American Art of up to the year 1950. The
painting is presented as one of the exemplary artworks made in both the United States and other
parts of the world by American artists. The collection presented by the museum provides a broad
depiction of the United States art history with strengths in colonial portrait making, painting in
the 19th century, and America’s early modernism (American Art to 1950, pg. 23).
This artwork is eye-catching because of how the artist chose to use oil and canvas to
come up with the setting with a beautiful woman who is the actress in her stage costumes facing
away from the plane of the picture (Lee et al. pg. 49). The woman is also staring at a large glass
bowl that has a spray of overflowing pink flowers.
Despite being a portrait, the woman’s face is obscured, and the focus was becoming more
on the columnar and long form of her body. The body seems to be sweeping upward from the
floor. The woman’s smooth angularity contrasts with the round bowl form (Lee et al. pg. 48). She
is also united by the overflowing spray of pink flowers to the round bowl, extending from her left
The contrast of the woman’s brown hair and the white of her skin color at her back and
the pink flowers. The contrast in an artwork is attained by artists whey they arrange opposite
things are clearly distinguished from each other. Also, the smoothness of the round glass bowl
can be seen in the painting. The texture of the painting is also well used. The texture of a
painting refers to the quality of the surface over which the picture object is presented (“Work of
the Week,” pg. 38).
The painting represents how people should appreciate art irrespective of the gender of
those who create it. This artwork was created when women were less recognized in the United
States. Lastly, this artwork compares with a similar artwork by Francis Alexander, the Portrait of
Mary Ann Duff, created in 1825. The portrait was also painted using oil on canvas. The artwork
also appreciated Mary Duff for her success in theatrical stage performances (Element of Design
pg. 31). Many people recognized her and suggested that she be called the “First Lady of the
American Stage” for being loyal and undertaking her theatrical training in America (Saltmarsh
pg. 61). The artwork reminds the United States about her loyalty at a time when no one
Word count: 605
American Art to 1950″. 220.127.116.11, 2021, pp. 16-25. http://18.104.22.168/cornell-fine-artsmuseum/collection/american-art/index.html. Accessed 7 July 2021.
Element of Design: Texture.” Element of Design Texture, 2021, pp. 20-36
Lee, Seojin Stacey, et al. ARE YOU READY TO EMBRACE ARTWORK MADE BY
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE? – THE ASYMMETRIC EFFECTS OF ATTITUDES
TOWARD ARTWORK (ART VS. ART-INFUSED PRODUCT) AND PAINTING
AGENT (HUMAN VS. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE)”. Global Fashion Management
Conference, vol 2019, 2019, pp. 46-50. Global Alliance of Marketing and Management
Saltmarsh, Polly. Portrait Of An Unknown Lady: Technical Analysis Of An Early Tudor
Miniature”. British Art Studies, no. 17, 2020, pp. 60-74. Paul Mellon Centre for Studies
in British Art, doi:10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-17/psaltmarsh.
Work of the Week – Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Rollins.Edu, 2021, pp.30-45.
Contextual Analysis Two
I selected Trinity Church Wall Street for the contextual analysis and comparison task.
Trinity Church is a historic church in the Diocese of New York, at the junction of Wall Street and
Broadway in Lower Manhattan, New York City. The structure was designed by Henry Hobson
Richardson between 1838 and 1886, who engaged in architecture after graduating from Harvard
College and Tulane University. The following terms are used to evaluate and analyze the selected
artworks. Climate is a term used to indicate the meaning or indication of the artwork to the society.
Similarly, symbol refers to what the artwork represents within the society. Realistic fiction
involves a compilation of stories about people and animals imagined having occurred in a
Figure 1: Trinity Church Wall Street
Trinity Church building was a major artistic and cultural achievement in the post-civil war. In
addition, Trinity Church was important during the American Revolution and the formation era of
the United States of America. As it can be observed, the artwork is connected to the memory and
religions. The building was originally founded under the support of King William III of England
in 1697. Three different buildings have housed Trinity since 1697, the first two of which portray
the historical significance of George Washington.
Trinity Church Wall Street shows religious development after American Revolution. For
example, the first building was built in 1698 and later expanded during the eighteenth century due
to population growth (Mensch & Bates, 6). Unfortunately, the building was burned to the ground
in 1776 during the American Revolution, and heroes saved only Trinity’s chapel.
The building portrays the struggle and loss incurred during the American Revolution. For
instance, Washington viewed the fire as it burned through the city and said that he was pleased
by how heroes rescued the property. Although the cause of the fire wasn’t determined
immediately, it was later found to have been resulted from an accident. Followers attended
services at St. Paul’s Chapel until the new building was constructed in 1970.
The history of Trinity Church Street Wall during the revolutionary period is somehow
divided because of the loyalist learning of clergy. Perhaps, one of the most notable clergies was
Charles Inglis, who published a Loyalist rebuke to Paine’s Common Sense in 1776. While many
clergies were loyalists during the war, Trinity Church symbolizes the role of the church in
peacemaking. For instance, most North American clergy, such as Samuel Provoost, were patriots.
Moreover, Trinity Church Wall Street portrays government support for church
development. For example, two major events associate Washington with Trinity Church: his
presidential inauguration and the consecration of the building (Mensch & Bates, 6). Washington
attended a service at St. Paul’s Chapel after his inauguration ceremony since Trinity Church was
still under construction. Later, in 1784, he attended the consecration ceremony after the building’s
Bromfield, J., & Cavenaugh, J. J. A Historiography of Informed Imagination: A (Hi) Story
Drawn from the Correspondence of Annie Russell and Faith Baldwin. 2019. Theatre
History Studies, 29(1), 5-8.
Mensch, E & Bates, J. B. Celebration Sunday: A Critical History of Trinity Church.2015. Buff.
L. Rev., pp. 6 -17. https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digitalencyclopedia/article/trinity-church/
Semino, E., & Swindlehurst, K. Metaphor and Mind Style in Ken Kesey’s” One Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest”.2016. Style, 4-16.
Contextual Analysis II
2Pac – Dear Momma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb1ZvUDvLDY
Born Tupac Amaru Shakur, June 16, 1971, in East Harlem, New York, NY. He chose 2Pac as his
stage name when he began making music in 1991 when he moved to California to pursue his
musical career. 2Pac was killed on September 13, 1996, in Las Vegas, NV. 2Pac was one of the
most influential rappers of the 1990s and even to this day his music still resonates with fans of hip
hop all over the globe. The song, Dear Momma, was released on February 21, 1995, and is one of
2Pac’s biggest singles ever released. The rap song was released shortly after Shakur was released
from a prison term. The song was released and distributed by his label, Interscope, onto the radio
and CD scene. The song as by its name was created as a celebration and tribute to his, and all other
mothers around the world.
The reason I chose this piece of music was that it has been a part of me since I first listened to it
in 2011 at 7 years old. My mother actually introduced me to this song on YouTube and from there
my love blossomed. The song touched my heart in a way that no other song before has. The
struggles that my own mother faced in raising me connected me to this song like many other
children in the same position. Another reason this piece meant so much to me was that this was
only the third rap song to be in the Library of Congress’s National Registry (Voices Across Time).
Making the song all that more impactful to tons of people around the world. The social angle that
connects to this piece would be gender, and to go even deeper, gender roles. Lots of critics around
this time believed that the song actually had a misogynistic tone (The Feminism of Tupac). I do
not believe this was the case. I can see why some would believe that 2Pac was ratting out his
mother, but I think he truly was just speaking about his struggle and what he had to go through
with his mother.
The song itself has a very nice rhythm that was smooth and easy to follow. As said by George
Yancy, from The Philadelphia Tribune, “the slowness of the beat creates in the listener a mood of
reflective reminiscence”. The beat was made by Tony Pizarro who was known for his slow and
controlled way of making musical sounds in the 90s. This helped listeners focus in on 2Pac’s words
rather than listening to the hype of said beat. Music made around this time had a fluctuating tempo
ranging from fast and upbeat (Changes) to slow and controlled (Ghetto Gospel). Many have said
2Pac was ahead of his time when it came to making music that touched people not only with his
lyrics but also with the sounds he chooses to go along with the track.
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