Compilation of Images

In addition to establishing visual relationships, patterns placed throughout an artwork can induce the viewer's eyes to move around in a composition as they "follow" the pattern.

Alfredo Ramos, Millard Sheets, Joaqu’n Clausell, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
Museo Nacional de Arte. INBA. CONACULTA, Smithsonian American Art Museum,

UNITED STATES
MEXICO
© Museo Nacional de Arte. INBA. CONACULTA, © Smithsonian American Art Museum


Patterns can be found throughout nature and the built environment. Repetition, rhythm, and harmony can be found in earth’s natural environments; tree bark, ripples in the water, petals and leaves, are a few examples. Architecture and product design also incorporate patterns.

In addition to establishing visual relationships, patterns placed throughout an artwork can induce the viewer’s eyes to move around in a composition as they "follow" the pattern.

Look at each of these pieces of art. Make a table and beside the name of each painting, give a brief description of any patterns you see in the work. Then, in a third column, write down how the patterns you perceive affect you, the viewer.

Patterns can be found throughout nature and the built environment. Repetition, rhythm, and harmony can be found in earth’s natural environments; tree bark, ripples in the water, petals and leaves, are a few examples. Architecture and product design also incorporate patterns.

In addition to establishing visual relationships, patterns placed throughout an artwork can induce the viewer’s eyes to move around in a composition as they "follow" the pattern.

Look at each of these pieces of art. Make a table and beside the name of each painting, give a brief description of any patterns you see in the work. Then, in a third column, write down how the patterns you perceive affect you, the viewer.


© CHIN 2001. All Rights Reserved

Paisaje con niña y hortensias

Though Alfredo Ramos Martínez played a leading role in art instruction in the second and third decades of the 20th century, introducing some of the formal principles of the Impressionists to the academy, his own work was characterized by a more conservative visual language. His works, in which young girls with pretty faces and vaporous dresses stroll through flowery landscapes suggest a kind of allegory constructed around the natural surroundings and the young girls' flower of youth.

Alfredo Ramos Martínez (1875 - 1946)
Museo Nacional de Arte. INBA. CONACULTA. Donation by Jesús González Vaquero, 1991
c. 1916
pastel sketch on paper
© National Museum of Art. INBA. CONACULTA


Tenement Flats

A sunny day brings the residents of this San Francisco, California, tenement outdoors, where they enjoy fresh air and friendly companionship while waiting for laundry to dry. Bold diagonals, bright colors, and lively patterns activate the architecture of their crowded building, which stands in cheerful contrast to the elegant homes on the hill above.

Millard Sheets (1907 - 1989)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
c. 1934
oil on canvas
© Smithsonian American Art Museum


Fuentes Brotantes

The novel aspect of Clausell's works lies not only in his use of a technique with certain Impressionistic associations, but above all in his search for new localities to represent the Mexican landscape, as an alternative to the already worn cliché of the volcanoes of the Valley of Mexico, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. Small villages such as Tlalpan, Santa Anita, Ixtacalco and Xochimilco were chosen by the landscape artists of the first and second decades of the 20th century. Devoid of human figures, this recreation of small areas or spots relates to end-of-century ideas of Symbolist inspiration in that it reflects the interest in returning to the countryside and nature.

Joaquín Clausell (1866 - 1935)
National Museum of Art. INBA. CONACULTA
1910 - 1920
oil on canvas
© National Museum of Art. INBA. CONACULTA


Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (mural study, U.S. Capitol)

This dramatic image of westward expansion is a study for a mural in the United States Capitol, one of the most ambitious statements of cultural nationalism during the mid-nineteenth century. Leutze combined pioneer men and women, mountain guides, wagons, and mules to suggest a divinely ordained pilgrimage to the Promised Land of the western frontier. In the border, medallion portraits of explorers Captain William Clark and Daniel Boone flank a vista of the San Francisco Bay--the ultimate western destination. Above, a bald eagle holds a scroll on which is lettered "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way"--while Native Americans escape in a maze of winding plant tendrils.

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816 - 1868)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Sara Carr Upton
1861
oil on canvas
© Smithsonian American Art Museum


Patterns and Repetition

Identify the Patterns

Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores; Department of Canadian Heritage; U.S. Department of State
The Winnipeg Art Gallery; Canadian Museum of Civilization, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes Instito Nacional de Bellas Artes, Smithsonian American Art Museum

© CHIN 2001. All Rights Reserved


1. Describe how patterns in a painting can affect each of the following, giving an example for each:  mood focal point depth symbolism rhythm

2. Draw or paint a landscape which uses pattern to convey organization, rhythm, or harmony. Explain what pattern you used and how it achieves the desired effect.

1. Describe how patterns in a painting can affect each of the following, giving an example for each:

  •  mood
  • focal point
  • depth
  • symbolism
  • rhythm

2. Draw or paint a landscape which uses pattern to convey organization, rhythm, or harmony. Explain what pattern you used and how it achieves the desired effect.


© CHIN 2001. All Rights Reserved

Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Understand the effect pattern has on the mood, focal point, depth, symbolism, and rhythm of a work of art
  • Apply patterning to the creation of an artistic work in order to achieve a desired effect upon the viewer

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