Anguish by August Friedrich Albrecht SCHENCK
Usually I spend time talking to you about an artist and all their work, but I thought I might try something different and I hope you like it. I have been given permission by the National Gallery of Victoria to use some of the images of art works to show you ones I like. It is also hoped we can discuss them as well.
To start off this new thread, I thought I would share with you one of my favourite paintings, Anguish by August Friedrich Albrecht SCHENCK.
It is an incredibly sad painting and the mothers looking at it, I’m sure, would feel a lot of emotion with it.
As you can see, the painting depicts a ewe standing over her lamb that has died. In the notes it says that the crows killed it. I have never really looked at it that way. More that the mother ewe is trying to stop the crows from eating it, or whatever it is that crows do to dead animals.
The actual painting has so much detail in it, and you can see the anguish on the ewe’s face. There is a little stream of bloody from the lambs mouth so we know that it is dead. There are many footprints in the snow, either from the mother circling her baby, or from the crows as they try to get closer.
There is a very large number of crows, and that helps to give that impression of a hard winter. Do they all think that this one dead lamb will be enough? There is more anguish there than just from the mother.
The painting is done in very muted colours and there are no bright colours. There are many greys, browns and it could almost be described as a monochrome image. It, perhaps, gives the idea of why monochrome images can be so powerful, once you strip away the colour you are just left with the textures and patterns, or in this case the emotion.
Of course, the thing that Schenck does is give us the raw emotion of motherhood and loss. The painting has so much in it, and you can feel the despair of the ewe as she tries to protect her baby. It is a hard thing to do, to create this sort of mood and get people to connect with it, but it has been done brilliantly here.
What emotions do feel when looking at this painting?
While this is predominantly a photography blog, we can learn so much by looking at paintings, and other art forms. Seeing how they were put together, or created, can teach up so much. I hope you have enjoyed the first one of these, and will be looking forward to more.