Monday, November 15, 2010

Paintings and Reproductions from Passion

These are the paintings being recreated in the film within Passion. (As I have been working on this post, I found that there also may be recreations of these images throughout the rest of Passion and outside of that film within the film as well.) The only image from Passion that I could not find was the reproduction of Goya’s “The Family of Charles IV." (The complete list of reproduced paintings is from Chapter 7 of Speaking about Godard.)

Goya's "The Family of Charles IV"

There is no doubt that the overall theme of light—the search for the (right) light--is of paramount importance to Godard and is a major theme in Passion. It is interesting to look at these paintings in an attempt to further understand or identify what light he was drawn to or looking for.
In the El Greco, Ingres and Goya’s “The Nude Maja” the use of light is focused on the divine and the female form respectively. And those are precisely the parts of the paintings that Godard highlights for reproduction. The other three Goya’s show light very strongly. “3 de Mayo” illuminates the men being executed and in that sense, the light assists in their deaths. The parasol in "The Parasol" is used to shield the woman from the light outside and Goya captures the light pouring in the room from outside in “The Family of Charles IV.”
The Rembrandt, the Delacroix and the Watteau are paintings out of doors. In some ways, Godard’s reproductions of these actually clarify (at least for me) the focus of the light and his interpretation of the paintings themselves. (And as James Roy MacBean says, in an essay for Film Quarterly, “Passion, unlike Rembrandt’s “Nightwatch,” will offer a precise source of illumination” in the visual sense.[1])
This post is an obviously primitive, cursory exploration of the film, the paintings and theme of light. But viewing the paintings alongside the reproductions is my first step towards a more thorough investigation into these topics.

[1] James Roy MacBean, “Filming the inside of His Own Head: Godard's Cerebral Passion,” Film Quarterly
 Vol. 38, No. 1 (Autumn, 1984): 20.


Rembrandt's "Nightwatch" top
Godard's reproduction below


El Greco's "Assumption of the Virgin" left
Godard's reproductions right


 Goya's "The Nude Maja" top
Godard's reproduction below


Goya's "3 de Mayo" top
Godard's reproduction below

Goya's "The Parasol" top
Godard's reproduction below

  Ingres' "Small Bather" top
Godard's reproduction below

Delacroix's "Entry of the Crusaders into Contantinople" top
Godard's reproductions below

Watteau's "Pilgrimage to Cythera" top
Godard's reproduction below


1 comment:

  1. What an exciting experience!/Hilarious! Delightful! True!/wonderful stuff! thank you!
    Oil Paintings Reproductions