Fig. 1. Monet. (1875). Unloading Coal, Oil on canvas. Retrieved from http://library.artstor.org.ezproxy.massey.ac.nz/library/welcome.html#3|search|6|All20Collections3A20monet2C20unloading20coal|Filtered20Search|||type3D3626kw3Dmonet2C20unloading20coal26geoIds3D26clsIds3D26collTypes3D26id3Dall26bDate3D26eDate3D26dExact3D26prGeoId3D26origKW3D
- The painting illustrates a fleet of coal barges from the mines in the north of France. (Mirzoeff 230).
- The bridge in the background is significantly larger in scale compared to the factory workers in the foreground. The scale of the bridge symbolises the dominance of manufactured goods on the environment.
- The workers have been painted very loosely with a little colour. Therefore, the workers do not appear as individuals, instead, they all look the same (in uniform). This represents the coal factory industry at the time, and how the workers are there only to complete the job. The workers are not appreciated as individuals. ‘’As individuals, they do not matter’’. (Mirzoeff 230).
- The brush strokes are very loose and visible which adds motion to the painting.
- When the coal is transported it produces smoke which effects the environment. The smoke is represented in the painting by the murky grey/blue colour of the sky.
- The people walking along the bridge have been painted more precisely and therefore appear more distinct in comparison to the factory workers in the foreground. This contrast could symbolise the different working classes at the time; upper class versus lower class. (Mirzoeff 231).
- There is a contrast in light and dark colour tones. The bridge is is much lighter and brighter in comparison to the workers and the landscape which represent the negative effects that the coal industry is having on the environment.
- According to Mirzoeff, the view point used for this painting can be described as a mid-air viewpoint, possibly seen from a train window as it crossed over the river. (Mirzoeff 232).
- The painting overall is very warm toned to represent the product of coal and also possibly the heat that the workers may be feeling due to constant lifting.
- The key point for a paragraph to go alongside this visual text could be the contrast between working classes, and how the workers have been painted and positioned differently to the people walking along the bridge.
- This visual text would be suitable to support my paragraph on industrialisation based specifically on the coal industry.
- The viewers eye is drawn to the tall burnt orange pole which leads the viewers eye down from the bridge to the coal factory workers.
- Depth has been created in the painting by the use of receding diagonal lines which have been used to illustrate the planks that the workers walk along to get to the boats.
- The key subject matter (bridge and coal industry workers) have been situated at the lower and upper edges of the painting, leaving the middle of the work relatively free of significant subject matter. The free space creates a sort of division between the upper and lower classes.
B) Situate 1-2 historical or contemporary visual texts you might use in your essay.
Fig. 2. Monet. (1872). Impression, Sunrise, Oil on canvas. Retrieved from http://library.artstor.org.ezproxy.massey.ac.nz/library/welcome.html#3|search|6|All20Collections3A20monet2C20impression|Filtered20Search|||type3D3626kw3Dmonet2C20impression26geoIds3D26clsIds3D26collTypes3D26id3Dall26bDate3D26eDate3D26dExact3D26prGeoId3D26origKW3D
C) Link what is ‘in’ the image’s to those ideas and claims you have identified by collaging or mapping them directly onto the image or around it using the suggested approaches and technologies.
The link above will display a PDF of my mind map surrounding my chosen historical visual text.