The Burial Of Count Orgaz Essay

1246 words - 5 pages

“The Burial of Count Orgaz” analysis

The Burial of Count Orgaz is a painting by famous renaissance artist El Greco. The painting is sixteen by eleven feet and was drawn with oil on canvas. The painting depicts a burial scene of Count Orgaz and a heaven scene with Christ above them. This painting is the most intriguing for El Greco’s use of two focal points. In El Greco’s career The Burial of Count Orgaz is widely accepted as his greatest work.
In describing the painting itself it is divided into two sections, one being a burial scene of Count Orgaz in the lower half portion of the artwork, and a scene of heaven with Christ and the saints swirling overhead among thin silky clouds. The ...view middle of the document...

You don’t see sky, earth, horizon there is just pure substance. This lacking since of space can be seen from the figures in the painting. The proportions of the majority of the figures are the same throughout the painting, which gives little feel of distance between the heaven and burial scenes. The priest in the lower right portion of the burial scene is seen holding a bible in one hand, and a crucifix staff in the other. The staff remains in the foreground yet its height makes it seem to be touching the lowest part of the clouds. In addition a yellow robe from an angel at the lowest point of the heaven portion is so close to the group mourning figures in the background that it appears to touch one of them. The only real since of space you can see are some of the figures in the heaven scene that are at the further most of each side of the painting. The scale is just slightly smaller than any of the figures in the foreground but the change is still very noticeable.
Space is only one of the elements that stand out when observing The Burial of Count Orgaz; another is the use of colors. The colors used by El Greco are as different as are the two scenes of his painting. The burial scene uses somber dark toned colors for the figures in the background, and much brighter colors in the figures of the foreground. There are three priests in the foreground that are colored in bright gold robes. If you look closely on each priest robe are pictures of biblical figures and scenes that are extremely detailed for such a small purpose for the overall painting. There are hints of red throughout the burial scene, from the priest’s robes to several mourners that have red symbols on their coats. One figure does seem to surprisingly stand out in the burial scene due to his gray robe. A figure which appears to be a monk off to the left corner of the painting gazes down at the body of Count Orgaz. The two priest toward the middle of the painting command the most eye attention, yet the lone figure still stands out despite such a neutral color, is due to a nearly complete black background. In contras the colors of the heaven scene are brighter yet softer toned pallet of blues, hues of white, yellows, and grays with splashes of red. The clouds are drawn in thin, bluish grey sheets of silk and they flow in a semicircular pattern below Christ. Christ...

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