The Swing: A Critique
Remember the swings, as a child? How it always felt like you were flying and that you would never touch the ground? In Essence, that is what Fragonard captured in one of his masterpieces. In The Swing, Fragonard makes use of dramatic light, whimsical colors, and striking focal point to convey the feelings of child-like innocence and freedom. The dramatic lighting of the sun and the playful colors of the entire painting emphasize the focal point of the striking woman in the piece.
The dramatic lighting seems one of the most vital pieces to his composition. For it is in one particular area, starting from the top left hand corner, going diagonal. It goes straight to the focal point, the woman on the swing and which adds to her emphasis. There also is the darkness surrounding the other figures, the men and in the trees. The lighting all together gives this surreal effect all together.
What also add to the surreal effect would be the whimsical colors. To some, it might seem just a lot of bright colors with some darkness. But notice how even the darkest areas, aren’t more tinted brown or black but rather more of a navy or deep sea green. The pale pink of the woman’s dress and the flowers underneath her tie the piece together. All the playful colors add to the child like feel to it. Even though it’s clearly not a child’s perspective on the world, the colors bring the feel of innocence.
Finally, the focal point is where everything boils down to, which would be the woman in the swing. She is given a brighter, and more emphasized presence. Yet her position is casual with her expression care free and one shoe falling in the air. The lighting adds the almost ethereal feel to her, as if she is more at that point. This reflects what a child could perhaps feel or just going back to a place where things were simpler.
This piece is clearly based in a reality. Everything is possible or real. Yet the way he conveys such youth and innocence makes this piece more. For it sort of could even be looked as a fantasy in a reality. For what is to say that someone wouldn’t want to live in this sort of reality? A reality where everything is real, but more.