Friday, February 19, 2010

This painting is titled Snake Charmer by Jean-Leon Gerome. One thing that is different about this painting from other paintings we have seen is the point of view. Looking at the painting, there is no sense of identification with any particular person or group. The audience against the is looking at the boy, and has no attachment with the audience. At the same time, the boy who is the snake charmer is facing away from us as the observers which offers no sense of identification with him either. Also, the fact that we cannot see the front of the boy, and what the audience is looking at lends a curiousness and mystery to what is actually going on in the painting. Aside from a lack of identification with any of the characters in the painting, it seems as though the scene takes place long before the date in the late 1800s that it was painted. In the "Imaginary Orient," the author suggests that Gerome purposely portrays that oriental cultures are timeless, and that the rest of the world seemed to be advancing beyond them. In reality, this was not true, but it is how the cultures were portrayed.

1 comment:

  1. You could have also said that around this time there would have been one or two Europeans hangoing around during the time this was painted. Like some of the stuff we mentioned in class about this painting.