100 Days of Art History Jinjins


Joan of Arc

This painting hangs in the Met and I always stop to stare when I pass it. It's gigantic--Joan of Arc is basically life-size in it, and if you go up close enough to it, it takes up your whole field of vision. It has a beautiful clear, even light and all the foliage creates a nice texture even as it's also messy and tangled. I especially like the intense, searching look on Joan of Arc's face. I knew I wanted to tackle this one as part of this project eventually and was glad to get the chance.

In this painting, Joan of Arc is being visited by three angels who call her to the holy mission of fighting the English. Everything depicted feels so earthy and real--except for those 3 gauzy angels in the background (who I did give my glasses to, by the way.) I love that sense of realism, especially since most portrayals of Joan of Arc are much more sentimental and make her feel less like a human being. (She is a saint, so I guess I understand that point of view as well.)

Reference image is from The Met, where this painting hangs today.

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