Three Graces of Cranach - A composition.
Study of François Murez - www.francois-murez.com
Lucas Cranach is influenced by Dürer. Before looking at his Three Graces, let us linger a little over Dürer.
That to remove from the teaching of Alberti?
Of the architecture
Book IX - The sixth chapter - Extracts
The fifth is in the report 2/3 or 6/9. Here, on this example, this short area in the report 6/9 is vertical.
Lucas Cranach - The Three Graces - 1531
Let us apply the division in 6 vertical parts. Each of the Graces occupies a third of the picture, that is 2 vertical parts.
But let us not forget all the same the golden section... Placed in vertical and in horizontal blue lines, it bounds us a
hand of the left nude, places the other hand and the buttocks in height. For the nude of the middle, the leg is
now placed and the feathers of the hat positioned. For the last one, the hand and the foot in the same way.
Let us divide now the height into 9 equal parts. Everything so takes place: the hat, the mouth, the eyes, the bosoms,
the necklace, the hands, the foot and the ground...
From these divisions, it is possible to draw some diagonals which will give the slope of the hat, the neck, the leg and the movement of hands. These diagonals are going to liven up the picture.
Another point is interesting to note: the height of the lady in the hat.
Its height is of 7 times the basic interval. That of the left is a little bigger, that of the right, a little smaller.
Moreover, to look at it well, the central lady has a height of eight heads, usual proportion in the time.
Alberti - De la Sculpture
Let us see if this choice of composition meets in works on the same theme and of the same time.
Lucas Cranach - Vénus - 1532
Let us apply the division in 6 vertical parts. Hands, veil on both sides of Venus, the balance of the body are positioned.
But let us not forget all the same the golden section... Placed in blue vertical lines, it bounds us a hand and the veil, the face and the foot.
Let us divide now the height into 9 equal parts. It is not also clear as just. These divisions do not look much,
perhaps eyes and in contrast ground.
From these divisions, it is still possible to draw some diagonals which will give the slope of arms.
On the other hand, if we make slide the divisions by 9 downward and if we position them on the top part of the face, the division in 8 of the body appears completely. The face: 1/8, bosoms 2/8, the navel 3/8, etc....
So, in this picture, the Alberti's geometry appears only as a means to determine proportions but its musical sense does not exist any more.
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