The Corn Poppy

The painting of “Poppy” by the famous van Dongen is one of my favorite paintings. In analyzing the piece i noticed how van Dougen incorporates the Feminist, Marxist, and Ethical perspectives. In the 1920’s women were supposed to pretty and flashy. Immediately your eye is drawn to her bright red hat contrasted by her dark black eyes. poppyThis portrait suggests that she is perhaps, the flapper type. Like the stereotype of women during the 20’s poppy seems to be the thin beautiful women who wears the decorative hats, the dark make up and the short hair. Van Dongen spent some time in France and around Europe so he could possibly be showing the women he encountered. She looks as though she’s from the lower class with her gray worn jacket. Also the harsh brush strokes van Dongen chooses to make instead of dainty smooth lines suggest her out of place nature in the lower class. The way her eyes stare over her shoulder suggest she is isolated as though because of her class she isn’t able to delve into society. Her pursed lips and lack of smile make her look depress or envious of whatever she’s looking at. With each look at this painting something else catches your eye and makes you want too look at the little details.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! This is very interesting; I love how you challenge the notion of class and gender as it relates to societal norms circa 1920. Is she using her beauty to challenge the element of class vis-a-vis upper-class women? Or, is she looking to be accepted by the elites thus marking her transition to a status unfamiliar to her? Regardless, your style and use of philosophical/artistic criticism is interesting. Great job!!!

    Reply

  2. Posted by snooty on 12 May, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    “The 1920’s saw van Dongen at the height of his career, and he was often commissioned by fashionable society ladies to paint their portrait.”

    I don’t think there is any class struggle there but it’s an interesting take.

    Reply

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