Approach is a word we have used to describe the way the subject matter of the picture is shown. The most common are landscape, seascape, interior, portrait, still life and study.
However sometimes an artist combines 2 or more approaches, for example when depicting a detailed study of an animal in a landscape, or a portrait of a person in a detailed view of their home.
So, not wishing to avoid controversy but seeking to help users of our service to find something they are looking for) we have classified an artist's approach to a picture by considering 3 different aspects, in the following way:
- what is the scope of the scene of the picture? Is it
- still life (usually a depiction of objects)
- landscape (usually a wide swathe of land)
- interior (depiction inside a building)
- what is the objective of the picture? Is it
- a study (of an element or a scene)
- figurative (contains depictions of figures or people)
- a portrait (of an originally identifiable individual)
- what degree of accuracy has been sought by the artist in depicting the subject? NB: we are in no way attempting here to judge what the impact on the viewer was intended to be or is, nor are we suggesting here success or failure in accurately conveying elements of mood or personality in the subject.
- photographic -- everything shown exactly as it is
- true-to-life -- most elements shown accurately
- selectivity -- how and what is chosen by the artist
- anatomical -- examines the internal detail of the subject
- sketch -- lightly dusts over the outer face of the subject
- representative -- without any particular selectivity, shows the outer face of the subject
- graphic -- even-handedly selects which external elements to depict
- cartoon -- exaggerates chosen external elements
- impression -- seeks to convey an impression and not accuracy in any detail
- abstract -- no element is accurately depicted
Thus we might have classified a picture as a "landscape, figurative and true-to-life", meaning that a wide swathe of land is shown accurately and containing depictions of people. Or "interior, portrait, representative" to denote those pictures of in individuals shown in their internal environment.
We don't think this is necessarily the perfect description of pictures but we hope it helps. Please let us know if you like it or hate it!
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