The artwork chosen for the analysis is The Rose by the American painter Maria Oakey Dewing painted in 1905. Speaking about Maria Oakey Dewing it is important to pay attention that as an amateur botanist and consummate gardener she chose the theme of nature quite often, and the flower motive can be traced through almost all of her works, therefore, depicting the rose in the same-named painting is not an exception.
The Rose captivates attention with its unobtrusiveness and mildness. It is interesting that from the very first look the eyes of the observer stop at the image of the flower, a rose, instead of focusing on the figure of a woman, who holds this rose in her hand. The rose is a central image of the painting, which can be defined as a portrait according to its genre. The calm look of a woman is directed at the light-pink image of a rose, which she holds in her right hand. It seems that the woman leans to detect its favor. The second arm of the woman is put on the level of her solar plexus. Probably, the reason is that it is considered to be the point, where the human soul is placed. Consequently, it shows that the odor of the rose evokes some positive feelings in the woman’s soul. Universally, the symbol of the white and light-pink rose is associated with tender feelings. Exactly such feelings can be traced in the painting as the woman’s mood seems to be quiet, undisturbed or even dreaming. Moreover, the gown, which she wears in the painting, does not look like the one, which is usually worn outside; consequently, the painter has projected a quite and comfortable domestic atmosphere in the picture. The dark tones of the walls and of the woman’s clothing in contrast to the light tones depicting the flower and the skin of the woman emphasize the importance of the rose in the paintings. Obviously, Maria Oakey Dewing tended to depict the captured image of sincerity, tenderness, which she could find in the flowers. The beauty of the rose captures not only the woman portrayed in the canvas, but also the viewers, who watch it in the gallery. As an artwork of the impressionists’ movement, the painting has an open composition, and it depicts Dewing’s perception of the nature influence on people’s feelings. According to her idea nothing can be as beautiful and tender as the flowers are. When observing The Rose, the viewer gets the sensation of being immersed into the depicted moment as if it is real life. This is another characteristic of the relation of this painting to impressionism.
Characterizing and analyzing the lines, it is important to mark out the lack of the horizon line. On the whole, the curved and straight lines are combined. There is a vertical line depicting the corner on the background. One can also notice that all the other straight lines are vertical except for that one, which illustrates the rose’s caulis, and, therefore, detaches it against the figure of the woman and the background. The organic shape of the central figures also makes the emphasis on it. The color scheme is quite limited as the painter mostly uses green, white, creamy and pale pink colors. The dark green for the walls and the gown of the woman in contrast to the light tones used for the rose and the woman’s skin, for her left hand which is near her soul make the viewer’s eyes stop on the lighter details. The contrast of light and dark colors is another mean to emphasize the main concept of the painting. The painting is painted on the canvas with oil; therefore, the texture of the surface is smooth and visually restful. The asymmetrical balance between the light and the dark is created through using darker background of the painting, dark dressing gown and hair on the middle ground. Only the rose on the foreground and the skin of the woman are painted with light colors. The repetition of the green color on the background, middle ground and foreground creates the rhythm that unifies three spaces of the painting. As well as the colors of the object are quite realistic, the same are the proportions of the rose, woman, walls relatively to each other. In general, all shapes, lines, colors, tones are arranged in such way that brings the viewer’s eye to the central figure of the rose. Consequently, it is disputable if the painting is the portrait of the woman or the rose. To my mind, it is obvious that the flower is the focal point of the painting. The content of The Rose is quite emotional, and the beauty of the rose, its tenderness brings the viewer tranquil and gentle feelings.