Artwork Title: Elysian Fields (undated) - Artist Name: Arthur Bowen Davies

Elysian Fields (undated)

Arthur Bowen Davies

Here is another piece by Arthur B. Davies called Elysian Fields. It is another oil painting on canvas. I included this piece because it is very similar to Without Pause: Enters, Touches, Passes. Not only are the figures' movements very graceful and similar, but the colors are as well. Davies loves to use a muted palette because it portrays a certain mood. I mainly wanted to include this picture because it represents more of a mysterious landscape, or background, which is seen often in Davies' work. It truly makes the viewer wonder why these figures are portrayed in such a moody and mystical way, and in this dreamlike and imaginary landscape. Without Pause: Enters, Touches, Passes is an oil panting on canvas by Arthur B. Davies created in 1927. It is a continuous flow of nude women who are posing elegantly as if they are dancing. Their bodies depict the beauty of women perfectly, and they are nude because they are not covering themselves up in any way at all. It looks as if they are different women and not a single body. This is interesting because it gives off a multidimensional view of the exquisiteness of women. It features nudes with raised chests and contorted poses. The figures’ knees are bent and their feet are on their tiptoes. Their arms are in a circling motion and their hands seem to be gracefully flopping. Davies has a big interest in music and the abstractedness that comes along with it. Similarly, one interesting thing about Davies’ style is that he had a huge theory of inhalation. His theory was that breathing was a true secret of how to represent life in action to static forms. In Without Pause: Enters, Touches, Passes, the landscape and the figures can be thought of as sharing a “breathing quality.” Breathing occurs in a repetitious manner, just like the bodies that Davies has painted. The bodies display a continuous composition of consistency with the same postures, gestures, and emotionally detached facial expressions. Breathing and repetitions are synonymous with the beat of music as well. This creates an interesting correlation between the three. It makes the bodies seem to flow gracefully as if they are dancing to the beat of a song or the flow of one’s heartbeat. This elegant and fluid motion creates a theme of uplifting joy that possesses and radiates true, mystic exaltation. Lastly, the landscape in this piece can be thought of as dreamlike. Not much of the landscape is shown in this piece, but it is very frequent in Davies’ work to have backgrounds that are mystical or otherworldly. The muted colors are key in giving off this illusory feeling, and the landscape forces the mood of the painting to change drastically. It makes viewers think that these figures are dancing gloomily. His great deal of passion for life gives him a style that creates a reaction between his figures and their surroundings. (https://sites.google.com/a/g.holycross.edu/without-pause---davies/formal-analysis)
landscape
nude
oil on canvas

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