Your favorite multi-figure painting?
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    Your favorite multi-figure painting?

    I'm looking for paintings to dissect in my study of composition, and was curious about my fellow artists' favorite pieces. I'm espeically interested in how the masters handled multiple figures, so go on and post your favorites!

    Personally, I remember being completely blown away by one of Caravaggio's paintings.. but I can't remember its name, and can't find it anywhere online. The scene was of this poor guy strapped to a block of stone or something, another guy standing in front of him with an axe raised, and dozens of other characters framing the rest of the piece. The way he controlled the eye path... it was sooo well-done.

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    here are a couple.

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    Whoa! Armand, where'd you get a high res copy of that beautiful Cornwell??? I've been looking for that one for awhile!

    Here's another Jimenez Aranda


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    probably les demoiselles d'avignon

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    Reproductions don't do it any friggin' justice, though.

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    Oh god, I don't have one favorite...

    But here's some artists who I've always admired for their ability to group lots of figures together in graceful and interesting ways...

    Veronese - his figure arrangements are almost always elegant, no matter what he's doing. I picked one at random because I couldn't decide, plus of course the quintessential party scenes. (I envy his ability to do massive scenes of large numbers of people just hanging around without having any part of it be boring or awkward...)

    Titian - sometimes he's off, but when he's on, I love his groups. They're so... massive... but in a dynamic way...

    Raphael - sometimes his figure groupings are extremely awkward, but when he's got it, he's tops. His frescoes have some of the most elegant groupings I can think of - a place for everyone, and everyone in their place. (I've attached the most obvious usual suspect - couldn't find good copies of some of my other faves, but, everything in the Vatican series and the Signatura series are great.)

    Bruegel - who doesn't get enough love, in my opinion. He has some of the most original ways of grouping figures that I've seen among renaissance artists, and he's brilliant at narrative...

    Pontormo's Visitation - I just love this one. It tends to stick with me, I'm not sure why. There's just something about the way he's crammed four huge ladies circling round and round in that weird narrow space...

    (How the heck do you get spaces between attachments...)

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    Degas' eccentric compositions are awesome. Delacroix was great too. The action he worked into his art was great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    Pontormo's Visitation - I just love this one. It tends to stick with me, I'm not sure why. There's just something about the way he's crammed four huge ladies circling round and round in that weird narrow space...


    That is rather lovely.


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    Velazquez' Las Meninas springs to mind immediately. Also really love this N.C. Wyeth piece. Actually, there are a whole lot of Wyeths, Dunns and Pyles that come to mind, but I need to hunt them down .

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    Last edited by Andrew Sonea; April 17th, 2011 at 12:23 PM.
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    This always makes me geek out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBsLCPYGmUQ

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    This is one of them.

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    I want to do more digging but i think its this one and another nymphs and satyr by waterhouse.

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    I love it when you can see personalities just by looking at the characters. (Much like the paintings panchosimpson posted) --especially when it tells a story in one single image!



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