Brushstroke

DEFINITION

The result of a brush loaded with paint or ink leaving some of that paint on a surface. Because brushstrokes can vary so greatly, their individual and cumulative effects are of great concern in the discussion of paintings.Examples of paintings in which individual brushstrokes can easily be seen: Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), The Regatta at Argenteuil (R?gate ? Argenteuil), 1872, oil on canvas, 19 x 29 1/2 inches (48 x 75 cm), Mus?e d'Orsay, Paris. See Impressionism. Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997), Little Big Painting, 1965, oil on canvas, 68 x 80 inches (172.7 x 203.2 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. This painting and the following screenprint humorously toy with the idea of making the brushstroke visible: depicting a gigantic one, using the flattened style of mass-produced cartoons. See benday and Pop Art. Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstroke, 1965, screenprint on paper, image: 56.5 x 72.4 cm, Tate Gallery, London.And, on the subject: "Paint should not be applied thick. It should be like a breath on the surface of a pane of glass." James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), American painter. See aestheticism and art for art's sake. "In a single brushstroke we can say more than a writer in a whole volume." Edgar Degas (1880-1917), French Impressionist, in conversation with Daniel Hal?vy. "To me, the whole process of being a brushstroke in someone else's painting is a little difficult." Madonna (1959-), American singer, actor. In Vanity Fair, April 1991. Also see Action Painting, dry brush, gesture, impasto, kitsch, line, linear, painterly, and palette knife.

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