Tension: Is It Good for Your Painting?
As you know, next to actually painting, I love studying about painting, color, design, methods - anything and everything about our favorite subject! Last night I came across a comment that I want to share with you. It's by Gale Bennett (GALE BENNETT (1939-2008), Founder and Director of ArtStudy Giverny in Giverny, France).
"If we want to isolate the one single element that makes a painting a masterpiece, it is spatial tension."
Raphael: Portrait of "Count Baldassare Castiglione, C. 1514"
What is "spatial tension?" When I looked at this portrait, I saw what I would describe as a really great "negative space" that separated the hat from the background. As Bennett described it, this portrait is a perfect example of one of the "formal" elements of masterful art" which is spatial tension.
Bennett says Raphael arranged the subject's hat and collar to create one of "most memorable background shapes in the history of art". Wow!