An Appreciation of Good Composition

Many JAF and the Jonathan Club paintings are displayed in the Jonathan Club. Each of us probably has one or two favorites that we look at frequently. Unlike more modern art forms, paintings are two dimensional, static and silent, so what is it that makes them appealing? Subject, emotional connection, technique, rarity, fame, familiarity and composition, all play a part. This article explores the value of good composition and uses for example, a painting called “The Tenderfoot” and painted by Fletcher C. Ransom at around 1925. In representational (and frequently in abstract) painting, composition is used to tell a story by guiding the viewer’s eye through the work. This process transmits inf

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