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LArlesienneMadame Joseph Michel Ginoux by Vincent Van Gogh was painted in 1888 It is in oil on canvas The dimensions are 36 x 29 in It depicts a woman in a refined tasteful black dress seated on a wooden chair at a table with a circular green table top there is an open book in front of her with brightly colored pages in shades of green yellow red and white To her left lays another brightly colored red jacketed book The first thing that drew me to the painting was the effect created by contrast of the dark figure of Madam Ginoux which boldly stands out in the fore ground against the yellow orange back ground of the painting The back ground at first brought to mind a Caribbean sunset with shades of yellow orange and red but upon further scrutiny it is more the color of sunflowers in summer The elegant black dress with angular shoulders and neckline with white lace scarf and green undertones lends an element of dignity to the painting The subject appears to be a woman of culture Her upright posture suggests proper upbringing and decorum The assortment of books with dog- eared edges that lay on the table at a perpendicular angle also lends to an image of one who is well read Madam Ginouxs coiffured bun hairstyle with its wide trailing curved ribbon and low hair line of apparent luxuriantly thick curly black hair emphasizes her slender aquiline features of straight nose high cheek bones distinctive chin forehead eyes and sharp shaped eyebrows Her strong mouth also adds to the sharp lines of her face Her skin tone is peachy olive in color I think Van Gogh was trying to depict the bright clear quality of her skin Her skin seems to have a glow emitting illumination of some sort From a distance it seemed Madame Ginoux was engrossed in reading the opened book which
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