Service of the Goddess

Charles Joseph Natoire painted The Toilet of Psyche around the year 1735. The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) houses this composition in the French Art Exhibit. This painting is approximately 78 in. by 66.5 in. The media used is oil on canvas. Natoire painted this artwork two-dimensionally because of its flat surface and style of brush strokes. This piece of art shows the goddess, Psyche, being served and pampered by many other female servants. This artwork is realistic because of the way the artist portrays the people and objects in such a natural and authentic way. All the objects in the painting are recognizable. For example, the woman holding the vase in the lower left corner is sitting in water while holding a platter with a vase on it. Although the painting consists of mostly organic figures since the predominant objects in the artwork are people, the vases and columns in the top right corner, are two of the few geometric figures.
Charles Joseph Natoire shows a variety of shapes in this painting. Geometric shapes are used with the trays and vases that are being held by the servants. Geometric shapes are also used in the columns, which is a combination of ionic and Corinthian orders. Organic shapes are shown throughout the entire painting. The human figures and the drapery that are displayed on the women are excellent examples of organic shapes. Hanging above the goddess and her servants is drapery that is displayed to be organic.
The eight human bodies in the painting are portrayed as positive space. The negative space is the drapery, trees, clouds and beds. There are several different lines in this artwork that portray the line of sight. For example, the way the servants are looking toward their goddess or the object they are holding. There are many implied lines with the drapery and the beds, also with the clothes against the bodies shown. Actual lines are shown with the outline of the columns and around the pool. Simul…