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Formal Analysis of Hotel de France by Stuart Davis

Mardy Salinas Professor DeAnna Skedel Art 108-Survey of Art 20 October 2011 Formal Analysis of Hotel de France by Stuart Davis When I first saw the painting, Hotel de France, painted by Stuart Davis, I thought that was just an ordinary painting of a building and a street that is pretty, especially in a way that looks old-fashioned. I had to come to realize that the painting was painted from what the painter sees from the scene. The painting is a picture of a four-story building of the hotel named, Hotel de France.

On the left side of the painting are the sides of other buildings. In front of the Hotel de France building is a public urinal building. Beside it is an advertising kiosk selling some stuff and beside this kiosk is a lamp post. We can also see parts of the street. This painting was made at Paris, France particularly in the area of Montparnasse during the stay of Stuart Davis Hotel de France in 1928 to 1929. The purpose of the painting was to convey the American artist’s feeling of great pleasure in the city being the only one of its kind.

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The work of Davis is a painting which is particularly oil on canvas. Oil on canvas is a series of things that are done in order to achieve a particular result of painting with a dry insoluble substance. Usually, dust or powder is reduced by pounding or grinding. When it is suspended in a liquid vehicle it becomes a paint that is tied with a medium of drying oil. This kind of painting is used especially in Europe. Traditional oil painting techniques often begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint.

In the background of the painting, the work is a still life. The painting is a still life or the work of art depicting a subject matter. Typically, it is a common place in Paris. The painting is a still life since it is man-made. We can see people who are standing near the window of the painting. There might be also people walking on the street, a sales representative with a big smile standing in front of the kiosk advertising the products by handing out fliers to the people walking.

There might be also be a woman with a child, holding hands with and the mother is pulling the child because the child is imagining walking and looking all around the place. Someone might be leaning on the post lamp as if waiting for someone because that person is looking at his wrist watch with a frown on his face. Beside the person might be an old lady waiting for someone with her luggage all around her. One effect that is gained by the arrangement of the figures of the painting to the viewer is the coolness of the painting.

The arrangement of the figures is in finer details of what the painter wants to tell to the viewer. The arrangement of the figures is the expression of the whole painting. Without the background of the main building, Hotel de France, such as the other side parts of the near building, the public urinal, the kiosk and post lamp and the street, the painting, the painter might not be able to convey what he wanted to tell to the viewers. These backgrounds can contribute to the sense of the character by giving depth and detail of what the outside of the Hotel de France look like.

Those backgrounds actually give life to the painting. If the background wasn’t there, the painting might be very dull and have no life. For practical effect to the viewers, the background might tell that the Hotel de France might be a good place to stay during vacation because of the background. So, it is just like one way to advertise the Hotel de France. If you are going to see the painting there is actually a strong sense of independent inner life. The painting is painted in a way that the place is a very cozy place where you can find a silent spot to go to.

Maybe, if there are people in the painting, it will portray that that place is very noisy place since it is a public place. The painting is painted in a three-quarter view. Since the view of the objects are in the midway between a front and a side view. The painting at three quarter view doesn’t suggest any motion at all since the objects are all still life. This still life painting suggests opulence. The painting suggests abundance and wealth. The place is where rich people go to especially the hotel and basing from the background also like the tall buildings around it.

The still life painting doesn’t imply any transience or perishable objects but will last for a very long time. The painting is earthbound also and they seem in touch with the heavens. The image is not a vulnerable place but rather a place of shelter, protection and safety because of the building of the hotel which is a public place for foreign people to sleep in and because there are no other objects in the painting that makes it a dangerous place. The painting was ainted in hard contour lines, specifically the lines of the windows, the kiosk, the main building itself, the lamp post, the grid of the other buildings, and the streets. The lines are done in a regular manner, more in a vertical manner. The medium of the painting has also a great effect on the painting made. It gives emphasis on what the objects look like. The color of the painting is both imitative of the real appearance and also expressive. The paintings were made not of cubes but of colors such as the vibrant whites, pinks, reds and yellows of the hotel and blue sky.

The red public urinal, green advertising kiosk and especially the black post are done in a more impressive way. The colors shine with a glistening of tremulous light which unifies all parts and which is comforting. The composition is symmetrical and is monumental. The artist conveys depth because of how it gives emphasis to the lines, colors and the composition of the work done. The effect of the size and shape of the work is to call for a particular attention to the hotel, kiosk, public urinal and the lamp post.

There is a saying that says, “Every portrait is a self-portrait” and I believe that the painter painted the painting in the way he looks at what life is and who he is as a modernized person. The painting portrays the painter as a new kind of jazz painter, which means a colorist, eye writer. He tried to apply in his painting his belief in stripping down his observations of nature to their very core in order to portray the role of each object in the modern world. The painting portrays the hotels, the places, and streets he visited. The painter takes brightly colored shapes and sets them to music.


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