John Brack Formal Analysis

Formal Analysis

In the foreground of the painting, Brack depicts a middle aged woman, with a sharp, defined facial structure, resting with both hands on the front most table of the painting, a cloth in her right hand. Dividing the image in half, the left half of the image is mostly occupied by the figure of the woman, while the right half of the image, in the foreground, is partly occupied by a grey drink dispenser. The middle ground of the painting, consists of a bar table up against a mirror. Upon this table, drinks to the right of the painting, a vase containing white and yellow flowers. Behind the woman’s figure, a rectangular, blue and white object and more to the left of the image, multiple salt shakers take up the rest of the middle ground. The background of the painting is cleverly depicted as a mirror, reflecting the other side of the bar, in front of the foreground. The mirror reflects the image of numerous, similar looking men drinking and standing expressionless, the image that the middle aged is smirking at.
The painting can be divided into halves vertically and thirds horizontally. Vertically, the painting is divided by the positioning of the woman’s figure, taking up only the left side of the image. To ensure that the painting is not weighed to the left, Brack counterbalances the brighter, stronger figure of the woman with the vibrant colours of the flowers along with the heavier, bulky figures of the drinking men. Horizontally, the image can be divided into unequal thirds, by the line of the border of the mirror in the middle ground, and the line created by the bottom of the woman’s chin, continued by the equal levelled chins, necks and hands of the men. This line is accentuated by the contrast of the men’s skin tone with their darker coloured suits as well as the straight, broad shoulders of the bar tender. This vertical, symmetrical division of the painting gives the overall image a sense of balance, despite the fact that one side contains...