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While I enjoyed both immensely, I had completely different reactions to the two paintings. While “Portrait of a Boy” was calming, with dark and muted colors and an easy-to-follow structure, “Mr. Welfare,” with its neon colors and strange shapes, was jarring and confusing. I was able to stay at the Sargent painting for nearly an hour, studying every detail of it and trying to find more minute things that I hadn’t noticed before. But with the Saul piece, I found myself unable to stare at it for more than half an hour; it was bright in the most painful (but interesting) way and confusing.

While the Sargent painting was heavily structured as to what the audience is supposed to focus on, through his attention to detail on certain aspects of the boy that he wanted noticed and his reduction of saturation on unimportant aspects of the painting, the Saul painting was all the same. The entire painting had the same amount of saturation and detail, which doesn’t allow for the eye to rest anywhere; it makes the painting far more confusing than the Sargent painting and thus harder to look at for extended periods of time.

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