Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #191: Curves

A curve does not exist in its full power until contrasted with a straight line.

— Robert Henri

This week, Ann-Christine has inspired us with a wonderful, new subject: Curves. Once I started looking for curves, I noticed that they were often paired with straight lines…even in ordinary objects like my toaster, coffee maker, and electric teakettle. I wondered if Robert Henri was right when he said that the the line brings out the full power of the curve.

In my first image the gentle curves and undulations of the fronds are prominent features. Mother Nature loves curves, but then again she also includes some fairly straight lines.

Ghirlandaio’s masterpiece, the Portrait of Giovanna degli Albizzi Tornabuoni, highlights many wonderful curves in the young noble woman’s face, hair, shoulders, dress, and fingers. It’s interesting how he included some straight lines in the painting–like the quote inserted in the background. I wonder if this was intentional.

We’ve been watching the construction of this stunning apartment building in Boston over the last few months. The architect combined curves and straight lines to create a dramatic effect. You can see some unfinished sections at the top.

The wonderful sculpture Grand Rapids Arch by Andy Goldsworthy is permanently installed in Meier Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was fabricated out of rectangular stone blocks from Scotland. I love the drama of this work.

I’ll end my collection with a whimsical home in Newton, Massachusetts, I often admired it because it reminded me of a house in a fairy tale. I love how the architect mixed rectilinear elements with curves.

I found it so interesting that curves were often paired with straight lines. I believe that Robert Henri is right–straight lines enhance the power of curves. Do you agree?

This week, we hope you join us and have fun exploring curves in LAPC #191. Be sure to visit Ann-Christine’s site to see her beautiful examples of curves that she discovered on a visit to a museum.

I loved your Close and Closer photos last week! The variety, uniqueness, quirkiness, and beauty of your choices were wonderful! Next week, Amy will be leading the challenge, so be sure to visit her site next Saturday, March 26 at noon. Until then, have a safe and inspiring week.

49 replies »

  1. I thought our apartment building was taller enough with five floors. That Boston one is undoubtedly eye-catching and an engineering feat. The whimsical home in Newton, Massachusetts, is one that caught my imagination, and yes, it is like a fairytale home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful response Patti – love the painting you chose which illustrates the power of curves beautifully – does anyone know what the translation of the quote is? Also really loved the fern and the new skyscraper. Terrific post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. I did some research on Wikipedia and found out what the epigram says:

      The inscription is a modified excerpt of a poem by the author Martial.[1] The epigram reads: “ARS VTINAM MORES ANIMVM QVU EFFINGERE POSSES PVCHRIOR IN TERRIS NVLLA TABELLA FORET MCCCCLXXXVIII”. This translates to “Art, would that you could represent character and mind! There would be no more beautiful painting on earth 1488”.[1] This epigram refers to both the virtue of the sitter whom it is positioned behind[1] and the skill of the painter.[7] By referring to Giovanna’s beauty, Ghirlandaio conveys the beauty of the sitter reflects their morality.[8] The adjustments to the epigram were likely a done by Poliziano, one of Lorenzo’s teachers.[2]

      I’m so glad you asked!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the bottom photos of the house! The front entrance is beautiful, with the door, many windows, the plant, then the upper window with the slightly tilted shutter, then the three tiny windows or openings above. Magical! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Lisa. I’m so glad you love it, too! We lived nearby and I never took a photo of that house. Finally I took it 2 weeks ago! I was so happy it looked the same way it did many years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Janet. Thanks!! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. Isn’t that building amazing? I can’t wait to take a look inside when it’s finished. And the stone arch was always a favorite when we lived in Michigan. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That fern is just perfection in a photograph, Patti, but I love your wonderfully contrasting portrait too. Like Tina, I wondered what it said? I think I agree with the quote, and certainly it’s hard to separate the two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jo. I found out what the epigram means! It praises the beauty of the girl and the skill of the painter. See Tina’s comment above for the full explanation. Glad you like the fern. It was in the front yard of our friends’ house in Sydney. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. Have a great week, too.

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    • Hi, Sofia. Many thanks! I never thought about it before–how the straight lines reinforce the curved ones, but once I started noticing it, I found them everywhere–even my toaster! I appreciate your kind words. Big smile. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

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    • Hi, Margaret. Yes a journey! I guess I have! I am hoping to see the interior of that apartment building at some point. Fascinating architecture, isn’t it? The building is going up fast. Only half the exterior cladding was up about a month ago. I’ll have to post a finished photo at some point!! Have a great week and thanks for your thoughtful comments, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That quote from Robert Henri is such an interesting one to reflect on for this challenge, and your photos certainly illustrate beautifully how effective the juxtaposition of straight and curved can be. It makes me want to look again at my own choices to see who many have straight lines too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sarah. Sorry for the delay in replying. Things are a little crazy around here. Getting ready to travel again. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this one. Yes, his quote really has me wondering about the juxtaposition. I think I’m going to be looking everywhere for that! Take care and have a good week.

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  6. Thank you for introducing Ghirlandaioโ€™s masterpiece, Patti. The fern is remarkable. The architect mixed rectilinear elements with curves is beautifully captured.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Straight lines do reinforce curved ones – I am sure you are right. A beautiful post with interesting curves and quotes, Patti! Love the ferns, a wonderful image I would gladly have on my wall. A lovely portrait of a lovely lady. The curved arch is very special, and its curve is enhanced by the clouds and the bright blue sky it stands against. And the fairy tale house – I am sure there is a sign with my name on it!

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    • Life is getting away from me this week! Sorry for the late reply, but we’re getting ready to travel again.๐Ÿ˜€ I love what you wrote about the fairy tale house. We did go inside once, but I remember that it had smallish rooms, a bit dark. Not as perfect as I imagined! Sorry to disappoint you. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜’. But I still love the exterior. Take care and have a great weekend.

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    • Hi, Siobhan. I saw those ferns on our friends’ front lawn! I was amazed at their graceful beauty. I’m glad you agree. I’m catching up on my replies. We’re getting ready to travel next week. My apologies about my slow reply.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Cee. Thanks so much….I appreciate that! My apologies for my late reply. We’re getting ready to travel next week. It’s a bit crazy. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. Take care and have a great weekend.

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    • Hi, Manja. Thank you! The ferns and the house are popular this week. ๐Ÿ˜€. I always appreciate your thoughts. Sorry my reply is late, but as I’ve written above…we’re getting ready to travel next week and things are a bit hectic. Have a good weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Aletta! I appreciate your thoughts and apologize for my late reply. As I’ve mentioned above, we’re packing and getting ready to travel next week. A bit crazy. Take care and have a great weekend.

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  8. I concur. Robert Henri is right. And you did a great job at showing us what it means, or what it can look like.

    I do love the home in Newton. Would love to stumble across that as well, certainly fairy tale like. It would be nice to see the inside, wouldn’t it? Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Donna. Thank you! I’m sorry my reply is so late, but as you can see above, we’re getting ready to travel next week, so things are a bit hectic. Thanks so much for your thoughts on the fairy tale house. I did see the inside and it was a bit dark and the rooms were small, but then again it’s an older house. The open floor plan didn’t exist back then! Take care and have a good weekend.

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  9. Hi, IJ. Thanks so much! Those ferns were a happy discovery on our friends’ front lawn in Sydney.๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. Take care and have a great weekend. Any travel plans?

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