Capturing the essence of a nation is an ardent task, even for the most seasoned of artists, but Virtosu tackles this subject with surprising ease and grace. The painting titled “French Spirit” attempts to encapsulate the history and legacy of a proud nation that has contributed to the heritage of the planet enormously. France may be known for its cuisine, fine wine, and architecture, and culture today, but it has long been at the forefront of innovation and liberation in numerous fields.
The French Revolution that occurred in the late 18th Century was a landmark moment for humanity as the people managed to overthrow a powerful monarch and establish the groundwork for democratic nations that stands firm even today. The drafting of the declaration of the rights of Man and the rights of citizens allowed the people to retain power over their governance and forge the way for libertarian and democratic values. In order to accurately depict the spirit of France, Virtosu has relied on the use of the three colors found in the French flag – red, white and blue. These colors are meant to represent the ideals of the French revolution – liberty, equality, and fraternity, and they are easily one of the most relatable elements of the country’s culture. The rich navy blue acts as a foundation for this work blended with shades of green and purple in order to offer a more complex texture and symbolize a change in these values over time. While the use of the navy blue stands out distinctly in this piece, the use of red and white in the central figure is unmistakable as well.
This dominant shape is masterfully created by the artist, using a blend of numerous complex shapes, textures, and conversions in order to accurately portray the complex and ever-expanding feeling that is known as the “French spirit”.
A rooster often steps in the dirt, however, stays proud. He carries the essence on his back, a chameleon that accommodates to everything and is harmless.