Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Color, Painting, Light, Claude Monet, Impressionism, Jesus Christ, Caravaggio, Nature

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/10/28

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The representation and use of light in paintings serves a litany of purposes. Caravaggio’s Calling of St. Matthew is one of the most famous paintings that deploys light and color in order to convey meaning through style and religious imagery. Caravaggio uses extreme contrasts between darkness and light. The formal arrangement of the work underscores the lighting arrangement in conjunction with the windows and hands in order to render the tenebrism, or the dramatic illumination using chiaroscuro possible. The hand of Christ has a burst of color emanating from it that shoots out from his sleeve. This scheme streams from Christ to St. Peter, who is positioned downward and touches the left sleeve of Matthew. The burst of color eschews the young boy carrying the sword at the center of the painting, which further stresses Christ’s arm much more vividly. Moreover, the color is horizontally organized, which is reified by the contrapposto position and tone of the hat flames that are in the center of the painting. The hand of Christ, much like the hand of the artist painting the scene, takes charge of both the color and light in the painting. The hues and tone of the color used by Caravaggio create shadow effects that enhance the naturalism in this painting despite its religious tenor. The play of lighting on the curved and flat surfaces, amplify the verisimilitude of the skin, hair and flesh. Such realism is reflected in the lighting effects of the feathers and fabrics that the Christ figure casts as well as the surface appearance of other surfaces in the painting. Caravaggio thus used color in order to illuminate the religious scene and its importance in a dramatic fashion.
In a disparate fashion, Claude Monet, a pioneer of the Impressionism movement during the nineteenth century, painted light and color in a less dramatic fashion that nonetheless sought to capture the atmospheric nature of the scene. His Impression, Sunrise, showcases how color and lighting can amplify the meaning of the work as a whole. As an impressionist, he painted with colors in a manner that appeared as natural light while largely ignoring meticulous detail. In this painting, Monet portrayed an image of the LeHavre harbor in France using oil paints on a canvas. It is unequivocal that Monet sought to capture the natural light and the atmosphere of the moment. Indeed, the use of color and light reflects the spontaneity of the scene captured. The sun is situated within a dawn sky, colored with blue, purple, and orange hues that contrast. Because this landscape depicts a dewy morning, the rising sun colors the clouds. The contours of the boats are drawn without much shape and definition amidst the dense mist. It appears that Monet used short, dark brushstrokes to draw the water in a manner that creates motion as evidenced by the obvious ripples. Monet sought to create a sense of natural realism by painting hints of yellow and orange in the water in order to show the reflection of the sun. While the sun appears much more vivid and bright than the rest of the painting, Monet’s mastery of portraying the effects of light is underscored by the fact that if this painting lacked color the sun would be non-existent. As such, Monet used color in a manner to capture the impression of a natural scene rather than pay attention to minute details.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 28) Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras. Retrieved December 07, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/
"Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras." WePapers, 28 Oct. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/. Accessed 07 December 2021.
WePapers. 2020. Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras., viewed December 07 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/>
WePapers. Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras. [Internet]. October 2020. [Accessed December 07, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/
"Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras." WePapers, Oct 28, 2020. Accessed December 07, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/
WePapers. 2020. "Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved December 07, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/).
"Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 28-Oct-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/. [Accessed: 07-Dec-2021].
Free Essay About Use Of Light In Paintings From Different Eras. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-use-of-light-in-paintings-from-different-eras/. Published Oct 28, 2020. Accessed December 07, 2021.
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