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The influence of color on the perception of the picture

A world of illusions conveyed in a plane, a fantasy embodied in two dimensions – this is nothing more than a picture. Whether the canvas is painted in pastel, oil or watercolor – it always has a color.

The color content of the painting is what primarily attracts visitors to galleries and art lovers. Each color, its shade, like a note in music creates a melody, rhythm, pace of painting. The whole symphony at once falls upon the perception of a person and the course of his thoughts can radically change just because of a certain color.
The study of the influence of color on people began a long time ago, but impressionist artists decided to put this knowledge into practice in the 19th century.
The goal of impressionism – the image of the moment – was achieved through wide, thick strokes and overlapping them. Shades were mixed in such a way that their combination struck with naturalness. Of course, such a view of the world was not immediately accepted by contemporaries, the Impressionists and their work were criticized, and exhibitions were closed. But why did these paintings influence the audience so much?

One of the reasons is color. Bright colors gave the paintings dynamism and expression. Take for example the famous painting “Impression. Sunrise »by Claude Monet, the founder of impressionism as a style. It seems that the air in the picture vibrates, that in the next second the sun rises above the earth and illuminates everything around with its light. The movement was what interested artists of that time, but the audience was not ready for such a drastic change, and the secret was also how to look at the picture.

Many still make the same mistake as many years ago – they begin to consider the work of the impressionist artist from a very close distance, although the recommended one is 1-2 meters, otherwise you can only see chaotic spots of paints that do not look like anything finished composition. And if you move away from the canvas at a certain distance, then all the colors merge with each other and form an integral picture.

Often the canvases of the impressionists make an indelible impression precisely because, in no other direction or style, color was used until the 19th century as a dominant, as a conductor for conveying emotions, feelings, play of light or a breath of wind.

 

C. Monet. “Impression. Sunrise”. 1872

 

The influence of color on the example of famous paintings
If the color in Monet’s paintings makes an impression precisely as a way of conveying various time periods (morning, afternoon, evening), then Vincent Van Gogh’s every shade is a psychological note. The painting “Night Cafe” is dominated by red, green and yellow. It is impossible to look at this work for a long time – after a while you may feel unwell. Van Gogh chose these colors for a reason. And in all his canvases, the great master approached the use of a certain tone very carefully. Each color is symbolic and significant.

 

V. Van Gogh. “Night cafe”. 1888

 

In the “Night Cafe” you can easily feel a psychological strain, a crazy riot of emotions. This is what the author sought. Green and red colors were to express human destructive passions and vices. A bright yellow, filling almost the entire space shows that the cafe is a place where a person can go crazy, become a criminal, mired in their problems. This is exactly what the viewer can feel when looking at the picture.

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