The Eruption of Vesuvius
Sebastian Pether’s piece of work called The Eruption of Vesuvius (1835) combines the silver watery reflection of the moon with the hot red molten lava that is flowing down its mountainsides. Though during Pether’s generation he wasn’t the only one to paint the well-known Mount Vesuvius, Joseph Wright of Derby also painted 30 paintings of the volcano. This art piece is currently located at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The piece is oil media on panel that is framed with a beautifully designed border, where it is hanging on a wall in the one of the rooms, with a one-dimension view. The quality of the piece owes itself to the color and lighting, which captures your immediate attention and guides the viewer through the piece.
Using the colors silver and red really compliments each other well. It sort of, sets off an interesting mood that viewers can sense by looking at the piece. The silvery color is creating a calm and soothing feeling as viewers focus their eyes to the left of the piece, seeing the moon shinning and reflecting over the quiet, peaceful ocean, at night. Where as when you shift your eyes to the right and you see the volcano erupting with red fumes, and red hot molten. That then changes your mood from calm to a feeling of danger, and violence as the lava comes shooting out of the volcano. This warm colors makes the trees in the front really stand out and you can see that it is also flowing down the mountain sides running into forested areas and towns.
In this work, the lighting comes from the shining white color that Pether uses on the perfect circular shape of the moon. He uses the white and blends it with silver/gray to depict to viewers that it is currently nighttime. As you move across to the right of the work the different shades of red blending with the silvery/gray creating a bright lighting. Working your way to the tip of the volcano the...