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The Baptism Of Christ Vs. Augustus And The Sibyl

1530 words - 7 pages

Without variety in a work of art the result is monotony. Variety is the principle of using contrasting elements to create a work of art that is different than any previous artworks. Every artist has employed variety throughout their artwork. Whether through contrasting colors or distinguishing between dark and light, variety is an essential part of creating a work of art. Sometimes artists use variety similarly, but to their own preference. This is why even pieces from two distinctive centuries can be similar. This is the case with Antoine Caron's Augustus and the Sibyl and Francesco Albani's The Baptism of Christ.

In art, lines are used to direct the viewer's attention from one part of the ...view middle of the document...

This subsequently leads toward the animals on the very right, then to the animal on the stairway, and eventually back to the person pointing up into the sky. The Baptism of Christ does roughly the same things, but in a simpler manner. For example, in Albani's piece the trees seem to stretch their branches up towards the sky where the storm clouds have the heavenly scene shining through them. Then it leads to the center of the painting before the eyes travel to the people standing behind the fence, which then leads to the woman pointing towards the center again.

Color is one of the most important elements of art because of its power to evoke instant emotional reactions in people. Artists use color to give their pieces identity and variety. Both Caron and Albani use cool colors in contrast with warm colors to present an effective and bold image to the audience. They use it in the same manner, as well. In Augustus and the Sibyl, dark storm clouds that seem to hold a negative effect are used to contrast with the warm colors of the holy light that shine down upon the town below. And the two parts of the town, the lighted side and the darker side, also contrast with one another. In The Baptism of Christ, he uses cool colors in the sky, although bright and cheery contrary to Augustus’ stormy atmosphere, to head towards the warm colors of what is also a holy scene.

When artists place objects in their paintings, they have either shape or form and are defined by their space. There are, of course, two kinds of space – negative space and positive space. And if there is any media upon a canvas, then that makes it positive. Both paintings only have positive space. This is implied in The Baptism of Christ by the way the dark shadows from the tree are completely filled in all the way from the branches stretching towards the completely blue sky that contrasts with the storm clouds where God resides, along with the mountain to the right and the ground where the main scene is happening, while leaving no negative space anywhere in the painting. Augustus and the Sibyl is the same to a degree but much more elaborate. Even the background, which doesn’t hold as much significance as the foreground, is given tiny details. As a matter of fact, a large portion of the background on the right is being illuminated by the heavenly picture above it. No negative space exists in either of these paintings, which works successfully for both of them.

Even though both of these paintings have many similarities, especially in the way they use the elements and principles of art, there are also various differences that are fairly evident. One of the differences the artists use is the way they project value in their artwork. Although the way they use colors is similar, the way they use value in their skies is exceedingly different. For instance, in Augustus and the Sibyl, Caron uses a darker value in the stormy sky to lead towards the lighter value of the holy light. However, in...

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