The Use of Color in Romantic and modern art

The Romantic period of art saw its height between 1800-1850. The period was often characterized by its strong dramatic lighting and very subdued colors. Many times the painting would only have one, if any bright color to stand out. This is in contrast to art 150 year later in the pop part/ modern art era. Since the 1950/1960s, artists have often been using many more bright colors. Unlike the Romantic period, all colors and not only one are vibrant and although it might seem like it would be overpowering many artists find ways to balance the color and painting as a whole.

To start with I picked this piece by Fancesco Hayez. The subject matter is very dramatic and it is made visible by the harsh lighting on the distressed female figure. All of the primary male figures are in shadow, but the woman is in the light and has the one main bright color in the whole piece. The soft yellow of her dress is the only color that is not subdued with darkness or brown tints.
Next I chose this work by Caspar David Friedrich. The scene depicts a very erie almost destroyed building and surrounding landscape. The painting has virtually no color, only value and hues of gray, black and brown. These colors again are used to create a very dramatic scene with the light just coming over the horizon.
My next piece portrays a small group of people bathing in the river below and grand castle. The piece is by Joseph Mallord William and looks to be set in the early morning. The main bright color used is the green in the trees, but even at that the colors are all mixed with browns and are very much in unison. The way the "light" shines down puts about a quarter of the painting in shadow which helps with the drama it creates.
This painting by John Constable is the bridge point between my two themes. The painting is still in the Romantic period, but expresses more color than the others, though still not a lot. There are essences of green and blue throughout most of the painting. This, for me at least, makes the piece seem much more cheerful than the ones I mentioned before. Video to 1:30.
For the modern art aspect of this gallery, I tried to stick with pieces from the last 20 year. This piece by Leonardas Gustauskas is a very abstract piece of modern art. the figure and the painter are obviously representing humans, although do not look very human like in their forms. The colors in the painting are vibrant although not so bright. They are appropriate though for the subject though and how flat the piece is, there is not much extreme lighting like in the romantic era.
This geometric work of art by Ik Mo Kim, is extremely colorful. The artist used complementary colors to make the piece cohesive. The use of a lighter color as the background helps to make the dark, front colors stand out. The painting is illustrating a day dream and with all of the bright colors and abstract shapes, one can only imaging what the day dream was about.
This is yet again another piece by Ik Mo Kim. The way the artist uses color here depicts a very happy scene. It is depicting some sort of landscape, perhaps with water and flowers, considering the strong use of blues and pink? Just looking at the work makes me feel happy and excited as if the painting could change any minute. All of the colors work well together and compliment the main blue hue well.
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