The greatest story ever painted- Shervyse Haney

Take a journey through Christian biblical stories by means of oil paintings between the 17th and 19th century; all featuring God crafted earth tone colors. Along this journey you will see the storytelling of the fall of man with Adam and Eve, to the strongest man Samson, to the son of man Jesus Christ. Come let us embark on the best drama series journey.

The subject of this oil on canvas is Adam and Eve, believed to be the first human beings on earth. We see the story of Eve being tempted by the serpent, and then encouraging her husband to join in on the sin of eating from the forbidden tree. Notice her alluring stance, leaning over the shoulder of an ashamed and unsure looking Adam. The artist shows the order of the temptation, by placing the serpent behind Eve, and then Eve behind Adam. This painting shows different earth tones of tan and brown for the subjects skin and the earth around them. We also see the use of greens on the land in the background, the trees, and grass. The artist also uses a hint of orange and red earth tones for the fruit. Some visual elements showcased within this piece are round and organic lines, shown on the subjects body and the landscape. We also see emphasis with Eve’s paler skin tone and posture. Notice the movement created by the serpent wrapped around the tree.
Next on our journey is the story of Noah and the ark that was used to save his family and all the animals of the earth, from a flood that lasted 40 days and 40 nights. The animals and the arc are the subjects of this painting. Look how calm the animals are amidst a storm. This scene is full of earth tones. After all it is a story of God's saving hand on a corrupt earth. We see greens, browns, red browns, and different hues of a golden tan used for the arc and the ground. The artist uses proper proportion when showing the difference in scale of size of the animals based on their distance from the far away arc. We also see good use of texture on this canvas. Can you feel the wood of the arc, and the mane on the lion?
We are now at the story of Abraham getting ready to sacrifice his son Isaac to show his heavy faith in God. This oil on canvas tells of the moment God stops Abraham and provides a ram to sacrifice instead, now knowing Abraham would withhold nothing from him. The subjects in this painting are Abraham, Issac, and an angel of God. This painting uses a mixture of neutral and earth tone colors. The two main earth tone colors are the golden robe Abraham is wearing and the brown and tan of his pants and the ground. Notice the use of movement used throughout the painting. We can see the movement created in the dynamic shaping of the angel’s wings. We see movement in the powerful clouds behind Abraham, indicating a gust of wind that is causing his robe to lift in the back. Also notice the difference in scale of size. Abraham is much larger than Issac and the angel. Even though they all differ in size the artist has created unity showing all subjects holding onto one another in the same space.
Let our journey continue to the story of Jacob and his dream of angels ascending and descending from heaven. The subject Jacob is shown asleep on the ground while heaven has opened up as a passageway for the angels. This painting is full of different shades of the earth tone brown. We also see usage of greens, tans, and red. The artist has chosen to use value and contrast on this painting. Look at the contrast of a bright heaven and a dark, nighttime earth. Notice the beam of light shown coming from heaven, lighting the area where Jacob is. We also see usage of curved lines throughout on the trees, mountains, the clouds, and the flapping wings of the angels.
Next on our journey is Israel being freed from slavery. The subject of this oil on canvas is Pharaoh’s army being washed away in the Red Sea, that has been parted by Moses. Earth tones present in this painting are, brown, orange, green, and red. Notice the artist’s use of horizontal and vertical lines. We can also see linear perspective in use. The beam of light from the fire serves as a vanishing point for the painting. Look at the variety in this scene. Our eyes are attracted everywhere. From the huge waves, to the fire light splitting the sea, to the army spread all around the sea floor being washed to their end.
On this stop in our journey we see the subject Samson being overtaken by the Philistines, after Delilah has shared the strength of his hair. His great strength is shown, needing many men to try and tame him in order to cut off his hair. Look at the pain in his eyes, compared to the delight in Delilah’s. Earth tones are present in this painting for the skin tones, the clothing, and the decor of the bedroom. We see use of tans, browns, and red. Notice the sense of movement created in this epic scene. The curved lines of the bodies and muscles show us the struggle of the story. The artist also uses contrast to highlight Samson within the scene. It is as if a light bulb is shining directly on him.
Our next biblical story on our journey is the story of young David. Before becoming king, David attended sheep and once killed a lion to protect them. Notice how the subject, David is shown pointing upward, giving glory to God for this triumph. This oil on canvas uses neutral and earth tone colors. We see the usage of tans on David’s clothes and the ground, and golden tan for the lion. The emphasis is the brave and courages boy David taking over the fierce lion. Look at the contrast in color of David and the animals compared to the dark background. Notice the different textures shown on the clothing of David and the fur of the animals.
We are now at the story of Daniel in the lions den. The subject Daniel is shown surrounded by roaring and at the ready to kill lions. Notice the fear and yet hope in his eyes as he looks towards heaven. The use of gold, brown, tan, and red earth tones are used in this painting. We see again the use of contrast with light being cast on Daniel compared to the lions lurking in the shadows. This scene is full of variety when it comes to the lions. Each lion is taking a different stance in the scene. The artist leaves very little negative space. The den is full of lions end to end.
Next on our journey is the parable of the Prodigal son. The son who leaves home desiring to live a life that was never intended for him. He returns to a Fathers warm and loving embrace, forgiving all he has done. The subjects in this scene, are the Prodigal son and his father. Notice the earth tones used in this painting. We see use of a burnt orange, and shades of brown. The artist provides use of curved lines and unity. Each individual is leaned over for the warm embrace. Also notice the use of space in the painting. This artist also leaves very little negative space, and contrasts light shown on the individuals compared to the dark brown background.
Our final stop is the most anticipated part of the Greatest Story Ever Told, a resurrected Jesus Christ. We see the subject Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Jesus has risen from the dead and tells an in shock Mary, to not touch him, for he has not ascended to God yet. The earth tones brown, gold, and tan are shown throughout this piece. The artist has used many geometric shapes in the structures of the architecture around the tomb. The use of the same color palette throughout helps create rhythm in this piece.
Credits: All media
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