THE COLOR OF MYTH

Religion and mythology play a large role in art, and in society. There are many stories that are told by mythical art work, and color in depictions of mythical art helps to tell the story of the work. I will be discussing 10 works, their plot, and how color tells us the story.

In this painting Mars and Venus are discovered, and surprised by the other gods during intercourse. The majority of color is used near the couple to draw attention to the two before leading you're eyes away to the other gods who are laughing, and celebrating.
Tor is holding his hammer high while holding down the head of a giant with his other hand. The use of red not only symbolizes Tor's royal background, but it also draws attention to him as the main character of the painting. The use of yellow lighting symbolizes Tor's power, and also assists in highlighting his importance.
Three nymphs attempt to assist the fallen icarus. Light shades of white highlight Icarus as the main focal point, but brighter shades of yellow in the back signify the intensity of the sunlight. Subtly telling the story of icarus flying too close to the sun.
Aeneas and the Sibyl enter into hell facing an army of undead. The use of yellow and white from the entrance contrasting the blacks and reds of the caves signify good versus evil. The soft read tones in the background give off the feeling of intense heat which follows the myth.
A scroll painting of a dragon moving through the clouds. Shades of blacks and whites change against different areas of the dragon. Soft whites are used to signify the thickness of the cloud cover as if it were a storm. Darker shades of black and bright shades of white in the dragons face deliver a feeling of rage or anger.
A king far left follows a warrior that is battling a dragon on the far right. Whites in the painting signify purity where dark blacks, and reds symbolize evil. From left to right the contrasting of the white, and light yellows giving a feeling of tranquility and a battle against the evil and red colored rage of the dragon.
The Japanese gods of fortune are enjoying themselves with various women. The painting is littered with food and drink. The use of blue, red, and yellow all symbolize wealth. In one painting the red is used to announce the celebration with music, while the blue against the long flowing clothing is meant to give a sense of relaxation.
David is holding a sword in one hand, and holding the head of Goliath in the other. The use of bright golds, and vidid reds are used to symbolize the triumph of David defeating Goliath. Reds and yellows are often used to symbolize victory.
Mercury is coming down from the heavens to deliver Bacchus son of Jupiter to the nymphs. Previously I discussed the use of red to symbolize royalty, and it is used again in this paining on the helm of Mercury. The whites used on the nymphs signify innocence and purity, while the blue is used to point out the sex of the child.
A woman is laying against rocks in the sea, while playing a harp during a storm. The predominant colors in this painting are blue and white. White in the painting is used to symbolize the purity, beauty, and innocences of the woman while the contrasting dark blues depict a violent storm in the background.
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