The Dark Art of War: Colors of Despair - Kristofer Mann

The paintings in this gallery depict the brutal nature of war with scenes of battle or the results thereafter.  Each of these artists used dark colors to represent the gloom and despair war inevitably creates.  The death and destruction displayed in these works of art are meant as a memorial, and the dark colors aid in depicting the sense of anguish felt by those who have paid the high cost of war.

A man is standing amongst rotting corpses with his arm in a sling and a cane to help keep him balanced. There are many people in the background all dressed in black aimlessly wondering as though they are mourning. The value of the entire scene is darkness which attributes to the sense of gloom. The areas with most light are that of the sun and the corpses. The sun is either rising to offer hope or setting to relieve the day’s pain. Those left alive are shadowed in darkness, while the corpses are covered in light because their pain has already been relieved.
There are two groups of soldiers firing upon each other, one woman in white holding up her hands, and a woman in yellow and pink on her knees. In between the soldiers are a line of dead bodies, and there is a dead woman in between the two ladies pleading for their lives. There is also a man in the background on a hill holding his hands up high. Both group of soldiers are darkly covered in shadow, while the women and the man on the hill are displayed in light. The dark figures in the scene are dead or causing death, and the light figures are begging for life. Surrounding the scene is a dark cloud presumably the result of gunfire, and it is very fitting because this tragedy should not be displayed in the light.
There are two men with guns dressed in army uniforms. One man is standing while the other appears to be on his hands and knees with his gun on the ground. Both men are painted in a dark brown and are surrounded by darkness. The man that is standing is focused and his face is stern. He could be searching for a target because he is ready to shoot. The man on the ground could have been shot which is why he is a darker value than the man standing. The entire scene surrounding the two men is dark just as their duty as a soldier to cause death is dark.
There is a group of soldiers killing innocent civilians with spears and swords. One man is already dead on the ground and another has been penetrated by a spear. There is a woman on her knees next to the man that was stabbed, and a baby sitting next to the woman. There is also a man, woman, and child sitting away from the soldiers with a terrified look on their face. In the background is a castle and village covered in flames. The scene is dark because its night, but also because of the events taking place. The soldiers are covered in a dark shadow, while the civilians are bright and colorful. Those who are doing harm do not get any light except for the fires they had created.
There are two dead soldiers laying face down on the ground surrounded by barbed wire. The entire scene is painted with dark browns and tans except for the small amount of sky shown that is light blue. There is a lot of lines moving in different directions surrounding the two soldiers to represent the barbed wire. It is as though they were caught in the wire while trying to escape the enemy.
There are many injured soldiers being housed in a very small room. In the center is a soldier with a shadow cast across the front of his body while he is carrying an injured soldier. There are three other men in the scene aiding the wounded, but they are not seen with much detail. The contrast between light and dark represents those who were injured and those aiding them. The main focus of the light is upon the soldier being carried. His mouth is open as if he is calling out in pain. The soldier covered in shadow represents the sorrow he feels for his injured brothers in arms.
A huge battle is taking place with many men fighting each other with swords and spears. There are also horses being ridden and slaughtered just as the men who are fighting. The scene is full of dark colors of black, brown, and red. The brightest area is that of the sky where light is breaking through the clouds and black smoke. Everything else is covered in a dark shadow hiding the most gruesome of details. Upon close inspection one can count almost a hundred men darkly detailed within the shadows. There is an emphasis on the man in the center covered in blood attempting to stab another man on the ground. Their two man scene reveals the fate of all who are involved.
There are many soldiers raiding a temple. Although there are men fighting in the background, there is only a couple fighting in the front making it appear as though the battle is already won. There are also men looting gold from the burning temple. Most of the men are covered in darkness except for one riding a white horse. There are dark brown, gold, orange, and blue colors throughout the entire piece emphasizing the darkness that surrounds them all.
There are a couple of men stabbing one particular man with swords while a woman is firing a cannon, a soldier is waving a white flag, and another man is waving a red flag. The entire scene is covered in a haze of dark smoke caused by cannons and gunfire. The soldiers are painted in dark blues and black while the civilians are in dark brown. The focus of the scene is on the man being stabbed who is slightly more brightly colored in the blue of his uniform and the red of his blood.
There is a nursing mother mourning the death of a soldier under a tent next to a cannon. A group of soldiers dressed in the same uniform are lined up ready for battle in the distance to the right of the cannon. The entire scene has dark colors of blue, red, and brown. The woman is wearing a dark blue dress signifying her grief, and her pale skin matching that of the baby shows innocence. The darkness surrounding the trees and tent reveal this as a place for grieving, but the darkness surrounding the line of soldiers reveals a place for more death.
Credits: All media
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