Colors of Entities - (Ryan Sander)

Throughout history, religion has had a huge impact on many societies. The many depictions of higher powers and religious entities in paintings are a huge source of religious propaganda used to spread culture and ideas. Artists use a wide variety of colors in their works to add emphasis to certain aspects of their works. This gallery will highlight some of the most influential paintings, who's artists utilized color to add emphasis and symbolism to their works. 

This painting portrays Christ crowning the Virgin, both which are surrounded by rays which symbolize the divine light. The importance of color in this work is clear, utilizing primary colors as the main hues in this piece of art. The use of yellow, red and blue are often used to symbolize optimism, energy, and tranquility, respectively. These recurring themes are often used in the representations of religious entities.
This painting depicts St. Vincent being tortured after being charged with treason against the state for not recanting his faith, as it was illegal to practice Christianity at the time. As he gets torchured, Vincent remains calm and is seen as the only subject in the painting looking up to God and his angels who are watching over him. Huguet's use of color is symbolic in that the entity watching over the saint is dressed in white robes, representing purity and peace. There is also a lot of red used throughout the painting, which symbolizes power and aggression. The fact that Vincent's red clothing is stripped from him and remains on the ground in front of him could represent the fact that he is powerless to the corrupt policies of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
This piece, titled Resurrection, depicts Christ rising from his grave. Three figures symbolize purity in this work with their clothing: Jesus, the angel, and the Virgin Mary. The rays of light draw you attention to Jesus, who is the focal point of this work. He is portrayed as the brightest, most divine being in the painting. Bermejo's use of these colors give life to the important figures in the painting. The tomb guards appear terrified by the miracle of Christ's rebirth, and almost blend in to the ground due to the dull and earthy tones that were used to illustrate them.
Painted with oil and gold leaf on wood, this painting featured the likes of St. John the Baptist, st. Fabian, and St. Sebastian. The primary colors used in this work are red and green, which are often used to represent themes of power and generosity. These three panels could have made up the central part of a larger altarpiece, and come from the chapel of Saint Joan Baptista. The bright colors used in the painting make the figures stand out with a great sense of enlightenment and wisdom.
This is another interpretation of St. Vincent's torturing, as summoned by the corrupt Roman emperor Diocletian. Much like Huguet's painting, this work also features Vincent dressed in all white, symbolizing his innocence and purity. Unlike the first work, Castelsardo's painting does not show God watching over and protecting the saint, thus rendering St. Vincent the brightest and most pure figure in the whole painting.
Color is clearly the most important element in this painting. Where color and its many values are usually used to add emphases to particular parts of and artwork, this piece is glowing with bright colors all throughout this work and no one color is over used. It emits a sense of happiness and joy all over the painting and brings a natural warmth to any viewer. The bright colors used make everyone in the painting have a sense of unity with God and Jesus, who are the focal points of the painting.
Andrea Vaccaro often uses darker hues in his paintings, and "Tobias Meets the Archangel Raphael" is no exception. The earthy tones used give a calming feeling when viewing the painting. The angel Raphael is clearly the most pronounced figure in the painting, appearing as a lighter colored figure with much brighter clothing than Tobias or any of his peers. Although Raphael sticks out in this work, Vacarro does a good job to maintain unity throughout this entire piece by keeping the dark and earthy theme throughout.
This second painting by Vaccaro, similar to the first, displays tobias healing his blind father, with the archangel Raphael watching over him. Vaccaro's continued use of earthy tones has the same affect on Raphael, making the angel appear more luminous when contrasted with the rest of the painting. Andreas Vaccaro's use of shading is also brilliant, as he makes the angel appear to shine emit light in the room, both figuratively and literately.
"Descent" by Anton Raphael Mengs is a beautiful piece that illustrates God descending from Heaven after Jesus' crucifixion. Mengs' use of color is especially important in this piece, because it emphasizes the focus of the painting. God is shown as the most luminous object, surrounded by yellow rays of light, symbolizing joy, happiness, and optimism.
This painting, titled "Birth if the Virgin" displays God overseeing the birth of the Virgin. Duran's use of color creates a sense of rhythm in the work, by using rays of light to connect the two focal points of the picture. God and the baby are shorn as the brightest figures in the painting, emitting white light. God is shown wrapped in pink, representing love and compassion, while the baby's white clothing can be used to symbolize its innocence and youth.
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