Color: How It Changes the Mood in Art

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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.

Color can represent many different emotions. Blue can bring about depressing feelings while yellow might bring out happiness. Here, we shall look at several art pieces and see how color is used to set the mood of the picture. 

Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1916, From the collection of: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
This painting has a lot of soft colors that gives off almost a dreamy sense. The viewer can look at the piece and get a very calming sense from the pastel colors mixed with the soft greens and blues.
The Cathedral, František Kupka, 1912 - 1913, From the collection of: Museum Kampa
The various blues can give off an almost calming tone as it descends down the piece. The colors captures the feel of stain glass in a church which brings about a sense of relaxing beauty.
An Advanced Dressing Station in France, 1918, Tonks, Henry, 1918, From the collection of: Imperial War Museums
The warm colors mixed with the small amount of cooler colors creates a sense of anxiety in the piece. The dark smoke that fades away gives off the feeling of dread compared to the lighter colors.
Ohyb Rieky Poprad Pm Strazkach, Ladislav Mednyánszky, 1875, From the collection of: Slovak National Gallery
The light colors create a peaceful mood for the piece. The soft blues make the river seem quiet and makes the water appear to be moving lazily along the shore.
Summer evening on Skagen Sønderstrand, Peder Severin Krøyer, 1893, From the collection of: Skagens Museum
The darker blues create the mood that night could be approaching and the lighter colors along the shore make a feel of isolation like how the beach usually is in the evening.
From Nature in the Garden, Rubens Peale, American, 1784 - 1865, 1856, From the collection of: Philadelphia Museum of Art
The soft colors of the flowers make a pleasant feeling for this piece. The lighter greens compliment the flowers and overall make a very relaxed mood together.
After the Hurricane, Bahamas, Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910), 1899, From the collection of: The Art Institute of Chicago
The dark blue of the sea makes the piece feel almost shaken by the violent waters and dark grays of the sky. The transition from dark to light colors is a reflection of the passing storm.
The Last Day of Pompeii, Karl Brullov, 1830/1833, From the collection of: The State Russian Museum
The dark colors create the sense of dread and the intense red from the volcano makes the path for attention in the piece. The colors bring about horror which depicts this event in history well.
Thomson No. 13 (Northern Lights), Douglas Coupland, 2011, From the collection of: Vancouver Art Gallery
The light greens really catches the attention in the piece and creates movement across it. The contrast of the blues and greens in basic shapes really defines the Northern Lights in a simple way.
The Death of Sardanapalus, Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, French, 1798 - 1863, 1844, From the collection of: Philadelphia Museum of Art
The colors chosen create a dramatic scene in the painting. The red really catches the attention and flows across the piece to direct the viewer at what is happening.
The Virgin and Child (The Madonna of the Book), Sandro Botticelli, 1480, From the collection of: Museo Poldi Pezzoli
The colors bring about a calmness in this piece, especially the blue clothing on the woman. The yellow and gold colors compliment well with the blues and give the impression of holiness.
The dining room, Opus 152, Paul Signac, 1886/1887, From the collection of: The Kröller-Müller Museum
The cool colors of this scene set a quiet tone for this piece. The colors chosen also represent the morning sunrise very well and what it might be like to have breakfast in the morning back then.
The entrance to our garden, Anna Ancher, 1903, From the collection of: Skagens Museum
This piece shows off gentle colors that set another quiet mood. The shades also offer the feeling of autumn and you really get a sense of the crisp air when looking at this piece based on the colors.
The rescue, John Everett Millais, 1855, From the collection of: National Gallery of Victoria
The colors in this piece create a transition from an alarming mood to a safe one. The reds in the upper left really create a dramatic scene and makes the recuse seem all the more heroic.
Rocks at Belle-Île, Port-Domois, Claude Monet (French, b.1840, d.1926), 1886, From the collection of: Cincinnati Art Museum
The colors create a sense of isolation from the dark colors of the rocks that contrast to the gentle colors of the water and sky. It's almost peaceful but with a majestic feeling as well.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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