Colours of the World - Mariana Correa

This gallery will be home to a collection of works that depict landscapes or structures based/located on different countries, cities, and cultures around the world. It will be focused on the colour palettes used to represent them and how they sometimes associate with the specific place, culture, and/or time period. Furthermore, it will discuss how the colour is used in each work to support the principles of design. 

"Guru Nanak Dev ji standing in the midst of devotees" depicts the celebrated founder of Sikhism (monotheistic religion founded in South Asia) standing in the middle of a courtyard in a mosque located in Sultanpur Lodhi, India. Around him, the other people in the courtyard are bent down, praying. At the bottom of the work, what seems to be the entrance of the courtyard shows two men kneeling down and on the right side, a horse. The artist used mainly primary and secondary colours to represent this traditional Indian scene. Orange is the most prominent colour in the piece as it covers the courtyard floor as well as the window frames, the roof of the mosque and its edges. Light hues such as blues and yellows are used in different intensities across the piece to create a sense of realism and are reflected in the subjects’ clothes as well as the sky. This colour palette is constantly present in works depicting or based in Indian tradition. White covers the structures and contrasts highly with the floor and windows, but it is also present in the faces and hands of the people in the scene, giving light to the overall scene.
"Re-Ornamented I" depicts the tomb of Emperor Jahangir located in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. It shows an inside view of the mausoleum built in Mughal architectural style. The viewer is introduced to a long hallway divided by an arched doorway. It represents South Asian culture and architecture during the Mughal Empire. Overall, the piece is covered with golden tones accentuated by the frame and reflecting on the floor, walls, and roof. Maroons, dark greens, reds and yellows, come together to create a darker palette that contrasts with the white on the walls closer to the viewer. These golden and dark hues along with the patterns used on the design of the walls are a representation of South Asian culture and the artistic and historical impact of the Mughal Empire in what is now the country of Pakistan.
"Mt. Fuji" is a colour on paper representation of Japan’s highest mountain. It was created to commemorate the 2,600th anniversary of the founding of Japan. The viewer is introduced to a pure white, snow covered Mount Fuji surrounded by dull grey clouds. The bright red sun rests in the middle of a yellow sky, which serves as the background for the entire scene. Aside from the white of the snow and the clouds, this depiction of the famous Japanese volcano stays away from realism. It holds a rather small colour palette; and the dull yellows and greys help draw the viewer’s attention to the brightness found at the tip of the mountain and the vibrancy of the red found in the sun. The piece itself was made with the intention to express love for Japan and the Japanese culture.
"Euston Steps - Study" depicts, as the name states, the steps outside Euston Station in London, facing the street where cars and citizens can also be seen. The artist used a thick impasto brushwork technique on this oil on board piece, and a palette composed of dark and dull hues. Greens, browns, reds, and oranges merge together at certain points due to the technique used to create a lack of detail that is often found in expressionist works. However, the colours add realism to the scene by imitating the colour palette found in the real location and seem to also represent a specific time period. The viewers can get the impression of a realistic, overcast, busy day in London when observing this work.
"View of the Flower of Greece" depicts an Ancient Greek landscape, with a town in the background surrounded by water, large green areas, and tall mountains that seem to merge softly into the sky. The foreground showcases heroes working hard as they construct a temple. Behind them, to the left, soldiers are gathered together next to a fountain and framed by sculptures. This piece uses colour to successfully add light and shadows to the scene, and combined with the chosen colour palette, manages to reflect an outstanding sense of realism. The artist makes use of light, less intense hues to add depth to the landscape, and the viewer can recognize the faraway mountains disappearing in the horizon. It’s the foreground that presents darker, more vibrant hues, especially on the trees that surround the soldiers. The dark green contrasts highly with the light blue sky. One of the most impressive aspects is the use of white in the temple area to create the illusion of a three-dimensional structure and add texture to the piece. This Ancient Greek scenery is showered in natural light; the use of a realistic colour palette and techniques to create highlights and shadows makes this piece a notable representation of an Ancient Greece landscape.
"Flags on the Waldorf" depicts a street in New York City’s 5th Avenue where plenty of American flags hang from the windows on the buildings, more specifically, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that was located on this spot in 1916. On the street, people are seen standing on the sidewalk and cars can also be spotted in the distance. The colour in this piece is used to make the flags stand out and become the focus of the scene. Light browns, yellows, and whites cover the buildings and streets. It is a realistic colour palette that also reflects the time period the artist wanted to portray. This even extends to the colours of the outfits the citizens are wearing. There is a great use of light blues in the streets to simulate the sky being reflected on the wet road. The use of white in the background is done so it provides texture to create an also realistic cloud. Colour is also used to bring emphasis onto the flags as the hues used in them are darker yet more vibrant and contrast highly with the dull background of the buildings. It is a beautiful and accurate representation of a New York City landscape in the 1910s.
"Lake Grunewald" as the name says, is a depiction of the lake in Grunewald forest located in Berlin, Germany. On the left, the abundant forest surrounds the lake and is reflected on the clear water. The right top of the frame shows a bright evening sky that reflects on the lake as well. The colour on this piece is used to create great contrast overall. It is mainly composed of highlights, and shadows. The very dark greens and pure blacks that make up the forest stand out against the yellow sky; which gives the illusion of a sunset. The light hues not only bring light into the otherwise dark and somber scene but also create a beautiful texture in the water. Colour definitely supports the mood in this scene to create an outstanding, melancholic representation of a German landscape.
"Sunrise, Yosemite Valley" is a depiction of the glacial valley that is part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. The viewer is presented with the rocky and steep walls of the valley in the background, towering over trees that are spread all over the land, and surround a lake in the centre. The colour palette used in this piece is made up of greens, blues, browns, and yellows. These hues reflect the nature of the American landscapes, and the realism the artist was looking to portray. The area closer to the viewer is created with darker shades of browns and greens, giving the illusion that this area is not being touched by the sun. That being said, the colours become lighter as the eye of the viewer follows the movement of the mountains, which seem to disappear in the background. The brown in the mountains becomes so light that it merges with the bright yellows and whites that represent the sunlight; thus, colour is also used to create depth within the scene. This is one of the best examples of works based on American landscapes and nature.
"Red over the Mountains as if the Forests are Dyed" is a traditional Chinese painting based on a poem from where the title also comes from. It depicts a small town located on a mountain that is home to an abundant forest. With the colour, the artist successfully reflected autumn on this colour on paper piece. Red is used in different intensities, lighter and more vibrant on the leaves of the trees, and a bit darker around the mountain area. The pure blacks are mostly used to create shadows and give depth to the scene as well, and the lighter and duller hues used on the mountains in the background also help create a three-dimensional space. The whites in the houses and waterfall at the left of the piece make them stand out and highly contrast against the dark shades. It is a beautiful, artistic representation of a Chinese landscape done through traditional Chinese painting techniques.
"Wivenhoe Park, Essex" is a depiction of the English countryside. It shows the rural area of Wivenhoe Park located in the county of Essex. This piece realistically portrays a green landscape, home to abundant trees, animals such as cows and ducks, and a lake. The field is showered in natural light coming from the bright blue sky where some clouds can be seen as well. The colour palette used in this work accentuates the nature of the landscape. Light and dark greens create shadows and lit areas on the grass and trees, and add depth to the scene. They also create texture in the water and give a realistic look to the lake. The whites and greys on the clouds as well as the light to dark gradient of blue in the sky create the illusion of the sun being hidden behind the clouds. Colour is used in such a way that every detail of the piece is in focus, even the reddish structure in the background and the animals and people in the lake.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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