Thomas Cole was a leader in landscape painting during the first half of the nineteenth century. Cole painted many landscapes, but the one that drew me in the most was the Genesee Scenery. My first impression of the painting was that it was beautiful, but as I looked closer I saw visual cues within the color, form, depth, and movement. The deconstruction of Genesee Scenery will explain how the physiology on the eye helped me to see the four visual cues.
Genesee Scenery, at first glance is a beautiful landscape painting with green rolling hills, trees, rock cliffs, and a bridge crossing over a flowing waterfall. With using the four visual clues: color, form, depth, and movement, the painting seems to come alive even more. According to Dictionary.com color is defined as the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light, saturation or chroma. At looking at Genesee Scenery, all six of the primary colors, according to da Vinci, are used; white, black, red, yellow, green, and blue. (Lester, 2006) “Leonardo da Vinci proposed that there were six primary colors and showed that by mixing those six colors in the form of paints in varying degrees, all the other colors capable of being seen by a normal human eye could be created.” (Lester, 2006) You can see that Cole mixed the colors within in themselves to create the different variations of the colors. The human eye is able to see color because of never fibers in the retina and explains how it physically sees color; the theory is known as the Young-Helmholtz theory. (Lester, 2006) Color can be defined into three methods, objective method, comparative method, and subjective method. Objective method is described by accurate measurements of the color’s wavelength and unique temperature. (Lester, 2006) Blues and greens, which are the majority of the colors within...
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